bit-gamer.net

Virtual worlds destroying values?

Virtual worlds destroying values?

Lego Universe is an example of the type of virtual worlds Lord Puttnam is critical of.

Oscar-winning film-maker Lord Puttnam gave the keynote speech at the Virtual Worlds Forum held in London last week and was critical of what he thinks is the erosion of reasonable values in children through obsession with virtual worlds.

Lord Puttnam was especially concerned about worlds created and run by toy makers, which are intended to tie in to a product line and encourage kids to buy the toys as well as play the game. Webkinz, Funkeys, BarbieGirls and TyGirlz were among the examples he pointed to according to the BBC.

"The challenge ahead is this - to ensure that virtual worlds are increasingly places that offer real meaning to their lives and in the real world to learn from the sense of community and collaboration that's been experienced in virtual worlds." he said at the forum.

During a panel session at the conference, toymakers got a chance to defend themselves. Matthias Mikshe, founder and head of Stardoll, did so and said that children were being targeted because they have a fuller understanding of the internet than their parents.

"This is the first digital generation and for them this is just natural...It's our generation that calls it a virtual world and builds some mystique about it."

Meanwhile, Mark Hansen director of business development for Lego Universe, which is about the only virtual world that's any good, said that children could make up their own minds.

"Is it positioned to sell more product or as an extended experience with the product they have already bought?" he asked. "Kids are very smart and will spot that really quickly."

Got an opinion on the matter or kids of your own? Let us know all about it in the forums.

14 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
will. 29th October 2007, 10:49 Quote
Next kids will be told not to imagine just in case they dream up something politically incorrect.
Darkedge 29th October 2007, 11:05 Quote
"Lego Universe, which is about the only virtual world that's any good"

hmm maybe that should read "only virtual world <b>COULD BE</b> any good" considering it's not been released yet and isn't even in Beta. Mind you it's being developed by NetDevil who have had huge successes with Jumpgate and Auto Assault...
Tyinsar 29th October 2007, 14:08 Quote
I can see his point in that people (of all ages) will do things in virtual worlds that they wouldn't dare do / no one would let them do in the real world. But then again kids have always played in imaginary worlds. The only real difference I can see is the increasing lack of parental awareness of what their children are up to - (in a sense the kids are playing farther away from home).
Bluephoenix 29th October 2007, 15:24 Quote
as my generation grows up (those of us from the late 1980s, currently in college) and have kids, I think we'll be the first truly competent generation in terms of parenting online and offline, since we grew up with the web ourselves.
airchie 29th October 2007, 17:51 Quote
I've been a genocidal, mass-murdering, drug-dealing, gun-running, car-stealing, adam-abusing, bearded mute scientist is hundreds of games in my time.
The whole point is, I could do it in my virtual world knowing full-well I'd never do any of it on real life.

As long as parents teach their kids right from wrong, and the kids know real from virtual, I don't think there should be a problem...

Oh, and there's a typo on the front page snippet.
Quote:
critical of worlds targeted as children
Rebourne 29th October 2007, 18:25 Quote
I kind of agree that it stifles creativity, it's not so much about violence. I've read some pretty gruesome things in classic books and never wanted to murder anyone and the same goes for games I think most sane people agree with this sentiment now. It's the effect on MMO's on children creativity that worries me, the last thing we want is even less free thought and creativity in this world.
C-Sniper 29th October 2007, 18:50 Quote
I honestly think that as long as the parent knows the child and teaches them the correct values and corrects/punishes them when they go off from those values then everything should be alright. I grew up right as the internet was taking hold so i still had normal outdoor activities, and i think that as long as parents allow their kids to be outdoors and socialize then there wont be a problem.
metarinka 29th October 2007, 20:15 Quote
I wonder how what the effects the more pervasive and engulfing MMO's will have on children and people in general. I grew up on video games, and in highschool I played at least an hour of cs a day, however games nowadays like WoW realy are a time drain and people can get really involved in their characters, I already know a few people who dropped out of school, killed their social life or lost their job to that game, most of them don't play anymore but I wonder what's going to happen say in 10 years when developers start perfecting virtual worlds and graphics and servers make it possible to live your life in them.
With things like real money transfers and gold exchanges will it get to a point where people literally live and work in the virtual world?
I don't think there's any harm in video games but like any activity it should be done in moderation
naokaji 29th October 2007, 20:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by C-Sniper
I honestly think that as long as the parent knows the child and teaches them the correct values and corrects/punishes them when they go off from those values then everything should be alright. I grew up right as the internet was taking hold so i still had normal outdoor activities, and i think that as long as parents allow their kids to be outdoors and socialize then there wont be a problem.

QFT, coudnt have said it better
UncertainGod 29th October 2007, 21:19 Quote
The only thing that is destroying the moral compass of the uk is the complete lack of any coherent education system with a mix of parental responsibility.

Though a quick fix would be to shoot people wearing burbury on sight.
Breach 29th October 2007, 22:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncertainGod
The only thing that is destroying the moral compass of the uk is the complete lack of any coherent education system with a mix of parental responsibility.

Though a quick fix would be to shoot people wearing burbury on sight.

Exactly. There seems to be a decisive shift with parents taking it out on game makers and movie producers and anyone else but themselves as the responsible party when their kids do something stupid and/or unforgivable. I don't remember Gabe Newell giving any press releases that he would personally babysit the children of millions:|
Nexxo 29th October 2007, 23:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncertainGod
The only thing that is destroying the moral compass of the uk is the complete lack of any coherent education system with a mix of parental responsibility.

Though a quick fix would be to shoot people wearing burbury on sight.

Parental responsibility first and foremost. If that was in place, children would attend school and work at it.
Bungle 30th October 2007, 13:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Parental responsibility first and foremost. If that was in place, children would attend school and work at it.
Difficult when the current benefit system provides a genuine "career" choice in having lots of babies for some people. Remove the financial incentive to have children. Maybe people will then take the decision to bring new life into the world more serious. Social services are suppose to be a safety net not a hammock.:(
UncertainGod 30th October 2007, 13:59 Quote
I say give financial benefits to people who raise intelligent children.

That will make them give a **** about the little sprogs.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums