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.

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8 Comments on Comment of the Week: Your Politics Defeated By Car Change


On January 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm

You shouldn’t have to change a thing

” 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).

but both political parties are wanting more and more control over people and for those people to see the state as the “New Church” and Father/Mother Figure and it seems to be working well for them.


On January 18, 2013 at 9:31 pm

The next generation of consoles are going in the direction of direct downloading for there games so automatically any kids will get road blocked there since you need to be an adult to purchase games with a credit card, so parents are in control 100% and since this is America it should be up to them what there kids play.

As for violent games in general I think the current rating system is doing a fine job and nothing needs to change.

The day video games get censored because of violent behavior is the day all media becomes censored. (Books, Movies, Games, And who knows what else)


On January 18, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Parents need to educate themselves, and the gaming community needs to do a better job of encouraging this practice.

Now the good news is that as the part of the population that grew up with video games gets older and starts having kids of their own this should become easier. The bad news is a fair portion of them are probably going to say “I grew up playing Doom, and I turned out fine, so no worries!” I know that I probably would.

However, as of now, is you know someone with kids, take an opportunity to talk to them. Raise the question of whether or not they’re comfortable with their children playing M rated games, and if they’re reluctant to talk about it I reccomend drawing the parralel between an M rating for a game, and an R rating for a film.

Additionally, game outlets where the non-gamer might purchase a bit of entertainment for little Johnnie’s 6th birthday, should probably do a better job of making folks aware of the ratings system we already have since the ESRB actually makes it pretty damn clear what sort of content is going to be found in the game.

Game companies might consider adding an optional content censor to remove blood and cursing from the games (which is admitedly kind of a weak suggestion when the game is still about shooting guys in the face with a shotgun). Maybe a straight up password protection system to keep kids from even booting up Mega Death Face Shooter 5.

Of course since many of those up in arms about this seem to possess the sort responsibility one expects from a dog around a plate of unguarded sausages, I don’t know how much this all would help really.


On January 18, 2013 at 10:33 pm

@Phil: I’m so glad you grabbed gasmaskangel’s comments and put them up. That second paragraph GMA wrote cracked me up when I first saw it.


On January 18, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Well, given the hypothetical situation, a programming solution that comes to mind is adding a parental lock feature that controls the gore level. I’m not claiming this is a good or even a workable idea, just saying it’s an option. A better option is for parents to, you know, take some actual freaking responsibility for the electronic media that comes into the house instead of using it as a babysitting tool. Or to not have kids in the first place if they don’t want the responsibility of parenting them.

But no, nobody’s gonna run with that suggestion. That would just be the crazy talk.


On January 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm

@Jawa:: I’m going to have to agree with you there.


On January 20, 2013 at 3:26 am

To educate….adults…………………
Could someone, give the cheat code,for this game.

Ron Whitaker

On January 21, 2013 at 6:37 am

@Luther – The next gen of consoles will still be reliant on physical media. Sure, downloading will be an option, but we’re still a generation or two away from a console that relies entirely on downloaded content (until the SteamBox does it). The demise of physical media has been greatly exaggerated.