The Evil League Of Evil Gains 11 More Members

Gamasutra is reporting that 11 states have joined forces with California to try and make the sale of ‘mature’ video games to minors illegal.

I was wondering, do books have a rating system?  If I walk into a store, walk up  to the horror section, or perhaps, True Crime, and look at the wall, does it tell me what to expect and whether or not my 13-16 year old should read it?  Some of the graphic depictions of violence and execution of the crimes are a better ‘learning tool’ then games.  Will the store be fined if a kid purchased the book?  Hell why stop at games.  If I go to a museum, is there a warning about naked pictures and violence ahead? If so, many go unnoticed.  Let us reevaluate all forms of media and entertainment and see what further regulations we can impose. /sarcasm

Gaming does a better job then most entertainment mediums in regulating themselves and giving parents the information they need.  Parents need to do one simple thing, parent.  Not a new or novel concept, just good old fashioned take an interest.  Tools are there to help.  Modern game consoles have lock-out features.  Microsoft has done a good job at trying to promote them.  This, much like the v-chip, requires some parental research and set-up.  More times then not I believe parents do the right thing.  Take interest in their kids, what they do, what they like, who their friends are.  As a kid growing up, my passion was gaming.  I had to save up almost a summers worth of mowing lawns to afford one cart for my NES.  I relied on my birthday and Christmas to help subsidize the rest of my habit and collection.  Game prices may have gone up, however in reality, they seem to have gone down.  A new cutting edge Neo-Geo game (circa 1990) cost anywhere from 100-300 dollars depending on the title and arcade popularity.  That was the cutting edge system at the time.  Now all games, no matter the popularity top out at or around 60 dollars.  With the ability to trade-in titles the cost of games has gone down.  So it is possible for more kids to buy more games.  If parents were to shop with their kids and help educate them, perhaps put the console in the living room and monitor play, this would be a no issue.  Like I stated before, I believe this is happening, just the stories of the bad eggs stand out more.  I believe that if a teenager is mature enough and their parents trust him/her the kid should have the right to walk into a store and purchase a copy of Modern Warfare 2, Mortal Kombat, etc. even New Super Mario Bros. Wii.  Because we all know why four men are rushing to save a princess, for the ‘cake’ (Zero Punctuation Reference).  Even when a kid wants to purchase a game at a midnight launch, some parents even accompany them.  At the midnight release of MW2, I was behind a dad and kid waiting inline.  They had a good time talking about the game, the crowd, and how cool it was.  The kid was 16 or so the dad was well into his 40’s.  It was nice to see.

Gov’t is slippery slope.  It just takes one wrong idea for a bunch of people to jump on and think this is the ‘right’ thing.  However it is unjust.  I am well over whatever age is needed if the law comes out to prohibit me from buying video games.  This law though, would send a message to the medium knocking it down a notch, once again stating games are for kids, and we need to delineate that market.  The problem is not so much the law, but what the law represents.  If stores will be levied fines, up $1000 per title, they will start to not carry the higher rated titles for the fear of loss of money, fines, and poor publicity.  This means ‘Adult’ Video game stores will need to open.  And what kind of message will that send.  When we are essentially buying an R-Rated movie.  The Gov’t needs to get out of the role of raising our kids and doing the more important things, like fixing our economy, roads, and jobs availability.  I know this is still a newer medium and plenty of people have a reason to fear it, however the hard part is taking the time to raise a responsible child.

I have been going back and watching a lot of older movies.  Things from the 80’s when I was a kid.  One thing I realized was how much PG-13 has changed.  You were allowed to drop one f-bomb per movie, have one sex scene, and display one pair of breasts.  These standards have become so much tighter.  Just look at the first PG-13 movie, ‘Red Dawn’.  Kid’s die fighting for their freedoms trying to ward off a Russian invasion.  That was in 1984.  Imagine seeing that today with a PG-13 rating, the remake will more then likely be rated R.  I watched that movie a lot as a kid growing up and I like to think I turned out okay.  I have lots of stories like that.  My parents raised me to be responsible, look out for myself, and try to be as good as I can.  I remember as a kid, maybe 9 or 10, I was allowed to watch ‘Alien’.  I had to lay on the couch, on my stomach, so I could tuck my head in the armrest when I got scared or my parents told me too (I’m looking at you spaghetti dinner scene!).  I remember being scared.  I remember sleeping in my parents bed that night.  I also remember being proud that I made it through the movie.  My parents watched it with me.  They told me it wasn’t real and it was okay to be scared by it.  They took an interest and cared for me.  Perhaps that is what the gov’t should be promoting, rather then more laws that affect the choices people and companies make.

If you are against this bill, let your representative know.  Below are the links to each state that supports the bill and their Representatives.  I have contacted mine, you should too.

Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia

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