Bishop warns against graphic video games

Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney Julian Porteous says desensitisation to violence or sexual imagery does not promote the dignity of the human person and is not in the best interest of society.

While Bishop Porteous believes the causes of violence and crime in society is a very complex problem, the problem should not be compounded by video games that "numb our natural repulsion to violence", he told The Catholic Weekly.

"In regard to sexually explicit games, it reduces women in particular to mere objects of instant self gratification," Bishop Porteous said.

"We know from psychological research that exposure to violent video games can desensitise people to real-life violence," he said.

The most violent video games on the market could soon be sold in Australia after the Federal Government said it was considering updating the classification system for games to include an R18+ rating.

Unlike films, magazines and other publications, there is no adult classification for games in Australia, so any titles that do not meet the MA15+ standard are simply banned.

A spokeswoman for the NSW Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus confirmed that the issue of whether to allow an R18+ classification for games would be discussed by censorship ministers at the next Standing Committee of Attorneys-General meeting on March 28.


Bishop warns on video violence (Catholic Weekly 02/03/08)

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