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Videogames And Cartoons Used To Shock School Children About Violence April 12, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Arts, Film / TV, News, Tech / Science.
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18-rated videogame ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and gory cartoon ‘The Itchy And Scratchy Show’ are both being used to demonstrate the difference between real and virtual violence to primary school children in Merseyside.

Children are shown stills of scenes including a gun being fired through a car window and a man brandishing a sword, and then asked to categorise them as ‘good real life’, ‘bad real life’ and ‘not real.’

The idea behind it is to stop children becoming desensitized to violent behavior and teach them about its consequences in real life.

What do you think, BWT readers?  Is this scheme a brilliant idea, or a waste of time and money?

More here.

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Japan Cracks Down on Child Pornography – One Pixel at a Time March 16, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Arts, Film / TV, Politics, Sex / Relationships.
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The Tokyo Metropolitan government have announced they are proposing to extend the reach of existing child pornography laws to include a ban on provocative “visual depictions” of underage “nonexistent youths” – meaning, comic, videogame and cartoon characters.

The law in question is the Metropolitan Tokyo youth welfare law.  The amendment would mean that a provocative and/or sexual depiction of a character that appears to be eighteen years or younger would be banned.

However, the proposals have met strong opposition from some groups – most notably from manga creators.

Manga is a form of comic, and very popular in Japan.  Unlike the perception of comics in the West, manga covers many genres and appeals to a wide range of audiences, including women, children and the elderly.

Some high profile manga creators have stated that the amended law restricts their artistic freedom.  The proposed legislation can be “freely” interpreted and would affect manga characters “despite no living beings being hurt.”

Either way, the law would only apply in Metropolitan Tokyo, and not elsewhere in Japan.

What do you think, BWT readers?  Does child pornography extend to drawn depictions of virtual characters?  Do you think the proposal – if passed – would be a good thing, or a bad thing?  And how would someone be able to indentify if an image is underage?

BWT will keep you posted on any developments.

More here and here.