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The Huntress vs. The Headline: “It’s Okay to be Foul-Mouthed As Long As You Work For The ABC And Attack Only The Liberals”

March 30, 2011

Ahhhh, so many quality headlines to choose from for today’s top news articles. It was a difficult decision as to which three are my favourite dodgy reads, but I think News.com.au’s “Man Superglues Tiny Hat To Head” is definitely up there. The Courier Mail readers are relieved to discover that “Jackie Chan Is Not Dead” and the prize for the dodgiest headline of the day goes to The Telegraph.com.au with “I Was Running Late, Jackie-O Says”.

I didn’t realise that being late was now headline material. Readers, please note this and contact your local crap news provider the next time you are running late for work. Remember the poorer the excuse the more news-worthy it becomes.

Can I just say that I love, love, LOVE today’s headline and it provided me with much amusement, so I wanted to share. My favourite lines are a toss up between “I do so hope Bindi Irwin gets laid” as expressed by opinion writer Catherine Deveny and “Tony Abbott, I hope your cock drops off and falls down a plughole” written by the First Tuesday Book Club panellist Marieke Hardy.

I think Marieke Hardy wins as I’ve personally wished for the same thing on many an occasion myself.

On to a more serious (though probably no less childish) note this particular opinion piece caught my interest today. As you may or may not know Australia does not have an R18+ category for games classification. The highest classification is currently MA15+ and anything that does not make this category is Refused Classification, which means it is then rendered illegal to sell in Australia. Classifiable content in a game (or movie/tv for that matter) includes nudity, sex, language, violence, drug use and themes. Each element is assessed by the classification board and what the impact may be upon the viewer prior to determining what classification shall be designated to the game. A more detailed explanation of this system is available here.

The opinion piece written by Barbara Biggins (CEO of the Australian Council on Children and the Media) states that she believes that introducing an R18+ rating in the interests of children is propaganda. Biggins believes that even the most conscientious of parents will not prevent the kiddies from getting their sticky little hands on R18+ games without consent.

Eeerrrrr, Ms. Biggins, are you aware that games classified R18+ elsewhere in the world are currently being squeezed into an MA15+ category in Australia so the game can be made available on the market? Are you suggesting we continue to ‘protect’ children by using a censorship system that is clearly not working? Do you actually understand that what you call the real outcome of propaganda is actually already happening in the guise of an MA15+ rating?

I fail to see how a pro R18+ classification argument is propaganda.

The gaming community is distinctly disadvantaged by current censorshop laws. First of all adult gamers are disadvantaged by not having access to games that could be brought in under a suitable R18+ classification – as previously mentioned Refused Classification games are illegal. Child and young adult gamers are disadvantaged by being exposed to unsuitable content that is being pushed into an inappropriate category. Parents, especially those who are non-gamers themselves and are unaware of the game content, have to trust that the censorship system is working when clearly it is not. The Refused Classification category is designed for material that is illegal, not material that actually is suitable for adults. The MA15+ category is designed for material that is suitable for those over the age of 15 years, with the supervision of an adult, not as an R18+ category in disguise.

So yeah, I’m a gamer. I’m all for the R18+ category so I can play more games. But guess what? I’m a parent too and I want appropriate help to guide me when allowing my young one to choose games to play. An argument for the R18+ category is not propaganda, it is genuine. Please do not restrict me, as an adult, from choosing what I want to play and trying to provide the best guidance I can as a parent for a child who wishes to play games.

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