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Australia Could Finally Get R18+ Games

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the they're-all-grown-up dept.

Censorship 143

angry tapir writes "Australia may finally get an adults only, R18+ classification for computer games, with the federal government releasing a discussion paper summarizing the key arguments for and against an R18+ classification. Submissions are currently being sought from the community on whether the Australian National Classification Scheme should include an R18+ category for computer and video games. In the past the board responsible for classifying games and movies has banned some titles outright because of the lack of an adults only classification — Aliens Vs. Predator is just the most recent in a long line. The Attorney-General's report on the issue is available online."

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Banning doesn't do what they think it does (5, Insightful)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440490)

Aside from the usual arguments surrounding the average age of game players and my right to choose my entertainment (within reason), and shoehorning games into less restricted categories (GTA-IV, anyone?), I believe outright banning R18+ games probably increasing the availability of these games to minors.

For games that are available in stores, children are the least likely to be able to afford the games. Relative to adults, your average minor is probably going to pirate a game rather than buy it (regardless of legality and classification).

If you ban R18+ games, then adults are going to pirate the game too - if I want to play a game I can't buy in the store, I know I will. In the day of BitTorrent, more people downloading an item in a geographic area, the more accessible that item becomes in that area.

All they're doing by banning R18+ games, is giving minors more seeders when they go ahead and download it anyway.

Blessed Are The Dead Whiche Dye In The Lorde (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30440526)

Stare wide-eyed at this dense pitch boiling by the art divine
Amniotic liquid of another kind
That flesh and blood can not inherit the kingdom of god
Behold the transformation, servant
Incise and devour your tongue for all men are liars
Gnaw at the saintly visage of your beloved
Receive a rapturous communion of flesh and skin
And do not cease until you swallowed her nose host-alike
Do not cease until the Baptist collects
Three quintessential drops, progeny of that torment,
And anoints you thrice... and anoints you thrice... and anoints you thrice...
Like a malignant tumour and sudden growth of cancer divine
A rebirth in putrefaction irreversible, corruption does not inherit uncorruption
Say it loud the ultimate paradigm: Blessed are the dead whiche dye in the Lorde
The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law
The law of man is His presence and dominion...
We will submit ourselves unto Him
And henceforth walk in His ways
And immolate on thine altar the spirit of individuality
As thou, Lord, desireth sacrifices and obedience
We grant you all human love, kiss the burden that crushes our bones
And yell ecstatically at the spectacle of your abominations
What rewarde shall I geve unto the lorde,
For all the benefites that he hath doen unto me?

There is only one appropriate response to this: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441202)

Niggers.

Re:There is only one appropriate response to this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30442044)

I'm wondering right now why I have to spend a modpoint on this, you'd think that a filter could catch a one word post.

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (2, Informative)

Xiroth (917768) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440588)

Telling us doesn't do much; on the other hand, the Government has opened up a public consultation [ag.gov.au] on the matter, so telling them might make things happen. Just make sure you keep it reasonable and rational, or you might end up being counter-productive.

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (4, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440666)

Indeed, one of the first times in my life that I think I will actually make a valid input (aside from voting) on how the country I live in is actually being handled - and how I think it should be.

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (0, Flamebait)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441244)

a valid input (aside from voting)

What makes you think voting is a valid input? I'm still waiting for the "None of the above" option.

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (2, Informative)

Ralish (775196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441584)

The "none of the above" option is called turning up at a voting station, getting your name crossed off, and not voting; last I checked, this was legal.

And failing that, take your voting slip, leave it blank, and put it in the voting booth. You've fulfilled your obligation to vote, without voting for any candidate. While I think this is incredibly stupid, you can do it, so what are you complaining about?

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30442190)

It is not the same.

The "not voting" vote is ignored.

A dedicated "vote ron" (1) option would not be ignored.

1) Re Open Nominations

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30442252)

The "none of the above" option is called turning up at a voting station, getting your name crossed off, and not voting; last I checked, this was legal.

No it isn't. It gives the exact same result as staying at home. That's not a vote against anything.

A none of the above vote should in some way result in less power to "the above". My solution is to have the "none of the above" votes result in the same number of empty seats, as they would result in seats for the party if those votes were for a party. At the same time, I would not change the number of MPs needed to vote for a new law.

So, if we manage to vote 49% "none of the above", every party would have to cooperate to get anything done. The result of this would be that if we get 51% none of the above, they can't do anything, apart from having a new election. However, it would likely never get that far. At some point, someone has to say "Look at all those empty seats. They could be ours, if we started listening to voters".

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (3, Interesting)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442264)

The "none of the above" option is called turning up at a voting station, getting your name crossed off, and not voting; last I checked, this was legal.
And failing that, take your voting slip, leave it blank, and put it in the voting booth. You've fulfilled your obligation to vote, without voting for any candidate. While I think this is incredibly stupid, you can do it, so what are you complaining about?

What you describe is simply voting "present" instead of casting an actual vote or abstaining. It is not a vote for or against any of the candidates. This is not the same as voting for "none of the above". A vote for "none of the above" is explicitly a vote against all of the candidates listed on the ballot. If "none of the above" were to get sufficient votes to be elected, then either the seat should remain empty, or the election should be re-held with the proviso that none of the same candidates should be able to stand, having all been actively rejected.

Note the ambiguity between whether voters wish the position to remain unoccupied, or to be given a different slate of candidates to vote for. To eliminate this, it would be preferable to have a "nobody" vs "new slate" tickbox associated with the "none of the above" option. Alternatively, "nobody" could be listed as a separate option; this would be less confusing to those who are easily confused, but at the risk of splitting the vote against all candidates.

A simple abstention or its equivalent (spoiled or blank ballot) does not provide these options.

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (1)

Ganthor (1693614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441834)

Ahhhhh, While I agree that voting usually comes down to "who dislike the least"; informally voting is like being with a bunch of friends deciding on where to eat and when asked, you say 'I don't care, anywhere will do'. Unfortunately in my view if you do that then you surrender your right to complain about how rubbish the meal was later...don't you think?

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (1)

CoopersPale (444672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442216)

If you live in the Croyden electorate, Gamers for Croyden [google.com] are apparently putting up a candidate to stand against Michael Atkinson for the state election next year - maybe give them some thought!

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (4, Informative)

srjh (1316705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440836)

Unfortunately we can have all the consultation we want - as long as Michael Atkinson (think Jack Thompson with a political office) is Attorney-General of South Australia he will veto it.

As it stands, the decision needs to be unanimous amongst all the states - support for an R18+ rating seems to hover around 90% in most polls, but without the support of this one idiot, nothing is ever going to change.

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (4, Insightful)

CoolGopher (142933) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441516)

He has however stated that if the public consultation results in overwhelming support in favour of it, he might reconsider.

If you're in .au - consider downloading and filling in the feedback template and email it back. It'll take 10 minutes of your time. The think-about-the-children zombie horde will obviously spend their individual 10 minutes piping up against it, so if we want to have a chance at getting some sanity, we the .au geeks, nerds, gamers and other sensible people need to do our part. I already have.

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (0, Redundant)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441666)

Thanks for the link

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (3, Funny)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440732)

One of the favoured arguments against classification seems to be that putting it out of reach of kids makes them want it more.

By the same token, doesn't refusing to classify them make them SUPER-EXTREME out of reach, and therefore even more desirable?

Hell, if I was EA, I'd put snuff pr0n on the top shelf in a sealed room on Mars and watch my sales skyrocket.

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (3, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441268)

Hell, if I was EA, I'd put snuff pr0n on the top shelf in a sealed room on Mars and watch my sales skyrocket.

The name of the game! You forgot to tell the name of the game!

Dear God tell us the name! I need that game! It's the bestest game evaaaaaar!

I don't even dare to imagine where will they have to put the collectors edition.

Sorry about this, but couldn't resist. (2, Funny)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441858)

I don't even dare to imagine where will they have to put the collectors edition.

Uranus? [rimshot] Thank you, I will be here all evening, try the veal!

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (4, Insightful)

williamhb (758070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440910)

Aside from the usual arguments surrounding the average age of game players and my right to choose my entertainment (within reason), and shoehorning games into less restricted categories (GTA-IV, anyone?), I believe outright banning R18+ games probably increasing the availability of these games to minors.

For games that are available in stores, children are the least likely to be able to afford the games. Relative to adults, your average minor is probably going to pirate a game rather than buy it (regardless of legality and classification).

If you ban R18+ games, then adults are going to pirate the game too - if I want to play a game I can't buy in the store, I know I will. In the day of BitTorrent, more people downloading an item in a geographic area, the more accessible that item becomes in that area.

All they're doing by banning R18+ games, is giving minors more seeders when they go ahead and download it anyway.

Evidence, please.

The empirical evidence from the current regime is that where a game is refused classification, the publisher will almost always make the necessary alterations (toning down certain amounts of gore etc) in order to achieve an MA15+ rating. The current system has thus been reasonably effective -- ensuring that games are made suitable for a 15+ audience, and given that anyone in the 15-18 category is unlikely to be prevented from accessing a title simply by its having a higher rating that is a defensible approach (by which I mean "there is an argument for it" not "it is the correct approach").

To respond to your specific comments -

Children in Australia are very easily able to afford to purchase computer games -- at current prices, a game is likely to be around one to two months' pocket money (not counting additional money from a part-time job, which many 15-18 year olds have).

Regarding BitTorrent, the speed with which a title can be downloaded (ie, the number of active downloaders) isn't actually relevant to availability. There's no part of classification law that says "it's better if you have to leave the download going overnight". The speed of the download isn't difficulty-to-obtain, it's just latency-to-obtain, and I doubt anyone would consider a few extra hours of waiting significant.

In reality, the vast majority of items made illegally available to minors are purchased from shops in defiance of 18+ ratings: cigarettes and alcohol. The number of 16 year-olds who can get a PS3 to play an illegally downloaded game, while large, is much fewer than the number who can get cigarettes illegally from the local store. From an evidence-based perspective, if you want to prevent illegal access by minors, it really is physical availability from shops that should be targeted.

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (2, Interesting)

GrubLord (1662041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441318)

Censoring the game to bring it down to an MA15+ rating doesn't really help, in my opinion.

Just about everyone I know, for instance, is purchasing gray-market overseas copies or downloading pirate versions of Left 4 Dead 2, because none of them want to settle for the content-reduced version deemed 'suitable' for Australian audiences.

As the OP noted, this leads to more piracy and hurts sales.

Also, you must be giving your kids a lot of pocket money... Australia's markup on computer games is pretty significant. So much so that just about anyone with sense over here is purchasing via Steam or Direct2Drive (at roughly half the price) wherever possible. Many of my friends own US-region consoles, for the express purpose of importing games from the US (thus bypassing both the price-markup and censorship issues).

Your argument is well thought out, but the OP makes a solid point nonetheless: censorship hurts sales, and given that the most popular games kids are asking for right now are mostly 'mature' titles (as noted in another recent Slashdot thread), it's better to give people the option to purchase the game legitimately (and with all the content intact) rather than driving sales overseas or simply losing them to piracy.

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (1)

nulldaemon (926551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441378)

Evidence, please.

The empirical evidence from the current regime is that where a game is refused classification, the publisher will almost always make the necessary alterations (toning down certain amounts of gore etc) in order to achieve an MA15+ rating. The current system has thus been reasonably effective -- ensuring that games are made suitable for a 15+ audience, and given that anyone in the 15-18 category is unlikely to be prevented from accessing a title simply by its having a higher rating that is a defensible approach (by which I mean "there is an argument for it" not "it is the correct approach").

To respond to your specific comments -

Children in Australia are very easily able to afford to purchase computer games -- at current prices, a game is likely to be around one to two months' pocket money (not counting additional money from a part-time job, which many 15-18 year olds have).

Regarding BitTorrent, the speed with which a title can be downloaded (ie, the number of active downloaders) isn't actually relevant to availability. There's no part of classification law that says "it's better if you have to leave the download going overnight". The speed of the download isn't difficulty-to-obtain, it's just latency-to-obtain, and I doubt anyone would consider a few extra hours of waiting significant.

In reality, the vast majority of items made illegally available to minors are purchased from shops in defiance of 18+ ratings: cigarettes and alcohol. The number of 16 year-olds who can get a PS3 to play an illegally downloaded game, while large, is much fewer than the number who can get cigarettes illegally from the local store. From an evidence-based perspective, if you want to prevent illegal access by minors, it really is physical availability from shops that should be targeted.

Unfortunately you're spot on: The current system has stopped the most people I know obtaining the types of games that jerk Michael Atkinson doesn't approve of. In terms of his objectives, his policy is completely effective.

The problem is that it's also stopped me playing many games (Left 4 Dead 2 comes to mind -- There's no way I'm spending my money on a second rate version). Why should I, as an adult, be told what I can and cannot do with my free time?

Basically we have to decide:

a) Whether we believe the rating system works & if it doesn't, why we have it at all?
b) What makes games different than any other type of media, such as movies.
c) Whether we accept having our rights restricted for the sake of someone else's kids
(notwithstanding the fact that it's hardly proven that these games create social problems).

I hate to come off as a jerk but I couldn't give a rat's ass about nannying someone else's child. If parents don't want their children to have access to a game I'm playing then they can watch their own children. Furthermore, even if games are detrimental to children, the damage done by games is substantially less than by alcohol or cigarettes so comparisons between the two are mostly nonsense.

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (1)

CoopersPale (444672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442174)

The empirical evidence from the current regime is that where a game is refused classification, the publisher will almost always make the necessary alterations (toning down certain amounts of gore etc) in order to achieve an MA15+ rating. The current system has thus been reasonably effective -- ensuring that games are made suitable for a 15+ audience, and given that anyone in the 15-18 category is unlikely to be prevented from accessing a title simply by its having a higher rating that is a defensible approach (by which I mean "there is an argument for it" not "it is the correct approach").

True, in most cases the publisher has altered their game to get the MA15+ rating - but not in all cases.

Additionally, games that have been rated higher in other countries have been rated MA15+ in Australia because we have no higher rating. This I don't personally mind, but it suggests our rating system is flawed.

But I find the biggest hypocricy is in its present state, our ratings system for games doesn't even pass the first guiding principle of the Australian Classification Code [classification.gov.au] ;

"adults should be able to read, hear and see what they want"

Gamers for Croyden [google.com] are a new political party just set up and hopefully they'll get a few votes in Michael Atkinson's seat. They may not change his mind, but hopefully they can spread the word

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441390)

Just to counter with a devil's advocate...

Parents and grandparents have the money. It's they who buy a big chunk of games for kids. They don't or aren't technically inclined to keep up-to-date with the violence levels of the multitude of games launched every year. Even with adult ratings, it's difficult to imagine the insane levels of graphic violence in today's games. It's worse if you consider it's active participation playing the bad guy enacting kill and torture scenarios rather than passive observation rooting for the protagonist good guy. Parents think in terms of violence on par with rated R movies, which is like a Disney flick compared to the most violent games which accurately depict exploding body parts in 2x resolution of HDTV.

Re:Banning doesn't do what they think it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30442498)

They've got their new internet filter that they're pushing through to prevent this.

Games are not just for kids anymore! (3, Insightful)

Sirusjr (1006183) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440504)

Its about time the Australian government realized that games are not just for kids anymore. Its no more objectionable to have a game that is made for adults than it is to have a movie made for adults, yet some countries think there is a difference. I doubt Aliens v. Predator has anything I haven't seen before in my games that would otherwise scandalize me as a well-adjusted adult. We have had extreme violence in movies for years, there is nothing significantly different in games other than increased cathartic release.

Re:Games are not just for kids anymore! (1)

williamhb (758070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440950)

Its about time the Australian government realized that games are not just for kids anymore. Its no more objectionable to have a game that is made for adults than it is to have a movie made for adults, yet some countries think there is a difference

That is an interesting question, and one worthy of research. (Hopefully a kind replier will link some research papers.) However, as movies involve observing, while games involve participating, the scientific default position would be that there probably is a difference unless proved otherwise.

Re:Games are not just for kids anymore! (1)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441002)

I don't think that that is the way science works. You don't get to declare a default positions based on intuition alone (the important word being alone).

(note that this is only a minor nitpick about your use of the phrase "scientific default position which I think is incorrect)

Re:Games are not just for kids anymore! (1)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441090)

I don't think that that is the way science works. You don't get to declare a default positions based on intuition alone (the important word being alone).
(note that this is only a minor nitpick about your use of the phrase "scientific default position which I think is incorrect)

Indeed, where there is not already a strong body of evidence, the "scientific default position" (aka null hypothesis) would have to be there is no difference.

IN OTHER NEWS ... Conroy announces Net Filtering legislation will introduced in Parliament early next year, while everyone is distracted preparing submissions for an R18+ games classification. ;)

Re:Games are not just for kids anymore! (1)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440952)

We have had extreme violence in movies for years, there is nothing significantly different in games other than increased cathartic release.

Can movies not cause "cathartic release?"

I would anticipate that the counter argument would run something like, "the significant difference is that with movies viewers are passive audience members, whereas with games, players are entrained as actors."

Re:Games are not just for kids anymore! (3, Informative)

Samah (729132) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440956)

Its about time the Australian government realized that games are not just for kids anymore.

This has nothing to do with the government's opinion as a whole.

Any changes to the film and literature classification system must be approved unanimously by the Attorney-Generals. Michael Atkinson (AG of South Australia) is the only one against the introduction of an R18+ rating. His arguments are essentially "think of the children"-based. He fully understands the "games are not just for kids anymore" argument but is on a personal crusade to protect the country from anything he sees as bad for children. He will never change his opinion because it would make him look weak. Nothing will happen unless his ability to veto the decision is revoked.

It almost makes me ashamed to live in the same state as him.

Democracy... (3, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440524)

...is when the people give one state AG the power to frustrate the wishes of all the other state AG's and the people who pay his wages.

Re:Democracy... (-1, Offtopic)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440544)

Mmmmm, frosty piss.

I don't think Michael Atkinson will stand for this (5, Informative)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440564)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Atkinson [wikipedia.org]

This person has been the sole reason why Australia doesn't have a R18+ rating, and I highly doubt a discussion paper will change his mind.

Re:I don't think Michael Atkinson will stand for t (1)

RogueDriver (1002129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440604)

He's unlikely to change his mind because he's stubborn and couldn't care less about his responsibilities as a politician (like doing things for the majority of the public rather than his own beliefs) but in March 2010 we'll be rid of him and the rest of the Rann Government... I hope.

Re:I don't think Michael Atkinson will stand for t (2, Insightful)

Orteko (530397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440642)

Correct - public level consultation won't change anything.

The commonwealth still needs to get the unanimous approval of all states and territories and Atkinson has already started that he will never support the introduction of an R18+ classification.

He's made it an election promise and unfortunately it's almost certain that he will be re-elected (The seat of croydon is overwhelming in it's support for labor).

http://www.gamers4croydon.org/ [gamers4croydon.org] are a group starting a party specifically to campaign on this issue - give them your support!

Re:I don't think Michael Atkinson will stand for t (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30440730)

It doesn't matter if Michael Atkinson wins his seat of Croydon. It has to be a Labor government in South Australia or he will no longer be Attorney General.

It will be a Liberal party member who becomes Attorney General, so I'd be lobbying them.

Re:I don't think Michael Atkinson will stand for t (3, Interesting)

tg123 (1409503) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440994)

It doesn't matter if Michael Atkinson wins his seat of Croydon. It has to be a Labor government in South Australia or he will no longer be Attorney General.

It will be a Liberal party member who becomes Attorney General, so I'd be lobbying them.

Oh God , Buddha various Deities etc

you think
no gay marriage , lock up the boat people Liberal party
(Australia's right wing version of the Torys , Republicans )

is going to to be any better?

Liberal party really means no to fun.

Re:I don't think Michael Atkinson will stand for t (1)

novakreo (598689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441782)

Oh God , Buddha various Deities etc you think no gay marriage , lock up the boat people Liberal party (Australia's right wing version of the Torys , Republicans ) is going to to be any better? Liberal party really means no to fun.

Pop quiz: Name the major Australian political party, also beginning with L, which started the mandatory detention of illegal immigrants, and is also opposed to gay marriage?

They're both as bad as each other.

Re:I don't think Michael Atkinson will stand for t (1)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442232)

Here's the really sad thing: They can't be worse.

Re:I don't think Michael Atkinson will stand for t (1)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441132)

While he won't admit it, he's the main reason why this study - which was due to be released quite a while ago - has taken until now to reach this stage.

I expect he'll just ignore the public and continue to veto any changes.

Re:I don't think Michael Atkinson will stand for t (1)

m0n0RAIL (920043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442032)

Gamers 4 Croydon [gamers4croydon.org] are running a candidate against Michael Atkinson in the next election for the Croydon seat. Vote for them if you really want to see an R18+ rating in Australia.

One argument that doesn't quite sit well with me (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30440614)

Apparently the authors of paper believe that "Given the very low numbers of games that are affected by the absence of the classification category, the introduction of an R 18+ category is only an argument of principle." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_banned_video_games#Australia [wikipedia.org] I'm think that its a little more than an argument of principle Also they are potentially ignoring the large number of games that have been forced to reevaluate their content ex: Left for Dead 2

Re:One argument that doesn't quite sit well with m (1)

srjh (1316705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440932)

Don't forget the games that are shoehorned into the fairly tame MA15+ rating, which can legally be bought by 15-year-olds at all times and those under 15 with parental supervision.

Case in point - Modern Warfare 2. The mission where you run through an airport, killing civilians and counter-terrorist forces received a fair bit of attention - rightly or wrongly it was an artistic decision and adults should be able to play the game if they want to. Pretty much everywhere else in the world it has received an 18+ rating or equivalent - in Australia, where an 18+ rating is unavailable, it has received one of the softest classifications in the world.

For films, there is a reasonable scale with reasonable steps of increasing impact - R18+ sends a clear message that it's not suitable for children, X18+ even more so, and RC suggests an even more extreme impact. For games it jumps straight from "suitable for children" to "banned - outright". Those in the middle get bunched into one category or another - either too soft, where parents aren't made aware of the full impact of the game... or too severe, which restricts it for everyone and dilutes the "refused classification" category to the point of ridicule.

Either way, it's a rather pointless discussion. We're highly unlikely to get an R18+ rating in the near future, particularly with federal Labor now green-lighting their mandatory internet filter.

This is encouraging (4, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440620)

Well I'm in two minds about this:

1. No amount of public support and public consultation is going to change Michael Atkinson's mind over this issue. Even very strong public support (91% of Australian adults support an R18+ rating for games, according to polling). Since Mr. Atkinson holds the power of veto for changing this law, even if the Federal Government STRONGLY URGES the introduction of an R18+ rating, he doesn't actually HAVE to give in to their demands (although there may be political consequences if he doesn't).

On the other hand...

2. It is great that this issue is finally being taken seriously by the general public, and is being given headlines in the major newspapers around the country today. This lends legitimacy to what gamers have been saying for ages - that game classification IS a serious issue and gamers are not kids. It's been pushed from a niche topic, to the mainstream, and that is how laws will get changed. So I'm quite encouraged by this. Michael Atkinson is unlikely to continue vetoing a change to the law if 90% of the public are behind it AND the Federal Government strongly recommends a R18+ rating in an official report ... like any other poltician, there is a point at which Mr. Atkinson will just have to bite the bullet and tow the party line. Woot :)

Mind you, the existing 'ban' (more accurately a lack of a classification preventing the sale of certain games ... you can still purchase them online and legally own and play them), isn't really a huge deal anyway. Ebay/overseas retailers are your friend.

Re:This is encouraging (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30440746)

you can still purchase them online and legally own and play them

Not true. From this post [slashdot.org] in the last discussion on the topic:

From the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 [comlaw.gov.au]

10.99:

level 2 prohibited material means:
(a) a publication, film or computer game classified RC; or
(b) an unclassified publication, film or computer game that contains material that would be likely to cause it to be classified RC.

10.102:

A person commits an offence if:
(a) the person has possession or control of material; and
(b) the material is level 2 prohibited material; and
(c) the material is in a prescribed area.
Penalty: 100 penalty units.

Re:This is encouraging (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440828)

Ah OK. You're right.

But let's face it ... enforcement of that in a non-commercial context is zero. :)

Re:This is encouraging (1)

indiechild (541156) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441462)

Some people claim they've been fined for attempting to buy (i.e. "import") Left 4 Dead 2 online via a UK retailer. A friend of mine (*cough cough*) is still waiting for his copy after more than a month after it was shipped from the UK. Hopefully it's not delayed because it's being held up by fucking customs.

It's absolutely ridiculous.

Re:This is encouraging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441890)

My L4D2 just arrived from HK today - normal delivery time is around 7-10 days, but this one took just over 3 weeks.

I do have a friend who works for Customs who said they were definitely on the lookout for L4D2 in incoming mail though.

Re:This is encouraging (2, Informative)

novakreo (598689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441886)

A person commits an offence if: (a) the person has possession or control of material; and (b) the material is level 2 prohibited material; and (c) the material is in a prescribed area. Penalty: 100 penalty units.

Did you even read what you posted? A person commits an offence only if the material is in a prescribed area. From the same document:

prescribed area has the same meaning as in the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007.

And in the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007:

4 Prescribed areas
(1) The areas in the Northern Territory covered by subsection (2) are prescribed areas.
(2) The areas are:
(a) an area covered by paragraph (a) of the definition of Aboriginal land in subsection 3(1) of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976; and
(b) any roads, rivers, streams, estuaries or other areas that:
(i) are expressly excluded under Schedule 1 to that Act; or
(ii) are excluded from grants under that Act because of subsection 12(3) or (3A) of that Act; and
(c) land granted to an association under subsection 46(1A) of the Lands Acquisition Act of the Northern Territory (including that land as held by a successor to an association); and
(d) each area in the Northern Territory identified in a declaration under subsection (3).
(3) The Commonwealth Minister may declare that areas in the Northern Territory known as town camps that are identified in the declaration are prescribed areas for the purposes of paragraph (2)(d).
(4) The Commonwealth Minister may declare that:
(a) an area in the Northern Territory that would otherwise be covered by subsection (2) is not a prescribed area; or
(b) an area in the Northern Territory that is not covered by subsection (2) is a prescribed area.
(5) A declaration under subsection (3) or (4) is a legislative instrument.

There may be other legislation making the possession or purchase of RC materials an offence, but the above only applies to specific areas of the Northern Territory subject to the emergency intervention, not the vast majority of the Australian population.

Re:This is encouraging (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442354)

There may be other legislation making the possession or purchase of RC materials an offence, but the above only applies to specific areas of the Northern Territory subject to the emergency intervention, not the vast majority of the Australian population.

So they're basically saying that Aborigines can't have them? That's hardly fair.

Re:This is encouraging (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440760)

When all the other state gov's and the Fedral gov are aligned against him and they open a public enquiry, it's a forgone conclusion he will be overruled in one way or another.

Re:This is encouraging (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442212)

More likely he'll be 'reshuffled' into another job or the party will lose the next election.

The same day we lose internet access... (2, Insightful)

craznar (710808) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440624)

... we get R18+ games.

Not a good trade in my opinion.

PS: If you don't know what I'm talking about, see the next Australia story coming soon on Slashdot (except maybe for Australian users).

Re:The same day we lose internet access... (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440648)

Wouldn't worry too much about this ... elements within the Government can keep suggesting the filter all they want, but it has 0 public support, 0 industry support and their own trials have shown it to be technically infeasible. Like the last attempt, I doubt this will pass the Senate in any form other than a very watered down form (maybe a simple DNS blacklist covering a few dozen sites ... which frankly isn't too bad because it doesn't slow down the net, doesn't prevent you getting around it, and you can always use other DNS servers anyway).

Re:The same day we lose internet access... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30440802)

Agreed, I've been following it for quite some time now academically and practically seeing as I would be one of the one's setting it up and managing a solution for where I work (ISP) and an effective solution is just not technically feasible and an efficient solution is so ineffective it's pointless anyway. Also the support for any such scheme is practically non-existent.

Re:The same day we lose internet access... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441810)

There already is a government blacklist of a few dozen sites. Internode's website told me so when I signed up with them three years ago.

Re:The same day we lose internet access... (2, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440866)

Yeah right, I have been hearing that for over a decade now, I will believe it when I see it. The filter is political theater to buy the votes of wacko independent senators. The Libs and Labor take turns at being good cop or bad cop.

Even Mr. 2% has gone cold on the idea since the web sites of his anti-abortion financiers somehow made it on to the propsed blacklist. In other words Mr 2% has been nicely shot down by a classical ad-absurdium argument. However that won't stop some other idiot doing the same thing when he believes he holds the balance of power in the senate and it won't help educate people who still take the game seriously.

If you doubt me then point to where Conroy has said a compulsory filter is a good idea. I've been asking that question on slasdot since the current round of trials began and the only quotes I ever get are where he is saying the trial is a good thing.

"Yes Minister" is a documentry that just happens to be funny.

PS: (2, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440906)

If you are about to point to Labor's pre-election policy paper you will note that the compulsory filter mentioned in it only applies to government computers (ie: schools, libraries, etc).

Re:PS: (2, Informative)

Johnno74 (252399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441432)

If you doubt me then point to where Conroy has said a compulsory filter is a good idea.

Ahem. [theage.com.au]

"The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, said today he would introduce legislation just before next year's elections to force ISPs to block a blacklist of "refused classification" (RC) websites for all Australian internet users."

That conclusive enough for you? :(

Yes Minister should be forced on every kid (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441896)

No kid should be allowed to graduate without being able to quote every single episode word for word.

Know this series and all of politics will make sense.

Oh, and I think it is telling that some US citizens say that "the powers that be" is the US version of Yes Minister. Says it all for the Americans really. To bad. Ah well, what do you expect from colonists. We shipped them off for a reason. The criminals to Australia and the religious freaks to the US. Wonder which set of natives got screwed worse.

One of the more amusing arguments against... (2, Interesting)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440692)

From the discussion paper [ag.gov.au] : "An R 18+ for computer games would exacerbate problems associated with access to high level material in Indigenous communities and by other non-English speaking people."

Apparently classification is racially insensitive, but only for computer games.

Re:One of the more amusing arguments against... (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440720)

Yeah that one is bizarre. People from non-English speaking backgrounds can't understand the classification labels/stickers? That doesn't seem to be a problem for movies/videos/books/any other classified material...

Re:One of the more amusing arguments against... (2, Interesting)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440780)

I think they're just trying to push racial sensitivity buttons, in their crazy clumsy way. Sad that it's working.

As a gamer, I really can't stand being beaten by Helen Lovejoy.

But they've also announced internet filtering (2, Informative)

sr180 (700526) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440714)

The Federal Government plans to implement mandatory ISP filtering for "refused classification" websites, it was . [dbcde.gov.au]

The government also released the report on the ISP filtering pilot, which was provided to the government by Enex Testlab in October, detailing the results of the blocking accuracy and performance of the filters.

Senator Conroy announced the new initiatives in a curiously scheduled press conference, with journalists only being notified 90 minutes prior to the start of proceedings.

"The Government will introduce legislative amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act to require all ISPs to block RC-rated material hosted on overseas servers", said the announcement.

"RC-rated material includes child sex abuse content, bestiality, sexual violence including rape, and the detailed instruction of crime or drug use.

"The report into the pilot trial of ISP-level filtering demonstrates that blocking RC-rated material can be done with 100% accuracy and negligible impact on internet speed", said Conroy.

Conroy acknowledged that the filter would only block "inadvertent" exposure to R/C content, and the pilot report bluntly states that any technically competent user could circumvent the filtering.

The report also found that the filters on average "over-blocked" 3.4% of sites that were not intended to be filtered, and that high volume sites would likely cause the filters to fail.

Initial reactions to the pilot report have been mixed, with participating ISPs praising the results (in prepared press releases), while others such as Electronic Frontiers Australia stating that it "brings more questions than answers".

The DBCDE website is unavailable due to demand for the report, which we have mirrored here [whirlpool.net.au] .

Re:But they've also announced internet filtering (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440946)

"RC-rated material includes child sex abuse content, bestiality, sexual violence including rape, and the detailed instruction of crime or drug use.

Holy fuck are they going to be busy, the job market for geeks with experience surfing 4chan is looking up at last :)

Re:But they've also announced internet filtering (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442238)

The DBCDE website is unavailable due to demand for the report, which we have mirrored here [whirlpool.net.au] .

We've slashdotted a federal department. From what I've seen of their emails, they need some people who know about computers and the Internet.

Re:But they've also announced internet filtering (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442332)

RC-rated material includes child sex abuse content

Think of the children, but not like that you pervert, so OK

bestiality

Think of the animals, but not like that you pervert, so OK

sexual violence including rape

Only sexual violence? Is it worse than all the other kinds, or are the other kinds good for us? Should polite society pretend that violence is all guns and fistfights?

and the detailed instruction of crime or drug use

This is were it goes from protecting people from freaks with questionable sexual issues (why is always about the sex?!) to restricting access to information. Too far, Australia. Too far.

Mandatory ISP filtering to go ahead (2, Informative)

definate (876684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440736)

Hooray, we go forward in one direction and backwards in another direction.

Today it was announced that the report on mandatory web filtering was a success, and so the government will be going ahead with the implementation of the Great Firewall of China.

http://whirlpool.net.au/news/?id=1852 [whirlpool.net.au]

It's a grubby political wedge tool (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440820)

I don't think it's going to make it through the senate since the Liberal and National parties are set to block everything they can. I think it will be used as a grubby political tool to make the opposition look as if they are standing up for child molesters in an election year and dispel the credibility they have been trying to build with religeous lobby groups. Either way it's bad in the long run.

Re:It's a grubby political wedge tool (1)

definate (876684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440874)

Yeah, I hope it's something like that, is that would definitely be the lesser of two evils.

Re:It's a grubby political wedge tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30440984)

Religious lobby groups would welcome the government standing up for child molesters.

Re:It's a grubby political wedge tool (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442246)

It depends on the religion. Some of them are happy to slam child molesters if it brings in more cash.

Mod parent up (1)

xixax (44677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441310)

Not related TFA, but most insightful comment I've read about the net filtering all day.

Re:It's a grubby political wedge tool (1)

xixax (44677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442394)

OTOH, why would the opposition bother opposing this?

Don't get our hopes up. (1)

Starayo (989319) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440798)

That fuckwit Michael Atkinson has made it very clear that as long as he holds office he will not allow such a sane thing to come to pass.

Re:Don't get our hopes up. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441028)

We need to encourage gamers to move en masse into his electorate, so we can vote him out. Then they can all move to Conroy's electorate and vote him out. Given enough gamers and a couple of election cycles, we could play Whack-A-Mole until we clear out all the deadweight Christian nutters from all levels of government!

(Plus, the constant moving and buying of properties will do wonders for the local economies. People will start trying to put fake Christians in power just to get gamers moving to their areas to revitalise them... it's foolproof I tell you).

Re:Don't get our hopes up. (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442258)

There's a cool game for this. Branch Stacking [wikipedia.org] All we need is a Facebook app and a way to measure gamer achievements.

I wrote this on the issue, before the AvP case (2, Insightful)

nicolasmendo (672317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440852)

Probably the most shocking revelation about Australia for your average international Media Studies student is the deep reach censorship has in this country. I had heard news of an overregulated Australia before travelling to Melbourne, but those reports seemed like exaggeration. Having lived for a few months down under, overwhelming evidence defeats disbelief and sheer astonishment settles in. Why does a society that praises itself so highly for its openness, progressive achievements and multiculturalism allow crippling censorship legislation to evolve into such a pervasive and ubiquitous fog?

The latest case of ridiculous censorship in Australia is the banning and later un-banning of “Left 4 Dead 2”, a video game published by Electronic Arts. My concern about the banning of a game characterised as ‘violent’ is more about the value of freedom than a matter of personal interest. For the record, I don’t own a video game console, and, for the record, I would probably prefer spending my time and money in one of Melbourne’s many fine dining venues than playing video games. But the issue lies precisely in the importance of that choice. Should censors consider that sophisticated cuisine is wasteful, they couldn’t prevent me from enjoying it. Why can they then limit someone’s choice when it comes to videogames? It is the role of adult citizens, not the government, to decide whether they spend an evening beheading zombies or having seafood and wine. This choice has to be reclaimed as a citizen right beyond the reach of moral entrepreneurs.

Chronicles of this issue include episodes that are simultaneously sad and funny, like the classic movie “Salo” by Pier Paolo Passolini which was banned in Australia twice, or the video game “Marc Ecko” which was never sold here because of its depictions of the criminal horrors of graffiti art.

In September 15 2009, the Classification Board issued a report explaining that in this game “attacks cause copious amounts of blood spray and splatter, decapitations and limb dismemberment as well as locational damage where contact is made to the enemy which may reveal skeletal bits and gore”. According to current legislation if the Board determines that a video game is unsuitable for persons under fifteen years old, it can not be sold in Australian territory.

In contrast to legislation regarding film, video games lack an R18+ classification. Why? Unbelievable as it may sound, this policy affecting all of Australian adult population is the decision of one individual. I am talking, of course, of Mr. Michael Atkinson, South Australian Attorney-General. Australian censorship parameters can only be modified by unanimous decisions taken by all Attorneys General, and Mr Atkinson alone has for years been blocking the creation of an R18+ category for video games.

Mr Atkinson argues that “an R18+ rating for electronic games will greatly increase the risk of children and vulnerable adults being exposed to damaging images and messages”.

What Mr Atkinson means by this so called ‘risk’ is that video game discs with violent content, belonging to the adults in the family, might be found in their houses by children who could then play these games. This is the argument used to support the need to ban all games with content considered unsuitable for children. The implication is that adults are not to be trusted, and the contradiction is that when it comes to pornographic DVDs the same consideration somehow does not apply. According to Atkinson’s logic kids are able to find games around the house, but not movies.

There is also an underlying problem with his argument: the way he presents the problem, in function of the ‘risk’, cleverly plants the assumption that video games are ‘damaging’ in a way that makes it seem beyond debate. A proper dissection of the idea that videogames are somehow negative to kids would fill the whole newspaper for years. Researchers are on the task, but current evidence is inconclusive, and it will probably remain so. It is certainly not a settled matter as Atkinson would have us believe.

This ‘risk’ and ‘damaging images and messages’ are just empty figures of a mentality that relies on fear to establish a regime of intolerance.

Mr. Atkinson contends that, "Some may believe that the present system restricts adult liberty. It certainly does restrict choice to a small degree, but that is the price of keeping this material from children and vulnerable adults. In my view, the small sacrifice is worth it”. A document called ‘Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games’ issued by the Attorney General’s Department in Canberra states that “adults should be able to read, hear and see what they want”. Mr. Atkinson’s argumentation against a R18+ classification for video games is unsustainable because it clearly fails to acknowledge a higher principle of Australian law.

Just over two weeks after ‘Left 4 Dead 2’ was refused classification, Electronic Arts submitted a second version of the game, edited for Australian censor sensibilities. The Board reclassified the game with a MA15+ rating because “the game no longer contains depictions of decapitation, dismemberment, wound detail or piles of dead bodies lying about the environment”. To be honest, I don’t think Electronic Arts really cares whether the game has to be about feeding kittens as long as they get to sell something in Australia’s healthier-than-average-economy.

As it is, Australian adults are prevented from fully being able “to read, hear and see what they want” because of politicians that use their position to impose a regressive, paternalistic and infantilizing conception of the state. In the end, one wonders if true democracy can flourish when expression can be limited on the basis of indemonstrable suspicions of potential ‘risk’.

yes, video games are damaging (1, Insightful)

r00t (33219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441210)

There is also an underlying problem with his argument: the way he presents the problem, in function of the ‘risk’, cleverly plants the assumption that video games are ‘damaging’ in a way that makes it seem beyond debate.

Yes, video games are damaging.

One of the problems with studies of the matter is that people often confuse the issue. They compare violent video games against non-violent ones, or they compare violent video games against a lack of video games, and then they try to make some conclusion related to game content.

It's not the content!

When you spend every free moment of your teen years on a video game addiction, you're messing up your mind. You're missing out on real face-to-face human interaction, from which you might learn social skills. You're coming to expect instant gratification and constant entertainment, but the real world isn't going to live up to such expectations.

Ever hear the term "EverCrack"? Games destroy lives. Relationships and jobs are lost or never found to begin with. People skip classes and even skip sleep so that they can satisfy their addiction.

Ever try to pull a game addict (maybe a loved one) away from his game? If you try, you'll find that they are completely irrational about the issue.

I pretty much lost a brother to this shit. He'd mod me down for pointing out the obvious, except he can't because he's surely playing a game right this very moment.

Re:yes, video games are damaging (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442000)

There's 1 teeny tiny issue with your post. You're making the assumption that the games, the substance the addict is hooked on, are the root cause of the problem. How do you know your brother wouldn't have gotten hooked on something else instead? There's plenty of other activities people can become completely engrossed in, causing them to miss classes, skip sleep and otherwise fuck up their life.

For the record, I spend a big chunk of my time playing video games, and I do on occasion choose to play over engaging in face-to-face social contact or getting a full night of sleep. My uncle had a similar personality, only his drugs of choice were booze and heroin, so he's dead at this point.

Some people have personalities prone to addiction. Either they learn to control themselves, or they don't. There's stuff out there that's a lot worse to get hooked on than video games...

This is a complete and utter waste of time. (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440864)

"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."

Atkinson will stop it, don't bother getting your hopes up, it's pointless.

Re:This is a complete and utter waste of time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441852)

ok, so let's contact the ID theft guy [slashdot.org] and fix this AG before they call the vote.

he's already getting 50 years (max), perhaps he'll take one for the team! :P

Re:This is a complete and utter waste of time. (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442274)

Smear him with a sex scandal, or you could get Brian Burke [wikipedia.org] to give him a call. He'll be infested with investigators.

Denying sexual maturity (4, Insightful)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440894)

    When does this shit stop?

    Most human beings reach sexual maturity - that is, the age where their hormones are in full swing - somewhere between the ages of 8 and 14 as measured by earth's orbit around the sun.

  At that point they are capable of producing offspring. At that point, their bodies have entered into the physical stages where producing offspring is a *physical imperative* - ie, the hormones that produce the desire to mate are in full swing.

  Now this seems to have worked for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years. After all, we are still around as a species. This is all very well established scientific biological, and realistic, fact.

  So... this whole concept of offspring not being able to view other members of their species sans clothing, or in sexual congress, or to engage in said sexual congress themselves, surely must be a societal influence. Am I correct so far?

  If so, then if one takes the view of many of those who feel that those members of society younger than a certain age (it differs in various societies, but let's take 18 orbits of the earth about it's star as the number here, because it's what's being bandied about) aren't "ready" to procreate, aren't "ready" to raise those offspring to be productive members of said society, where does the fault lie? Does it lie with the offspring having offspring, or a failure of the society to teach those humans how to raise their own offspring before and during the time when they become physically capable, indeed even when their bodies demand, that they produce offspring?

  Put more simply, maybe instead of telling kids they can't have sex, maybe we as a society should be teaching them *before* puberty what it all means, that they will experience it, and when they do, to guide them thru the process, rather than telling them "Sorry, no, you can't do that. Because we say so."

  Now, wait a minute. One of the driving beliefs amongst many of those in many societies which restrict the ages at which young human beings can procreate is a belief in a supernatural deity who, in the words of their own creed, once said "be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth". Yet the same holders of that belief also tend to be in the forefront of those who tell young human beings that they cannot procreate, until they have reached some arbitrarily decided "age of reason"; which with some of them seems to be any age younger than they are, regardless of the age they have reached.

    Not only that, but many members of that society seem to have reached the conclusion that viewing an unclothed member of their own species seems to fall within some concept called "evil" - which is apparently bad - and which makes one wonder how those members of the species seem to reproduce themselves in such great numbers. Perhaps they do it in the dark. ...

  Does anyone else ever wonder whether or not human society is becoming more and more irrational? Nevermind, redundant question ;)

SB

 

Re:Denying sexual maturity (2, Interesting)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440962)

  In case anyone wonders when it was I last made love, it was about half an hour ago, and the above was posted mostly from her comments about the silly hypocrisy of society's, particularly religious society's, ideas about kids looking at naked bodies, whether directly or thru pictures. As she says "we aren't test tube babies, let's drop the stupid bullshit and get on with the business of making kids who think for themselves." She is much more eloquent than I.

  Middle age does sometimes confer some wisdom. Not all the time, but sometimes. The hard part is finding a partner who shares it; but if you do, it makes something greater than the sum of the two parts...

SB

 

Re:Denying sexual maturity (1)

chip_s_ahoy (318689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441304)

But you can't hold a whole belief system responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole system of religion? And if the whole religion system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Shadowbearer - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

Re:Denying sexual maturity (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441410)

I don't know about you guys, but I plan to talk about sex with my kids when they reach puberty. Instead of forbidding them it makes much more sense to let them know what it is and that they aren't in a hurry. Porn is also quite OK as far as I'm concerned, as long as the consumer realizes it's a fantasy.

But there are very good reasons why society has settled at the 18/20 mark for "adulthood". There are heavy neurological changes occurring in your brain from around 12 to around 25. Even if we can physically procreate much earlier than when we're adults doesn't mean that the biological ability to do so makes it a good idea. Making babies is one thing, and being able to raise them with a fair chance to become balanced individuals is another.

Re:Denying sexual maturity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441818)

The ACMA submission page to get an url banned has a Captcha to prevent robots from submitting automated complaints. However this is irrelevent as the site also offers an email to send complaints. So cue the 10,000,000 urls for submission.

Re:Denying sexual maturity (1)

zigmeister (1281432) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442502)

Speaking a sexual maturity here's a joke I heard (I think on rec.humor):
A preacher spots the neighbor boy, who is 5 years old, mowing the lawn with a beer in hand. Absolutely incensed, he rushes over to reprimand the ruffian. The boy responds, "Oh that's nuthin'. I got laid when I was 3."
The preacher inquires, "Well how did that happen?"
To which the boy replies, "I don't remember. I was trashed."

State possibly going ahead with R18+ rating (3, Informative)

Xaduurv (1685700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30440974)

The state of Queensland has a Parliamentary E-Petition [qld.gov.au] going that will hopefully result in an R18+ rating for the state. State law in classification can overrule federal law. WIN!

Re:State possibly going ahead with R18+ rating (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30442284)

That'll screw with people. It used to be that 'Banned in Queensland' was a sure fire winner. Bad Taste, Peter Jackson's first film, even has it on the DVD cover.

And just as (1)

Llian (615902) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441142)

And just as the federal govt has announced the 'success' of its internet filter trial and has plans to put it before senate to enact it into law. Fail much?

Re:And just as (1)

NMEismyNME (725242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441182)

That's no coincidence. They intentionally got the tech news sites churning with reports of the R18+ classification to momentarily distract them from the big internet censorship bomb.

Should be R16+ (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441266)

Come on teenagers are having sex, drinking and smoking tobaco/pot dispite any regulations to the contrary. Set age boundary more realistically and you may see some respect for this and other laws.

Eheh (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441906)

Because people in Holland stopped speeding when the speed limit was raised to 120. Or people never speed in Germany where is parts where is makes sense, there is no speed limit.

Pot is legal in Holland, so people don't do hard-drugs.

People will break whatever laws there are, even the law of no-laws (which would be a law therefor against its own law).

I see many arguments against this idiotic ban, but respect for the law ain't one of them.

Did they really think... (1)

icsx (1107185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30441396)

Did they really think that every game developer would do censored version for their country if they ban the original? Now that someone said no, they are amazed and already are turning the table over the past decisions.

Yaaaaaaaay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441636)

About time.

Insult to Australians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30441916)

There are many losers in this battle. Australian retailers lose out on sales of games, and many of these banned games are the highest selling ones on the market.

Game publishers are losing revenue because in the absence of a product to buy, people are turning to Bittorrent and downloading the pirated versions.

The joke is that you can still buy these games overseas, or download online. The ban is essentially useless and only forces people to get it via other means.

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