Brownback is, of course, right. You can’t entrust the henhouse to the foxes, so it’s up to the roosters to stand guard. The thing is, though, what’s to keep developers from embedding violent/sexual/whatever content so deeply within a game that even playtesters can miss it? For instance, games with multiple outcomes; are the ESRB testers going to have to play the game through multiple times in order to rate it properly? What if they don’t even know how many possible outcomes there are? What if there are Hot Coffee-type Easter eggs planted in the game that the testers don’t know about? Are they going to have to employ expert hackers and disassemblers in addition to playtesters? The mind boggles.
Wouldn’t it be easier just to assess massive fines against developers/publishers who mislead the ratings board, and allow them to continue contributing samples the way they do now? This method has its own shortcomings as well, but it sure seems like a simpler, cheaper way to go.
Now, Brownback seeks something far more radical: not faith-based politics but faith in place of politics. In his dream America, the one he believes both the Bible and the Constitution promise, the state will simply wither away. In its place will be a country so suffused with God and the free market that the social fabric of the last hundred years – schools, Social Security, welfare – will be privatized or simply done away with. There will be no abortions; sex will be confined to heterosexual marriage. Men will lead families, mothers will tend children, and big business and the church will take care of all.
This legislation is bad tidings for the game industry as it signals that the industry will continue to be in the cross-hairs of politicians who see it as cheap and easy red meat to throw to the conservative base.
Leiberman (and Hillary) are opportunists who attack video gaming because its an easy target and it makes them look like they care about “family values”. Brownback is far scarier because he can mobilize the religious fundies.
becuase they base a lot of their decisions upon fairy tales and invisible men noone but them and theirs can see or hear?
Thats all fine when its ‘what kind of gas guzzling shitmonster SUV do I buy, lord?’ or ‘how hard should I smack my wife for burning the meatloaf, Jesus?’ but when it’s ‘should I try to jump start armageddon so I can git mah heaven on early, jebus?’ it grates a bit.
OK looks like I started a political discussion- maybe we move the thread.
The reason that I feel that Brownback is more dangerous than Hillary or Lieberman is because the latter two don’t have the organized reach to spread their false crusades against the game industry. They pop in front of a few cameras, make a few speeches, then move on to the next political opportunity.
Brownback, OTOH, is tied in with the religious right network in the US. From the Rolling Stone article I mentioned earlier
VAT (Values Action Team) is like a closed communication circuit with Brownback at the switch: The power flows through him. Every Wednesday at noon, he trots upstairs from his office to a radio studio maintained by the Republican leadership to rally support from Christian America for VAT’s agenda. One participant in the broadcast, Salem Radio Network News, reaches more than 1,500 Christian stations nationwide, and Focus on the Family offers access to an audience of 1.5 million. During a recent broadcast Brownback explains that with the help of the VAT, he’s working to defeat a measure that would stiffen penalties for violent attacks on gays and lesbians. Members of VAT help by mobilizing their flocks: An e-mail sent out by the Family Research Council warned that the hate-crime bill would lead, inexorably, to the criminalization of Christianity.
Brownback has the power to start a serious crusade against video gaming that will be supported by heavy campaign contributors like the Family Research Council. If this is the case, more politicians will fall into line behind him, as they receive donations from the same religious groups.
That is why Brownback entering the video game fray is much scarier than Joe and Hillary- the power he holds over the religious right voters can lead to more government oversight than anything we’ve seen yet.
Hey, assholes. Take your political bullshit to the Politics board and duke it out there. This thread has nothing to do with Brownback. He just happens to be the person introducing the legislation.
It’s a simple fact that, granting you’re going to have an ESRB, something like what he’s proposing seems necessary. Otherwise, you just let the developers decide how their games are going to be rated, which kind of defeats the purpose.
So…religious belief is an irreversible taint that justfies any actions necessary to prevent these people from having any political influence? Also, I stopped taking the feverish prose of Rolling Stone seriously a long time ago. True radicals don’t get that far in the political process, eventually the system will defend itself.
I’d be much more concerned about someone like Ms. Clinton, a cynical operator who would happily throw the games industry under the wheels for an opportunity to look solid on family values. Notice I didn’t use the word “frightened”? It’s silly to use that sort of language in a political discussion.
EDIT: heh, muttbunch has a point (and a great nick). I’m done.
I propose that all kids under 16 be banned from watching TV, going to movies, listening to music, attending concerts/theater/etc, and pretty much be barred from enjoying all forms of entertainment whatsoever.
That would have made me really mad about eight years ago. Now I think I’d rather screw kids over so that adults can enjoy Grown People Things ™. Then again, if you take away the excuse of “For the children!” it then simply becomes an issue of “Because I don’t like it.” Legislating taste is awesome.
Yeah, yeah, take the political shit out of this thread, blah blah blah. Too bad it is completely political. Blame the politicians. Blame the retailers. Blame yourselves. It’s all “I refuse to buy this!” or “I think censorship is bad!” until along comes a game you want to buy or you see something that really offends you. My favorite is “Don’t you dare censor my damned rock music!” and then “God damned rap isn’t good for anything, just a bunch of swearing and ‘nigga this’ and ‘bitch that’.” Or all of the controversy about Postal.