Books, games and legislative battles...

Before I start
I would like to make very clear before I start this rant that I am in no way a law expert.
I'm just an intelligent, educated person and consumer.

The story so far...
Legislation in multiple states have attempted, many times, to pass legislation that would limit the sale of video games, on all platforms, to minors. The proposed legislation almost always involves the ESRB rating "M", ensuring that the games cannot be sold to minors.

A short blib on the ESRB: I have a lot of respect for what these people do. They are trying to uphold the values that our country was formed on. That's formed on, meaning past tense. The evolution of the american society, and most societies in the world for that matter, has progressed to the point where we are beginning to explore things outside of the core values that were instilled by our forefathers. The fact that a group of people would seek to enforce their values on others is oppressive and demeaning, not to mention unconstitutional.

The ESRB rating of "M" or higher (yes, it goes higher, just follow the link you tool-user) is reserved for games that have extreme violence, sexual themes and content and graphic language. All the things that make up our society. After all, you can't define "light" without "dark" as a reference. The principle of this thought process is, admitedly, very sound. But government intervention is an intrusion on our rights as americans and it tells parents "it's okay to be a lazy fuck. We'll take care of the tough stuff for you."

The real problem
The real problem, especially in the united states, is lazy parenting. Why the hell should a five year old have an xBox? I've long lived by the principle that GameCube is more for children and xBox/PS2 is more for adults. This isn't a design flaw and I'm not saying that adults can't play the GC. For hell's sake I own one myself! What I am saying is that GC has more games designed for and targeted at younger consumers, i.e. "kids". And I use that term loosely.

Think for just a second about the games available for the GC. Mario Party, Super Monkey Ball (if you don't like SMB as an adult then you're fucked up in the head) and Pikmin. These games are designed to be played with your friends and really aren't too violent. After all if the ESRB says it's okay it must be (guffaw).

The ESRB would have you think that they are the be all, end all of ratings commitees in the US. The reason that perception is correct is nobody else has stepped up to the plate. How many rap albums do you see with the PA sticker? What about rock albums? Ok, now think about pop albums. Britney Spears with a PA sticker? Never. Why? "She's wholesome music and little girls should look up to her" is what the parents would have you think. Review her last two years: Dating at least three "men", married one then divorced him, then married another right after, all while singing songs that promote promiscuity in teenage girls and jerk-fests in stupid, pre-pubescent boys. Yeah, that's a real good fucking role model.

Now let's take a look at the games side of things. First, fuck San Andreas and all the sniveling little pissant fucks who use it as a scapegoat. Fuck them right in the ass with their xBox turned sidways. How about sports games? First raise a child to be a fan of a violent sport like football (sports! yeah!) and introduce them to their parent's beer swilling, wife beating foul mouthed friends. Add a dose of "I won't love you if you're not QB" and we have the average teenage male fucktard. I'm not worried about Trenchcoat Johnny and his obsession with morbid music. That shit paints an accurate reality in which life sucks. No, I'm worried about the dipshit jock and his 15 drunk friends who think it's fun to taunt, tease and otherwise make life miserable for those who are smaller than them.

Violence isn't caused because of games, other than the rare cases with the really fucked up individuals. Again, not the point.

What does this have to do with books?
Well if you look at the current level of literature being produced today the only censored media within the print world is graphic novels. The reasoning behind this is "you can see her nipples" arguments. Apparently people have forgotten that many people are still aware that their imagination exists and that they can use it, though very many more have forgotten how to use their imagination, most of them sports fans ("Sports! Yeah!").

One of the series I'm reading (yeah, like I have time) right now is Prince of Nothing by R. Scott Bakker. It's a very vivid tale of Earwa, his world, but it has many moments which are sexually explicit. The pictures are painted beautifully. But I would definitely want anybody under 12 reading it. (I chose twelve because that's about when I started reading this stuff.) There's no need for a child to be exposed to that type of stuff at such a young age. But there's no problem with that type of literature. It enriches our lives.

It becomes a problem when people lose the ability to differentiate reality from fiction. I don't think that's the issue with games. Games are most decidedly unrealistic most of the time and the ones that aren't are typecast and geared for a specific audience that understands the place for the type of actions in said game. For instance there's Full Spectrum Warrior. The original intent and use of this game, by design, was a tactical, full emersion simulation for use by the military. It was in fact comissioned by the US military by the game maker for exactly the purpose of training. It was released to the public because, for it's purpose, it would make a significant impact in the gaming world. In short it's fucking gorgeous at what it does.

But the people who play it are, in all honesty and from experience, either current, prospective or ex-military. The fucking point is that video game violence doesn't breed real violence, being a complete fuckwad breeds real violence.

Why legislation shouldn't be passed
There's nothing I could say that hasn't probably already been said. What I'll say instead is that I don't want our society to end up like this. If you've never read Farenheit then you need to. If you have then you know why I'm terrified of shit like this.

There's really not much else I can say. It's bullshit, it affects every gamer and it's the fault of the parents, not the "vid-ya games", that american 'kids' are fucked up in the head.

Gryyphyn out.

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