A public demonstration against the lack of an R18+ rating in Australia, which featured marchers dressed as zombies, went off without a hitch—but with plenty of lurching—in Sydney over the weekend.
Rhys Wilson, head of the group Aus Gamers Limited which organized the protest, wrote on Facebook, I want to thank each and every one of you guys for making yesterday easily one of the best days of my life. I haven't heard any complaints from
anyone, and I'm more than happy to do this again later in the year, assuming I'm not killed in a freak manure truck accident.
IT Wire estimated the crowd of gathered ghouls at between 500 and 600 strong, easily surpassing a November 2009 similarly-themed march, which drew around 175 participants.
The Obama administration has questioned the Rudd government's plan to introduce an internet filter, saying it runs contrary to the US's foreign policy of encouraging an open internet to spread economic growth and global security.
Officials from the State Department have raised the issue with Australian counterparts as the US mounts a diplomatic assault on internet censorship by governments worldwide.
The news is a blow to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, who is defending the plan for internet companies to mandatorily block swathes of websites.
That the US government joins a widening coalition of agencies with concerns about the plan is sure to turn up the political heat on Senator Conroy.
Responding to questions about the filter, commentary website The Punch reports today that US State Department spokesman Noel Clay has raised concerns on the filter plan: The US and Australia are close partners on issues related to cyber
matters generally, including national security and economic issues . We do not discuss the details of specific diplomatic exchanges, but can say that in the context of that ongoing relationship, we have raised our concerns on this matter
with Australian officials.
Despite winning his election (Gamers 4 Croydon only gained about 1% of the vote), Michael Atkinson has decided that amount of trouble his position has brought him isn't worth the effort anymore - and it's not just the R18+ debacle that has
brought him down. He's also had trouble trying to bring in a law that would censor people from using Fake names online. That one backfired when his example of a Liberal sock puppet turned out to be a real person living in his constituency.
So while G4C may not have won their seat, they still seemed to have managed to achieve one of their aims. Let's hope the new Attorney General sees reason and the R18 debate can be put to rest.
Pre-election, Atkinson claimed that no one cared about the lack of an R18+ rating in Australia other than gamers and also predicted that the Gamer4Croydon party would struggle to receive one percent of the votes.
Well, in Croydon, according to ABC.net election data, Gamers4Croydon's candidate against Atkinson, Kat Nicholson, managed to achieve 3.7% of the vote, assisting in eating away at 14.4% of Atkinson's vote from the previous election. Despite that
erosion, Atkinson still won rather easily however, garnering 52.7% of the vote. Nicholson came in fifth out of seven candidates in the Croydon suburb, besting candidates from the Family First Party and Australian Democratic Party.
In a post on the G4C website entitled Here's Your 1%, President Chris Prior expressed pride at what the upstart party accomplished:
With so very little to work with, we have contributed to two other incumbents losing their seats, and all of our lower house candidates polled higher than the 1% we apparently wouldn't get. In the upper house, we outpolled
the majority of groups, including a significant number with more resources, more experience, and much more time.