“The message that ‘violence works and violence wins’ is embedded in many computer games and films played or seen by children and teens, and is causing them harm” says Prof Elizabeth Handsley, President of the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM). “Our classification system provides easy access to images of glamorised violence, that is violence performed by heroes in a good cause, where the violent actions are justified, rewarded and applauded. The evidence is that such ongoing exposure raises the risks of the use of aggression to solve conflict.”
She continued: “In the context of the incidence of violence in our society, especially domestic violence, a government that is serious about wanting to modify the cultural attitudes of children about the use of violence will act now to reduce exposure to glamorised violence.”
ACCM has lodged its submission to the federal government’s Review of Classification regulation.
It is calling for a classification system that is evidence-based and which takes account of reliable research about which images and depictions have adverse impacts on children at which stages of their development (with violent actions, and images of horror, mutilation or destruction of greatest concern). ACCM’s surveys of parents show they want more information about the suitability of films and games for their younger children (absent from the present system) to prevent harms such as the development of sleep disturbances, and ongoing fears and anxieties from scary images.
ACCM’s submission is wide ranging and includes recommendations for
ABOUT ACCM: ACCM is a not for profit, peak national body representing the interests of children and parents in regard to their rights as media consumers. www.childrenandmedia.org.au
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Prof Elizabeth Handsley 0448 898 185
FOR BACKGROUND: Barbara Biggins 08 8234 9396