We should care about censorship, even if we don’t care about the censored work

2 mins read

Opinion by Matt S.

Not long ago there was the unfortunate news that a Compile Heart game had been Refused Classification in Australia, effectively banning it.

Not many people seemed to complain about this. Not that many outlets even really reported on it, beyond a very flat statement-of-fact.

And on one level, it’s fair enough. It’s not a game that would have appealed to many – being a PlayStation Vita release, and a niche Japanese game at that. But you know what? It is important, because actual, genuine, censorship of the arts is a horrible idea, and should be protested on principle alone.

So I’ve written a piece over at Daily Review looking at the ideology of censorship, and why we don’t need to necessarily care about the art work in question to actually protest it.

You can read the whole article here. But for a sample:

When a film is RCed, people protest. They import and play the film. When Baise-moi was RCed the debate was loud and the anger from the film community real. When a Bill Henson photo exhibition was confiscated by the NSW police and the works came under sharp criticism from the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the arts community rose up in anger against the censorship and Rudd’s condemnation.

But no one seems to care about games like MeiQ. A lack of interest in playing the game – or any of the others that have been RCed – is fair enough given how niche they are. But the principle itself should be worth fighting for.

I didn’t need to be interested in Henson’s photographs to protest their confiscation. You don’t need to be interested in MeiQ to realise that at some point the Board might go after a game (or any other art work) that you are interested in.

– Matt S. 
Find me on Twitter: @digitallydownld

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