Christian Group: Don’t reward R18+ game pirates

Australia shouldn’t change video games classification system as a way to ease illegal video game downloads, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude is one of many games banned in Australia and subsequently pirated or illegally purchased overseas.

Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude is one of many games banned in Australia and subsequently pirated or illegally purchased overseas.

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has stomped on arguments an R18+ rating will help curb illegal video games downloading.

Australia is one of the only developed countries without a Restricted classification for computer games. This means that anything deemed to be suitable only for people 18 years and over is banned or modified to fit the 15 years and under classification.

The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) had said Australian retailers were being shortchanged as consumers look towards illegally downloading adults-only games as a way to overcome Australia’s classification scheme.

But the ACL told GamePro in February that reducing video games piracy should not be a reason to introduce an R18+ classification.

“If people are breaking the law to get a hold of material then they’re breaking the law and that’s obviously inappropriate and not good behaviour,” an ACL spokeswoman said. “You certainly don’t change your system to cater to people that are breaking the law.”

She said from her understanding, the gaming industry in Australia is very healthy and does not risk going broke at any stage.

“We’re not anti-gaming, just anti more sex and violence,” the spokeswoman said. “It’s to do with our concern of having the worst sex and violent [material] in the hands of our children.”

The Christian group also argued against claims an R18+ rating will better protect children as it gives parents the right tools to better decide whether a game is appropriate for their kids to play. According to the EFA, over half of MA15+ games released in Australia last year should have been rated adults-only.

“The issue here is to strengthen guidelines in the MA15+ rating and to make sure the process is adequately fitting the guideline,” the ACL spokeswoman said. “Introducing more violent and more sexual games for sale is hardly going to help the situation.

“The reality is, if they were introduced they would inevitably find their way into the hands of children.”

At the time of the interview, the ACL were preparing its submission to the R18+ classification public consultation by the Attorney-General’s office, which closed on 28 February.

iGEA and EFA have both tendered their response in favour of bringing in a Restricted rating for games.

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Spandas Lui

GamePro Australia

35 Comments

buttwipes

1

God, I hate Christians.

Dan

2

Way to miss the point ACL.

@buttwipes, should make that all religion.

Sebconn

3

That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard... they do know pirates get their stuff outside of Australia right? the ratings system has sweet F A to do with piracy, if anything no R18+ encourages it so people can get the banned games and still play them here.

Benno

4

I'm getting really sick of heaing about "the children". Christians, if you want to stop your children playing violent games pull your fingers out and do some parenting.

An R rating for games isn't going to unleash a load of horrible content onto your kids, it will just mean they can't walk into a store and buy it. Most games that are released as MA in this country should be R. Your kids are already playing games that are R rated in other countries.

Benno

5

I'm getting really sick of hearing about "the children". Christians, if you want to stop your children playing violent games pull your fingers out and do some parenting.

An R rating for games isn't going to unleash a load of horrible content onto your kids, it will just mean they can't walk into a store and buy it. Most games that are released as MA in this country should be R. Your kids are already playing games that are R rated in other countries.

Benno

6

Oops with the double post. ACL please watch the episode of the Simpons where they ban Itchy and Scratchy. HMMMM turns out there was violence before cartoons, this thing called the crusades, hundreds of people killed.

ETC

Jason

7

Can't believe the crap that comes of some of these people's mouth.

Save the children this, Save this children that.

I tell you what will save the children, not having to listen these ridiculous bible stories.

Jason

8

Daniel Hills, I just had to reply. This is the whole argument as to why this filter should not be going ahead.

IT'S NOT GOING TO STOP YOU WATCHING PORN or bad things on the internet. It might block a few sites here and there, perhaps some of the more extreme ones - even then there are simple ways around it.

It's naivety of parents and people with a lesser knowledge that get sucked in by this whole filter scheme and it's a silver bullet fix to everything. No it's not.

As to you wanting all video games banned, what about movies and tv shows? I bet you want them banned also. Kids these days yes are exposed to a lot of bad things - video games should be the least of their concerns.

ralph

9

Man, I wish they'd stop talking already.. They clearly don't understand the issue, and their stances on this and the filter are counter-productive and dangerous.

As it is, I'd prefer them supporting this and then helping mould what should constitute the line between R18+ and RC... All the sick stuff, like the rapeplay they keep referring to, will remain RC. duh. The whole debate could be won with a simple venn diagram, especially showing the components we can move rom M15+ up to R18+.

At the very least it be nice if they'd change their name. I'm sick of reading that 'Christians' support this or that. The thing is, I reckon they scored a lot of points with the unquestioning masses with the abortion issue a while back..

@buttwipes: careful, we're not all alike.

Peter

10

I love how the ACL attempt to impose their standards over EVERYONE.

Cam

11

@ Buttwipes

I don't HATE any religion. What I do hate is some individuals in that religion, in this case Christians imposing their system of morals and beliefs upon others.

The argument they have delivered in this article is misinformed and misses the mark considerably. That aside, just the mere presence of an opposing argument presented by the ACL is enough to make the government take a look.

In my opinion, there should be a clear line between politics and religion.

:)

kosmos

12

@ Daniel Hills

Who do you think you are to decide what I can and can not do with my internet connection? What bearing does my decision to play a game like Killzone 2 or Aliens vs Predator, have on your life?

I think the answer is none and again none. Please kindly take your ineffectual filter and your insipid moralising back to the 15th century where they belong with your backwards "I'm going to get all offended on other people's behalf" attitude.

Dog

13

A tolerant society respects the views of others (within reason), in fact if I remember back to Sunday school, I think there was a commandment about same.

Todays christians seem to forget this...

Where is their tolerance?

Bah!

14

How dare the Christian Lobby attempt to control what I may or may not do when their philosophies are based on archaic adulation of mythical gods and divine, all powerful beings. Creationism? God? Heaven and Hell? ROFL.
Prove the substance of your delusions before you try and convince me of your argument regarding my moral perfidity and societal peril.
Until then, pop off to whatever church is applicable, kneel down and submit to whatever quackery you believe in, in the hope of being told what is right or wrong, and to gain reassurance.
I'll continue to trust in humanity and commen sense.

Phaz

15

Religion had it's place in society. it's called the DARK AGES people!
Besides, if anything an R+ classification will result in LESS PIRACY, as we will actually be able to BUY THE GAMES!!!!
The ACL are a bunch of idiots, really nothing more than the taliban under a different name.

Holly

16

And people are suprised at this? ACL is opposed to some of the most stupid things, they are all backwards, trying to take away rights of everyone they can, why is religion in government? They are screwing this country over and no one is stopping them.

When will enough be enough?

Shane

17

Yeah maybe we should ban all works of violence, rape, incest and murder.

Let's start with the Bible...

Matt

18

Don't listen to Daniel Hills everyone he's obviously just trolling. I mean come on, no-one(apart from the ACL, conroy etc.) could be that stupid....

Mr Steve

19

Are you kidding? No one downloads games illegally these days, all software torrents are infested with malicious code to steal banking and username/password information, and movies and songs are watched like hawks by the RIAA/MPAA and their stoolies. This point simply shows that these guys are 5 years behind, and shouldn't even be weighing in on issues they've got no idea about.

Robby

20

It's the usual thing. Use scare tactics on voters who don't know any better and reap the rewards.

It works for racist groups - immigrants steal your jobs, women, country.

It works for politicians - beware of terrorists, gamers, the opposition because it deflects attention away from what the politicians are doing.

It works for the Christian groups - Save the children, Save your soul by giving us your money, you'll go to hell if you don't do what we say - whilst just moving around the various pedophile priests and covering up any wrong doing.

I'm beginning to think rationale Australians may be at war with a vocal, minority of fundamental/militant christians.

Jimmy

21

I seriously wish the ACL would just bugger off and dissolve into nothing.

I hate the ACL so much.........

observer

22

In typical myoptic fashion the Christian Lobby completely missed the point. It is not about piracy. It is not about the game industry missing out on cash. It is not about children getting the games. This is about have a consistent classification system that caters to all ages and is in step with the rest of the developed world.

tuffguy

23

Some really had things right many years ago when they fed the christians to the lions. Perhaps we should again adopt this practice. Last time I checked we live in a democracy and if I choose to play an 18+ computer game then I should be allowed to.

Andrew

24

How about we ban the biggest selling violent and pornographic book of all time - the bible. It not only contains incredible acts of violence (nailing somebody to a cross, just to name one) but advocates slavery, rape and genocide. One could also argue that is severely affects the development of children, stunting their mental growth and encouraging delusional behaviour, while discouraging and inhibiting logical thinking. Ban religion, give the bible the R rating it deserves, and see how the ACL's “If people are breaking the law to get a hold of material then they’re breaking the law and that’s obviously inappropriate and not good behaviour" attitude changes a little.. Bunch of pretentious, deluded fools they are..

petey

25

Typical religious perspective, follow the doctrine without question. How can a law that forces adults to pirate to view some adult content, while putting other adult content into the hands of children be right?

William Hope

26

Thank god someone is saving our children by not allowing filth into the country.

I hope this internet censor comes in soon, so we can block porn.

Bobby

27

I think I speak for all christians when I say you will be forced to follow christian values again soon. With the help of the labor government and their internet filter, Kevin Rudd will bring back solid christian values back into the household.

I am with you all the way William, thank god for a christian government finally being in power again!

Duke

28

The ACL themselves admits to 'around' 10,000 'members'. Whirlpool had over 23,000 verified responses overwhelmingly opposing the ACL 'stance'.

Earth to ACL: Go away, and take the ratbag from SA with you...

Con

29

Stop massing christians into one group. The ACL doesnt represent every christian in Australia. They're just a group of very loud mouthed old fashioned people who hate change. I'm a christian and I have no problem using Kratos to jump into bed with 2 nubile wenches and then going off to shred people into pieces. Plenty of my religious friends have zero problem with it.

Its always the really loud obnoxious idiots who try to screw things for people. This is in ANY political group. I'm pretty sure Jesus would have no problem with us killing things ingame rather than real life.

Psychaotix

30

I just want to add this.

The ACL, Mr Atkinson, et al. have chosen to make this an issue about "the children," so I am going to respond in vein.

I have a 13 year old brother, who loves his games. In the household, we have a general rule that if its not suitable for him to play, then it's not to be kept on display. This means M15 games and above. However, we also use our discretion when deciding what to allow and deny. Some games rated M15 (Not MA15. different category) are allowed, since its the opinion of the household that the moral aspect of the game is good.

As for the lack of an R18+ category keeping that sort of game from minors, well, I call bollocks on that. Have a look at the Liqour Licencing act, or the restrictions on tobacco sale, or the restrictions on aerosol paint cans. ID has to be shown to purchase these goods. Anyone caught selling to a minor faces a rather hefty fine. Why not do that to R18 games? Add to that, the R18 category will inform parents more, so they can better do the job of parenting, and I'd say education, and a threat of a fine would effectively keep the games out of the young hands.

I know I wouldnt let my brother play an R18 game, even if I owned it.

R3dnut

31

ive never seen so many awesome people in one discussion before. bring on the change, we have the r18+ for everything else. my mrs works in a cd/dvd/games store and has been advised to ask buyers for ID if cd/dvd's are 15+ or 18+. i think its something like up to $5k for the employee and up to $250k for the business. why do all other devoloped countries have this rating and not us?
as for thinking of the children, fix your own kids before judging others.. stop forcing them to read and believe everything in that thing you call the bible (you know..that book you keep changing.)

Alex

32

Can the ACL make any statement without ending it with "our children"? It's ridiculous! Do they even realise they're doing it anymore?

Gamer Qld

33

everyone who's be sent to trial for child molestation generally starts their defense with that they are a religious person who would never do such a thing, if christian want to protect children they should start by not having any. my father was a very religious man and the number of beating i received as a child was just disgusting. and this was 20yrs ago. also look at the child abduction committed in haiti recently. why is relgion still legal i'll never understand

amused3rdparty

34

You might be interested to note that the Bible is classified M15+ by the OFLC

Go to: http://www.classification.gov.au

Use their search box for 'bible'

Should be about the 5th in the list:

HOLY BIBLE, THE (NEW INTERNATIONAL EDITION)
Classification: Unrestricted (which DOES mean it MUST carry a warning label) Mature - Not recommended for readers under the age of 15

Incidentally my reading of the law is (i'm not a lawyer) that if a product is likely to be found offensive it MUST be submitted for classification before being sold. Note that only this version of the bible has been classified, thus all the other bibles are on-sale ILLEGALLY!!!

Also, when a publication is similar to a previous publication which was classified, this is another reason that it MUST be classified.

Perhaps the christian lobby will shut up about computer games if we point out that under australian law they're

a) committing a crime by not labelling the bible with it's classification
b) committing a crime by not applying for classification of all the other versions the bible which they sell
and
c) are teaching little children in sunday school from a book which has been classified unsuitable for children under the age of 15

Matt

35

The fact that people lump all Christians into one basket and attack them is a joke. I support having an R18+ rating, yet I am a Christian. People are still attacking me because of what I believe, even though I agree with them on this issue.
What the Christian Lobby doesn't remember is that having an MA15+ rating on a game will deceive parents into thinking that it's content is less extreme than an R18+ game, which in Australia just isn't the case.

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