Games, Guns and Politicians

by on

With the focus on games and their supposed link to violence in the US, articles on the developments in political circles have inevitably been popping up everywhere we look. Like a man gradually sticking out his tongue towards a post on an icy day, I just can't resist...

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Researching the problem: Violent game bill lives on

http://uk.gamespot.com/news/violent-game-bill-lives-on-6402949

Like everything else on the subject, the idea of government endorsed research has completely split opinion. I get it, I do - no one likes people looking over their shoulder. But then again, even though we as gamers are all pretty certain about the pointlessness of this research being conducted yet again, I don't feel we have anything to hide. Likewise, if it turns out we are somehow unknowingly hiding some sort of devious influence over the overly-impressionable and unfortunately trigger-happy population then finding that out might be good. I sincerely doubt a connection exists, but then that's good too - it might make it a bit more difficult for politicians to jump on the bandwagon when the floor's been ripped out.

Speaking of which, I despise the politicians blindly jumping on the bandwagon blaming video games - forever the easy scapegoat it seems - but I have absolutely nothing against impartial scientific research being carried out in any area. Science is about improving knowledge and understanding - and I'm more than happy to get behind that school of thought.

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Ratings enforcement long overdue: New bill would make ESRB ratings legally binding

http://uk.gamespot.com/news/new-bill-would-make-esrb-ratings-legally-binding-6402554

What bothers me is not only people blaming the games in general, but that the people doing the blaming seem to completely miss the point that kids aren't supposed to be playing violent games anyway - that's the point of the FCC/ESRB, and of course, parents. I don't think any adult gamer has any objections to actually enforcing the ratings in order to prevent children being exposed to violence too early, but we all seem to be portrayed as promoting that exact thing by the frankly idiotic political fanatics.

Introducing a measure that actually enforces ratings and certification as a legal system is a great idea even disregarding the games-guns argument. We've already established things like alcohol and cigarettes are unsuitable for youngsters, and while I don't believe for a second games cause real world violence, I do believe children shouldn't be exposed to "adult" content so easily. So why not treat movie/music/games certification the same way alcohol and cigarette laws are enforced? Makes sense.

How many perfectly sensible pieces of legislation get thrown out by the US government purely because they're deemed incompatible with a list created and signed hundreds of years ago in a society that hasn't existed for generations? Surely on the same basis that blocked this piece of legislation, laws punishing retailers who sell alcohol or cigarettes to underage shoppers are just as unconstitutional.

The constitution was signed hundreds of years ago by people who'd just fought a brutal war for independence against a powerful nation, using guns that fired 1 round per minute if you were particularly skilled, and would struggle to hit a barn door from 20 yards if you weren't. Something tells me both the world - and the guns - have moved on a long, long way since then, so how about we grow up and come up with something valid for the society we actually live in, not the one that existed so many generations ago.

Im sure I'll get lambasted by more than a few people for this, but it needs saying: It'll take a brave government to finally re-write that damn constitution to make it relevant once more, or tear it down completely, but until someone does exactly that the US will always be its own worst enemy - and that's saying something!

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Leland Yee regrettably failing to heed his own advice: Gamers need to 'quiet down' says CA senator)

http://uk.gamespot.com/news/gamers-need-to-quiet-down-says-ca-senator-6402953

So gamers - who play games, know the industry, know the CONTEXT (always conveniently missed by critics) - have absolutely no credibility, but some fanatical knee-jerk politician who has so obviously never played any of the games he's criticising so vehemently is totally credible in doing so.

Further, our BLOODLUST, combined with the industry's lust for MONEY and SELF-INTEREST is deplorable so we should shut up. Well, it's a good job he's got his facts straight, I mean it would be really embarrassing for him if any pro-gun organisations, politicians, or governments could be described in those exact 3 words so concisely like the game industry apparently can be.

I like this guy, he's a sharp cookie.

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My favourite development: NRA iOS game draws criticism

http://uk.gamespot.com/news/nra-ios-game-draws-criticism-6402479

Im putting this deliberately at the end in homage to those silly-but-mildly-amusing "and finally..." stories on local news. Because this is just staggeringly, epically, incomprehensively brilliant/horrific/idiotic/hilarious/hypocritical/(I could go on forever).

Nothing really needs to be said about the NRA's choices on this, it's there for everyone to see. They've done the political equivalent of stripping butt naked and streaking through a children's playground stopping to give people a closer look on the way. It is just wrong on so many levels, you can't even begin to defend them.

And thats before you even get to the part in which Newt presumably-NRA-funded Gingrich attempts to do just that, by claiming it's OK because its educational. So genuinely teaching people how to operate and maintain real-world firearms is fair game, but detached escapism for entertainment in a virtual (read harmless) environment is the dangerous influence?

Well done Newt. I proudly present to you the brand new for 2013 "Leland Yee Award for Outstanding Achievement in Hypocrisy & Idiocy". Share it with your NRA buddies. Assuming they have space on the shelf next to their military assault rifles.

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If not, frankly they can stick it up their arsenal.