The recent story about the Survival Island 3: Australia ‘game’ that has swept social media and mainstream media in the last day began with a humble facebook post from Ray Wilson. We asked Ray to share a few thoughts with us, and his story is well worth a read. On behalf of IndigenousX I would like to again thank Ray for bringing this to everyone’s attention so that the game could be removed, and for sharing his powerful words with us here.
Looking back in retrospect from a little before 11:30 a.m. yesterday morning to now 4 minutes after 7pm [16th January, 2016] while typing up this article, I can only reflect on the impacts of virtual games on young people in today’s modern society.
‘Survival Island: Australia’ is one of hundreds of thousands of virtual online games that can be purchased for as little as one Australian dollar or can be downloaded for free. These games can be downloaded to a laptop, an iPad, an Android phone, and the scary thought is that while you’re reading this article your children could be downloading such a game and playing it while in your very presence and you wouldn’t even know.
Yes, your children, your loved ones could be playing a game and murdering virtual characters of a first nation culture while sitting right next to you. I’m going to let you take that in.
These games denigrate first nation cultures. They degrade our culture. The oldest, strongest culture in the world.
Contemporary modern, white society is learning, very slowly but nonetheless it’s learning. It is learning that first nation cultures such as ours, the Aboriginal culture, the true custodians of the land, are important. That contemporary modern, white, society’s blind prolapsed ignorance is no longer an excuse to turn a blind eye to the purest form of racism and bigotry.
I’m not going to mince words, games like Survival Island: Australia are training programs for wannabe white supremacists that live in our midst. Desensitise young people to the rape and pillage a proud culture by trying to make it “fun”. Video games and games like this are not fun. They denigrate “a people” and “a culture”, I find it really disappointing and heart wrenching that some users of social media, Facebook mainly, non-Aboriginal users of the social media networks are actively promoting pre downloaded versions of this game and asking for up to $3,000 + for the phone that this game is downloaded to. While we may have got the large companies to take the game down from their websites it still remains in circulation.
You will find monstrous bigotry in all walks of life, but the the sale of games that promote virtual violence against Australia’s first nation peoples should be frowned upon and stomped on as soon as they show themselves.
I am not going to harp on to you about the stolen generations, deaths in custody, the farce that is the Closing the Gap program or the adverse poverty within our communities. These are well documented and can be better explained by someone better qualified than a humble grassroots activist such as myself. Let’s be real, we as individual families and people fight these fights every day. And will continue to into the future.
The main point I wanted to get across to the readers of this article is that these games exist.
Out of this negative situation I learnt a very valuable lesson yesterday. And it surprises me that I learnt it from my nephew. A 13 year old child. The lesson is if you don’t speak up about something that is wrong then nothing changes, bigotry wins, racism wins, and we the Aboriginal minority in Australia lose. My nephew only came to me and showed me the installation page of the grossly offensive game. His only words to me was that it was wrong and that the game should be taken down, that he didn’t want to be shot with a bow and arrow because he was Aboriginal. And yes level ten on this game players were expected to do that.
The thought is criminal. Imagine one of our children playing this game and killing an Aboriginal character in this game!? Try and get your mind wrapped around that!
I myself also spoke very few words. Instead I took to social media and here we are countless hours after a very small campaign turn into a very large campaign via social media, local media and mainstream media. Google Play and Apple corporation have taken the game down!
The lesson I learnt from my nephew is that you don’t have to be loud person to be an activist and speaking to him this afternoon he said to me “I learnt it from you” (Me). You don’t get angry at the situation you get active, you actually do something about it.
The lesson is simple – Don’t get angry. Get Active.
And for that my 13 year old nephew is now one of my heroes. I can’t put into words how proud I am of him. It took some sort of internal strength for him to come to me, where some other young ones might have just brushed it off. I am so proud of him for getting active.
I would like to thank the people and organisations that really got behind getting rid of this game. “Aboriginals of Australia” Facebook page, “The Bullant Society” Facebook page, 100.9 FM Noongar Radio, Sean Gordon, Georgia Mansetl and of course IndigenousX, especially IndigenousX, without you guys supporting this very small-turn-large campaign the game would still be in circulation and still actively sold and promoted by Google play and Apple corporation.
I want to thank each and every one of the people who shared, commented and complained to the developers of the game. People power does work.
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