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Tycho / on Wed, Jun 22 2005 at 4:30 am

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Videogames Are In The News

I’m fairly certain we’ve got all the bases covered in our most recent strip.  The only thing we missed was Charles Schumer, but if he said something noteworthy I must have missed it.  The game he’s talking about - 25 To Life - also lets you play as cops, but it’s hard to imagine the man truly perceiving the fact.  When the scene plays out in my mind, the contradiction literally tears his brain apart.

Maybe it’s just because we’ve done comics on the topic for nearly seven years, but it’s getting harder and harder to understand why violence in electronic games warrants such brazen showmanship.  Presumably it’s all about the kids, but they always trot out a line of dirty-faced kids when they want to get their own shit through.  It’s like bringing your son to a restaurant, and then saying it was his birthday so you could get the free Mile High Mud Pie.  Maybe he gets a bite or something, but mostly you’d really like to eat five pounds of frozen cake and chocolate ice cream, and there’s not really any nobility associated with that. 

Doug Lowenstein always gets hauled out there to refute an hour’s worth of misinformation in five seconds, but how he’s supposed to do that is anybody’s guess.  He often talks about how it’s a relatively new medium - he’ll usually talk about comics or film - and these new mediums are intensely scrutinized for moral lapses, but that’s not good television.  When Jack Thompson salivates at the prospect of a “Columbine Times Ten” in prime time, your counterpoint can’t be a reasoned argument that takes a historical context into account.  It’s just not how television works.  You have to roll around on the ground and gibber about freedom and whatnot.   

If they really want to come across as chivalrous defenders of virtue, they need to go after Wonder Showzen.

Have you ever seen this show?  It’s on your “MTV2.”  I don’t really get offended, you should see some of the videos I have on my desktop for ready access, but if I was the sort of person who got offended for show and tried to get famous for it Wonder Showzen would be the tool I’d use to finally dismantle that pesky First Amendment.  If Charles Schumer or some other professional scold were to bring this program to wider public attention, it wouldn’t be like the Videogame Controversy, where they get up and yell, and then someone reminds them we live in The United States Of America, and everybody sits down with their hands neatly folded until the sequel.  No.  If the populace at large saw Wonder Showzen, there would be no public hearings, no televised debate, and certainly no warning.  You would just wake up one morning and your television would be gone.

(CW)TB out.

boys say wha


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