5 Ways the Government is Getting Involved With Your Video Games
Normally I abhor fear mongering in journalism as a base practice designed to control a population through paranoia, but I grew a mustache recently and that means I'm now my own evil twin. With that in mind I'm here to tell you that the government is absolutely going to come for your video games in the name of protecting our children. Mwa ha ha.
You can't say you didn't see it coming. In the wake of any school shooting tragedy someone is going to bring up the most gory first-person shooter they can find and call it murder practice. Doom, Call of Duty, BioShock, just whatever's handy when it's time to run five seconds of footage on the news showing people mowed down with digital gunfire.
Previously I stated that the connection between gun deaths and video games was non-existent, but after some time to think about it I've decided to be the bigger man here. We live in a society that celebrates violence unabashedly in most of our art forms. Violent video games are an extension of that. Even though I stand by what I said about there being no causal link between a few hours of Hitman: Absolution and a real-world massacre I cannot deny that both are products of America's love affair with Second Amendment solutions to problems. That's why we're looking at...
Connecticut State Representative DebraLee Hovey (R) represents the district where the Newtown shooting took place back in December. Her response to the tragedy is a 10 percent "sin tax" on the sale of all Rated-M games. Despite the fact that children under 17 are prohibited from purchasing these games by all major retailers, Hovey's reasoning is that this doesn't stop them from being played when complacent parents purchase them as gifts. As the makers of Catherine can tell you, proving that parents and stores have no idea what is actually in the games their kids play isn't hard at all.
Hovey wants to use the money raised to fund mental health programs that educate people on video game addiction and dangerous antisocial behavior. While I can applaud the sentiment she's going for, there's not really much chance of the law going forward. The Supreme Court decided in 2010 that video games were covered under free speech and such arbitrary laws condemning them were unconstitutional.
On the other hand, the national law being proposed by Utah Representative Jim Matheson (D) that would make distributing a game without a prominently displayed rating illegal has a better shot.
One of the many executive actions President Obama instituted as part of his new gun control agenda was reversing a 17-year freeze on government investigation into the links between gun ownership and gun violence. When you wonder why there are so many conflicting reports about homicide by firearms and conceal carry statistics, it's because gun-rights activists basically blocked Center For Disease Control scientists from looking into the matter in the 1990s and no one has touched it since.
Now they're back on track to once again to look into the connections, with a proposed $10 million funding for the project. Apparently the role of violent video games in gun deaths is right in the sights of the scientists. No word yet on if they will also tackle what turns MMO participants into unapologetic racist douchebags.