MacWorld, School Bullies, and Chinese videogames

Cleaning out the inbox ...

Cleaning out the inbox ...

A whack of people fired off emails about the Great Chinese Videogame Purge, and specifically the inclusion of the seemingly-innocuous SIms and FIFA Soccer. The best two messages divided neatly into one for each game, and one each for the categories of creative and clever.

The clever message came from Tommyhawk and was about FIFA 2005: The game includes Taiwan as one of the World Cup teams. I didn't know this (mostly because I have never played this particular game) but it would certainly be grounds for a no-no rating in China. All mention of Taiwan is verboten in China, period. And no, I don't know how they hope to get around that in the 2006 Beijing Olympics.

The creative message came from BK, and was based around the theory that the Sims hits a little too close to home for the Chinese goverment. Essentially, the game's overriding gestalt of the citizens being controlled in every aspect of their lives by a dominating and all-powerful force might be a little too much like the daily grind in mainland China, and the powers that be don't want people thinking about that too much.

Meanwhile, a lot of people wonder if we will ever hear about the reasons BEHIND the stick-figure schoolkid drawings. Did "Charlie" bully the special needs kids? Did they feel the need to fight back with crayons and paper? Were they that disenfranchised? Sorry, gang, but the smart money is on "we will never know" ... these sorts of failures of the school system and society when it comes to kids who aren't part of the "in crowd" never really see the light of day. No one ever talked publicly about the bullying that drove the Columbine kids over the edge - it is a lot easier for the school system and parents to point at the "wrong" music or the "wrong" video games or the "wrong" clothes than it is to look in the mirror and see the flaws in the system that they have created. And if I sound bitter, it's because I am. The whole mess is a shitty system designed to coddle the least-worthy at the expense of the rest.

And finally, thanks to SK and Azeroth who pointed out that both the National Post and the Globe and Mail said pretty much exactly what I figured the mainstream media would say about MacWorld. The Post was expeically out to lunch on this one ... which is just about zero surprise.

Posted: Sun - January 30, 2005 at 07:10 PM