Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Politics meets gaming again

Isn’t it nice when you are sitting at the dock, with everyone calling you a rapist just because you looked at a waitress slightly funny, perhaps inappropriately, but still innocently, when suddenly, a member of the jury stands up and defends you.

This is how I perceive what happened in the House of Commons yesterday when the very worthwhile and justified subject of Modern Warfare 2 was raised in the same place that also creates fundamental rules for the country.

As you have undoubtedly heard by now, there is a bit in Modern Warfare 2 where you shoot up an airport full of innocent people to help maintain your cover within a terrorist group. This prompted the sleeping, noble, giant that wants to protect our children from everything, the Daily Mail, to do the morally right thing and say that games are the root of all evil.

In the house with the plush green seats it was Labour MP Keith Vaz who decided to launch an attack on Infinity Ward’s latest Call of Duty, saying it was irresponsible of them to release such content and that won’t they please think of the children!? Of course in this situation it seems to fly over everybody’s head that games are given strict age ratings and it should really be the parents who should learn how to read, rather than letting their children potentially get scarred and blame it on whatever game they were playing.

It was at this stage though that I decided I have a favourite member in the Labour party, MP Tom Watson, who took this opportunity to stand up for the games industry and completely knock Mr Vaz off of his high horse that was busy sniffing the clouds.

When addressing Mr Vaz’s concerns, he said, “Does the minister agree that it would be better for the members of this house to support the many thousands of games designers and coders, and the many millions of games users rather than collaborating with the Daily Mail to create moral panic over the use of videogames.”

He is even starting to set up a gaming lobbyist group called Gamers’ Voice which is currently finding its roots on the very respected and professional platform that is, a Facebook group.

I must say, it is very refreshing to actually hear some positive words about games coming from the system, which is enough for me at least to not lose complete faith in the people that hold the country together. If only they were all as reasonable and all made an effort to actually know what they were talking about half the time. I must admit though, I do think it is just a little bit silly that an issue about computer games made it that far.

At the end of the day, it comes down to the over used argument that violent games don’t influence violent people, it is there very anti-social tendencies and desire to kill real breathing things that is the problem. The game link is just an unfortunate coincidence. I think we can only really be concerned when we start finding people with big bushy moustaches jumping on turtles, screaming, “Mamma mia!” (and even if that happens I’m sure we could follow the Daily Mail’s mentality and blame it on catchy Abba lyrics).

No comments: