EU demands game developers play parents, protect kids from violent PS3, Xbox 360, Wii titles

April 23, 2008

You might laugh off the whole concept of violent Wii titles, but it isn’t out of the question. As for the EU, it is calling for an industry-designed code for what is acceptable to depict in video games and what could be damaging to impressionable youth. I don’t see what the problem is what that…after all, you can’t honestly expect parents to actually monitor their kids’ activities and video games, can you?

Probably the most enjoyable snippet from the Reuters article on the EU’s decision to make game developers create their own code of conduct came from Meglena Kuneva, Commissioner for EU Consumer Protection. She said, “When children go out to play today they enter the world of joysticks. We are not quite sure where they go and there is real anxiety from parents.”

If we were all sitting in a big internet room talking to each other, I would assuredly be looking around with a crazed incredulous look on my face. This kind of statement frustrates me to no end. She must, I have to believe, be speaking in jest.

You’re seriously telling me that the you aren’t sure where your children are when they go into the room in your home in which you’ve put the video game system you’ve bought them, and begin playing a violent video game they had to have you buy for them to get their underaged little hands on it? If parents are really wringing their hands and sweating blood over what evil could be befalling their impressionable young ones while they sit a room away playing a video game those parents are incapable of prohibiting, then there really is no hope for society.

I digress. The EU has the power to enact legislation for a new “code” for game developers, but hopes that those game developers will do the “right” thing and come up with a code on their own. The EU, just like any other regulatory institution with a god complex, hopes that developers will both enjoy creative freedom but handle their creations maturely and responsibly in the interests of keeping kids from seeing violent images.

Though this latest bit in the government’s war on gaming isn’t anything too new; its easy to make games a scapegoat for parental indifference.

I’m going to make a prediction: with Grand Theft Auto 4 due to hit stores within a matter of days, I am willing to bet that the news will be lauding the sins of the game on just about any news station you turn to; parents will hear the warnings, speak out against violence in video games, and those same folks will be buying copies of the game for their 13 year old kid. And who will get blamed? Not the people who should, that is certain.

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