Video Game Regulation Could Force Global Censorship

An article in The Times has raised concerns that a move towards regulation or censorship of video games in individual nations could force censorship on a global scale. The author points out that if enough of the video game consumer base regulates or bans violent or mature video games, the games industry may respond by cut down on or stop producing these games altogether.

If the US government decides to pass stricter rules regarding video games (which, when you get down to it, isn’t that far-fetched), their imposition would result in video game manufacturers avoiding “offensive” subject matter entirely. It would be passive censorship that would have a global impact, purely due to the fact that the US market is so large.

Personally I disagree with this theory. Even if regulation is legislated by a country’s government, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a market for the games that are under the ban. For example, due to the changes in the US version of CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher, I simply ordered the international version for my wife’s birthday. I’m not saying it’s an impossible scenario, but there will always be a market for mature rated games as long as adults are part of the consumer base.

People fear and lash out at what they don’t know or understand. The world is rapidly acclimating to video games and their use in everyday life. With the steady increase of adults of all ages being exposed to video games, it’s only a matter of time before they become as mainstream and excepted as other forms of entertainment such as books, film and music.

via The Times

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10 Comments on Video Game Regulation Could Force Global Censorship

Davn Kincade

On July 20, 2008 at 7:03 pm

The real problem is that these ‘regulators of video games’ have little to no concept of the player-base, gamers that grew up back when Donkey Kong was a new game are in their mid to upper 30′s now….these are the gamers that need to stand up against this.

They want stricter regulations on games they consider too mature for younger gamers? Ok, fine…there are many different ways to make it harder for younger gamers to actually get their hands on mature gaming, but not at the expense of older gamers.

Rollett

On July 20, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Davn its even worse then little to no concept of player base.. they have little to no concept of what the games even are….

Shawn Sines

On July 20, 2008 at 10:09 pm

Rollett & Davn: Call me ageist but I also think it has to do with the average age of power holders and lawmakers in the US. The Septuagenarians (nee: old folks) are running this asylum and even we mid to late 30 year old citizens are not as clued in in general with gaming as those under the age of 30..

HQ

On July 20, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Why dont the developers who make the games just leave it up to the parents by putting an option to control what content they want their children to see or hear in these games? They did in the old days. (example) Remember whith Mortol Kombat you could choose if you wanted blood in the game and i think there was even an option to turn the fatalities off so why dont we see this today? Take I dont know, Uncharted for PS3. I’d been perfectly fine with my little one playing it but when I heard the language i didn’t let him play anymore. If there was an option to turn the language down to wear it was suitable for a small child sure! I got nothing against shooting pirates!!

Davn Kincade

On July 20, 2008 at 10:38 pm

For the most part, as hard as it is to believe we do have some politicans on our side…not many but still, here’s a few examples:

http://www.gamepolitics.com/2007/07/24/senator-is-a-level-70-dwarf-priest-in-world-of-warcraft

http://kotaku.com/5014193/a-politician-who-actually-games

The people that are really trying to push the, for lack of a better term, “anti-videogame stance” are people like Mitt Romney…but seriously, he hasn’t a leg to stand on and he’s not a threat…video games are a multi-billion dollar industry (and mostly foreign industry) that these politicans cannot buy, sell or trade and (in my humble opinion) -that- is what get’s under their skin the most.

I don’t buy the ‘protect the children’ speech they use and frankly if the best they can muster is Hillary Clinton, Jack Thompsom, Mitt Romney,Kevin McCullough and Fox News we have little to fear.

Rollett

On July 20, 2008 at 10:52 pm

Its not those people you feel… its the massive hordes of sococcer moms who actualy buy all the crap they say! Trying working in the industry and see what im talking about first hand.

runemaster

On July 21, 2008 at 5:02 am

Interesting theory, but i think this will only give more non us developers a field that is less us dominated. It´s certainly bad for the us market, but it´s good for the european market.
I´m definitely not pro censorship, but if the will of the people chooses this way in the us, i doubt that it will have much of an impact in the long run to my gaming habits.

Davn Kincade

On July 21, 2008 at 12:23 pm

@Rollet

With all due respect, i don’t need to ‘work in the industry’ to feel the pinch of anti video game regulation, i’m a consumer and what they propose directly affects what i am allowed to buy freely.

The politicans are the biggest threat and so far there batting a zero for zero, you have to remember that this argument and threats to the video game industry isn’t new….this is the -exact- same argument that has been around since Splatterhouse and Mortal Kombat my friend….almost twenty years ago.

The only thing that has really happened is now we have an ESRB which is a good thing, some countries have had games banned but nowhere near enough to consider it to be a disaster to publishers or developers….if anything it increases the need to own it in the paticular country.

John

On August 4, 2008 at 10:18 pm

All this exaggerated unnecessary effort to regulate games yet the Supreme Court wants to make sure that practically everyone and their brother can own a gun. Bloodshed on TV: bad though the Goverment’s actions are trying to guarantee there is no shortage of bloodhsed in the real world. I support regulations for minors but the way it looks like everyone wants it is that you can’t see the content whether your 8 or 80 and that’s BS.

Sacajawea

On April 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm

HERP DEEERP