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Fans rage at anti-MadWorld campaign

Mediawatch-UK receives "hostile emails" after calling for a ban on Sega Wii game

Mediawatch-UK has received sacks of "hostile emails" after calling for a ban of gory Sega Wii game MadWorld, reports our sister site Eurogamer.net.

The company complained back in August that the title will "spoil the family fun image" of the console, arguing that "modern and civilised values" should take priority over "killing and maiming people".

"Within hours of these remarks being published a rain of hostile emails from gamers poured into our office telling us to 'shut the f*** up', suggesting that we had 'got our knickers in a twist', demanding, as though we were on trial for an heinous crime, to know what right we had to impose our 'narrow minded bigotry' on them and stopping them playing an 'adult' game of their choice," wrote John Beyer in Mediawatch-UK's recently published autumn newsletter.

"Others, of a more sober character, asked reasonably why we should be so concerned about games when there was so much violence in films and on television!

"We were also accused us of being 'cowards' for not responding properly to belligerent strictures and one 'emailer' observed glibly that 'violent acts are not a symptom of videogames and films, but rather the human condition'," he adds. "Another said: 'If you don't like violent content, don't view or use it.'"

Beyer said some also "cynically" thanked Mediawatch-UK for drawing attention to a game they would now go out and buy.

"It is evident from this that the battle for standards has rather shifted away from television towards games and the internet," he added.

Mediawatch-UK has responded to the public discussion of the Video Recordings Act opened by The Department of Culture, Media and Sport, calling for online gaming to become part of the Act, and to see "a unified classification scheme that must be 'trustworthy, uniform and clear' and there must be 'power to refuse to certify certain titles'".

"We did not agree that any new system 'must work for the games industry' alone or that it 'must support retailers'.'The overriding priority,' we said, 'really ought to be the welfare of children and families,'" concluded Beyer.

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Latest comments (5)

Alexander Cederholm Editor-in-Chief, GAMEcore.se8 years ago
"The overriding priority,' we said, 'really ought to be the welfare of children and families,"

Oh come on! This game is not for children or family weekends. How hard is it to get that? If children would be the factor that always shall be taken into acount then we wouldn't be able to have any kind of action or violence in our entertainment media. This game, to boot, is not worse than more gory games or a freaking Saw movie! Now THAT's utterly disgusting entertainment. Madworld is nothing compared to that. Why is the risk that a game for adults would get in the hands of children more than movies for a mature audience?

I get soooo tired about this nonsense....
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
It's on a Nintendo console, Alexander. That's the entire basis for their argument.

If it were on PS3/X360, you'd never hear a peep from this advocacy group.

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Alexander Cederholm Editor-in-Chief, GAMEcore.se8 years ago
But, and I hope you agree, that is a dumb argument. Nintendo have never ever said that "we will only make games for kids". That's only what some people would like to think. people.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Oh, it's a horrible basis for argument. Hardly is the software lineup of Wii without previous examples of blood, guts and gore. Raising arms now seems more a demand for attention than their posted intent.

Advocacy groups such as this almost always miss the point anyway. They use a band aid approach to treat their ails instead of concerning themselves with the source of the problem.

A ban on game X doesn't stop the next violent game from seeking shelf space at retailers. That's the 'give a man a fish' approach. You'd have to work to ban the next game as well. But if you teach parents how to properly understand the game ratings systems and get retailers to better advertise them, you'd then teach the parents 'how to fish' and bans would no longer an instrument of censorship.

Though I fear that level of logic may exceed the desires of most advocacy groups and nothing short of an outright ban would ever appease their high moral standings.
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Mike Kebby Marketing Manager, Green Man Gaming8 years ago
I believe you hit the nail on the head Jimmy when you say this "Though I fear that level of logic may exceed the desires of most advocacy groups and nothing short of an outright ban would ever appease their high moral standings" and there doesn't seem to be much that could be argued to ever change the minds of people like John Beyer.

The plus side for Nintendo is that the extra coverage could well elevate the sales figures upon release, but it's also another negative story that cements gaming as evil in the eyes of our friends at the Daily Mail et al.

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