Ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith lays into binge drinking, parents, violent videogames, age rating certificates and pretty much anything he can wrap his slimy arms around in today’s news roundup. Sega announces a three year deal with Alton Towers which will see the Sonic Spinball opening to fans on the 13th February. Lastly, Valve announces a few LFD2 Versus Mode updates which are currently in the works; although no release date has yet been given.
Iain Duncan Smith has a go at games
In a move that reeks of desperation, Ex-Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith jumped on the bandwagon and started laying into violent video games during an interview with The Times. IDS described Britain as a country plagued by violent yobs, binge drinking, and one where videogames were ‘driving children to lose their childhood’. ‘Some videogames are incredibly violent, like Grand Theft Auto’ he said, ‘they are meant to be 18 but nobody cares what it says on the label.’
The Tories seem to be really pushing this idea that Britain is somehow a broken nation, and trying to appeal to the kind of people who think guests on the Jeremy Kyle Show provide an accurate representation of today’s youth. IDS’ statements sound like nothing more than a last-ditch attempt to claw in a few extra votes in the run up to the general election – although it’s not just the Conservatives kicking videogames around like a political football.
Labour’s Keith Vaz is another politician who thinks many of society’s ills derive from kids playing violent videogames. Vaz was recently due to take part in a debate with several Game Industry professionals on the Westminster Eforum, but without any warning and with no explanation for his absence, he never showed. [Eurogamer]
SEGA signs new deal with Alton Towers
It has just emerged that Sega have teamed up with Alton Towers in a three year deal which will see the resort launching a Sonic the Hedgehog rollercoaster (although some speculate that this will probably just consist of Alton Towers rebranding the Spinball Whizzer). Visitors will also be able to stay in a special Sonic themed room in the Alton Towers hotel where they’ll be surrounded by blue-hedgehog paraphernalia, and get to play all the latest Sonic the Hedgehog games.
The Sonic Spinball will open on the 13th February, whilst the latest addition to Sonic game franchise, Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing, comes out on the 26th February. [Gamerrss]
Valve reveals L4D2 Versus changes
Valve has announced a few up and coming changes to Left for Dead 2’s versus mode. These include AI bots for the infected which they reckon should balance things out a bit, and no re-spawn during Versus finales. Although Valve has not stated a release date for these modifications they say they will apply to both PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game. Players of LFD2 will not doubt have no noticed a slight inconsistency with the AI bots. As allies they can be infuriatingly useless whilst in Versus Mode, Survivor AI is insanely accurate. However Valve insist they will be closely monitoring the effects of these updates upon their release. [GamerBlips]