Here’s something I haven’t touched on, but something that has always stuck in my craw: Politics and gaming.
I guess it hasn’t been in the news much lately, which is definitely a good thing. But I think that the topic is something worth putting out there. I think it’s the mentality behind it, and the ignorance involved.
Now, I could pull hundreds of links to articles about such and such a politician or “concerned” parents groups who want X videogame banned for X reason (usually violence or sex).
But I’ll do something a little different. I won’t quote articles or show statistics or anything like that. Instead, I’ll pull a couple of direct experiences that I had.
I had a cop come into the store where I work. He came in looking to buy a game for his son, who was somewhere in the tween to teen age group. Now, I generally don’t advocate for or against violent games. I play them. But there isn’t any kind of urge that draws me to something violent for violence’s sake. That being said, I asked him what sorts of games his son liked to play. He gave me the usual list, which of course included Call of Duty. Now, the officer went on to tell me that his son desperately wanted Grand Theft Auto V. And, as he so plainly put it, it wasn’t happening. Which I totally get, and respect. Every parent should make those choices for their children – that’s what being a good, attentive parent is all about. Whenever I have parents coming in to ask questions and they want to know which games are age appropriate, I always teach them about the ERSB rating. It’s the easiest and best way for them to be able to educate themselves when someone who isn’t as attentive as I am is their only resource. The situation took a turn for the stupid at that moment.
Where I took issue with the interaction was when the cop told me that GTA advocates and promotes rape; as if that were an actual aspect necessary to the game. Now, granted, we could have a philosophical debate as to whether or not prostitution technically constitutes rape, but that’s not the point. He seemed to be under the impression that it was required, at some point, to engage in the rape of a woman.
And, no matter how hard I tried to explain my point, he wouldn’t hear it. While I admit, the game is certainly not something I would recommend for an impressionable audience, I can’t at the same time, stand idly by while someone bloviates pure, unadulterated ignorant garbage. If his point had simply been – there is too much violence and sexual violence for me to purchase this for my son, I would both accept and respect that. However, instead he continued to put his head in the sand and stand on ceremony. I tried to explain to him that, yes it was possible to have sex with a prostitute, but that feature was not something that is along the natural progression of the game, and that it was really a small, unimportant (and frankly, dull) aspect to the game. He was relentless though. No fact or logic, no matter how well presented, could break through his reluctance to understand.
But then this leads to the question: If you have such a problem with violence (sexual or otherwise), why is CoD an acceptable choice? The equation for those games have been pretty consistently bad: Go to X country, kill X brown people. And, you know how I feel about the online play already…So, listening to, and lets be honest here, likely engaging in cursing, racial slurs and comments about how you’ve had sex with the majority of other people’s mothers is okay. But, having sex with a prostitute – totally unacceptable. That thought brings me to the other story that I had in mind.
More on this tomorrow.
– The Ego