Thursday, 30 May 2013

Dangerous Games? Sexy Applications?

By Amitabh Kumar - Head of Media Division (Centre for Social Research)
Just recently we 'the social media citizens' witnessed/participated/got to know, about the #Fb Rape campaign. A campaign against 'Rape Culture' being promoted on Facebook. Facebook pages with graphic details of barbaric acts being shared/liked/commented upon. Facebook came up with honest replies & are constantly making efforts to keep the world’s largest social media portal away from sexual violence.

Online stalking and abuse is an ever increasing concern even amongst the most liberal advocates of Freedom of Internet from any kind of censorship/control. (I am usually a supporter of this line of thought). I want to view this from a different perspective. From the perspective of how technology is affecting the culture of sexual violence.


Sex & violence have been present in Video games since Online-Systems released 'SoftPorn Adventures’ back in 1981. Since then we have seen an increase in the number of games out there with sexually violent graphic content. Most of the consumers of these games are children of the age group 8-16. I am sure the arguments of bad parenting, etc. will pop up in your mind, sadly in today’s times if parents have a job they don’t have time for kids, ( if they are jobless, well then god help their little ones ). No matter how we view it, Kids are playing these games.

Of course, some people would disregard video games as child’s play, but it’s much more than that. "Video games change your brain," according to University of Wisconsin psychologist C. Shawn Green. Playing video games change the brain’s physical structure the same way as do learning to read, playing the piano, or navigating using a map. Much like exercise can build muscle, the powerful combination of concentration and rewarding surges of neurotransmitters like dopamine strengthen neural circuits that can build the brain.

At least till a couple of years back, such games had to be purchased, lately the trend has changed, thanks to piracy most of the games are available online for free. In fact if were to look into mobile games and applications one would say it has not been easier to gain access to sexually violent material. I am a recent Android convert, Just the other day while flipping through top free applications, I came across a bunch of Porn/Erotic Stories/Tear off her clothes/ Finger her to climax/ Desi Sex videos, I am sure you get the gist.

Placing myself in shoes of a 8 year old, here I am looking for some cricket game & there I find this game about how to tear of clothes of a women. Where is the fun in that? What’ so exciting about it? Is that what girls like?. So many questions but no one to answer them, at best one of the parents finds it on my phone & tells me it is wrong/evil/not for kids. All other case scenarios lead to even more confusion. So what do I suggest, to ban them?.......Never !, To control them?……. nah was not really a fan of that ever. How about we modify them, in built super sexy educational videos about sex. How about curbing the inquisitiveness in a positive direction.

Google, the marketing Giants controlling the internet, can surely do this experiment at their playstore. Don’t edit the apps, ensure they carry enough information so that the user does no 'misuse' them. Almost like a Usersmanual. What I fail to understand is how does the world best Job provider, who claims to be dedicated towards its workers, does not do the same when it comes to its users. I have been a Google believer ever since I shifted to Gmail, a company with the motto of 'Doing No Evil' is surely a corporation we can look up to for setting new trends of business practices.

A good aspect of Google & Facebook is they give users chance to flag objectionable posts/ads/apps. Though this would work wonderfully if the majority of users were active, sadly as most users avoid such content they do not indulge in reporting it. This function if looked into by some honest designers could be such an amazing tool where users can choose the content they want. Well till the time these huge corporation contemplate on being more responsible, at least we could be the ones clicking away.

We have started a petition, requesting Google to segregate Adult content on its android #Playstore, if you agree, Please Sign....

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