An Open Letter to Michael Atkinson, MP

Dear Mr Atkinson,

Re your position on R18+ classification for video games

Congratulations to you, sir, on your ability to stand tall and maintain moral righteousness in the face of such overwhelming opposition. A lesser man might have caved, but you have stood tall, and will brook no discussion on the matter. I must say that I am disappointed, however. While your opposition to these morally corrupting games is well and good, I do not think you have gone far enough. I think there is so much more you can accomplish with this stand than preventing a few video games falling into the hands of minors.

There exists a bane on our society far darker and more sinister than anything which has crept up from the murky depths of American McGee’s imagination. The very fact that people are out there in these machines amongst thousands of others, rather than in the safety of their own homes, is nothing short of a recipe for disaster. Day after day we hear reports of otherwise preventable tragedies. I believe, and I am sure you will concur, the only logical solution is to remove people’s access to these instruments of destruction.

I am, of course, referring to Motorised Vehicular Transportation Units, referred to in the vernacular as ‘cars’. Consider: as of 2005, every year since 1935, over 1000 people have died in Australia in fatal car crashes. To date, there have been 0 reported cases of death resulting (either directly or indirectly) from the use of video games anywhere in the world. Over 70,000 people (in Australia). Versus 0 (in the world). This suggests to me that driving is a far more dangerous pastime than gaming.

Any person over the age of 16 can gain access to a motor vehicle in Australia. The measures in place to protect them from this seductive evil are far too easy to circumvent; indeed, one can obtain a manual on how to do so from the police themselves. Those very same who have sworn to protect us and uphold our society! Add to this that there have been reports of children as young as 12 stealing vehicles and using them illegally, all too often with the end result of wanton violence and destruction of property. Many people, otherwise upstanding citizens, behave irrationally and sometimes dangerously as a direct result of operating these monstrosities.

There is only one solution, as I am sure you will agree. We must ban all cars from our roads; indeed, from our country. On the surface, this would appear to be an impractical option, but I believe we can make it work. Naturally, banning all vehicles would be ineffectual; we will still need some Government-controlled vehicles to transport the thousands of people (that’s just in Adelaide) who may potentially be incapable of behaving rationally when behind the wheel themselves. These vehicles must be commandeered back from the private sector. Furthermore, the rigours of operating these vehicles on a daily basis will necessitate the formation and training of a highly elite group who will have to maintain anonymity in their daily lives for fear of abduction and torture to gain their secrets or the retribution of the mob. Alternatively, we could use the SAS. Of course, these vehicles will need to be larger and more frequent than the current public transport infrastructure provides, in order to cope with the rapid increase in numbers, but I think that with careful planning and a will to strive it can be done.

Naturally, we would also have to halt all production of all vehicles within Australia, lest someone be tempted to use one or figure out how these devil-inspired contraptions work and build one for himself. A small core of highly-trained professionals, hand-picked by the Government, could be sworn in to the solemn duty of maintaining those vehicles which will be a necessary bane to our otherwise Utopian society. (You will already have realised that this group must be kept separate at all times from the first group, so that no single man may have all the details he needs to create and operate a monstrosity of his own. While we are at it, we should destroy all reference works which would allow people to gain an understanding of these machines; all authorised material would be accessible only to the second group, and only under supervised conditions, and will need to be guarded by a third group, who will, of course, be forbidden to read the material they guard so diligently. Maybe we should use the SAS for this part instead. We can work out the details later; what is important is that we have a plan.)

The moderates and civil libertarians will no doubt take issue with such a bold and forthright decision on your part, and I urge you to stand firm in your resolve. If you must appease them, however, perhaps you could, rather than banning all vehicles outright, compromise and allow those vehicles which are suitable for persons of all ages. Personally, I miss my tricycle, although I do feel that my parents were lax in ensuring I had an adequate level of protective clothing at all times, particularly at my tender age. I think Government intervention will be necessary to prevent such passive child abuse, should you choose this watered-down approach. Once, I fell off my bike and hurt my knee. I was afraid to get back on it for months. I hold my parents directly responsible for the pain and fear that resulted from this accident. If only you had been there, to prevent them from allowing me to ride at all, this all-too-common injury might have been prevented. I await eagerly the day that you, along with your Federal compatriots, can return all of Australia to such innocent days under your watchful, protective eye.

Mr Atkinson, I believe I have shown beyond any reasonable doubt that cars are dangerous and pose a threat to the moral fabric of our society. They have been used illegally; they have been used by people in the act of committing violent crimes; they have been used by underage persons in direct contravention of all laws; parents continually leave the means to operate these death-machines within easy reach of even small children without a second thought; perhaps worst of all, they are known to cause otherwise rational people to behave in bizarre and dangerous ways. People die (and kill) because we let them have cars. How long can you let this continue?

So, the rest of the world may laugh. What of it? We are bigger men than that! Their laughter will only strengthen our resolve.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Redmond

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~ by MattR on November 16, 2008.

3 Responses to “An Open Letter to Michael Atkinson, MP”

  1. Coodos to you Matt!

    Well written, should send it in.

  2. Thanks. It has been sent (posted, ye olde-fashioned way; not just email). As yet, I have not heard from Mr Atkinson. As a post script in the letter to him I advised him that it had been published as an open letter and would post his reply in full (with his permission of course). Sadly, nothing has been forthcoming. Any reply will be posted as soon as I receive it.

  3. […] OFLC generally does a pretty good job (although the lack of an R18+ classification for games — thanks, Atkinson — severely hampers their efforts) but it still makes judgments which may be out of touch with the […]

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