"Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!?!?" - Helen Lovejoy (The Simpsons)
Welcome back folks! I promised to bring something a bit lighter to the table this time, and after reading an article about how one of my all time favourite games (Mortal Kombat) was AGAIN refused classificaion in Australia, I thought I would share with you my thoughts on censorship, how it affects the gaming industry more than anything and how fucked up I truly think the Australian system is.
Now, for the uninitiated, Australia does not have an R18+ classification for video games; anything that doesn't qualify under MA15+ does not get released here.
Now, as a man who loves gaming, as well as loving that we live in a country where you can choose to watch whatever content you want, read whatever content you want and listen to whatever content you want, I find it extremely offensive that the Australian Government and certain other groups of people think they can tell Aussie adults (NOT kids, ADULTS) what they can play. The average age for a gamer is actually 32 years old (http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/games/average-age-of-gamers-continues-to-rise-20111019-1m6ns.html, and there are others)
Now I can hear all the close minded fools calling out already:
- "Children will get to a copy of these games and play them".
- "Their friends are playing them so it's too hard to stop them".
- "I don't want my kids to be able to play these games"
I'm sure there are plenty more. Firstly, with MA15+ being the highest rating available, games like Grand Theft Auto are more easily accessible than if there was an R18+ rating! Not having the R18+ rating doesn't stop the games being made, but it will definitely make it harder for kids to get them. This would make it ILLEGAL for stores to sell kids these items. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Also, parents would think twice before buying games for their teens if it had an R18+ rating on it. You wouldn't hire them an R18+ rated movie, would you?
However, the biggest kick in the nuts here is that all these people blame video games for shit that their kids do.
- "Oh, my son played Grand Theft Auto for 3 weeks straight. After this, he stole a car and ran over a bunch of people. If that game didn't exist, then he wouldn't have done that. The game made him do it"
- My child played Call of Duty all the time. Then they snapped and shot a bunch of people at their school"
BULLSHIT! If anyone can play a video game and then think that reenacting what was in it is a good idea, then they have other issues to address, not gaming!
It's amazing how you can hire a movie like Saving Private Ryan, let your kids watch it (teens I imagine) and say that's fine. If a person went psycho after watching that and shot some people, you woudn't hear them all say that Tom Hanks should be banned, or that that movie made them do it.
This is where the parents need to step in. Do you let your underage kids drink alcohol? NO! Do you let them smoke? NO! So why the hell are you letting them play games that you actually don't approve of? Why aren't you monitoring their purchases when they spend their money? Why aren't you simply just PARENTING instead of looking for something to blame for your kids' mental instabilities, serial killer tendencies and immaturity?
Here's another thought; how about educating your kids on how the game is NOT reality? How about teaching them that human life is precious and not something to be played with? How about teaching them that it's just a game that they're playing and that it has no real application or meaning in the real world?
Honestly, these parents need to stop blaming the government, game makers and everyone else and do you own parenting! For crying out loud, supervise them, educate them and when they do stupid shit, discipline them. Don't blame video games for your bad parenting.
Well, sorry for the short, rushed post. I'm off to Queensland in about 3 hours for a long awaited holiday. I'll be back in about a week with another post. In the meantime, be good or at least be good at it.