Senator David Leyonhjelm of Australia’s Liberal Democratic party has lashed out at the country’s government and its classification board over their approach to video games. IGN reports that Leyonhjelm cited the recent case of Outlast 2, which was refused classification, in a speech to the Senate yesterday where he also complained that Australia’s politicians and public servants are “blocked” from accessing video game websites.
This video game takes place in a fantasy world involving all kinds of creatures both human and non-human. 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.
Although IGN has been told that entertainment websites including video game publications are typically blocked for public servants at work, Leyonhjelm argues that it’s “presumably because we might stumble across an image of something somebody disapproves of on a medium we don’t understand.”
Concluding his speech, he said that the government keeps sending signals of “censorship, disapproval and discouragement” to the gaming community and that authorities including the country’s classification board “should leave video gamers alone.”