Video games are entertainment and like horror movies or other scary films they are covered by a ratings system
Giant video games firm Capcom has defended its Resident Evil series after claims by religious leaders that the games encourage children to dabble with the occult.
Three British clergymen have openly condemned Capcom’s Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles for glamorising violence and promoting the occult. The game due for release on the Wii this week has been accused of promoting evil.
The three Bishops – Bishop Bryant of Jarrow, Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev John Goddard and Archdeacon Brian Smith, Sodor and Man have all said the game is making violence and the occult in youth culture acceptable.
Leo Tan, spokesman for Capcom defended the game claiming this was a typical overreaction about the role of video games in today’s society. He rejected the Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev John Goddard’s view, who told journalists: "If we dabble in this area we open ourselves to influences and put ourselves at risk. I would regard any encouragement for children to be drawn into this behaviour with extreme horror."
“This is scaremongering and typical religious hysteria,” said Tan. “You cannot blame society’s ills on video games. It’s just absurd. Most games (and movies) like Resident Evil show characters fighting evil not supporting it. Unfortunately the clergy is showing a lack of understanding of the video games industry and is too quick to splash the holy water and lump video games players into stereotypical boxes.“
Tan added: “Video games are entertainment and like horror movies or other scary films they are covered by a ratings system,” added Leo Tan. “Resident Evil for example is a 15 and not suitable for anyone under that age. Parents have to be trusted to adhere to these age restrictions and use common sense. Video games cannot be blamed for society’s ills but we understand the concerns, it’s just that they are unfounded and using video games as a bit of a scapegoat.”
Notes to editors: We are responding to calls from a tabloid journalist who has spoken to the bishops.
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