Can cartoon characters depicted in a sexualised way be considered porn?

The answer is Yes; if 3 of the female characters are under 18 years of age, well endowed, provocatively dressed and the game allows players to look up their skirts and dresses.

Other countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Norway have already pulled the Nintendo 3D handheld video game, Dead or Alive: Dimensions, protecting their young people over concerns about the game’s content and child pornography.

What have we done in Australia? We have put it on the shelves with a PG rating, even though the Classification Board has advised consumers it contained “mild violence and sexualised gameplay”. Isn’t sexualised gameplay pornography by a different name?

Australia has already set a pecedent which makes it easy to identify this game as soft porn. In 2008 a man possessing a cartoon of The Simpsons characters engaging in sex was successfully convicted of possessing child pornography. So why has the Classification Board only given it a PG rating?

At the time Justice Adams said cartoons could “fuel demand for material that does involve the abuse of children” and found that “a fictional character, even one which departs from recognisable human forms in some significant respects, may nevertheless be the depiction of a person within the meaning of the Act”.

In July the state and territory censorship ministers will meet to vote on whether or not to introduce new guidelines for video games. At the moment games that don’t qualify for a MA15+ rating are banned in Australia.  However an adults-only R18+ rating for video games would allow for games that had no restrictions on language, drug use or nudity.

The Federal Government has launched an investigation into Dead or Alive: Dimensions, a spokesman for Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor said the Minister was concerned about the content of the game.

“The Minister has been advised that the Classification Board has asked for further information from Nintendo about the game,” the spokesman said.

Ron Curry, chief executive of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association said “If a game contains child pornography, it shouldn’t be classified. It shouldn’t be here at all.”

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald. AP