Gamer to Australia's Atkinson: a challenger appears!

10 November 2009
9:00 am

As I've discussed in the past, Australia has the fine distinction of being a country without any classification for games above the 15+ age range; unlike the United States' ESRB which allows for a mature rating for games that shouldn't be sold to minors, no such classification exists in Australia, meaning these titles are effectively forbidden from being sold in the country. Games are either forced to modify some elements, like with Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead 2, or not allowed at all.

This is commonly (and incorrectly) attributed as being a moral judgement on the part of the Australian population; however, while most Australians are for such an 18+ classification for games, the sole opponent in government to this is South Australia's Attorney-General Michael Atkinson who remains the only hold-out over legislation that would allow such a rating. As this unfortunately requires unanimous approval, Atkinson has effectively not only vetoed a vote but consistently opposes the government even looking into whether or not Australians want the classification– outside polls have repeatedly shown they do, but he stubbornly stands in the way of it.

Now, a new party is on its way to being formed seeking to take on Atkinson's stance; as GamePolitics reports, David Doe has taken the first steps towards founding his Gamers4Croydon party, which hopes to get such an 18+ rating introduced for Australian gamers. In Atkinson's typical evangelizing and hyperbolic way, this is his quote about the matter:

The voters of Croydon will now be asked directly whether they want interactive games in which gamers score points by raping a mother and daughter, blowing themselves up, torturing human figures . . . killing people and taking drugs to improve their sporting prowess.

I certainly hope that Gamers4Croydon is successful in this endeavor, it's absolutely appalling that the governmental process can be hijacked by one unelected official with an agenda to push, irrespective of the wishes of the majority of the country.

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