An Ugly Matter: Censorship


Brandon Moss

How far is too far? How can we tell the difference between satire and seriousness? These questions have been approached through many different sides in a bitter war that has gone on for centuries.

Brandon Moss, Web Editor

Achieving a happy medium is the impossible dream. In politics, relationships, and just about anything else one can think of, there are always more extremes and less in between. Censorship in the media, most recently publicized in the Australian banning of  the controversial police chase game, Grand Theft Auto V,  has brought war upon social media and day-to-day conversations. More often than not you will see a comment or hear a statement that is on one far end of the ideological spectrum or another.

In the case of Grand Theft Auto V, Target removed the game from their shelves due to complaints of violence against women in the game. This brought upon outrage from the side in favor of the game being sold. (Although I agree with the goal of the return of the game, the things people have said and done to get their way have left me astonished.)There have been more ridiculous acts such as some of the citizens of Australia starting a petition, in response, to ban the bible.

The banning of Grand Theft Auto V was a mistake in the first place. There is a difference between playing a game and living in reality. Why should we censor games? People argue that it will cause people to become violent. However the game is marketed towards fully grown adults. There have been cases of criminal individuals influenced by the game, but they have most always been found mentally unstable beforehand.

In the end, it all comes down to choice. We as humans have the choice to practice our beliefs, listen to our music, and play our games. The logic behind the banning of the game is also flawed in general due to the misled belief that it is solely violent towards women. There is no difference in which gender or race is chosen to be interacted with. It is all for fun, sadistic as some may view how realistic it is, but that’s the player’s choice; his or her morality is not dependent on another, unless it is harming others. People generally feel this game is a negative influence because they do not understand the context. If the people who criticize it actually had played it, they would realize the game is full of intelligent social commentary such as a variety of satire on all political views. In a way, that the very people with the desire to ban the game would actually agree with some of it’s values if they had played it. This form of misunderstanding has been evident in many cases in recent years. The Charlie Hebdo attack, where members of a French satirical newspaper were shot down, is one example of this sad misunderstanding. It is dangerous entering the world of satire for many people, as most do not understand what it even is and which people it actually aims to make fun of.

How are we to protect the gaming industry and satire in general from the people who do not understand the meaning behind the satire? One answer is clear: complete censorship is not an option. It is taking away creative freedom, something that is a natural right, nut there are always two sides in a war, and, in this case, both sides are wrong in the way they present their arguments. Matters should not be settled with violence, and when we realize that, we may finally be able to overcome these battles.