Monday, December 17, 2007

Should the Government Regulate Video Games?

This was the title of a resent article published by on the popular video game website IGN.  In the article, they highlighted a recent study released by Hill & Knowlton which suggested that the majority of adults would like to see more government oversight as it  comes to the sale of "Mature" video games. 

This study was quickly shot down by the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) which stated that the study was incomplete.  The ESA, then went on to talk about how they are helping to protect children and educate parents with there rating system, etc..  But they never really released any counter information to discredit the study, and so we are only left with nothing more than a PR statement.

Do I believe that the government should regulate video games? Yes I do. Why?  Because we can't trust retailers to be responsible in respecting ESRB ratings.  If I was a parent and my kid wanted Manhunt 2 or any similar game, I wouldn't buy it for him or her.  But,  if there is nothing stopping retailers from selling the game to my kids they might just run out and buy the game with out my permission.  I know I would if I knew my parents wouldn't allow me to get a game I wanted.  Do I believe that my child would become a murderer because he played violent video games.  No, but I wouldn't want to subject my child to that type of content in case he ever became depressed or anger.  One thing that I have personally noticed is that my friends that are easily angered (or bitter) seem to consume a lot of violent programming.  I'm not sure if it is the violent movies or video games that have helped them to be more aggressive or if they are aggressive and so they consume so much violence.  This being said, I don't want to learn the answer at my child's expense. 

And so, I do support government oversight in this area.  And it is fine if you disagree with me. 

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