Fans rage at anti-MadWorld campaign

Media watchdog told to "shut the f*** up".

Watchdog outfit Mediawatch-UK has received sacks of "hostile emails" after calling for a ban of gory SEGA Wii game MadWorld.

The company complained back in August that the title will "spoil the family fun image" of the console, arguing that "modern and civilised values" should take priority over "killing and maiming people".

"Within hours of these remarks being published a rain of hostile emails from gamers poured into our office telling us to 'shut the f*** up', suggesting that we had 'got our knickers in a twist', demanding, as though we were on trial for an heinous crime, to know what right we had to impose our 'narrow minded bigotry' on them and stopping them playing an 'adult' game of their choice," writes John Beyer in Mediawatch-UK's recently published autumn newsletter.

"Others, of a more sober character, asked reasonably why we should be so concerned about games when there was so much violence in films and on television!

"We were also accused us of being 'cowards' for not responding properly to belligerent strictures and one 'emailer' observed glibly that 'violent acts are not a symptom of videogames and films, but rather the human condition'," he adds. "Another said: 'If you don't like violent content, don't view or use it.'"

Beyer said some also "cynically" thanked Mediawatch-UK for drawing attention to a game they would now go out and buy.

"It is evident from this that the battle for standards has rather shifted away from television towards games and the internet," reckons Beyer.

So what will Mediawatch-UK do about all this? Well, the company has responded to the public discussion of the Video Recordings Act opened by The Department of Culture, Media and Sport. This Act, you see, was put together in 1984, when there was no such genre as retro.

Mediawatch-UK called for online gaming to become part of the Act, and to see "a unified classification scheme that must be 'trustworthy, uniform and clear' and there must be 'power to refuse to certify certain titles'".

"We did not agree that any new system 'must work for the games industry' alone or that it 'must support retailers'.'The overriding priority,' we said, 'really ought to be the welfare of children and families,'" concludes Beyer in the report.

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