Michael Atkinson Writes to Kotaku

michael atkinson mugshot.jpg

On Tuesday, South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson wrote to the Adelaide Advertiser about proposed changes to our classification system. Yesterday, a Kotaku reader responded to Atkinson's letter. And today? Atkinson has written to Kotaku to respond again... and deliver a challenge to Kotaku readers.


    A challenge? Hahaha, this dude is hilarious... how about getting him to some online COD and just own his n00b ass. And that photo of him... hellllloooo ladies!

    I'm not sure what this has to do with any of the good points made in the previous letter actually regarding videogames. This can be compared to Ewe Boll's (spelling?) challenge to critics to step into the boxing ring with him.

    So rather than respond to any of the mountains of perfectly reasonable and sensible counter-claims to his arguments, he throws down the gauntlet? "Meet me behind the sheds at 5" schoolboy brawling?

    ... and he 'heard' a note being slipped under his door at 2.30am in the morning? How light does he sleep? I bet you he was on his PS3 hitting up some GTA action.

    Someone should run for his job and ban fake dogs like Maltese terriers... especially ones called Gus.

    Seriously though... I highly doubt any gamer will take up the challenge, yes what he does sounds like a hell of a lot of hard work and respect for that! But no gamer is going to give up their precious gaming time to try and beat him at his own game.

    I was worried that some people might start acting immature and pull stunts like the incident he mentioned, but unfortunately there's always going to be people who cross the line and ruin it for the majority.

    Still, it would it have been so hard for Atkinson to adress ANY of the points raised in the previous letter? Does he think us to be that unreasonable?

    I'm sure he's good at his job and serves his electorate well, but it's just this one issue on the games rating system that he appears to be completely off the mark with. I don't want to challenge him for his electoral seat; I have no interest in being an attorney-general and serving the people of Croydon -- but I, along with many others, do want to challenge him on the issue of the R18+ rating for videogames. In fact, we've been challenging him for months and months and he seems to be avoiding the issue. Just release the discussion paper already, damnit!

    So how is this a response to yesterdays letter?
    It doesnt address any of the comments made yesterday except something about his electorate....

    Can we get Terry to do this?
    Terry 2010!

    It's still interesting to note that he is avoiding the issue in all of his ramblings obviously stating that there a bigger fish to fry so this issue will not go addressed until all the other world's problems are addressed.

    Well done Michael, you've successfully dodged all the points made by Terry and other Kotaku readers.

    Perhaps instead of whinging about the amount of threats made against you, you should construct a logical breakdown of why you think Terry is wrong.

    As for challenging people to stand for Parliament...what a ridiculous idea. Maybe the idea of a democracy is that the leaders actually listen to the people?

    What a ridiculous challenge. No-one would beat thim with their main focus being on r18 and he knows it. Big wow he is goliath challenging david to a fight without slingshots. Also is anyone really gonna change their entire career simply for r18 ratings. I mean yes we do believe they should be implemented but it is not like i am gonna move down to SA just to take him on. What a crock...

    Mr. Atkinson. This is not about your ego. We don't want to make this personal so don't act like it is. It's about a system that simply does not work.

    Games are just another form of entertainment. Many cater for an adult audience. So why can't we treat them like films and classify them as such? Why can't we stand back and let parents actually raise their children as they see fit?

    At the end of the day you comment about your consideration of diversity and yet refuse to acknowledge that a difference in opinion is bound to exist, and maybe, in this case, yours is wrong.

    The funny thing is you actually think you're doing the Australian population some good. Good for you. Let the youth attain rightfully 18+ games under this vise of the MA15+ classification. Let the others send their money out of the country to import what they should be able to receive at an Australian retailer.

    It's hard to keep this civil, but Mr. Atkinson, you are so out of touch it's scary.

    I issue a challenge to Mister Atkinson.

    Respond to the letter, point for point, that was written by that 57-year old here: http://www.kotaku.com.au/games/2009/03/atkinson_addresses_r18_rating_kotaku_reader_responds.html and rebutt every single one of those points with rational statements - like the author of that letter did.

    Atkinson knows that he's issuing a ridiculous challenge - I'm not going to give up my job and move interstate to challenge him in an election. And really, that's not what we want anyway.

    Mister Atkinson - if you do read this - I want you to know, that we do not want to have you ousted from parliament. That isn't our intention at all. All we want is a fair consideration of the whole R18+ classification of video games issue. We don't want to take your job. We don't want you to step down. We just want you to take a step back, and try to look at the bigger picture, and try to understand why we want the video game classification system overhauled in this country. We are falling behind the rest of the world - we are the only Developed country to not have an R18+ rating on games.

    That's all we want - a fair and unbiased consideration. The fact you haven't even allowed that draft discussion paper through yet clearly indicates that's not the treatment this issue is receiving from you. If you are really so adamant on your stance that the only thing you can say is "well challenge me and try to take my job", then I don't know what else to say to you. It seems incredibly immature.

    I live in this area. not far from there at all, I will send him a letter! at least a decent one

    This whole debate quickly seems to be giving us our very own Jack Thompson, with it degrading into insults and challenges once faced with a well written and supported opposition.

    However, if it's true that he has been threatened by people in regards to this issue, I cannot comprehend how those people could possibly think it will help the situation (haha, my inner conspirator suggests that maybe it was people against changes for that very reason!).
    Because we all know which headline will get more coverage when the media is given the choice between "Games Classification Needs Overhaul" and "Angry Gamers Threaten Politician!"

    It's always the craziest ones that lay down a challenge, look at Jack Thompson or Uwe Bole.

    We don't want to challenge you, Atkinson. We want you to do your goddamned job and be the people's voice.

    Remember that Bond University study? The one that brought to light the fact that the average Aussie gamer is 28 years old and that 88% of Australians support a common classification system for games and films?

    Yeah. Way to support the people, Mr. Atkinson. You completely ignore the brilliantly written response to your initial letter and then ask us to challenge you in parliament, which you know that most of us don't have the time or inclination to do.

    I would rise to the challenge, if only to bring the lack of an R18+ rating issue further to the voting public. Unfortunately I live in Melbourne.

    However, we don't need to challenge Michael Atkinsons position, we just need to ensure that the voting parents of children aged ~15+ are aware that they're kids are currently playing games that are not suitable for them. I cannot beleive that if parents knew that their 15 year old children were being subjected to full frontal male nudity in current MA15+ rated games(GTA4: Lost and the Damned), that they would oppose an adult only rating category.

    In fact, I can only assume that Michael Atkinson doesn't know that by blocking this rating he's actually allowing young girls to see their very first Phallus in a computer game at age 15. Otherwise this just doesn't make sense.


    Last edited 18/06/15 12:33 pm

    I will give Mr. Atkinson credit for what he does best. In this response you can truly see how he's such a politician. Mr. Atkinson managed to not only completely dodge any valid points that were made, he was able to turn absolutely nothing, against the gaming community.

    Telling us how "a note [was] slipped under [Mr. Atkinson's] front door at 2.30 a.m" filled with murderous threats, that he's so environmentally friendly by driving everywhere, and how much people love him for standing on his upturned soapbox.

    If Mr. Atkinsons job was to intimidate anyone here - he's failed.

    Beyond that, I don't understand the point in telling us his dog's name and breed, and how he talks to people walking riding his bike.

    If anything, I would consider this letter almost as childish as the few thoughtless comments made in the previous article.

    Here's to hoping someone in Adelaide with a little poise and self-restraint takes up the challenge, and at the very least conveys the right point about an R18+ rating, instead of sheepishly agreeing for lack of proper thoughts, as we saw on an ABC panel show last year.

    If you think that by setting out a challenge gives you intellectual superiority, your quite wrong Mr. Atkinson. All you have proven is that when faced with a quite reasonable rebuttal, it is all you can do. If you feel so strongly on the subject, then surely it would be best to respond in a similar manner to backup your claims.

    But then again, what would an 'R18+ Nerd' like me know?

    A challenge, pffft. I challenge this guy to a debate weeks ago on YouTube (click link for video) and have'nt heard a response at all

    A challenge, pffft. I challenge this guy to a debate weeks ago on YouTube (click link for video) and have'nt heard a response at all

    It's a cowardly challenge, he's asking people to basically play his personal game in his court to prove, what? That he's write.

    Mike, I hope you're reading this. I live in perth so I can't challenge you but if I could I would on principle.

    If you really want to answer your complainants, why not agree to do so publicly, in a televised interview with members of the game industry?

    Mr Atkinson,

    I commend you on responding to the Kotaku reader's letter. It gives me reassurance that at the very least, you are interested in what the gaming community has to say on this issue.

    However, in requesting a challenge to your electoral position - in which I don't doubt you work very hard on behalf of those you represent - you have somewhat missed the point.

    What most of us (excluding a handful of immature posters who think it's appropriate to threaten efame you) would like is for open discussion to continue, and for us to know that our concerns are being heard and considered.

    I would welcome an open discussion forum, where mature adults could come together and debate the issues at hand.

    Perhaps this could be facilitated by Kotaku, or even better, we could make contact with the ABC's Hack or Good Game programs to see whether they could focus on this issue.

    I am a 33 year-old gamer with a 19 month-old daughter, and I fully support the introduction of an R18+ Classification for Computer Games. I would willingly participate in any forum that allows this issue to be discussed.


    B. Hughes

    So basically he's saying "Everyone hates my decision to the point that they threaten me and so you should try fighting me in an election"?

    Why doesn't he actually respond to the letter instead of dodging the issue?

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