ABC's Antony Green believes R18+ for games issue will be "insignificant" in upcoming South Australian election; says most voters will rely on gut instinct at polls and vote pro-censorship.
With less than eight weeks to go before the South Australian state election, newly registered political party Gamers4Croydon remains confident it can secure more than 50 percent of the votes in the electorate of Croydon and take down South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson from the seat he's held for the past 20 years. What is the reason for taking on Atkinson? To unseat the politician who many Aussie gamers see as the only person standing in the way of the introduction of an R18+ classification for games in the country.
Gamers4Croydon founder David Doe told GameSpot last week that a "…fair current of anti-Atkinson sentiment" currently exists in Croydon; something that will help the party's chances at the polls.
But ABC election analyst Antony Green believes Gamers4Croydon won't have much impact in the upcoming election. Green--who has covered more than 37 Australian territory, state, and federal elections for the ABC--says while discontent is natural in stable electorates like Croydon, there is little chance the incumbent will be unseated.
"I think there’s always a bit of discontent in electorates like Croydon," Green said. "Michael Atkinson has a reputation for being tough on law and order, but that’s not enough to turn around Labor's fourth safest seat in South Australia.
"As for the people in the electorate; in my view, the issue of R18+ for video games won’t have much impact at all. When push comes to shove, a significant portion of the electorate will reject lifting censorship on this sort of thing because most people tend to be rather pro-censorship as a gut instinct."
Responding to Green's comments, Doe says the party will continue to do all it can to achieve its aim of exerting political pressure on the member for Croydon.
"All we can do is continue to raise awareness and have a presence in the electorate," Doe said. "If we don’t do that, we’re not going to get the number of votes we need. We know that trying to unseat a 20-year incumbent is one of the biggest tasks in politics, but we think we have something better to offer. We’ll really need to work hard in the next eight weeks to get our message across and get as many votes as we can."
As far as electioneering goes, Doe believes his party is on an "even playing field" with Atkinson, who has already begun his campaign. "We've learned a lot about how Atkinson handles his electorate, and we're doing what he's doing. We have yet to speak to the Liberal Party or the Greens about their candidates, but we will be doing that in the next few weeks when we determine our preference deals," he said.
But the ABC's Green says no amount of campaigning will get Gamers4Croydon what they want because most people over the age of 30 simply don't care about the R18+ for games issue.
"I think that’s the biggest obstacle Gamers4Croydon face," Green said. "The best thing they can do at this stage is invest their money in something else. I'm just not convinced people either know or care about this issue, which is why their campaign will have little impact."
Last week, Gamers4Croydon announced Kat Nicholson as their candidate for Croydon, a South-Australian university student with "…a lifelong love of both gaming and politics." Doe believes Nicholson will be able to lead parliament in the R18+ for games agenda if Gamers4Croydon succeeds in securing a seat.
For more on video game classification in Australia, check out GameSpot AU's Aussie Games Classification FAQ feature.
Good on them for giving it a go. As Atkinson has held that seat for over 20 years, I don't rate them as having a chance. At least they are doing SOMETHING and raising awareness though.. Hopefully they get some votes.
Excellent step forward. I am very pleased to hear of this news, cheers for GameSpot for getting the scoop!
Copy and paste from a last post because I'm lazy: Regardless of whether or not G4C wins a seat, their involvement brings only good. 1st of all, remember how party preferences work. Any votes for G4C, if they don't get the seat, will then be passed to 2nd preference that they set, then 3rd etc. And I can put money on it Labour is last on their list. Secondly, they are raising awareness. There may still be voters in Croydon that are unaware of the issue at all, and G4C's campaigning will bring light to the subject. This may not be the be all and end all issue that it is to many of us for other voters, but for some fence sitters it may tip the scales, either to G4C or at least to Liberal, and others may see that it is taking away the human right of choice. It will also make the "save the children" mindset voters who may be against R18 aware that it is actually GOOD for children to have a R18 rating. And to top all that off, it has already shaken Mr Atkinson up. The comments he is making against gamers in general, ironically suggesting that G4C would resort illegal means and "dirty tactics"when he himself drew 1st blood in that smear comment, only draws attention to his character. Resorting to that kind of behaviour doesn't make him look mature in anyone's eyes, and shaking him up like this is great for parties coming up against him. Remember - there is always a bigger picture, and G4C is a good part of it.
I'm not so sure about Green's comments on people over 30 not caring about the issue. I think you'd find most people over 30 know a relative that will be affected by this issue. I've talked to several people over the age of 30 and alot of them are worried their kids are getting ahold of games they shouldn't be playing. If bringing in an R18+ rating prevents children from playing games they shouldn't then how can this be a bad thing? Anyway, I've sent my submission in along with a large group of people at my work place (Including several over 30's who don't even play games) and they all seem to think that an R18+ rating would be a good thing. I urge fellow gamers to follow suit and get as many over 30's who are not really gamers to have their say - at the end of the day their the ones we have to convince. Happy gaming people :)
i think that they shouldnt focus so much on games, i know its what they're passionate about but they have to do other things to show they'll be good if they only ever droll on about the R18+ topic than household owners and the like wouldn't give a crap
Also if people over 30 dont care about the 18+ rating why not just vote for G4C they dont care about it so give the vote to them then Atkinson whose been in for 20 years and really has nothing more to offer, hes a broken record
I guess ill never get why Attkinson wants to keep censorship? maybe he like all the crap he gets cause he doesnt seem to get the hint that the people who this will effect i.e the gamers support an 18+ rating and why not? it allows game developers to show the beloved customers what they want cause there wouldnt be much reason for making more games if there wasnt something new or better too them. We dont all want to keep playing the same mario games forever, even though that shows hate towards dragons, turtle things, the absuse of mushrooms and a strong Plumbing vibe
I hope Ms(?) Nicholson wins the seat, keeping Atkinsin in power will continue to keep our country in the dark ages.
I think the logo is an "ok" one, it lets people know that this is the group they keep hearing about relating to this games issue, it shows different symbols to show they are interested in plenty more than just games, but I'm thinking a lot of the older voters will see something that most of them dislike and don't understand (video games which they hear are soooo god awful apparently...) so will probably go with what they know, so it all comes down to educating them in the time that's left, so donations is the way to help G4C!
the name and logo are a mistake, they're setting themselves as a one dimensional party with keeping the sole focus on games, they need to appeal to everybody's needs and enter a broad spectrum.....they wont win, purely for the fact that people will look at them as small children....but then again you never know
@ Arraxis I agree about the name change. They make it sound as though games are their sole focus, even though they have many other good policies.
I have a feeling that even though we vote out Atkinson another politician will take his place to stop the R18+ rating.
I don't have too much faith in them, but really, it's the only thing they can do, and they're doing it. I support their efforts in trying to change the law. It's better than mailing death threats to Atkinson, as that just proves that he's right. Either way, it's good to see that someone's trying and not giving up, since then you'd achieve even less. Might have been better to change the party name, though - perhaps Australians Against Censorship would have been better.
Yeah, I don't see how their party will beat Atkinson. Even if they have a full platform, all anyone is going to see is the "Gamer" in their title and assume the party is a one-dimensional group of fanboys.
While I understand the annoyance of over-censorship of games, trying to get someone out of office for that when you could be arguing for stricter policies regarding violent crimes and other such serious occurances seems to be somewhat of a nuisance to me. In the scheme of things, does it really hurt your life not to have a few video games? Sure, it's annoying. But let's just be fair, here. It's not making life worse.
Its the best thing that opposition can do. Trying to unseat him is the democratic way. Good luck Kat.
Unfortunately, this analyst is probably correct. The best thing a party like Gamers4Croyden could do is focus on more important, larger scale issues to draw support from a larger demographic. Atkinson's stance on the R18 rating is just one of his platform characteristics and probably not the most major; he has the advantage in this regard as more voters who aren't interested in the R18 fiasco will be more willing to align with him on issues they are concerned and actually agree with him on. I wish Gamers4Croyden the best of luck in taking down this megalomaniac, but they've got to get a larger base. They're not going to do that with the R18 issue as their major platform.
I'm wondering how old this analyst is and if he is even a gamer, because once the word gets spread, which it is a lot lately on this subject, people get out there and vote for the right cause, and as G4C keep explaining to the uneducated... they are changing peoples views on the whole "gut instinct" view of censorship... to the RIGHT view, that the current system is ALLOWING our kids to get MA15+ games that are rated R18+ in other countries! a lot not even edited for Australia... hence this is potentially harmful to kids right now, so if they get this into voters heads I'm sure they will vote with their "protect our kids the RIGHT way" instinct in censorship, not some ignorant biased politicians way... so I expect to see a good battle, it's not over till it's over!
Have they seen the percentage of people that are gamers? I don't remember it, but I'm pretty sure it was a significant number.
Well, frustrating as it is, this analyst is probably right. I suppose this is a flaw of a federal system, a single sub-state unit/region's ignorant voters can screw over a much large swath of the nation-state as a whole, god knows we see enough of that in the US. I hope, at least, that the party gets enough of the vote to draw more attention to the issue nationwide, at least, so that maybe the party will step in and update their platform on games to be current with this century. I would not be surprised if that was the main point of the party in the first place.
How did he end up in his position in the first place? Who in the world would vote for an antigamer for a general attorney for games?
Michael Atkinson should go, not just for the R18+ rating but the's not doing that good a job in his seat either. If he's upsetting so many of his voters with issues like this one, I'm not too sure how he's stayed in his seat for so long. I'm not too sure how the Gamers4Croydon party is going to go, what they should be doing is rasing awareness about the matter and trying to get people to agree upon the matter that Australia needs an R18+ rating for video games. But even if Michael Atkinson comes back with his line 'Why do people want extreme violence and depraived sex in video games', the easiest way around it is to say that gamers don't. What he's doen is tried to make the issue sound as bad as it can, because I believe he wouldn't still be in his seat or the R18+ rating would've been introduced to Australia if he said 'Why do Australian gamers want to get the same experience as the rest of the world?', becuase that's really all Australian gamers are asking for. All the best to the Gamers4Croydon party and hopefully they'll win the seat and then bring the R18+ rating to Australia.
So apparently people over 30 don't care about this issue? Interesting... considering the average age of the Australian gamer is now over 30. This new party has no chance of winning the seat of Croydon, that's for sure and certain, however this issue isn't going to go away and Atkinson won't last forever. His legacy on this issue won't be as the man who proudly defended children everywhere from evil material. No, Atkinson's legacy on this issue will be as the man who took a draconian approach to censorship, abused his political power, took political issues personally (grouping all gamers together and demanding apologies from some intangible group is just retarded), while displaying horrendous amount of ignorance on the issue. Any person who thinks you get 'points' for running people over in GTA or 'points' for killing people in the airport scene in MW2, should damn well educate themselves on the issue before even making a statement, let alone making a decision that has a very real effect on it.
He's really just stating what we already knew. We're hoping that they can pull off a victory but deep down we all know it's a farfetched sorta deal. At the very least I hope this whole thing will make the R18 debate more known.
I have a feeling I'm going to hear more from the Gamespot on this comment and others that has a comment section. Anyway, it's still a month away and I can understand what the Greens is saying. I have two questions for people who is against an R18+ for games: Have they read about Classification Guide and the process behind it? The other is have they played any violent games rated MA15+. If they didn't, they should be to get a better understanding. Since this is all Australian, I haven't recalled them going overseas at all. It's a month away from the election. Despite what the skeptics say about R18+ for games, people should take an education approach into teaching everyone how this whole process works. What the classification board does and the consequences of not having the adult rating for games.
Hey All, Just a friendly reminder to keep what you say above board and to avoid inflammatory comments. Let's keep it civil please. :) Cheers, Koz