Get Gordon into Games!
16th Nov 2007 | 09:08
You may or may not have heard that there's a Government review going on (dubbed The Byron Review) into the affect video games have on us all. This has come about thanks to countless ill-informed mainstream reports from people who truly believe that all games involve killing or maiming innocent civilians in one horrific way or another.
The important point to note here is that not all games involve killing or maiming innocent civilians in one horrific way or another, it's just a few. And they're clearly marked with a massive 'BBFC 18' thesedays.
As far as the general public is concerned we're all tarred with the same brush. But we're not all mental cases about to embark on a rip-roaring rampage of revenge for not being picked to be on the school football team.
So before the Government takes a look at our favourite pastime and sees something that doesn't stick to stereotypes of collecting coins and jumping on floating platforms, and ban games from the face of the Earth, it's up to us to email Dr. Tanya Byron and offer examples of how and why games are good for us.
Once Byron has enough ammo from the public she will then present her findings to the Government.
We, and you, should want those findings to be nothing but positive.
Here's the official request for your points of view from Dr. Tanya Byron:
"The Prime Minister has asked me to look at video games and the internet, and how they might affect you. My goal is to make sure you can play video games and use the internet safely.
"Video games and the internet are an important part of growing up - they help you learn, they help you keep in touch with your friends, and they're fun.
"But there can also be problems, for example if young children see pictures on the internet or play video games that upset them.
"There are three things I want to do:
"I want to find out whether your safety and happiness is affected by material on the internet and in video games.
"I want to look at the different things that can be done to protect you from harmful and inappropriate material. I want to look at how well they work, and whether they need to be changed.
"Finally, I want to help you and your parents understand any risks involved in playing video games, and in using the internet. And, I want to show you how to deal with them, so you can use the internet and video games safely.
"Once I've spoken to everybody, and decided what I think needs to be done, I'll write a report to the Government."
An example off the top of our heads (and the one we've sent in), is how EA uses the multi-million unit seller FIFA to promote anti racism messages. You'll see the official 'FIFA Against Racism' message around the advertising boards in each stadium. If that isn't an example of how games can do good in this world, then we're picking up our P45s and going to work at Tescos.
Thinking caps on people - you've got until Monday December 17 to respond here.
Spread the good word and Digg this article so we can get as many to write in as possible. It's our duty as gamers to speak up!