Censorship over stupid things


by Sunny
28th October, 2005 at 3:37 am    

The immigration minister Tony McNulty says journalists “haven’t got a clue what they’re talking about” when it comes to asylum, and strongly cricised the Press Complaints Commission yesterday. “If PCC guidance worked then we would not have all the rubbish we see in the media regarding refugees and asylum seekers.”

I think this is the first time he has actually slammed the PCC, a toothless body full of executives who are supposed to regulate themselves. Roy Greenslade gave some great examples a few months ago.

Papers have been guilty of publishing false stories about asylum-seekers: the Sun, notoriously, claimed that unspecified “East European poachers” were killing and roasting swans from the Thames while the Daily Star alleged that Somalians had rustled donkeys from Greenwich park in order to eat them. The Daily Express ran a splash alleging that police had arrested two Lithuanian asylum-seekers linked to al-Qaeda who were plotting to kill the prime minister.

Senior police were so outraged by the falsity of the story that they issued an unequivocal denial, calling it “rubbish” and pointing out that the Express reporters had been told in advance that “no security issues were raised by their arrest”. The men, who might not even have been asylum-seekers, were probably involved in a drugs-related offence and were deported.

The media prefers not to acknowledge how this false reporting leads to more racism in general.

Meanwhile, former minister Keith Vaz, who clearly has little else to do now, is trying to get the upcoming game Bully, to be banned. Talking about the same theme, Rob Fahey of GamesIndustry.biz ain’t too happy.

This reminds me of the stupid spectacle of Hillary Clinton getting hot under the collar over the sex-scene in GTA3: San Andreas. Hello! Find something better to do with your time, please?


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  1. shihab — on 28th October, 2005 at 5:52 am  

    I doubt very few people would disagree that the papers take the piss when it comes to making a mountain over a molehill, but you’re wrong to suggest kieth vaz is attention seeking by trying to get Bully banned.

    Now I play San Andreas with the best of ‘em, but Bully is a cynical marketing ploy targeting children who, alternately, thrive on being a bully or dread being bullied. This isn’t a game which encourages fantasies of being an LA hood who pops the bitches, this is set in their real world. It is literally their playground. No, some kids don’t know better.

    To kids who enjoy victimising other kids and those terrified of their actions, this is the equivalent of a game called Paki Bashing.

    They called it Bully to capitalise on the fact that anti-bullying measures are being widely reported, ensuring they get maximum notoreity. And the papers you speak of will cry ‘outrage’ and hand it to them on a plate. It’s sick and the makers don’t give a flying fuck who gets hurt.

    I can’t think of anything I’ve ever thought should be banned, but please… won’t someone think of the children?

  2. Sunny — on 28th October, 2005 at 12:30 pm  

    How does the fantasy of running someone over with a car differ from that of bullying in class? Both are problems within societies, and are tackled through personal empowerment and counselling. I don’t believe that games make it worse, except in silly people who are liable to do this anyway.

    But there is another point to Keith Vaz. He wants the game banned, not given an 18 rating. Now this is where I draw the line, because I believe it has a rating for a reason and parents should take responsibility and not let their kids buy the games until they are out of school. Hey I was bullied, but if a game is fun to play, then its all good. I don’t actually fantasise about running over people or beating up whores after shagging them (as in the original GTA3).

  3. David T — on 28th October, 2005 at 2:09 pm  

    Talking of press-inspired panics, has anybody noticed that last weekend’s big splash in the News of the World last weekend in which they “found” another 7/7 bomber – who said he’d dropped out when he was told that children might be targetted – was a complete fantasy.

    Aided and abetted by the Fake Sheikh himself, Mazher Mahmood.

    http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2005-10-27T130907Z_01_KWA747257_RTRUKOC_0_UK-SECURITY-BRITAIN-LONDON.xml

  4. shihab — on 28th October, 2005 at 2:21 pm  

    Sunny: I don’t actually fantasise about running over people or beating up whores after shagging them

    That’s because you don’t need to. You do it in real life you madman

  5. shihab — on 28th October, 2005 at 2:42 pm  

    Oh and sunny, being bullied as a child made you stronger later in life, but I don’t want my children to get bullied now.

    And you may not get affected by san andreas because you’re an adult. this game is targeted at kids and glamourises it. and kids, in case you’ve forgotten, can be vicious little shits

  6. Al-Hack — on 28th October, 2005 at 2:49 pm  

    If it has an 18 certificate, then kids should not be allowed to buy it, no?

  7. Sunny — on 28th October, 2005 at 3:02 pm  

    Shihab you have it wrong. I prefer perching on the top of tall building and taking out people with my sniper-rifle… watching the blood spurt out of their head with glee.

    But running people over – that is where I draw the line. some people have no respect :|

  8. David T — on 28th October, 2005 at 3:54 pm  

    It also messes up the hubcaps

  9. Col. Mustafa — on 28th October, 2005 at 6:26 pm  

    These kids have grown up playing these mindless games.
    Now i love gta, and have been playing it since the first one, but i wouldn’t carry out any of the things i do in the game.

    Why?
    Because it just wouldn’t feel right, you know; your walking down the road and suddenly you pull a bazooka out your ass or something and start blowing shit up, or driving down the road and you see pedestrians so you run em over.

    But just cos i wouldn’t feel right, doesn’t mean someone else will feel the same way.

    I hate these issues cos i like games, but i don’t like the way alot of these games are turning our youth into stupid morons.
    The games market and the companies related to them are making big bucks now.
    Rockstar is no longer a bunch of rebels coming out with a completely different style of game.

    Its all about money now, games have fucking premieres now, they sell out more than films do.
    So what you have is awesome games with loads of different game engines that are coming left right and centre and large companies making money off em.

    But going back to the point, yeh the damage has already been done, so whats the point in banning a game called bully.
    Its stupid, if your gonna ban that, ban everything else as well.
    Games like halflife 2 fuck you up more than anything, people are becoming numb to graphic violence.

  10. Eric — on 28th October, 2005 at 7:52 pm  

    Games like halflife 2 fuck you up more than anything, people are becoming numb to graphic violence.

    Rubbish.

    I play Half-life 2 Counter-strike and Day of Defeat, and I still cried at the end of Nanny McPhee. ;-)

  11. Sunny — on 28th October, 2005 at 8:19 pm  

    I still cried at the end of Nanny McPhee.

    Have you no shame?? :D

  12. Col. Mustafa — on 28th October, 2005 at 8:46 pm  

    hehehehe..

  13. Sunny — on 28th October, 2005 at 11:25 pm  

    ELSPA director general Roger Bennett has said it’s too soon to start talking about a ban, however.

    “Every game published in the UK carries an age rating on the box, providing guidance to ensure that consumers can make informed choices when buying games, in the same way as one would buy a film or take guidance on post-watershed TV viewing,” he said.

    “As Mr Vaz knows, any game can be automatically referred to the BBFC for a rating. It is disingenuous to suggest any game be banned when the content has yet to be finalised.”

    “More and more people are beginning to recognise that the stories in video games have as many themes and plotlines as books and movies. Just as books aren’t judged by their covers, videogames shouldn’t be judged by their titles or individual scenes.”

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=12597

    Apt, I thought.

  14. The Dude — on 28th October, 2005 at 11:50 pm  

    Call me old fashioned but games about the Second World War, especially the one based on the TV series “Band of Brothers”, offend my sense of history. Good men lost their lives in an honourable war and these games show little respect for their sacrifice. I also thinks these games give our children completely the wrong idea about human conflict.

  15. Laban Tall — on 29th October, 2005 at 7:20 pm  

    Off topic, sunny, but did you see or hear about the Clichy riots while you were in Paris ?

  16. Sunny — on 29th October, 2005 at 7:45 pm  

    Nope, not at tall. I couldn’t obviously listen to the french news but no one else said anything and we were all a politically active bunch. Plus I walked around a lot of Paris on Sunday and didn’t see or hear anything.

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