Okay, I know South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson doesn’t like video games and is the main opposition to the introduction of an R18+ rating for games, even though evidence would say that the people of Australia want this rating (you are still an elected representative of the people aren’t you Mr. Atkinson?). But this article on news.com.au says that he donated thousands of dollars (I really hope they were not public funds Mr. Atkinson) to a group that says that video games are a more serious threat than lung cancer. Get real.
To quote the news.com.au story:
A GROUP that says video games and violence are like smoking and lung cancer has received tens of thousands of dollars in funding from politician and outspoken R18+ game critic Michael Atkinson.
An expert from the Australian Council on Children and the Media this week told a TV news program the link between violent games and youth violence was stronger than tobacco and cancer.
“It’s much greater than the effect of smoking on lung cancer,” psychologist Dr Wayne Warburton said.
A ‘much great effect than the effect of smoking on lung cancer’. Wow, I am speechless. Actually I am not. Michael Atkinson, shame on you. You have now poured a reported $33,000 in donations into a group called ‘Know Before You Go’, a service that offers parents advice on films even after the films have been rated. as an example, the film ‘Charlotte’s Web’ was rated G and deemed suitable for all audiences. Know Before You Go says the film should not be watched by under eights alone as it has disturbing scenes. This in of itself not a bad thing. The ratings on films are often vague and this will help a parent know if there is anything in particular to watch out for.
I do worry when you dig a little deeper and find out that Know Before You Go is project of The Australian Council on Children and the Media which is a non-profit organisation that also trades under the name ‘Young Media Australia’, a group that has received funding from the Federal Government in the past. The Council’s purpose is to advise parents and members of the government on the harmful effects of media on young children. This is starting to sound dangerously Orwellean to me, but it gets better.
The Council has another project going called ‘Choosing Fright-Free Fight-Free Viewing: An Intervention for Parents of Under Sevens’ (I kid you not) which actually warned parents about the show Bananas in Pyjamas because it contained slapstick comedy and that could be dangerous. Stop laughing, I’m being serious here. Let me let their own booklet explain, ‘Slapstick comedy can make them think that things don’t actually hurt when in real life they do.’ I said stop laughing, this is serious stuff. And a fine example of your tax dollars at work. Cue my usual call at this point, where the hell are the parents to to explain this to their kids. It is not a council or the government’s responsibility to raise and explain right and wrong behaviour to your kids. If you are incapable of telling your kids that hitting each other might hurt someone then you shouldn’t have had kids.
These people are being funded by the Federal Government and private donations from people like Michael Atkinson. It also seems that the original comment on video games (you know, the one about lung cancer that started this whole rant) seems to originated from the Australian Christian Lobby. Now what a surprise (note sarcasm here)!
Okay, at this point I am going to say to Michael Atkinson, John Howard, George W. Bush, Kevin Rudd, Stephen Conroy, Tony Abbott and any other politician out there who this applies too, there must be a separation of church and state. We pretend that there is but there is not.
The entire population is not Christian so stop shoving your theological crap down our throats. I am a good person, I try not to cause harm to others, I raise my child with a strong ideal of right and wrong and good manners, I am faithful to my wife. I am courteous to others and I don’t drink and I don’t cause fights. In fact I am a very gentle person who doesn’t believe that violence solves anything. However I am not Christian and I do play violent video games. I love a good hard R horror movie once in a while and I watch hardcore porn. I don’t want my internet filtered, not because I support child porn, but because I believe in freedom of speech and I like my internet fast. I support the R18+ rating on games, not because I want to show my 10 year old the RC games, but because I want to play the games that the government has blocked in the past and I don’t want my 10 year old son to be able to buy them. I support gay marriage because everyone deserves to be happy and no Christian has ever been able to answer one fundamental question, how does the union of two men or two women affect my heterosexual marriage? This is a question that has only one answer, it doesn’t.
In Australia we have mandatory scripture classes in public school. For one hour every week the children are segregated into their little groups and told about their various gods. My son goes with the non-scripture kids and watches a movie or plays a game or reads a book. For one hour each week we have unqualified people (that’s right, they are volunteers from the community, not qualified teachers) come into the school to teach our children about something that is suppose to be taught at home. This is a secular public school (remember the church and state thing) funded by tax payer dollars and once a week we get all the kids to look at each other and point out that they are different. You don’t think there is a problem with this? My son came out of non-scripture and a Catholic boy looked at him, saw that he came out of non-scripture and said “you’re going to hell because you don’t believe in god”. I believe that that is more harmful to a 10 year old than Bananas in Pyjamas. Scripture is a personal and family belief system. You go to church to learn about your god and practice at home, keep it out of the public school system. If you want scripture taught to your child, send them to a private religious school.
At this point I have lost many Christian readers and listeners to my podcast, and quite frankly I don’t care. But for those that are still around, I don’t care what your belief in god is, just keep it to yourself and don’t try to force your ideals or faith on me or society, we are not buying today thank you.
Let’s put the Christian moral hammer down now and approach the debates of the Internet Censorship Filter, The introduction of an R18+ rating for games and the re-introduction of the X18+ rating for movies with a logical and theological free mind. I think we might get more achieved if you keep your god out of it or we might have to bring up a few of your little mistakes like The Inquisition or those pesky Crusades.
I have my asbestos underwear on, let the flaming begin.