R18+ Rating for Games - Eros and ACL say noWhen Eros announced they agreed with the Australian Christian Lobby’s stance that the Government should abandon plans to consult the public on whether to introduce an R18+ games classification, they did their own cause more harm than good.

It’s hard to believe Eros forgot that nearly all of the groups who oppose an adult games rating, also oppose relaxing or unifying Australia’s pornography laws. It was only in July last year that the ACL called for the sale of all X-Rated material to be banned nationwide.

And even though Eros has long argued that violence is a much bigger issue than sex in the media, they posted an interview today where CEO Fiona Patten points out that once sex is censored other forms of expression are sure to follow. So why align with the ACL?

I suspect it’s because Eros’s own news announcement on Friday which called for the unification of Australian retail porn laws received bugger all media attention. The games debate completely overshadowed it and like the class clown whose been gagged, Eros wanted the attention back on them. A dirty kick in the balls of the gaming industry was the way to get it.

Getting Up Banned in AustraliaHowever, it’s not gamers that came off looking second best. Most developers and players already know that even if the Government determines the public is in favour of an adult games rating, the chances of them introducing it is still slim to none.

It’s Eros who will pay the bigger price (and not just with a damaged reputation). This isn’t a debate about whether more violence (or sex) should be allowed in games; it’s about whether adults should be allowed to choose what media they consume without Government interference.

Be it games or adult videos, the underlying problem is censorship.

Siding with the ACL might be a good way for Eros to win the spotlight, but suggesting that the Government focus their attention on relaxing porn laws instead of those relating to games doesn’t help them make any progress in their goal to get adult products into the hands of consumers. To ‘family’ and religious organisations this isn’t a case of sex Vs violence or games Vs porn, it’s a case of bin it all and don’t stop there.

Sure Eros aren’t advocates of free speech, but you might expect a group which represents the interests of the Australian adult industry to also respect the rights of Australian adults. You know, because they play games too.

– Mike