Yesterday, there were further call in the media for greater controls over computer and video games. The controversy centres around the latest game in the very popular Call Of Gardening franchise: Call Of Gardening 4: This Time It’s Begonias.
The furore erupted yesterday when several of the UK’s tabloid newspapers revealed what happens in the so-called Potting Shed level, where – the newspapers claim – there is some over-explicit dibber-related action. A seasoned gardening correspondent from one of the UK’s broadsheet newspapers admitted, however, that ‘it all seems rather tame, considering what really goes on in some of the garden sheds in England.’ Nevertheless, since his comments provoked outrage on Twitter, he has since apologised to anyone still suffering from any sweet pea related trauma who may have inadvertently stumbled across his twitter feed.
However, some gamers have said that the realism of the slug-eradication level has given several of them nightmares. One experienced gamer complained that he was unable to sleep after witnessing the graphic detail of what happens to the slugs, when salt is poured onto them, during the game’s quick time slug-salting level.
The Call of Gardening franchise has run into trouble several times before. Last year’s Call Of Gardening 3: World Of Roses was questioned over its over-graphic rose deadhead footage. Even though the game makers said they had spoken to several expert gardeners who advised them on how trained professionals approach the task. This, however, did not stop several rent-a-quote MPs expressing their outrage in the belief they were connecting with their constituents.
However, many fans of the game say they have learnt a great deal about actual gardening from the games. One gamer said ‘I would never have realised how to hold a dibber properly if it wasn’t for this game.’ Another said the game had ‘changed my whole attitude towards decking.’
Of course, the game series itself has become an enormous money-spinner for the company behind the game. The last game Call Of Gardening 3 sold 56 billion copies in just two days. Some industry sources say that every human being on the planet capable of operating a game controller has played the game at least up to the Water Feature level. However, others dispute these figures, claiming there are not enough computers and game consoles in the world to reach such a high number.
However, the enormous advertising budget of the game means that all real media outrage about the game is bound to be muted, at least until all the launch adverts have appeared. Still, it remains to be seen if this latest episode of the franchise will have the addictive gaming power of the previous versions.