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    Australia might not get an R18 thanks to Attorney General Atkinson

    by Christian Morlotte on Jan 21, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    It seems that the situation in Australia concerning video games ratings isn’t getting better any time soon as the debate will be dragged along again by the South Australian Attorney General, Michael Atkinson.

    We previously reported that the Australian government was soliciting public opinions concerning an R18 rating for video games. The government released a paper with arguments for and against the new ratings system so people would be informed before casting their vote. This seemed to be a fair and objective method for consulting the Australian population about an issue that affects them but, now, the whole thing will be moot thanks to Michael Atkinson.

    In an interview with Gamespot AU, Atkinson said that the public consultation isn’t fair and the anticipated overwhelming vote in favor will be biased because only gamers will vote. Additionally, Atkinson said that because he has received death threats and abusive emails he won’t change his posture on the subject.

    Unfortunately for Australians, Atkinson would have to agree with (or not veto?) the new rating before it is approved so I guess as long as he stays on the government, Aussies will miss out on several games.

    To me it seems that Atkinson has made this completely personal and is disregarding public opinion. I don’t understand why such a subject should be in the hands of someone who clearly doesn’t know a thing about video games. The decision affects mostly gamers so if most of the voters are gamers, then the decision was made by the right people. Atkinson should understand that this is not about him versus gamers but about freedom of choice.

    I really hope they can come to an objective decision for this and that Mr. Atkinson can get over that mentality. The people who sent the threats and emails are clearly at fault here, but Atkinson’s decision of “grounding” gamers for that is not what I would expect from a grown man or a government official.

    Read [Gamespot] Also read [The Escapist]

    Image credit: ABC News

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