British retailer Currys last week took the astonishing decision to publicly refuse to stock Bully , renamed Canis Canem Edit in Europe, a clear bending to tabloid will in the face of perfectly clear facts about the product. This kind of
spineless pandering to the tabloid mentality is rife among US retailers. However, in the UK, retailers do not customarily pander to tabloid outrage, and Currys' decision to do so is a disgustingly simpering attempt to hop onto a PR bandwagon which,
we hope, is rolling inexorably over a cliff.
There are a few possible scenarios which arise from Currys' decision. The first is that the firm gets the PR it wants from the decision, appeals to the narrow cross-section of middle England which is prepared to get its hackles up over lunch about
videogames they've never even seen, and loses only a tiny amount of revenue from lost sales of the game. In this instance, we start to slide down a slippery slope towards the US situation, where retailers routinely refuse to stock anything that the
newspapers, or the moral moronity, might have a whinge about. This is not a situation we'd like to see mirrored in Britain.
Another scenario, however, is that people who are sick and tired of this treatment of the videogames medium decide to take matters into their own hands, rather than simply rolling their eyes at the media's ignorant reporting or at the antics of
ludicrous characters such as Keith Vaz and Jack Thompson.
Currys is a major home electronics retailer. They sell videogame consoles, televisions, speaker systems, cables, and a host of other related devices - and with HDTV being rolled out at increasing pace in Britain, they will be expecting a bumper
Christmas as people, many of them gamers, walk through the doors of the store to upgrade their home entertainment systems. Wouldn't it be quite a message to send, if a significant proportion of gamers were to decide to boycott the Currys chain - and
to let them know that their appalling behaviour over Canis Canem Edit was the reason for this boycott?
After all, there are many places to buy high definition TV sets and so on; and only one of them has chosen to take the side of the tabloids over this issue, when simply doing their job and stocking the product without such judgments would have been
perfectly acceptable. As a member of the games industry, or simply as a gamer, this is certainly worth bearing in mind if you find yourself pondering a home entertainment system upgrade in the next few months. When our opponents have reached the
point of lying about products to push their agenda forward, perhaps it's time to make our voices as consumers heard.