Abstract

The classification of computer games in Australia is a subject of expert discourse, but is not, itself, an expert function. It is carried out by community representatives (the classifiers), speaking for the community of reasonable people and applying their standards, while assessing the "impact" of classifiable elements on both reasonable people and the especially vulnerable. It is an inherently personal analysis, but the personal is an imagined space (the "reasonable person" or "reasonable adult"). This blog or reflection-type article brings the personal back to a real space, of flesh and blood: the author's. It starts from the author's experience of discomfort playing three computer games featuring violence against women or girls: The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead: Season Two, and The Last of Us. It breaks down the author's response to understand why he reacted the way he did, focusing, in particular, on his assessment of whether the violence was justified. It then offers some brief suggestions on how such a response could influence classification, given the existing rules: at least if the author's experience is identifiable with the, or a, reasonable person.

Keywords

Australian classification scheme, computer games, video games, classification ratings

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