This is a topic I’ve wanted to discuss for some time now. There seems to be a trend going on in North America right now, which I like to call “My opinion should become law.” This of course, is referring to a lot of things, from drugs, alcohol, what age teens should start having sex, and what we as society should and should not be exposed to. Since this is a gaming blog, I of course will be talking about, the ESRB ratings.
Now, don't get me wrong, I agree with ESRB ratings, I think they should be on all games. After all, we as gamers need to know what we are getting into. The ESRB ratings give us a good idea If we are about to skip down the joy filled world of “Candyland Fun Happyzone”, or ripping down “8th street Massacre: Night of 1000 decapitated heads.”
The ESRB ratings serve their purpose, I use them when I shop for games, I make it a point to stay away from an game that isn’t rated at LEAST T for teen, that kid friendly crap makes me gag, but its good the option is there.
Now this is where the problems step in, : http://videogames.yahoo.com/feature/new-york-game-law-unconstitutional-/1232102
This article was linked a few days back explaining the fact that the state of New York deemed it necessary to force game companies to add parental locks onto all their consoles. Something they were already fucking doing mind you, the state deemed it necessary to remove the choice of including the parental locks on future consoles to making it mandatory.
But that is fine too, I believe parental locks make life easier for parents, especially the ones who aren’t extreme gamers, so did Microsoft and Sony, that is why they did the locks before someone decided to shove it down their throats, the issue I have is when the article chimes this little tidbit:
“Thirdly, it promises to establish "an advisory council to conduct a study on the connection between interactive media and real-life violence in minors exposed to such media."”
This basically means, lets find a way to blame video games for violent kids today. This started to get out of hand back with grand theft auto was released, and now I can’t even watch an episode of CSI without having some reference too some EMO kid gunning down his school and it never fails they find the new hit video game in his book bag mapping out the entire event. I was watching Numbers yesterday, I’m guessing it was a re-run, I don't watch it too often, anyway the premise of the episode was 3 disgruntled suburban kids, who were constantly bullied for playing MMOs, (which makes no sense to me, I go to a school where, if you didn't play MMOs you had something wrong with you, and I’m in college. And besides that, do people still get bullied? Have parent still not deemed it necessary to teach their little narcissistic hell spawn that we are in the 21 first century, and it’s not ok to verbally or physically attack someone because they do something you don't think is cool) And so, of course they decided to solve that problem with several semi-automatic weapons. The reason the reference to MMO was significant was because apparently they decided to do this as a guild. I don't know what you guys talk about in your guild, but we usually talk about raiding Karazhan, not planning blitzkrieg the hallways of our school, Neo Nazi like.
It’s only in North America, where kids can shoot up their school because they were bullied and the thing that gets blamed is the video games, or the movies, or the music the listen too. Not the fact that the kids had access to weapons courtesy of that great second amendment, not the fact that there was apparent piss poor parenting involved that the guns were accessible, not only that the kid was so damn tortured mentally and yet you still couldn’t pick up on it, and not the fact that we still seem to be raising douche bags who think bulling is still an acceptable pastime, what is this the 1960s?
No, it’s the video games. It’s the video games that teach your kids how to use guns, how to fire them, how to shoot them, and how to desensitize you too taking a life of another person. And I got to agree, it is the video games, I mean, when I beat Grand theft Auto 4, I got my buy 1, get 1 free coupon code after the credits for a Glock 18 and a box of rounds, didn't all of you?
I said this in the thread in offtopic when it was posted, and quite frankly I enjoyed saying every word of it that ill say it again.
“Crusading against video game serves as much purpose as the fight against gay marriage.
Blaming video games for anything in society makes as much sense as blaming movies. If kids want to learn about violence they just need to turn on CNN, unless people have actually forgotten that this world rolls from one war to another. The fact is, it’s not the video games fault your kid is violent, or your kid knows how to use a gun, or your kid is a sociopath who hog ties fellow students who call him "gay" and anally rapes them with the nuzzle of a shotgun before he kills them. God forbid it has something to do with the fact that this kid has psychological issues, and access to a rifle because of your piss poor parenting, no; it was that mission in grand theft auto 4 that gave him the inspiration and the tools to carry out his act of mental depravity. Damn those sick bastards at Rockstar games for damaging today’s youth.
Seriously, if you are a parent reading articles like this and nodding your head in agreement, that video games are too violent and are to blame for the downfall of youths today, not only blamed, but taken to the extent that the government, and not YOU should be taking steps to raise your kid, you need to be euthanized, or at the very least castrated, because people who think like that shouldn’t be allowed to breed.
We have violent movies, violent video games, and violent music. And if your kid isn't smart enough to know, what is just for entertainment, what is just words, what is just something to experience and not act out, then you fucked up and haven't given this kid enough parental input to help him develop a morale compass. Do you know what I would fight for instead of Ratings, Censorships and bans on video games...?
Equal charges for parents and kids when their kid walks into their school with berretta and blows away half his class room because dad thought the best place for the gun was under the kitchen sink.”
But violence in video games is only one side of the spectrum. These ESRB ratings have developers afraid to actually push the envelope. Sure we have the rating “M for mature” or “A for Adult” only but there are still morons out there who ignore it. Last time I checked, every grand theft auto game to date was rated “M for mature”, not “E for everyone”. “M for Mature” to let you know there are no flowers in this game, unless those flowers have a shotgun concealed within them and you are crashing a wedding or something like that. Mature, as in old enough to figure out that this is just a video game, and not the “final solution”...
And who do we blame for kids playing mature video games, clearly labelled mature; the game developers of course. It is only a matter of time before the government tries to dictate what content can make it into games today. There are some countries that outright ban certain video games for their content. Developers are still afraid to include nudity in video games, look at Age of Conan. A prime example, the first game to promise nudity and sex and when it came time to deliver they backed down. Not only that, they started patching what little nudity they did include.
Nudity is still a hot button for people, first it was killing, then that was accepted, then it was course language now that is accepted, now it is nudity, and it will be a while before that is accepted. It is amazing that people will accept rampant death, and wanton murder (that is what most grinding in MMORPGs are, randomly killing animals and people for any minor reason given) but the idea of nudity and sex offends them. This stigma on sex in society is ridiculous, on the hierarchy of bad things, Sex trumps violence.
Whether or not you want to see nudity and sex in a game is not the argument, but the fact that people are so morally against it, just shows what our values are today, procreation bad... Ending life, not good, but acceptable as long as we don't have to witness procreation. You may not agree with that last statement but if you look at how people get riled up at the thought of seeing sex or nudity in a game you will see there is subtle truth in the statement.
“Well if you want to see digital sex you can watch a porno, there is higher image quality – hur hur hur”
Well if you want to see violence you can watch an action movie, what the fuck does that statement mean, I hear it as an argument so often and the people saying it actually think it is a logical response.(like porn Is actually accepted yet, porn is like one raunchy sexual position from being banned too) Seeing sex in video games is not the point though, and it does add another level of game play, and while I wouldn’t play a game that was just hardcore interactive sex, seeing nudity doesn’t bother me, I am saying the option should be available and accepted by now.
“But my kid could be exposed to sex! I don't want him/her seeing that until I feel they are ready!”
If you think your kid doesn’t know about sex you should probably watch an episode of Maury Povich, any episode... There are so many teens (13+) getting pregnant that dude will be pumping out paternity test until he retires.
“But it takes a village to raise a child, and we need to work together as a team to make certain our youths aren’t...blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...”
Listen, that “It takes a village...” nonsense is just a saying, and not all of villagers like being involuntarily deputized to raise YOUR children. What happened to parents telling kids something’s are for children and something’s are not? Is it so much of a stretch that instead of taking over for parents we feel are doing a poor job that we actually take those parents and make it mandatory that they take a class or something along those lines before you superimpose your morals on to society as a whole.
Last time I checked anyone who doesn’t meet the age requirement to see sexual content or violence usually can’t afford to buy it themselves. If you personally feel a game is too violent, then don’t buy it for them. Making the ESRB ratings law just further allow for parents to distance themselves from their primary duties of being proactive in their kids’ lives by letting the government do all the hard stuff for them.
And if they are downloading the games, make an effort to find out what they are interested in, what they are playing, if you don’t know what your kids are playing, what your kids are doing or what your kids enjoy doing, it is not societies job to find out for you, nor is it societies job to protect them for you. And if your 13 year old is letting his 18 year old friend buy the game for them then... you need to find out what the hell your 13 year old kid has in common with an 18 year old, seriously.
And by the way, when did we all of a sudden gain the right to decide a parent isn't doing their job? Is allowing kids playing violent video games and seeing nudity considered bad parenting, or is it more of a morale objection different for every person based on their belief?
When my kid gets old enough to tell the difference I don't plan on sheltering him from the violence and the nudity found on TV and video games, why because that is life. The world is not rated E for everyone, so trying to keep our kids from seeing it for the first 18 years of their life is just an asinine parade of delusion that will eventually damage the kid more then it helps in the long run. I’d prefer to explain it to him myself, rather than let him experience it on his own for the first time with no actually way of putting it together and understanding what he is seeing.
Besides, there is a housing crisis right now, a war, a homeless problem, people so poor if they miss one pay check their entire life will come crashing down like a set of dominoes, and so much other shit going on. Do we seriously have time to waste censoring video games? Or any form of media for that matter.
Wand To Buy - My PUBLIC freedom of speech and expression back.
Will trade for my Freedom of choice