Australian Christian Lobby demands banning of violent videogames

In the wake of the attacks made within Norway during July 2011, the Australian Christian Lobby has called for the banning of videogames, should they contain "gratuitous or excessive" amounts of violence. Their demands have been made after the discovery of the rambling manifesto 2083: The Dawn of European Independence, supposedly written by the suspected perpetrator of the attacks that left over 70 people dead. The absurd manifesto, totaling over 1,500 pages, speaks of how to train in order to fight for "European independence". The suspect in the investigation, Anders Behring Breivik, spoke of the enjoyment he received from videogames, as GamePolitics reports.

Not only did he enjoy videogames, but Breivik wrote in his manifesto that the Call of Duty titles provided an excellent simulator for future attacks, possibly perpetrated by different people. New South Wales politician David Shoebridge believes that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 should have been graded with the R18+ rating in Australia. At present it is graded with the MA15+ rating. With the game releasing in 2009, and Australia having only recently accepted the R18+ rating, Modern Warfare 2 would have been immediately banned from being sold in Australia.

Brendan O'Connor, Minister for Home Affairs,  had this to say about the situation:

"But look, because there is a madman who has done just such atrocities in Norway, I don't think that means that we are going to close down film or the engagement with games. I think it really points to, of course, a person who - clearly there is something wrong with this person to sort of cause such devastation in Norway. But I'm not sure that the argument goes that as a result of watching a game you turn into that type of person. I think there is something clearly intrinsically wrong with him."

Jim Wallace, director of the Australian Christian Lobby, disagreed, and also criticized O'Connor over the remark. Wallace's stance is that if the game is significantly violent to push a few people "over the edge by an obsession with violent games", then the game in question should be banned. Wallace's assessment of the situation was as follows:

"The studied indifference of this killer to the suffering he was inflicting, his obvious dehumanising of his victims and the evil methodical nature of the killings have all the marks of games scenarios. How can we allow the profits of the games industry and selfishness of games libertarians to place our increasingly dysfunctional society at further risk? Even if this prohibition were to save only one tragedy like this each twenty years it would be worth it."

The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), have said that Breivik is the exception when it comes to violent videogames, rather than the rule. The chief executive of the IGEA, Ron Curry, had this to say about the chaos that unfolded in Norway, and the ACL's response:

"I think it's fair to say that in our communities there will always be individuals who will have a predisposition towards violent behaviour, the causes for which fall into a very wide range of factors. To single out a symptom, rather than the underlying cause, does little to understand, or show respect to, the greater tragedy."

Breivik's rampage started in the capital city of Oslo, where a bomb detonated at a key governmental building killed eight people. Two hours later, he was reported to be on the island of Utøya, where he was firing an automatic rifle at youths attending a Labour Party summer camp within the country. He was eventually arrested after having surrendered to the police, and is currently being detained in police custody.

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42 Comments

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You go through the trouble of allowing mature video games.

And now you want them banned again?

Silly Aussie Politicians... just standardize around ESRB ratings and call it a day.

was the oklahoma bomber a doom player by any chance?
btw, the crazy nut that did it had the freaking plan for a decade..

"How can we allow the profits of the games industry and selfishness of games libertarians to place our increasingly dysfunctional society at further risk?"

So again, a politician wants to soothe the symptom, not cure the ill...why do we have politicians again?

Did that 'Australian Christian Lobby' write a report or something. If it's available anywhere, I'd like to print it and wipe my ass with it.

AllMac said,
Did that 'Australian Christian Lobby' write a report or something. If it's available anywhere, I'd like to print it and wipe my ass with it.

no clue but until then, you can allways use the quoted words and print it on toilet paper

The "silent" majority (christians or any another religion) should be more vocal and not let fanatical minorities take the monopoly on public matters like this.

OK, then. If we're going to do this, then we better be fair and ban violence in other storytelling mediums like films and books. Oh. You don't want to do that?

I'm a passionate church-going believer myself, and even I think this is ridiculous.

Meph said,
OK, then. If we're going to do this, then we better be fair and ban violence in other storytelling mediums like films and books. Oh. You don't want to do that?

I'm a passionate church-going believer myself, and even I think this is ridiculous.

They couldn't do that, then the bible would be recalled, no?

Guys, this is the Australian Christian Lobby. We should do what they ask since it is what Christ our saviour would have wanted.

/s

So retarded! Embarrased to see the word Australian associated with this article.

This is kind of ridiculous. It's not like the game itself caused this incident (games do not cause fear of islamists, which is the root cause), from his manifesto it's obvious that it was just a means to simulate the attack before executing it. And don't they realize that a person who intends to commit such an act, and wants to use video games for preparation it, will have no issue getting their hands on a copy?

Open Minded said,
Nice to see the religion hate going on in here. Can I paint other groups with a broad brush as well? Or is that not cool?
In fairness, isn't that what this religious group is doing? Because of one man's actions, all violent video games should be banned? Let's just forget about the other millions of gamers who are perfectly normal, functioning members of society...

Just after the R18 approval starts rolling forward this happens

Lets hope that as MW2 was M15+ it wont put the breaks on this...

This couldn't have been a worse time for Australia. Seriously, I wish NSW just voted yes to the R18 gamer laws. FFS.

I hate these idiot religious minorities. Bugger off and try and ruin some other country with your stupid ideas.

I think we should ban all religious material for the exact same reason. There's far too much violence in those books. Have you read about what God did to everyone except for Noah and his family?! Grotesque.

Chaos at Dawn said,
I really dislike christians, I spoke to Jesus the other night and he said he loved Red Dead.
I spoke to him too. He said that he used to love TF2, but he got annoyed at it since it always took him three days to respawn. >.<

Chaos at Dawn said,
I really dislike christians, I spoke to Jesus the other night and he said he loved Red Dead.
Don't judge all Christians based on what a few say and do. It's not like the Christian Lobby speaks on behalf of all of us.

Callum said,
Do they? Well I demand they stop trying to prevent us from having fun simply because of a few nutters.

RELIGIOUS nutters, mind you. They are clearly trying to draw attention away from yet another right-wing fundamentalist "crusader" by blaming the games.

The truth is that he's profoundly mentally ill. I was worried he was a bit old for paranoid schizophrenia, but then we just learned he's been down this path for a decade. So that's a perfect fit with symptoms, time of onset, etc.

As long as the free world lets the MENTALLY ILL fall through the healthcare cracks and then get access to military grade weapons, we're going to see atrocities like this.

This is their Virginia Tech (or that nut who shot up Giffords, etc.).

My condolences to everyone in Norway who lost a loved one.

7Dash8 said,
Gamers call for banning of Christian Lobby.

I'm not a gamer, but I'll vote for this.

It fascinates me how the blame for situations like this gets blamed on items/people who are not at fault. Someone please inform these people that wars and killing occurred LONG before there were video games.

asusp5ld2 said,
again australia and their ****ed ideology

Don't for a second believe it's the majority over here who are ****ing crazy.

asusp5ld2 said,
again australia and their ****ed ideology

Again its the Christian Lobby...
The people who want everything their way cuz everyone elses is wrong...

Nashy said,
Don't for a second believe it's the majority over here who are ****ing crazy.

Indeed. The Christian Lobby has a voice entirely disproportionate to the demographic they *actually* represent in Australia - as opposed to the demographic they claim they represent.

This is why Australians (particularly the non-religious) need to be sensible, be honest and really think about what they mark in the religion section when the census comes around this year; so politicians stop granting these fundamentalist nutbags so much eartime.

brent3000 said,

Again its the Christian Lobby...
The people who want everything their way cuz everyone elses is wrong...

Don't for a second believe it's the majority of Christians ****ing crazy.
im Christian and i love my video games, they also dont make me want to go on a killing spree

asusp5ld2 said,
again australia and their ****ed ideology

Because your wild generalisations are so much better..... sigh.
Australia != Australian Christian Lobby

Also for the record, video games don't make you go out and shoot people. Being mentally ill and/or evil makes you go out and shoot people.

asusp5ld2 said,
again australia and their ****ed ideology

Which is what we think about American arguments that go "Guns don't kill people, people kill people". At least we have some rationality. I can't believe how nobody wants to address the real issue here - you're all selfish. You just want to play video games, and you don't care about civil liberties or mass murders or anything. You just want to play video games. And that's fine. But pretending its anything more ends up being really embarrassing for you.

Meanwhile, nearly 100 people have died, and all the internet commentators can offer is a closed eyed 'Not our fault'. Do you not understand that hatred breeds hatred? Violence breeds violence? Was Mario ever held responsible for mass murder? Nope. Just games that specifically allow you kill innocent civilians (MW2). Don't you get it? Is my generation really so lost that they don't realise?