Australians Overwhelmingly Support R18+ Rating

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Australians Overwhelmingly Support R18+ Rating

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Respondents to the Australian government survey debating whether to institute a R18+ rating are overwhelmingly in favor of the idea. And I do mean overwhelmingly.

When the Australian government sought public input on the idea of R18+ game ratings, many beleaguered Aussie gamers heralded it as a step in the right direction. The Australian public would vote against censorship, they believed, and vote against giving the government heavy-handed power to determine what they could and could not view as entertainment.

As it turns out, the numbers may be reflecting that. According to a representative from the Copyright and Classification Policy Branch, the government had received 6,239 submissions for the R18+ public consultation - 5,465 by email, 447 by fax, and 327 by snail-mail - and had processed 1,084 thus far. Of those 1,084, only 11 had been against the idea of a R18+ rating: about 1%.

If the next five thousand respondents continue on the same pattern as the first thousand, then the Aussie government may have proof that a good many people support the R18+ rating.

But before we all rejoice - and I hate to be a Debbie Downer here - I think we need to face a sobering reality: As much as we might dislike the guy, Michael Atkinson may have a point. The Attorney General of South Australia predicted that the response would show overwhelming support because the only people who would care enough to get involved would be gamers - and that the rest of the public couldn't give a damn one way or the other.

Maybe Atkinson is wrong and these numbers represent a wide swath of the Australian people, sick of government censorship. But then again, maybe he's not wrong - just because the guy represents everything we stand against doesn't mean he can't have a point.

But on the other hand, does it matter? If the Aussie government finds that their survey supports the R18+ rating 99:1, will it actually matter who the respondents were? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

(Gamespot UK)

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Hopefully they get the 18+ rating. I feel bad for the Australian gamers having to play stripped down versions of M rated games.

Ah, the sweet feeling of satisfaction. If this hurts Atkinson, it can only be good.

Like I said before, if people don't vote, it's because they don't care enough. I don't see a problem with most of the participants being the people who care. If someone is really opposed to an R18+ rating, they would vote against it. Right?

Well, I hope Australia gets an R18+ rating soon.

When I lived in Germany, a friend of mine was an aussie, and he was as pissed as anybody else about the censorship.

I have to say, at the end of the day, this won't make a bit of difference. Unless Michael Atkinson decides "Okay, fine, have your 18+ rating!", then nothing will change until someone else takes his place. Someone who agrees with the idea of an 18+ rating.

Unless they somehow find a way to, say, ignore his vote completely...

John Funk:

But before we all rejoice - and I hate to be a Debbie Downer here - I think we need to face a sobering reality: As much as we might dislike the guy, Michael Atkinson may have a point. The Attorney General of South Australia predicted that the response would show overwhelming support because the only people who would care enough to get involved would be gamers - and that the rest of the public couldn't give a damn one way or the other.

I think the thing to remember about this is this: If non-voters really don't give a damn, why should that be a problem? The way I see it, people who actually care will go out and take a stance and those are EXACTLY the people we should be paying attention to.

John Funk:

But before we all rejoice - and I hate to be a Debbie Downer here - I think we need to face a sobering reality: As much as we might dislike the guy, Michael Atkinson may have a point. The Attorney General of South Australia predicted that the response would show overwhelming support because the only people who would care enough to get involved would be gamers - and that the rest of the public couldn't give a damn one way or the other.

Maybe Atkinson is wrong and these numbers represent a wide swath of the Australian people, sick of government censorship. But then again, maybe he's not wrong - just because the guy represents everything we stand against doesn't mean he can't have a point.

But on the other hand, does it matter? If the Aussie government finds that their survey supports the R18+ rating 99:1, will it actually matter who the respondents were? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

If the rest of the Australian Public doesn't care one way or the other then why is he so adamant about ensuring that the 18+ rating doesn't come to pass? Who is he protecting?

I just find it odd really, he's a moral defender with no-body to defend, meaning that he's fighting strongly in favor of an "abstract concept of morality" rather than anything that is actually represented within the people he is claiming to protect morality for. This is something you Aussie's should be VERY worried about.

I really think that a one percent majority is a good sign that they dont want this.

Also all Australians should vote against this kinda censorship, it can transfer so easily across media forms and you could lose the right to free speech.

I actually dont know if you guys have a first amendment like free speech, but you should create one.

Aura Guardian:
Hopefully they get the 18+ rating. I feel bad for the Australian gamers having to play stripped down versions of M rated games.

Seriously. The government needs to seriously think about freedom of rights here. Its not a prison colony anymore! They gov. needs to stop thinking like one!

Atkinson proves our own point by saying that only gamers would care about this. What he's basically saying is that he's opposing an 18+ rating for a group that couldn't care less.

It doesn't matter who took the survey; surveys are intrinsically biased based on the sampling group. If you ask 100 people a question and get an answer, that's the opinions of 100 people; but the survey tries to spin it as the opinions of everyone.

Even if gamers are the only ones to take the survey they didn't do so unfairly. They didn't force others not to take the survey because other peoples' ideas didn't gel with those of the gamers (Unless, of course, Australian gamers can mobilise a conspiracy crazy fast) So, really, it doesn't make a lick of difference if those who have taken the survey are gamers. The government got its required number of answers. The gamers have suggested, in their actions, that there are enough numbers to warrent this idea.

In your face, Atkinson! His only point is that he finds this stuff distasteful, and given he's hardly free of blame, I think the basis of democracy should have him retract his dangerous ideals.

Strangely enough, said accusations of Michael Atkinson have been removed from his Wikipedia page. Well, we wouldn't want people having an idea that 6 million Australian dollars from the Treasury was hidden in his bank account.

Of course, he'll kick off his usual paranoia trip to blame the corruption of youth, but as soon as he's out of office, who'll care?

We feel for you Australia!

What, if we have a poll on the legality of abortion do the votes only count if they're from women? If we have a federal election, do the votes only count if you're a politician?

It doesn't matter who the votes are from. If you care one way or another, you'll vote. If you don't vote, then you're stuck with what the majority who do care vote for. Simple as that.

It's called DEMOCRACY. That's how it works.

But I do hope that the thing gets passed, and I hope that the compulsory filter doesn't. If it does I'm going to leave the country.

Nevyrmoore:
Unless Michael Atkinson decides "Okay, fine, have your 18+ rating!", then nothing will change until someone else takes his place.

Isn't the whole idea of democracy that if the votes are in favour of R18+, Atkinson can't do a damn thing about it?

John Funk:

But before we all rejoice - and I hate to be a Debbie Downer here - I think we need to face a sobering reality: As much as we might dislike the guy, Michael Atkinson may have a point

Well, its not like it will affect anyone EXCEPT gamers so who really gives a damn, if he is concerned about the kids, having this rating will give parents a better understanding of what to expect instead of having an M or MA15+ game that should have been an R18+ they will have that extra tier of knowing what to expect (not that parents should buy R18+ games for kids)

I'm sorry but every single argument that Michael Atkinson has given is either related to gamers being a bunch of retards who think KILLING FOR ZE POINTS is cool or THINK OF THE CHILDREN.

I feel like doing my "In your face" dance right now. As if this continues then never again shall Aussies have to play shite versions of M games.

I'm not Austrailian either. I'm just pissed that such disrespect can go to a medium in one particular place. One up for the Aussies!

SirBryghtside:

John Funk:
Of those 1,084, only 11 had been against the idea of a R18+ rating: less than 1%.

Actually, a little more than 1% - 1.46 recurring percent, to be exact.

But anyway, I really hope this comes into play - I'm no Aussie, but I really feel they need justice on this.

damn ninja'd...

but yeah i hope the aussie's stop getting watered down versions of games...

michael atkinson: "we can't have a public vote, they will vote against me cos its only the people that the current rules affect that care enough to vote"

i think thats kind of the point...
the people that it affects want to tell you that they want new rules.
going by the numbers, looks like they are doing just that.

didn't they just pass a law that says MOVIES are also subject to some kind of censorship ?
if so, then it may not be only gamers responding
its possible that people are actually taking THIS as a first step in telling the government to stop being such a bunch of censor happy pricks

Well looks like Atkinson called it. Gee what a shock. The people who actually buy the products are the ones that responded. Obviously the people Atkinson is "protecting" really couldn't give a damn one way or another if they couldn't be bothered to spend 30 seconds of their day to shoot off an e-mail with their answer.

Personally I doubt this will have any impact since it will just get spun by Atkinson to make it look like the survey was a waste of time and has no real meaning.

John Funk:
But before we all rejoice - and I hate to be a Debbie Downer here - I think we need to face a sobering reality: As much as we might dislike the guy, Michael Atkinson may have a point. The Attorney General of South Australia predicted that the response would show overwhelming support because the only people who would care enough to get involved would be gamers - and that the rest of the public couldn't give a damn one way or the other.

That's an irrelevant argument. Even if it could be proven that every single favourable response in support of an 18+ rating was a gamer, it still shows that the over-the-top-nannying-mentality of Mr Atkinson and his cronies is completely unjustified. If the only people who care about the consultation to bother expressing their views are in favour of an adult rating, surely they should be allowed one?

I'd like to know who the 11 non-favourable responses were from... Wouldn't it be freaking hilarious if two of them were from Mr and Mrs Atkinson of Croyden, South Australia?

I can't help but think Atkinson will see the results, realise 99% of people who actually have an opinion consider him to be wrong, and then go 'well what do they know, I'll carry on doing what I think is right!'.

Sadly, getting him removed is the only way, and then you need someone to step in with less rigid views.

Umm...when I say 'get him removed' I don't mean in a JFK way, as that would be a sure fire way to prove him right. It won't be about guns, it'll be about video games, even if it turns out an Amish guy took him out with a pitchfork launcher, they'll still pin it on GTA.

I don't really understand the point about gamers being the only ones who care enough to have a say... what about Michael Atkinson and Co.? Their numerous press releases suggest that they do care enough to put their views forward and if they are doing so and still being outweighed 99:1 then Atkinson really has no excuse. If people don't care enough about the issue to have a say then either a. they don't care or b. it won't affect them. So the whole thing about only particular people having a say is a completely bogus argument.

I wish them luck with receiving mature games instead of heavily censored versions of them.

I think that Australian voters can easily take a look around and see that the rest of the world isn't any more violent because they have ratings that indicate games are intended for adults. Even USK in censorship-happy Germany has an 18 rating.

wow, so 1,073 out of 1,084 support the rating? I don't care who you are, thats damn impressive.

The_root_of_all_evil:
In your face, Atkinson! His only point is that he finds this stuff distasteful, and given he's hardly free of blame, I think the basis of democracy should have him retract his dangerous ideals.

Strangely enough, said accusations of Michael Atkinson have been removed from his Wikipedia page. Well, we wouldn't want people having an idea that 6 million Australian dollars from the Treasury was hidden in his bank account.

Of course, he'll kick off his usual paranoia trip to blame the corruption of youth, but as soon as he's out of office, who'll care?

It was the youth playing those damnded video games!

If the majority of people either approve of the 18+ rating, or don't care enough to respond, that IS overwhelmingly in support of the rating (I believe I said so in another article on the same subject). I notice that Michael Atkinson doesn't try and claim there is some kind of silent majority that directly agree with him.

chishandfips:

Nevyrmoore:
Unless Michael Atkinson decides "Okay, fine, have your 18+ rating!", then nothing will change until someone else takes his place.

Isn't the whole idea of democracy that if the votes are in favour of R18+, Atkinson can't do a damn thing about it?

See, here's the thing - the public do NOT actually vote on this matter. The way the system currently works is that in order for major changes such as this to go through, there needs to be a unanimous vote from all the Attorney Generals. To date, the only Attorney General voting no is Atkinson.

As such, the only way this will go through is if (and that's a big if) Mr. Atkinson changes his mind, or if the next person to take his place does not share his thoughts on the matter. Until then, nothing will change.

This is ridiculous... I'm going to be doing my internship in South Australia!! If this R18+ doesn't get passed, Imma gonna be PIIISSSEDD!!!!

But go Aussies!! I mean, it's clear that they want an R18+ rating, but who exactly are they protecting by not having one?? That's my question.

Pfft. Democracy doesn't mean anything. Rule 11 of the internet: All your carefully picked arguments can be ignored.
OT: I doubt the R18 rating will fail to pass. Too many people are for it.

Just give the people a R18 Rating! There are bigger issues in the world that their government should be dealing with!

We have an 18+ rating here in Germany (and if i'm not mistakin you can't even openly sell those games), but still those games need to be censored in some cases to get that rating (AvP won't be available here at all).
The worst thing that comes with that policy is that some publishers decide to only offer the German dubbed version so the rating doesn't get refused for mere understanding issues. And even tho those aren't as bad as they used to be, some do still blow.

So even if change should be on the way in Aussieland, mind that politicians have a way of EFFIN things up...

Wait, if only people who care about it are gamers, and the only people it will affect is gamers, and it's only to their interest... Then why the hell is it still a problem?

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