Madness! Madness, I Say!

Politicians are insane. They get in an uproar over non-pornographic depictions of consentual sex between adults, and yet they don’t react with as much fervour to depictions of violent crime in all sorts of media.

Game Girl Advance puts the Hot Coffee scandal (and now the brewing Sims hoopla — no pun intended!) into perspective (N.B. — The ages listed correspond to the “M” rating, games suitable for people aged 17 and older, and the “T” rating, games suitable for people 13 and older.):

What’s okay in GTA (the series) for seventeen year olds:

Assault with a deadly weapon.
Vehicular homicide/manslaughter
Grand theft auto (duh)
Sex with prostitutes (tastefully hidden!)
Drug trafficking

What’s not okay in GTA (the series) for seventeen year olds:

Consentual softcore sex between two adults, one of which is fully clothed.

What’s okay in Sims (the series) for thirteen year olds:

Removing a ladder from a pool to induce drowning.
Locking someone in a room until they die from exhaustion.
Intentionally getting sims to wet/soil themselves.
Voyeurism (Sims taking showers)
Tricking people into setting themselves on fire in a kitchen.

What’s not okay in Sims (mostly 2) for thirteen year olds:

Consentual implied sex between two adults, nudity mosaic’d out and they basically play under the sheets making monkey and dog noises.

In this post on Game Politics, one mod community argues in a letter to Clinton, Yee, and Thompson that there have been far more contentious video games released with an M-rating, which have not received the flak that San Andreas has gotten:

In recent statements by the ESRB, they have accused the mod community of undermining their ratings by putting sexually explicit material into PC games, namely San Andreas, which was already rated “M”. However, if you look into a game by the name of “Singles – Flirt up your Life”, it becomes quite clear they are doing a good job of that all by themselves. This “M” rated game features full frontal nudity (and not androgynous “barbies” like The Sims) and characters engaging in interactive sexual scenes.

More from the mod community on this issue. [Via Cathode Tan]

The Truth About Violent Youth and Video Games is an interesting article which compares US Government Statistics on youth crime to the release dates of Grand Theft Auto games and launch dates of the PS1 and PS2:

US Department of Justice report: “Recently, the offending rates for 14-17 year-olds reached the lowest levels ever recorded.”

The lowest levels ever recorded. In other words, the Playstation era has, in fact, produced the most non-violent kids ever.

[Via Pixel Kill]

More voices of reason, from Reality Panic.

I know. I wasn’t going to say anything about Hot Coffee, but this whole situation is frustrating, and I couldn’t contain myself. Fluffy Guild Wars posts will resume in due course.

  1 comment for “Madness! Madness, I Say!

  1. 26 July 2005 at 16:18

    I remember getting into conversation with someone once about violence and gaming and basically saying that it was kind of a violent world, and that we’re kind of violent people and you kind really blame video games for that.

    The response was something about how not every game was GTA and how Sims was extremely popular and what not.

    I then reminded them that not a single person I ever knew who was seriously into the Sim had not been guilty of some form of homicide while playing the game. They all succumbed to that urge to barricade some annoying Sim into the shower to ultimately soil themselves and die.

    Somewhere out there is a real conversation about video games, violence, culture and ourselves. But we’re not going to have it with politicians and lawyers at the wheel.

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