Continuing my previous discussion on games classification in Australia, Miller (2004) identifies the following characteristics of contemporary online networked issue campaigns:
- having a shared goal
- being ‘structure-light’
- a diverse collation of skills and resources around shared goals
- advanced use of new media technologies
- embracing diversity and openness
- the ability to draw upon, and develop, media celebrity
- the ability to use media spectacle around specific targets
- time-limited strategies
- high levels of media visibility
- and the ability to act cheaply and quickly (2004: 208-13)
Has the current campaign around video censorship used any of these characteristics so far?
Does the campaign have a shared goal? – Yes, to get an R18+ classification in Australia.
Is it ‘structure-light? Yes, the structure of the organisaiton is not centralised or established around a bricks-and-morter building or group. It uses the distribution advantages of the Internet to keep a broad forum of discussion going.
While we can see that some of these goals are being met, there still remains one of the more important aspects to fulfill for this to be seen as an effective network campaign: the ability to draw upon, and develop, media celebrity. I think this is one of the more surprising and ‘fun’ aspects of considering this campaign. And certainly there are a number of high-profile celebrity figures in many capaigns – I’ve seen media reports which have centred around Barry Humphries and his involvement in urban planning campaigns in Melbourne, etc. Who, so far, are the celebrities that have been attached to this issue (on both sides)? I recall a young politician being linked to the pro-camp (but it wasn’t a Bob Brown type figure). Off hand there’s no one from our ranks of A, B or even C level celebrities who have lent their support to this issue.
There have been other groups involved in this debate, such as the failed attempt for cosplayers to march on the Parliament House steps of Adelaide. This was being organised through a game-retailer I believe.
But at the moment the movement appears t a little too disperate and fractured.