09 October 2005

Won't Someone Think Of The Children?

So, right after solving the pressing issue of paparazzi (OT: the day before Der Governator signed the anti-papparazi law, someone actually told me his signing an anti-phishing law was an example of why we need to elect "ordinary people" like Schwarzeneggar, since we all know you don't get much more ordinary than movie stars married to Kennedys) Der Gropenführer decides to sign a law banning the sale of violent video games to minors. How ironic. And this is really, really stupid. Even if there were good evidence that playing violent games leads to violent behavior - and every time I've seen it announced, it turns out to be something trivial, like already-violent individuals showing increased brain activity in regions associated with anger when they play violent games - is this really the sort of thing that should be enforced by law? Should it be illegal for a 17-year-old who works part-time to spend his own money on Half-Life 2 unless he gets mommy and daddy to buy it for him? And who decides what's too violent for 'the children'?
Some games will be obvious, like Doom 3. But is Halo too violent? Not clear, since you don't (or at least aren't supposed to) harm humans in it. What about Beyond Good And Evil? That might be even more tricky, and the argument wouldn't center around violence but instead realism and target audience. Are games like Splinter Cell okay because you only fight 'bad guys'? Is Deus Ex okay because you can get through the entire game without firing a shot if you really try? It looks like whether a given RPG can be sold to children going to depend on what your enemies are. Graphics quality? If graphics don't matter, I guess Super Mario Bros. would be a violent video game, and don't even get me started on the bloodbaths of Duck Doom Deluxe and Trogdor!! And what about games like Civilization III, where you can nuke whole continents on a whim if you feel like it? Is that okay because the violence is just numbers? Then what about Rise of Nations? And on it goes...
What pisses me off the most about this, though, is that this law was passed overwhelmingly by the Democrats in the state legislature. Look, chickenshits (that means you, Mullin, and it goes double for bill author Leland Yee): this is part of the right-wing plan to rigidly enshrine a very specific family structure and morality into law (since they must clearly think it can't survive without state assistance), which is itself part of their 'culture war', and YOU'RE FIGHTING ON THEIR SIDE HERE!!! Idiots. Whether parents think it's okay for their kids to play a given game should be up to them, not a bunch of retrograde prudes with nothing better to do than play violent games and watch porn... to decide what needs to be banned restricted, of course. Yes, some people can't tell the difference between reality and fantasy; they're insane. A lot like Democratic politicians who think they should run to the right on 'values'.

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