You're a national newspaper editor. You need a serious think piece in the wake of the Byron Review's largely sensible recommendations, but no-one in the office quite cuts the mustard.
Who you gonna call...? That's right. Anne Diamond.
In perhaps the finest piece of national games-focused journalism of the year,
has roped in mumsy former TV presenter and student heroine Diamond to give her ‘chilling verdict' on some of our industry's greatest recent products.
You must recognise her. From Anne and Nick. About 15 years ago.
And the paper isn't lying. Her startlingly insightful analysis is truly ‘chilling'. Indeed, it's so upsetting, commentators have already suggested Diamond may need her very own Dr. Byron-approved age classification system.
Building on her impeccable credentials as a parent (she's reproduced four times, you know), Anne's outrage is palpable throughout – encouraging Middle England's sprog-bearers to cough up their kippers and Earl Grey at how parents JUST LIKE THEM are allowing their offspring to be corrupted by this mindless garbage”.
Anne says that the games she saw made her hair stand on end”. A terrifying thought. What must Nick have made of it all?
Here, we present her revolutionary findings. She's some games journalist. Watch out N'Gai Croal.
However, we must caution you: some of this material may be unsuitable for those with a reasonable view of the world:
Halo 3 (Microsoft)
‘My younger sons say all of their age group (12 and 14) play this game, and their parents allow that. This is the ‘in' game among teenagers, and it came with my son's Xbox 360 – so it landed in our house at Christmas…. It is violent, but there's hardly any blood and not too much bad language and my sons reckon it's relatively non-threatening.'
Dead Or Alive 4 (Microsoft)
‘The girl characters are overtly sexy, half-naked, with gravity-defying breasts and unbelievably long legs. The men are Ninja-style hefty, muscly warriors – so this is all about machismo and bravado. I watched and played this one and thought it was pretty mindless and stupid.”
Resident Evil 4 (Capcom)
‘This game shouldn't be allowed to be sold, even to adults. It wallows in violence for violence sake… You witness truly ghastly scenes of torture and death. When I played, I was stabbed to death with pitchforks amid fountains of my own blood. This kind of violence can only be bad for you.'
Scarface: The World Is Yours (Sierra)
‘This is set in a land of mafia violence. The language is the most shocking aspect. The violence seems hackneyed in comparison with more modern games. But it's disturbing that so many teenagers presumably have access to this mindless garbage over and over again.'