The Guardian to the anti-games lobby: 'We've already won'



2:05 PM on 04.28.2008

The ever-lovely .tiff sent me a link to this amazing Guardian article addressing the politicians and writers who have spent a great deal of time enjoying their sneering and condescending attacks on the games industry. Columnist Richard Bartle doesn't mince his words, telling the anti-games set that we have won and they have lost, and it's high time they learned to accept that. I think this guy and I might be related:

According to the UK Statistics Authority, the median age of the UK population is 39. Half the people who live here were born in 1969 or later. The BBC microcomputer was released in 1981, when those 1969ers were 12. It was ubiquitous in schools; it introduced a generation to computers. It introduced a generation to computer games.

Half the UK population has grown up playing computer games. They aren't addicted, they aren't psychopathic killers, and they resent those boneheads – that's you – who imply that they are addicted and are psychopathic killers.

Next year, that 1969 will be 1970; the year after, it'll be 1971.

Dwell on this, you smug, out-of-touch, proud-to-be-innumerate fossils: half the UK population thinks games are fun and cool, and you don't. Those born in 1990 get the vote this year.

Bartle's article is as brutal as it is beautiful, and is the second feature to be published by The Guardian that presents the pro side of the games debate. I have been really impressed with The Guardian's approach to covering this ridiculous faux-controversy, as it has really shown that not every mainstream paper has to be part what Bartle calls "the ever-more-distant past." Clearly the paper recognizes which way the balance of power is shifting, and realizes that clinging onto the ever-decaying relics that are terrified of change is a surefire way to turn off new readers.

I urge you to read this article, because it's ostensibly all true. We HAVE won. No matter how much Jack Thompson screams his head off, no matter how many posters FOX News manages to have torn down, and no matter how much The Daily Mail urges government to "BAN THIS SICK FILTH," the games industry will continue to grow, and the so-called "murder simulators" will continue to succeed, doing only what they were intended to do ...

Entertain the millions that buy them, and will buy them for many years to come.


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Jim Sterling

Former Reviews Editor