The Australian AG is at it again, claiming that only a very small percentage of rabid gamers in the country want an R rating.
ABC News in Australia ran a story covering the Aliens vs. Predator controversy. Quick recap: The Australian government has no rating for an adult game and has refused to classify AvP because of its violent content, effectively banning the title. Unlike offer game companies like Valve and Bethesda, Rebellion is refusing to edit their game in order for the game to be sold Down Under. A law which would add the R rating to the video game classifications was vetoed by one province’s Attorney General. The ABC news segment supplies points of view from the industry and a typical gamer as well as Jack Thompson replacement, South Australia Attorney General Michael Atkinson.
“This is a question of a small number of very zealous gamers trying to impose their will on society. And I think harm society,” he said. “It’s the public interest versus the small vested interest.”
Australian gamer, Gary Farrow, 42, brought up a good point, saying, “We’re talking about just labeling content, so we have a fairly educated idea as to what to expect.”
Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, concurred: “It doesn’t seem democratic that a single attorney general should be able to dictate what the vast Australian population can interact with. The government trusts us to be adults with films, but they only want us to be children with games.”
But the choicest soundbites were from Atkinson himself, including “I accept that 98%, 99% of gamers will tell the difference between fantasy and reality, but the 1% to 2% could go on to be motivated by these games to commit horrible acts of violence.” He added, “You don’t need to be playing a game in which you impale, decapitate and dismember people.”
The answer to that is: yes, sometimes you do.
All in all, kudos to ABC News and reporter Adrian Raschella for delivering a decent story that doesn’t try to vilify gamers. It’s definitely worth a watch.