Atkinson To Appeal Modern Warfare 2 MA15+ Classification

South Australian Attorney-General and video game censorship advocate Michael Atkinson is to appeal the MA15+ rating handed out by the Classification Board to Modern Warfare 2.

Speaking to Radio National, Atkinson was asked for his views on the recently released game, described by interviewer Peter Mares as "violent and bloody and graphic and confronting."

"I'll be appealing against that classification, I think it's wrong," said Atkinson.

We have approached Activision for comment regarding the proposed appeal, but they have yet to respond.

The Member for Croydon, who will be challenged for his seat at the March 2010 state election by Australia's first gamer rights party, went on to admit he had no faith in the Classification Board to do its job properly.

"It doesn't surprise me. The Classification Board in Australia does everything to try to get games in under the radar. But just because the system is not being applied properly, it does not mean that the principles of the system are wrong.

"What I want the Classification Board to do is to apply the guidelines properly. What I don't want is the extremely violent, sexually depraved, drug use games in Australia at all. At the cinema, we can stop people under 18 going in to see R18+ rated movies. We can't stop these games that are extremely violent and depraved from getting into the home or getting into the hands of children."

Atkinson raised the example of "the Japanese game Rape Play where one scores points for raping a mother and daughter." Mares noted that this game is not available anywhere outside of Japan, even in countries that do have an R18+ rating. But Atkinson suggested that "Rape Play" (sic) would be released in Australia.

"Well, I wouldn't put it past the Classification Board to make that an R rated game, frankly, on their previous form," he replied.

Atkinson also described an unnamed game in which "the player straps explosives to himself and blows himself up in a market and scores points for how many people he kills." (Anyone know what game he's talking about? I honestly have no idea.)

When it was suggested to Atkinson that, as Attorney-General, he would be responsible for drawing up the guidelines for an R18+ rating if it were introduced, and thus he would be able to ensure that such "extremely violent, sexually depraved, drug use games" would still be refused classification, he once again reiterated his lack of faith in the Board.

"I have no trust in the Classification Board to apply the guidelines sincerely and correctly," he said. "And thus to draw up such guidelines would be to do so in sure and certain knowledge that they would be stretched and then broken."

Finally, Mares asked the minister whether he knew the status of the Commonwealth discussion paper on video game classification, originally scheduled to be released to the public in April this year. Mr Atkison denied any knowledge of why it has not yet been issued.

In the second half of the segment, Mares spoke with Gamers 4 Croydon founder David Doe. Hit the link below to listen to the full interview.

Does Australia need an R18+ rating for computer games? [Radio National, via Screen Play]


Comments

    Just read through all the comments, yes really.

    We all agree this guy just doesn't make any sense.

    Now if MW2 where to be classified to R18+ does that make it illegal to own, and if so would that mean the Goverment would have to buy back the game? And when I say Buy Back I mean from all retail outlets as well as all owners?

    After that gun buy back nobody's been shot since so if we buy back all the violent video games society will reset to 195X.

    I played a few Hentai games years ago back when I was still a teenager (Late 90's) they where pretty boring back than. I'd rather play Dragon Age or Super Mario Bros Wii.

    I just don't understand why one guy seems to have so much power in relation to this issue. I'm pretty sure that we live in a democracy and that he is an elected government official.

    Man this dude really grinds my gears ;)

    If you want a laugh, click my name. It's a blogpost explaining why he is such a moron.

    He really believes he is a moral crusader, but I doubt we will be convincing him anytime soon. It's obvious he is wrong. But these people want to believe what is in their minds so much they will grasp at the shortest straws without looking at how silly it really is.

    Anybody who was going to buy MWF2 has pretty much already bought it.

    Maybe if we showed the government how much money Australia was losing when it stops a game, especially a popular one, then they might get a little bit wiser.

    I mean, imagine if Modern Warfare II had been banned right out? That was one of the highest selling games ever in its first day, wasn't it? Thousands and thousands of dollars, wasn't it?

    I know where my $100 is going, and it's not to an Australian L4D2.

    LOL bit late after it outsold everything ever.

    I emailed Mick yesterday, he replied 5 minutes later saying he would not take my email serious unless i provided my postal address to verify against the electoral roll, i provided my details strait away and am yet to hear anything. Sure, he may be busy. But he has read my email, replied and now he knows im legit he hasnt bothered to reply in depth to the question everyone has asked here.

    "If you would like a considered response to your email, please supply me with your home address (a street address, not a p.o. box) to be checked against the electoral roll.

    I ask for this because I receive many crank, hoax and abusive emails on this topic.

    When I research and write a reply, I want to send it to a real person at a real address and not an electronic phantom or hydra.

    I am sorry to put you to this trouble but I think you will understand."

      You really think he cares about our opinions? The opinions of 'R18 nerds seeking virtual gratification'? His letter to the site and well....anything else on the subject has made it clear that he doesn't give a rat's ass about our opinions.

      I dunno..... between Atkinson's stubborn refusal to give games an R18 rating and Rudd trying to filter our internet..... I think it's the start of something truly scary....

    David,

    If I had to make a guess, the 'unnamed game' Atkinson refers to where you "play as a suicide bomber and blow yourself up in a market" is a flash based game called 'The Suicide Bomber Game', it appeared on the web in 2002 and can be found on newgrounds: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/50323 . Clearly however, the author made it with the intent to piss off victims of the 9/11 attacks and to gain media attention. Personally I couldn't put it past me to call it a game, more of a waste of time.

    You can't help but wonder why Atkinson keeps repeatedly referencing games which have never been reviewed by the OFLC.

    for any body in Queensland AU there is an official gov online petition to try to pass r18+ games there:

    http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/view/EPetitions_QLD/CurrentEPetition.aspx?PetNum=1346&lIndex=-1 .

    who knows... if it gets passed there it might start the ball rolling for the rest of us....

    As much as I hate to say it, Atkinson is right - as WiseHacker already pointed out, we get a lot of games unmodified at 15+ where everywhere else in they're 18+.

    We NEED an R-rating for games so the ones we have already can be classified correctly such as Left 4 Dead 1, Bioshock, Fallout 3, F.E.A.R. 2, Gears of War 2. Compared to Modern Warfare 2, these titles are far more brutal in their violent content.

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