A new version of the computer role playing game 'World of Warcraft' was released yesterday with a large fanfare and plenty of publicity, but as usual when it comes to computer games, the media couldn't help but have a pop about the apparent 'damaging effects' of computer games.
World of Warcraft, I should make clear, is not my cup of tea. I do own an X-box 360 and a Nintendo Wii (and I was keen enough to order them for launch day), but I do not have the time for the games along the style of World of Warcraft which requires making virtual and cyber friends in make believe worlds and spending hours every day online in order to gain credits. However, if someone does have this amount of spare time, if they really want to do this rather harmless thing in their own homes, I cannot see that it is dangerous or worthy of ridicule.
Yet the press yesterday spent hours debating the worthiness of such games, why "geeks" found pleasure in such activities and also suggested that it was damaging to the physical and mental health of the players, with a range of experts and professors brought on to further make the point that computer games are so damaging.
Anyone would have thought that a new gun had gone on general release of that a new 80% proof alcohol was on the shelves.
To my mind it serves to further underline that the press still denigrate anything they do not understand, and being a "gamer" is certainly not something most people under the age of 40 really get.