Thursday, January 18, 2007

No, really, fuck off.

I briefly mentioned that the German government has often been disturbingly reactionary about censorship, but this takes the piss. It's fine for you to carry out your confused moralistic crusading in your own country, but please do not share it with the rest of us. The rest of Europe hasn't taken kindly to German politicians trying to inflict their philosophies upon us in the past.

Censorship, and the outright banning of games, is not the way to protect children. Children do not need protection from the publishers and retailers who make up the videogame industry. These people are not forcing anyone to buy the games. If a game is violent, it has a recommended or restricted age limit applied to it. So how do kids get hold of violent games? Quite simple - their parents buy them for them, through ignorance or an unwillingness to say 'no' and actually discipline their child.

When I worked at Gamestation, the number of times I told a parent that the game they were buying was unsuitable for their child, only to be told that 'they see worse on TV' or similar, frankly beggars belief. People buying GTA: Vice City, for absolute strangers, just because they handed them money on the streets and told them that the big mean men in the games store wouldn't give them their game. Of course, we didn't sell it to any of these guys either, but there's no guarantee that they weren't going to another store and doing the same thing.

Responsibility for the consumption of facets of our culture, be they games, films, art, abso-fucking-lutely anything, lies with the individual, or the parents, if they're a minor. In trying to legislate for these things, you are essentially abandoning any hope that people can decide upon anything for themselves, or even raise their kids.

Oh well.

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