truthversusevil (truthversusevil) wrote,

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Who watches the (Media)Watchers?

As anyone who reads this blog will know, I really dislike groups like the PTC and the Brady Campaign. Groups that claim to want to make the world better, by forcing their viewpoints on people via irresponsible and unjustifiable laws. Well, there's a group over here called MediaWatch-uk, which has taken it on themselves to go after videogames.

MediaWatch is an organization that claims to "(provide) an independent voice for those concerned about issues of taste and decency in the media." In other words, they're another moral advocacy group.

If anyone's been bothered to read as far back as 2006, not that I've posted much since then, then they'll see that I've mentioned MediaWatch before, talking about how they blamed a violent game for the death of a teenager, an accusation that was soon after, proven to be false by the police investigators. An accusation that MediaWatch has still not apologised for (Not so moral after all, it seems).

Well, they're at it again.

A few months back, Sega announced a new game for the Nintendo Wii, called Madworld. The game involves a lot of violence, including chainsaw evisceration, impaling people with roadsigns, and ripping out hearts.

Now, the Wii has had it's share of violent games. Resident Evil, The House of The Dead series, hell, they're even getting a version of the 360's Dead Rising. You'd think that this one would be no different, right?

John Beyer, the Head of MediaWatch, claimed that "It seems a shame that the game's manufacturer have decided to exclusively release this game on the Wii. I believe it will spoil the family fun image of the Wii."

He also said "I hope the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) will view this with concern and decide it should not be granted a classification. Without that it cannot be marketed in Britain. ...We need to ensure that modern and civilized values take priority rather than killing and maiming people."

First of all, the Wii has a number of violent games, some of which I've already listed, and none of which MediaWatch has complained about.

Second, the availability of violent games on a console does not remove a family friendly or "family fun" image. All three of the current-gen consoles have parental locks and instructions on how to use them, making them more than family friendly.

One thing I'd like to know is, who the hell does Beyer think he is? Unless I've missed something, this game is intended for (and will be marketed to) adults. There's no reason it should be denied any classification, preventing adults from making their own choice whether to play it or not.

So, as you can imagine, MediaWatch got bombarded by emails from gamers exhibiting righteous fury. From the MediaWatch autumn newsletter:

"Within hours of these remarks being published a rain of hostile emails from gamers poured into our office telling us to "shut the f*** up", suggesting that we have "got our knickers in a twist", demanding, as though we were on trial for an heinous crime, to know what right we had to impose our "narrow minded bigotry" on them and stopping them playing an "adult" game of their choice."

Now, I'm not condoning the abuse. As for the second part, their demand to circumvent adult's right to choose to play this game, even before all the facts of the game are known, might as well be a "heinous crime".

The fact is, games are played more by adults than kids. Most research shows that the average gamer is in his 20s-30s, adult age. If such a person wants to play this game, that should be their right.

MediaWatch seems to jump at games for no reason, as in the Manhunt case. Now, when they are confronted by people who want them to justify their bullying, they claim to be the victims.

I'd rather wait until more is known about Madworld before jumping to conclusions. But that's me.


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