8.8.05

Guitar And Video Games

So, I think I may need to explain a bit going into this post. First off, this is my first non-personal entry in a while. I keep trying to get away from personal stuff, but then something happens that just needs to go somewhere.

All right, first off, a little needs to be said about Jack Thompson. He is, as you can see on his website, a Miami attorney who seems Hell bent on stringing up any game developer, designer, writer, retailer, player, or really any one who has ever known of any video game that has offended his delicate moral sensibility.

Now, over in my "Comics" links section. See VG Cats? Go there. Now. Read it. All of them. I'll wait.

OK, all set? Good.

Now, Scott, the mind behind VG Cats, took a swipe at Mr Thompson, especially the whole hubbub around the GTA:SA "Hot Coffee" thingy. (Google it. It'll make sense. Unless you already know about it. Then don't. It'll be redundant.)

Email-larity ensues.

Now, if you read those e-mails, or Mr Thompson's own web site, one thing is perfectly clear. Jack Thompson is a raving lunatic.

However, there are still a lot of rational people out there who think that video games are meant for kids, and no adult content should ever enter into these games. And that's the problem. A lot of games aren't meant for kids.

Now, I know to a lot of you reading this, that is painfully obvious. But keep following me.

For some reason, the vast majority of people over, say, forty-five, see a video game, and think, "for kids". Same with anything that's animated. When I worked in a movie theater, there were soooo many parents who would show up with their seven-year-old and want to see the South Park movie. The staff would look at them as if they were insane. The parents would invariably respond "But, it's a cartoon!"

Yup, it is. And video games did start off as mainly as kid-stuff. But those kids who played video games in the beginning, are now the ones making the video games. And guess what? THEY'RE GROWN UP!!!

I guess my entire point is that I actually like the ESRB, the group that gives video games ratings. They do a decent job of saying, "This game is appropriate for teens, but not little kids, and here's why." They actually list why a title might be considered objectionable right on the box. And if Rock Star games pot the "Hot Coffee" bit into GTA as a "Ha ha, look what we got away with", they should be held accountable for that, even though someone would find the bit by "accidentally" modding their Playstation, downloading the hack needed, while standing on their head whistling the "Star Spangled Banner", which is what you need to do to see computer animated people getting it on.

But more than likely, RS had the code for that scene in a pre release version of the game, and forgot to take it out. Or hid it because it was easier than taking it out.

And parents need to get past the idea of video games being kids stuff, and actually looking at what they're buying their kids.

And I think all of us gamers need to e-mail Jack Thompson, and let him know that all gamers aren't stoned idiots, and we can put forth our arguments with out resorting to threats, name calling, or generally sounding like morons.

And if he threatens you with a law suit, point out the fact that he has a link to his e-mail address on his web page.

Oh, yeah. There's no guitar in this post, the title is a Sunny Day Real Estate reference.

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