A video games panic is being whipped up by the Australian press. A press release claims:
Australian children are having their minds warped by an ultra-addictive new video game that has already attracted 45 million players worldwide, experts warn.
Fortnite -- which can be played on Xbox, Playstation and now on mobile phones -- pits players against each other in a survival of the fittest-type contest. Players must take out opponents using weapons such as grenades, assault rifles, crossbows
and rocket launches as the map constantly shrinks.
Some experts are warning that the addictive nature of the Hunger Games style contest and the amount of time that children spend playing are a cause for concern.
Video game Fortnite released its iOS version of its game on Friday which already has 45 million players globally
Mary Rezk, a 40-year-old Beverly Park mother, told the Daily Telegraph that the game was like a drug to her three boys aged 14, nine, and six. All they do is fight about who wants to play, she explained, They're just so obsessed with it.
Last September a free-to-play Battle Royale edition of the game was released in which up to 100 players are dropped onto an island with the aim of killing each other and taking their equipment and weapons, referred to as loot by
players. This skyrocketed the game's popularity among PC and console users and, in January, the game's publisher Epic Games said that the title has more than 45 million players.
Interestingly the only 'expert' opinion quoted by the piece is totally mundane and obvious. Hardly supports the preceding panic laden text.
Clinical and Sports Psychologist Dr Jonathon Fader told GMA that, the difference with this game is that it is so interactive, recommending that parents look at the context, such as if gaming interferes with other activities, when looking at how
much to limit screen time.
The Australian Federal Police Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) is seeking rulings from the country's Film Classification Board that will help it ban the import and supply of magazines that promote Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.
Since August 2017 the JCTT has made several applications to the board asking it to determine that materials from ISIS and Al-Qaeda should be refused classification in Australia. The Classification Board has upheld applications on 22 different
pieces of material.
The list of materials now banned in Australia includes magazines produced by ISIS from 2014 to 2016 called Dabiq that were used as a recruitment tool by the organisation. Material that is listed as refused classification in Australia cannot be
imported into, or exported out of, the country, and there are substantial restrictions on their dissemination.
In May 2017, the Australian major news platform, news.com.au published an article titled Islamic State terror guide encourages luring victims via Gumtree, eBay
A week after it was published on May 31, 2017, the Attorney-General's office contacted news.com.au to demand it be taken down, saying the Classification Board had ruled it should be refused classification as it directly or indirectly advocated
It appears to be the first time section 9A of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 has been used to censor a news report, since it was first added in 2007. The action has alarmed the publisher of news.com.au as
Australian media in general were not informed the Classification Board had the power to ban news stories or that the eSafety Commissioner had the power to instigate investigations into news articles.
A separate Press Council investigation into the article was commissioned and the Council has ruled in news.com.au favour, accepting there was public interest in its article publicising the disturbing ways Islamic State was trying to target
News.com.au has just published the Press Council decision and it reveals that news.com.au was not given the opportunity to defend the article prior to it being censored.
News.com.au editor-in-chief Kate de Brito said any censorship of the media by a government department raised serious concerns about press freedom.
This is a deeply concerning development of media censorship. The Classification Board has silenced the reporting of a legitimate threat to the Australian public, she said. Australians have a right to know if their safety or lives are being
placed at risk -- there can be few more important matters of public interest.
The secretive way the Classifications Board acted in this way is a direct attack on freedom of the press and journalists should condemn it.
Lady Bird is a 2017 USA comedy by Greta Gerwig.
Starring Saoirse Ronan, Odeya Rush and Kathryn Newton.
The adventures of a young woman living in Northern California for a year.
Lady Bird is one of the best reviewed films of the year but Australian audiences will be seeing a cut version of the Oscar-nominated coming-of-age movie.
As reported by Media Censorship in Australia, the first time the film's distributor, Universal Pictures, submitted Lady Bird for classification, it received an MA15+ rating, meaning teenagers under the age of 15 would not be able to see the film
without a guardian. A cut version was subsequently submitted by Universal and given the far less restrictive M rating (a PG-15 in US terminology).
The cuts were to delete a brief sight of a guy's dick in a Playgirl magazine. Also a use of the word 'cunt' was replaced by 'cooze' (a slightly less strong vulgar term for a woman's genitals. But it can also be used like 'slag').
Update: Understandable decision
24th February 2018. From Ben via twitter
Having watched it today they were definitely right to cut it. I don't say that often. It's extremely tame for a 15 - those two censored scenes along with the f**k count are the only reasons why ("very strong language, brief strong
nudity") and aren't important at all.
A Melbourne cinema's operators have cancelled a screening of the iconic 1970s film Deep Throat amid complaints from a women's campaign group, the Coalition Against Trafficking Women in Australia (CATWA).
Gerard Damiano's pornographic film was scheduled for a rare public screening at The Astor in St Kilda on March 19. The screening was to have been followed by a panel discussion.
In a message responding to the complaints, Palace programming director Kim Petalas said the film was booked for cultural purposes as a reflection on the changing political, censorship and cinema exhibition landscape in the USA in the early 1970s.
After receiving the complaints The Astor's leaseholders, Palace Cinemas, quickly made the decision to cancel the screening.
Feminist concerns about Deep Throat stem not just from its sexually explicit nature but from the personal testimony of its star Linda Lovelace who later accused her former husband Chuck Trainor of forcing her into pornography at gunpoint.
kotaku.com.au has managed to get hold of the Australian censor's reasoning behind its ban of Omega Labyrinth Z . The censors write:
The game features a variety of female characters with their cleavages emphasised by their overtly provocative clothing, which often reveal the sides or underside of theiur breasts and obscured genital region. Multiple female characters are also
depicted fully nude, with genitals obscured by objects and streams of light throughout the game. Although of indeterminate age, most of these characters are adult-like, with voluptuous bosoms and large cleavages that are flaunted with a variety
of skimpy outfits.
One character, Urara Rurikawa, is clearly depicted as child-like in comparison with the other female characters. She is flat-chested, physically underdeveloped (particularly visible in her hip region) and is significantly shorter than otehr
characters in the game. She also has a child-like voice, wears a school uniform-esque outfit and appears naive in her outlook on life.
At one point in the game, Urara Rurikawa and a friend are referred to as "the younger girls" by one of the game's main characters. In the Boards opinion, the character of Urara Rurikawa is a depiction of a person who is, or appears to
be, a child under 18 years.
In some gameplay modes, including the "awakening" mode, the player is able to touch the breasts, buttocks, mouths and genital regions of each character, including Urara Rurikawa, while they are in sexualised poses, receiving positive
verbal feedback for interactions which are implied to be pleasurable for the characters and negative verbal feedback, including lines of dialogue such as "I-It doesn't feel good..." and "Hyah? Don't touch there!," for
interactions which are implied to be unpleasurable, implying a potential lack of consent.
The aim of these sections is, implicity, to sexually arouse these characters to the point that a "shame break" is activated, in which some of the characters clothing is removed - with genital regions obscured by light and various
objects - and the background changes colour as they implicitly orgasm.
In one "awakening" mode scenario, thee player interacts with Urara Rurikawa, who is depicted lying down, clutching a teddy bear, with lines of dialogue such as "I'm turning sleepy...", "I'm so sleepy now..." and
"I might wake up..." implying that she is drifting in and out of sleep.
The player interacts with this child-like character in the same manner as they interact with adult characters, clicking her breasts, buttocks, mouth and genital regions until the "shame break" mode is activated. During this section of
the game, with mis-clicks, dialogue can be triggered, in which Urara Rurikawa says, "Stop tickling...", "Stop poking..." and "Th-that feels strange...", implying a lack of consent.
In the Board's opinion, the ability to interact with the character Urara Rurikawa in the manner described above constituted a simulation of sexual stimulation of a child.
Australia's Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell has gone into bat for Australia's sex industry, slamming the banks for discriminating against legal businesses by withdrawing or failing to provide financial services. Carnell said in a statement:
It's hypocritical that banks do not provide services to the adult industry when businesses are appropriately registered and regulated. Access to banking services is essential for a legitimate business to operate.
Carnell was responding to a recent report by the Eros Association, which found the vast majority of adult industry businesses experienced unfair treatment by financial service providers .
The association estimates there are more than 1000 adults-only businesses in Australia employing around 25,000 people, with the overall industry turning over $2.6 billion annually.
One respondent quoted in the report, the operator of an adult retail and wholesale business, said their merchant facilities were withdrawn after more than 20 years with the same bank.