Dear Mr Atkinson,
I take this opportunity to express my disappointment in your position against implementing an R18+ video game classification in Australia, and the fact that you are appealing the classification of Modern Warfare 2. As a media practitioner and video game enthusiast, I believe that the addition of an R18+ classification will in fact be an informative and practical safeguard for our children as opposed to an excuse to let more violent and/or sexually explicit material be placed on our store shelves. More importantly, I speak as a mature gamer (who accounts for the majority of the gaming population) who would prefer the choice whether or not to play adult games the same way as adults decide whether or not to watch violent or sexually explicit movies.
Foremost, I find it personally and professionally insulting that you have suggested that the banning of high-impact games is the same as banning child pornography in an interview you had with GameSpot. Child pornography is a grotesque crime in which children are victimised in its production, video games however have no such victims involved in their production or distribution. It is clear from this point alone that you are not in touch with the gravity of these issues, and to use it to form part of your argument is in the very least inappropriate.
I understand that there is still ongoing but inconclusive research both for and against your argument that high-impact media have direct effect on children and vulnerable adults, so I prefer not to bring this into my argument except to communicate to you that Craig Anderson's research does not represent that of the wider scientific community.
Examples such as Halo 3, The Witcher, Dead Rising and now Modern Warfare 2 have seen many un-edited games rated 18+ in foreign countries being given M15+ classifications in Australia. This proves that you (and your associates') stance on stubbornly refusing R18+ classification has potentially exposed our minors to content considered adult by the international community as you predicted would happen.
I do not deny that your veto has produced your desired result of forcing several games to be edited before being allowed classification in Australia, but the previous examples show how your policy has also resulted in undesirable results, the last of which is Modern Warfare 2: a best-seller that is already being played by thousands of Australians under 18 years old. If an R18+ classification had existed, Modern Warfare 2 would easily have been pushed into this restricted rating, forcing parents to rethink purchasing this game for their children.
Hopefully my words contribute to the Australian introduction of an R18+ video classification in the near future for the benefit of the wider community, not just the gamers.