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Cheers - AE

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Game theory.

On the off chance I have any Australian readers, and in the hope that they'd care about the contemptible level of nannying and censorship imposed on us by the government at both state and federal level, I'd like to draw attention to this public consultation on the classification of video games.
The Commonwealth Government has released a discussion paper which briefly summarises the key arguments for and against an R 18+ classification for computer games. Censorship Ministers have considered the issue of an adult classification for computer games on several occasions. However, they have not undertaken public consultation on this issue.

Submissions are being sought on whether the Australian National Classification Scheme should include an R 18+ classification category for computer games. Submissions can be made by downloading and completing the submission template. Submissions may also be mailed or faxed. The discussion paper and submission template contain the contact details for making a submission.

Submissions are invited by close of business 28 February 2010.
I've blogged before on the situation with computer games here in Australia, and as I mentioned here there appears to be only one reason why Australia doesn't have an adult classification for games, and that is Michael Atkinson, the Attorney-General of South Australia. He doesn't like them and constitutionally he has the power to prevent a classification being made available to the official government censor, ah, I mean the Office of Film and Literature Classification. Which is a nice way of saying official government censor.
Films, computer games and some publications are classified under a National Classification Scheme which is a cooperative arrangement involving the Commonwealth, States and Territories. The Classification Board classifies films, computer games and publications by applying the Commonwealth Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995, the National Classification Code and the classification guidelines.

Due to the cooperative nature of the Scheme, any major changes to classification policy, such as the introduction of an R 18+ classification for computer games, must be unanimously agreed by Commonwealth, State and Territory Censorship Ministers.
Bad enough that we have a censor. Bad enough that Australia's governments at every level don't think its people are bright enough to be treated as adults. Bad enough that their solution is an unnecessarily complicated system of hard limits, which like all hard limits are fundamentally flawed.* But to have one man, possibly influenced by his personal religious convictions, to be able to impose his views not just on his own state but on every adult across the whole country - the thick end of 14 million people - is fucking ludicrous.

If you agree then nip along to the AG.gov.au site and download a submission form. Yes, if the South Australian AG is determined to obstruct it there's apparently little or nothing that can stop him apart from the small number of people who elected him in the first place voting him out. However, if enough pressure can be brought by demonstrating that a large number of people do want the adult classification, or at least don't object, then he might stop being such a tool about it.

* Individuals vary so it's inevitable that all age limits are set at the wrong level for virtually everyone alive. Those maturing slowly will pass the age limits too soon and those who are more advanced are going to be forced to wait for no practical reason. Without personally getting to know everyone in a population it's impossible for a government to make these decisions - only the adults responsible for individual children and teenagers can do that.

4 comments:

JuliaM said...

"But to have one man, possibly influenced by his personal religious convictions, to be able to impose his views not just on his own state but on every adult across the whole country - the thick end of 14 million people - is fucking ludicrous."

Amen! And if this passes, I predict an explosion of BitTorrenting, as it'll be the only way to get games not subject to this.

The equivalent of the RIAA over there will take out a contract on this cretin!

Angry Exile said...

That's not quite the situation, Julia.

"But to have one man, possibly influenced by his personal religious convictions, to be able to impose his views not just on his own state but on every adult across the whole country - the thick end of 14 million people - is fucking ludicrous."

That is where we are already. As I understand it the Constitution says that certain types of Federal laws must be unanimously agreed by all states, and that means you only need one numpty AG to block a needed reform. The consultation exercise is needed in order to prevent an explosion of torrenting, or perhaps to reduce what goes on already. As I said in the post it won't change the situation - Atkinson will still be able to block it - but it will put some pressure on him to stop obstructing the availability of games which are bought by people with a median age in the mid 30s.

araon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Angry Exile said...

araron, welcome little spambot, come into my parlour, bwhahahahahahaahahahaaaahaaaaaaa

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