There’s a weird trend happening throughout the Entertainment Sector at the moment. Pockets of the next generation are becoming increasingly freaked out by particular types of art that challenge their sensibilities. It happened with movies years upon years ago (see the Video Nasties of the 80s) and now it’s happening with Online Content, Serial Dramatic TV and of course, video games. What’s most bizarre is that it’s being championed by elements of the press that should be both scrutinising and celebrating aspects of the art-form.
As a content creator, all that matters to me is that good art is made. Art deemed illegal or outside of the boundaries of good taste or consumption will not make it into the market. I can’t always speak to the quality of the decisions that Classification boards make (especially in Australia), but let’s use Video Games as an example and the ‘R’ rating in this country. It took years to happen and was established just in time for us to get ‘The Last of Us’. If you haven’t played this game – do it. Beautifully written, it has a tremendously nuanced narrative that is one of my favourite stories, well, ever.
If there hadn’t been the work done to secure that rating, we would of gotten a watered down version of the title, or we wouldn’t have got it at all. But now as we enter a world of ‘Outage Culture’ and the continued assassination of artistic freedom it seems like ‘Adult Content for Adults’ is some kind of bizarre thing to aspire to. There is some especially sophisticated art being created across the spectrum – Games, Film, TV – but there is always this move to file the edges off. Or worse yet, brow-beat creators into self-censorship.
There’s a lot that can be said on why these particular narratives are bandied about and a lot of it comes down to the kinds of outlets we consume our news through. There’s an alarming trend of modern news outlets producing intentionally divisive content so they can basically make you fight in the comments and then sell ad space. Sadly a lot of the times, these outlets use Artistic Freedom as a crutch to do this.
That’s not to be said there are always things that can be improved across all industries – better developed and written characters with more representations of a diverse set of characters for one – but the freedom for Adult artists to produce content for an Adult market shouldn’t affected in the long run.