In an attack directed at pro R18+ campaigners, Barbabra Biggins, CEO of the Australian Council on Children and the Media, has claimed that the media is attempting to sway public opinion “with a well-designed and publicised, persistent propaganda campaign, promising protections that could not have been provided.”
“Over the past year the tactics have changed,” claimed Biggins. “Rather than pushing adults’ rights, the pro-R18+ lobby has argued that having such a category would provide better protection for children. The push became propaganda.
“It’s propaganda because the real outcome of having an R18+ classification would not protect children. It would legalise games with higher level impact than are presently available in the sale and hire system. Using the classification criteria for films, as the system required, R18+ games would have no restrictions on themes, could have high-impact levels of violence, of implied sexual violence, of realistically-simulated sexual activity (and perhaps the real thing), of drug use and of nudity. 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?”
Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin. Firstly, the use of the word propaganda is outrageous and utterly wrong. The usage in itself is manipulative in the most hypocritical way. Secondly, the whole piece is a blatant attempt to sway opinion in the precise same manner Barbara Biggins condemns – in the same breath.
At Kotaku we usually try and report on such statements with a sense of responsibility and remain neutral. Clearly we have our own stance on the issue – obviously, we’re pro R18+. But in this case, it’s impossible to hold back. This argument is uninformed, deliberately inflammatory, utilising the same outdated points that have already been proven wrong by numerous studies.
The people have spoken, multiple times. And these are the words of a desperate argument, with no sense of structure, in the midst of a futile attempt to win the hearts and minds of a general public who – thankfully – know better.
You can check out the entire piece here.