Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New gaming fad leads to racism, bullying, and obscenity

Well that's according to last night's ITV news - the teaser in the local news stated

"Racism, bullying, and obscenity. An ITV news investigation uncovers alarming abuse on Playstation's online gaming system"
What just the Playstation online system, what about the XBox system, or the Wii?

The teaser at the beginning of the programme altered its tone somewhat
"Abuse online - the games that leave your children open to horrific insults"
Well a little more general except the systems they're talking about are
"Some of the newest ones"
Hmm "newest ones"? A mistake surely, perhaps not with them saying
"The new frontier of gaming competing against strangers via the internet and an audio voice link"
as opposed to a non-audio voice link? Then we have an MP saying
"This new development which is online multi-player gaming"
Sorry where have these people been for the last 10 years? Multi-player gaming with "audio voice-link" against strangers has been around for ages, so why the fuss? Ah silly me that was all on computers and this is on consoles. Consoles are of course for children, PCs are for adults and belongs in the same mindset that bleats incessantly about an 18-certificate blood-and-gore console game, while blissfully unaware of a similiar PC-only release. Oh and of course consoles can often be found in a shared family area and thus intrude more on the conciousness.

That's what this is all about - consoles are for kids and we (journos) have just noticed that they can do what PCs have been doing for years and it has to stop now; won't someone please think of the children? I enjoyed the lambasting the Sony exec got when he told the ITV 'journalist' that games were monitored and that such abuse was against their terms and conditions and in turn received the demand that they should stop this - what monitor every online game constantly, ask GCHQ to loan them their word-recognition software reprogrammed for abuse? No such interviews with Microsoft staff, no interviews with Blizzard about World of Warcraft; but of course Sony don't have age-verification checks and that makes all the difference because we know that only the over 18's swear.
"A new generation of gaming has been born"
Yep we've got these brand new multi-player games like World of Warcraft, Everquest, Second Life, EVE Online, Ultima online....