Sunday, 26 June 2011

Games - obscene publications act

Obscene publications act

The obscene publications act is concerned with the publication of obscene matter. It provides protection for literature and strengthens the law concerning pornography.
The obscene publications act concerns showing anything that is depraved or corrupt which includes such things as torture,bestiality,necrophilia,or rape.
If you break the law under the obscene publications act you could get a prison sentence.
If you download, contain or share the maximum prison sentence is 3 years. The prison sentence for creating or producing such content is two years and you can get a 6 month jail sentence for downloading obscene content.

The impact of the obscene publications act within interactive media

In interactive media the obscene publications act applies to showing obscene or corrupt content within interactive media such as in video,websites or even computer games.
I found an article online related to interactive media about how a computer game was banned under the obscene publications act.
The article is about a computer games developer who created game that apparently corrupted the mind of a 17 year old causing him to act out what he had seen in that game and kill his friend with a hammer.
Here is an extract from the article that states how the game encouraged the 17 year olds actions;
The original Manhunt game caused huge controversy and was blamed for the murder of Stefan Pakeerah.
"There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game."
The boy was stabbed and beaten to death in Leicester in February 2004.
His parents believe the killer, Warren LeBlanc, 17, was inspired by the game.
The game was considered to contain corrupt and depraved content which included such things as sneaking up on people and suffocating them with plastic bags and smashing there skulls with hammers.
The creator was taken to court and the game was banned and put under the obscene publications act. The creator was given a two year prison sentence.

This is an example/screen shot from the video game Manhunt that was banned under the obscene publications act. The example clearly shows how the player has to take an enemy from behind and suffocate them with a plastic bag.
This was in breach of the obscene publications act because it was considered as corrupt because of the way the killings were encouraged in the game.

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