Australian Attorney General Calls For Violent Videogame Ban

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Giest4life:
Is the Australian clown-in-chief telling the adult men and women of Australia the things that they are mature enough of enjoy in the privacy of their homes?

Didn't know that the GOP had opened up an office across the Pacific Ocean.

She frankly doesn't give two shits really.

I do have one question:

"Any game with sexual violence will be refused classification. [Smith] need not worry, sexual violence is refused classification now, and it will be refused classification once R18+ passes," O'Connor said.

That could ban GTA, yeah? Since Smith had it pretty right; you get out and get your money back.

Patrick_and_the_ricks:
Does Australia even have Freedom of speech?

Honestly I dont know if is a fundamental right but there are less consequences for saying things people don't like, our TV is alot less restricted and censored than US TV and people are less likely to try and force you to be silent on certain issues.
In alot of ways you are much more free to speak here than in the US games just happens to be an issue that we have not made enough of a fuss over to get the change needed.

For.Fucks.Sake.

*sigh* 1 step forward, several dozen steps backward.

Doesn't he know violent games are the only way people learn to fight back against those monster insects? D:

Patrick_and_the_ricks:
Does Australia even have Freedom of speech?

No. We have the implied Freedom of Political Speech.

There are no words that describe how utterly... tired I am.

Orks da best:
poor poor Australian, they have idiots for leaders.......

still if this somehow passes, Yanthzee will likely have a video in which he rages about it, should be fun to watch.

Though I bet it has like a 00.00000000000000001% of passing.

Oh look, the first in a long line of ignorant comments about Australia from people who don't live here. Can't we just go back to American bashing?

And one more thing! :-D

My humble apologies to anyone who has pointed this out, the guy is Attorney General of a state within Australia. He IS NOT the Australian Attorney General. The reason he is a stumbling block is that the passing of R18+ legislation requires the agreement of all the AG's in the country. Dumb system, but still - he is the only one holding out. Everyone else important, including the actual government, wants an R18+ rating. Any Australian feel free to correct me if they believe this is incorrect. Cheers.

If he wants to ban violent/sexual video games, why doesn't he also ban violent/sexual books, movies, or any other entertainment dealing with those categories? Then there would be no violence or sex to encourage any youngsters in the first place. But, then what about the adults? They'd suffer for it too, and that wouldn't solve anything. In fact, lack of entertainment causes something to go, like maybe actually doing it altogether.

Point is, his ideals on gaming is flawed. Not only that, it doesn't make much sense. So now all the Aussies will have to suffer, including the older majority. Man, some people just hate gaming without that much of a reason. Let's not forget they'll have to ban sports too because that is violent and we can't have kids tackling each other on the football fields now.

"I think they should be banned," Smith said in a televised report on Australia's 7 News. "It involves a prostitute giving sexual favors for money to a man in a car, and then when she gets out, he comes out with a semi-automatic rifle and shoots her dead. Now what good does that do anybody?"

Hold on, GTA is a sandbox game. Meaning "YOU" do what "YOU" want.
Which means if greg did indeed play GTA, and do those things, it's because he wanted to do it. Even if only subconciously. So how is it the fault of Rockstar that this twat only wants to kill hookers, but then complains about the fact that he got to do it?

What is it with people bringing up the exact same scenario everytime they condemn Grand Theft Auto? I don't get why people think its the worst thing in the game that you can hire a prostitute and then kill her. It's not even like a feature its just one of the many violent things you can do.

I was playing GTAIV earlier actually and since I got bored I decided to steal a car, and drive the wrong way down Times Square on the sidewalk hitting pedestrians. Dozens of them rolled over my bonnett or got launched into the air, then I handbraked and went back down the road, parked my car in front of traffic, got out, and fired a rocket at my car, blowing it up and causing a chain reaction destroying about 6 cars and killing more pedestrians.

I'm really glad these people don't know what else is possible in this game if they seriously think that tired old example is one of the worst things you can do.

Doesn't really worry me. Like a lot of my fellow countymen/women, i import games from the ol' dart anyway, where they are damn near half the price we're charged locally. Problem solved!

Vanguard1219:
*sighs* Gamers of Australia, why does your country hate you so much?

they don't make the government enough money from their shopping habits? XD

wow, and i thought MY government was stupid, but lo and behold; down under some jerk ass who dosnt even have all that high of a political office is impeding legislation that gags the free expression of artistic ideas and simulated giant dildo beatings

...

wait thats happening in my government right now but with much more important legislation... FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!

Can I just ask who gives a flying ass really, and more importantly, what makes these wankers think that everyone agrees with their bloody moral opinion?

Yeah, so a game is violent, who cares? We've had violence in media other than games for decades before games came about, now all of a sudden because a bunch of silly blotchy pixels on a screen along with user interaction suddenly its a reasonable excuse to give an outcry about this is why people are violent?

Why in Australia of all bloody places too, strictly speaking its one of the safest developed countries in the world to live, n bloody games are what they are worried about? I'm surprised these tits don't get their asses kicked by angry gamers thinking.. " well I cant simulate a kill, how about I go kill the asshole who put forward a law saying I cant do it via a controller "

Grant Delmore:
Hold on, GTA is a sandbox game. Meaning "YOU" do what "YOU" want.Which means if greg did indeed play GTA, and do those things, it's because he wanted to do it. Even if only subconciously. So how is it the fault of Rockstar that this twat only wants to kill hookers, but then complains about the fact that he got to do it?

It's Rockstar's fault for including the potential to do it. That a player could do it is reason enough to consider it as an issue.

As such (and from memory) GTA was censored to remove the ability to hire prostitutes for sale in Australia.

Also, Fallout 3 had its drugs renamed so that they weren't real drugs, and there have been a number of other games that have been changed to get around the ruling of censors.

Most games end up sliding into the MA15+ rating without dramatic changes.

I'd like to see games get the R18+ rating in Australia but (unlike movies, books or other expressive media) it's hard to find a good reason that shows why it is needed since most of the R18+ resistance is on sex and / or extreme violence. The best argument is really the economic "the retail industry loses sales" one, but even that is weakened by the fact that more and more people are importing titles from other countries for significantly lower prices thanks to exchange rates.

If we are going to ban content that contains a large amount of violence sex (sexual deviancy) and has a negative effect on the people who are exposed to it and has no appreciable benefit can we start with the bible please?

Saris Kai:
To everyone freaking out the fact that these rules have "justified by the context" everywhere and you still don't like them only shows your own immaturity. Everything in a game should be justified by the context, anything that isn't should not be a part of it regardless of what it is. If you really want context-less violence that badly you are as deranged as people like him think you are.

You couldn't really expect video game content to remain so unregulated forever did you? Nothing on that list is unreasonable, it may be sub optimal but its not worthy of such strong reactions. The Video Game industry is one of the least regulated industries, while I feel in needs more regulation in other areas (mandatory improvements to working conditions for starters) this is going to keep happening. Besides by the time it does most of you will be over 18 anyway.

did you even read the thing? it's not about the ratings but a possibility of a ban. australia already refuses to sell some games and forces developers to make changes to the game. it is not qbout the ratong system(though if you knew anything about free speech the question that should be running through your mind is "who determines if it's 'justified'"

arithine:

Saris Kai:
To everyone freaking out the fact that these rules have "justified by the context" everywhere and you still don't like them only shows your own immaturity. Everything in a game should be justified by the context, anything that isn't should not be a part of it regardless of what it is. If you really want context-less violence that badly you are as deranged as people like him think you are.

You couldn't really expect video game content to remain so unregulated forever did you? Nothing on that list is unreasonable, it may be sub optimal but its not worthy of such strong reactions. The Video Game industry is one of the least regulated industries, while I feel in needs more regulation in other areas (mandatory improvements to working conditions for starters) this is going to keep happening. Besides by the time it does most of you will be over 18 anyway.

did you even read the thing? it's not about the ratings but a possibility of a ban. australia already refuses to sell some games and forces developers to make changes to the game. it is not qbout the ratong system(though if you knew anything about free speech the question that should be running through your mind is "who determines if it's 'justified'"

I did read it and I suppose I assumed they would be reasonable when determining things. As for not knowing about free speech I'm not familiar with the concept because we don't have it in my country. I get along just fine without it.

Welcome to Australia. Passengers are reminded to set their watches back 20 years.

This is why everyone wants the politicians to die first.

Creator002:
Maybe I should move sooner than I thought. I'm sure the rating will be passed though. If it's not, as soon as I get enough money, I'm moving countries.

By extension, is the gaming situation in Germany (where I plan to go) OK? I've heard you get your games censored.

There's no censorship in the narrower sense in Germany, i.e. there's no government agency that censors games/movies, but because of the pretty strict ratings a lot of publishers 'voluntarily' release versions they hope will achieve their target rating (USK 16 for example), similiar to the laughable PG13 horror movies. ;) Ratings for both games and movies in Germany are enforcable by law, a shop can get fined if they sell a USK18 game, DVD etc to a minor. Games without a rating, ie. most imports, are considered to have an USK18 rating, but are otherwise not restricted (I import a lot of my games from the UK because they are usually cheaper, even after shipping fees).

Edit: About the free speech issue - every democarcy guarantees free speech, but not every country enshrines it as much as the U.S.; in the U.S. free speech is such a fundamental right it is almost unrestricted, while in a lot of other countries with different cultural and historical backgrounds other rights can take precedence over it under some circumstances. It's easy to condemn that from an 'american centric' standpoint, but those restrictions were often establishes for plausible reasons, at least at the time (for example a lot of bans in Germany regarding Nazi propaganda and symbols, to prevent a new descent into facism).

Saris Kai:

arithine:

Saris Kai:
...

did you even read the thing? it's not about the ratings but a possibility of a ban. australia already refuses to sell some games and forces developers to make changes to the game. it is not qbout the ratong system(though if you knew anything about free speech the question that should be running through your mind is "who determines if it's 'justified'"

I did read it and I suppose I assumed they would be reasonable when determining things. As for not knowing about free speech I'm not familiar with the concept because we don't have it in my country. I get along just fine without it.

Let me break it down like this, people are people, and people have ulterior motivations. Even if you get a board to be the defacto decider of what is and isn't appropriate for video games chances our their biases will leak through and games with hard hitting themes can get mowed down simply for being "violent" because the reviewers do not agree with the views expressed, though they will not admit it to be the case and can use the unclear definition of justified to their advantage. This is only one example, a system like this is so difficult to run fairly, and even if they are entirely fair for a while it wont stay that way.

Free UNREGULATED speech is the cornerstone of progress, the more free you are to express your views the more likely there will be people expressing the correct view and upon further examination can be shown to be correct, while in a situation where the censor holds law the good ideas take a lot longer to take hold especially if it is not the popular belief at the time.

Radelaide:

Giest4life:
Is the Australian clown-in-chief telling the adult men and women of Australia the things that they are mature enough of enjoy in the privacy of their homes?

Didn't know that the GOP had opened up an office across the Pacific Ocean.

She frankly doesn't give two shits really.

I do have one question:

"Any game with sexual violence will be refused classification. [Smith] need not worry, sexual violence is refused classification now, and it will be refused classification once R18+ passes," O'Connor said.

That could ban GTA, yeah? Since Smith had it pretty right; you get out and get your money back.

That's not sexual violence, that's sex followed by violence (I know that sounds like a joke but that's what it is).

Jamash:

Greg Smith:
"I think they should be banned," Smith said in a televised report on Australia's 7 News. "It involves a prostitute giving sexual favors for money to a man in a car, and then when she gets out, he comes out with a semi-automatic rifle and shoots her dead. Now what good does that do anybody?"

Again with the prostitute slaying... what is it with people these people that their obsession with killing prostitutes? They're like a dog with a bone.

Anyone who's played a game like Grand Theft Auto or Saints Row would know that while you can kill prostitutes, it's not a gameplay feature and there's very little incentive for doing so, plus there are far more despicable acts of violence to be performed on far more innocent (of the danger) people if you so wished.

It used to be amusing, but now it's become tiresome that every time Grand Theft Auto is mentioned by any non-gamer, from a politician or news commentator to a stand up comedian or light entertainer, 9 times of 10 killing prostitutes is mentioned in the same breath.

Some people need to drop their obsession with killing sex workers, or at least stop projecting it so much. Furthermore, isn't it funny that you hear about politicians or celebrities using sex workers a lot more than video game developers... so like I said, some people need to shut up and be less obvious with their projection.

It's because so many politicians use prostitutes. They don't want you killing their women and all.

Sandytimeman:
Why does yahtzee like living in that country again?

Because in terms of everything else besides this stupid video game debate, Australia is better off than most contries.

Must resist urge to go to Australia just to punch that man in the face

Seriously though, if games were going to turn people into mass murdering serial killers, you would think we would have a problem by now.

Besides, 'It doesn't help anyone', fair enough, but it doesn't harm anyone but the pixel lady of the night.

redisforever:
Again? This never ends up working. Why? Because the internet exists.

Exactly, let's start a petition!

CardinalPiggles:
Must resist urge to go to Australia just to punch that man in the face

Seriously though, if games were going to turn people into mass murdering serial killers, you would think we would have a problem by now.

Besides, 'It doesn't help anyone', fair enough, but it doesn't harm anyone but the pixel lady of the night.

redisforever:
Again? This never ends up working. Why? Because the internet exists.

Exactly, let's start a petition!

Actually, I meant that people will still be able to play 'R18' games, even if they're banned. But, a petition will show the politicians that we have a voice too, and we can be mature, and civilized.

From the R18+ rating - "offensive to a reasonable adult"

What the fuck is a reasonable adult?

Lord Mountbatten Reborn:

"It involves a prostitute giving sexual favors for money to a man in a car, and then when she gets out, he comes out with a semi-automatic rifle and shoots her dead. Now what good does that do anybody?"

I'd just be happy if they finally used a different example other than this one.

I'd be happy if someone told politicians who meddle in things they don't even like "Now you are banned after your previous affairs involving a prostitute giving sexual favors for money to your grumpy ass in a car."

Let's pretend that some politician started spouting off "I want to ban all violent movies!" What justification is there beyond one person's sanctimonious bullshit? How would that politician feel if suddenly someone just took away his/her favorite genre of music? Or dance? Or any otherwise legal and reasonable hobby or general interest because "I don't think it's good." In the end it becomes not only a direct interference with the rights of others, it becomes a childish game of "do what I want you to do!" Just because a politician believes that Xboxs and Playstations have the real-life equivalent to cooties doesn't mean that they should actually have the ability to involve themselves with the perfectly legal entertainment others partake in without any rational explanation or evidence supporting their ludicrous beliefs.

The proof is in the pudding, folks. If video games did turn people into mindless, massacring zombies, these loud-mouths would all have been taken down a looooooong time ago. If anyone has shown themselves to be the most mature, it is those in support of video games. Last I checked, there hasn't been a pro-video game effort with an asinine, free-speech inhibiting demand like fake hair pieces lead to calls to war by politicians so they should be banned.

Those who respond negatively to video games are a minority that should not be accounted for as solid proof of anti-video game claims due to preexisting mental instability, just as the ineffective, self-righteous politicians who stand on a solitary non-issue to feign interest in the populace should not be the single example of all politicians due to a preexisting mental instability.

So this guy is saying if you want to play violent games, you got to import it and not support Australian business. I can see why he's an AG.
I find it funny how he complains about prostitutes in-game when NSW have legal prostitution.

damnit micheal atkinson, i really hate being a constitutional monarchy

oh and i think importing is illegal as well, if it isn't for a good reason

In Fable II and III, you can shoot your wife in the head right in front of your baby. So presumably that game should be banned too, then?

Just because you can do something in a game doesn't mean there's any encouragement or rewards from the game for doing so. By this logic, they should ban the army because it rewards violence with money and promotions, and ban sex in real life because people might consider orgasms or the conception of a child to be a "reward" or "incentive" for sexual activity, and ban contact sport for encouraging and rewarding violence, aggression and competition.

Because that's basically their argument. Their argument is that interactive actions and incentives in games influence real life thoughts and actions. I think real life influences behaviour a hell of a lot more. So ban all advertising that associates an action with a reward. Ban any show with any violence or sexual content that rewards viewers for watching. Ban any film with any of this content that comes with any promotional material or creates any positive mental responses in the audience.

Jamash:

Greg Smith:
"I think they should be banned," Smith said in a televised report on Australia's 7 News. "It involves a prostitute giving sexual favors for money to a man in a car, and then when she gets out, he comes out with a semi-automatic rifle and shoots her dead. Now what good does that do anybody?"

Again with the prostitute slaying... what is it with people these people that their obsession with killing prostitutes? They're like a dog with a bone.

Well, he is a politician. Politician + Prostitute = Body in a garbage bag in a river.

...BAN POLITICIANS!

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