One of the many (too many) blogs that I have in my RSS feedreader is Game Politics. It’s a fairly recent addition, even though I visit the site occassionally, and an important addition. It keeps a fairly up to date, though gamer biased, perspective on the social and political issues surrounding our favorite hobby.
If you’re a regular reader of Stropp’s World, you may have noticed that I occassionally get my rant on when it comes to the old media portrayal of computer games. The reason is that I believe that the old media companies have an awfully large amount of gold invested in their properties.
Television and print media are the big losers when it comes to all things computer related. Newspapers have been losing out big time to the new online forms of publishing like this (and other) blogs. Television is also being hit big time. A couple of years ago I saw some statistics that revealed that the 18 to 34 male demographic was simply not watching TV at the levels it used to. You can probably thank computer games, the Internet, and alternative video sources like YouTube for that.
It’s not hard to come to the conclusion then, that the people with a lot to lose are not going to be saying nice things about the media that are threatening them. It’s probably not a stretch to believe that these same old media moguls are not above putting their large resources to work discrediting the new media forms and making life generally difficult.
Fox News for example is one of the more alarmist and extreme services around. (I hesitate to call them a news service.) We’ve seen examples of their behavior in the recent past with the whole Mass Effect scandal. While the academic at the center of that actually recanted and apologized, Fox News made no further comment. Does this mean they’re more interested in the scandal than the truth?
It was only a few days ago that a US based morality watchdog group referred to the US Constitution as a suicide pact. They were upset that the constitution allowed game developers and the producers of other violent media the same freedom of speech that they themselves enjoyed.
In other countries like Brazil, the judiciary are busy banning games, some of them over nine years old, saying that they undermine the public order and that players are subversives — that’s not all that far from saying that computer game players are terrorists. In recent days there have been reports of the new US installed government in Afghanistan banning, or discussing the banning, of computer games including consoles. So much for democracy.
Even here in my home state, there are politicians who don’t want to give computer games the same ratings that are available to movies. These politicians are actively against an R18 rating for games. Ironically, an R rating would help parents make better informed decisions on their game purchases. Blocking an R18 rating works against parents who want to do the right thing and buy appropriately rated games for their kids.
It seems the whole world is arrayed against computer games and the people who play them.
I know some of you guys could care less about what other people, especially politicians and watchdog groups, think about the games that you play. After all, you’ll go out and play GTA IV or Age of Conan regardless.
And if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone. Right?