Volume 91, Issue 40

Friday, November 7, 1997

musical chairs


U of T faces question of censoring video games

By Caroline Greene
Gazette Staff

Controversy has stirred at the University of Toronto over video games sold in the school's computer store.

The computer store carries the top 10 most popular computer games which in the past have included Duke Nuke 'em, Redneck Rampage and other violent games.

Gillian Morton, coordinator at the downtown location of the Women's Centre at U of T, said there had been complaints at the store and at The Varsity, the university's student paper. The games have been criticized for being violent and misogynistic.

"Violence in video games is only a reflection of society and therefore we need to change society." By putting our energy into fighting for equality and supporting those who bring attention to these issues we can change society, Morton said.

John Golitsis, the manager of the store, said they have not received any complaints yet but even if they did, they would not just take the games off the shelves.

"We're not going to censor what the students and staff of the university are playing," he said. "Saturday morning cartoons are pretty darn violent too."

The Campus Computer Store at Western focuses on application programs and has only a small game section, geared towards children, said team leader of the store Chris Fleck. However, if a customer requests a product the store will order it.

Gizmos, the video arcade located in the University Community Centre, carries a variety of violent games but they are not excessive, said supervisor Kathleen Lafontaine. "We don't draw the line anywhere. It's the supplier's decision."

Carol Cho and Christine McLeod, members of Western's Women's Issues Network, said they become worried when violence is focused directly towards women.

Cho said she would like to see a mandatory rating system similar to that used on movies and television shows. Currently, the only rating system for video games is provided by the Entertainment Software Review Board but it is voluntary rather than enforced.

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997