It’s open season on violent video games.
For the sake of yourself, give up. For those who need a refresher, legislation to restrict the sale of video games to children is now being considered in five states, with two of them explicitly forbidding the sale of video games to minors. Some see this as the first step toward more stringent restrictions regarding violent video games.
While this looks to be a noble goal, it is ultimately ineffective. There are various reasons for this, including that most games that obtain an M rating do so due to real violence, with a few exceptions. Some summer films with it include Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Doom, Kingdom of Heaven, XXX: State of the Union, and War of the Worlds. We’ll also ignore that, rather than Grand Theft Auto, which has been branded the “poster child” for these measures, the most popular game on the planet is The Sims, which blurs some sensitive “parts” and prohibits serious domestic abuse.
Speaking of that game, there have been three in this generation’s series, and while your characters have all the nefarious motives, they never do drugs. In the most current installment, you must use vigilante tactics to hunt down those who bring narcotics into your neighborhood. It normally receives much attention when another lawyer blames GTA for his client’s preference for violent, homicidal deeds. And, oddly enough, everyone who criticizes the game fails to recognize this fact.
Now, I’m sure your staff and aides have informed you that most, if not all, of these new laws, like those in Washington and California, would be overturned on appeal (as the premise is the same as in movies, except obscenity laws).
So, rather than trying to enact a pointless law to get your name in front of your constituents for re-election on the flimsy assumption that these games are corrupting your district’s young more than the movies or TV shows mentioned above, I recommend a new strategy: Instead of seeking to enact a pointless law to get your name in front of your constituents for re-election on the flimsy assumption that these games are destroying your district’s young more than the movies mentioned above,
What about a rudimentary parental control console system based on the current ESRB Ratings System…
a V-chip comparable to those seen in Playstation/X-Box consoles
It may be set only to allow games rated “Teen” or lower, which is beneficial if you have a 12-year-old and are concerned, and it also gives parents control, as the game will not be playable even if the kids buy it.
I know it’s not perfect because kids are experts at reading codes for things their parents don’t want, but isn’t that a better option than another bill that will be shot down like a deer during Montana’s hunting season?
The essence of the problem is that if you want to address game sales and the “corruption” of America’s children, you must engage with the console makers, who wield the most power. EA is the largest software company globally, and they do not, however, manufacture Playstations or Xboxes. The firms in question are Sony and Microsoft.
To summarise, find a different way to get the ball rolling. Each time one of these restrictions gets the front page, it takes authority away from the businesses and parents who make the decisions, further separating them from a solution. More flies will be attracted to honey than to manure.