Consultation With Indigenous Communities A Must For Game Developers

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) is urging game developers to work together with Indigenous videogame and app developers and communities to "share knowledge and to better appreciate our proud history and culture." The call for culturally appropriate content comes after the release, and subsequent removal of Survival Island 3 from online sale.

NSWALC Chair Roy Ah-See said the public had sent a clear message that Survival Island 3 — Australian Story 3D was unacceptable and disrespectful to Aboriginal people.

"The game’s depiction of Aboriginal people is inaccurate, insensitive and demeans the important traditions, culture and ongoing connection Aboriginal people hold to land,” he said, welcoming Federal Communication Minister Mitch Fifield’s decision to order a departmental investigation into the circumstances of the game’s release to online stores.

"We are heartened that the Australian public has taken a strong stand against racism and discrimination," Cr Ah-See said in response to a petition that gathered almost 90,000 signatures. It successfully demanded the the removal of the game from Google Play, Apple's App Store and Amazon.

Including, or even focusing on Indigenous content in videogames as a medium for storytelling and cultural learning is something that should be encouraged. However, gaining appropriate permissions from Elders and communities is crucial.

"Apps and other forms of technology are valued by Aboriginal communities in New South Wales as another way to connect our younger generations with our languages, culture and stories," says Mr Ah-See.

Working with Indigenous developers is one solution to help avoid disasters like Survival Island 3 from happening in the future.

"There are emerging Aboriginal video game and app developers who are playing an invaluable role in using technology to strengthen our culture," says Mr Ah-See.

A good example of this is Brett Leavy, who is using games to explore and teach the Indigenous history of Brisbane and Sydney.

Mr Ah-See says "This is a great teaching resource for Aboriginal communities and for the broader public and can also address the misinformation that drives some of the racism and discrimination experienced by Aboriginal people.

"There is great potential for video game and app designers to work together and we hope the response from the on-line petition can translate into something positive for Aboriginal game and app designers."


    Never Alone is an excellent example of an engaging and respectful game that teaches something about an indigenous culture. I would love to play something similar about our own indigenous people.

    Last edited 19/01/16 11:40 am

      I bought Never Alone twice. I also bought the DLC twice. It was great. I would buy a similarly styled game based on stories from the Dreaming in a heartbeat.

    While I do think this was a storm in a teacup, I can understand why people were offended by the representation. However, I do also think a lot (read: the sheer majority) of people reacted to this in the way that people reacted to GTA: They never played it, they never tried it. I downloaded this and played it on my phone. It was a very subpar 'survival' game where you're a caucasian in the old days stuck on a new land and have to 'survive' (I use the term loosely). Personally I do believe had it never been given any attention, in a mature way, i.e. ignore it and it would've faded into obscurity quickly, it would've been the better option.

    I take umbrage personally with the fact we seem ok with killing native americans in Red Dead Redemption, we seem ok with killing asians in games depicted as stereotypes and we seem ok with killing pretty much any other culture, yet the moment Indigenous Australians are depicted it's a giant social taboo. It's because it's way too close to home. Now while the game does depict them in a manner that's quite frankly, so grossly inaccurate that it's hilarious, the fact is, no game is every going to please anyone. People are going to rage and get these games censored despite anyones opinions, it's just the world we live in.

    The question is: If we're ok with representing other cultures as stereotypes on screen (and our culture specifically has a long, long history of this), why do we seem to be ok with this, but suddenly become hypocritical by drawing the line in the sand when it comes to our own culture or those native to our lands, because it's at our front door?

    Last edited 19/01/16 11:48 am

      Personally, I don't think we *are* okay with representing other cultures as stereotypes on screen. I'm certainly not. There is a huge shift away from this, and in consulting and listening to people from cultures other than our own. This something I believe should be encouraged, not criticised :)

      Edit: I'm not saying it doesn't happen. It does, a lot. What I am saying, is there are a lot of people that don't believe it's "okay".

        You definitely wouldn't know it from cinema, movies, television, gaming etc. Stereotypes are still more than abundant in these. It's changing, but ever so slowly, but it is picking up pace. We assuredly are still ok with presenting stereotypes in gaming. We definitely are. It just depends if the representation appears to be demeaning or not. Compare, say, Streetfighter 5 to Survival Island 3? Streetfighter 5 contains more terrible stereotypes than you could shake a stick at, however we've grown up with them and accept them. Survival Island though, yeesh. More studios are making strides in presenting a broader range, but it still exists.

        But some more examples in recent years include Augustus Cole in gears of war being the 'Jive talkin' black man' despite coming from a different planet, because he 'must' be 'hood'? Then we have representations of the Irish in Red Dead Revolver, not to mention the native Americans representations. Then there's the representation of transgender people in games, wow, that's a catalyst for a thermonuclear war right there with that one.

        But I disagree that it shouldn't be criticised. It should always be constructively criticised, because at that point growth occurs as people call out what's right and wrong with it. From criticism grows encouragement, as you see where you've gone wrong and can correct this. I'd love to see some accurate depictions of Indigenous Australians in games, and yes, I would love to see a completely accurate game depicting a European settler in Australia trying to survive against the elements and inadvertently dying every 10 minutes or alternatively being a Koori, Murri or a Gubba and having to deal via generations of the incursion of Europeans into your native lands. But again, we do have to take stock of all these things we're ok with and ask, why are we ok with these things, but not ok with others? Others below have said 'other communities arent ok with it when it happens to them' but that only strengthens the point then, that it assuredly is *not* ok when it happens to *you*? I'd love all stereotypes to disappear personally, but until we start thinking of how we represent others not close to home first and foremost, I guess it's gonna be a very long road.

      Change that to killing jews or muslims and i'm sure we'll hear those communities speak out as well. The whole thing is in poor taste, but it's just a video game ala GTA.

      The irony here is that when I see this all I think is "some generic survival game with racist tones". I haven't played the game but if they'd changed it around where you're the native defending the land from the evil white man, it's both more interesting and noone would have a problem with it.

      You may not be aware of this, but in other nations they do indeed have issues with depictions of killing native americans and asians, and many other people as, with this game, it's closer to home for THEM. It's not about hypocrisy, it's about geography which should be kind of self evident.

      You may 'take umbrage personally' with the fact anyone DARES be upset at depictions of Aboriginals. Strange thing to get offended at but some people offend easily I hear.

      Thing is, you're sitting on land our ancestors stole from Aboriginals through rape and genocide. Your job, your house and everything in your life is, assuming you're a normal Aussie bloke, pretty much a result of that ancestral theft.

      While it's not your fault that happened, the least you can do is acknowledge the debt and understand that even having these kinds of games EXIST is viciously offensive to some Aboriginal people. Doesn't matter how many, or how offended they are - it's not a competition.

      The point is that it's taking a dump on people who've have their entire cultural birthright stolen from them.

      So as someone benefiting from that theft, it's a bit rich to get offended that this kind of shite is made an issue.

      Again, your prerogative, and since it's unlikely you come from generations of institutionalised sexual and physical abuse, slavery and theft - and even more unlikely you'll suffer it - you're free to vent your outrage without consequence.

      Last edited 19/01/16 12:02 pm

        I think you missed a lot of points in your rush to judgement honestly.

        The overall point was our rush to be offended by something when it hits close to home but our overall lack of offense when it doesn't. It's a fact of humanity that we only truly react when something becomes overtly personal, be it to ourselves or cultural. It does suck our indigenous brethren were represented poorly in a game, it's a pretty crap game too, but what sucks more, is how selective we are in our acceptance of some over others, that we're ok with one and not the other. That one is more comfortable to take the piss out of, but not the other. That sucks.

        I take umbrage personally with the fact we seem ok with killing native americans in Red Dead Redemption, we seem ok with killing asians in games depicted as stereotypes and we seem ok with killing pretty much any other culture, yet the moment Indigenous Australians are depicted it's a giant social taboo.

        Now if you had bothered reading that properly instead of cherrypicking, you would have noticed I take umbrage at the idea that it's ok in peoples eyes to kill indigenous americans in games, it's ok to kill the Irish in games, hell it's ok to kill African Americans, Asians, Eskimos and everyone else in games. We overlook that, but we've selectively chosen to take offense at this. It's *not* because it's Indigenous Australians but it's because we're so damn insular we don't bother thinking about the rest of the world in that sense. So there's no slight against Indigenous Australians there, there's offense that we're so shut off with this reaction that we don't think about what we've been ok with in the past without realising it? That's what annoys me. How is that unreasonable.

        Last edited 19/01/16 12:41 pm

          Ah ok, thank you for clarifying that a bit more.

          Yes, it's not good. It's because fundamentally, humans are animals that respond to threats and issues based on immediacy and relevance.

          It's possible to learn behaviours that circumvent this but that is an artificial and difficult process - it's the aspect of civilisation that most clearly delineates progressives from conservatives.

          And in defense of the primitive fear-driven conservative mindset, extension of concern is a risk when you divert resources from close to home to those further away. You know, why worry about overseas refugees when there are homeless on Australia's streets, mate?

          (Not that I've ever seen many conservative voters helping me feed the homeless but you get the point.)

          Managing that process sustainably should be the ultimate goal of social process but that's not going to be a commonplace thing in either of our lifetimes.

          Last edited 19/01/16 3:17 pm

            Agreed on all points :) Ta for the great discourse :) It is indeed very difficult. I myself took a LONG time to change attitudes towards people, I used to be homophobic and somewhat racist in my younger years (I'm 38, I came from the 70s 80s and 90s where all that was acceptable), but as I grew, I confronted my beliefs and tried my best to change them through life experiences. Quite often some *very* confronting life experiences which in the end made me a much better person for it. But you're right again it does delineate progressives from conservatives, I've seen mates I felt were just like me slow down on that path and retreat into absolute conservatism, while others progressed further ahead etc. It's been very interesting on this path. The homeless/refugee issues a very real and a very fair one to reference as well, poignant for our times. I wish I had an ultimate answer for that. I know we see enough homeless around here. I bought a guy a dinner at maccas last week, he lives around the Forest Lake area, and he's nice enough, but makes me wonder at times why we don't do more.

            And I removed that downvote before too.

            Last edited 19/01/16 3:38 pm

            This is still prejudicial. It seems like you're just looking for an excuse to insult "conservatives". (I say that in quotations since I get quite annoyed when the terms "liberals", "the left" or "SJWs" are used describe holistic consideration, it seems to be used in a similar manner)

              I'm sorry, it is what it is. Conservatism represents a more primitive, fear based approach to life.

              That's kind of the whole point.

              They argue it's protective, detractors argue it's myopic and leads to nasty things.

              Doesn't matter what side of the fence you're on, conservatism is all about restraining change out of fear. Hence the name.

              Last edited 19/01/16 4:25 pm

        It doesn't appear you've read the material in question and consistently make use of hyperbole, dichotomous thinking and generalisation.

        This genuinely read as if you you appropriated an intention after reading the first sentence. It's baffling so much was written with such specific language (which I won't get into, it seems like it would set you off) that had almost nothing to do with the discussion. We didn't rage our way into the discovery of prejudice and cultural privilege; it was discovered, discussed, explored, documented and discussed again - it wasn't an finalized assumption; which is what your writing is. At the very least, just read.

      Yeah, I wonder about this a lot, and I am part of the indigenous community. I have been spending a *lot* of time consulting with people to try and get a simple short film off the ground, as I really want an indigenous character in it, but it is very, very tricky to get everyone on board and not have it end up being a problem down the track. I'm 99% sure we will get it sorted out, but it is difficult.

      As for games, they tend to have tons of stereotypes, some damaging, some silly, some just outright offensive, some that most likely cause no actual issues, and some that help perpetuate problems in society, or reinforce problematic beliefs. While it is easy to agree on things that almost anyone would find too offensive, it is harder to sort it out when you aren't talking extremes.

      We play all sorts of war and other games that are inaccurate as far as the events and people in them go, games are generally adventures boiled down to tropes, including the people in them. I don't know where the line is where that becomes a problem, and where it doesn't.

        I saw the movie RED HILL a few years back and absolutely loved the lead antagonist in it, an Indigenous actor named Tommy Lewis. I was blown away by how they managed to avoid utilising a lot of stereotypes in that movie yet subtly introduce a bunch of them reverential enough to make it appealing and not derogatory.

        How have you found it with getting funding? Have there been ridiculous demands to introduce stupid aspects like more 'appealing stereotypes' or whatnot? I remember years ago, after Crocodile Dundee helped introduce the whole Australian film funding aspect, that aussie movies were more or less expected to contain some awfully ridiculous stereotypes...

    Great piece; consultation really should be paramount.
    Brett Leavy's work looks brilliant, I'm keen to see more.

    I'm reminded of the 2014 game Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna): created in collaboration with an Alaskan Native people and narrated in Iñupiaq. There is a lot of history and culture in Aboriginal Australia, we should see more collaboration to make it known to a wider audience.

    Firstly, a thank you to KotakAU for spotlighting this. The way the US site sort of funnels stuff through the majority of the time is not the best way for some stories to 'be reported on'. Likewise, while I would like/hope this travels upstream to the US side, to see how they'd react and discuss it would also be interesting!

    Rather than a trite 'here's why I do/don't have a problem with this' post that tells me next to nothing about you really or what you think about The Big Issue, I'd ask how such material was allowed onto the services Rae listed above.

    Australia's decision to embrace the IARC as far as digital storefronts go was supposed to ease the job of managing classifications of games you could not buy in shops, but digital only.

    This seems like a stuff-up of the highest order. The traditional G-MA15+ sticker ratings never applied, I understood that.

    Since R18+ came in and the states each made their changes, I'm a bit foggy on the details.

    Simultaneously, 'featured' games like Gone Home console edition or Oxenfree are still being delayed due in some small part to classification. Each incident is different, but there increasingly seems to be a general lack of education.

    A dev releasing only on Wii U eshop still thinks they have to pay the Aussie Government major dollars for a rating. Who's at fault? The dev for not being up on international law?

    IARC seems to be a colossal failure and waste of time at this point, if games like Survival Island 3 can not only be submitted, but granted fit for sale!

    They're acting as if it was Australian game developers who put out that steaming pile of rubbish. Wasn't it a Russian shovelware developer that pooped it out? Do they think that someone from overseas is really going to go through that kind of consultative process? No self respecting Aussie development house would touch a game like that.

    Last edited 19/01/16 12:43 pm

    Survival Island 3 may be a distasteful game, but the developer still has the right to make pretty much any game they would like.

    While certain groups banding together to educate people on "facts" is one thing, things like the petition are another. It is funny that all these white knights get to have their opinion due to freedom of speech, but with that said freedom they elect to try and silence others.

    Some one will undoubtedly try and make the argument either in reply here or in their own minds that there is a difference, but in reality on a purely binary level there is not. Attempting to silence the few is nothing short of double standards as it is normally the many that are already championing another minority.

    It seems the for the many a moral compass is purely convenience rather than something to actually live by.

    EDIT; after reading the other comments, I would like to state that I believe it is also healthy to question my ideals too as it feels like a lot of people just take opinion pieces (Facebook is a good example of this) as gospel. A healthy eye for criticism is important in a world where every one is constantly offended or shovelled skewed statistics.

    Last edited 19/01/16 6:06 pm

      It seems a lot of people don't understand how free speech actually works. Yes, the developer has the right of free speech to make any game they like. But people equally have a right to use THEIR free speech to protest said game. That's all a petition is; it's merely a voice of protest. It isn't law, or a legally binding contract. It's just people getting together to share their voice. People mistakenly seem to think that free speech means they can say or do whatever they feel, without consequence, but those who use their freedom of speech to say or do inflammatory things really shouldn't act so surprised when other people use their freedom of speech to say something back.

        Scruffy, I mean this with the least amount of contempt for your reply, but you are LITERALLY the exact reply I was expecting.

        The flaw in your logic is that in a perfect world where every one gets to have their opinion without there being some overly aggressive backlash is a fallacy. People get bullied into silence all time, hell even universities, the one place where your opinion (no matter how incorrect) should be heard are turning away speakers now out of fear of social justice warriors using their closed minded moral compasses to tell people what is acceptable to say... IN A UNIVERSITY.

        A good example of this is Michael Nolan who called Clementine For a "slut" (for making MANY derogatory statements against men) and for that every sjw and their dog set out to get him fired. These two things are not equal and proof that at the end of the day this new wave of social justice warriors/third wave feminists are bananas.

        All sane people abandon ship, this way come the radicals.

          Sorry for the late reply; I've been at work.

          And YOUR reply was exactly what I was expecting too. You claim that "SJWs" are telling people what to say, but they are just voicing THEIR opinion. You are not legally bound to do something just because an "SJW" said so, and you are not legally bound to silence either. You do have a brain of your own, you know. And by the way, they have every right to express their opinion. You may not agree with what they say, and I may not either. But if someone says they are offended by something, you have absolutely zero right to deny them their voice.

          And as for the Clementine Ford incident, that just proves my point about free speech and consequences. Clementine writes divisive articles; she gets replies in the forms of death threats and harassment. She practises her right to free speech and is a target for it. If someone who uses their free speech to harass then also becomes a target themselves, they deserve no sympathy from me.

            But surely there is a difference between voicing your opinion and using the force of reactionary social media to pressure someone's employer to sack them? To me it's the same as beating the shit out of someone who caused you to spill your drink at the pub. What moderates are asking for is an appropriate response - being offended doesn't give someone (or a group of someones) the right to destroy another person's life.

            Many of the comments I've seen about Safari Island 3 over the last few days are incredibly vicious and betray the ignorance of the commenters - the vast majority of whom condemned the game without playing the game, meaning they reacted only based on the say-so of that one single article. I've heard that Schindler's List depicts the murder of Jews - I don't know, I've not seen it, but that's what someone told me. Based on that information, I demand that it be banned.

              They can ask for whatever response they want; it's up to the actual person in power (in the Clementine/Nolan example, it was Nolan's employer who chose to make a decision). People can yell, scream and demand what they want; they'll only ever get it if someone actually gives it to them.

            Its cool mate, I work at a tavern at night so I get it.

            Straight to the discussion though;
            No they aren't, they are lying and using bullying tactics to get people silenced on social media; getting people fired and attempting to get people placed on police watch lists.

            SJW's are that one group that claims to be all about the people, until you make a joke or show even the slightest criticism and then its no holds barred. Examples of the cancer that is SJW's using bullying tactics are quite easy to find;

            -Tim Hunt a nobel prize winner was fired because Connie St Louis obfuscated parts of a conversation they had in order to get Mr Hunt fired on the grounds of sexism. Later it was proven that Mr Hunt had been joking and that every one in attendance of said joke had taken it as that. Every one except Connie that is that went to social media and used every iota of SJW strength she could muster to get Mr Hunt fired and only admitted that they had all being joking after it was brought to light that no one else in attendance had seen it other than the casual jape that it was. Yet he still has not been reinstated as that would mean undermining Feminisms BS power over society.

            -Phil Mason (Aka Thunderf00t) is an American Youtuber (and scientist) that does videos talking about the social weakness of groups like radical Nazis, Muslims and Feminism. His prize for criticizing Anita Sarkeesian (without harassing) was that an SJW started a mailing group that spammed not only Phil's employer, but the local police and news outlets. Now before any one claims that this statement is unfounded, there were multiple people in said group (including Laughing Witch who was the original antagonist, Hannibalthevictor13 a convicted sex offender and co) that had videos up laughing with images of said letters and emails. The end result was nothing however as Phil is apparently quite necessary for the research he was doing into particle penetration with the intention of it hopefully being used one day for medical purposes.

            -NoHoldsBarred (I don't know the content creators real name) was channel that featured one video about Clementide Ford, making the argument that a person who goes out of their way to provoke people then shouldn't be allowed to pull the victim card afterwards. The result of which was that she got her SJW band together and tried to red flag his account into the ground; when that failed it became the ABC's job to claim that he was nothing more than a troll and that surely she had never brought any of this hate onto herself with her expansive history of provoking men and then trying to use that as an excuse to write hateful articles in fairfax.

            -The most recent one I could think of was "The Big Question" show where Kate Smurthwaite literally tried to make the argument that after her and Milo Yiannopoulos's debate (where she was destroyed by real statistics) that Milo made death and rape threats against her. Now not only has NO ONE been able to produce these tweets that she is claiming to have, but Milo is gay... he has no interest in the female body and so all this serves to do is give people that have no information on the matter a way to shut out the counter argument of SJWs.

            These are just a few of the of incidents that I could think of off the top of my head where SJW's and feminists have been allowed to get away with absurdly one sided behaviour because people have way too much guilt and thus not only are the REAL victims censored, but then there are people like you that truly believe that this is just a normal state of mind.

            EVERYONE loses to this maddening way of looking at the world.

            Men lose because women have essentially taken away any platform for complaint over real discrepancies in the justice/social system. Whites lose because a certain level of guilt will forever mean that they cannot call out a black person even when they are wrong. Trans people lose because unless you started without a penis you are essentially still a man. Even women lose because ultimately there will be some piece of shit out there that proves them right and does something terrible.

            I have work in a while so I am going to finish this up with a quick summary of why this is wrong;

            The new age social norm of people playing the victim and using such powers to silence others is a cancer that left untreated serves no other use than to stifle any sort of individual creativity or unique ideals as every one becomes naturally afraid of being the bad guy. Of being the OPPRESSOR; even in instances where that is not the case.

            I beg you to actually look online at (validated) statistics before you go to some one like Lacy Green, Anita Sarkeesian, Kate Smurthwaite or who ever else is popular right now. Better yet look up a lady called Christina Hoff, she is a second wave feminist and has some of the most accurate data when it comes to how the third wave isn't actually helping any one and how the people are just serving to undermine every one; she is also quite charming. :D

            EDIT: Quick read through showed that I can't quickly type to save my life. Some spelling errors.

            Last edited 20/01/16 2:14 pm

              Wow, dude. You're complaining a lot about SJWs. It's pretty clear that they, or their actions offend you. So you're literally offended by a group of people because they take offence to things. The hypocrisy of your stance is overwhelming. Hell, you're even criticising people who play the victim WHILE YOU PLAY THE VICTIM YOURSELF! And who are you to decide who has a right to be offended? And seriously, blaming SJWs for people getting fired? Grow up. The only person who can fire an employee IS THE EMPLOYER. It doesn't matter how much people kick and scream, the decisions around hiring and firing are made by the company itself.

                How am I playing the victim? You said that they were not doing anything wrong, I pointed out that they were doing wrong. That as a group they are vile and not at all what they "advertise" themselves as.

                In terms of a company firing people, making the claim that the decision is up to the company is a little naive. We live in a society that is heavily governed by supply and demand; so when a company may incur damages to their sales the first thing that they will is remove said issue.

                Look mate, I am gonna ignore any replies you have going forward as honestly I can't be bothered reading your comments and your PROGRESSIVE-ly (Ayyy) less civilised banter points out that supporters of the SJW objective live in a world of fiction rather than truth. You have every right to reply, you have every right to complain, you have every right to criticise... but the game in question was taken down from Amazon due to SJW tears and my point has been proven.

                SJW's censor anything they don't like and can do so quite easily because in our society most things are controlled by popularity, if enough people complain (just like red flagging on Youtube) change happens (in this case censorship) for better or worse.

                  You're playing the victim because you're acting as if you, or your freedom of speech is under attack because of SJWs, when it isn't. You can't claim to support freedom of speech and then complain because you heard something you didn't like; it's massively hypocritical. SJWs have EVERY right to protest something as part of their free speech, whether it fits in with your world view or not.
                  Amazon took the game down because THEY CHOSE TO. It could have been to pander to a group, or it could have violated their policies (which I'm sure it likely did). Either way, it's AMAZON's choice as to what they do and do not support. SJWs can ask, scream, kick and cry until they're blue in the face, but the company can just as easily ignore them. Look at Ricky Gervais; he makes a living out of offending people. People complain about it. And he continues doing what he does, because he chooses to. Because he knows that while everyone has the right to free speech, no-one actually has the right to make you agree with them.

      Agreed, so many games to date in poor distaste... and I'm the sort of guy that can handle a lot.

      I'm happy this article was written because I now know there's some scumbag russian studio who made this game, still think it's their right to make it.... I just dislike them and will actively boycott their wares (as if I was going to download this crud anyway)... that's all I can pretty much hope for.


        You have every moral right to with hold your sale, you have every right to discuss with your friends how outrageous the subject material may be, you have every right to BE OFFENDED. That being said, just as you made the point, they still have the right to create such disgusting materials.

        A lot of the professionally offended idealists that populate our world seem to take a good amount of their ideology from Marxism (for better or worse), but attempt to twist it to the point where it almost looks like communism.

      The developer has a right to create a game, that right does not confer and should not be conflated with the right to an audience or distribution of the game on a platform.

      Similarly, the developer may be entitled to free speech in the creation and presentation of the game, but they are not entitled to an audience or a podium from which their speech can be broadcast.
      Reducing the complexity and nuance of free speech, an oft-unwieldy topic, isn't constructive. It would be quite nice if we could acknowledge the difference between limited distribution and actually stopping a party from taking an action, such as developing a game. with regard to free speech.

      Games like this will continue to be created, and will continue to exist even if they are not distributed on a platform. No petition has stopped this game from existing.

        Except they are looking to get an apology out of a content creator, which is beyond the realm of ridiculous.

        As for whether they should be allowed to have a platform to be presented; I would argue that all opinions do. It is no different to universities (before being ruined by this SJW nonsense), some level of discussion should be allowed for in all mediums.

        As I said above, SJW's are bordering on a level of communism where the individuality of a few can be destroyed by the mundane masses.

          I don't see any issue with requesting an apology, even if it is incredibly unlikely to occur due to the circumstances. A group feels wronged and is seeking acknowledgment from an alleged perpetrator. It's standard fare. More importantly, what does it have to do with your claim that protesters are eliminating free speech?

          With regard to platform, my usage pertained specifically to a distribution model such as Google Play or the Apple App Store, and no, every developer should not have unassailable access to those platforms.
          As far as a platform for speech is concerned , in the traditional sense, the developer has multiple avenues and is not being precluded from using, for example, their own privately hosted site, a social media platform, discourse through traditional media outlets, or even open discussion with the aggrieved parties.

            The issue is that they did not break any rules, it is just that people feel that their insecurities outweigh a persons right to express themselves (for profit or otherwise).

            There are parts of Aboriginal society that to this day are still barbaric, come out to central Australia and you will read/see a real rape culture, real alcohol dependency culture and a natural state of violence that all the white knights want to sweep under the rug rather than addressing. There are problems out there that a lot of people feel the need to silence criticism of rather than seeing it for what it really is.

            "More importantly, what does it have to do with your claim that protesters are eliminating free speech?"

            I am just going to leave this line from the site here and let you ponder what it has to do with anything;
            "Sign this petition to take a stand against racism towards Indigenous Australians and to demand that this racist game be pulled with an apology from NIL Entertainment for its racist conduct."

            Last edited 19/01/16 4:57 pm

              People don't have to break rules to be held up to scrutiny. What's different in the free speech of a group of people creating a thing and a group of people reacting to that thing? What you've said so far indicates that the former holds greater importance. Why then should a creative work be immune to criticism or petition?

              I'm sure there are lots of Australians who don't want to accept the massive disparities in quality of life between indigenous, non-indigenous, metropolitan, and remote/regional Australians. It's really a terrible quality that so many people don't care. But once again, what does this have to do with your issue? People pick and choose when and where to act on their morals and ethics. If they want to pick a relatively safe option, that's fine, good on them for giving enough of a shit to do something. If you're just going on a bent that you dislike all those folks you label white knights or SJWs, wail away.

              And don't go dropping quotes like it absolves you of having conviction for your opinions. Either you can articulate why you disagree with a particular point, or you can't.

        I love that these comments are happening rather than the 'remove it from existence' ones! I love that reason is happening. The idea that it shouldn't exist is ridiculous. By utilising common sense, by boycotting rather than censoring, that sends a stronger message than anything else. By saying "It can exist, we'll just ignore it", people take more notice then. When you ban something, it becomes more appealing to everyone, when you ignore it, when you say "Meh its of no importance, just ignore it" it takes its power away.

          Was thinking about making a reference to Hatred and how the masses attempting to destroy it made it more successful than it should ever have been.

          *Tried super hard to think of a Obi Wan/Palpatine joke about being struck down... but failed*

            Hatred was the other recent game I was thinking of, in my eyes WAY worse of an impact on someone than this survival game.... both horrible.

            There's also some irony to be said about creating an article like this... a portion of the people are going to be outraged (naturally), and another portion are a-holes and will go download this to show their mates how offensive some game is.... literally elevating the status of the game.

            Think of Prohibition in the early 20th century, that's exactly what it is. What did we learn? Prohibition *never* works. All that happens is it becomes more popular and more people experience it because of its taboo nature. I played Survial Island 3 because i saw it on a website. I 110% guarantee you I never, ever would've played it without sites like Kotaku covering it. Had they simply ignored it, well, a different story.

            I agree completely on the University front as well. I'm currently at University myself studying secondary education, and it's sickening the way it's absolutely infected the Bachelor of education course. There's an almost sickening fear in a University class that you cannot speak about gender, culture, sexuality or anything if it does not fall into line with a socially pre-ascribed view that falls in line with what is deemed acceptable. It's spoken about by students on a daily basis, and it's not a good thing as it's squashing the idea of open, honest discussion. It's great to push equality, and equality is definitely something to strive for, but this isn't equality when peoples ability to discuss things openly and equally become oppressed in such a manner.

          is commercial pressure any different, though?

            To what degree?

              "I'm not buying this" and "not buying this, because x complaint about content". Just wondering what makes the first reaction better.

    Much of what can be read in these comments illustrates quite a lazy view of the world, not to mention to the people in it.

    Following the logic of vaegrand and ObiWereKenobi and their ilk, if I am driving under the speed limit through a set of amber flashing lights, anybody I collect with my car is at fault. Not me.

    We have a word for such a state of mind.


      That's a flawed analogy.

      I think it's more like.... "Hey we all want free speech, but like... it needs to be enforced when it offends me... and him... and that guy.... and all of those guys.... actually we kind of want free speech but only if we say its free speech.... we'll let you know when that is".

      CLEARLY I think this game is horrible, and power to the people who are actively fighting it. Those guys are basically saying that whilst this is a crummy thing to do, it's what comes along in a world where free speech exists.

      And the reality is, these Russian dudes don't give two cents.... they'd probably change the subject matter to shooting babies if it meant more downloads (I know nothing about the company, purely speculative).

      Last edited 19/01/16 2:30 pm

      Following the logic of vaegrand and ObiWereKenobi and their ilk, if I am driving under the speed limit through a set of amber flashing lights, anybody I collect with my car is at fault. Not me.

      Please don't make a habit of using analogies, you missed the point like a storm-trooper misses its targets...

      Not once have I blamed the victim. It's highly offensive of you to even remotely say that. Disgustingly so. Infact it's right up there with godwinning.

      I have words for people like you who try doing that here... misguided opportunists.

      Last edited 19/01/16 2:47 pm

        I'm afraid I am not familiar with that phrase.

        My original point still stands.

        On the matter of being allowed to express one's self in whatever manner or means one wants - first people here say it's the entire world. Then it's this country only. Then Russia, apparently.

        You seek to make money off one or any app store, you play by the rules of the app store because that's the entity already making money off apps on an app store.

        You come under scrutiny from other rules and regulations, too.

        Price of doing business.

        Your rights come second.

        90,000 votes isn't forcing one person into silence, it's democracy.

        Democracy exists in a hell of a lot more places worldwide than free speech does.

          Ok cool story but that's not even remotely what you're saying. You just accused me of victim blaming. That's reprehensible, don't try to dodge it.

          Your 'original point' was not even being discussed with me. So it can stand elsewhere afaic.

          If they got the game banned, good on them, it's indeed part of a democracy. I don't believe it's right and I think it's disgusting that they'd try. I think the games a pile of shit but when it's played you actually realise it doesn't actually cross any censorship lines. Ignorant yes. Deserving of censorship no.

          But throwing around slurs like that at me and vaegrand like that, you're a class act.

            Ignorant yes

            That was all I was trying to point out. I see you agree with me.

              No leigh, I haven't agreed with anything you've said in relation to this. I find your comments here reprehensible. Have a good one.

              Last edited 19/01/16 3:09 pm

      Hi Leigh,

      I am not sure of how at all the analogy you gave pertains to what either Obiwerekenobi or I said, I think you might not be understanding the point we are trying to make (I am pretty sure we are on the same page about it).

      It isn't that we think such games are acceptable, nor is it that we believe it is acceptable for people to make a profit off such material either; however it is also not in everyone's interest to start censoring such people.

      Without trying to sound like an alarmist; there is a really deep connection between how a lot of the mid-left have been acting for about a decade now and Marxism. My issue personally is that there are people who boast about the freedoms and liberties we are given in western society; but at the same time would use such powers to undermine others that have every right to express themselves.

      It is a clear bullying tactic that has been around for a while and I just can't endorse it; you may notice that if you go through any of the comments that either attack or try to counter my opinion I will not down vote them. Kotaku is a good example of an ecosystem that can be abused to silence people (enough down votes results in your comments requiring moderator approval); this to me is unacceptable.

      Sorry for the wall of text, I seem to be doing it a lot today.

      EDIT; your analogy doesn't work because the cars that would have been struck must have run a red light in order to be in the intersection and thus were in the wrong regardless.

      Last edited 19/01/16 6:02 pm

        Someone disagreeing with your opinion is NOT a bullying tactic. You're claiming to be all for free speech? The right to criticise is part of that.

        Last edited 20/01/16 1:24 am

          He hasn't told you to stop or tried to censor you? Have at it with critique? But making false accusations such as victim blaming, it's disgusting behaviour and when done, will be called out as it should.

          Last edited 20/01/16 10:02 am

            What are you even talking about? I never even said anything to do with victim blaming. Where did you pull that from?

              Try reading back through the conversations, it wasn't you that said it, Leigh did that, and that's the conversation you stepped in on.

                I'm not responsible for what Leigh says. If you want to say it to Leigh, then reply to Leigh's comment. It's not that difficult to use an Internet forum.

                  Did you purposely set out to be a dick today or was it a case of just waking up grumpy?

                  I mean I'm going to put it as simply as I can for you:

                  You waded into a conversation about what Leigh said about vaegrand and I. You commented on it. The context was exactly about that. The context was about leighs analogy, the analogy was victim blaming. I don't know why that's hard to understand. This is not all about *you*. Stop trying to make it *all about you*. ffs.

                  Last edited 21/01/16 1:49 pm

                  I replied to vaegrand's post. You butted in, insulted me and act like I'm the one who is being a dick? Hell, you even chastised leigh for "throwing around slurs", but you've resorted to swearing at people just because they don't accept your opinion?

                  I was involved in it from the getgo. Jesus man, you really need to chill out. A lot. I'm out anyhow this has gotten ridiculous. Congrats on dragging it down that low.

                  Don't accuse me of "dragging it down" when you're the one engaging in such childish, petty behaviour such as down voting every comment I make just because you can't handle opinions that don't match your own.

                  I can handle opinions that aren't my own, that's not what it's about at all Scruffy. You've really really gone off track. Cya dude.

                  That IS what it's about. Hell, you're STILL downvoting my comments like a sullen child.
                  Grow up.

    I came to this comments section expecting "but muh freeduhms" and I wasn't disappointed.

    Still waiting for the obligatory "political correctness gone mad" though.

      Up voted because you don't deserve to be moderated for not agreeing with us :D

        Wait, do you mean....people can disagree on the Internet and not get into a shit fight?

        Say it ain't so Joe!

        P.S. have an upvote

    There was zero consultation with the tyrannosaurus community before Survival Island 2: Dinosaur Hunter was released :S

    Sadly the response to this one game will probably mean game developers will avoid any representation of indigenous culture at all from now on due to the potential PR nightmare if it backfired, which is a shame because there are many great stories of Australian culture that could be shared.

    Was survival island 3 made by a Russian game company?

    How much of is true. Havn't played the game and never will but all i can see is people jumping on a bandwagon doing very little research themselves.

    Anyone actually play the game?

    I went through a bunch of reviews on Google play and found 1 person who did and said the game was completely crap anyway. So having it banned or deleted probably saved us all a lot of grief from another poor designed poor playing game.

      Yep I have. What do you want to know? It's still installed on my SGS6. The game is indeed crap. Plays like a dodgy hybrid of RUST and Minecraft with no creativity behind it. Graphics are dreadful, gameplay is all but absent and the 'landscape' is just an endless desert blob with kangaroos and the occasional indigenous australian who actually looks more like a late 1800's representation of an "African Savage" (pardon the term, I'm referring to those racist as hell books they used to have, not the actual idea that Africans were savage at all). You can build a house but it serves zero purpose, you can kill a roo and get meat, make some tools and.... that's really it. No incentive to 'explore', no incentive to really do anything.

      I've logged around an hour in the game, and that'll do me fine.

      Honestly it's like this:

      Graphics: 2/10 - Ugly as hell, little to no effort. Barely coherent textures with little to no style.

      Gameplay: 2/10 - There's gameplay? What there IS isn't satisfying or interesting. You're really playing because it's currently 'taboo'. If it weren't you simply wouldn't.

      Sound: 1/10: Utter utter shit. Utter shit. I've shat better sounds.

      Replay: None. 0/10

      Last edited 20/01/16 10:08 am

        Cheers for the review, it sounds like Apple and Google have pretty much saved our butts from a pretty poor game wonder how it compares to the others in the series although i am thinking it is on par with them.

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