Thursday, 13 November 2008

Writing letters again

GOD DAMN IT!

I'm meant to be playing videogames, not writing to letters to clueless fucks about them.

After watching this YouTube video, I had to write a letter to YMA - people who, incidentally didn't hire me, because I confessed to liking videogames in my interview. Obviously it's an organisation that doesn't value truth and integrity...
Dear Sir or Madam

Recently on the ABCs Stateline program, your representative said "the interactive aspect of video games heightens the effect [of desensitisation of violence]"

Please show me ONE properly conducted, long term, scientifically proven, peer reveiwed report where the interactive nature of videogames has a greater effect of aggression in Children than any other media.

Apart from Craig Anderson's "research" (paid by the NIMF so about as "unbiased" and "scientific" as an report refuting climate change by a Mobil scientist - he's been discredited numerous times) every single search I have conducted reveals either a non-correlation, or even negative correlation. For example The BBFC discovered:
  • gamers appear to forget they are playing games less readily than film goers forget they are watching a film because they have to participate in the game for it to proceed. They appear to non-games players to be engrossed in what they are doing, but, they are concentrating on making progress, and are unlikely to be emotionally involved;
  • violence in games, in the sense of eliminating obstacles, is built into the structure of some games and is necessary to progress through the game. It contributes to the tension because gamers are not just shooting, they are vulnerable to being shot and most gamers are concentrating on their own survival rather than the damage they are inflicting on the characters in the game. While there is an appeal in being able to be violent without being vulnerable to the consequences which similar actions in real life would create, gamers are aware that they are playing a game and that it is not real life;
with the head of the BBFC saying "We were particularly interested to see that this research suggests that, far from having a potentially negative impact on the reaction of the player, the very fact that they have to interact with the game seems to keep them more firmly rooted in reality. People who do not play games raise concerns about their engrossing nature, assuming that players are also emotionally engrossed. This research suggests the opposite; a range of factors seems to make them less emotionally involving than film or television."

Dr. Cheryl Olson, author of the book Grand Theft Childhood says "The biggest fear of clinicians and the public alike—that violent video games turn ordinary children and adolescents into violent people in the real world—is not borne out by the data. Analyses of school shooting incidents from the US Secret Service5 and the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime6 do not support a link between violent games and real-world attacks".

So, I'd like to ask why your organisation keeps peddling this mis-truths about videogames to the media?

I'm not going to argue the media has no effect on people - it has even been found that scriptural violence sanctioned by God can increase aggression in people. But I wonder, does your organisation rail against people taking children to Church or exposing them to Christian music and film as much as they do against videogames??

I also wrote to Mick Atkinson for his stupid decision to not support a public consultion on videogames getting an R18+ rating, which he has since renegged on... flipflop out of office, Achyface!

Dear Mr Atkinson,

I would like to know why you have withdrawn your support for a discussion paper and public consultation process about the R18+ rating for videogames in Australia.

I understand your position on videogames and know quite a few people in the wider community share those views. I happen to think the evidence used to support your and similar views is circumstantial, and not backed up by proper scientific nor social research.

However, I know that no matter how well reasoned my arguments I will not change your view. But that is why we live in a democracy; we are allowed to have opposing views and are allowed to express them publicly, no matter how misinformed they may be.

However, the point of this letter is to understand why your support of the public consultation of this matter has suddenly been pulled, especially in light of the draft material you have received.

Can you please help me to understand why you think you are allowed to express and enforce your views on this matter, but feel that ordinary Australians should have no say whatsoever?

Labor's website reads: "we believe that a nation should be governed in the broader interests of all, not in the sectional interests of a few" and yet here you are, denying Australians a right to be involved in an important debate on censorship and ratings for reasons which are hitherto unfathomable.

It seems to go totally against the democratic processes of this country and moreover against the principles of the Labor party, and completely contradicts the notions of fairness and equality, the belief in "a fair go for all", the underpinnings of the Labor Party.

I look forward to your reply.
I'm also drafting a letter to Stephen Conroy, Minister for Communication, for his moronic decision to make isps filter internet traffic.

*sigh*

I recently heard the word "Kindargarchy", defined as:
a society increasingly dominated by the needs of children, or rather by the extraordinarily inflated needs we have come to attribute to them.
And it's so apt! I'm sick of these people screaming "won't someone think of the children!" when destroying our rights as human beings and the future of these children.

Because I AM thinking of the children.

I'm arguing for their right to be treated as adults and be able to speak, read, see and play what they like when they are older.

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