‘Video games do not hurt anybody’
Someone is finally speaking some sense. Following the Australian Classification Board’s banning of Outlast II, Senator David Leyonhjelm blasted the Australian Senate regarding video game censorship. Leyonhjelm argues the laws related to games are made and enforced by people who know nothing about them.
Leyonhjelm reveals politicians and public officials are blocked from sites like IGN and PC Gamer “because we might stumble across an image of something somebody disapproves of from a medium we don’t understand.” Citing a survey that states the average gamer is 33 and 68% of Australians play video games regularly, he reasons “how is it that adults are not trusted to make choices about video games, and yet they are allowed to vote?”
When websites such as Stormfront (Neo-Nazi forum) and LiveLeak (videos of real people dying) are allowed while game sites are not, Leyonhjelm says this “tells us something about the illogical, censorious attitude bureaucrats have about video games.” He adds “All of this operates on the assumption that people who play video games are impressionable children who would play out anything they saw. Yet the internet is now awash with all manner of unpleasant images involving real people, not computer generated [characters], while violent crime around the world is in decline.”
To end, Leyonhjelm criticizes Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s “innovation agenda,” stating “every signal we send to the gaming community…is of censorship, disapproval and discouragement.”
I would extend the argument to include kids as well. As dumb and “impressionable” as people may believe kids to be, they are perfectly capable of deciding what should not be performed outside a game. As Jack Thompson may or may not have realized in his failed campaign against violent video games, neither kids nor adults who play games turn into killing machines or rapists just because they see it in games. Or movies. Or television. Or books.
Australian senator urges censors to “leave gamers alone” [gamesindustry.biz]