What a spoiler. I wanted to write about games today...
I read something rather disturbing in the papers recently. A reader wrote a letter to this newspaper calling for censorship of suicide scenes in films and tv shows.
I shook my head when I read that letter.
Obviously, this kind of sentiment is a reaction to that 12 year girl who hung herself the other day. It's unfortunate and symptomatic to a bigger underlying problem affecting today's society.
The mass media is not one of those problems, no matter how hard some people insist that it is. Seriously.
Here we go again, more calls for censorship. It's as if censorship is the cure-all solution to every social woe that we have.
I notice this happens a lot. Whenever something negative happens involving kids, a lot of people say that censoring media is a solution. I understand how one may come to such a conclusion but I also know for a fact that mass media has nothing whatsover to do with social problems like suicide and violence. Many, many studies have indicated no direct link between entertainment and mass media and things that happen in real life. No need to link here, anyone with a brain and a working internet connection can look for this him/herself.
Censorship is a lazy "solution". That way at least some people will feel better because something was done. Even if it doesn't help at all. Frankly, it's ridiculous.
To say that someone committed suicide because of something that was shown on TV is a crazy notion. Suicide is something much, much more serious than that. Whether or not TV and films are censored, the unfortunate fact is that people will still kill themselves if they are stressed or desperate enough.
No, I don't buy the reasoning that suicide portrayed mass media makes suicide more appealing. I don't think it's logical to say that people will consider suicide is to be "cool" if they see it on TV. Do you know anyone who tried to kill him/herself because he/she saw it on TV? That's right. No one.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Mass media is a convenient scapegoat for lazy people who can't/won't address the actual causes of the problems they see. When things like violence and suicide and other social problems occur, the problem is with the individual who commits the act and not with mass media.
Millions of people have watched violent movies, played violent computer games and read violent literature. Out of this millions of people, how many have been driven to violence by these things?
Would it really make any difference if there was no violence in mass media? Some people would like to think so but seriously? Would it make a difference? It won't. Because these kinds of problems come from within society itself. In fact, I feel that the violence found in films, TV and other forms of entertainment is a reflection of the violence and other problems in our society.
Art imitates life. Not the other way around. Such a simple fact and yet...
This is getting rather long and rambly. My point is if people really want to address issues like suicide amongst youth and other issues, they should stop making dumb suggestions like censoring mass media and deal with the actual causes of the problem.
People really need to stop blaming mass media for everything and start taking more responsibility for the things that happen around them.
Enough of this shit. And now for the things that really matter: games!!
Need For Speed: Prostreet is bloody awesome. It's the best Need For Speed game yet!
It may not be a car simulator like Gran Turismo but damn it's fun! And it looks gorgeous too. I just wished it featured more cars and more real world locations. To be honest, that's my only real complaint. That and the game's physics engine doesn't work as well as some other racing games' engine when it comes to capturing the "feel" of driving. Compared to the cars in Gran Turismo 4, the cars in Prostreet feel a bit more "dead" if you know what I mean. But to be fair, Prostreet doesn't make any claims about being a realistic simulator so this is no issue for me.
Complaints aside, the game rocks and I heartily recommend it to racing sim enthusiasts. Oh yes, the game needs quite a powerful rig to run with all the graphic bells and whistles on. I myself have to play in in medium/low detail right now. We''ll see how awesome it looks like when I upgrade to a GeForce 8600GT...
In yet more gaming news for those of us who play Football Manager 2008 and it's variants, the official 8.01 patch is out. The patch features many minor fixes but the biggest fix are updates for the match engine. It fixes the "closing down" bug which is the single biggest issue that was plaguing the game when first it came out. So go and download it. It really, really helps.
The patch is available from the Sigames website.
That's all for today. Time to get back to work. Have a good Sunday.
PS: I found a cool list of the 50 greatest fictional weapons of all time! Go and read.