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Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Bill for Video Games Arrives before a Bill for Guns

Posted by on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 7:25 AM

This is how the US does it...

This morning, Sen. Jay Rockefeller introduced legislation in the Senate “to arrange for the National Academy of Sciences to study the impact of violent video games and violent programming on children.” It’s depressing to see lawmakers rushing after diversions in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, when the conversations we ought to be having should be about gun control and mental health treatment, among other structural factors. And it’s even worse when you consider that Rockefeller’s wholly redundant bill has hit the floor of Congress before any gun legislation was introduced.
The video game industry will generate $70 billion in 2012, which is more than double what the gun industry will generate in the same period. Yet you will not find a politician who fears the video game industry like he/she fears the gun industry. Obviously the gun situation is not about money or the industry (the base) but entirely in the sphere of ideology (the superstructure).

 

Comments (23) RSS

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Theodore Gorath 1
More likely that politicians feel that people who like guns vote in higher numbers than people who like video games.

Furthermore, you can say you want to study and restrict who can buy certain video games, and no one fears Obama is going to come take Tetris away from you.

But say the same exact thing about guns, and certain people just go insane with fear and paranoia.

Also, it should be stated that video games are not one of our "inalienable rights," and therefore they should not be considered on the same level as guns. Because like it or not, the law of the land is you can own guns.

No such protections for video games.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on December 20, 2012 at 7:42 AM · Report this
2
Efforts to restrict gun ownership are foiled by gun owners, not the gun industry.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 20, 2012 at 7:46 AM · Report this
3
Well said Charles.

Hey, gun nut vampires: fuck you.
Posted by cracked on December 20, 2012 at 8:06 AM · Report this
treacle 5
Where's the debate on mental health care? Where's the legislation to improve mental health care access?
Posted by treacle on December 20, 2012 at 8:20 AM · Report this
6
Targeting violent fantasy is an easy... target.

What would make more sense is targeting real-world violent and inflammatory speech that divides people, pits them against each other, and promotes a life-and-death sense of survival. Fascism, race-baiting, religious paranoia ("the War on Christmas/Christians/Etc."), moral apocalypticism, etc., cheapens life and inflames the minds of those with poor impulse control.

It's time to cleanse the radio airwaves of those pandering to a sense of imminent demise of the white, Christian male and filling them with a sense of hate. We have a right of free speech in this country, but the airwaves are publicly owned, and by charter, licensed (for free!) to those who would serve the public good. It's time to take a look at violent and demeaning speech. We, the people, own those airwaves and have a right to control who gets the licenses.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on December 20, 2012 at 8:22 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 7
Video games? Really? Senator Jay Rockefeller is a fucking horses ass.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on December 20, 2012 at 8:25 AM · Report this
--MC 8
Crack down on gun owners! Crazy talk! Why, those people have GUNS!
Posted by --MC on December 20, 2012 at 8:27 AM · Report this
9
And what about heavy metal music? Is that too '80's? I feel like something has been left out.
Posted by floater on December 20, 2012 at 8:39 AM · Report this
10
They're just going through their amendments in numerical order.
Posted by Proteus on December 20, 2012 at 8:43 AM · Report this
Fnarf 11
Another delightful turd dropped on America from West Virginia. Go fuck your mother, Rockefeller.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 20, 2012 at 8:52 AM · Report this
Pick1 12
Ah, violent video games, the great scapegoat. Though, with the internet much stronger than it was during Columbine (when video games became the great scapegoat) I don't know if it will have the power it did back then.

And even back then, it didn't work very well...just ask Jack Thompson.
Posted by Pick1 on December 20, 2012 at 9:03 AM · Report this
13
Eh, well, proposing research done by the NAS is not the same thing as outright legislation.
In fact, it can be beneficial - even if it just reinforces how irrelevant it is on something like this...or just how it fits into our cultural ecosystem.
Posted by hominidX on December 20, 2012 at 9:13 AM · Report this
14
@6 Why stop there? All Republicans are responsible for Newtown! They should all be put away in jail!
Posted by _db_ on December 20, 2012 at 9:15 AM · Report this
treacle 15
Well, the thing with FPS video games is not that it "makes" anyone violent, it's that they measurably improve your hand-eye coordination.
Posted by treacle on December 20, 2012 at 9:16 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 16
Chaz, since I've been alive, its all about political parties:

Video Game / artistic censoring = Republican

Gun restrictions = Democrat

Duh.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on December 20, 2012 at 9:42 AM · Report this
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on December 20, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
19
Look on the bright side. The last few times this happened, the video game industry wasn't nearly as big. As you point out, they're now bigger than the gun industry (and the movie industry, I believe). This time, they can hire lobbyists and mobilized their customers (contact your representative--here's their info since we know where you are--& unlock this cool thing). Congress is used to treating video games like a wimpy kid. They may be about to discover that they've grown up and have been learning how things work in DC (wouldn't it be fun to watch the gaming industry take down someone like the banks took down Luger, just to show they can?).
Posted by usagi on December 20, 2012 at 10:09 AM · Report this
20
Eh, I'm not so sure he doesn't fear the lobby. It's only for research. Back in the days of Lieberman, Gore, and HIllary Clinton, we'd be talking about bans.
Posted by GermanSausage on December 20, 2012 at 10:26 AM · Report this
Red_Ruth 21
Maybe some day we'll lock up the scary, scary gun nuts instead of the pot smokers, drug addicts and mentally ill. Maybe when video gamers amend the 2nd Amendment.
Posted by Red_Ruth on December 20, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 22
@18 I still love Twisted Sister's We're Not Gonna Take It being on the filthy 15. Of all the tracks, that's the most innocent one.

I also believe that Tipper Gore and the PMRC was one of the primary reasons Al Gore lost the election.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on December 20, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 23
@1,

Free speech isn't one of our inalienable rights?
Posted by keshmeshi on December 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 24
What's ridiculous to me is that the self-regulating video game industry is even more conservative than the MPAA. I've played video games that contained content that would have passed muster in any PG-13 movie, but was rated "mature". Even the Sims is rated teen, when it contains nothing I would consider objectionable for any child old enough to work the controls.
Posted by keshmeshi on December 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 25
Looks like they are going after the 1st amendment too, all the political elite care about is regulation your life.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on December 20, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this

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