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Intelligent Gamers Wanted for Newspaper Interview

Hi guys,

I'd like to hear from anyone who would be happy to answer a few questions on game classification for a feature in The Age newspaper about the absense of an R18+ game rating.

Please email theflyingdoormat@yahoo.com if you would like to have your say on the issue.


Submitted by MoonUnit on Tue, 27/04/04 - 4:17 AM Permalink

u have e-mail, titled "R18+ game rating questions"

Submitted by flyingdoormat on Thu, 29/04/04 - 7:14 PM Permalink

Thanks for your responses, I have enough now. I'll let you all know when the feature is running.

All the best.

Submitted by MoonUnit on Fri, 09/07/04 - 4:24 AM Permalink

thanks for giving us the link, its a good read :)

Submitted by souri on Tue, 20/07/04 - 11:29 AM Permalink

A well written and researched article.. Honestly, the R rating category for games needs to be persued until it eventually happens. If not, we'll keep getting these knee-jerk reactions every time a game aimed for a mature audience comes to Australia. And I quote:

quote:"This is just encouraging kids to grow up to sneak around and shoot people in the back of the head," Mr McNamara said.

"It just begs disbelief, especially here in the hitman and crime capital of the nation.
"It's absolutely disgusting to promote heinous crime and build up such an unhealthy fantasy.
"It should be kicked off the market. The Government should step in and do something."

This is about the Hitman: Contracts game a [url="http://news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,10178867%255E421,00.html"]group of people are trying to get banned in Australia.[/url] I do question why the reporter had to include the information that 11 year olds are playing that game though - that's more an issue about bad parenting, rather than violence in video games.. And since the issue is violence in video games, the whole point is moot when it's not supposed to be accessible to children.

Submitted by Blitz on Wed, 21/07/04 - 12:17 PM Permalink

Agreed on the 11 yolds thing. It might make sense if the article was about blockbuster allowing children to rent mature titles or something, but the way it is, it has no relevance to the rest of the article. They may as well have just said "but the herald sun has learned children as young as 11 have lit off firecrackers (without the appropriate pyro license)".
Other amusing tidbits in the article include "Mr McIntosh said he didn't believe in censorship, but the Government could put moral pressure on the distributors." What kind of drugs is this guy on to make such an absurd statement.
Finally, it's not really an issue about an R rating, since even if it existed the game is classified as MA by the OFLC's own rating guidleines.
Oh, and the bit at the end about blockbuster not responding? Very lame attempt at controversy :P What the hell have they got to do with it!
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Daemin on Thu, 22/07/04 - 12:01 AM Permalink

It just seems to me that the extreme conservatists and other fundamentalists (christians - could be other religious groups too) are trying to make laws to prevent us from ever being exposed to anything violent, explicit or what they would deem inappropriate. Even with an R rating kids would still play the games sure, it could be put down to bad parenting, but also it could be put down to society in general, where the children are given all the power now, so even if the parent bans them doing something it means little when the child can just accuse them of abuse and go to a relative and play the game there etc.

Argh, I'm rambling, but (hopefully) you get the picture.

Although I must say that I've read the article and I found it very well written pointing to intelligent arguments and issues. Good Job! (Plus it was cool seeing some names of people that I know :-)

Submitted by TheBigJ on Thu, 22/07/04 - 2:17 AM Permalink

It's very obvious that that article on Hitman is completely biased. Like most anti-game articles I've read, its aimed at people who have no clue about games, with claims such as "also available on the internet" and "post-action visuals of the victims in blood-pools".

Besides, I try not to pay too much attention to an anti-gamer who can't make a point without bringing children into it. The fact that children are playing it is completely irrelevant. No-one tryed to ban Kill Bill when it came out, but I'd bet plenty of 11 year olds got their hands on it.

Submitted by souri on Thu, 22/07/04 - 9:27 PM Permalink

I look forward to more comments like "This is just encouraging kids to grow up to sneak around and shoot people in the back of the head" from Mr McNamara whenever a game that has guns is released from now on.

Submitted by Maitrek on Wed, 28/07/04 - 11:12 PM Permalink

Once again another 'brilliant' example of stupid knee-jerk reactions.

If i was to buy into their kind of argument (which I don't) - then I would be running around saying we should all burn the bible and denounce the lord because more atrocities and violence have been committed in the name of that book than video games by an absolute mile.

Games are games, if a kid doesn't understand that, and gets a hold of a game because their parents suck - then why is it the fault of the game developers/distributors/government? Having said that, sometimes I do wonder what the fascination is with playing out violent scenarios in a gaming situation. I'm surprised we all haven't keeled over with boredom (I have).

Submitted by Daemin on Wed, 28/07/04 - 11:49 PM Permalink

To quote someone else: "Everything is new to a kid"...

Plus the whole violence fantasy thing, knights in armour, cops and robbers (with guns shooting), cowboys and indians. I think its just more than the media, the whole of civilisation depends upon violence. Anyways, you just can't blame one thing for the way society is, you can't even blame society because its what you made...

Submitted by Skribble on Thu, 29/07/04 - 4:41 AM Permalink

ahhh u got me started on the games influencing kids thingy.

Im a very avid video game player, ive been playing video games since my fingers were strong enuf to push the buttons on the controller and it hasnt effected me in the slightest, ive played bloody games like doom and heretic when i was small and ive played games like soldier of fortune and duke nukem when i was a bit younger, and ive played games like resident evil, silenthill, and many other various bllody, grusome titles. And i luved them all. my parents bought me up teaching me not to harm others, thats the simple fact. I knew i should treat others with respect, yet i still played bloody shootem up games my whole life.

In my opinion its up to the parents to teach their kids that games are games and life is life. If the parents buy their kid a game, they should know wots in it and how the game is played. Why should all the fans of gory games suffer the loss of a great game because mums and dads suck at parenting.

Submitted by Daemin on Thu, 29/07/04 - 9:46 PM Permalink

Skribble: exactly, games are games, life is life, it's as simple as that! If someone doubts that then ask them to use a mouse and keyboard to move around in the real world...

Submitted by TheBigJ on Fri, 30/07/04 - 1:43 AM Permalink

You're right, Skribble, but on top of all of that, games like Hitman, Doom, SoF, etc were never even intended to be played by children in the first place. Personally, I don't think they have much of an effect on kids so long as they're brought up by responsible parents, but even if it did, its not a kids game anyway! This why I get frustrated listening to people like Noel McNamara using children to fuel their agenda.

I mean after all if you were to remove the influence on children part of his argument, what does he have left? He has no place telling grown adults (the intended audience of Hitman) what they can play, especially after the OFLC has classified it.

Submitted by Jacana on Fri, 30/07/04 - 2:38 AM Permalink

My view on what is happening:

There are a few reasons why kids are even getting a hold of these games. It's these reasons that should be looked at - and not the games themselves.

1) Kids grow up in a family where both parents work. The kids are old enough to look after themselves and do not have a babysitter. When parents are away they have free access to the pc/console to play what ever it is they want.

2) Games are being sold to kids with out adherance to the ages in which they should be purchased.

3) Parents are not computer literate and thus do not monitor what it is their kids are doing on the computer. This includes the downloading, using, or installing of various games or applications.

4) Parents are buying games for their kids with out actually researching or understanding what it is they are getting for their kids.

Yes it's brief and very broad in terms of grouping.

I think that you can cull content all you want but it's not actually helping anything. Withholding is not a cure it's a punishment. What should be happening is that adults should become more educated and aware of what is and is not appropriate for their kids. This includes making sure kids have an understanding of what is and is not reality.

Submitted by souri on Fri, 30/07/04 - 5:47 PM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Maitrek
Once again another 'brilliant' example of stupid knee-jerk reactions.
[url="http://gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?section_name=ret&aid=3890"]Here's another example[/url] of a stupid knee-jerk reaction..

quote:"British electronics retailer Dixons has removed Rockstar's Manhunt title from stores, after newspapers and TV news shows reported allegations that the title had influenced a teenager found guilty of the murder of a younger boy."

It makes the same sense for them to ban the sales of claw hammers and knives from stores to stop it from ever happening again.. [:P] Even though the motif of the murder was to pay for drug related debt, even though the game was rated R over there and that he shouldn't have had the game the first place, the retail chain thought it made sense to just pull the title off the shelf.. [xx(]

The comments by the murderer's mother were predictable - the game is just an easy scapegoat to blame it all on. Curious as to why she did nothing when she saw that he was obsessive over it.

To think of the millions and millions of copies that the Grand Theft Auto series has sold, I can only recall one incident where some kid carried out sniping of people, which was influenced from the game. It's hardly the crisis that some people (like those in the Hitman contracts article) would like to believe.

Submitted by JonathanKerr on Fri, 30/07/04 - 9:37 PM Permalink

Comic books, Rock 'n' Roll music, television, now videogames. Just ride the wave, it'll blow over in time.

Having said that this topic is pretty much preaching to the converted. It's easier for papers to sell news if it's negative.

Although, games are interactive - unlike the previous examples. You get rewarded for morally bad behaviour. It's possible that in certain individuals, it may influence their behaviour - but then again, with the same individuals, maybe not getting enough ketchup in your burger is enough to make them flip out.

As a counter point - games are drawing their inspiration from life, not the other way around.

If they can sort out a ratings system properly, they need to enforce it. Alternatively, they could store all 18+ games behind the counter or in a cordoned off area of the store, a bit like how the pornography sections are sectioned off in video stores.

Submitted by Daemin on Fri, 30/07/04 - 10:41 PM Permalink

Although it must be said that people call gamers obsessive when they play and finish the same game over a weekend period. To them playing through a whole game seems to be an obsessive behaviour...

Well you could also say that wanting to read through a whole book over the weekend because it was so interesting is also an obsessive behaviour!

Submitted by MoonUnit on Thu, 05/08/04 - 3:06 AM Permalink

the really annoying thing is people do stupid things after theyve played a game like vice city and then the parents go and sue game companys. Lets think about it, vice city has topped 5 million sold, take two are doing ok for themselves and the people know it, they sure for money. The game company allmost literally cops it for being sucessfull.

Submitted by palantir on Thu, 05/08/04 - 4:20 AM Permalink

quote: vice city has topped 5 million sold
Okay, so that means at least 5 million people played it right? If there is any grounds to sue Take Two as the responsible party for the violence those kids caused, then there should be about 5 million more murders/acts of extreme violence then usual. But there weren?t, so the game developer is no more responsible then, say, the news stations for reporting the daily violence we all see.

What I find extremely annoying, is that the parents of the kids who do these things look for someone to blame ? the people responsible for it is THE PARENTS. They raised children stupid enough to see something in a game and then go and try it for real, therefore, the parents are directly responsible for their children?s irresponsible actions, and as such, they should be sued for all they are worth by the government for raising such terrors of society. In fact they should be held responsible for their children?s actions and put in prison. Maybe if parents were treated as the people responsible for their children?s actions, more parents would do a better job and there wouldn?t be so many problems with the world?

//end rant [^]

Submitted by MoonUnit on Thu, 05/08/04 - 6:43 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by palantir
so the game developer is no more responsible then, say, the news stations for reporting the daily violence we all see.

thats actually a fair point, heh suddenly i feel like taking up on the current affair offer posted in general ;)

Submitted by Barry Dahlberg on Thu, 05/08/04 - 7:19 AM Permalink

I'm not speaking from experience but from what I understand parenting might not be as easy as it sounds, even with the best intentions. Can we really blame all of the worlds problems on bad parenting? At some stage I think people need to take responsibility for their own actions.

Submitted by Blitz on Thu, 05/08/04 - 11:41 AM Permalink

Of course people should take responsibility for their own actions, however, IMHO parents are (or at least should be!) much more influential to how their children grow up, what their values and morals are etc. than computer games.
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Blitz on Thu, 05/08/04 - 11:46 AM Permalink

As an addition (after just reading some of those Manhunt etc. related news stories), i've never felt like a violent act or anything after/due to playing computer games, but i must say that after reading some of the comments in those articles it makes me want to beat some sense into those idiots.
Hey, maybe i could beat the crap out of the Daily Mail's editor, and then sue him for millions of dollars in emotional damages??? I mean, it was his articles that drove me to it!
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Maitrek on Thu, 05/08/04 - 8:07 PM Permalink

Blitz -> Re: Responsibility ; The whole idea is that no one is responsible for anything. Parents aren't responsible, the teenager who commited the murder isn't responsible, the computer games developers aren't responsible. That's just the way it is...no one wants to assume any responsibility because of the way things are! Why would we want to feel like that or put ourselves through it? It 'feels' better to pretend it's someone elses fault.

Submitted by Blitz on Fri, 06/08/04 - 4:42 AM Permalink

Lets just blame God...
Sue the churches for a pretty penny.
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Daemin on Sun, 08/08/04 - 12:20 AM Permalink

We don't want to take responsibility for our own actions now because we could be "held accountable" for it and sued for all our worldy possessions and even more. I figure we'd be more responsible for our actions if the threat of being sued wasn't over our heads as much as it is now.