Tuesday, January 29, 2008

game politics

This is a repost of my response to Julian's post here:

The reason so many politicians take wild stances against video games is because they're never offered a tempered, realistic view from anybody. Nearly everyone takes an extreme viewpoint, meaning that those politicians never hear real sense. Politicians will back off from condemning all games when gamers and game developers are willing to recognize that some games really do merit censorship.

The recent Fox News - Mass Effect debacle is a great example. I admire Geoff Keighley, and I think he showed patient restraint in that roundtable. But he said exactly what they knew he'd say. Regardless of whether Mass Effect was innocent of the network's charge or not, of course a game journalist was going to claim it was harmless, right? They might have actually listened to him if he said something to the effect of, "Look, I realize there are games out there that are sensationalist and problematic, but Mass Effect isn't one of those games."

It's the lack of a middle ground in such discussions that keeps everyone yelling at each other from the far sides of the field. If someone reasonable and well-placed like Geoff would just step into that territory, a civil and realistic discussion could begin between gamers and politicians.

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