Australian Government Says "Silent Majority" Must Be Heard in Ratings Debate

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Australian Government Says "Silent Majority" Must Be Heard in Ratings Debate

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Despite an overwhelmingly positive response to its last public consultation, the Australian government says it needs more data before it relaxes its videogame rating system.

Earlier in the year, the Australian Federal Government asked the public for its opinion on the creation of an R18+ rating for videogames. Of the nearly 60,000 submissions it received, only a tiny handful were against the idea - just 1.2 percent - but the Australian Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor says that there was still a lot more to discuss before a decision could be made.

Besides the individual responses to the consultation, the majority of which came from an in-store promotion by one of Australia's largest game retailers, the Federal government also received formal submissions from a number of groups both for and against the proposal. There was support for the idea amongst a number of gaming industry bodies, as well as Australia's largest telecommunications company, and opposition from the Australian Christian Lobby and a number of Western Australian Politicians. It seems to be the weight of these dissenting voices that are complicating the issue. O'Connor said that the arguments from both sides had to be considered, and that it would be brought up at the next meeting of Attorney Generals, which takes place early next month.

"Classification ministers agreed at that meeting that further work needs to be done before a decision can be made," he said. "Including ascertaining the views of the silent majority ... Ministers are aware of the support for the proposal shown by the number of submissions received. However, they are also aware of the wide range of views on this issue in the community. Ministers have made a commitment to discuss the issue at a future meeting and have requested further analysis of community and expert views to better understand the arguments on each side."

I can appreciate not wanted to rush in to making a decision, as the issue runs much deeper than just videogames, but saying that "the silent majority" have to be consulted first seems like needless procrastination. The Australian Government already asked the public what they thought, and got a very clear, positive, response. Asking them again seems like the government wants to ignore that first result, in the hopes of finding one more to its liking.

Source: GameSpot AU

Permalink

Ah, the "silent majority." Why don't they speak up and be heard? Oh, right, because then they wouldn't be silent...

ahh yes the silent majority dont they get it, the fact that there silent shows that they DONT CARE enough on this matter to voice there opinion.

They're just going to ask members of the public who either don't care about video games or have a negative, cynical attitude towards them, which is the last group they should go towards as it is the group least affected by the introduction of an R18 rating. There is absolutely no way they can poll more gamers and not get the exact same result, so they're going to go for the groups who will skew the results in their favour, such as uneducated, frustrated parents.

All I hear; 'blah blah blah -lame excuse- -lame excuse- 18 rating pushed back'

Eventually they'll run out of delay tactics...

The "silent majority" is rather antithetical to a democratic society, anyway.

So evil politician hates games, puts it to a vote, finds hes a complete twat living in a different time. Now hes ignoring those results and trying to look for a way to get the results he wants. Well I won't be visiting Austrailia anytime soon... (not that I wanted to spend 18 hours on a plane)

The silent majority doesn't give a toss. And if you don't care, you don't have the right to complain when stuff changes, because you don't know enough and clearly it isn't an issue for you.

The inherent double standard of *this* issue next to other important issues is stupid. I blame the ACL. You can't bitch about important issues when you believe a man rose from the dead. That's a form of insanity. People get committed to mental institutions for less.

The Australian Government, my government, also said we're staying in Afghanistan. Off. Their. Rocker.

Chances are they're either resorting to stall tactics, or they're looking for something that will let them say "Nope, not gonna bring in the rating."

Which is rather annoying considering last time the Attorney Generals voted on the issue, all but one said yes. And now that one is out.

The government does know that if people didn't respond the first time, it's because they don't give enough a shit one way or the other, right?

Oh, yeah, I forgot. Governments were never known for common sense.

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SO GAIS NIXON'S AUSTRALIAN NOW.

argh this annoys me they only complain because they dont want kids to get there hands on them cuz there minds are impresionable blah blah blah, thats why its r18 u dont sell it to kids and if the parents decide to buy it for them well thats there parents they can do what they want

How silly. They're assuming that a majority of people are against it and didn't speak up.

Wow. And here I thought only my government (the US) was bold enough to just drop it's pants and shit on my face unapologetically.
This is just pathetic. The whole ordeal has become that one picture of that angry looking child saying, "Stop liking what I don't like."
Come on now AU government, stop acting so immature. The populace responded. You can't just stuff your fingers in your ears and start singing at the top of your voice to avoid hearing what you don't want to hear.

This is why democratic systems fail.
"Oh, the vote didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. I know, I'll just muddle the issue till it does."

...FAIL!

Macgyvercas:
The government does know that if people didn't respond the first time, it's because they don't give enough a shit one way or the other, right?

Oh, yeah, I forgot. Governments were never known for common sense.

Common sense? What's that? Some type of cake?

"We'll ask the people who don't care what they think!"
"We don't care."
"Fuck, we got the same result..."

LornMind:
Wow. And here I thought only my government (the US) was bold enough to just drop it's pants and shit on my face unapologetically.
This is just pathetic. The whole ordeal has become that one picture of that angry looking child saying, "Stop liking what I don't like."
Come on now AU government, stop acting so immature. The populace responded. You can't just stuff your fingers in your ears and start singing at the top of your voice to avoid hearing what you don't want to hear.

Seriously, I'm waiting for the free speech zones and the wiretapping. Wouldn't trust a politician in this parliament to look out for my interests as far as I could throw them.

But it's not the just the government, see, its the whole country. We are a largely conservative nation, in the way we view immigration, in the way we view other cultures; especially Muslims, Aborigines and Asians (both oriental and Southern). Australia passes itself off as a multicultural nation, but my dad came here twenty three years ago and he feels its more racist than its ever been.

I believe Yahtzee hit the nail on the head. "Come try our beer and racism". Oh, and the beaches. They're okay too.

Hmm, I'm reminded of the situation with the Lisbon Treaty in Europe...

I'm sooooo doing a parody of this. Yet again, the Austrailian government are trying everything to hold this debate back.

As Smith said "It is inevitable!"

Let me translate.

"I wish to stall this issue but cannot think of a good excuse to do so."

It could also mean

"I can't believe people don't agree with me, so I'm going to delude myself into thinking they secretly do"

I pretty much agree that it sounds like a censor-happy goverment doesn't like the results and is fishing for the answer it wants so it can run with that.

Of course the big problem here of course is that we don't see a lot of pressure being put on the goverment to keep with the results either.

The whole problem with gamers is that we do nothing but talk. When it comes to the US censorship issue that's about to see it's hearing, there is nothing but dialogue. Nobody is concerned about action whatsoever. When it comes to Australia where it's also a bit of a free speech issue, the goverment ignores the results it called for, and the people that stand to benefit from those results are going to sit around twiddling their thumbs between whines while the goverment just goes ahead and does whatever the heck it wants on the issue anyway. In this case the "silent majority" comment (which has some truth in certain matters, like when confronting political correctness) is pretty much them saying "we're going to ignore you because we know most people disagree with you, so we'll wait for the responses we want".

It's sort of like what would have happened if all the blacks and liberals stayed home during Martin Luthor King's Civil Liberties crusades in the US. If they hadn't gathered those massive non-violent crowds, along with the basic message "we're peaceful, but if you don't do what we want we have enough of a potential force yield to do some really massive damage" the whole thing would have failed.

I don't think the politicians are the problem, I think the sedimentary gamer is the problem. I also think the big guns who just play politics are the problem as well nowadays.

While it gets somewhat off topic some people might remember the whole "Japanacorp Invasion" scare of the 1980s, along with concerns that our ethics in the US made our businesses incapable of competing on the national level. You'll also notice that things changed for a good long while and the threats as they existed disappeared.

The reason being that while not totally callous a lot of cloak and dagger stuff broke out and you wound up seeing a lot of politicians forced to change their positions and take a more anti-Japan position despite the personal gains for them. Combined with some disappearances and a lot of accidents. It's hard to point a finger at, but it was an interesting time and people noticed it.

This was incidently the direct inspiration for a lot of the "corperate warfare" fiction that became popularized in Cyberpunk and the like. Things where two corperations go at it with mercenaries and private armies as much as with finances, and bureaucracy.

I think one of the problems with American business is that in the last 25 years or so people again forgot the earlier lessons and both the goverment and the businessmen are simply lining their pockets with money from our current economic rivals like China, who represent a very similar kind of threat to what Japan once did, albiet with it eerily not being addressed or even acknowleged all that much.

I suppose it blows chips when someone is strong arming an issue through that you don't agree with, but along with a lack of action on the part of gamers, I don't think the gaming industry as a whole is playing dirty/rough enough. It hasn't even gotten as bad as Hollywood or The Music Industry in it's own defense, never mind the kind of stuff from the 80s that inspired Cyberpunk authors for generations when people were reading between the lines.

I would think with issues like this at stake, you'd have a number of politicians retiring or having accidents, along with members of various private organizatios working in opposition simply due to the issues and the money involved. I very much get the impression that what your seeing here is all that is going on, and oddly that sort of bothers me on a lot of levels since it almost feels like nobody really cares that much about the issue.

Autofaux:

LornMind:
Wow. And here I thought only my government (the US) was bold enough to just drop it's pants and shit on my face unapologetically.
This is just pathetic. The whole ordeal has become that one picture of that angry looking child saying, "Stop liking what I don't like."
Come on now AU government, stop acting so immature. The populace responded. You can't just stuff your fingers in your ears and start singing at the top of your voice to avoid hearing what you don't want to hear.

Seriously, I'm waiting for the free speech zones and the wiretapping. Wouldn't trust a politician in this parliament to look out for my interests as far as I could throw them.

But it's not the just the government, see, its the whole country. We are a largely conservative nation, in the way we view immigration, in the way we view other cultures; especially Muslims, Aborigines and Asians (both oriental and Southern). Australia passes itself off as a multicultural nation, but my dad came here twenty three years ago and he feels its more racist than its ever been.

I believe Yahtzee hit the nail on the head. "Come try our beer and racism". Oh, and the beaches. They're okay too.

Man. I feel for you. Sounds like Australia needs an upheaval in its government staffing to swing it towards the left. But what the hell are the chances of that? Unless the youth is getting tired of conservative bullshit (no, not all conservative ideas are bad, I'm talking about bullshit, just as liberals have their bullshit) and are interested in running for office in the future, Australia might be in for a rather dreary, racist time. As it has been, as you stated.

Xenos Eriadin:
Hmm, I'm reminded of the situation with the Lisbon Treaty in Europe...

Ah yes, the Lisbon treaty. Im glad my country didnt bother voting against it the second time, wouldve been a waste of time since they would have just kept putting it to the vote til people got sick of it. Not that im opposed to the treaty per say, it was jus passed in a very underhanded manner.

'Classification Ministers' further proof that bureaucracy not money makes the world go round :(

LornMind:

Autofaux:
Seriously, I'm waiting for the free speech zones and the wiretapping. Wouldn't trust a politician in this parliament to look out for my interests as far as I could throw them.

But it's not the just the government, see, its the whole country. We are a largely conservative nation, in the way we view immigration, in the way we view other cultures; especially Muslims, Aborigines and Asians (both oriental and Southern). Australia passes itself off as a multicultural nation, but my dad came here twenty three years ago and he feels its more racist than its ever been.

I believe Yahtzee hit the nail on the head. "Come try our beer and racism". Oh, and the beaches. They're okay too.

Man. I feel for you. Sounds like Australia needs an upheaval in its government staffing to swing it towards the left. But what the hell are the chances of that? Unless the youth is getting tired of conservative bullshit (no, not all conservative ideas are bad, I'm talking about bullshit, just as liberals have their bullshit) and are interested in running for office in the future, Australia might be in for a rather dreary, racist time. As it has been, as you stated.

We haven't quite hit the era where liberals can even have bullshit. (Liberal is a misnomer here. The right-wing party here is the Liberal Party. Barefaced irony in politics, right there in the title). There is no left wing in Australian politics. The Labor Party, which is basically run by the trade unions for better AND worse, has a left wing faction and a right wing faction, and the right wing faction has the majority in the party, and has our Prime Minister in their pocket.

I'm considering fleeing to Denmark, where they don't care about threats of terrorism, rather laugh them off before drawing some more pictures of Mohammed.

There's lies, damned lies, and statistics.

I'm the least guy who cares about whether games need 18+ rating cause I don't play that many games but gosh even I'm angry at the government playing this long game of delay.

Sounds like they're trying to get the answer THEY want, not what the people want. I imagine now that they've asked and the people want it, they'll get it. The Austrailian goverment kind of stirred them up.

That 'silent majority'? Yeah, they're probably people who don't care either way.

Doesn't the Australian Government have rules for determining the legal outcome of a neutral/non-response for any given "vote" (or an absence of a vote)?

How could they not? This is basic shit people! Like Robert's Rules of Order basic!

Funny how no matter where you are politicians pull the same bullshit to get their way. I really hope you guys get a fair deal out of this, but I'm not getting very optimistic so far. If they really want to they'll find a way to keep mature games off the shelves whether most Ausies like it or not.

Autofaux:

LornMind:

Autofaux:
Seriously, I'm waiting for the free speech zones and the wiretapping. Wouldn't trust a politician in this parliament to look out for my interests as far as I could throw them.

But it's not the just the government, see, its the whole country. We are a largely conservative nation, in the way we view immigration, in the way we view other cultures; especially Muslims, Aborigines and Asians (both oriental and Southern). Australia passes itself off as a multicultural nation, but my dad came here twenty three years ago and he feels its more racist than its ever been.

I believe Yahtzee hit the nail on the head. "Come try our beer and racism". Oh, and the beaches. They're okay too.

Man. I feel for you. Sounds like Australia needs an upheaval in its government staffing to swing it towards the left. But what the hell are the chances of that? Unless the youth is getting tired of conservative bullshit (no, not all conservative ideas are bad, I'm talking about bullshit, just as liberals have their bullshit) and are interested in running for office in the future, Australia might be in for a rather dreary, racist time. As it has been, as you stated.

We haven't quite hit the era where liberals can even have bullshit. (Liberal is a misnomer here. The right-wing party here is the Liberal Party. Barefaced irony in politics, right there in the title). There is no left wing in Australian politics. The Labor Party, which is basically run by the trade unions for better AND worse, has a left wing faction and a right wing faction, and the right wing faction has the majority in the party, and has our Prime Minister in their pocket.

I'm considering fleeing to Denmark, where they don't care about threats of terrorism, rather laugh them off before drawing some more pictures of Mohammed.

Doesn't sound like a bad idea. I intend on just staying here in the US though. I've grown up with two bowls of shit shouting at each other and taking turns smelling their farts, so I've become so politically jaded I just don't care about the mindless banter. At least until something really important comes up. Then I'll give a damn. But even then, massive amounts of bullshit to slog through, and by the end, I'm sure I'll wonder if it was all worthwhile.

Ausfailia strikes again!

Bullshit.

In any other issue that was good for their sides, they would reject this 'silent majority' and proceed. All they want to do is stall the decision and hope finding a better answer. Man, fuck them. Democracy or whatever they have there is a lie.

The silent majority DOES NOT CARE and SHOULD NOT BE CONSULTED ON MATTERS OF WHICH THEY HAVE ALMOST NO EXPERIENCE. Yes, I do enjoy using caps lock thank-you very much...

When, oh soul when, will governments realise that the idea of a democracy is to listen to the people who care enough to actually cast their votes and opinions?

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