Posted on July 20, 2008, Shawn Sines 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