Friday, January 26, 2007

Australia bans game over virtual drug use

Australia has denied permission for Xbox 360's Blitz: the League, because the player may choose for his players to take performance-enhancing drugs in the game. Now I'm not all about sending bad messages to children, but this seems over the top. I would have a problem with the game if NFL players didn't actually take steroids to make themselves play better. As a San Diego Chargers fan, I love Shawne Merriman to death, but get real, that guy runs on to the field with a syringe still sticking out of his butt. The reward: leading the league in sacks despite being suspended for a few games. So if it is so obvious that this stuff is going on, why not throw it into a game?

Blizzitz Blizzanned

It is funny to me that certain details of real life are just not appropriate in video games. I wonder if all virtual drug use will be banned? My guess is that people are so afraid that kids see the drugs in the game and think that the drugs must be games too, and just take them without thinking of the consequences. This seems very foolish to me. There have been games forever that have allowed the character to experience new power through imbibing drugs: Mario sure loves those mushrooms! While Mario is clearly fantasy, Metal Gear Solid allows the player to take Diazepam to calm his nerves and shoot his sniper rifle more effectively --> what kind of message is that!? Perhaps an unsettling one: drugs work. If they made a game where the player controlled a bomber in WWII, would it be inappropriate for the player to be able to give his pilots speed? Or is that one of those details we would rather just ban.

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