On neglect

There has been a lot of talk about game addiction lately, mostly due to the kid who was forced into rehab because of his neglecting interest in the “real world”.

Now, I really didn’t want to comment on this because even though I believe games were just the outlet for a bigger problem, the kid obviously had problems of some kind and having social services stepping in was most likely the right thing to do. If I blame media and interest groups for scaremongering in order to push an agenda or sell issues, trying to push an agenda of my own by trivializing a real problem would be hypocrisy.

That being said, Swedish reporter Peter Ottsjö wrote a nice summary of why misplacing the blame might actually harm the people you were trying to help in the first place, and it is certainly worth a read.

Posted on Nov 22/07 by Saint and filed under Moral panic | No Comments »

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Penny Arcade said what we are all thinking…

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… Well, perhaps not what all of us are thinking but at least what I am. Then again, I’m just being jealous – why do Rockstar keep getting all the negative media? we did bad stuff too! The Darkness is about a contract killer that devours the hearts of policemen! And not just men, but (in what is probably a first for videogames), policewomen! And (spoiler) you blow up a church as a vital part of the story!

You would think that they would at least have the common decency to issue a public statement condemning the horrific violence, but I guess moral crusaders have a PR agenda as well and anything that doesn’t say “Rockstar” is harder to sell. Ah, well, there’s always next year.

Posted on Nov 02/07 by Saint and filed under Gaming culture, Moral panic | No Comments »

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Overcovered absence of games in VT tragedy

… Jack Thompson and Dr Phil were quick to blame the Virginia Tech massacre on videogames. Even so, no videogames were found in Cho’s – the shooter’s – room, his friends never saw him play videogames and now, it seems some panel has again established more or less definently that videogames were no factor in the tragedy; http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=15329

This has been known for a week now (although early reports suggesting this surfaced about a month ago), and lots of major gaming outlets have run it as news. This kind of bothers me. Sure – websites like GamePolitics need to cover it since they are quite heavy on those things, but why would larger, less specific publications bother with a “see – something bad happened, and we weren’t part of it!” – message? yes, it is quite strange to find an asocial college student not partaking in an occupation performed by a majority of college students – especially asocial ones – but it’s hardly newsworthy unless you feel you have to defend yourself.

The columbine shooters reputedly played Doom. Saying that the best way of preventing that tragedy was to keep two kids from playing a game enjoyed by millions of people worldwide is just too absurd an argument to even bother replying too, but that’s just my opinion.

Posted on Sep 01/07 by Saint and filed under Moral panic | No Comments »

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The Manhunt Conspiracy

Manhunt 2

Yeah, so, long story short – Rockstar is currently developing a game called “Manhunt 2”, as the title suggests it’s a fairly violent game. When it was done sometime this spring, it effectively got banned for the intensity of this violence, and Rockstar has now put forth a slightly less violent, un-banned version to be released this Halloween. The background on this is that Rockstar was largely responsible for the “Hot Coffee” incident a few years back, an incident which almost single-handedly stirred up the game/morality/yadayada – questions again after a few years of hiatus, so now all kinds of crazy theories are appearing suggesting that all of this is actually a planned move to save some face.

Whose face, though? I could understand if people thought the ESRB toughened up to look impressive in front of politicians and save the ESA some lawyer fees, but there seems to be some delusion that this was actually Rockstar’s plan all along. Of course, I don’t know for certain but how cheap do these people think game development is? sure, some sensational headlines might raise a few eyebrows, but if they wanted sensation they could just have advertised Manhunt 2 by spraying blood on the streets of New York. Having a product delayed for half a year and being forced to re-submit it for revised ratings is expensive.

And why are people bitching that ESRB should go public with the changes? ask Rockstar. It’s their game.

Manhunt 2 rated Adults Only by ESRB

Manhunt 2 re-rated from AO to M

Manhunt 2 Conspiracy Theories Emerge

ESRB responds to Manhunt 2 rerating complaints

Posted on Aug 28/07 by Saint and filed under Moral panic | No Comments »

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If you are at all interested in the moral panic surrounding videogames you probably have an opinion about this headline. Personally, I’m just happy to see a journalist using the correct term, “datorspel”, for once … It shouldn’t be that hard to tell the difference between “data” and “computer”, but Swedish semantics seem to dictate otherwise.

Posted on Jul 15/07 by Saint and filed under Moral panic | No Comments »