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From IDS to LFD2 - News Roundup 25th January 2010

Marius Goubert

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

From IDS to LFD2 - News Roundup 25th January 2010

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

From IDS to LFD2 - News Roundup 25th January 2010

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

From IDS to LFD2 - News Roundup 25th January 2010

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]

Add a comment2 comments
Dr. Bloor  Jan. 25, 2010 at 17:59

Sounds like IDS is having a go at shitty parents, not video games.

I remember a guy at work telling me he'd walked in on his 6 year old kid playing GTA San Andreas and the only thing about the scene that disturbed him was that his kid (in the game) was running around hitting people with a rubber dildo.

He got his kid to throw the dildo away (thats the kind of sentence opener you hope you never have to write) and let him carry on playing.

The truth is many parents ignore ratings labels and pointing that out isn't bashing the video games industry. My dad used to let me watch 18 rated movies when I was about 8.

Whether its movies or games the only thing that is wrong with them is if they are viewed by children under the age-rating. I don't see how you can bash IDS for pointing that out.

EndlessWaves  Jan. 25, 2010 at 18:13

All these people complaining do have something of a point. What was the last big budget universal videogame that didn't feature guns, magic or martial arts. Sim City 4? I suppose there's been a couple of good driving games lately that to appeal to non-driving game fans.

I'm not saying they're a bad thing like a lot of these non-gamers are, but I'm sure all of us would benefit from a more diverse industry.


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