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A case for video game censorship -- from Appalachia State

Filed under: Video Game Politics
Posted by Allison on November 9, 2006 10:27 AM
Comments (0) |

A few months ago I posted a funny promotional video for Appalachia State University, which looked like it had been put together by Mrs. Johnson and her third grade class:



At the time, I had to remind myself that such a video did not reflect the quality of education coming from the school. However, I came across an opinion piece today from an ASU student which, again, showed those third graders were hard at work.

The editorial, entitled, "Video games too inappropriate", begins by telling us all that it is "insane" that 83 percent of homes with children have a video game system. Ah, but not all of these games are in place for "pure evil", as some, "teach languages, help with medical conditions or terminal illnesses and improve problem solving or math skills".

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The "writer" then focuses on 'Bully', Rockstar's latest game, which the ESRB deemed so tame it gave it a T-rating. "In 'Bully'," she writes, "players can tease people, hit people with dodge balls and pull pranks. The game, full of inappropriate actions that could get any highschooler expelled, is the last thing American youth should be ‘playing'."

She concludes by suggesting we follow the models of countries that have banned some of the more violent video games. Because, I guess, censorship is the kind of thing adults should be 'playing'.

Like so many things happening in our country these days, this would be hilarious if it weren't so tragic. Video games can not be defined as a group any more than you can define books as a group. Sure, some books teach you English and math, but others are pretty violent and suggest evil things (one, by a guy named Hitler, even caused a genocide). But, of course, the overwhelming majority of books are found someplace between the two extremes, and provide entertainment. Sometimes, you even learn something while being entertained. The same goes for video games.

I understand there are going to be people like this editorial writer who can't quite wrap their brains around the social commentary found in games like 'Bully', and, instead, opt to call it 'stereotyping' (after all, I'm sure there were many who thought 'Animal Farm" was about an animal farm). I just wish they'd stop thinking it's OK to write such opinions in newspapers and think they're not going to have their bluff called. Play some games before judging them. And, while you're at it, read a book. I hear it's good for the brain.






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