Australia's Atkinson defends Aliens Vs Predator decision

Gamers "trying to impose their will on society" says Attorney General

By Matt Martin.Published Friday 11th December 2009, 12:57pm GMT

Michael Atkinson, Australia's controversial Attorney General, has defended the decision to refuse classification to Sega and Rebellion's Aliens vs. Predator, claiming that: "You donít need to be playing a game in which you impale, decapitate and dismember people."

Speaking on an ABC News piece, Atkinson again defended the fact that Australia has no 18+ or mature rated classification for videogames.

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"This is a question of a small number of very zealous gamers trying to impose their will on society. And I think harm society. Itís the public interest versus the small vested interest," he said.

"I accept that 98 per cent, 99 per cent of gamers will tell the difference between fantasy and reality, but the 1 per cent to 2 per cent could go on to be motivated by these games to commit horrible acts of violence," he added.

Because of the lack of an 18+ rating many games either have to be censored in order to be legally released in Australia, as happened with Left 4 Dead 2, or become effectively banned. The latter is currently the situation with Aliens vs. Predator, after Rebellion insisted they would not edit the game to gain a 15+ age rating.

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The ABC News feature also includes comments from Australia's IGEA (Interactive Games and Entertainment Association) CEO Ron Curry, who stated that: "It doesnít seem democratic that a single Attorney General should be able to dictate what the vast Australian population can interact with."

"The government trusts us to be adults with films, but they only want us to be children with games," he added.

Read article on GamesIndustry.biz