Friday, January 25, 2008

No no Timmy, you're not old enough to play that Video Game

Video Game Legislation. One of the most ridiculous phrases I've ever heard, seems to be getting passed around more and more these days. Considering I'm a die-hard gamer, I do have quite a bit to say when it comes to regulating sales and creation of video games. People like the PTC threatening to target political officials who "cash in" on any video game industry funding is a load of crap.

The idea surrounding video games needs to change. Video Games aren't just for kids anymore. In fact, if you delve into the history of video games, games were never exclusively targeted at kids, but video games have been passed off onto kids. The whole idea "games are for kids" needs to be changed.

I imagine somewhere down the history of Video Games, they got looked at as unprofessional, and not an adult activity. I don't know when, and I don't know for sure why, but it is my belief that because of the ideas that were created surrounding video games, that we are having the issues we are having now. Video Game Legislation, Jack Thompson, the link between violence and video games, and those are just the major issues that we see today.

The Video Game Community is a big one. The age range is huge. I'm 22, and I put probably enough hours in video games to equal a full time job. I am in a relationship, I have a full time job that I love and am good at, I'm also a full time student at a community college. and I don't kill people. I've been playing video games since the NES. I've played on just about every console that has ever been. ( At least the major brand names... ). The point I'm trying to make here, is I'm an adult, and I play video games.

My Brother, also known as Shishka, (A big name in the Bungie Community, the Makers of the Halo Trilogy on the X-box, and X-Box360.) is 26, and he helps create, and plays video games, for a living. In fact, if we look at the industry, I'm damn positive their are people twice my age, who work on and even play video games.

Video games aren't just for kids anymore. I phrased that in a specific way, as not to say that video games are just for adults. How do I figure? Well, look at the ESRB rating system. You have a variety of age ranges.

  • EC - for Early Childhood (6 years of age and up)

  • E - for Everyone

  • E - 10+ for Everyone (10 years of age and up)

  • T - for Teen (13 years of age and up)

  • M - for Mature (17 years of age and up)

  • AO - for Adult Only (18 years of age and up)

  • RP - for Rating Pending (Still in process of getting a rating)

  • Now typically you don't see many AO rated games in the US, mostly because vendors of game consoles such as Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, don't support AO, so most often you see E, T, and M ratings. 17 years old is a teetering point. I wouldn't call a 17 year old a child, or an adult. Considering legally you are an adult at 18, I would say that pre-adult or young adult is suitable. At 17 years old, you have a good idea of what morals are, and how society works. In other words, you know right from wrong in society. At 17 you have had some experience with bad, and good, you know what sex is, you know what violence is.

    Now, I've said this in previous posts, but Video Games are rated accordingly to content. Just the way, a movie, or television show is rated. If there is adult language, sexual content, violence, or anything adult in nature, it gets an M rating. If there is mild violence, and some language, it could get a teen rating.

    It's important for me to express and explain these ideas, because what is pushing the Video Game Legislation Movement is people are convinced that all video games are targeted at children. Which is a fallacy. Video Games aren't just for kids anymore. 17 years old does not make someone a child either.

    So tell me, Fox News, why the attacks on Mass Effect when it's for people 17 years of age or older? It even says that on the case of the game. For a major news network, I'd also think that Fox would have journalists that are decent at their job. Apparently not, considering that they stated things like, "…a new role-playing video game that is leaving NOTHING to the imagination… in some parts of this, you’ll see full digital nudity. Imagine! And the ability for the players to engage in graphic sex and the person who’s playing the game gets to decide exactly what’s going to happen between the two people, if you know what I mean…" This is a quote from Martha Macallum from the Fox News Network. (If you want to read more about this go here.)

    Given, it was well defended by Geoff Keighley from the Spike Network, but still, that is nothing but untruth. You would think that a journalist would do her job, but unfortunately it just seems to be something to get some numbers in for Martha. How pathetic. If you are going to report on a game, at least have the common sense to play it so you know what you're talking about.
    Bad Journalist! Bad!

    It's crap like that, that is moving the Video Game Legislation. Fallacies being treated as truth. It's sad really. It makes me wonder where this will go...

    So, to sum it up, I feel that the people talking down so much on video games, shouldn't be talking so much. A violent act is not persuaded by video games. Video games of a more mature nature are not targeted at Children. Parents need to start using the ESRB ratings if they are worried about their Child's safety when it comes to influence. The power is not in the government to regulate this sort of thing, this is something parents need to do. To blame video games for sex, drugs, or violence is down-right wrong. It's also important to know what you are actually reporting on. That way you don't look like a jack ass on national television. It's time to change the idea that video games are for kids.

    I am an adult, and I play video games. Don't be ashamed if you do too.

    1 comment:

    Jon said...

    Pshhh, good at your job my ass.