Earlier this year, I made a few posts detailing my little ordeal in ordering a uncensored copy of Grand Theft Auto IV from the UK. I did this because of outdated classification laws in this country. It felt great to circumvent these ridiculous laws and I ended up with the correct version of an awesome game. Recently, it seemed these laws were starting to loosen. After the banning of four games in this country in 2008, people were starting to get their blood up about this issue and I was led to believe things were beginning to change. How wrong I was.
In order for these laws for to be even considered to be changed, all of Australia's Attorneys General have to agree that there is a problem to begin with. All of them do.
With one exception. South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson refuses to budge on changing these laws. Apparently, that's all it takes. One man disagrees and we have a standoff. Just incredible.
Cheers to censorship and no sense of the world around you.
In the last week, the day was drawing near for official discussion on the subject to take place. But Atkinson has refused to even talk about discussing the possibility of changing these laws.
So naturally, I blew up. I never write to government departments etc. but I felt the need to add myself to the community that is being affected by these draconian laws. The following email was sent to various Premier's offices, Cabinet Ministers, Councils etc. Oh, and Atkinson's office too.
To whom it may concern
South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson has recently withdrawn his support for a discussion paper regarding a R18+ classification rating for computer/video games and as a result made the report unavailable to the public. Essentially, after enforcing the censorship of video games in this country, Michael Atkinson has censored any discussion of censorship.
Let me repeat that: Michael Atkinson has censored discussion of censorship. He refuses to even talk about the issue. This email has been sent to his office, but it is doubtful anyone in his office will even read up to this line.
Subsequently, this outdated but bafflingly powerful viewpoint has made headlines across the country and the world.
The Age in Melbourne
The Entertainment Consumer Association in the US
Eurogamer Network Ltd in the UK
And a host of others...
Sydney Morning Herald
Considering a study recently undertaken by the Bond University has discovered the average age of a Australian video gamer is 30 and over 90% of Australians thinks there should be an R rating for games (http://au.gamespot.com/features/6199970/index.html) , this archaic action by Michael Atkinson seems outrageous.
Australia is the ONLY developed nation in the world not to have this rating. Not only do we not have this rating but we have a government designed so that a single man can block this law.
Please, whoever reads this - pass this on.
1) The average Australian video gamer is at the age of 30.
2) An R18+ rating will actually protect the welfare of Australian children, not the other way around as Michael Atkinson believes.
3) The average Australian gamer (at age 30) will continue to purchase uncut copies of games from overseas until this R rating is put in place. A practice that is not only damaging our video games industry but our economy as well.
Please, somebody please do something. Anything to try and reverse what is happening here.
Now, obviously it's just an email. But hey, I'm doing something. I have yet to receive an actual response from any department but when I do, this blog will be the first to know.