An Australian parents' group is protesting the MA15+ rating assigned to Wii zombie shooter House of the Dead: Overkill.
The gaming industry has been mischievously misrepresenting the classification system on this issue. I feel very distressed that a large number of teenagers and adults would play this game and soak up this amount of sexually aggressive violence and aggressively violent language.
We need to draw a deep breath and look at the research, which will show a need to scale back this level of violence.
Given the increasing amount of knowledge now available of the effects of exposure to intense levels of violence on the adolescent brain, we should be reviewing the level of violence the MA15+ classification now allows.
Conway also called for additional research into the impact of violent games on players. Last year, Conway claimed that violent games would turn troubled kids into "lethal killers."
Sega spokesman Vispi Bhopti defended HOTD:O, however:
House of the Dead: Overkill has been rated as suitable for people over 15. It is not an R-rated game. The swearing in it is very much stylised so it matches the Grindhouse cinema style made famous by director Quentin Tarantino.
In playing the game, players attack zombies or humanoid characters but never humans. This is an important distinction that the classification board makes when it gives a rating.