Thursday, 4 March 2010

Back to the video games...

It's no longer 1:30am, so I'm back.

I was discussing this article from The Age about the submissions taken to review an R18+ classification for video games in Australia. In it, the Australian Christian Lobby threw a fit because the number of pro-R18+ responses vastly outweighed the number of negative-18+ submissions.

The Christian lobby group used its submission to argue that there is good reason for stricter rules to apply to interactive games than films and DVDs.

See, this is all well and good. Except at the moment, there are not stricter rules. There are no rules at all, you see - anything that is only suitable for legal adults is banned outright. We are the only western nation that does this - and the same applies to books and movies (and very soon, the internet). I still am yet to hear a good explanation as to why.

Censorship is a totalitarian idea. I know that 'totalitarian' is one of those words that tends to make people roll their eyes ('He's talking about totalitarianism? They're just video games for christ's sake!), but there's no other description for it. When the government steps in to control what is and is not appropriate for you to watch, play or read, you surrender your right to that control. You may not care about video games per se, but what happens when it's something else in the sights of censorship? When they come to take away your DVDs because theyre too violent, or your zines because they're too politically incorrect, or your bibles because they're too ... well, not much better than porn? Then youre stuck, because you already let them take the video games. And the internet.

Nobody has answered this to my satisfaction when it comes to the censorship debate:

I live in a household that contains three adults: 24 years old each, two male, one female. We have a wide spread of political and philosophical viewpoints. None of us are offended by graphic video game violence, swearing or sexual content.

For what reason are we banned from owning content that has been rated as appropriate for us? Why is it forbidden us?

We can only hope that this does not remain the case for long.

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