We’re not exactly firebrand activists here at KiaSA, not least because there’s usually little to get worked up over in UK politics as far as games go (unlike our Australian cousins, who I gather from the Van Hemlock News Podcast have been clandestine mavericks living outside the law for playing World of Warcraft until recently). Modern Warfare 2, though, reignited the violence in games debate (a subject that both Van Hemlock and Jon have been in reflective mood over), prompting Labour MP Tom Watson to start the Gamer’s Voice as a pro-game pressure group.
There are many issues around games that deserve more reasoned debate than “Ban this sick filth” vs “LAWL headshot I PWN”; as well as violence and morality, in piece on The Guardian Watson looks at other aspects such as the financial issues of not supporting a billion dollar industry, and lack of suitable graduates in games design now kids are taught how to use Office rather than programming.
Most importantly of all, though, he reveals “I know of at least three MPs who have a Guitar Hero habit. I know because they have tried to beat me (and failed). Two of them are ministers.” We’ve got a sweepstake going on the identities of the fake plastic ministers, and I’ve drawn the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Come on, Milliband, don’t let me down!