Friday, April 28, 2006


In our youth centre we play various 'computer' games - on consoles or PCs, controllers or using a keyboard or mouse or even bongo drums or microphones or a camera or even dance mats. They are single player or pairs or team games and more often than not they have others around watching, perhaps waiting their turn, encouraging or just enjoying a performance, game or race. And there is such a wide variety of games that we have plenty of choice without resorting to the more violent genre of games.

However, the media still gives us, as the reason for much 'antisocial behaviour', the picture of the socially inept young person on their own in their bedrooms playing violent games for hours on end.

In parliament, Labour former minister Keith Vaz continues with his "campaign for a crackdown on the sale of such software after the killing of Stefan Pakeerah in the city in 2004." (Guardian Mach 2nd)

"The debate about children playing violent computer games is as old as the hills" (March 17, The Guardian) Or as old as the Bulger case.

Sheila Brown (1998:50) quotes the judge in the Bulger case citeing "violent video films" as a cause "in part" of their behaviour and, as Smith (1994:227) puts it "no mention of any other issues that might be a factor in young people commiting serious crime" despite there being "no mention in evidence of any videos"! The Sun though was convinced, Brown (1998:51) tells us, on 26 November they printed "the image of Chucky consumed in flames, declaring: 'For the sake of all our kids...BURN YOUR VIDEO NASTY." This sort of media surrounding the case, is what caused "periodic 'moral panics" about youth crime (Muncie et al, 2002:19). That coupled with publications such as the Newson report increases the publics perception of, what Brown calls 'the child villian' and what she says the Times calls, "innocence polluted by video nasties" . Brown, S. (1998) Understanding Youth and Crime, Open University Press

Whatever you believe, Seed looks like a game where such worries are not an issue. It looks like the kind of game that does not reflect the violence and war of real life but the life we might live if were were better people.

"In Seed, players find themselves on an alien world in the far future as desperate human settlers who must work together to ensure the survival of their colony and the whole human race. By using their intellect rather than their brawn, players alone will decide the fate of the entire colony, set within a highly mutable and interactive world."


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