Bright Light… bright light…

The main reason for this blog was that I wouldn’t bring gaming into it. Gaming is to be blogged elsewhere, or at least that was the plan until today. Because today is the day of the Rickets Revelation.

Yup, rickets is all the rage these days and it’s being blamed, you guessed it, on videogames. The theory is, you see, that you play videogames so you don’t see daylight and therefore don’t get the rickets banishing vitamin D you need to live a normal, healthy existence. It’s quite funny that the media has, for the most part, latched onto the videogames aspect of this report when just the general increase in computer use was also listed as a cause. But hey, when things mention videogames then the first thing that flashes through everyone’s mind is evil.

Games get a lot of bad press. They make us violent. They make us anti-social. They strip us of social skills. They make us fat. They make us pale. They make us, I noticed on an advert earlier, not clean our teeth properly. So, for all the Daily Mail readers out there, you’re quite likely to be attacked by a pale, fat, wheezing person with bad teeth and bow legs. Keep an eye out. You never know when they’ll strike. And they won’t be able to tell you because they’re socially inept. Mind you, there’s also a good chance that all their bones will explode when they hit you, so you’ll probably be alright.

The violence in videogames issue  is an ongoing thing. As long as there are advances in technology bringing us better graphics, better sounds and better gameplay people will point the finger of blame at the games. Games are notorious for leading people astray. God, don’t you remember in the ’80s, when everyone played Super Mario and then ran out into the street and tried to knock turtles out of their shells with their arses and climb into pipes. I remember, as a child, insisting the my dad suspended my pocket money in mid-air so I could jump up and collect it with a little “ting” noise.

A poor workman blames his tools though, and people are often quick to judge videogames as the root of all evil. Maybe, just maybe (pay attention Daily Mail et al), you should look past the videogame and look at the circumstances that have led to that person playing the games. As adults we’re responsible for our behaviours – the buck stops with us. I’m a 32 year old gamer. I’ve been playing games for something close to 25 years – I’ve never killed anyone. I’ve never felt the need to act out a videogame. But I also know that, when I was younger, if I’d tried to kill anyone my parents would have stopped me – although there is a slight chance that depending on the target, I may have been encouraged with my dad chipping in things he’d learnt in the Marines. If I had killed anyone I don’t think that, back then, the finger of blame would have been pointed at the games I was playing. The finger of blame would have been pointed at my parents. Why didn’t they stop me? Why hadn’t they noticed that I was dabbling in the dark arts?

These days very little blame is attributed to the parents. When I see a divvy parent buying games for their blatantly under-age child I do bubble with a little hint of rage. I often say that I wish I could go up behind the parent and slam their head into the shelf. There are two reasons I don’t do this, however. Firstly the attack would be blamed on videogames – earning them more bad press but actually, for the first time ever, being kind of right. Secondly, I’ve never played a game where I’ve had to ram a parent’s head into a shelf so wouldn’t be able to do it. The rage is genuine though. I’m not a parent, but it surely can’t be that hard to show a bit of interest in what your child is doing or to put a bit of effort into researching their hobbies a little so that you at least have a basic grasp of what the hell you’re letting them spend countless hours doing. Especially if you’re going to fork over £40 on something you’re just going to blame for them being a twat later in life.

As for the rickets, it turns out that you can get vitamin D from brazil nuts, so if you’ll excuse me I’m going to pull the curtains, grab some nuts and have a quick play…