Tuesday, February 01, 2005
It's game over Mr Vaz - the public speaks
IT'S GAME OVER, MR VAZ
10:30 - 29 January 2005
It was typical of an ill-informed politician to single out those games in his "name and shame" diatribe (Mercury, January 19) .
The games Keith Vaz chose were easy targets and gave him trite soundbites for the masses.
* Grand Theft Auto 3 (rated 18), a game where you play an ex-criminal taking revenge on other criminals for murdering your family (a plot device used for years in films with no complaint).
* Manhunt (rated 18), a really poor game that shouldn't have been released (poor story, bad game engine, simplistic gameplay), but nevertheless which employed plot devices that have been used in film for many years.
* Carmageddon, unlikely to be played by today's younger gamers as it was published in 1997, and the graphics wouldn't be anywhere near today's standards.
* Duke Nukem, a parody of all the macho big-gun crazy vet films (Commando, Rambo, etc) published in 1994. I can't remember "practising killing on pornographic posters" or pole dancers asking me to kill them.
Next he will be drawing parallels between this tragedy and Columbine, where politicians were quick to blame Doom for that massacre, completely ignoring the surrounding environment.
I'm all for a ratings system (perhaps the one that is already used by software houses?) and adult-themed games should stay in the hands of over 18s only, but what does Mr Vaz plan to do about piracy?
If he succeeds in banning all violent media, including films, of course, like the Deerhunter and Goodfellas, what is he going to do to stop kids getting their consoles chipped for about £5 to £10 and buying pirated games or downloading an ISO image from a peer-to-peer program on the web and burning it to a CD to play on said chipped console?
If this happens, control over what games children play is lost completely; and this also circumvents the responsibility of the parents, who should be monitoring what their kids watch, anyway.
I've been playing games for 25 years and it hasn't harmed me.
I'm well read, literate and numerate, polite and able to do my own research, rather that let someone else do it for me. Mr Vaz doesn't understand gaming culture, and he never shall, by the looks of it.
Frank Marriott, Loughborough.
I felt the whole thing deserved a quote plus it's the closest thing to public input I can manage to get on the blog. Also, to those of us we have the misfortune to regularly read the Mercury the writer is Frank Marriott of Loughborough, not the similarly-named and infamous Frank Evans of Enderby who is so fond of writing letters. When I searched the Mercury site for him my computer almost blew up.
and an unlinked, but related blogpost: