This is part two of (who knows how many) my thoughts on games and censorship.
Without further ado, here is the second encounter I wanted to share.
It’s late and my shift is nearly done. I’ve had a good day, so when a mother and her (fairly) young sons come into look for a game I’m happy to help them. They look around for a few minutes before coming to ask me directly to help them find a specific game. They wanted Mortal Kombat X for Xbone. Since the mother had asked for it, I happily did my job and collected the game, and proceeded to bring it back to her. Now, I’ll admit, given that (some) mother’s can be pretty irate and irrational about violent games, I couldn’t in good conscience just let her just walk out of the store with the game without at least giving her a heads up as to the nature of the MK series.
Now, it’s definitely not my job to make sure that parent’s are paying attention to what they’re buying their kids, nor is it my job to tell them how to parent. That being said, I do make sure that the subject is broached. Of course, I certainly I’m not going tell anyone not to buy something, especially not a game, simply because it contains violence. However, I feel like I’m bereft in my duties if I don’t at least acknowledge it. Usually, it’s met with thanks, and they’re pleased to know that someone who knows a lot about the material is there to guide them. And, beyond that, that their children won’t be arbitrarily be able to purchase an M rated title without them being present.
Now, this is where the story hits (the somewhat common) [the] twist.
I proceed to explain that the entire point of the game is essentially to beat your opponent, and then dismember them is the gruesomest ways imaginable. We began to have, what I consider to be one of the more intelligent, discussions of violence in gaming. I’m beyond impressed to see a mother, despite having fairly young children in mind, that she is taking an incredibly rational approach. Which, simply, was: I know my kids aren’t violent, and no amount of playing a videogame is going to turn them into sociopaths who intend to harm people because of some (hi-res) digital sprites. That being said, the weird part of the conversation happened at this moment.
She had, essentially, shooed her children away, and began to question me, in hushed tones, as to what the sexual content was like in the game…So, the track jumped a bit. She is content and care-free discussing violence on an acceptable level, but sex/nudity = bad.
Basically, her argument:
Totally normal, admissible:
I just don’t get the hang-ups about sex in modern media. Once I had reassured her that there was little, to no “sexualisation” in the game, she took her children and purchased MKX.
I wish, I really do, that someone could rationalise for me, why tearing a body apart, and then cannibalising it is something that any age can both enact and witness, but bare breasts or simulated sex is a taboo still?
In this case, I just didn’t engage. I learn my lessons well. I generally know better than to question people’s decisions, especially that of a mother. Simply because I know it’s a futile choice – like ice-skating uphill.
But why is it that nudity and sex are reviled by the masses, but the worst elements of our society, violence and such, are so widely accepted?
Now, don’t mistake me for someone on the side of violence being worse than sex. Honestly, I could care less. So long as it’s not sex or violence for the sake of it. Generally, in games like God of War, I always found the sex to be pretty dumb.
Well, looks like this will be a three-part’er.
– The Ego