Talking Targetgate on ABC 936 Hobart

ABC logoEarlier this week Target Australia announced that it was pulling Grand Theft Auto V from its shelves after an online petition gathered 41,000 signatures protesting the game’s depictions of violence against women. “Targetgate” soon became the label, of course — and it stuck even when Kmart Australia followed suit.

On Thursday I discussed the issue with Louise Saunders on ABC 936 Hobart, covering much the same territory as journalist Alex Kidman did in his opinion piece at Fat Duck Tech.

This is obviously a complex issue, especially in the wake of the continuing Gamergate furore, but because I’d previously discussed Gamergate on Download This Show, I felt reasonably well-prepared. I’m told I skirted around the edge of the rabbit hole without going down it.

I’d be interested to know whether you agree.

Play

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

R18+ computer games, finally, but little on cybercrime

Australia’s Standing Committee of Attorneys-General has been meeting in Adelaide these past two days. They’ve finally agreed to allow an R18+ classification for computer games. But I’m surprised to see they’ve said almost nothing about online crime.

In their Communiqué and Summary of Decisions [25kb PDF] they say:

R 18+ Classification for Computer Games

Ministers made a decision in principle, to introduce an R 18+ category for computer games. NSW abstained.

Ministers:

(a) agreed to take the Guidelines for the Classification of Computer games, as amended at the meeting, to their respective Cabinets

(b) agreed in principle, with the exception of the NSW Attorney General who abstained, that the Commonwealth introduce the proposed amendments to the National Classification Code to support the introduction of an R 18+ category

(c) agreed, with the exception of the NSW Attorney General who abstained, to commence drafting amendments to their enforcement legislation to reflect the introduction of an R 18 + category for computer games

(d) agreed that it would be desirable for classifications of existing games to be reviewed in light of the new classification Guidelines.

This leads to the interesting possibility that the federal government could legislate to create the R18+ category, but NSW could choose not to implement matching laws. The result would be that the games would be legal to sell everywhere in Australia except NSW.

A similar situation already exists for X-rated movies. The federal government passed the laws, but the states changed their minds later. So X-rated material is available in the ACT.

But as I say, there was precious little on cybercrime.

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