Christians and Pornographers team up to fight the violent video game menace

It’s a beautiful thing when two disparate groups can set aside their differences to come together in a joyous union resulting in a deeper understanding of one another’s viewpoints.  That is, it’s a beautiful thing when unlikely pairings occur not simply to ignorantly attack games, and by extension the freedom that comes with being an adult.

In Australia a debate is currently occurring over whether a new rating for violent videogames should exist, that rating being R18+.  At the moment, the highest level of classification in Australia is MA15+ and anything exceeding that rating is banned outright, leaving many sun-kissed Aussies bereft of the singular pleasure of playing a game in which a dwarf seduces a gaggle of nubile coeds.

Strangely, the two groups fighting the creation of this expanded rating system are the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) and the Eros Association, an adult entertainment advocacy group that seeks to allow Australians the freedom to watch a girl being choked on someone else’s crotch.  But not the freedom to play a violent videogame.  

It’s hardly surprising that the ACL is fighting the new rating, extolling the virtues of an antiquated moral code is kinda their bag.  Yet for the Eros Association to not only fight expanded rating systems, but to go on the record stating, “We support the Australian Christian Lobby’s point of view” is not only hypocritical at best but mind-bogglingly antithetical to their entire purpose, namely ensuring adults are allowed to enjoy freedom of choice.

According to an Eros spokesperson, the reasoning behind their backing the ACL is as such:

“Because we believe that there’s too much violence out there and there are more pressing issues for the attorneys to consider such as the regulation of the X-rated film industry.”

Wait….what? Rather than regulate the games industry, this unnamed spokesperson would rather have the Australian legal system focus on regulating the product he endorses?  That is an obviously unreasonable standpoint, and betrays the true intentions of the Eros Association.  Those being to make a greedy grab for publicity and align themselves as noble protectors of children, hookers with hearts of gold if you will.

Thankfully, not everyone in Australia is completely out of their minds, with Rob Hull, the attorney general of Victoria and seemingly the only sane person in this debate, stating a completely rational opinion:

It seems inconsistent that in Australia adults are allowed to view adults-only films which have been classified R18+ by the classification board but not computer games with an equivalent high level content.

Yet that this debate is even occurring is a great thing.  Australia is taking a step forward, seeking to introduce rating systems that don’t completely censor certain types of content within the borders of their former penal colony. Australia wants to bring about rational change, or if nothing else they at least look to their citizens to decide whether expanded ratings would be a welcome change to their current system. While the pairing of pornographers and religious zealots is a hilariously depressing one, at least it’s taking place in a poll of the people asking if they desire the freedom to choose for themselves.

[Via GamePolitics]

Qais Fulton