Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

November 12, 2008 -

mediawatch-UK can dish out criticism, but apparently has trouble taking it.

The self-appointed media watchdog group complains that it was flooded with e-mails from angry gamers in August after the head of the organization called for a ban on Sega's upcoming Madworld.

mediawatch-UK's autumn newsletter contains a whinge about the e-mails, which started when the organization's director, John Beyer (left), told the Daily Mail that he hoped the British Board of Film Classification would deny Madworld a rating, effectively banning the game in the U.K.

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 have "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.

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 video games and films, but rather the human condition".  Another said: "If you don't like violent content, don't view or use it"...

Feature articles, grossly exaggerating the significance of our comments, were written in computer game magazines exonerating the multimillion pound games industry and headlines were achieved on Google News UK and dismissive remarks made in The Guardian newspaper... 

mediawatch-UK's conclusion from all of this?

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

GP: Make up your mind, mediawatch-UK. If you want to be a player in this debate, learn to deal with people who not only have an opposing view, but will be directly affected by the censorship for which you are lobbying. Moreover, your whining about negative media coverage is silly. Why shouldn't those in the media who disagree with your advocacy of censorship speak out?

There's an old saying about the heat and the kitchen that seems applicable in this case.

Via: Mediasnoops


Comments

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

They were probably quite shocked by the emails sent from pre-pubescent boys, whose grammar and spelling leave much to be desired and whose comments usually revolve around calling someone gay (because to them that is seen as the ultimate insult). This is likely to have been the first time that Mediawatch have ever come into contact with this sort of comments and is a bad reflection on gamers as a whole because it portrays us as being quite unintelligent.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Unfortunately, you're probably right, but it does sound like some people managed to be a bit civil and presented the argument 'why do games get special attention?' from what the article says.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

*FACEPALM*


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Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Are the ratings really so hard to understand if people 17 and younger(I'm 17 myself) can understand? Or perhaps parents should consider taking an interest in the children's hobbies? Maybe even play an hour or two?

I understood even when I was seven.

Blood: Blood

Gore: More blood, maybe bodies and severed limbs. Could be zombies as well.

Sexual themes: what you parents do but wont admit to, but you see them anyway...

Suggestive theme: less extreme, is more behind closed doors.Suggested rather than seen.

Violence: Violence

it's mostly self explanatory.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

oops, I meant to put this in the other article. I'm not getting the option to edit though.(Could someone help with that?)
 

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

The option to edit your post seems to disappear when someone replies to it.

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Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Sexual themes: what you parents do but wont admit to, but you see them anyway...

Now that's an unpleasant image.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

I thought media watchdogs watched media like newspapers, television, etc. for shoddy journalism. At least that's what the media watchdogs here do. They keep the media in check.

Media watchdog sounds like the wrong word for this group. More like "responsible media advocacy group", though that's still ironic given the circumstances.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Hahahahaha Sometimes when a company dishers out unfair criticism to a game that have got been released yet, they are really offending the company of making the game. you know, a few SEGA employees and also a few people at the BBFC were really hurt by those comments by MediaWatch UK, but when the UK gets negative comments on them, they don't like it. So in full opinion, MediaWatch UK is a totally hyporcrit as they love to dish out negative opinions on others but they never like to dish out negative opinions on themselves.
TBoneTony

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Hey, they just want to make sure that the big N sticks to releasing family-friendly titles on the Wii.  You know, like RE4, No More Heroes, and Manhunt 2.

I would've thought they'd appreciate Madworld, actually: it portrays the world in black and white, just the way they look at it. ;D

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Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Mediawatch-UK ? Isn't it the organization founded by Mary Whitehouse ? The "Venerable" Lady that campaigned against Monty Python's Life of Brian as well as "video nasties" ?

By the way, I notice that media watchdogs, mainstream journalists and social scientists seem to take more and more gamers into account, for the best and for the worst. I guess you all remember the Mass Effect pseudo-affair with Kevin McCullough and Cooper Lawrence. But there's also the controversy around German journalist Rainer Fromm, author of many reports against "killer games" for channel ZDF. The first report generated such a flood of critics by gamers that they were the subject of a study by German sociologist Günther Huber. He already presented his findings last February (see his presentation in English) and he will present them again next week, in Munich, at the conference "Computer Games and Violence".

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

In other news, people believe censorship is bad.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Kettle, the pot called you black.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

It's great that consumers are striking back at these media watchdog groups.  The fact that some of them are complaining about it suggests that this is new for them. 

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Ahh yes, the "But we're trying to Help/Protect/Lead/Save them, WHY do they hate us?!" syndrome that tends to plague groups that try to force their views on others.

For people like that, I have one response: "Heres a dime. Buy a clue!"

 

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Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Despite what many people would like to believe, you can't dish out criticism and not expect any in return. Goes all the way back to the golden rule, treat others the way you would want to be treated.

Funny how "moral" groups seem to forget that one.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Frankly, tough.

If they can't take criticism, then what right do they have to give it?

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

>Feature articles, grossly exaggerating the significance of our comments, were written in computer game magazines exonerating the multimillion pound games industry

Woah woah, you mean that people who might know what they're talking about come to a different conclusion to you, who don't? Consider my world rocked.

/b

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

So many people are surprised that when they attempt to block something they don't like, there is opposition.

Something the internet has taught all of us that use it, there is always someone out there who disagrees with you, no matter WHAT the subject is.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Tom Cruise and Matt Lauer taught me that the word "glib" is used to describe people of an opposing viewpoint that are correct, so the person with the incorrect viewpoint resorts to attacking the person and the person's style of delivering their point.

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

I think they are upset because they are old enough to remember a time when a nasty letter was a prelude to meeting on the field of honor.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

I don't see anything wrong with their response.  They've been heavily criticised.  They have a right to respond.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

It's not that they did respond, it was how they responded. Basically, they're crying about being victimized, when they wanted something to be banned, that they did not like; such an attitude is arrogant, sure, I know that there were childish emails sent to them, their response was also childish.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Agreed, they really need to grow up and get a clue. However, from the other side of the coin, we need to figure out how to get those illiterate morons (the ones posting 'lol lol fag ****you fag!') to STFU. It's really harming our credibility. Not as much as MW are harming their own credibility of course, but still...

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Do you see it that way?

I saw it as an comment that they had a lot of responses, that they were quite a strong issue and that some of the responses were a little extreme and an observation that this is clearly the new battleground. 

Edit:  Feel I should back up this position since I seem to be in the minority.

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 have "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. "

The idea that they were hostile is a valid opinion, the suggestion that they were on trial is slightly defensive but hardly a complaint.

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!  

Here, they're being quite positive about the responses.  They go on to mention a few specifics but it's left up to the reader to decide if they're valid.

Feature articles, grossly exaggerating the significance of our comments, were written in computer game magazines exonerating the multimillion pound games industry and headlines were achieved on Google News UK and dismissive remarks made in The Guardian newspaper...

Here they're being defensive.  But they have something to defend themselves against.  It sounds like an off the cuff comment about one member disliking violent games was reported as a key goal of the organisation. 

 

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

I don't not agree that, that there were hostilities. Clearly, there were. And like the ones posting 'lol lol fag ****you fag!" these people are hurting our credibility, our image. But, Mediawatch is being, I think, overdramatic. I mean, email. That is the Internet. There are idiots like that regardless of where you go on it.

I'm not saying they shouldn't have taken a defensive opinion, but that they're blowing not only they being overdramatic about the criticism (as, I'm sorry, but they should have expected these kinds of reactions, of both reasonable and unreasonable, as again, it's the Internet), but also, of what they wanted which brought on the criticism. The BBFC to not rate a game. Futhermore, though, it was also how they justified themselves.

In the end, the harsh criticism against them was warranted. And while there are idiots going around, frothing at the mouth, just waiting to spew every kind of obscenity at someone without any logic, I'm sorry but, they should've been prepared and understood that they will get those kinds of messages. The best thing to do with those? Ignore them. It's a very easy thing to do.

But, what they did was instead go out and go on, as I said, as if they were criticized and victimized for no reason, as if they did nothing wrong, or as some said, expected everyone to agree with them. Sure, they have the right to defend themselves, but what I see as their context of what they say, poorly-defended and almost childish. I'm not saying they were the only ones, but they are who took what was being said to them and made it public.

Re: Media Watchdog Group Whine About Criticism

Sounds like a British version of the Parents Trash Cult; no testicular fortitude whatsoever.

Crybabies.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

LOL they can scream and yell about censorship but when someone says "NO don't censor ME from what I want to play" they get all pissy haha.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Awwww, cry some more mediawatch.

If you're going to be critical of some form of media and actively attempt to ban it expect a backlash from the people who want to see it released.  Sounds like they need to grow tougher skin.

 

Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

My only question is, how were they so suprised by a negative reaction? Did they truly believe that no one felt differently than they did?

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Did they truly believe that no one felt differently than they did?

This is mediawath-Uk we're talking about, so no, they would have likely thought the vast majority believe the same as they do, and the small remaining minority don't know any better and need protecting from themselves.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Good point, I often forget that the self important have no idea there is anyone else out there.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

They are Mary Whitehouse's old group, they havn't really progressed much since the 60's and are very much still in the mindset that everything should be suitable for young children. Watch with Mother was about the only programme they didn't try to ban or complain about at some point in their history. They are very much outdated and irrelevant nowadays.

They have however been the source of great humour from many stand up comics and satire over the last 40 years so I guess they are good for something.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

You know, I was thinking the same thing.  How could they not expect a backlash?  Have they become so self-righteous that they've become blind to public perception?  Did they assume people would flock to their "moral" cause?

Note to mediawatch: Video games are very popular and are played by just as many adults as kids.  Also us gamers are a rather vocal bunch.  If you try to regulate our hobby in such an overbearing way expect a response, especially after all the BS we've endured for the past ten years since Columbine.

Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Video games are very popular and are played by just as many adults as kids

Actually, that's incorrect. Games are played more by adults than kids. It hasn't been primarily kids for years, yet that perception continues to stick around.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

 More like games are played by underachieving adults more than kids.

 

Then again the only reason it's like that is because we were all underachieving kids playing video games back in the day.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Huh.

So I make a six figure salary, am the security lead for our new product, have no debt other than the mortgage, have a decent savings, yet I'm underachieving because I play games?

And I was an underachieving kid that played video games, yet was valedictorian of both high school and my undergrad?

 

 

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Have to agree with you, the people who did the worst in college were the people who were most interested in partying. Sure its fun to go out and drink, but when you're going out on wednesday or thursday nights it can really screw up your school schedule.

EDIT: Forgot to add that said people were usually casual gamers at best, only playing halo or a few sports games.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Nonsense. I knew a super-girl who got a hangover the same day she took a college exam and aced it ;) She probably studied the night before the party. It's not what you do that makes you successful, but knowing when to do it.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

good for you.

You just proved that your full of fail. congrats mediawatch

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

Interestingly in that newsletter they briefly mention a videogames consultation that the Department for Culture Media and Sport are running.

The DCMS site says:

As part of the Government’s implementation of the Byron Review recommendations, on children and new media, the Department for Culture Media and Sport is seeking views from gamers, children, parents, the games industry, retailers and other stakeholders on the current classification system for video games.

More information and contact details are on this page: http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/consultations/5345.aspx

There are four options they are looking at (hybrid BBFC/PEGI, better BBFC, better PEGI, leave the whole thing alone and educate parents/retailers better on who these games are aimed at and who should be allowed to buy them), they are also asking for alternative suggestions.

It ends November 20th so if your a fellow UK gamer email them!!!

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails

They can't take criticism? What a bunch of pansies.

Re: Media Watchdog Group: Gamers Sent Us Nasty E-mails


See, I love this because I know Dennis has to get a chunk of hate mail from time to time too, as well as anyone else who even somewhat stands up for the game industry or gamers.

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