Coalition for Marriage says game will target children

The Coalition for Marriage have raised concern about a game being developed with funding from the Victorian government, saying it will target children and attempt to “modify their behaviours”.

The Victorian government has described the project as being for all ages, but the Coalition for Marriage argues that it’s an attempt to target children.

Leading Victorian games studio, Mighty Games, has partnered with the Victorian AIDS Council and Victoria University to create an engaging digital app that will give players of all ages insights into the experiences of LGBTI people and the prejudice and discrimination they can face.

The project, which has received $300,000 of government funding, was announced earlier this week, and will be launched in 2018.

The game takes its inspiration from projects like Metro Trains’ Dumb Ways to Die App which raised awareness about rail safety. In that game, players guide cartoon characters through a serious of challenges which encourage safe behaviour around rail lines.

At the project’s launch Victoria’s Equality Minister, Martin Foley said the project presented a creative way of enacting social change.

“Creativity can play a powerful role in promoting understanding, and this project is one of the ways we are working to bring about positive social change for the LGBTI community and for all Victorians,” Foley said.

LGBTI rights advocates have welcomed the development of the game, but noted that it should not be tokenistic.

Dale Park, co-convener of the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, told The Herald Sun that there could be huge benefits from the game.

“There is a huge benefit that can come from using new technology to help people understand issues faced by the LGBTI community,” he said.

“Before anything goes live we would need a trial with the LGBTI community to look at how effective this is and the suitability of the app.” Park said.

The Coalition for Marriage said the app was an attempt by lobbyists to expose children to radical concepts. Spokesperson Lyle Shelton spoke out against the project.

“If the radical Safe School’s programs is anything to go by, the app is just another platform for the gay lobby to expose children to gender ideology and explicit sexual material in the name of ‘anti-bullying’.” Shelton said.

“Many State Governments and the Federal Labor Opposition are committed to exposing our kids to gender ideology in the classrooms without parental consent. Now they want to make sure that they are indoctrinating kids outside of school as well, by getting this material onto their phones. Is there anywhere Government will let parents be in charge?”

The Coalition for Marriage said the project was an example of how allowing changes to marriage laws would have a roll-on effect into the education system.

“We know that when marriage is redefined, there are consequential changes in education programs and policies in schools, and parents are increasingly excluded from having a say in the sex education of their children.” Shelton said.

Victoria’s Equality Minister Martin Foley responded to Shelton’s accusations telling OUTinPerth they were “nonsense” from a “hysterical campaign”.

“The increasingly desperate nonsense coming from the Coalition for Marriage is yet another example of the legitimacy given to extreme views as a result of Malcolm Turnbull’s divisive opinion poll on people’s rights to equality.” Foley said.

“For the Coalition for Marriage to condemn sight unseen this important step for equality shows a increasingly hysterical campaign from the opponents of equality

“This app will give players of all ages an insight into the experiences of LGBTI people and the discrimination they too often face – this is about bringing positive social change for the LGBTI community.

Foley said the Victorian government would continue to show support for the LGBTI community and encouraged everyone to submit a ‘Yes’ response in the postal survey.

“Our Government will continue to stand by the LGBTI community, and I will do all I can to encourage Victorians – and all of Australia – to vote yes.” Foley said.

OUTinPerth contacted the Coalition for Marriage to get greater insight into their concerns.

Graeme Watson, image: stock image



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