Group Claiming Games Are Worse Than Smoking Gets Funding From Atkinson

Earlier this week, psychologist Dr Wayne Warburton - representing an organisation known as the Australian Council on Children and the Media - claimed on Channel 10 news that the link between playing video games violence is much stronger than the link between smoking and lung cancer. It turns out that particular organisation receives funding from a certain Attorney General who goes by the name of Michael Atkinson.

Andrew Ramadge over at has discovered that the group, which trades under the name Young Media Australia, receives an annual grant from the South Australian Attorney General. The money is used to fund a program called "Know before you go", which offers information to parents about films suitable for children. The News article states that the grant has been valued at $33,000.

Aside from the question marks surrounding Atkinson's funding of a group whose anti-videogame stance is as obvious as his own is the fact that his donations go to a project that believes the current system isn't up to scratch. Surely the Senator knows that making sure the classifications system is up to scratch is part of his job?

The News article is a must-read. Click through below.


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    Why am I not surprised that this misguided, corrupt AG is flexing his muscle and propogating this kind of misleading rubbish, that gets broadcasted around the country at a time when the gaming community wants nothing more than a simple yes from Atkinson for a R18+ rating for games.

    I think we need to pull a Jack Thompson on him.

    actually that video was rather positive. the actual suggestion made by the guy was simply "we want to give parents all the information they need to PARENT THEIR CHILDREN PROPERLY".

    and at the end it says "tougher classifications for video games" will be top of the agenda, that says to me they are going to create an R rating and put more of the M15+ stuff in it.

    so good work their Atkinson, you may have just put into motion your very undoing, you idiot.

    In fairness though, while his respect for the democracy clearly is lacking, he does seem to have genuine concern for the children, and if the funding is indeed for what they say, then fair enough, its all about information, not about deciding for them.

    The worst thing about this is Craig Anderson’s research doesn’t even conclude the claims they’re spouting!

    Nowhere in any of the studies he has done has he claimed that the correllation between videogames and violence is the same as scientists have found between passive smoking and lung cancer.

    What he has said is this:
    The medical research community knew that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer long before the general public came to hold such beliefs… The tobacco industry was quite effective keeping the public confused regarding the true causal effect of tobacco on lung cancer. Among other tactics, they promoted “experts” who claimed that the research was badly done, or was inconsistent, or was largely irrelevant… The media industries have been doing much the same thing, seeking out, promoting, and supporting “experts” willing to bash media violence research…

    One big difference between the tobacco industry case and the violent media case is that the main sources of information to the public (e.g., TV news shows, newspapers, magazines) are now largely owned by conglomerates that have a vested interest in denying the validity of any research suggesting that there might be harmful effects of repeated exposure to media violence. The tobacco industry certainly had some influence on the media, because of their advertising revenues, but the violent media industries are essentially a part of the same companies that own and control the news media. Thus, it is likely to be much more difficult for the general public to get an accurate portrayal of the scientific state of knowledge about media violence effects than it was to get an accurate portrayal of the tobacco/lung cancer state of scientific knowledge. Given that it took 30-some years for the public to learn and accept the tobacco/lung cancer findings, it seems unlikely that we’ll soon see a major shift in the public’s understanding of media violence effects.

    Which is hardly scientific investigation.

    Holy crap. Yet another reason for Atkinson to be asked to resign as A-G, even if he retains his seat. He has a personal agenda in all this, and is definitely NOT representing his constituents or the residents of SA.

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