Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Fox News: Liberals want to indoctrinate your kids with green-themed videogames!

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My transcript: (click the [+/-] to expand/collapse →) []

The anchor (can’t identify him) starts off by declaring that the “green police [is] trying to reach your kids at home on the videogame systems”. He specifically names SimCity Societies [2007], where “kids have to build environmentally friendly towns or face a fine”, and asks if this is good education, or a part of the liberal agenda.

He then brings on L.A. radio host TJ McCormack, who immediately calls into question the “credibility” of any games that focus on social causes, especially those that use “scare tactics” and “guilt”. The host brings up different energy forms available to players in SC Societies, and McCormack claims that nuclear energy is “arguably the safest form of energy out there”. He also mentions the game Fate of the World and asserts that the game is wrong for trying to place responsibility for the world in the hands of the player, who could be five years old.

The host reads a defense of FotW from one of its designers and retorts by saying that “parents don’t really know what’s in these videogames” and that games (SC Societies mentioned) might be teaching kids “lessons that might not be something their parents want their kids to learn”.

McCormack then brings up the online McDonald’s Video game game as an example of “fear” and criticizes it for informing kids about the “slaughter” of animals and for supposedly portraying McDonald’s as an “evil corporation”.

The host asks if this all amounts to “liberal fear-mongering” or “indoctrination”, as “critics on the right” are saying about these games. McCormack claims the supposedly scare kids. He then attacks them for being “boring”, claiming one “teaches kids how to do a tag sale”, while the host agrees, sniping sarcastically, “TJ, what’s boring about building pipelines? I don’t get it.”

Could there possibly be a bigger ado about absolutely nothing? I know it’s Fox’s M.O. to make shit up about the most benign things in order to keep its base in continual fear of the big, scary liberal machine and whatever, but we’re talking about videogames. That parents, should they feel so inclined, can simply choose not to buy, thus sparing their precious little urchins from having their minds befouled by the evils of games teaching about the importance of taking care of the natural world. (Scary, I know.)

Personally, what most amused me in this sordid exchange was when they got all up in arms about how these games were supposedly going to be played by “five-year-olds”. Yes, because nothing appeals to teh children like spending dozens of hours watching a city slowly rise from the earth as a result of tedious socio-politico-fiscal micromanaging.

These people aren’t just wrong-minded and demagogues; they’re outright delusional.

(Full disclosure: I am a SimCity fanatic and have been loyal to the series ever since I first started playing it … when I was nine.)