Highlights of the Week: a Fallout TV show, no Tomb Raider demo and the debate on violence in video games continues

It’s been a week of interesting and somewhat surprising games-related news, so if you haven’t been keeping up-to-date, here’s a few snippets of particularly juicy bits to have hit the front pages this week.

First off, (Fallout fans might want to sit down for this) a Fallout TV show may be on the horizon! Erik Todd Dellums, the voice actor for Three Dog from Fallout 3 recently tweeted “[t]o all my #Fallout3 and #ThreeDog fans: There may be more of the Dog coming! Fingers crossed!” This agonising tease led to renewed rumours about Fallout 4, which has yet to be announced by Bethesda, but the suspense may now be over. According to Eurogamer Bethesda Softworks has registered a trademark for “an on-going television program set in a post-nuclear apocalyptic world.” This could be what the mysterious tweet was referring to, but regardless the general consensus is that it sounds an awful lot like Fallout might be getting its own TV show. Excited yet? I thought so. Of course that means you’ll have to keep waiting for Fallout 4 news, but this should tide you over until then. In the meantime out this awesome Three Dog remix made by BBnanner below:

You know that Tomb Raider reboot that everyone’s been going on about? The one with all the controversy surrounding it? The one that… yeah, you know the one I mean. You may be disappointed to hear that there will be no demo released before the March 5 release. In the words of their Global Brand Director, Karl Stewart

“For all those @tombraider fans asking. There are no plans to release a demo of the game pre-launch. We don’t want to spoil the story.”

Oh well, looks like we have a long wait ahead! Crystal Dynamics has also confirmed that there will no Online or Season passes, which might seem a bit odd given the game will include multiplayer for the first time. If you’re dying to see more gameplay, here’s IGN’s 60+ minute demo for you to check out and drool over (I don’t mean like that, you pervert!)

Unless you’ve been holidaying on the moon you’ve probably heard something of the general uproar going on in the US over the issue of violence in video games. Don’t worry, I won’t go on about it as I feel this topic has been covered to death. After Vice-President Joe Biden met with top executives from the games industry to discuss that very issue and among proposed changes on tighter gun control, Obama has asked Congress to provide $10 million to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for research into the connection between “media images” and real life violence. Industry figures and gamers alike have been eager to weigh in on the discussion. In an interview with Dishonored dev Joe Houston told Rock, Paper Shotgun that

“I don’t believe that game violence causes real world violence, but I do believe that it does little to prevent it. And games with meaningful (and potentially distasteful) choice just might do better because they stand a chance of making the player think about what they’re doing on screen.”

Now, for my two cents. I certainly agree that games, on the whole, have generally not been the most socially responsible medium when it’s come to depiction of violence. However, should they really have that responsibility? The most violent video games are generally 18+ and I find it difficult to believe that a fully grown adult, capable of making their own decisions, with no violent inclinations or previous mental health issues would be swayed to violence by playing a video game. If we’re talking about children with their more malleable minds, then sure, they probably shouldn’t be playing gory, violent video games, but surely that’s up to the parents to govern and not the government and certainly not the games industry. Content rating systems are there for a reason. Let’s face it, a large proportion of movies, games, music video and even commercials contain sex and violence. Those are two things that draw people in. It’s also not a new phenomenon and it’s certainly not one that’s going to go away. If there really is a connection between video game violence and real life violence then I’m not sure any kind of censorship or content control will help. I’m also not convinced that video games will turn out to be a main culprit. Regardless of how it turns out, I think the results of research on this matter will be definitely be interesting. What do you think? Leave a comment below!

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