Atkinson's exit is no epic win for gamers

But former AG seen as a major obstacle
Atkinson's exit is no epic win for gamers

One of the country’s hardest violent video game critics, South Australian Attorney-General (AG), Michael Atkinson, has resigned to pave the way for new Labor blood.

The AG resigned despite winning his seat in the recent state election. It is unknown who will replace Atkinson after he leaves office before the next state election in 2014.

Games associations aren’t yet celebrating a reform win for the much-debated introduction of a video game R18+ classification, but they do see Atkinson’s resignation as the removal of a major roadblock.

Australian Game Developers Association president, Tom Crago, said Atkinson’s resignation has improved the chances of political support for a higher rating.

“With Atkinson out of the fray, we have a better chance [of passing the reform],” Crago said.

“We hope that common sense will prevail.”

Editor for online activist group, Protect Children from Mature Games, Jeremy Jastrzab, said the AG’s resignation does not guarantee the introduction of the R18+ classification. The group is an active proponent of the introduction of an R18+ classification.

“We have even more incentive to push this campaign forward now that our major obstacle has been removed,” Jastrzab said in a statement.

The group has collected more than 35,000 signatures for its R18+ petition launched across Game retail stores on March 3.

“Games are not primarily made for 15 year olds. If violent video games are harmful to children, then not having an R18+ rating makes the problem significantly worse,” Jastrzab said.

Games retailer, Electronics Boutique, collected 46,000 submissions to the discussion paper at its stores, claiming almost all of which called for the introduction of an R18+ rating.

The classification reform requires support from all state attorneys-general to pass and it is understood that Atkinson has remained its sole opponent. He voted down the proposal at a Standing Committee of Attorneys-General early last year.

Atkinson announced his resignation at a Prospect church in Adelaide this morning. He told The Adelaide Advertiser the that “there ought to be renewal in the ministry”.

“I think there are talented people on the Labor backbench who deserve a go,” Atkinson said.

Related articles:

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Banned Downunder: Five games that didn’t make it past the censors

Aliens vs. Predator banned in Australia: the Classification Board explains its decision

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Comments

Matti

1

Fantastic, with the removal of Atkinson, this is a major win for free speech in Australia !

We have seen some epic fails with the Labor Government lately.
1) Peter Garret and his home insulation debacle.. (No longer our environment minister, thank god !!!!
2) Atkinson, and his botched attempt to force bloggers to use real names and email addresses with commenting on political events

If only Labor would remove Sen. Steven Conroy, along with his botched attempts at the Internet Filter, NBN, and Telstra Share prices, Labor would almost be tolerable again !!!!

R

2

@Matti
I agree totally, next on the agenda is Conroy.

DEan

3

Good riddance to bad rubbish!

Geezinator

4

For Jebus' sake will you stop calling them GAMES.. its INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT.. NOT GAMES.
INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT.. NOT GAMES..
is this thing on?
INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT.. NOT GAMES
Calling them games brings out every religious control freak, media bandwagon hopper oner, "what about the children" politician wannabes and Conroyesque bookburning interweb censors.
INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT.. NOT GAMES

stupidhead

5

Who calls games INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT?

"I'm going to pop down to EB to buy some INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT" They are games, get over it.

JEEEBUS...

Nick

6

I still reckon this is an epic win for gamers of Australia

petey

7

one idiot down, one to go.

Bob

8

One?

Two at a minimum.

JohnnyWakko

9

Huzzah. The dinosaur is gone. Now, if only Conroy will follow his lead.

Tim Vim

10

We will only have a true win when we build more power plants (ideally nuclear) and rollback GST.

Cameron Price-Austin

11

Don't celebrate yet. He's likely to be replaced by John Rau -- another member of the conservative right faction (of which Atkinson remains the head).

fragz

12

studies have shown, stupid politicians lead to violence.

PeterA

13

Hah! Build more nuclear plants AND reduce taxes?? How will we pay for our nuclear plants!!
That's just Gold!

Fan

14

Cameron - Atkinson isn't the head of the conservative right faction, Senator Don Farrell is. Atkinson is just a member of the right faction, as are a majority of the ALP MPs/MLCs.

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