The awesome CEO of Insomniac, Ted Price touched on a subject today on his blog about the right to express ourselves as gamers, developers, reviewers alike in the video game industry.
The blog post started out about how Ted spoke to a reviewer who misquoted him recently in fairly lengthy interview and took his quotes out of context. While Ted made it obvious as to what he really meant and what was really said, this situation was just a prologue to the real problem at hand.
November 2nd, the US Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments on the banning of violent video games to minors. Now you ask yourself…”Why would I want to stop that? It seems perfectly reasonable!” Well that is not exactly true. If this California law is to pass, it can and most likely will ignore ESRB ratings and make the classification of violent video games completely arbitrary and up to the government on a case by case basis.
If this law passes, it will be illegal for certain games to be sold to minors despite the ESRB rating. No other media has any laws of this scale pinned against them. Children under 18 are allowed to watch Rated R movies with an adult present, Music can be bought, kids can read (and often are made in high school) books like Oedipus Rex. Not only will this law halt the creativity of devs and impose the consumer with government censorship on video games, but as Ted points out, these types of laws could easily find their way to other forms of entertainment like movies, music and books more easily if this law is to pass.
Ted ended his blog post with a strong challenge…
And one article doesn’t do it. Those who are reporting the news should be treating this case with the gravity it deserves – giving us frequent updates, interviewing those involved, opining on the outcome and explaining the consequences of a decision that goes against gamers.
But the time is now. The US Supreme Court hears oral arguments beginning November 2nd and a decision will probably follow quickly. There are a few short weeks for gamers to be heard before it’s too late.
I challenge the news sites to carry the flag on this issue, to make it a key and ongoing story. Because ultimately whatever decision is made will affect them too.
Who’s going to rise to that challenge?
Written by: Eddie
- Contributing Editor