Video Standards Council Under Pressure to Act
Earlier in the week the Video Standards Council (VSC) came under fire after it has emerged that they have failed to ban a single violent video game since it inherited the mantle of ‘industry watchdog’ back in 2012. While that’s good news for us gamers (and we’ve benefited lovingly from some great war games since then) it’s bad news for our future selves. The VSC is under pressure to change their ways, and, to be fair to them, they have a pretty valid argument that goes a long way to excuse their past behavior.
The VSC, you see, can slap an age rating on a game and sell it to anyone over that age. If that responsible adult then gives the game to a child – it really isn’t their fault. They sort of expressly warned you not to give it to a child. So. Secondly, and this is the important part, a lot of new tech doesn’t have a disc drive. Kids go online to download their games from a domain the VSC has no control over. Ergo, a bunch of angry mothers rattling on their doors because “These sorts of games shouldn’t be available” doesn’t really make any sense anymore. They are living with a rulebook and legislation from the 80’s. They are literally working from a manual that was written before people like you and I knew what the internet was. The rules are so outdated that they no longer apply – and yet still protestors turn on them threateningly, angry that their aged-18-and-over games have corrupted their children.
There is a simple answer of course. How about don’t buy it for them? Do you even know what it’s like to be a gamer, and to have to listen to a twelve-year-old cursing through the headset cause he thinks he’s being badass? It’s annoying, and it’s a drag, and it ruins my game time. We gamers hate it as much as everyone else does- probably more so! I spent six months leveling a character once to get sworn at by a kid who bought his level and gear with mummy’s money for a 15+ certificate game! It’s frustrating. The point in the certificate is to let all adults know that kids aren’t suitable for this game. Don’t expose them to it and then claim innocence afterward. Certainly don’t put pressure on VSC to change our games into muted, boring, South Korean style dictated- Theresa May relished yawn fests. Let us have our gore, because dammit! If we hacked someone’s head off in real life we would all be shot!
So leave our games alone and pay extra attention to the label on those games your kid wants for Christmas. Responsibility starts at home. Let’s take some and move on from this and ultimately we may just all get exactly what we want.