Calm down, it’s only a game.

The BBC have reported today that gamers are being asked to join a Facebook group in order to defend their hobby from critics following an argument between two MPs over violent videos games, particularly “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2”, due for release tomorrow. The game, set in a near future scenario, sees The West engaged in fight for survival against Russian ultra-nationalists.

MP Tom Watson, who set up the Facebook group, wants to defend the game from comments from Labour MP Keith Vaz, who said he was “absolutely shocked” by the violence portrayed in the game.

Now I’ve been playing video games almost all my life, and while I’m not particularly a fan of war games as such (give me Sonic the Hedgehog or Pokemon over Halo any day), I’ve played my fair share of violent video games, and not once have I felt the need to go out and imitate them. When I played Metal Gear Solid did I want to go sneak around other people’s houses, breaking the neck of anyone I may pass? No. When I played Grand Theft Auto did I feel the need to steal a car, shoot some civilians and perhaps pick up a prostitute along the way? I don’t think so. These games are given certificates for a reason, much like films. I don’t see why films can portray violence and have nothing said about them while video games with an 18 rating NOT MEANT FOR CHILDREN get such a fuss made over them. Blame the adults who buy the games for their children, or the shops that don’t enforce and I.D. policy properly. But not the games themselves.

But in the end the game won’t need defending from me or anyone else. Amazon have reported that their sales are already 50% higher than Grand Theft Auto 4, the former most successful release ever, and Play are apparently getting over 150 pre-orders per minute. If anything this campaign is only going to attract more attention to the game, resulting in more sales. I wish both Watson’s Facebook group and Activision, Call of Duty’s publisher, the best of luck.

The full BBC article can be read here.

Published in: on November 9, 2009 at 4:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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