“Video games are a form of expression protected by the First Amendment”

This is slightly stale in terms of news, but I didn’t see it until I returned home to the land of freedom, America. Where we (try to) ban books and video games. The good news? In California, the rulng against age limits on game sales was upheld.

Predictably enough, our governor and the gray-haired folks in the state legislature lose another attempt at restricting “patently offensive” violent video games. The courts strike down the law. Same result as when other states try the last few years. And very likely, just like what would happen if Lieberman were to get a federal law passed.

Let me summarize the core of the issue: People that don’t play video games, and generally people over 40 (that means just about all elected officials), firmly hold to the belief that video games are for kids. Period. In that view, there is no place in the world for GTAIV or any game that has the equivalent of R-rated content. Adults that play video games are all deviants or losers living in their parent’s basement. (Is that a straw man attack? Sort of!)

Film suffered from other stigmas growing up, but never this one. I don’t have a clue how the gaming industry gets out from the trap. As soon as you say “game,” much of the world thinks “kids.” Ignore the fact that they play games on their blackberry or iPhone.

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