Last Friday's Alan Titchmarsh Show had a brief discussion about violent video games which featured some chap who's editor of VideoGames.com, also present were actress Julie Peasgood and Kelvin Mackenzie, former editor of The Sun.
The chap seemed to be fighting his corner quite well until Julie Peasgood opened her mouth saying that many of these games promoted, violence, racism and sexism , which got a huge round of applause from the audience. This statement was
allowed to go unchallenged, which was a shame as I would have liked to have heard what games she'd played that promoted these things.
But anyway, she then went on to say that A recent study in the US found a direct link between children's behaviour and the violent video games they play .
The chap countered that argument by saying that the UK Governments own research by Tanya Byron found no evidence that was true, which resulted in a few jeers from the audience. Which I found quite disturbing considering the audience would accept
an emotive unsubstantiated claim, whilst pouring scorn on a stated fact.
Kelvin Mackenzie then chimed in about James Bulger's killers being corrupted by violent media, which really made me seethe considering that story was a press fabrication by the very paper he used to work for.
Again, the guy who worked for the games site made some good points, but he obviously wasn't a seasoned debater. He seemed to be playing defence most of the time, when he would have been better going on the attack and forcing the other 2 to
try and substantiate their claims, which would have crumbled under the slightest scrutiny.
Comment: Peasgood spotted acting in violent video game
23rd March 2010. From Dan
I just watched the anti-video game bollox on Alan Titchmarsh.
Why didn't they just burn the guy from the video games website and have done with it?
Julie Peasgood thinks violent for entertainment is wrong? But apparently she lent her voice to a horror game:
Hordes have you have been left fuming by the claims of actress-cum-'sexpert' Julie Peasgood on the Alan Titchmarsh Show last week - on which CVG editor Tim defended the games industry.
She's the one who said video games were addictive and promote racism , remember? Oh - and we quote - was categorically against violence for entertainment . And yet a bit of digging... and hey presto.
There's the credit for Julie's appearance voicing Harroway in survival horror video game Martian Gothic: Unification .
According to Wikipedia: In Martian Gothic, the player is able to assume the roles of three characters sent from Earth to a Martian base called Vita. Upon arrival the player finds that all the
residents are apparently dead and must gradually uncover the secrets and nature the last undertaking by Vita 1's crew; the discovery of ancient Martian "Pandora's Box" which, when opened, started a chain of chaotic events that led to
the base's downfall, and death of all almost its inhabitants.
However, during the player's progress of uncovering the truth, searching for any possible survivors, and solving Vita 1's many mounting problems, the player finds that the dead crew have become re-animated like zombies who
wish to feast upon the team of three's flesh.
Comment: Peasgood spotted acting in violent film
23rd March 2010. From Andy
On the Alan Titchmarsh show, while discussing violent video games, Julie Peasgood comments: I am categorically against violence for entertainment, it is just wrong .
Am interesting comment coming from an actress who starred in the cannon produced horror film House of the Long Shadows , who's character if I'm not mistaken dies a violent death when her face is eaten away with acid.
Interesting how somebody who can have such strict beliefs, abandons them when there is a pay cheque involved!!!
Offsite: Audience whipped up into a censorial frenzy
Hearing the floor manager tell the octagenarian crowd to 'really let your feelings be known if he says something you don't agree with' seconds before filming was pretty disconcerting. I hope you noted the targeted 'he' in that sentence. I
Tim Ingham admits he didn't expect anything less, though. As you might be aware, the CVG game website editor recently appeared on UK television's The Alan Titchmarsh Show, as part of a feature on the dangers of violent gaming to children.
We, the undersigned, call on The Alan Titchmarsh Show to issue a public apology for their unfair and biased representation of the computer gaming industry on 18/3/10. We also call on Julie Peasgood to issue a public apology
for hypocritically criticising an industry to which she has contributed.
Our grievance with the programme falls into three parts:
Breach of the Ofcom code
We feel that The Alan Titchmarsh Show has breached the Ofcom broadcasting code several times during the course of this programme. Specifically:
Tim Ingham recounts how the audience was encouraged before recording began to specifically boo him when they disagreed with him. No such recommendation was made regarding the other guests. This is a clear violation of
article 7.2 of the Ofcom code, which requires that all contributors be treated fairly and equally.
Ingham states that Kelvin MacKenzie's positive responses to his points were largely edited out to make him seem more sceptical. This violates articles 5.7 and 7.6 of the Ofcom code, which require that views not be
misrepresented and that editing reflect the contributions made.
Julie Peasgood cited a piece of research but failed to name it. This violates article 7.9 which states that material facts must be presented in a fair way. By failing to identify the study, Peasgood offered no chance of
Perpetuation of misconceptions
We feel that very little research was undertaken by The Alan Titchmarsh Show before this discussion took place. Alan Titchmarsh did not know the names of the games and clearly did not understand that video games are
classified and age-restricted in exactly the same way as films. This show perpetuates the misconception that all video games are aimed at children.
Julie Peasgood provided voice acting for the character of Harroway for the PC and PlayStation survival horror game Martian Gothic: Unification , released in 2000. This game carries the ESRB rating Mature (17+), and
contains several scenes of graphic violence. Yet Peasgood makes no mention of this during the show. Instead she makes categorical statements such as:
Video games are addictive, they promote hatred, racism, sexism, and they reward violence. What kind of a message is that?
I am categorically against violence for entertainment. It is just wrong.
To make such accusations while at the same time profiting from the industry you are criticising is a sickening display of hypocrisy.
In conclusion, we the undersigned seek a public apology from The Alan Titchmarsh Show for its breach of Ofcom guidelines and its perpetuation of misconceptions about video games, and from Julie Peasgood for her
hypocritical statements and exaggerated claims.
I believe the "research" Julie Peasgood reffered to was THIS study by American Psychologist Craig A Anderson of Iowa State University, which appeared in the March issue of the American Psychological Associations bulletin. The extract
can be viewed
here [pdf] .
However, his findings, not to mention methods of compiling data, have come in for heavy criticism from others. Not least, Christopher Ferguson and John Kilburn of the department of behavioural applied science and criminal justice at Texas A&M
Another thing, if you do some digging, it seems that Craig Anderson clearly has some sort of axe to grind against violent media. Most of his research seems to be dedicated to proving links between violent media and behaviour.
An edition of ITV's Alan Titchmarsh Show featuring a biased discussion of violent video games has attracted 131 complaints - but will not be investigated by Ofcom.
The show, which aired on 19 March, saw host Titchmarsh debate the perils of violence in computer games with former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, actress Julie Peasgood and computerandvideogames.com editor Tim Ingham.
Broadcast understands that viewers felt the discussion was not impartial, portraying an overly critical view of video games.
An Ofcom spokeswoman said it would not be investigating the issue.