The American government are now trying to ban the sale or rental of “violent video games” to children. Not that games (like in the UK) dont have an ESRB rating, they are trying to get these sales of ‘hyper violent’ games only sold lawfully, making it stricter. It seems that a lot of these adult themed games are getting into the hands of younger people that aren’t ready to be exposed to such content as killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being. Video games are seen by some as childish, possibly by many parents, who dont see or realise the content within a game, when purchasing for their child. Sales and rentals from shops come under the same scrutiny, they are more lax when it comes to the sale of an age restricted contents to minors, even with an I.D system in place, these sorts of sales dont get looked upon as harshly as the sale of tobacco and alcohol. Video games may not be as harmful as tobacco and cigarettes, but according to James Steyer, Sense Media founder and CEO, there’s no question that there is scientific evidence that these products can have a negative impact on children. Specifically, he cited the reputable Journal of Pediatrics as a scientific source that has correlated game playing with real-life violence and aggression. He also stated that games can have an extraordinary impact on children’s psychological development, and I agree with him, maybe not 100 percent, but think that young children cannot understand some of the content being seen in a lot of todays computer games.
What the American government propose is to have a 2″ x 2″ black & white sticker on 18 rated games (more than twice the size of current rating emblems) and retailers selling games to underage children would be fined $1000. I see no problem with this, and can see the UK government steeping in this direction soon.
Below James Steyer, Activision Blizzard executive vice president and chief public policy officer George Rose who were taking the opposition.