Lock up your daughters! Over at website Overclock 3D, forum member "mayhem" has discovered "porno" in UK game magazines.
"My concerns were risen when my son went out and bought himself a gaming magazine to read the reviews of the latest Xbox 360 games," mayhem writes. "To my surprise the only thing that did was the last 4 pages of the magazine that contained major full page spreads of mobile sex games, videos and pictures."
"...I turned to the front cover to see if there was a 18 rated sticker anywhere on the front of the magazine," mayhem continues. "Nothing. Absolutely no indication that the magazine contained content unfit for young eyes."
Mayhem's eight-year-old daughter went to various UK book sellers to see how easy it would be to purchase game magazines—game magazines with adult ads in the back.
"My 8 year old daughter walked in on her own and when straight for the gaming section," Mayhem writes. "On the lower shelf she picked out several magazines including Play (a Sony PlayStation 3 Magazine) and 360 (a Microsoft Xbox 360 magazine) both of which are published by Imagine Publishing. Neither of these titles had an 18 or 15 certificate on them."
But in the back, there were adults ads, so Mayhem complained. After doing that, Mayhem and child headed to more small shops to buy more games with dirty ads in the back. "We found that at every shop we had gone to that she could easily walk in and buy literally any gaming magazine she liked," Mayhem continues. (Of course she can! They're not rated ages 18-years-old and up!)
"On one occasion even some with 18 certifications from a local news agent," Mayhem writes. "I was amazed my 8 year old daughter can by pornography in this form." Hey, we're amazed you let her—all in the name of research.
Though, this "pornography" looks more like adverts for phone sex and adult mobile phone games and not actually pornography per se. Weekly British tabloids have more actual pornography in them! There are dodgy adult ads in telephone booths and, heck, even the phone book. It's endless.
Sure, Imagine Publishing might want to re-examine how it generates ad revenue. It might not, and the ads it is running could very well be acceptable under UK law. If it is, the issue is not with the bookstores or the publisher even, but with the law. (And what about ads in other under 18 magazines? Were those checked as well?)
We do thank mayhem at Overclocke3D for creating a dialogue about this issue.