Atkinson’s Latest Gaffe
Over at Kotaku we have everybody’s favourite politician, Michael Atkinson, not responding to a series of questions posed to him (in writing). In amongst the other gems, is this unbelievable piece of nonsense.
In cinemas, the age of moviegoers can be regulated and at the video store people must provide ID to hire R18+ videos. Once electronic games are in the home, access to them cannot be policed and the games are easily accessible to children. These days, older children (18-30) are often living in the family home with younger children (under 18). This means games belonging to older children or parents can easily make their way into the hands of those under 18.
This goes beyond Clive Hamilton’s wrongness. In the words of Pauli, it’s “not even wrong”. There is no comparison to be made. I can’t fathom this argument because I can’t see whom it is supposed to convince. Surely Atkinson is smart enough to see that the comparison is invalid; he was smart enough to get a law degree, after all (some might even argue that he was smart enough never to practice, either). Yet his comparison of requiring ID to purchase/view said product, versus it already being in the home? Come on, Atkinson, give us a little credit.
Of course, Atkinson also goes on to spout the unsupported nonsense of games being more dangerous because they are interactive, ignoring the mounting evidence that, in some cases at least, the opposite is true: children denied access to the games of their peers tend to act out in socially inappropriate ways more frequently than children who have access.
As with everyone’s other favourite politician, Senator Stephen Conroy, we are subjected to a series of unsupported statistics and ambiguous phrases (“vulnerable adults”?) which both men steadfastly refuse to support or define respectively.
Atkinson (and Conroy) are playing the game we see so often in creationist arguments: any evidence contrary to their position is rebutted with a loud “LA LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU LA LA LA LA LA LA” with fingers well and truly entrenched in ears.