News Snatch: Monks vs Principals

monkThe age-old argument of “Do games turn you in to a psychopathic mass murderer” took another turn this week. In the blue corner, fighting for “Ban Violent Games Now!” is a school from Schramberg, Germany.

“Even if Killergames are not the trigger of a killing spree, they still take a major part in turning minors into homicidal maniacs,” says Principal Bernd Denning, cowering behind his desk as a posse of homicidal ten year olds high on a fix of Halo try to break down his door, “Even if there isn’t a monocausally relation between excessive playing of games, leading to acts of violence, it still provides a twisted frame of reference of solutions for their problems and hardships, that they learn – and may transfer to the real world under certain circumstances.”


Mr Denning then backed up his claims with pages upon pages on scientific studies. Actually, he did not because no such evidence exists.

Meanwhile, in the red corner – and this does sound like a plot like a Hollywood film – is a Buddhist Monk. Not just any Buddhist monk, it is the Karmapa Lama, the only senior Buddhist leader recognized by the governments of China, India and Tibet. In a recent interview with The Times Of India, he says

“Well, I view video games as something of an emotional therapy, a mundane level of emotional therapy for me. We all have emotions whether we’re Buddhist practitioners or not, all of us have emotions, happy emotions, sad emotions, displeased emotions and we need to figure out a way to deal with them when they arise.

“So, for me sometimes it can be a relief, a kind of decompression to just play some video games. If I’m having some negative thoughts or negative feelings, video games are one way in which I can release that energy in the context of the illusion of the game. I feel better afterwards.”

“The aggression that comes out in the video game satiates whatever desire I might have to express that feeling. For me, that’s very skillful because when I do that I don’t have to go and hit anyone over the head.”

From this we learn German Principals should not speak out on subjects they do not understand and that Buddhist Monks are very sensible, enlightened and will kick your arse in Tekken.

ns1I think I am suffering for a new illness which I am going to call “Final Fantasy Fatigue”. The symptoms are a gradual lack of interest with Chocobos due to the ridiculous length of time between the announcement of any Final Fantasy game and the finished version plopping in to my blu- ray drive. Symptons will persist as Swedish developer ‘Grin’ were working on yet another Final Fantasy game codenamed ‘Fortress’ before they closed their doors for good. The concept art for ‘Fortress’ has now surfaced and the latest news is the game is still in development.

un‘Production Road’ is an “Outsourcing and External Developer” and they handily left a presentation online. If we check slide 7 we have “Unnanounced PS3 Game” for Eat, Sleep, Play (David “God Of War” Jaffes new company) and SCEA, a new ‘Medal of Honor’ for PS3 and Xbox and finally an “Unannounced Rhythm Game”. Cowbell Hero perhaps? Activision (boo hiss) are also advertising for a programmer for an “unnanounced shooter” based on a successful Activision IP. Call Of Duty 6? Monolith is after a programmer to join the team behind F.E.A.R.2 to create a “cutting edge first person action game”. F.E.A.R.3?

ns2Gaming has overtaken movies as the UK’s top entertainment but so far TV shows have been very thin on the ground, the only memorable show was the very crap but still quite fun “Gamesmaster” TV show featuring the legend that is Sir Patrick Moore. The equally legendary Charlie Brooker is now ready to take over the role of grumpy games bloke with his new show ‘Gameswipe’ which airs on September 29th on BBC4 at 10:00pm. I know BBC4 is probably some strange number on your Freeview box that you quickly skip over on the way to get to the Top Gear repeats on Dave but this might be worth a look. If you have ever caught “Screenwipe” you will know Brooker can go over the top with his rants but he always has a valid point. Sadly, it appears Gameswipe is a one off and has not been commissioned as a series so make sure you catch it when it airs. Alternatively, don’t bother, play some Bomberman, eat Pizza.. and then watch via that handy BBC iPlayer link on your PS3.

ns4And Finally.. Bob Koti.. only kidding. Todays star of ‘And Finally’ is Mitch Nasser. That’s Mitch on the left. Recognise him from anywhere? Chances are you might be one of the 2.5 million people who may of punched him in the face, given him a good slap before knocking him unconscious as Mitch won a competition and got his face scanned in and used as a character for “Batman: Arkham Asylum.” Mitch says,

“ character made weird noises and grunts, but it looks just like me. Bloggers were calling me, ‘Willy,’ I don’t know if that’s my actual name.”

The article in the Suburban Journals (St. Louis Metropolitan Area and surrounding Missouri and Illinois counties) ends with,

“Nasser said he had a lot of “work” ahead of him.. much would involve searching Arkham Asylum in search of Willy.”