Thursday, 25 October 2007

Lord Puttnam: we need more moral virtual worlds

Opening a London conference about virtual worlds, Lord Puttnam, oscar-winning, film-maker said:

That all children will learn from these virtual spaces is that they are first and foremost consumers. He urged creators to build more moral virtual worlds that instill children with the values societies need.

How can someone with a lordship talk such utter Monkey Balls. Need I remind you that the strictest moral body around, the Vatican gave the ok to Pokemon and their ilk years ago, stating that it promoted responsibility and friendship.

There will always be the Bratz, Barbie’s and Webkinz etc, who lack the imagination and or are actively trying to extend their advertisements into the virtual space that children are increasing choosing to spend more of their free time in. But for every shallow tie-in there are genuinely fun and moral fiber building games.

Lego Universe the planned MMO based on the famous block building toy will give children the choice of taking on various civic roles within that world, such as a fireman, policeman etc. Viva Pinata encourages children to nurture fantastical animals and to be weary of the ‘bullies’ that will randomly trespass into their world, destroying what they’ve built. I believe if you look beyond the established brands that have promoted shallow values since their creation, a plethora of moralistic worlds exist within the virtual domain.

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