Michael Atkinson – Mr Anti-Bean

A bit late tonight as I was out seeing “The Blind Side” with the missus. It’s actually not a bad film at all so consider putting it on your shortlist when you next go to the cinema! Since we went to Gold Class, there weren’t enough ads to squeeze out a quick entry putting aside the fact my 3G reception was terrible and my battery was well on the way to zero.

Attorney-General Michael Atkinson is at it again after it has been revealed that he has funded a group (to the tune of $33,000) called the “Australia Council on Children and the Media” trading under the name of “Young Media Australia”. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this group believes that there is a link between violent games and youth violence as it matches the stance that Atkinson currently has against introducing the R18+ rating for video games in Australia.

Psychologist Dr Wayne Warburton said that violence in video games have an effect “much greater than the effect of smoking on lung cancer“. That’s all well and good but let’s put this in perspective – this “council” are saying “Charlotte’s Web” with a G rating is unsuitable for children to watch unattended.

It’s a film with talking animals people. Is there something wrong with Hi-5 perhaps?

No wonder screwed up children become screwed up adults because they aren’t allowed to experience loss, they are wrapped up in cotton wool and shielded from the harsh reality of which one day they will need to become a part.

News Article Poll

News Article Poll

It seems that a lot of people so far tend to agree that video games don’t cause violent behaviour. What do you think might trigger people to lose the plot if video games aren’t the root cause?


1 ping

    • Cam Davidson on March 6, 2010 at 01:17
    • Reply

    As a quasi-psychologist and educator it’s not necessarily the content of the games per se, but the effect they have on the social development of youth.

    I’m loathe to use the phrase ‘in our day’, but we never spent hours on end playing games that encouraged us to ‘virtually’ break the law, cause mayhem and distruction and engage in anti-social behaviour.

    It’s not the games that cause the behaviour, but it’s more than likely a side effect of the lack of real relationships, social interaction, and most certainly a prevailing attitude that kids should just be kids. Not so long ago, parents let their children climb trees and explore the great outdoors, because they knew that if an unfortunate accident occured, the kids would learn to be more careful, and appreciate the need for caution.

    Now it appears parents are happy for their children to engage in risk-taking behaviour in a digital sense, with no consequences. Imagine if, every time you were killed in Call Of Duty (or similar) you didn’t respawn for an hour. Not only would kids get bored extremely quickly, but they’d take a whole lot more care in their game playing.

    I enjoy video games as much as the next 20-something, and no I don’t belive they cause violence, because correlation rarely implies causation.

    They are certainly a contributing factor to anti-social behaviour, but I suspect there are a number of other factors at play relating to this parental mentality and acceptance of using the television/PS3/Xbox as a cheap and enduring babysitter.

  1. @Cam Davidson
    Well put, Cameron!

    I guess gaming has moved on from the 80s where games with low resolution and low levels of realism were not as an attractive target for these groups. Video games were very much in the doldrums after the market crashed around 1983.

    I’m not sure that since the market picked up after the crash that parents were happy to let their kids sit in front of the idiot box with or without a games console attached. I’m sure that someone could argue that an interactive experience comprised of non-consequential actions such as video may have more of an effect than non-interactive experiences such as films but the extent of that impact is uncertain in my mind.

    I do believe that anti-social behaviour is certainly more prevalent today than it was when we were growing up but I also believe that society has become increasingly accepting of the gradually degrading level of behaviour people display in public.

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