As if there weren’t enough ludicrous rumours about video games turning children into obese zombies with the attention span of a mackeral/genocidal maniacs who take guns into school and scream “MULTI-KILL!” while they blast everyone in sight, apparently games are now “sexualising children,” according to a recent report produced for the home office.
That’s right: all that time staring at the back of Princess Peach’s head in Mario Kart Wii is turning little Timmy into a ball of red hot lust. The report, which was compiled by Big Brother psychologist Linda Papadopoulos, criticised games containing “highly sexual content,” alongside pornography and sexualised advertising slogans.
One of these games, Miss Bimbo, includes challenges such as obtaining breast augmentations in order to marry a wealthy man.
Before we consider why an important governmental report is being conducted by a celebrity instead of a real psychologist, we would like to point out that Miss Bimbo isn’t a game at all. It’s actually a social networking site with a few woeful minigames tacked onto it, which goes to show just how much Dr Papadopoulos knows about the industry that her report condemns.
If a game like Bayonetta was easily obtainable by children then we would understand where this report was coming from, but it isn’t, and we don’t.
Returning to the point that this report was compiled by someone whose job is to assess the mentality of people who don’t have a mentality, the government’s attitude towards one of its biggest potential sources of revenue is becoming increasingly bizarre. Already we’ve had bloody Supernanny collaborate with Parliament to assess whether or not games are corrupting the youth in one form or another, the result being nothing other than a superfluous alteration of the way games are rated.
Additionally, the government continually fails to recognise British game development as a legitimate industry, despite worldwide acclaim for developers such as Edinburgh’s own Rockstar North, most recently creators of Grand Theft Auto IV.
Of course, all sorts of controversy surrounded GTA IV, but only because the government stubbornly refuses to let go of the belief that video games start with Mario and end with Sonic.
Next week we’ll be assessing Mumsnet’s review of Aliens vs Predator. It’s going to be a corker.