Good morning, Rebels, and welcome back to my life.
So tell me if you’ve heard this one. Recently Australia completely banned the video game Hotline Miami 2 because of a rape scene that occurs within the game.
This isn’t a store choosing not to sell it—this is the government of Australia saying the game CANNOT be sold in Australia in any way.
And I just want to say good for them. Good for the Australian government. Hats off to you guys for keeping this game off the market.
I mean Australia already had a rating system that would let the consumer know what kind of material to expect within the game.
And the game couldn’t have been sold to minors without a parent’s consent, but really, is that going far enough? I say no.
I think people aren’t able to handle difficult subjects like these in their games. Just like they’re not able to handle them in their books, movies or television shows.
I think any portrayal of such actions should be removed from video games entirely, regardless of the consumer’s desire to play the game or the developer’s desire to include such topics in their story.
Never mind the fact that the rape scene is simulated on a movie set within the game—still, graphic depictions of rape are completely inappropriate in our art and should not be allowed on any screen, large or small.
Now the game developers have told Australian fans to just go ahead and pirate the game, because they’re not losing any money on it anyway.
That means we’ll never really get this rape scene out of Australia completely, but we’ve taken a step in the right direction. This can be a fantastic precedent.
But we can’t let the momentum decrease. We have to take advantage of this historical decision. So let’s work out what we need to do next.
See, we’ve finally realized that any art form dealing with intensely uncomfortable topics like rape or violence are inappropriate for consumers within the economy.
But we haven’t gone far enough yet. See, the problem with video games is that the player is participating in the actual crime. That’s what we care about. That’s what we’re targeting.
But what we’ve failed to do, and the next logical step, is books, film and television.
Now I know what you’re going to say! In those cases, there’s no participation. But hear me out.
Take Sons of Anarchy or Breaking Bad, shows with lots of death and sexual violence.
You THINK you’re just watching them and being a spectator. You THINK there’s no participation going on.
But…the next day, what do these television watchers do? They talk about these shows with their friends.
They say what happened, maybe…MAYBE…maybe they even quote lines from the show. And you can gasp in horror now, because that would be completely appropriate.
See? See how participation sneaks in when you aren’t even looking?
But just wait. It gets even worse.
There is a book series out there…that’s now being made into a movie…where you are meant to imagine yourself in the shoes of the main character.
You might call that “immersion.” I call it mind control.
And while you are being that character, you participate in and are the victim of multiple incidents of non-consensual sex. Over and over and over again.
It’s time we ban Fifty Shades of Grey from our bookshelves and from our bedrooms.
BUT WAIT. There’s more. There’s an insidious force that has invaded our theaters, our bookshelves, and even…our schools.
What’s even worse? It’s been there for hundreds of years, infesting our culture from the inside out.
Due to this perverted and disgusting purveyor of violence and sex and murder, children—yes, CHILDREN—act out scenes of graphic violence and suicide.
You want to talk about participation in an art form? These children actually pretend—in REAL LIFE, not on a TV screen—to try and kill each other with swords, knives and poison.
They murder each other’s cousins and speak dialogue layered with sexual nuance and fart jokes.
This is a disgusting and insidious assault on our cultural morality. And it needs to be stopped.
Australia, you’ve done the right thing in banning a sexually violent video game. Take the next step and be a shining beacon for the world.
Ban William Shakespeare.
Thanks for watching this little PSA, Rebels, and I’ll see you tomorrow.