Left Arrow News

Video Game Industry Wins Termination of Anti-Video Game Propaganda by South Australia Gov’t

8 Jan 2014

The Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) commends the government of South Australia for agreeing to remove the false and misleading billboards which demonized video game creators and players. South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill announced that the government would stop the ad campaign, which contradicts the actual research on the subject, saying “We acknowledge that immediately and we’re remedying that.”

We also commend the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) for their successful efforts to firmly and factually refute the unsubstantiated claims made by the government of South Australia by pointing out that the government was in violation of its own advertising regulations. Their response is a model of advocacy on behalf of everyone who enjoys making and playing video games and anyone who prefers facts and freedom over false claims and censorship.

We also call on the Australian government to finally end their failed policy of censoring video games. The Australian government is wrong to treat Australian adults like children by forbidding games. To the Australian government’s credit, they have begun to dismantle their game censorship regime. However, it still remains the worst in the Western world and continues to violate the free speech rights of both game developers and the Australian voters. It’s time for Australia to join the rest of the free world by finally rejecting video game censorship.

Original, 18 December 2013

The Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) condemns the latest anti-video game billboard attacks from the South Australian government, which has a shameful history of censorship and fact-free distortions demonizing video game creators and players. We support the Australian Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) in their formal complaint:


The South Australian government’s outdoor billboard advertising campaign, “GAMBLING starts with GAMES” falsely attacks video games as leading to gambling. This wild leap of logic is not only flatly untrue, but it violates their recently cited research, which concluded “This study does not suggest that simulated gambling precedes or follows monetary gambling.”


We would point out to the South Australian government that plenty of gambling involves no games at all, such as the increasingly popular practice of gambling on the outcome of elections. Trying to stop gambling by attacking video games makes no more sense than trying to stop gambling by attacking voting machines.

Democracy does not cause gambling and neither do video games. Therefore, this blatantly false attack is a counter-productive waste of resources to fix a problem that doesn’t even exist.

In the past, South Australia’s pro-censorship government has insulted the free speech rights of Australian adults by stalling R18+ legislation and trying to get some games reclassified. For its latest fact-free scaremongering, the South Australian government owes an apology to all Australians who make and play video games, and to everyone who respects facts.

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