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back to article R18+ games still not over the line in Oz

Australia's national Parliament has passed laws creating a new R18+ rating for computer games, but just what will earn that rating is now up to the nation's nine States and Territories, all of which must pass their own legislation before gamers can enjoy currently-banned fare. There's not much on the banned list, with just three …

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Anonymous Coward

Censorship of games, I think that at 40 years old, I am old enough to make up my own mind rather than have the State tell me what and what is not good for me.

If I want butter I will eat it, or will they ban that too because it is not good for me?

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Facepalm

Oh don't worry, it won't be the state telling you what to play. It'll be Jim Wallace and Fred Nile.

Kill me now.

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Silver badge

Really I don't care if the states set the bar low. I'm above the top bar so I can get the 18+ games. Currently their banned so I can't. If the states rate Mario as 18+ due to violence to turtles I can still get it.

It's still better than the current system.

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Silver badge

"If I want butter I will eat it, or will they ban that too because it is not good for me?"

Actually they will tax it to the point that if you want it, you have to buy black market butter because you won't be able to afford it. It's just like cigarettes.

Funny you should mention butter because the stupid Australian Government is bringing in a "fat" tax so soon you won't be able to afford butter.

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Anonymous Coward

religious opposition

What a surprise, the Christian Democratic Party (oxymoron) are opposed to an R rating.

If they're hoping to limit the choice of ALL Australians to purchase a product and make up their own mind, then perhaps the Christian Democratic Party should do us all a favour and remove the word "democratic" from their party name.

Funny though isn't it how the title "Christian Party" doesn't quite have the same political ring/legitimacy to it when you remove the word democratic.

Can you imagine if there was a "Muslim Democratic Party" (yeah another oxymoron) trying to do the same thing, there would be an outcry and demand that religion/religious beliefs not ever interfere with politics.

I have absolutely no problem with religion provided the religion in question keeps their opinions and rules to themselves and don't try to enforce their opinions/views on others like me.

For all the Christian talk of good will/good meaning Christians are often the first to fail to see how un-Christian their actions often are and that there are other people in the world who hold different (no greater/no less valid) views.

If there is a separation of religion/government then I wonder how there can even be a religious party, let alone one that can have this sort of influence.

Apologies in advance if I have offended any Christians (and Muslims).

If you don't like violent video games then, by all means, don't buy or condone them amongst yourselves. At the same time though, please don't use the law in order to FORCE your beliefs/opinions on me, I believe women and the gay community are also asking for the same sort of thing (except of course the ones who want to turn your children into depraved sex fiends and bring about the downfall of society)

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: religious opposition

Why exactly is Christian Democratic an oxymoron? I don't know a single Christian who is opposed to democracy.

And really if you're not a Christian, commenting on "Christian behaviour/actions" is unlikely to be accurate because the phrase "acting Christian" doesn't tie in with Christianity. Christianity very strongly says that contrary world views ARE less valid since it is based on the belief there are absolute truths and it knows what they are. That's clearly up for violent disagreement of course but I'd rather you disagreed with it than not know about it!

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Headmaster

"Why exactly is Christian Democratic an oxymoron?"

Because Christianity is submitting to God's rule, whereas democracy is rule by Man.

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Meh

Re: "Why exactly is Christian Democratic an oxymoron?"

Ah. But does the Good Book not say "Give unto Cesar what is Cesar's and give unto God what is God's"

The Bible plainly says that we should submit to all forms of government unless it threatens our faith and even then it's OK to lie about it if it will keep you alive. But most people don't know it says that because they've never bothered to actually read the book.

Not that I have any feeling about religion one way or the other, but it is better to know what you're talking about before you open your cake hole.

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Headmaster

Re: "Why exactly is Christian Democratic an oxymoron?"

So christians should be excluded from democacy on account of their religion.

An interesting concept of democracy: if you don't think like me, you aren't allowed to vote.

Wait, which was the oxymoronic idea?

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Re: religious opposition

"Apologies in advance if I have offended any Christians (and Muslims)."

If telling the religious to get out of your life is offensive to them, nuts to them.

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Anonymous Coward

Not hard to understand really

"Christianity very strongly says that contrary world views ARE less valid since it is based on the belief there are absolute truths and it knows what they are."............

.......perhaps the fact that Christianity so self righteously KNOWS the truth and the answers better than anyone else is precisely why The Christian Democratic Party and maybe you (I am assuming you are christian), might fail to appreciate the irony of both their party name and my original post.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Why exactly is Christian Democratic an oxymoron?"

I never said that christians should be excluded from democracy in my original post, you read that one into it all by yourself and obviously missed the point I was trying to make entirely.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: religious opposition

It is an oxymoron in the same sense that National Socialism in 1930's Germany wasn't really socialism, but rather an organised group with a set agenda operating under a "friendly" catchphrase that it's own members didn't intend to follow.

It would ACTUALLY be democratic to allow people to make up their own mind with regards to video games yet The Christian Democratic Party has decided that this particular democratic right shouldn't be in the hands of individuals but should be decided for everyone according to their own "Christian" beliefs/agenda.

By "Christian behaviours/actions" I meant simply, "being good to and respecting your fellow man/woman" which, when you throw away all the attached religious dogma/complexity/amendments, most organised religions aspire (at least publicly) to follow.

It is also ironic that a religious party calls itself a democratic party when the majority of religious institutions themselves are far from being organised democratically. For instance the average Catholic follower cannot vote for a chosen pope and if you have the misfortune of being born with a vagina you're never going to become a pope no matter how good a Christian you are or how many Christians want you to be one. Religious Institutions, for the most part, are not democratic, if you still cannot understand the irony of a religious political party claiming to be democratic then I'm not sure what else I can say to explain it to you.

When all is said and done, The Christian Democratic Party wants to have things both ways, an un-democratic religious centre only applying democracy externally when it can be used to further its own agenda.

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Re: "Why exactly is Christian Democratic an oxymoron?"

"So christians should be excluded from democracy on account of their religion.

An interesting concept of democracy: if you don't think like me, you aren't allowed to vote."

No an interesting concept of democracy is "WE don't like this video game so YOU can't buy it"

Big difference though is I'm not the one calling myself a Democratic Party and I also never said that christians shouldn't be allowed to vote, what I said is that they shouldn't be allowed to use the law to impose their christian values on non-christians much like atheists shouldn't be allowed to use the law to impose their values on christians. Maybe go back and re-read my original post (perhaps multiple times and with an open mind) before jumping to your own conclusions. A little justified criticism of the Christian Democratic Party under the current circumstances is hardly a suggestion of "throw all the christians to the lions" or "cut their tongues out".

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Big Brother

Two Points (was Re: religious opposition)

Point the First:

Have you noticed countries/groups political names tend toward the inverse of how the work? People's Republic of China, United Socialist Soviet Republic, and so on. I shudder to think what a "Christian Democratic Party" would try to pull off, but I bet it would be couched in pseudo-christian wording and have little to do with "being good to and respecting your fellow man/woman".

Point the second:

Religious Political parties can lead toward democratic methods, but they are all opposed to Democracy. They would be espousing Theocracy. They may have votes and the like, but (see above) it won't be democratic.

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Silver badge

Re: "Why exactly is Christian Democratic an oxymoron?"

Democracy is not about freedom, its "mob rule" and to take some really easy examples, "we think kiddie porn is bad so you can't have it"; "we think beer is bad for you so minors can't buy it"; "we think smoking is unhealthy, so you can't advertise it"; "we think 100kmph is a sensible speed limit so you can't drive faster"; "we think you shouldn't have a collection of working artillery."

I have no idea what the CDP believe and I suspect I would disagree with most of their policies, but I have to accept that they represent a section of society even if I don't like it.

The whole point of the democratic process is that we find out what people are thinking and then make a measured decision. The whole point of democracy is that we do listen to opinions we don't like and wouldn't naturally take into account in our legislative process.

As far as the CDP name goes, I think the correct parsing is adjective, adjective, noun. It is the party which is democratic, not Christianity. Whether or not they are exhibiting Christian characteristics is an exercise left to the reader.

I think the lack of an R rating is daft. That doesn't mean that I think those games are good and if I were in power I would have to consider the fact that many 18+ items are put in the hands of minors. That said, I doubt there is anyone here who doesn't know how to circumvent the current restrictions and we are talking about video games - not really the most important things on earth. I'm far more interested in how we deal with dissent from mainstream thought in the political political system.

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Re: "Why exactly is Christian Democratic an oxymoron?"

"we think kiddie porn is bad so you can't have it"; "we think beer is bad for you so minors can't buy it"; "we think smoking is unhealthy, so you can't advertise it"; "we think 100kmph is a sensible speed limit so you can't drive faster"; "we think you shouldn't have a collection of working artillery."

You're right, those are easy examples and while the overall end result of the topic is the banning of violent video games altogether, the real reason many of us are upset by the Christian Democratic Party isn't just because they are attempting to ban violent video games but that they are actively fighting against EVEN a simple classification of video games, a classification that will not only prevent minors getting hold of violent video games, but will help parents easily determine which video games are most likely inappropriate for their children.

The idea that The Christian Democratic Party are opposing classification simply to "protect the welfare of the kids" is not even close to a half truth.

If it was only about "protecting the kids" then why would they oppose a system that would ACTUALLY help parents make more informed decisions and prevent the sale of R rated games to kids.

The CDP are not acting in a democratic way where we all work together to find a common solution, they're sticking their head in the sand and are unwilling to find any sort of compromise, which is very .....um.... "christian" (as defined by someone else earlier) This was the whole point of the "ironic Democratic Christian oxymoron" statement in the first place, it was assumed that the reader might possess a knack for wit as opposed to taking things as literally as a page from the bible.

Mind you misunderstood replies such as "I don't know a single Christian who is opposed to democracy." do provide great laughs!

Whether The CDP is taking this position because of "self righteous christian pomposity" or simply just to exert political pressure (to further empower their party and its influence) is still up for debate but I'd guess it is a little bit of both, all being played out under the convenient guise of "protect the children"

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Silver badge

Re: "Why exactly is Christian Democratic an oxymoron?"

Yes but Christian dogooders lobby the government to make decisions that affect me even though I'm not Christian. They like to impose their moral standards on everyone else.

If I want to watch a porno, I should be able to. If I want to play GTA, I should. If a couple of gays want to get married they should. Who's opposing all this? Religious people.

If it not affecting anyone else, dogooders should just butt out.

As for seperation of State and Religion, just look at the Muslim countries. There's a prime example of why religion shouldn't write the laws. The Christians have done exactly the same in the past so their no better.

There is nothing a religious person likes more than saving a heathen's soul even when not wanted.

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Re: religious opposition

I agree.

In fact I think Catholics should elect a new Pope.

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Boffin

"I think that at 40 years old, I am old enough to make up my own mind rather than have the State tell me what and what is not good for me."

That is the basic idea behind age ratings, yes. Well done.

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R18+ looking like MA15+ is fine.

So long as they stop banning things outright and then blaming it on the lack of an R18+ certification.

Never mind that what gets through or not is entirely arbitrary, depending entirely on press coverage.

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Megaphone

Hey churches

If you want to meddle in politics, pay tax.

Otherwise take your tax free dosh and STFU

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Re: Hey churches

> If you want to meddle in politics, pay tax.

Non-profit organisations aren't allowed to express the opinions of their members - that includes the red cross, salvos, smith family, cancer research etc. Any corporate which made a loss last year can't issue press releases and and all you slackers who are out of work - you don't get to express views on anything either!

I don't have the right to vote as I'm not a citizen of the country I live in, so on the basis of "no taxation without representation" I should do rather well this year!

Now, where did I put that sarcasm icon?

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Linux

Nine?

'...the nation's nine States and Territories...'

I might be having a brain fade here, but my reckoning is 8. Viz and to wit, Qld, NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas, SA, NT and WA. That's 2 territories and 6 states.

Is Prince Leonard of Hutt raising his head above the parapet, or one of the sub-Antarctic islands is worried about the penguins playing Grand Theft Auto?

What state or territory am I missing?

Penguins, as mentioned above.

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Pirate

Re: Nine?

Norfolk Island is a self-governing territory, they have a Chief Minister and everything.

But I believe that Norfolk Island only has "observer status" at the Standing Committee of Attorney-Generals, because quite frankly, it would be pretty fucked-up if an island of 2000 people had the same influence over Australia's laws as a one of the states. No offence, Norfolk Island.

Jolly Roger, because the Norfolk Islanders self-describe themselves as descendants of the Bounty mutineers.

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Re: Nine?

"What state or territory am I missing?"

New Zealand. It's like Tasmania but with more sheep.

Since most of the Kiwis are here already it might as well be the ninth state.

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Childcatcher

Good excuse

If your S.O. catches you popping into the local "Private Shop"...

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Thumb Down

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

The sooner we get rid of these WOFTAM state and territory governments the better. There is no need for that expensive middle tier of red tape.

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FAIL

The second scenario is what we want.

I live in Australia, I am a parent, a gamer, and an adult. My reasons for wanting an R rating are two fold.

1) As an adult I want to be able to make decisions about what I play which reflect the fact that I am an adult.

2) As a parent I want the things in the MA15+ rating which were put there because the ratings board is highly reluctant to ban things outright but which should be R rated moved into the correct rating.

While game publishers hate having stuff moved into R rating because it interferes with their ability to sell stuff to teenagers that they probably shouldn't be playing without running it pas their parents(15 is still pretty young), most of us just want to be able to have the option as adults to legally play games intended for an adult audience. I don't care if they move 90% of what's currently MA15+ to R, if I think it's appropriate for my kid to be playing it when he's at that age I'll go with him to buy it, what annoys me is when they ban stuff that's meant for me because it might be seen by a kid.

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