Barbara Biggins, CEO of the children's advocacy group the Australian Council on Children and the Media, is ratcheting up the rhetoric against gamers in the fight to keep Australia from getting an adult ratings classification. She has accused Australian gamers of "using propaganda" in the very public debate over changing the ratings system.
In an article that appeared on The Drum Unleashed, Biggins alleges that the rhetoric used by those that want an expanded ratings system has changed recently, and now downplays the negative side effects:
"Over the past year ... the pro-R18+ lobby has argued that having such a category would provide better protection for children," she wrote. "The push became propaganda."
Her argument is that allowing games into the country that have adult content in them won't keep them out of the hands of children, who will find a way to get them.
"Using the classification criteria for films, R18+ games would have no restrictions on themes ... Given that it's practically impossible for even the most conscientious of parents to keep their children away from exposure to portable R18+ items like DVDs and games, how can it be possibly claimed that this would be better for children?"
She went on to say that everyone should wait for the Australian Law Reform Commission to review the entire rating system later this year.
"[G]amers may rant and rave (and they do if anyone dares oppose them)," she said. "But let's take the ALRC opportunity to review the options properly, not respond to propaganda."
This is a pretty common argument among children's advocacy groups but the problem is that it's really censorship in the name of protecting children. To keep Mature rated games out of the hands of children, Biggins and people like her would make it unavailable for everyone - including the adults the content is meant for. Censorship is not a fair compromise.
Source: The Escapist