SPUN 2011 – games

This week marks the annual Australian SPUN (Spydus User Network) conference, this year it is a 3 day conference with delegates coming from all over Australia to the conference venue – the Boulevard hotel Sydney. The Boulevard is famous or notorious as being Frank Sinatra’s Sydney haunt. The cocktail party on Wednesday night was, of course, themed ‘The Rat Pack’. As well as the expected fedoras, cigarette holders, white socks we also welcomed bewhiskered people with long rat tails.

Today there were a wide range of papers presented including a fascinating “Stack of fun: games, community, libraries, technology — A Lifetime of Discovery 2011” given by Phil Minchin.

One of the topics was about censorship and games. Librarians are often challenged by angry and surprised patrons who find it inappropriate that delights such as Halo are played on public access PCs. Phil’s point was that this is as often a reaction to the relatively new media as much as a specific issue with the content of the game, after all there are plenty of violent films, comics and books about.

This got me thinking about censorship in general and it seems to me that while the battle on the suitability of Lady Chatterley’s Lover for ones wife or servants was resolved in the sixties we haven’t really moved on that much.

Our imagination is where the real stuff happens, traditional fairy stories are genuinely scary; a spaghetti western stylises violence into an abstract form. A book can conjure up much more vivid images than any film maker or game developer can directly present.

About Nigel

Product Executive Director, Civica Library & Learning
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