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Who's Afraid of Videogames?

Nottingham, UK. GameCity ( www.gamecity.org), the world's most exciting new games festival, today announces a series of events tackling the serious side of videogames.

The subject of violence in games is never far from the front pages – especially in the wake of the decision by the BBFC to refuse Manhunt 2 a certificate – for the second time. But just what should the standards be for the violence portrayed in games? Should they be tougher than for film or TV? How sophisticated is the BBFC's understanding of games and how they work? GameCity is delighted to welcome Jim Cliff, a longtime BBFC examiner to the festival to discuss these issues and more.

Censorship is always a sensitive issue, and as games get more ambitious in their subject matter, it's an issue they are facing more frequently. Last year, the decision of the SlamDance Guerrilla Game Festival to ban one of the nominees - Super Columbine RPG – sparked controversy across the gaming world. That decision provoked the maker of Super Columbine RPG, Danny Ledonne, to create a documentary addressing the issues his provocative game had raised. Are there some subjects games should never tackle? Are games always trivial, or can they shed new light on historical or social issues?

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