Broadcast last Friday, this ‘debate’ is growing in infamy amongst gamers. Now before you start, I know that the entire segment was probably created to be inflammatory and to cause hysteria akin to the “video nasties” plague of decades past. I do, however, feel very strongly about the subject and was incensed to see just how poorly the matter was handled on the show.
Firstly, note the games which Mr. Titchmarsh opens the debate by listing – they’re all popular, notoriously violent games that the viewers will most likely have seen adverts for, and all nominated for gaming BAFTAs. There was no mention, however, of other more family friendly games such as FIFA 10, Wii Sports Resort or Little Big Planet – all of which were also nominated for awards at the same ceremony. Immediately, you know that there’s going to be some level of bias to the debate.
Second, the only truly valid point made in the entire debate was in my opinion given by Mr. Ingham, who claimed that the responsibility lies with the parents, who need to educate themselves as to what exactly their children are playing and how to control the content they’re exposed to. Despite numerous reiterations, the ignorant panelists and the baying audience glossed over this very simple truth. Titchmarsh’s early comment that “you can stop children going to the cinema, you can’t stop them going into a house and playing these games” is, to put it bluntly, stupid. Of course you can stop children playing these games – every modern console has a parental locking feature which would prevent your child from playing anything age-inappropriate! And even if that weren’t the case, what’s to stop the same child putting an 18-rated DVD in their machine?
Ms. Peasgood’s argument that “experts have proven” that video games cause depression, anger, low self-esteem et cetera is a dangerous tactic to use in debates, given that one study cannot give way to scientific fact. The same can be said of Mr. MacKenzie’s bizarre escalation argument, which detaches itself from reality so much that it hurts!
I’m going to stop ranting now, before my head begins to hurt by dwelling on this ignorant, unfair and completely biased discussion. What say you, fellow DPDependents?