Join 3,363 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Gamers more scary than bikers
February 16, 2010 10:15 PM   Subscribe

An Australian politician who opposes the lifting of a censorship ban on adults-only computer games has said he feels more threatened by gamers than outlawed motorcycle gangs. Talking about motorcycle gangs, and just for fun, and because it is almost Mardi Gras in Sydney,The DOB ladies.
posted by ginky (48 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I hope for his sake the outlaw motorcycle gangs don't take that as a challenge. But I don't hope too hard.
posted by Caduceus at 10:30 PM on February 16, 2010


For people outside of Australia, the politician in question is Labor politician Michael Atkinson, the Attorney-General of one of our states, South Australia. The issue here is that if the Australian Government wants to institute an R rating for video games in Australia, they need the agreement of all state Attorney-Generals. As I understand it, Atkinson is the sole voice against the idea.

I tend to support the Labor Party politically speaking but Atkinson is a dead set idiot, at least as far as this matter is concerned. I'm of the opinion that people are entitled to his views, but I tend to get uppity when people's views tend to have nothing to do with common sense.

Atkinson is saying we shouldn't introduce an R rating for videogames because videogames, as opposed to movies, have a bigger affect on children and this leads to kids shooting people in the streets.

Hey Atkinson! News flash. We're talking about introducing an R rating. That means kids won't get to play it because they won't be able to buy it! Except of course that they probably are playing it already because they downloaded it from the internet.

So basically because of Atkinson's hesitation to introduce a new category to the rating system that will stop the kids he wants to protect from buying R rated games anyway, adults get shafted and the economy (which gets more money from video games than it does movies) suffers as well.

The people sending him threatening letters are idiots too. They do nothing but bolster his ill-informed views.

Although I will say this; Atkinson, if you're reading this, the people sending you those letters are nerds stuck in their rooms playing Everquest Online, stopping only occassionally to masturbate to some internet porn and to clean their rooms because their mum yelled at them and told them too. They're scary, but I'm sure you'd agree that they're not in the same league as motorcycle gangs.
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:37 PM on February 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


As a resident of the state in which the politician in question serves as Attorney-General, I'd dearly love to comment on this post, but I regret to say that it is presently illegal for me or any of my fellow South Australians to do so pseudonymously.
posted by MarchHare at 10:39 PM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, this idiot charming and thoughtful fellow is my state Attorney General. Great to see him pop up here. Tough new laws! Laura Norder!

/disgust
posted by Wolof at 10:42 PM on February 16, 2010


MarchHare — I wouldn't worry too much about that ruling. The backflip on this contained a triple pike and a grovelling admission.
posted by Wolof at 10:46 PM on February 16, 2010


Wolof: that's quite true, but you'll notice that the A-G announced his intent to repeal the legislation "after the election." Presuming that he is (a) re-elected and (b) keeps his promise, that is. The A-G is a founding member of Labour's modern right-wing and appears all but politically bulletproof. And as winna so brilliant wrote recently, I wouldn't personally trust the man "alone in a room with fifteen cents and a stuffed animal."

And I hope this isn't misconstrued as a derail, because it's intrinisically connected to the quality of journalism linked to in the FPP: I'm frankly far more furious/disappointed with the Australian press than I could possibly be with the A-G or the sitting parliment on the Electoral Act matter, the R-18 game rating question, or the recent changes to the way R-rated films can be sold in SA. I expect state governments to try and pull shonky shit all the time - it was ever thus. But no news organisation even bothered to cover the proposed ammendments to the Electoral Act or the Classifications of Films Act before they were passed last year. These stories only broke long after the bills went into law and became enforceable. But, of course, it's much easier to write scare stories about immigrants, vapid celebrity puff pieces or just piss off across the road to the Union Hotel and get their content off the wire services instead.
posted by MarchHare at 11:09 PM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


(The FPP seems quite good by the way - I don't want my comment above to be be perceived as a slur on its quality!)
posted by MarchHare at 11:11 PM on February 16, 2010


My view of Australia as a free nation of rugged individualist is proven more wrong all the time. First they ban most guns, then they censor the scary Internet and now they won't allow adults to play violent video games?

Well, at lest they're still free to roam the outback in enormous self-built off-road motorhomes...
posted by Harald74 at 11:15 PM on February 16, 2010


I've been looking for a copy of Left4Dead for the Xbox 360 for the past few months, without any success. I'm not sure whether this is because the game is (was?) massively popular, meaning that every copy is purchased as soon as it hits the shelves, or whether it was some sort of chilling effect from the censor.

Left4Dead 2 (which I also haven't played), was originally refused classification in Australia - which means it was effectively banned. A game. Was banned. Anyway, Valve neutered the game and as a result it was given an MA15+ rating.

This is the strongest argument I know of to have my console modded to accept games purchased from the US. Because I'm tired of not being treated like an adult.
posted by Ritchie at 11:26 PM on February 16, 2010


Australians will not be getting Aliens Vs Predators as a result, and so the Aussie youth will not be tempted to shoot people with shoulder mounted plasma casters or bite peoples brains out with secondary sets of jaws.

Oh brave country of Mad Max, where are you now?
posted by Artw at 11:32 PM on February 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


Artw: "Oh brave country of Mad Max, where are you now?"

Beyond Thunderdome?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:36 PM on February 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ritchie: I'll sell you mine at cost. I don't find it that impressive.

There were tons of copies at Harvey Norman when I bought it a few months ago.
posted by pompomtom at 11:51 PM on February 16, 2010


He should be afraid because I am going to put on red overalls and bounce off his fucking head.

Australians will not be getting Aliens Vs Predators as a result

Actually it's coming out tomorrow (the ban was appealed and overturned). I won't be getting it until it's in the bargain bin, if at all, because the reviews have been pretty disheartening. Gotta finish Assassin's Creed II and Bayonetta and Dante's Inferno and, hell, Serious Sam before I bother with any more games anyway.
posted by turgid dahlia at 12:06 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ritchie:

Australian xbox 360s are PAL compatible, so will work with european (i.e. UK) 360 game imports without modding. game.co.uk will delivery to australia for £4.95 in 4-6 days, for example.

Of course, I suggest you check your own customs regulations to see if imports of unrated games may be seized at the border...
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:16 AM on February 17, 2010


But no news organisation even bothered to cover the proposed ammendments to the Electoral Act

Why would they? It neatly shuts down their main competitors in the political commentary space.
posted by rodgerd at 12:19 AM on February 17, 2010


I bet he has nightmares about Biker-gamers.
posted by robotot at 12:41 AM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


“Computer games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music”
-Gareth Owen


Ok seriously what the hell? Did some outcast gamer slaughter a bus full of nuns and the news didn't make it here to the northern hemisphere somehow? What forces are behind this nonsense?
posted by vapidave at 1:30 AM on February 17, 2010


rogerd: Well, The Advertiser is a Murdoch paper, so your cynicism isn't exactly unwarranted...
posted by MarchHare at 1:38 AM on February 17, 2010


Fucking Michael Atkinson. One of a range of reasons I'm glad I'm not living in Adelaide anymore.
posted by Jimbob at 1:47 AM on February 17, 2010


What forces are behind this nonsense?

Erm, RTFA? Some gamer bloke's stalked him, and the bikies are just being slack.
posted by pompomtom at 1:49 AM on February 17, 2010


Yeah, step it up bikies. Your reputation is being outdone by a bunch of dudes who haven't left their couch in months.
posted by harriet vane at 2:29 AM on February 17, 2010


Australia has the semblances of a modern liberal society, but is built on the legal and cultural traditions of a set of penal colonies, so there's a built-in bias towards authoritarianism. This has been reasserting itself over the past decade or so, so much so that the relatively liberal period between the early 1970s (the Whitlam era, the cultural shockwaves of "the 1960s" making an impact) and the late 1990s is starting to look more like an anomaly than the natural state of affairs.
posted by acb at 2:57 AM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The guy may be an idiot on some levels, but he is getting international attention out of this and getting real cozy with my least favorite demographic.

Also this censorship net is so easy to circumvent that it seems ludicrous to take it seriously. What are they going to do? Scan every DVD that enters the country?
posted by psycho-alchemy at 3:26 AM on February 17, 2010


What forces are behind this nonsense?

When the Howard Government introduced legislation allowing any person to be locked up without charge for two weeks and making it illegal for either the detainee or any other person to tell anybody that this had happened, as long as the detainee was designated a Terrorist Suspect, that measure got something like 75% popular support. When I heard that poll result, I pretty much lost my last shred of belief in the good sense of the Australian body politic. I'm tipping that the forces behind this latest round of ham fisted nonsense are quite likely Democracy In Action as well.

Why do I have to get the Government that the morons deserve?
posted by flabdablet at 3:57 AM on February 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wonder if mentioning that it might be possible to type "australia filter bypass" into a Famous Web Search Engine qualifies me as a Terrorist Suspect?
posted by flabdablet at 4:02 AM on February 17, 2010


because it is almost [TWO DAYS AFTER] Mardi Gras in Sydney
posted by Pollomacho at 4:21 AM on February 17, 2010


Pollomocho, what? I think the parade is the 27th.
posted by ginky at 4:33 AM on February 17, 2010



I am picturing an unbeatable final Boss Level for the Australian Attorney-General RPG that is an Aboriginal Gamer Bike Gang cruising the continent whipping out their Nintendos and NumLocks and raising hell.
posted by srboisvert at 4:46 AM on February 17, 2010


Yeah. If Atkinson is voted out, Christian Porter is ready to take up the crusade.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Attorney General Christian Porter

Porter made the following, somewhat unclear, statement: "As you would be aware, all States and Territories would have to agree to allow the introduction of R18+ games into the country. South Australia has quite vocally opposed the introduction of these games. Therefore any further comment would be hypothetical."


He's just too pussy to outright admit it after seeing the flak that Atkinson is taking.
posted by Talez at 4:46 AM on February 17, 2010


Pollomocho, what? I think the parade is the 27th.

Oh, my bad, I see now that by the Australian Orthodox calendar Fat Tuesday falls on a Saturday two weeks into Lent.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:50 AM on February 17, 2010


I guess Full Throttle is the most dangerous thing ever to exist in the history of the world. More dangerous than the atomic bomb, zyklon b and saltwater crocodiles combined.
posted by dortmunder at 5:15 AM on February 17, 2010


I guess Full Throttle is the most dangerous thing ever to exist in the history of the world. More dangerous than the atomic bomb, zyklon b and saltwater crocodiles combined.

When I think of Full Throttle, I think of two things: asphalt and trouble.
posted by Copronymus at 11:41 AM on February 17, 2010


"Erm, RTFA? Some gamer bloke's stalked him, and the bikies are just being slack."

I did. I couldn't believe a law like this could be enacted solely based on a "note". Your politicians have dressed Australian swagger in a pink tutu.
Soon hopefully Rockstar Games, seeing a gap in revenue, will ride (in a rusty Vigero) to the rescue of sanity.
posted by vapidave at 12:39 PM on February 17, 2010


Soon hopefully Rockstar Games, seeing a gap in revenue, will ride (in a rusty Vigero 1973 Ford XB Falcon) to the rescue of sanity.

This is Australia were talking about (not to mention outlaw bikers)
posted by Pollomacho at 1:23 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


See you on the road, skag. See you like we saw your friend, The Nightrider.
posted by Artw at 1:29 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Gamers more scary than bikers"

I hear they've started prison gangs in the U.S.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:56 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Australia has the semblances of a modern liberal society, but is built on the legal and cultural traditions of a set of penal colonies, so there's a built-in bias towards authoritarianism.

This sounds like well... Garbage. South Australia, the source of all this heavy handed nonsense, was a freely settled British province that never hosted convicts. Conservative moral panics are not indicative of the 'legal and cultural traditions of a set of penal colonies' for goodness sakes.
posted by Thoth at 2:28 PM on February 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some gamer bloke's stalked him, and the bikies are just being slack.

Oh, I don't know. Someone CLAIMING to be a gamer wrote him a threatening letter, and now he's looking more kindly on those outlaw biker blokes.

Sounds to me like a nice, literate biker just used some sound strategy.
posted by misha at 3:26 PM on February 17, 2010


In a similar vein, I would suggest some gamers consider purchasing stationery with appropriate biking letterheads and have at a letter-writing campaign tout suite.
posted by misha at 3:27 PM on February 17, 2010


Australia has the semblances of a modern liberal society, but is built on the legal and cultural traditions of a set of penal colonies, so there's a built-in bias towards authoritarianism.

Yeah, gotta second Thoth call on this... that's garbage. Firstly, if it were true then you'd expect South Australia (zero convicts) to be the most liberal state in the country, which is massively inconsistent with the historical voting patterns in the state. If anything, SA has a tendency for bottom-up conservativeness coupled with a bit of a tendency to vote in "benevolent dictators" (sort of.. google the Playford govt). Western Australia (some convicts) should be the next most liberal, instead of being a stronghold for the conservative party (ironically called the Liberals). The eastern states should then be the most conservative states in the country. In other words, the correlation within Australia runs in the exact opposite direction to the proposal. For the sake of politeness, I won't try to make explicit comparisons between countries, but suffice it to say that Australia seems average among democracies in terms of tolerance of authoritarianism.

On top of this, in what sense are the "legal traditions" of Australia in any way related to the convicts? The common law + legislation combination seems awfully similar to those that apply in the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, etc etc. I mean, sure, there was that one bit in Walton Stores vs Maher where Justice Brennan explains that the Australian approach to promissory estoppel is like totally based on an old convict tradition, but that's probably just a freakish exception...
posted by mixing at 6:11 PM on February 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I couldn't believe a law like this could be enacted solely based on a "note".

Fair enough.. I thought your comment was on the quote not the ban.

As to the ban, as people have said, SA can be quite conservative. Also, we don't do fundamentalist free-speechism here, so it's not so odd as it may seem to American eyes. It may seem silly in this instance, but if the alternative is demonstrated by recent US Supreme Court decisions, I'm pretty much OK with it.
posted by pompomtom at 7:35 PM on February 17, 2010


(Oh, and I'm really not sure what "Your politicians have dressed Australian swagger in a pink tutu" means)
posted by pompomtom at 7:36 PM on February 17, 2010


I think he's doubting our machismo.

(sobs)
posted by flabdablet at 8:56 PM on February 17, 2010


Could be worse, you could be Texas.
posted by Artw at 2:45 AM on February 18, 2010


Some of our lamest states are bigger than Texas. Texas ain't all that.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:46 AM on February 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


The canonical Australian Texas joke
posted by flabdablet at 8:38 PM on February 18, 2010


I'm saying your politicians are pussies, which isn't so bad considering ours are mental defectives and/or sociopaths.
posted by vapidave at 9:57 PM on February 18, 2010


Au contraire. Our politicians are clearly real men (just ask them).
posted by flabdablet at 10:14 PM on February 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


« Older Uncoiling the spiral: Maths and hallucinations So ...  |  Ghost shift ghost chips.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments