The Nanny State

There has been a one sided assault on video games today. The game Manhunt has been given as a likely cause in a fourteen year olds death. The parents of the murdered boy have said that the game was played by the murderer – in fact he was ‘obsessed’ about it. Their logic is that the game should be banned before there are any more deaths.

My main beef is that it’s an 18 certificate game. The victim and murderer were seventeen and fourteen. Why were they even playing the game? Why didn’t the parents take an interest before the tragic events took place? Did they even know what their kids were playing? Current research shows no link between video games and violence. Same for DVD’s and TV. Yet tonights news cast a long shadow over video games and their influence on kids. The issue should be parental responsibility and taking an interest in what their kids do.

More laughable is certain companies response to the situation. Dixon Group and Game have both removed the title from the shelves. Well done. This game has been out on the PS2 since last November and on the Xbox & PC since April. It was an average game, sales were OK’ish but the market for that game had long since died. I’d like to see both companies now take that stance with any future 18 certificate games. Like GTA3:San Andreas. Go on guys, ban that one. Yes – ban the game that is likely to sell the most this year hence make the most money. Not likely, is it?

2 Comments

  1. I was going to carry a knife around in case I fancied a GTA inspired killing spree today, but if Blunkett is going to make it as serious an offence to carry a knife as a gun I may as well get an Uzi…

  2. 1) I’ll bet the market for this game was just miraculously boosted by stores banning it.
    2) My kids are definitely in the tiny minority having parents who strictly stick to the certificate ratings. Most parents seem to think that you can subract 4 or 5 from an age rating and it’s OK. This includes a huge number of parents who DO take in interest in what their kids are doing and take very seriously their parental responsibilities. I agree though, that while the finger is pointed at the gaming industry, the four fingers pointing back at the parent tend to get ignored.

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