Tag Archives: BBC

Porn Star Punts “Pr0n Better Than Video Games” Shocker

Sorry for going off blog topic again, I know I said I had a lot of posts in mind and I do, but sometimes you come across something that sparks the nerdrage. Today is one of those days.

Now, I tend to try and stay apprised of how things are going out there in the big wide world via following the news. This allows me to stay informed on current affairs but also occasionally I’ll come across something that only following the internet will actually serve up. Hence this article from the BBC. Go ahead and take a gander, I’ll wait here while you digest what is going on there.

Ok, done? Right, hopefully you are of the same opinion as I am and that is that surely there is, at the least, a small conflict of interest going on in this story. I know nothing fits the computer nerd stereotype more than some balding, middle-aged singleton living in their parent’s basement playing video games in their pants while downloading copious amounts of videos involving overly-amorous busty ladies. I know that isn’t really the meat and veg of the article but you have a guy that makes his living out of whipping his manhood out isn’t it rather trite for him to then decry that his main source of income is less salubrious than violent video games? Let’s examine this shall we?

Should little Johnny have access to either of these materials? In my opinion no, pr0n isn’t up there on my list of “Things to do with my Free Time” anyway but I understand how prevalent it is in society these days. The fact that you gave little Johnny a PC and allowed it to be in his bedroom where he spends a lot of time without parental supervision may be a situation that needs reviewing before decrying the evils of various media types. Is one more damaging than the other when we roll out the usual “think of the children” alarmist slogan? In one we have a fantasy environment removed from the law of action/consequence that occurs in real life, most people are perfectly aware of making a distinction between what happens in a game and what is acceptable within the societies in which we live.

Now, seeing two people wrapped together in various states of genital stimulation is not removed from any sense of reality. Even with in the media that these things are performed, whether as a “proper” movie with a semblance of a plot etc.. or photos published. Any person offering their consent can be caught up in performing the same acts that are depicted in this form. I think that pornography reduces the human character into a state ruled purely by the more bestial instincts of our characters. I am a married man and can appreciate the benefits of a sexual relationship to increase the love and bond that exists between two people that have made vows to each other. At its most basic sex is the process by which life is created and that power should never be something that we take lightly, nor for granted. Depicting that act in the manner it is shown in pron is something I find quite disturbing, that is just my opinion though. If people want to recreate these things in their own bedrooms then go for it, you have a choice here. However, little Johnny certainly shouldn’t be viewing this kind of thing. I understand that currently there is a trend to treat all our kids as adults, or that we shouldn’t hide things from them, but surely the rules that we abided by growing up were set by our parents to help us out. Why shouldn’t we do the same thing today?

My opinion is that when children are accessing the Internet or playing their games a good parent should vet what they are doing. If something has an 18 rating it’s a sure bet that it isn’t really suitable for people of a much younger age. I’m not going to get into the argument here whereby “kids will see it even if we stop it at home.” If that happens then there may not be much you can do about it, however, you can police what you do at home and set standards for your kids and let them know what you find acceptable, you have the choice to set those standards and help your kids to keep them and understand why. Both of these artforms can be harmful when viewed by people who will not understand them. I’d be much more tolerant of a video game than my (hypothetical) kids getting access to porn. I already plan on not letting them use a PC unsupervised and with software restrictions. I will set what they can and cannot play, irrelevant of how “unfair” that may be seen.

This article to me is another example of the concept we adhere to these days that someone else is at fault for the problems of my kids. It can’t possibly be anything to do with me, I gave birth to them afterall, surely I shouldn’t have to do anything else with them, school etc.. is the place whereby they should learn what they need? I don’t agree to this, the foundation of all learning is the home, the world does not teach things I agree with all the time. If I want to choose what to teach my kids, what standards and morals I expect them to uphold I have to do that at home. I do not accept that I can palm off that responsibility to other people, should I do that I empower them to mark how my kids will behave and what they will find acceptable. I fully expect to have to take an involved role with my children and let them know what I expect of them. Will they get to play violent video games, well, I did so I’d be hypocritical if I stopped them completely, but I will look at stuff individually and make a judgement of when it is appropriate. Personally I never feel that pornography is appropriate and I will have to educate my children therein, however I do not expect to be told by someone who has made a career out of the so-called “adult” entertainment industry that their smut is not as bad as what can be seen in another industry. especially when that industry is already being hyped as the cause of a lot of the problems young people face today.

Irrelevant of which side of the pr0n/gaming divide you find yourself I do not think there can be any doubt that the real issue lies with people not taking responsibility for the choices and their action/inaction in the spheres they find themselves.

Normal programming should resume tomorrow /rantoff

Computer Games – Now With Added War Crimes

I know what you’re thinking. “Does this guy have anything to do other than sit online blogging?” Well, sure but sometimes you need to get things aired and there is no better medium for finding people who are willing to agree and disagree with you than the highways and byways of the Interwebz.

Therefore, I’d like to direct your collective attentions here. This has the potential to be a highly charged topic. I know this isn’t specifically a video games blog but  every single contributor here spends time playing them and as it’s our blog we’ll damn well post what we want! So, perhaps a civilised discussion about this then?

To be honest, it may be perceived that I have a bias as I’m sitting in the video game playing community side of things, I don’t own Modern Warfare 2, nor do I plan to. However, we see more and more in the media an attack upon video games as a form of entertainment. Just like rock n’ roll in the 50’s we have a new media being accused of the corruption of our youth. I’d like to think by now that humanity would have caught up with that people are free to make their own choices and sometimes they choose badly. This is nothing new but as society has aged and grown we have now entered this amazing era where someone else is to blame. Your kid goes out and tries to car jack some dude on the street? Must be GTA IV’s fault, after all, he’s been playing that for weeks.

Well, perhaps your 13-year-old shouldn’t be playing a game that is rated 18, you could also do some crazy thing like interact with your kids rather than let a console do the job of raising them… outlandish idea I know, I fully expect to be burnt at the stake for such radical and dangerous thinking. However, let’s have a proper look at just what the article linked to is saying.

War crimes are capable of being committed in computer games. You could argue that regular crimes are committed in computer games all the time and yet not all gamers are repeat offending compulsive criminals. I’ve pickpocketed stuff on my Rogue in Warcraft but have never lifted anything (nor tried it) from an actual person. We could also look at real warfare, war itself is a brutal act of destruction and invariably good does not come out of it. I’m not going to go into history and pick specific examples of anything but I do not believe that war is good, we consider ourselves an enlightened species yet we still fight each other over perceived differences. Being able to commit war crimes in a computer game is, to me, no different from the often seen lack of regard for the so-called rules by many parties engaged in armed conflicts. If you want to show through a media such as the computer the true decisions that are faced by a man on the ground then obviously they are doing a grand job. It is even possible that if certain acts are performed covertly enough or with enough like-minded individuals that in real life it is possible to get away with these things. There are many armed forces around the world today that are committing what are defined as war crimes and yet we get all hissy over a game that allows someone to make those choices. Yes, perhaps there could be some repercussions from those choices (more traditionally RPG territory though) but you tend to find that it is only the west that really and truly abides by these conventions in the conflicts going on in the world today.

Now, is this really about war crimes or, more likely, just another attack at the video games industry to create sensational headlines that will help to sell copy? I’ll leave that to your judgement. However, not everyone that plays these games is a sociopath. In RPGs that allow you to take different moral routes I will often play through at least twice in order to experience both sets of outcomes, I personally find it a lot harder to go through the bad as opposed to taking the good. Yet, in video game land, I can be an uncaring, insensitive person without having to face the consequences myself, however, the character inevitably does. Is it really any different than reading certain works of fiction that portray these kinds of things, or watching a movie?

Yet, while these kinds of media are accepted as soon as something appears in a video game everyone is up in arms. Perhaps this is due to the fact that video games are so prevalent in our homes that society feels compelled to yet again cry out with “won’t someone think of the children” well, in my opinion the person that should be thinking of the children are the parents and they should exercise discretion about the media that their offspring are subjected to. This may not be the preferred method of parenting these days but I think we can all see the consequences of that right now.

I imagine this story will have its moment in the sun and then vanish into the ether alongside all the other “computer games will bring about the apocalypse” style stories. I’m just stunned by the fact that people are bemoaning that a game allows you to commit war crimes (something that isn’t new to video games) when so many real life armies flaunt these “rules” anyway. If everyone agreed and fought the same way, then perhaps they’d have a case, by something that is supposed to represent the real world being labelled as bad because it does a good job of mirroring real life… well, I have no coherent answer to that.