Let's Meet An Australian Politician Who Loves Video Games

When Australia is mentioned in the same breath as video games, most people's first thoughts are of something negative. Something unpleasant. So let's meet an Australian politician who's one of the good guys.

His name is David Bartlett, Premier of the Australian state of Tasmania. That makes him the equivalent of, roughly, a US state governor. Not the big cheese, then, but a man of some clout.

Bartlett is a a proud, vocal fan of the medium, something rarely found amongst the ranks of politicians in any country, let alone Australia. And in an interview with Screen Play, he's happy to tell the world about it.

"[Growing up]we had the ubiquitous ‘Pong'", Bartlett says. "Then we had a Vic 20. Then my father started investing in Apple computers. So we had Apple 2's and Apple 2's... and then the first Mac that came out. My next door neighbour and best mate had a Commodore 64. We went on to the Atari ST."

"I'm going through a second wave of gaming fun with Hudson", he adds. "He and I play a lot of the Lego games, Lego Star Wars, Lego Batman... We're currently playing Lego Indiana Jones."

That's right. He doesn't mean the renowned Japanese video game developer Hudson. He means his son Hudson. Coincidence?

Your Turn: Build your own politician [Screen Play]


    As a taswegian I wouldn't necessarily be jumping for joy, the man's... he's not great. Objectively I s'pose, but still. I'm sure there are some actually good advocates for video games out there in public office though.

    what a surprise, a dude who knows about and has played some games isn't scared of them... Funny how it works =)

    Hopefully he will make some noise for the R rating for games issue.

    I love this. I am keen to hear more about politicians that have played, or can relate to playing games. It is refreshing and helpful. I hope that as the gaming generations graduate to parliament we will find this both more common, more comforting and more considered.

    I am Australian and Bartlett is a monster when it comes to digital rights. The electoral laws in Tasmania this year required all online comments to include a name and address of an individual making them and was under section 191 of the Tasmanian electoral act. He may say he likes and even plays games, but this by no means makes him a friend of Australian gamers. He is a digital tyrant, an anachronism and is in dire need of being toppled.

      uhmm wasn't that Atkinson and South Australia?

      Dude, you have issues. That law wasn't imposed by him, this is a democracy, so therefore for a law to be passed it must be voted on. Therefore more than one person was involved. The law is also old, and not recent.

    Luke, glad you enjoyed my article! Let's hope Mr Bartlett has opened the door for other pollies to admit that... well... they do something fun that the majority of the voters do.

    Really nice guy to talk to- just hope that that 'vibe' translates into some concrete support from the Tasmanian Attorney General in November, when they discuss an R18+ for games.

    BTW - Major retrobrain fail in me: not picking up on the 'Hudson' thing - I should have asked him about Bomberman, eh?


    What ever happened to that R rating issue, anyway? They did all the public consultation, the gamers won, so they went off to do some more public consultation until they could find a big enough group of people opposed that they could justify doing nothing.

    Presumably they managed to find that group because they've done (and continue to do) nothing.

      The most recent SCAG meeting was cancelled by virtue of being in the midst of the federal election, and the scheduled November one may fall within the Victorian election campaign.

      It is possible to suggest they were cynical excuses to avoid the issue, but I suspect this not to be the case. While we obviously consider it to be a major issue, in the scale of things the standing council need to discuss it's fairly 'minor'.

      Most likely it's due to the way the system works in terms of caretaker (mid-election) governments not being allowed to make unilateral decisions. Unfortunately, it's something we just have to work around.

    You have to be kidding me... this guy is just as corrupt and to make matters worse a complete idiot so is easily manipulated.
    I'm sure there are allot more honest and intelligible people that we could credit for playing games...

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