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Report on Video and Computer Games

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The sections of the infamous Report on Video and Computer Games and Classification Issues published by the [Australian] Senate Select Committee on Community Standards Relevant to the Supply of Services Utilising Electronic Technologies in October 1993 that strictly pertain to this discussion on unjust computer game censorship are transcribed and commented upon on this page.

This supposedly objective report is profoundly biased and unscholarly, and I think it is a scandal that the authors reached the conclusions that they did and that an equally prejudiced and ignorant Government acted on their disgustingly ill thought out recommendations. My critical commentary on each of the sections presented here is only the beginning of a much greater protest on this issue.

Pro computer games arguments I promoted to this Committee in 1997

Australian computer games rating guidelines


This information ceased to be updated on 1 January 1998.
For current general information concerning computer games censorship in Australia,
please consult my Games Censorship Collection Web site.


[#]4. The Committee is concerned that the level of technology involved with the use of video and computer games means that many parents do not necessarily have the competency to ensure adequate parental guidance. Therefore the Committee recommends that material of an "R" equivalent category be refused classification. The Committee also recommends that...an "X" equivalent classification...should not be adopted for video and computer game material....

From the beginning, we have the dominant false assumption that adults do not play computer games. This ignorant assertion does not stand up to statistical analysis. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported as recently as September 1996 that 49.6% of Australian computer games players are aged 18 and over. Hyper, Australia's leading computer games magazine, has stated that, on the basis of an extensive survey, about one third of its readers are over 18 (October 1995 issue, page 8). Another local computer gaming magazine, PC PowerPlay, went even further and claimed that over 60% of its readers are adults (November 1996 issue, page 25). Lastly, the USA based Interactive Digital Software Association that represents the business and public affairs needs of entertainment software publishers, found in mid-1996 that a massive 72% of those using PCs to run entertainment software are over 18 and half of those are over 35 years of age. To be sure, the figures are different in each case but the overall message is a clear one.

The convenient fiction that computer games are just for kids can continue no longer. I, like so many others worldwide who are mature adults, do indeed utilise this form of entertainment. Sierra On-Line, an experienced multinational computer software giant, realises this too and made Phantasmagoria which contains many themes of an adult nature to which children may find it hard to relate and therefore enjoy. Many of today's games have a network play option built in, implying that it is expected that a significant number of players will have access to a computer Local Area Network. And just where are these networks located? In private homes filled with scandalised little eight year olds? Hardly! They are in offices populated by adults who want something relaxing to do at breaktimes and after working hours. In my own experience, corresponding with fellow gamers via email and simply observing the age of the clientele I see in computer gaming stores (even outside of school hours), it is clear that large numbers of adults do indeed play large numbers of computer games.

One of the fundamental differences between adults and children is that the former are responsible for their own decisions while the latter are not. Adults are quite rightly trusted to responsibly handle "R" and "X" (i.e 18+) rated material on other forms of media but not when it comes to computer games. Adults do not need this form of overprotection the Government seems anxious to provide against our will. We can make our own decisions about what to see and what not to see, what to buy and what not to buy. We deeply resent being treated as children once again when our rights in most other areas of society are considerable. Children are already protected from certain types of material as only adults can ever have access to "R" and "X" rated products. What, then, is banning "adults only" style computer games supposed to achieve? Helpful warnings about the content of a classifiable product are useful, but to ban a title outright on the basis that it might harm the sensibilities of children reveals a profound lack of knowledge on the true nature of the computer gaming community.

As for the assertion that parents cannot comprehend the technology used by their children in the playing of these games, real life experience once again ridicules a false notion presented in the Report as fact. There is a diverse spread of age groups among parents. Many, if educated in the 1980s, will most likely have been taught computers at school. Likewise, in the past few years, it has become quite common for universities to insist on some level of computer expertise. Almost all parents either work (paid employment) or have worked at some stage in their lives. It is rare to see a workplace in this day and age that does not use computers. Those with few or non-existent computer skills are being forced into training programs in order to retain their usefulness as employees. The Information Technology (Computing) industry is in fact one of the fastest growing industries in the world, employing more and more people with computer skills each year. In the home, computers are often bought for business related reasons. Even if they are not, it is hard to believe that anyone would make such an expensive purchase without bothering to learn how to operate one! Are these the adults who have insufficient knowledge to supervise their children? At any rate, console-style video games machines require no more knowledge to operate than a microwave oven or television set. Personal computer style games are more difficult to set up but not exceptionally so - nothing a quick look at the game's manual or telephone call to the relevant technical support line will not fix. Finally, the Government report Families and Electronic Entertainment, released in mid-1996, has in fact shown that adults are indeed quite capable of supervising the computer game playing activities of their children, thereby making a mockery of this Recommendation.

6. Having regard to the extra sensory intensity involved in the playing of interactive games and the implications of the long-term effects on users, the Committee recommends that stricter criteria for classification than those applying to equivalent film and video classifications be set by censorship authorities. The criteria, once established, should be made known to prospective applicants for classification, and the standard of application of the criteria must be maintained.

Extra sensory intensity? In the case of the average cd-rom or disk-based computer game, just how realistic are the graphics and sound? What is presented on the screen is either hideously grainy and blocky compared to a television quality picture or a mere cartoon/animation as in Doom and Quake. Colour depth is often limited to a dismal 256 colours compared to thousands or millions on a television or cinema screen. Sound hardware, from sound cards to speakers, are but poor cousins to their now standard stereo TV rival. What is termed "multimedia" is but a second-rate imitation of what movies and television have been providing to the public at a more intense level for decades. The main difference is that computer games require thought from an alert mind. Is this what the Government is afraid of? That people can have fun and think at the same time? This is not all that different from the policies of dictatorships! Computer games affect the people who play them no more or less than books and magazines affect the people who read them and videos affect those who watch them. Games are used for the same purpose too - that of totally harmless entertainment.

Yes, there have been behavioural studies in similar areas, but the results of these were by no means conclusive (See Behavioural Research below). They were mostly done on the effects of television on young people rather than computer games. As you will read further down the page, industry experts and even some young people themselves deny that they cannot distinguish fantasy from reality. In a fantasy environment, one cannot harm anyone from the real world and can resolve repressed tensions that may lead to real world violence if left unattended. People need fantasy to be able to better cope with reality. Humanity has known this for years and has come up with a wide range of fun, escapist entertainment opportunities over the millennia, all of which have at some point been repressed by the ignorant and superstitious. In the 1950s, they said similar things about comic books, later, the issue was rock and roll and heavy metal music. These new aspects of culture have enhanced the quality and diversity of our society rather than destroyed it. Now there is controversy over computer games. Ignorance such as this must be fought wherever it emerges.

7. The Committee supports the efforts of the Office of Film and Literature Classification to conduct research into the effects of video and computer games as an entertainment form as well as their impact on community standards. The Committee recognises the importance of this research and recommends that appropriate levels of funding be provided to the Office to ensure it can properly assess the influence of this evolving technology.

They do? Great! Its about time another inquiry into computer games was conducted. It will have my full support. If part of this inquiry involves scientifically researching the effects of computer games on all types and ages of people, why was this research not done a few years ago prior to the writing of this Report and the passing of associated legislation? Recommendation #6 is therefore obviously based on pure conjecture rather than fact. While they are at it, they might also consider the considerable negative psychological effects of repressing a person's dreams and fantasies. As far as community standards are concerned, adult computer gamers form a significant minority in the larger community, so this time they should be listened to and their wishes taken into account. To do otherwise will only repeat the current injustices.

See also Conclusions

Description of Technology

[Section] 2.19 Sega Ozisoft [Australian computer games distributor] informed the Committee that interactive video games are currently delivered in various forms, including cartridge, disk, and cd-rom for use on personal computers and games consoles. Cd-rom was said to be state of the art technology. The company claimed that the games appeal to a broad audience aged from 6 to 60 years. It forecast the arrival on the Australian market of the next industry development, virtual reality, during the 1994/5 financial year when it expected that the technology would be available to consumers "at prices below A$1000". The Committee was told by Mr Blackman of Leisure and Allied Industries that a virtual reality system had in fact been available in Australia for almost two years. Sega Ozisoft further forecast that during the balance of the decade, technologies such as cd-rom/multimedia, virtual reality and holograms would spread quickly into homes around the Western world. In evidence, Mr Bermeister [Managing Director, Sega-Ozisoft] stated that, as a result of new technology becoming available "we do expect the nature of the video games will become more explicit and the visual nature will improve using video graphics, audio sounds and stereo sounds."

Here, the Committee heard quite plainly from a major Australian computer games distributor that the age of their retail clients range from six to sixty. In other words, people who should know what they are talking about quite plainly stated that adults play computer games only to be totally ignored in the subsequent Report's recommendations!

As for commonly available virtual reality, where is it? The large devices in only a few public places provide a small amount of immersion in a world less detailed than the primitive games of a few years ago. Home headsets allow for only a limited experience akin to holding the monitor against one's eyes while playing the cartoon game Heretic. Wake up! This is only the end of the twentieth century, not the end of the twenty-first! Holograms! Who has ever seen them in a game? This type of unwarranted speculation is the stuff of science fiction and not the far more mundane reality of grainy video on a small two dimensional computer screen. There is little doubt the technology used in computer gaming will improve over time, but certainly nowhere near the rate carelessly promoted to the ever gullible and technophobic Committee.

2.21 ....Cd-rom is a multimedia vehicle. Text, pictures, and even moving pictures can all be carried on the same disk. Text and pictures of video quality can be combined to produce realistic interactive games which will be able to be manipulated with the use of a cd-rom drive connected to a computer and screen....

Cd-rom technology is nowhere near as advanced as conventional video recorder/television technology. True, it does try to imitate much of what is provided by the latter equipment, but fails dismally when trying to recreate the atmosphere of a movie type scene. Multimedia technology is quite slow, producing jerky results on the screen. Also, due to the limited capacity of the cd-rom medium, picture and sound quality is considerably degraded to save space.

Content of Games

2.26 From their earliest days, video games were arguably based on violence with games such as Space Invaders and Pac-Man requiring the destruction of opponents to continue in the game. The earlier video games were constrained by having only a basic level of cartoon-type graphics which were suitable for use by children of all ages. However, the debate about the absence of regulation of video games was given particular impetus by the proposed release of a video game on cd-rom called Night Trap using "live" actors and which requires the player to seek to defend a group of scantily dressed college students from being molested and mutilated by a group of zombies. A public outcry, based on press articles describing overseas concerns about the game, led to the game being withdrawn from the Australian market by its distributors, Sega Ozisoft.

From their earliest days, as is the still the case right now, some computer games were based on violence. The most popular topics have always been sport and education. Violence and entertainment have always been linked in some way, this is not unusual. Real violence in the form of public executions no doubt began this trend. This became fictionalised with the rise of the novel and the comic book. Children's games became militarised with "Cowboys vs. Indians" and such like. The biggest grossing and Academy awarded movies of all time, from Ben Hur to Schindler's List, to even Star Wars, present plots where violence is never far from the central theme. In short, fictional violence, unlike in the past when it was real, is already a recognised and largely accepted part of life. If all of the aforementioned activities are allowed, there is no reason to apply greater restrictions on computer games. Note that, once again, the myth that only children play such games is once again perpetuated.

It seems that part of the impetus behind this Report stems from typical media hype and distortion of the facts in the interests of sensationalism which sells papers and programs. I have experienced this before with the unsuccessful attempts of some journalists and radical religious groups a decade ago to ban the pencil and paper role playing game Dungeons and Dragons in which I once had a considerable involvement. Now, in the mid/late 1990's, the media has been largely successful in blowing new community concerns out of all proportion and bringing about the imposition of harsh restrictions on my relatively new interest.

In regard to Night Trap, the game singled out for special attention, the player assumes a role similar to that of the police force to capture evil doers, thereby promoting law and order. What on earth is wrong with that? It is a reflection of the classic and eternal conflict of good against evil seen so often in fictional and even real life situations. There is no sex or nudity involved and the level of clothing shown is comparable to that of the harmless "G" or "PG" rated television show Baywatch. The alleged "mutilation" is vampiric blood draining of a less graphic nature than Bram Stoker's Dracula - an "M" (recommended for ages 15 and up) rated movie that everyone is allowed to see! This is what the player's character is trying to stop rather than assist or encourage. The hysteria surrounding both Night Trap and Phantasmagoria is totally unjustifiable and displays the ignorance and intolerance of anti-computer game crusaders far more than it says anything about the nature of the computer gaming community.

2.29 ....newspaper reports point to the availability of video games containing R-rated, adult erotica....Titles...[include]...Virtual Valerie, said to be an interactive adult sex fantasy game, Hidden Obsessions and House of Dreams....

The continued availability of these sorts of titles with sexual themes and depictions without restriction to people who can prove their age is over eighteen continues to astound me. They are all obviously designed to arouse sexual feelings in their users through the explicit representation of still or moving pornographic images. But they are not classified as games and may pass the censors' inspection as "publications" or "films".

Anyone who has played Phantasmagoria in its entirety will remember that it contains only two brief sex scenes (both non-interactive) of the type unsuitable for viewing by children. Both do not show any genital detail or focus almost exclusively on the physical nature of the acts themselves. They are clearly not represented for their voyeuristic value. Nor do they show non-consensual sexual relations as desirable. Rather, they focus on the emotions of the participants and are eminently justified in terms of plot and character development. Neither, on the basis of my viewing of similar scenes on screen elsewhere, if transferred to television or video would get anything more severe than an "M", or, at worst, an "MA" (15+) rating. This comparison is valid as the player has no control over these scenes, there is nothing to do besides either watching them or pressing the Esc key to avoid them. The player is only ever in control of one character throughout the entire game and, in reference to this pair of non-interactive sex scenes, she is a willing participant in the first and a victim in the second. As a last note to conservative traditionalists, for a notable change, the characters engaged in these activities are married to each other.

Behavioural Research

2.32 Because of the interactive nature of computer games, the Committee has sought to ascertain whether there may be a need for stricter content regulation than prevails with other "passive" media, such as film, video and publications, arising from differences in sensory intensity.

While it is true to say that all computer games are interactive, not all incidents depicted in all computer games are interactive. As the Australian computer games ratings guidelines, in a reflection of typical Government ignorance, do not distinguish between interactive and non-interactive computer game scenes, games such as Phantasmagoria may be banned solely for containing scenes and depictions the player cannot influence in any way. Thus, Phantasmagoria was banned on the basis of prejudiced assumptions that simply do not exist for the less heavily censored media of film and video. See also my comments on recommendation #6.

2.34 Mr Haines [Deputy Chief Censor] added to the hearing on 30 September that:
While there is certainly an interest in examining the possible effects [of the playing of computer games on the levels of violence within the community], as far as I have been able to establish, no formal research is yet being undertaken in this field. The generally held view is that such studies would largely be futile, given the rapid technological advances being made in this field and the difficulties of studying causal effects. I think here that the often contradictory research findings, over the past 40 years or so, into the effects of television were cited as highlighting the difficulties.

One of many statements refuting the notion that playing computer games leads to increased violence within the community that went unheeded by the Committee.

2.35 The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) will be involved in a joint study with the Australian Broadcasting Authority this financial year that will include questions relating to such things as the use of, and family/parental involvement with, computer games both in the home and in arcades. Mr Haines indicated that the OFLC was keen to pursue such research, subject to adequate funding, but he does not believe that research into causal links between viewing violent material and perpetrating violent acts is worthwhile "because there are so many other possible contributory causes."

The OFLC has conducted two such studies so far - Computer Games and their Effects on Young People: A Review [also known as the "Durkin Report"] (1995) and Families and Electronic Entertainment (1996). Both studied minors as game players and adults as supervisors, finding no conclusive evidence whatsoever that links the playing of computer games to real world violent activities. There are so many other possible contributory causes (poverty, domestic violence, etc) as a person would have to be slightly mentally unbalanced in the first place to be influenced by playing computer games to physically hurt themselves or someone else. Computer games are being used as a convenient scapegoat for deeper societal problems as the Government continually ignores the findings of its own reports.

2.36 Committee members are familiar with the argument that, because of the many factors contributing to violence within the community, there can be no definitive linkage proven through the consumption of violent material through the media and engaging in violent acts. The Committee believes, however, that there is sufficient anecdotal evidence of a linkage from police and public prosecutors that the community cannot fail to act to control a situation which has the very real potential, even if statistically inconclusive, to affect young people.

So this is the way we are governed and important policy decisions are made! By unscientific and unscholarly rumour and speculation which is held in higher esteem than rational evidence! It makes me wonder how far society has progressed beyond the paranoid delusions of the witch hunting days of the seventeenth century!

2.39 On 3 August 1993, The Age [newspaper] reported on a Los Angeles conference of 500 experts meeting to discuss whether TV causes violence. While there were dissenters, most researchers say that the evidence is undeniable that TV makes America a more perilous place. An epidemiologist, Mr Brandon Centerwall, was quoted as saying:
Television tells children a great deal about violence - that it is exciting, charismatic, powerful, interesting and that it solves problems.

Regrettably, this is indeed true in many action style computer games. But I believe this should not create a problem as players do understand the difference between displacing the pixels of a representation of a living being on a computer screen with real life assault and murder.

Phantasmagoria, on the other hand, commendably and almost uniquely portrays violent acts in a way diametrically opposed to the norm. In this game, violent acts are shown for the horrors that they are, by not holding back on the devastating effects of violent activities on other human beings, an essentially pacifist message is promoted. Everyone who commits a violent act is punished in some way, almost always by death.

This is perfectly epitomised in the player's character, Adrienne. Upon witnessing violent acts and being on the receiving end herself on more than one occasion, she unfailingly displays a sensitive and often highly saddened emotional reaction. Even when she uses violent means to solve her problems for the first time and fights Don off with makeshift weapons at the end of the game, she always looks shocked at what she has to do for purposes of self-defence. This regrettable turn of events climaxes with Don's death at the hands of Adrienne in a moment of sheer desperation. Observe her reaction to this move and see if she was truly "rewarded" by her actions!

Industry Views

2.56 ....Mr Bermeister...added that all aspects of the game [Night Trap] had been the subject of exhaustive study, which led him to conclude:
...the game, its graphics, and its storyline have turned out to be pure burlesque. Its a fantasy game reminiscent of the B-grade horror comedies available for general viewing at any video shop.

An industry representative quite logically likens cd-rom games involving real actors to videos readily available to the general public, and was subsequently ignored!

2.58 ....Mr Blackman pointed to the operation in Timezone parlours for over two years of television-type quality games using video technology. He said:
...although the graphic representation is realistic, people understand that it is not real. They understand that they are actors and that it is a game. It is no more real than if they watch a film at the movies or if they watch a video at home or they watch a movie on the TV.

Once again, I couldn't agree more!

Users Views

2.62 The [selection of] students [from a local high school] expressed a range of views about the subject of violence in video games and their attitudes were obviously influenced by age and gender. The older students regarded computer games as a challenge where it was important to reach the end of the game, indicating on several occasions that the culmination of the game was the defeat or killing of a particular character (the anti-hero). One older girl talked about using games as a means of relieving pent up tension and aggression. Younger children, particularly the boys, were obviously attracted towards games with a violent theme, while the girls generally preferred non-violent themes. However, several students including two boys expressed concern about the content of some violent games, especially in respect to extremes of depiction such as decapitation.

All of these users were clearly under eighteen years of age and were given only a small say in relation to the attention given to non-users and other non-sympathetic groups of people. This was only a token effort which predictably only served to confirm the existing prejudices of the members of the Committee.

2.63 All the students wanted to emphasise that as individuals they are perfectly capable of distinguishing fact from fantasy and reference was made to the level of violence screened nightly on the news. There was a consensus that a problem exists in relation to primary school children who may identify with a character in a video game; for example, by playing out karate-kick scenes in the playground. They believed that the problem declined with the age of the child and that, in any case, games get boring after a while. The views were mixed as to whether age limits on violent material would resolve this problem, both because it is impossible to control access and because young children will always have [role] models, with mention made of such television characters as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Quite sensible viewpoints are mentioned here, but why should they have be taken into account as you can do anything to people who are too young to vote. Exactly those people subsequent legislation would try to protect at the expense of the rights of the adult gaming population clearly mentioned that they can distinguish fantasy from reality and understand that violence is wrong in the real world. Yet, the Committee ignored them and gave preference to the false views of unknown parties!

Office of Film and Literature Classification View

2.69 ...."The [proposed computer games classification] scheme envisages that the strongest material will be banned, but some material would be restricted to adults as appropriate....and the remainder would be classified with particular regard to the suitability for children under eight years...."

To my great surprise, the Office of Film and Literature Classification appears to be composed of quite sensible individuals. It is a shame they are compelled to classify computer games a totally different way to publications and films. Imagine, they proposed a system that, if instituted as planned, would have led to "adult" games being restricted to those over eighteen in the same way "R" rated movies and some pornographic magazines are treated at the moment. This is undoubtedly the situation I would prefer instead of the current system that treats everyone like eight year olds.

2.71 Following the Committee's hearing on 30 September 1993, Mr Dickie [Chief Censor] was contacted to provide clarification on proposed categories. The proposed categories are:
G - games suitable for 0 to 7 years of age
G8 - games suitable for 8 to 14 years of age
M - games suitable for 15 to 17 years of age
R - games restricted to 18 years of age and over
Refused - refused classification

This proposed scheme is reasonable, I would support it. It seems to allow for games such as Phantasmagoria without too much trouble.

2.72 Ministers [Attorneys General] will be asked to consider what action should be taken in relation to material containing sexually explicit material equivalent to the present "X" rating for film and video.

Wow! They originally considered "X"-rated games! I wonder what those who wanted to allow such titles into the Australian market think of the current computer games rating system? As for "sexually explicit" X-equivalent material, this concept was drastically modified to include any and all sexual material of a simulated or more powerful nature commonly seen in everything from "M" to "R" movies. Any depiction of such activities now causes a computer game to be banned in Australia even though the vast majority of those who would play such titles are well above the legal age of sexual consent in the real world! What motivated these supposedly well educated political and legal officials to pervert for the worse a perfectly reasonable proposal that computer games be classified in the same or similar way to videos? This smells of blatant authoritarianism and blind ignorance of the highest order!


2.78 The Committee concludes that the proliferation of video and computer games with themes based on violence and sexual activity is predicted and is rapidly becoming a reality on the market for this form of "entertainment". Why such themes have such customer appeal is the source of much conjecture but they are also attracting growing opposition in the community.

What? How dare they say such things! Sex and violence are common themes in most forms of lore and literature and have been so for centuries! Even highly respected and revered religious texts and Shakespeare plays contain these elements. Why should computer games be singled out for special attention, particularly as this new form of human expression is entirely fictional? What arrogance! What technophobia! The Committee members will have to wake up to the fact that this is the age of computer technology and those few who mindlessly reject it have no place in governing our society. On this basis alone, the entire Report and its resulting legislation should be revoked immediately! Sure, there are those who oppose all that is new and try to repress the forces of change at every opportunity, but history shows that such people eventually lose. It is only a matter of time before the forces of reason will prevail.

2.79 They are widely promoted by the distributors and to a considerable degree benefit from any controversy these products may attract. The controversy is frequently fuelled by the amount of attention the media sees fit to accord to them. Much of the material in games such as Night Trap is demeaning of women, contains extreme violence and is presented with a simplistic plot. These types of video and computer games are a good demonstration that their availability in this industry requires regulation and that self-regulation within the industry is inadequate.

Phantasmagoria, through the promotion of a strong female lead character does not demean women, contains a few moments of easily avoidable extreme violence, and has a plot of reasonable complexity. It is not at all like the type of game the powers that be would like to see banned. If "games such as Night Trap" are indeed so "demeaning of women", then can anyone please tell me why Phantasmagoria is enjoyed equally by both males and females any why all the computer gaming demographic surveys I read show that at least one third of gamers are female? For that matter, this Committee remark in fact demeans the highly accomplished, talented, and best-selling women game designers of Sierra On-Line - such as: Roberta Williams (Phantasmagoria), and Lorelei Shannon (Phantasmagoria 2). The Committee once again shows its utter ignorance of the computer gaming culture!

Maybe the "problem" lies in the portrayal of some female characters in computer games as "victims". If this is indeed the problem it is made out to be, then I suggest that the military and police forces protect male citizens only from this point forward. After all, females are never victims of crime and violence in real life and can look after themselves in all cases without exception... Think of all the taxpayers' dollars that would be saved! Naturally, this will never happen and nor would I even consider supporting such a move. I am stating these points merely to show the direction in which the Report's illogical statement may lead if heeded and applied consistently across the services provided by all levels of Australian government. Furthermore, the Committee should know that one of the so-called "scantily clad women" in Night Trap is in fact an undercover police officer who aids the player's character to defeat the evil villains of the game. These politicians made very few efforts to find out the facts about the media they were investigating.

2.81 The Committee considers that there must be scope for domestic initiatives to counter the trend in games' content....to counter the importation of a growing amount of mindless matter.

Did you hear that United States, United Kingdom, France, and Japan? Games which derive from your countries are merely "mindless matter"! Don't you realise the contempt being shown to you through the ridicule of an aspect of your cultures? Arrogant racists and xenophobes were on the Committee that decided future computer games censorship laws! Personally, I am glad that I have the chance to experience other cultures through the enjoyment of their entertainment related exports.

2.87 The Committee recommends that an MA classification be introduced for video and computer games found to be unsuitable for viewing by persons under 15 years of age. Games in this classification can only be sold, hired, delivered or exhibited to persons under the age of 15 years if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Committee also recommends that the availability of MA material must be conditional on a statutory requirement to provide proof of age at the point of sale or hire.

As a point of interest, the "MA (15+)" category is the highest available at the moment for officially approved computer games.

See also Recommendations

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