The Man Behind Ban This Game Talks About Pushing Buttons

Conor O’Kane (pictured) is the developer of Ban This Game, which mocks the ongoing censorship in Australia, and in a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald he expressed some of his personal views on the state of gaming in Australia.

O’Kane is originally from Ireland, but has resided in Australia for eight years. In addition to creating his own games he teaches game development at RMIT University in Melbourne. O’Kane said he created Ban This Game to spread awareness of censorship in Australia and hoped that the humorous aspect of the game would make its players “more receptive to a serious message.”

O’Kane on the release of the Discussion Paper meant to stimulate conversation over the possibility of adding an R18+ videogame rating category in Australia:

…I’m not optimistic that it will lead to significant change. In order to introduce a change to the censorship legislation all Attorneys-General must be in agreement, and at present the South Australian Attorney-General, Michael Atkinson, is opposed to the change.

No amount of evidence or reason is going to change his mind, and so I believe the only solution to this problem is to remove him from office…

O’Kane was asked whether he thought Australian publishers and distributors were doing enough to campaign for change in the Classification system:

Until now I think campaigning has been largely pointless, as campaigning or media coverage is not going to change the mind of Mr Atkinson. However now that we have the Gamers4Croydon party running against Mr Atkinson, I think the Australian game developers and publishers should get behind this party and announce their support for them publicly.

O’Kane’s next game will be squarely aimed at a newly implemented law in homeland of Ireland, which states that anyone who “utters blasphemous matter” can be fined up to 100,000 Euros. He said, “If I can get fined for blasphemy for making the game then I think it will have been a success.”

O’Kane is not a stranger to activism; an older game of his called Harpooned, took on Japanese whaling “research.”

Thanks Ryan!

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