On this edition of the Week in Review, Australian groups calling for censorship, repetitive strain in children, some fruit-based pad thing, gun nuts complaining about game nuts and football violence.
Atkinson Gets an Ally
Michael Atkinson isn't the only one that is standing in the way of an R18+ rating for videogames any more, as religious activist group, the Australian Christian Lobby, has asked its members to oppose any move towards removing the censorship on games. "Many games force the child to identify with the aggressor and children are rewarded for immoral conduct and violent behavior," a spokesperson for the group said. "And remember, even if R18+ games were only sold to adults, they would inevitably find their way into children's hands." Hopefully this group won't be too much of an impediment to the gamers of Australia; I've certainly got my fingers crossed. (link)
Trees Are Hurting Fewer Kids
It's a 'good news, bad news' kinda deal. The good news is that fewer kids are getting hurt by falling out of trees, but the bad news is that there are a lot more kids getting repetitive strain injuries. According to the Sun newspaper the number of outdoors related injuries has fallen sharply over the last eight or so years, including a significant fall in kids hurting themselves roller-skating, while ostensibly gaming related strain injuries have increased by more than half. Sociology professor Frank Furedi called these figures 'bad news for childhood', and that the outdoors was where young people learn about their strengths and weaknesses. However, actual figures for the number of RSIs in children are missing, so it might have gone from 10 to 15 for all we know. (link)
It's Fruit-Based, Don't You Know?
Have you ever wanted to feel like a genuine, bona fide Hobbit? Well Apple has just the thing for when you want to pretend to be three feet tall: a giant iPod Touch! The Apple tablet, called the iPad, was possibly the worst kept secret in the world of technology, and was announced this week at a keynote speech in San Francisco. With all the capabilities of an iPod Touch and a much bigger screen, the iPad makes a much wider variety of games possible, while remaining backwards compatible. But will the device ignite the interest of gamers? Only time will tell, but if you ask me, no, it won't. Sorry, Steve. (link)
And an Uzi Nine Millimeter...
It seems unwise to ruffle the feathers of gun enthusiasts, buts thanks to something that bloggers are calling the 'C all of Duty' effect, gamers are hitting up gun shops looking for obscure guns. "I was riding around with a friend of mine when I asked him to stop in at this new gun shop," said one commenter on The Firearm Blog. "He knows next to nothing about guns so I was surprised when he asked, 'Can you buy an ACR in there?' After explaining they don't sell it to regular people I asked him where the hell he had heard of it ... should've known before asking. He's an avid gamer." (link)
Boy Stabs Father Over Game
Continuing the weapons theme, but on a much more serious note, an Italian teenager attacked his father with a knife following a disagreement over tactics in FIFA 09. The man, known only as "Fabrizio R.", survived the attack and is recovering, while his son was arrested without incident. In a particularly ironic twist, the boy's mother said: "He's forever playing on his PlayStation, and we bought him FIFA 2009 because we didn't want him playing violent games." (link)