Data helps rebut the “violent video games cause shootings” argumentUsually, when outside groups worry about video games having a negative effect on children, they’re focused on those games’ potential normalization of violence or how games allegedly encourage a sedentary and emotionally unbalanced lifestyle. This week, though, Minecraft maker Mojang is responding to a public outcry by making changes to the way it portrays parrot feeding.
In a post on the Minecraft subreddit this weekend, user 1jl expressed concern that some of the millions of children who play Minecraft would try to imitate the game in a way that poses a danger to pet parrots. “You can’t tell me some 6-year-old is going to play Minecraft and then try to feed their Mom’s 45-year-old Macaw chocolate chips or a chocolate chip cookies,”[sic] he writes. The post quickly became the most popular post ever on the subreddit, attracting more than 37,000 voting points as of this writing.
Mojang seems receptive to the concerns and is promising to change the cookie-based breeding in an upcoming patch. “If Minecraft has any effect on children’s behavior, we want it to be a positive one, so we’ll change the item used to breed parrots before the 1.12 update is released,” Mojang Lead Creative Designer Jens Bergensten told Motherboard.
“Our reasoning for originally using cookies was twofold; it gave cookies a reason to exist within Minecraft, and it was a subtle reference to the Nirvana song ‘Polly.’ However, we didn’t consider what the chocolate ingredient would mean to real life parrots!”
It might seem like a minor issue, but it’s nice to see a major publisher take to heart small complaints that could have even a tiny impact on such a huge audience of children. Now if only someone would listen to this important petition to get a Harry Potter version of Pokemon Go, we’d really be getting somewhere with important change in the gaming realm.
More Info: arstechnica.com