- On Tuesday the Advertising Standards Agency banned adverts for a new computer game, Kane & Lynch, because it deemed them too violent. It is interesting that adverts for last year's "torture porn" film Captivity were not banned, even though they were heavily criticised in the US. And no one even raises the possibility of banning such films outright. But then, computer games are our society's straw man for panic about moral decay, thought to have some special power to harm and corrupt.
Dr Tanya Byron's eminently sensible report last month on children and new technology emphasised the many opportunities for fun and learning that games provide. But the media coverage focused on the usual fears and worries. Byron said that we need to move away from talking about computer games "causing harm"; in response, TV and newspapers showed stills from games with titles like Manhunt and God of War. Byron said children need to be "empowered to keep themselves safe"; newspapers said computers and televisions should be kept in communal spaces in the home.
As a gamer, I can't think of anything more annoying for everyone concerned than playing games in a shared living room. Games make noise: they're surely going to irritate other family members who aren't playing or watching. Not to mention the supreme aggravation, as the...