Tuesday, July 24, 2007

We're all censors

One of the reasons I created this blogsite was so I could organize and store my ideas for later reference. It's useful to be able to retrace my thoughts when a familiar discussion arises. So I hope Brent won't mind if I copy a comment of mine about the Shut Up! We're Talking #5 podcast to here.

The word "censorship" often gets used as if any censorship is inherently a bad thing, so it's important to keep in mind that nearly everbody approves of censorship of some kind or in some area.

When I hear people complaining about censorship of any media (games, movies, books, etc.), the thought that I think is usually underlying their words is that sex and violence are subjects that we should be more free to show or discuss. Odds are, those same people would not complain about censorship in the form of preventing a game from making jokes about "fags" or poking fun at people with disabilities. They also might not complain if censorship prevented games that praised Nazi ideology or rebels killing civilians with bus bombs.

So whenever we're talking about censorship, it helps to remember that what we're really talking about is "What should be censored?" and "How should it be censored?". It's not just uptight conservatives and paranoid parents who call for censorship. You're a censor, too.

Incidentally, I usually don't bother to enter censorship discussions about games, because most internet posters would probably include among those "uptight conservatives". Being a Southerner and an orthodox Catholic, I rarely see eye-to-eye with entertainment industry folks on social issues. =P

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