It is pretty well known to gamers who follow the news concerning the beloved past-time that there are those in "power" trying to censor what they can and can't play. And all of the hooplaa centers on the violent content of some of the games on the market. The most infamous of these "kid brainwashing" games is GTA
. Many in Washington sought o ban such games because they said it "appeals to the morbid interest of minors in violence".
This has been debated by many "experts" on both sides even though records show that the overall violent against commited by minors have been dropping over the past decade. Several state legislations have tried to ban minors from playing some of these games, and have failed overall. They say that violence should be taken out of games played by minors because of "psychological damage" and de-humanizes people to make it easier for them to justify violent acts. This is rubbish. There are always going to be some whack jobs out there that are going to be influenced by such things, but most kids are intelligent and sane enough to realize life from fantasy. In fact, I bet because these games provide an outlet to release frustration and anger, kids are actually LESS inclined to commit crime as depicted in these games.
That being said, a bill that was shot down last year in Utah is once again going to make a reappearance and try to censor video games.
This bill was drafted with the help of every gamer's favorite person, Jack Thompson.
Why are they targeting video games? Why not movies (wasn't that big bank robbery gunfight years ago in LA based on the movie Heat
?), television shows, books, etc...? I have seen and read many of these other mediums depicting terrorist activities, cop killing, rape, torture, mass killings, etc... and yet I don't hear anything about censorship being applied to these to keep them out of the hands of minors. Hell, Looney Toons
is more violent that some of today's cartoons. And comic books!!! Why are they not being censored for the same material and topics that are depicted in video games? I'll tell you why. Because the gaming industry is still in it's infancy compared to the other entertainment outlets and not seen as a "legitimate" media form, even though the gaming industry brings in more revenue than the movie industry and more and more people rather play games that watch TV. And not to mention (to show the little conspiracy theorist in me) that the folks in Washington are very friendly with the entertainment tycoons.
I agree that minors (like below the age of 15) should not be playing games like GTA
, however, it is up to the kid's players to decide whether or not they should be playing it or not, not the governments. I support the use of the ESRB as it informs parents of the material inside the game. At the least, this allows the PARENTS to make a more informed descision on whether or not their kids will play the game. At least they have a choice. It is not the government's. If these types of bills get passed, then the government starts making those choices for the parent's.
So, in closing, who would you prefer making the choices for kid's entertainment: Big Mamma or Big Brother?