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May 28, 2010

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John McLear

Looking forward to part 2. To just answer some questions you raised. We haven't had a single complaint on PGA about inappropriate games and we have the CEOP + report abuse options available.

I feel I'm doing all I can to ensure children have a safe learning + gaming experience. I'm not a big fan of nanny culture so I feel if a child is disturbed by the game their is always the off button.

Last point on this issue, when I was 15 or so I played 18+ games - leisure suit Larry etc. These games were completely "inappropriate" for my age range but I learned a lot from playing them. So I was learning, just not necessarily what my peers would of wanted me to learn.

My 12 year old nephew plays any game he wants, this may seem shocking but he knows the difference between gaming and reality so it doesn't actually affect his daily life. He would never imitate something from a game in real life unless without doing a "risk assessment" in his head. We have discussed this in depth - a bit like how e-safety is discussed.

You can probably tell I'm not a huge of fan of "Nannying" in this area.

Actually this is my last point, instead of restricting access to certain games how about rewards for playing games that we as peers believe are more suitable? Just a thought :P

Ollie Bray

Hi John,

Thanks for your comments. You probably haven’t received any complaints about inappropriate games on PGA because all of the games you have on there are very appropriate!

I think that your right there is always an off button – but I wonder as games get more immersive how many young people will press it? Or even if this matters?

I completely agree about the ‘nanny’ culture and its great that your 12 year old nephew knows the difference between games and real life. I think many 12 year olds do. I also think that it is great that you can talk about these issues with him – I wonder how many other 12 year olds there are in the UK who don’t have the same support or even understanding of the technology from family? What about when your 12 year old nephew introduces a inappropriate game to his 10 year old friend and the 10 year old is not emotionally ready or doesn’t have the support at home? Perhaps its not a problem? I really don’t know enough about it…

Finally (and this was the real point of my post) as games become more immersive and sensory touch, feeling, sound, 3D, smell, full body movement) I wonder if that is where we will start to get the real blurring of boundaries…

Who knows (I certainly don’t!) – but it’s really interesting isn’t it!

OB

PS: Thanks for the twitter links as well!

João Freitas

Hi, very interesting and informative post
It´s only reasonable that a limit should be draw, I have a eleven years old son and I think that many video games are to graphic for is age and anyone should look to the video game´s age rating of the video games they are buying for their children or the ones their kids are playing. Maybe because I did start playing video games at an earlier age I may have acquired some literacy on the subject, but I really don't feel that other parents (when i talk about this theme) are informed as it is well pointed by the post, and, as the post also points, we cant control our children all the time, specially because they can play elsewhere, borrow, download games and demos or use a browser for that effect.
Liked very much the example of "cowboys and Indians", because children do play simulated war games (and I mean in real life) and fake to be wounded, and the question that comes to my mind is “The idea of violence is equal to the image of violence?” I don´t want to take a position on the defense of violent videogames, I accept that violence is not for children, that´s commune sense, but would be interesting to have a definitive response to that question, because graphic violence is on many types of media, and i suppose it´s here since humans learn to draw in caves. And I understand that videogames are interactive images, but then my question would be better presented as “are violent interactive images/animations more violent then the ones in our minds that result from ideas?” I agree that better graphics make a difference, but I remember playing Death Wish 3 on the ZX Spectrum and did feel, at the time, that it was a very violent videogame. I did not find yet a good answer (in my opinion) for the question I pointed, answer that (I think) would contribute for the better comprehension of the limits between what´s excessive violence and what´s not.

Ollie Bray

What a great question!

Do you think that 'the idea of violence' (eg: thinking about it and pictureing it in your head) can be more real when you have seen it?

João Freitas

I think the power of imagination is far greater than the power of an image or an animation. In my opinion, when you play games like Resident Evil or, more recently, Dead Space what lurks out of sight sound far more horrifying. Maybe what turns violence violent to the observer it´s the immersion on the particular context, and we can say that better graphics do it better. Yes, the “right” images can´t make an idea more real, I think, but are they not, the ideas, different from person to person?
What I find more violent in games like Fallout 3 or Fable II, it´s that you can chose to do evil (or not) and even get reasonable justification why you should practice violence, and yes, this games are rated “not for children”, but at first glance, specially Fable II, they won’t look violent to a parents, whom will not notice the violent ideas (and actions) that this games contain.

João Freitas

Correction:

When I said «Yes,the “right” images CAN´T make an idea more real» i meant «Yes, the right” images CAN make an idea more real»

Sorry about that.

João Freitas

Hi!
Today I saw a trailer of a videogames that make me wonder. Therefore, regarding the same subject “Ideas and images” and maybe because they say images are better than words, and maybe games are better than images, I will propose this three links. One it´s a trailer from a game on the YouTube, the others are the ratings on PEGI and ESBR. I personally believe that sometimes ideas are underestimated in favor of images.

Tank you

The Links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_nVrAdpxo4&feature=player_embedded

http://www.pegi.info/en/index/global_id/505/?searchString=Naughty+Bear

http://www.esrb.org/ratings/synopsis.jsp?Certificate=28806&searchkeyword=Naughty%20Bear

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