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Top-selling new video game is 'too violent'

A TD has expressed concern at reports of record sales for a controversial video game depicting graphic scenes of violence.

Fine Gael's Mary Mitchell O'Connor was referring to the latest offering in the Call Of Duty series -- Modern Warfare 3.

She said young adults were impressionable and violent video games like Modern Warfare were causing society to become desensitised.

At a time when there was needless bloodshed "both at home and abroad", the high sales figures of this violent video game were very concerning, Ms Mitchell O'Connor said.

"Sales are estimated to have generated €1bn in just 16 days. It is being lauded as the fastest selling entertainment product of all time, ahead of films such as the Harry Potter movies and Avatar," she added.

"I really fear we are entering an age where such violence will be commonplace. Undoubtedly, society has become desensitised to acts of violence," the Dun Laoghaire TD said.

Graphic

The reasons for this are numerous but "violent video games certainly play a part".

She added: "Life is precious and such games present people as obstacles and violent acts as having no consequence. Over- exposure to such violence, be it in video games or otherwise, can distort reality." Ms Mitchell O'Connor said her work as a teacher and principal had shown her "how impressionable some young adults can be".

"I think it is really important that rules governing the sale of such games are enforced. I also think it is important that parents are mindful of buying adult games in situations where younger children might gain access to them," she insisted.

She believes these types of video games "provide no educational or social benefits".

In one scene from Modern Warfare, a young girl is blown up in graphic fashion. In the sequence, the girl is playing in the street and is killed when a truck explodes next to her.

"For me, the gift of a book will always provide real and lasting benefit. In Ireland, we are very fortunate to have exceptional authors both for children and adults and we need to support them more," she said.

"It is also important that literacy levels in this country dramatically improve. Our literacy levels have fallen from fifth in the developed world to 15th."

comurphy@herald.ie


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