Video Games

H/T Audrey Silk on NYCCLASH

“The glamorization of smoking in video games is cause for serious concern, particularly because youth spend more time playing video games than going to the movies,” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative. “Tobacco products are often used by ‘cool’ and ‘strong’ characters, by characters controlled by the players themselves, and are often not reflected in a game’s rating. We hope this report will lead to better awareness of how tobacco images might be influencing kids to smoke. It should also drive the gaming industry to become more transparent in disclosing and describing the potentially harmful content of their games.”…

Video game characters smoke in best-selling game franchises such as Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and Halo. More than 100 million copies of games that feature tobacco use from these franchises have been sold. While all are rated “Mature” (content generally suitable for ages 17 and up), they are played by teenagers nationwide.

I’ve never played any of these games, but it’s good to know that the characters in them can smoke. I suppose the zealots will be wanting to ban smoking in video games next. Or maybe demand that smoking characters have shorter ‘lifetimes’. Or have No Smoking signs on the walls of their bars and restaurants. In this manner the virtual world of video games will be forced to toe the same line as the real world.

Smoking has already been driven out of movies, as far as I can see. I don’t think James Bond ever lights up these days. But that’s probably not enough for the zealots, who’ll be wanting cigarettes airbrushed out of previous James Bond movies, as well as films like Casablanca.

Perhaps cigarettes will be removed from the printed James Bond books of Ian Fleming.

Perhaps the word “cigarette” will be excised from dictionaries.

Also from Audrey Silk:

And now? They are calling “gun control” a “public health issue” and a “disease” to seize part of that control so they can do with this issue what they have done with other legal behaviors: de facto prohibition by way of “for your own good” health laws. Call it a “menace to others” and the sheep fall in frightened line.

Couldn’t help but put the two posts together and start wondering whether gun control would also start being extended to video games. If I haven’t yet seen smoking in any games, I’ve sure seen lots of guns: Lara Croft is armed with a pistol from the get-go in Tomb Raider, and acquires a considerable arsenal as the game proceeds. It would be the death of shoot-em-up video games.

microdrone3.0Which reminds me to ask when micro-drones (like this one), which already have on-board streaming video cameras, are going to have micro-guns mounted on them as well. I’m beginning to think that future wars will be fought with micro-drones the size of large insects, armed with explosive charges or micro-machine-guns or full-size guns minus stocks and sights. There’d be micro-aircraft-carriers, the size of small dinghies, carrying thousands of armed micro-drones, which, once delivered to the battlefield, would fly through open windows, along subways, and inside trains – all controlled by armchair warriors back home, playing video games.

One advantage of this sort of warfare would be that there’d be very little collateral material damage done. No ruined cities or columns of burned-out trucks. A massed micro-drone attack would just leave a lot of dead enemies. Or maybe just a lot of temporarily paralysed enemies. And instead of wars getting more and more lethal and destructive, they’ll maybe become less and less lethal and destructive. It is, after all, not the purpose of wars to kill and destroy as much as possible, but actually as little as possible – while still achieving the objective of winning the war.

And I managed to convert yesterday’s cartoon into an animated GIF.


The possibilities are endless.

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8 Responses to Video Games

  1. Clicky says:

  2. roobeedoo2 says:

    I had the exact same conversation with my husband about our boys today (they are 14).They love their video games and they are fucking ace at them. I am so impressed. Husband reckons the occupants of gaming (Captain) chairs will fight all future wars.

    The twins also show no interest in starting smoking despite being around us smokers all the time. They are also never ill. They are responsible young men that have a huge amount of respect for their smoking parents. Probably because their smoking parents have a huge amount of respect for them and their opinions.

    ‘Dream the dreams of other men, you will be no one’s rival’… Oh Clicky, that’s like saying ‘Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself’

    And we all make each other LoL.. Every single day ;)

  3. DP says:

    Dear Mr Davis

    Such is the specialisation in the anti-industry that they avoid irrelevancies such as the characters in Grand Theft Auto being criminals, or the claimed ‘harms’ of tobacco compared with guns and other weapons. To comment on two or more ‘harms’ might cause demarcation disputes and there will be strikes.

    Recoil from a gun would be a problem on a micro-drone. Rockets that ignite after release would work, and drones could be delivered by cruise missile.

    Watch while you are allowed – The Avengers, on True Entertainment at 8 pm weekdays, features a whole range of smoking and imbibing, sometimes by the bad guys. The Tara King years feature Mother, who is never without a cigar and a drink.

    Poor Baby in Whistle Down the Wind smokes roll-ups, cleans out the adults at poker and is 7.


    • scot says:

      There isn’t really that much smoking in the filmed Avengers eps on “True” – the principals don’t, Steed doesn’t (although) he does carry a lighter for common courtesy, and sometimes a plot device. It’s not really a form of censorship from back in the day, it’s really just not relevant much to the plotlines, Much like we only see No.6 in “the Prisoner” smoke in one episode (The Schiziod Man, again as a plot device), in fact no-one in the village seems to have a fag, nor does the Village shop ever get asked for any.

      (Despite MacNee and McGoohan being 20-a-day men at the time).

      Now – The Saint, Man In a Suitcase, Department S / Jason King, Randall & Hopkirk, UFO etc etc have acres of smoking scenes!

      • scot says:

        Regarding the demon drink, The Avengers rarely get through an episode without a bottle or two of champagne, in the village its all “non-alcoholic” beverages, apart from the poteen in the cave in “free For All”!

  4. friend says:

    Should you want a good read may I recommend Hyperion, by Dan Simmons, in which he “details” many futuristic weapons, many of which are plausibly lethal at nano levels. Also contains sex, drugs, violence – a great deal – time-travelling metal monsters and poetry.

  5. smokingscot says:

    And a whole stack of characters from the Hobbit movies (shot in NZ of all places I believe) smoke.

    And those are are watched by itsy bitsy little tykes.

    But the film makes out that Gandalf doesn’t smoke tobacco, just herbs with mind altering abilities, so that’s okay.

  6. Clicky says:

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