Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Their Lust For Control Doesn’t Stop At The Real World…

…it now encompasses Norrath and Northrend, among others:
Online computer games like Second Life and World of Warcraft face cinema-style age classifications under new Government plans.
And why?
Margaret Hodge, the culture minister, said ministers want to see new rules put in place to cover children's access to games. She spoke as she published a consultation document setting out the options for a new system of age classifications.
Of course. It’s ‘for the children!’, yet again.

That one never gets old, apparently…
"For children under 12 who cannot make the distinction between fantasy and reality, we need tough regulation," Mrs Hodge said. Under the current rules, the BBFC's legally-enforceable age limits only have to applied to games containing violent or sexual content.
And has the current system not worked? We aren’t told.
Mrs Hodge also revealed that ministers are looking closely at online games amid growing concerns at Westminster about their use.

Multi-user internet-based games such as World of warcraft and Everquest allow players to share a virtual world with thousands of other people from around the world.
You can see why they’d be concerned, can’t you?

We can’t have people logging on and freely mixing with their fellows around the world, harmlessly co-operating to slay a pixillated demon. Why, all sorts of things might happen. They might…



Well, what?
The growing popularity of such games has sparked calls for new regulation.
Anyone surprised to see the spectre raised in order to promote this?
The Culture Committee of MPs this week raised fears that paedophiles are making growing use of virtual worlds for activities including simulated sex with children.
Of course! It’d have to be, wouldn’t it?

And don’t bother asking what evidence there is for this. There’s nothing whatsoever in the article, of course.

Far be it from me to suggest the ‘Telegraph’ journalist who regurgitated this government press release should have asked for some
Mrs Hodge told BBC Radio Four that the growing popularity of online games required new rules.

"We are moving into an internet world - half of under 12s are playing their games online, so we have a whole new set of challenges with regulation," Mrs Hodge said.
You can’t deal with the real-world problems, Hodge.

What on earth makes you feel competent to start in on the unreal world ones?

10 comments:

polaris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
polaris said...

Paedophiles are making increasing use of the Internet for...

It's for the Children...

These two mantra's alone will result in the summary imprisonment of every adult in society, without a peep of dissent.

Reminds me of a Senior Police Officer I used to work with who was worried about hand drawn and CGI illustrations (manga etc) being 'used' by paedophiles - and was briefing internally to encourage ACPO to lobby for a change in legislation to cover all artwork...

He was flummoxed when I asked him if he had any evidence of this phenomenon, and eventually weakly replied that he had none, but it was possible (in his mind?).

The obvious next stage; sentences that mention or describe children, with real words and such?

Frank Davis said...

Are children different these days than they were when I was one? What sort of 12-year-old can't distinguish between fantasy and reality? I could distinguish between fantasy and reality when I was 6. And also when I was 3. In fact, I don't remember ever having trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. When my Dad would tell us bedtime stories at night, I always knew that they weren't real, and that they were made-up stories. And I don't remember knowing any children who showed any signs at all of being unable to distinguish fantasy from reality.

Might I suggest that some scientific tests be carried out to see how many children these days can't distinguish between fantasy and reality? I'm sure that some sort of test can be devised, and a suitable number of children tested to produce a statistically-significant result. I'll bet that 99.999% of children know that ET isn't a really a real alien, but only an imaginary one.

Seriously, if ministers are going to make these sorts of assertions, there ought to be a serious investigation to find out the truth of the matter.

Henry Crun said...

Enver doesn't get it, does she? These video games are vital for a child's very survival

Anonymous said...

I thought the big problem was "Are our video games violent enough to prepare our children for Armageddon?"

Kevin B

JuliaM said...

"These two mantra's alone will result in the summary imprisonment of every adult in society, without a peep of dissent."

Like you, as soon as I see either two, I know I'm being sold a dummy...

"Are children different these days than they were when I was one? What sort of 12-year-old can't distinguish between fantasy and reality?"

Well, they have had Labour-centric education for those twelve years. So maybe it isn't totally ridiculous... ;)

"These video games are vital for a child's very survival"

Indeed! :)

"I thought the big problem was "Are our video games violent enough to prepare our children for Armageddon?""

I'm waiting for the first RPG to deal with 'climate change'. There's bound to be one...

Moriarty said...

..."For children under 12 who cannot make the distinction between fantasy and reality, we need tough regulation,.."

Plenty of politicians and NGOs that can't seem to tell the difference between fantasy and reality too, perhaps some more legislation would be in order.

Angry Exile said...

Fucking hell. This is the sort of nannyist videogame paranoia that infects Australian politicians. Fallout 3 was buggered with because of them, Risen might not make it at all as I blogged a while back. Jeez, if they start on the written word as well Narnia will be off limits in case Mrs Beaver turns out to be a porn name. How the hell do we stop these bastards?

James Higham said...

For children under 12 who cannot make the distinction between fantasy and reality, we need tough regulation

Children like Gordo for example?

Henry Crun said...

"I'm waiting for the first RPG to deal with 'climate change'. There's bound to be one..."

Hand-wringing and jetting off to far-flung destinations doesn't really translate well into a graphics intensive RPG environment.

Oh wait...I get it. You are the CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation pumping millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere causing world-wide catastrophe...and hey presto! Fallout 4: CO2 Armageddon is born