Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Can Politicians Take Games Seriously?

By Alec Meer on January 27th, 2010.

On Monday night, I tried my best to look like a respectable member of society and popped along the Houses of Parliament to attend Labour MP Tom Watson‘s discussion about the place and perception of videogames in UK society. A gathering of politicians, educators, games industry folk and random interested onlookers (hullo!), it was a fascinating few hours. Given the knee-jerk hullabaloo we’re so used to from mainstream media coverage of games, it was surprising to the point of surreality to be amidst politicians, hearing discussion of the form on the sort of level we have, say, here. Obviously, games have some distance to go to obtain to achieve full societal acceptance – even though that has clearly little-to-no effect on the ever-escalating success of the bigger titles – but that this kind of discussion is at least happening is a cheering sign.
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Germany Moves To Ban Violent Videogames

By Jim Rossignol on June 7th, 2009.


Game Politics reports that Germany’s sixteen Interior Ministers have asked the Bundestag to ban the production and distribution of violent video games. This would mean violent videogames could not be purchased at retail or online in Germany, and that companies like CryTek would have to leave the country to continue production of their games. (That, or come up with creative solutions. Perhaps replace all the guns with vomiting cats? Would flicked elastic bands work, or do they come under violence?) Some more thoughts on this beyond the jump.

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Knives Are Daggerous (Geddit?)

By John Walker on January 14th, 2008.

Nothing inspires confidence like a politician making a declaration about the content of videogames.

It appears the latest reason to namedrop children’s most dangerous pastime is their incorrigible habit of containing knives, according to our Dear Leader. PM Gordon Brown has declared that as part of his total ban on carrying knives, he wants to see blades disappearing from games too. He explained to The Sun,

“I am very worried about video and computer games. No one wants censorship or an interfering State. But the industry has some responsibility to society and needs to exercise that.”

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Levine meets Objectivists

By Kieron Gillen on August 21st, 2007.

This is an odd one. I haven’t seen it linked in any of the other blogs – it’s possible I just haven’t been paying attention to the right places though – but I found it when researching something.

(That is, entering random Bioshock related phrases into google.)

Basically, Andrew Russel, an objectivist gentleman drops Mr Levine an e-mail. And Mr Levine replies, and talks candidly about his beliefs regarding objectivism and world politics and hints at his intentions with Bioshock. And then Andrew posts the replies to the objectivist forums he frequents. To briefly set the stage – and it’s worth doing so, as in the UK, Objectivism and Ayn Rand are a lot less known than they are in the States – Bioshock’s setting of the isolated city of genius founded by one Andrew Ryan is clearly a riff off Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, and not necessarily a complimentary one. You may have seen Objectvists turn up in some Bioshock comments threads, voicing concerns (at best) and voicing anger (at worst).

As Andrew puts it…

What I am hoping is that BioShock treats the theory of individualism with proper respect. It would be very disheartening if BioShock were to equate individualism with an endless desire to prove oneself superior to others (this being a form of conformist parasitism Rand referred to as Second-Handing), free-market capitalism with making profit as an end-in-itself, or advocate the fallacious notion that laissez-faire is a zero-sum game. As you are obviously aware, Objectivism is often assumed to be wrong, evil, or an engine of societal collapse and disintegration, regardless of the historical evidence in favor of many Objectivist-approved principles.

Ken replies at length, but a couple of bits stick out. Firstly answering Andrew’s questions regarding Shock 2…

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