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Getting ‘High’ With Online Games

by Medindia Content Team on  November 19, 2007 at 8:09 PM Child Health News   - G J E 4
Getting ‘High’ With Online Games
An online game that entices teenage girls to try drugs and get pregnant has outraged parents and family groups.
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The mobile phone-based game, 'Coolest Girl in School,' to be released in January will not be carrying a warning for parents against its content, as mobile phone content does not come under the jurisdiction of the Australian Classification Board.

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The game allows users to take on the personality of a 15-16 year old girl with an aim to "lie, bitch and flirt your way to the top of the high school ladder."

It is the choice of the players if they want to experiment with drugs, alcohol and smoking, skip school, spread rumours, bully and even fall pregnant in their effort to win the game.

Game developer and producer Holly Owen, the creative director of mobile entertainment company Champagne for the Ladies, said her game is no more dangerous than the gun-firing, car-stealing games marketed for boys.

"I came up with the idea for girls who didn't really like playing games. It's a pretty ironic game because things that might seem obviously cool like taking drugs and smoking might work against you because you have to go to rehab or have stinky breath when the captain of the football team comes to speak to you," News.com.au quoted Owen, as saying

"It's not about glorifying bad things, it's about giving young girls the opportunity to play around with high school," she added.

However, the Australian Family Association (AFA) condemned the game as "toxic" and "grossly irresponsible".

"The activities in the game have been shown through vast amounts of research to cause significant, long-term problems for young people," AFA national research officer Angela Conway said.

Conway added that although no evidence has proven that media content will directly influence viewers, it does have an effect.

Currently being tested on an audience in Adelaide, the game will be free to NSW mobile phone users after its launch in January through the Champagne for Ladies My Space page.

Source: ANI
KAR/P
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