Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Something I've Just Read

I've been reading a lot today, browsing my Digg, Delicious, Mixx etc. and I came across this article about torture in videogames. I would have to say that I totally agree with the author. Sure bring it on!

Did you read the article? Now it may seem that I'm just echoing the author's sentiment here, and you may also be wondering why in God's name I am agreeing to more violence in videogames. Hasn't Grand Theft Auto done enough damage? Okay let me start by saying no, I am definitely against the display of senseless violence, may it be on TV or whatever media. Also I would like to add something else to what was written in the article, something pretty obvious though.

As you may know, I too am a gamer. Although I haven't been playing a lot of new games (haven't had the time, sadly) I think I'm not yet that far behind in game innovations. A lot of new games strive for ultra-realism, in fact, creating a new videogame now is no different from creating a hollywood movie. There are actors, there's a storyline, production costs etc. A really powerful movie, take for example "Schindler's List", it was very graphic and intense. It had torture. However, I'm betting that the sex and violence were not intended to titillate or entertain, it was quite for the opposite in fact.

How does this relate to videogames? And to child safety even?

The movie I mentioned was rated R and is geared towards mature audiences. And yes videogames also have a rating scheme. However, I am really sure that a lot of teens and preteens have already finished playing GTA. I have played GTA.

But I stopped. Why? It really did not give me anything. What I was playing was something I was already seeing and hearing in the news. What was in the news, I wanted to stop. Drive-by's, drug running, gun smuggling. Organized crime. Prostitution. The works.

Comparing apples to oranges you say? Ok, both have violent and sexual content. Both are very powerful visual media. Movies and videogames are meant mainly for entertainment. Let's say you make a 10 year old play GTA. Make him watch Schindler's List. I predict very different results.

One gives senseless gratification while another raises awareness. Just my 2 cents I guess. Of course there are also movies which promote senseless violence. There are lots and lots. However, I feel that children, the youth, gravitate more towards videogames, which parents may not know a lot about.

So parents, be careful what you buy for your kids this holiday okay?

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