Many years ago, when I was young, we had a pop/rock music revolution. And it belonged to us, the young generation. And all the old people, like 25 and over, didn’t understand what was going on. So they blamed our music for all the ills of society. Mick JaggerÂ was single handedly responsible for the nationwide rise in teenage pregnancy and unmarried cohabitation. The press painted him as the devil incarnate. Yet now he is a pillar of society. If, back then, you had suggested that the Queen would give him a knighthood you would have been laughed at.
Now history is repeating itself. The Daily Mail and everything else that is bad in the media have been on an anti games crusade. The main reason for this is because they are ignorant and don’t have the faintest idea what they areÂ talking about. I have written about this before.
So the government have set up a review to “study of the effect of violent computer games on children”. I can save them the taxpayers money and tell them in advance what the answer to this is. It keeps them entertained. The funny thing here is that when it comes to censorship the British are obsessed with violence and have historically banned a lot of films that the rest of the world were allowed to see, whilst the Americans are obsessed with censoring sex. They would have another revolution if the best selling newspaper thereÂ started putting topless girls on page 3.
Age related content in games is a lot more controlled than it is in film, music, books, TV and art. These mediaÂ could learn a lot from us (if this control were a good thing). So the government are at best misguided here. If they want to know the effects of portrayed violence then they should be looking at all media, not just games. Why aren’t they? If they did it might get rid of those nasty violent cartoons on children’s television. Or not. And why is there no age rating at all on books?
I have said it before here, hundreds of millions of people in the world are going to play video games today. They don’t then go out and start mugging old women in the street. There is no causal link between video game content and the behaviour of society. We can see this with our own eyes. And lots of academic studies have proved it.
If there is anyone to blame for anything round here then it is stupid parents. Little 12 year oldÂ Johnny walks into the game shop with mummy in tow, points at GTA and says “I want”. Mummy goes to till and pays. Does the stupid woman notice the huge 18+ emblazoned over the packaging? Of course not. Because, like the Daily Mail, she is ignorant. This scene has been repeated many millions of times around the world. And it has had no harmful effect whatsoever on all the little Johnnys. Mainly because they are already far nastier than GTA.
So good luckÂ Tanya Byron, Ed Balls and James Purnell. I know what you are doing. You are trying to create good publicity for the government out there in middle England. This is the only thing you are interested in. It is all spin. And the idea is that it will get you votes. And the taxpayer pays for your “work”. This is government at it’s very worst and I hope it backfires. I hope that thousands of people see the stupidity and the attempted manipulation and as a result refuse to vote for Labour ever again. Now that would be a sensible result.
So is this episode increasing your disgust for politicians? Or do you think we should be wrapping children in cotton wool?