For release: Monday July 25, 2011

The Australian Christian Lobby voices disappointment at the Minister of Home Affairs statement on video games and violence which clearly stands in the contradiction of academic opinion, research and now tragic experience.

 ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace said Minister Brendan O'Connor statement to ABC TV yesterday would be concerning to Australians:

"Because a madman who has done just such atrocities in Norway, I don’t think means that we are going to close down film or the engagement with games."

"Every Australian expects its government to serve in their best interests and in the common good", said Mr Wallace.

"If there are even a few deranged minds that can be taken over the edge by an obsession with violent games it is in every Australians interest that we ban them.

"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.

"I have said before that as the commander of SAS, responsible to train people to kill, I would never use these games because they show no controlled use of force and no mercy. Even though the people I trained were psychologically screened and a select few.

"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 ACL had cautiously welcomed the SCAG approval of R18+ classification only because indications were that the system would be structured to ensure no more latitude to introduce more violent games into Australia and that it would continue to acknowledge the greater impact of games.

"But this tragic incident should galvanise everyone to ensure these principles are adhered to.  Governments are not elected to live in denial, particularly of facts so tragically proven.

"It’s important to act rationally in light of the circumstances, and the Australian Law Reform Commission has an opportunity to do that in the upcoming classification review," Mr Wallace said.