Title: What I Have to Say About Anti-Gaming-Violence Crusaders (AGVCs)
Posted: June 22, 2007 (02:21 PM)
I'd like to say that I don't understand what the deal is with violence supposedly caused by violent gaming. Seriously, people, that's what ratings are for!
Many people believe that the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is too vague in their ratings. Personally, I don't get that at all. I am against children being exposed to M-rated games/content as much as the next fellow, but that doesn't mean that we should try to ban the games for everyone! People who are eligible to play M-rated games should be able to do so if they desire, and people who aren't shouldn't. If we want to enforce this, we must start an ID check at game stores, not ban the games altogether. As long as every game has a fair rating, and people play the games they're allowed to play, we should be just fine!
Such words would strike mass anger into the heart of more famous AGVC Jack Thompson. I respect that the man wants to cushion our children from violence, but if that includes banning M-games completely, I'm afraid I can't agree with his method. He's going about it entirely the wrong way, I think.
He believes that violent games teach children to kill, murder, and otherwise dismember people. I, personally, believe that:
a.) Children shouldn't play these games,
b.) People of proper age, however, should be able to.
Thompson coincides with only one of these points: the first one. What he cannot seem to get over is that the First Amendment, contrary to his belief, does exist. Yes, that grand First Amendment that allows freedom of speech, religion, and the press actually protects violent games! And, like every good restaurant customer, Thompson has reservations about that!
He thinks that if kids can learn how to kill through games, everyone can!
Now, I think that, if adults have a strong desire to kill because of these games, they need to go visit that game-detox 12-step clinic down in New Zealand or wherever. There is little to no proof that games provide classes in Killing 101. And if someone is driven to kill, that is a horrible tragedy. I want to apologize to all those affected by the Columbine tragedies, and I think that children shouldn't play games that are out of their league in terms of the rating. But that's no reason to completely ban the games so nobody can play them! It's like banning music with explicit lyrics, despite that it has that "Parental Advisory: Explicit Content" label RIGHT ON THE COVER.
So, long opinion short, I believe that the higher-ups should enforce ID checks for people buying M-rated games, and that people should play the games that correspond to their rating. It is a safer way to make gaming fun for all, rather than violate the First Amendment to destroy all M-rated content.
Oh, and all you AGVCs out there, please don't be too angry about my humble opinion on my humble blog. I want you to know that I agree with your cause, but not your methods of purification against pre-18-year-old violence. That is all.
Posted: June 22, 2007 (03:19 PM)
The ESRB ratings are admittedly much more strict than movie ratings and many retailers do check IDs. A big part of the problem is that the majority of parents still consider gaming to be a children's hobby, and don't understand what an M rating can entail. They expect cartoon characters playfully smacking one another with oversized mallets, when they should be expecting gallons of blood and severed limbs flying through the air.
Here's a fun little question for you though. How do you plan to stop an adult, who is fully aware of the material in a specific game, from letting his or her young child play along?
To me, that is the biggest issue at hand. Most parents like to believe their children are "mature for their age," regardless of how inaccurate that assumption is. Then that kid exposes his or her friends to the game, and the friends convince their parents with pleas of "But I've played it before at ____'s house!" They buy it thinking THEIR kids have suddenly matured, and the chain continues.