Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Two Things That Annoy Me Today

A Government investigative committee that looked into the issue of immigration said that everything that the Labour Government has told us about immigration is wrong, their statements are in error, sometime wilfully show, and that their contributions to the economy were miniscule, and their “protection” of pensions was non existent. This is an independent committee performing and independent investigation using facts, figures, records and solid evidence. The response of our unelected Prime Minister? “That immigrants have a “made a huge contribution” to the economy, and that the study was incorrect. The ineffectual Home Secretary agreed with him, as did the nonsensical Party Leader Harriet Harmen.

What was the point of this study being commissioned in the first place if you were going to ignore all its findings? In my view it’s little more than an example of the Government expecting something to back them up, and then, when it doesn’t, they just bury their heads in the sand and pretend that it’s wrong.

This is the problem with the current Government, it started becoming more prevalent at the beginning of the Iraq war, and continues to this day; they refuse to take criticism or admit error. They pretend that things that disagree with their status quo do not exist, or are freak occurrences, and that the way everything is being done now is the right way to do it. They will not change things significantly, because to do so would be to admit they have done things wrong in the past. Whether you are pro immigration or not (I happen to be), one has to admit that just brushing off the results of this study and then going back to acting as if nothing has happened is not the right way to do things.

It’s that time of the decade again. Video games are under attack. Twice a decade this seems to happen; early 90s (Mortal Kombat, Doom), and late ‘90s (Half Life). Early ‘00s (GTA III, Manhunt) and late ‘00s (GTA IV, Manhunt 2 (God bless sequels.)) Another bloody report, commissioned by the Prime Minister, and written by Tanya Byron (clinical psychologist and “television parenting guru” (a term to rightfully be scoffed at)) concludes that video games should be accompanied by health warnings.

Overreaction. Computer games should be accompanied by ratings (that are strictly enforced). They should be monitored by parents. They should be put into context by parents. A blanket system is not the way to go. Have those crappy “Smoking Seriously Harms Your Health” labels convinced anyone to think twice about it? No. Neither will health warnings on video games do anything. The whole study is set to build a foundation of helping to “protect children” in a digital age. Urgh. Here we go again with the child worship.

Telling people about pornography on the internet, or that chat room use is not totally safe for kids, is not “educating” them. It’s making the statement and then washing your hands of it. It’s another example – once again – of Government interfering into peoples lives because too many morons are breeding. Parents have to start parenting. Stop pointing the finger at everything else, and stick it in the nose of the lazy, uninterested parent. Ignore people whining about how bad it makes them feel and make them take responsibility for the life they squeezed out of their vagina. I don’t care if it was an accident and you were 14. If you didn’t want the responsibility you should have a) got an abortion, b) put the kid up for adoption c) used a condom or d) decided that screwing around in the back seat of a car at age 14 is not the thing for you.

All my friends play and have played very violent videogames. Have any of them spazzed out and murdered people? No. They haven’t. Why? Because a) they’re sane, and b) (more importantly) their parents took some Goddamn responsibility and actually behaved like parents. And none of them are psychopaths! What a shock. (Well, except for one).

The perfect example of how deluded this study is comes when the “guru” Tanya Byron (interestingly, not a doctor), calls for all games consoles to contain blocking mechanisms that would enable parents to prevent children playing unsuitable games on them. News flash brainiac; they already do. Yes folks, the woman giving out all these recommendations to the industry doesn’t even know that the technology we now deal with is way ahead of her.

I agree that video gaming needs a proper classification system rather than the ESRB rubbish, which is confusing to any game not rated 18. Of course, this now presents the media with a whole new bogeyman to harp on about for the next month until they find another tragedy to milk (a pane crash and five people dying in Kent isn’t nearly sensational enough; better bring up Diana again), and stupid people will run screaming throughout the streets at the imminent downfall of civilisation as the monster that is GTA IV comes looming towards them. “You can buy hookers in a video game?! Just like in real life?!” Yes. It happens in real life, just like it happens in movies. It happens in video games as well. Rather than trying to get the game banned because it will influence your children, I have a better idea. Don’t buy it for your kids in the first place. I’m 25 and responsible enough to play it, show a little responsibility yourself, and don’t let your children do the same.


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