Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Are the Daily Mail suitable moral guardians?

Of course, the answer is emphatically "no!" but I have to ask this question after being alerted to another game-hating article from them. C&VG highlighted that fact that the forthcoming game, MadWorld from Platinum Games, has come under fire from watchdog pressure groups who are calling on the title to be banned. The monochrome title has an adult-appropriate level of violence interspersed with comic book style moments of excess. Think Sin City mixed with the 1960s TV version of Batman & Robin.

Which pressure group is behind the push? It's only Mediawatch-uk. They are favourite moral guardians for the Daily Mail so no surprises there. The report reads:
A new computer game tipped to be the most violent ever is being released exclusively on the so-called 'family friendly' Wii console.

Nintendo will dramatically transform Wii's image with the release of ultra violent video game MadWorld which, 'revolves around the themes of brutality and exhilaration', according to its creators.
Fantastic. Just when the Wii was beginning to diversify and offer content for the more mature gamer, the pressure groups decide that this isn't acceptable on a 'family friendly' platform. Great. I wonder whether the Wii is a victim of its own success in that Nintendo tried to change the public perception of gaming only to limit itself to games that look, er, cute (for want of a better word).

The Wii does already have some adult orientated titles, some of which are damn good. I'm thinking of Resident Evil 4, No More Heroes, Manhunt 2, etc. Okay, so maybe Manhunt 2 is not so good - I wouldn't know saying as it isn't available in the UK yet despite heavy cuts in order to meet the BBFC's demands. All of these titles are third party releases for the Wii - Nintendo doesn't need to make these titles in order to be successful.

I'm a little angry at not being able to even try Manhunt 2 because it deemed too much. No More Heroes, with its excessive gore was cut in the UK market with the executions toned down. When I learned of that, it actually made me not want to buy the game. I want to play adult titles on my machine but the morale opprobrium which besets such titles, often from a moralising media, acts to stifle choice. This was one of the reasons I ended up buying a PS3. That machine isn't beset by the problem of the family friendly title and can get away with more.

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