Comment of the Week: Your Politics Defeated By Car Change
It’s been an eventful week here at Game Front, with a lot of great discussion about several different topics. Players debated with me about the nature of Kratos, discussed what’s to be done about video game violence, scoffed at the president’s plan to study game violence even though it’s been studied before, thought about what caused a town to decide not to burn video games, and more.
The prevailing trend is one of political discussions about what to do about games, tipped off by the National Rifle Association’s attack on games and other media in the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Conn. Choosing a Comment of the Week was tough today, but gasmaskangel’s sentiments on Ross Lincoln’s story, “Missouri State Rep Proposes Stupid Tax On Games,” points out just how dumb this idea really is.
“This is so cartoonishly stupid it makes my brain hurt. It’s like something from a stupid 90′s extreme sports movie where the villain wants to ban skateboarding or something because he just doesn’t understand ‘kids these days.’
“I’m actually pretty sure this won’t get passed, if only because the quality of people crusading against violent video games seems to be scraping the bottom of the barrel. I mean, I remember when political big shots like Hillary Clinton used to take shots at them and you felt like you actually had a real assault on freedom of speech going on, but this… this feels like listening to really senile distant relative being racist.
“Also, a 1% tax? So you’re just going to add 60 cents to the price tag? That’s not even a very good threat. I could pay that tax with the loose change in my freaking car.
“It also seems like a really easy system to cheat. What about indie games that never go up for an ESRB rating? Hotline Miami is one of the most horrifically violent games I’ve ever played and it has no ESRB rating on it’s Steam page.”
We also don’t really think there’s any chance of this getting passed (and even if it does, it’s a bit like…who cares). But at least for the moment, there does seem to be a lot of attention on “doing something” about violent video games. Now, how about a hypothetical for discussion’s sake: Apart from saying something along the lines of “leave games alone, they don’t cause violence, just shut up,” what do you think is the solution? How can the gaming community, developers and publishers change things so that games aren’t censored but parents can protect their kids from content they don’t want them to see (assuming they’re actually not going to play games or, apparently, read ESRB labels)?
Drop your opinions in the comments.