They say war often results in strange bedfellows, and in the case of Australian politics, they are certainly right. Gamers4Croydon, a quasi-political party/advocacy group in South Australia, is encouraging its members to back the Australian Sex Party – another political group – in the upcoming federal elections.
The gamers’ main goal is to win an 18+ rating for video games, yet they have encountered hurdles in registering as a proper party for the election, according to a report in The Australian. The group’s organizers are thus encouraging supporters to back the Sex Party because its a progressive party whose policies are “very well aligned” with the gamers’.
I’m somewhat familiar with the Sex Party, having blogged about them before, but I’d never heard of Gamers4Croydon. After reading up on them, I have to admit to finding their position somewhat puzzling. As it stands, the most restrictive rating a video game can get in Australia is Mature Audiences 15+. The gamer group wants that raised to 18, so that it’s consistent with most other peer countries. As their site says:
Not only does the current classification system fail to allow adults the right to choose – its first guiding principle under law – but it also falls short on the second: protecting minors from potentially harmful or disturbing content.
What I don’t get is that most activist groups often argue for less rules and less censorship, yet these gamers seem to want more of it. I can see a morality group arguing for stronger restrictions on video games, but this same group is very opposed to Australia’s proposal for harsh internet filters, which is mainly aimed at stamping out porn online – something the Sex Party is also against.
Can anyone Down Under explain this seemingly contradictory position?
And while we’re on the topic of Australia… regular readers may remember my rather venomous rant against the country’s national airline, Qantas, back in April. Thanks to a litany of mechanical and scheduling problems, my already lengthy flight to Sydney took an extra 27 hours, which I’m sure is responsible for some of my newly discovered grey hairs.
That rant happened to be my single most-viewed post ever, so quite a few people have obviously had similar experiences. I also wrote Qantas a rather angry e-mail, fully expecting to hear nothing back. Well surprise, surprise! The other day I received a response from the airline with an offer of a $400 travel voucher, good on Qantas or its various partners.
The voucher apparently won’t be good online, but I will be able to use it for booking over the phone. I’m not sure how that’s going to work or what kind of value it’ll provide, but in the end it’s far more than I was expecting. It just goes to show that complaining sometimes pays off. Now the only question is: do I ever want to chance flying Qantas again?