If you were angry about the Classification Board's recent ban of Outlast 2, don't worry: you've got some support in Canberra.
Liberal Democrat leader and upper house crossbencher David Leyonhjelm recently stood up in the Senate, taking the side of everyone aggrieved by the refused classification rating to Outlast 2. The senator argued that it was nonsensical that adults in Australia could be trusted to vote, but not trusted to make decisions about the video games they choose to play, although his characterisation of Outlast 2's content differed wildly from the Board.
Kotaku Australia has learned that Outlast 2 has been refused classification in Australia, predominately for the depiction of implied sexual violence.
"This video game takes place in a fantasy world involving all kinds of creatures both human and non-human," Senator Leyonhjelm said. "The mere suggestion of an out-of-screen encounter between a creature and a human character was enough to get it banned altogether by the Australian Classification Board."
"All of this operates on the false assumption that people who play video games are impressionable children who would play out anything they saw. Yet the internet is now awash with all manner of unpleasant images involving real people - not computer generated images - and violent crime around the world is in decline."
Curiously, the Senator also revealed that many major gaming websites are banned from federal computers. Sites like Polygon, PC Gamer, Gameplanet and others (presumably Kotaku too, although it wasn't mentioned) are blocked on the federal network, but politicians can freely access the neo-Nazi site Stormfront.
"In fact, politicians and public servants are blocked from accessing several gamer websites. If we want to access Polygon, IGN, PC Gamer or Gameplanet, the computer says no. This is presumably because we might stumble across an image of something somebody disapproves of on a medium we don’t understand."
The Senator's argument: adults should be free to make choices about the content they view, even if the majority of society disagrees with that content. His remarks also broke a record for the amount of Witcher 3 references dropped in Parliament:
For example, not many Senators or senior public servants would know the difference between a Ghoul and an Alghoul – and so would find it hard to advance in the video game known as The Witcher.
Compare this attitude and that of the former Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk who famously presented a copy of The Witcher to President Barack Obama – who presumably now has time to learn the difference between a Ghoul and an Alghoul.
Update: The reason a lot of gaming sites are banned, I'm told, is because they're classified as entertainment sites. Entertainment, as all managers know, is a code word for "massive timewaster". You'd think that logic would apply to LiveLeak as well, but it's not out of form for Canberra to be a little behind the times.