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LONG BLOG

Australian government at war with Destructoid values?

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If the Australian government knew about this man, they'd have him hunted down. Pray that never happens.

Hey all,
While a lot of the facts that I will rant about in this write-up are nothing new I feel I must vent and bring attention to what the Australian government is doing and how it appears to me to be a direct assault on Destructoid values, and unlike other anti-game crusades this is a war on two fronts.

D-toid value under fire #1 – STFUAJPG!
As many of you may know when it comes to our wish to just chill out and enjoy games for what they are, games, us gamers often get the short end of the stick from parents, family groups, the government and basically anybody who is in a position of authority that just doesn’t ‘get’ video games.

And as a lot of you may also know, Europeans and Australians often receive the ill side-effects of the authorities’ ignorance and fear-mongering with an extra teaspoon of poison to swallow.

Here in Australia politicians so often take the easy ticket to boost their public opinion rating by tending to the fears of panicky, ignorant parents by making public examples out of the vile and evil video games trying to cross our borders and turn our children into mindless blood-thirsty rapists and/or serial killers. These acts of throwing fish to the seals have often caused many decent (and some pretty average, but that’s not the point) games to be protested against, toned down to ridiculous levels, or just plain banned outright.

In fact the ignorance levels here towards video games are so outrageous that games still have not been able to receive an R-18 rating despite many legitimate studies showing that the majority of game players are adults.

So I’m sure you all already knew the fact that the Australian government hates video games, but sadly the politicians’ need to appease the voting masses who have forgotten what the term ‘personal responsibility’ means has them setting their crosshairs on a new social evil.

Ladies and gentlemen I introduce you to the Australian government’s newest scapegoat and news headline flavor of the month: Alcohol.


D-toid value under fire #2 – Look, I drink.
Many Australians already know what I’m talking about here, over the last month or so the Government has been on a mad crusade to end the evils of ‘Binge Drinking’ by making quick fixes and putting political band-aids everywhere, making our lives harder even encroaching on our personal freedoms and rights.

Now even though I love a good drink now and then I understand that abusing it can cause serious problems for many people and even ruin lives. I don’t deny that for some people alcohol IS an evil, and those people who are struggling need genuine help and support.

But the government’s measures to attack this problem are obvious quick-fixes that are flawed, are poorly executed, and do very little to fix the real problem at hand.

The latest quick-fix we are preparing to deal with is the Melbourne Lockout proposal. Last month we found out that the Melbourne state government is introducing from the 3rd of June a three month trial of an imposed lockout of any Melbourne city bar from 2am onwards. Meaning that if you are out somewhere for drinks in Melbourne and it hits 2am you better stay the hell inside that bar unless you want to be sent home. You will not be allowed to enter any venue after 2am even if you were previously in that venue that night (yup, even if you paid to get in too.).

I can go on about how this decision is basically putting a choke-hold on Melbourne’s city night-life (which mind you is probably one of Melbourne’s biggest draw cards) or how it will kill many small bars and cut many other bar workers’ wages down significantly or even how it does very little to actually solve the proposed problem of having too many people out in the streets at night causing fights. (so… the best way to stop drunk people fighting on the street is to have them all out after 2am, drunk and angry that they can’t get back into a bar? Smart move, Mr. Government)

I could focus on those facts, but instead I’ll just focus on the simple fact that this lockout is a restriction on our basic rights, many city bars operate past 2am and this shows that there are a lot of people that enjoy spending time in the city past that time, whether to drink or socialize or both. Yet the government thinks that since there are some fights in the city caused by a small amount of violent assholes out there that we all have to suffer. (Note: The Age reported that since 2004 violence in Melbourne has been on a continual decrease and is still getting lower despite more people going out at night)

Luckily this lockout can be fought against, Melbourne D-Toiders and basically anyone who enjoys going out in Melbourne can visit http://www.melbournelockedout.com/ for all the details that I failed to mention, and those who are free this afternoon can attend a protest in front of Parliament house in the CBD at 5pm. There is also a simultaneous Adelaide protest at 4pm at Victoria square if you want to show your disapproval of the Lockout.


Now I don’t complain much but I am sick of tired of the government deciding what video games I can and can’t play and when I can and can’t socially drink. I am an adult and I should have the freedom and personal responsibility to make these choices for myself, as we all should. Once a newspaper columnist referred to Victoria as the ‘Nanny State’, where the government is always watching over us, deciding for us what’s good and bad because we seem to be too stupid to decide that for ourselves, and right now that title couldn’t be more true. All of these measures that the government has taken have been done with very little thought and with little to no discussion with the people that these changes actually affect the most.

Sadly apart from the Lockout protests there is not much that can be done to change the government’s methods of doing whatever it can to please those who complain and shift blame, all we can do is hold on, wait out the media storm and wait until the media and the government find a new scapegoat to chase down and blame for making society so terrible.

But there is one thing that myself and all other Aussie D-Toiders can proudly proclaim that gives us a small hope for a better future for gamers;

'Look, I drink, I play violent video games.... and I vote.'

Cheers.

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About Puppy Licksone of us since 9:13 PM on 12.18.2007

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