The Round Table: 07/04/2010

[The Round Table is designed for gamers to come together to debate the real issues. No silly format wars here. Bring your best debating equipment, set up camp and let the discussion fireworks fly. Let’s make progress, let’s come to a consensus on the biggest issues since our realization that games can be something more. We won’t be debating ‘games iz art’ as that’s now pretty much a ‘yes’; we’re going steps beyond and into harm’s way. This is very touchy territory. There are now real rules to debating in The Round Table, other than one – be nice.]

Happy Independence Day! The irony is that I’m English! Curse you Americans and your so called ‘freedom’, you don’t deserve independence! By the way, Sarah Palin would make an AMAZING President, she is the Einstein of our time. The sarcasm in those two sentences is off the charts, and it has nothing to do with videogames. Then again, who plays videogames anymore? Videogames suck, they’re not art, they’re just toys. Toys for children. Why are you still playing them? Why not read a book or have a swim or go outside and enjoy the fireworks? How dare you try to appreciate a medium in its teenage years!

Anyway. Yes! Videogames. This weeks question:

Have games ever gone ‘too far’?

Toughie, that’s why I chose it. To say that videogames have gone too far is to maybe disregard everything they’ve ever ventured in. Given our potential (interactivity, player connection etc.), we can go anywhere, but there’s always been setbacks. When Atomic Games tried to get ‘Six Days in Fallujah’ published by Konami, there were some giant steps in the wrong direction. The game was about a pivotal battle in the Iraq War, but yet, there was a giant public backlash. Survivors of this conflict came back from the battle, wanting to teach people about the war, and through games they knew that would be the best way. A film can only make you feel, but a game can make you be.

The developers and advisors appeared on a small segment of Fox News, and the game was sworn off. Not because of its subject, but because it was a game. There have been many films about the battle of Fallujah, but whenever we go that far, we’re not allowed.

Games should be allowed to go as far as they like.

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