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Tycho / on Mon, Aug 11 2003 at 12:26 am

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Send This To Your Local Paper

More than a few humans sent in the following political cartoon, such as it is.  It’s entirely possible that we will receive a request to remove that cartoon from our site today, and if that should occur, just look down into the toilet when you finish for a reasonable facsimile of the work in question.  We had another cartoon about Freaky Flyers all written up, but once we’d both seen this Dr. Frankenstein bullshit we had to do something in that vein.  So, here’s our take on the issue of videogame violence as we see it, and it comes with homework:  submit the cartoon to the editorial section of your local paper.  Go ahead, I can wait.

The cartoon is wrong on many levels - the entire release list for 2003 consists of a good deal more than just a Postal game and Vice City, Frankenstein’s actual equipment for perverting the young would appear more baroque, etc.  But I find it particularly jarring that he’s chosen to riff on the First Amendment, suggesting that it is somehow a perversion of its mission to communicate things and be protected.   

I guess you could say it’s something of a sore subject for me.

He should try producing a work that does more that tweak the nose of power, something that asks serious questions of it, something that combines cleverness and art into a weapon and see how far it gets with his editor.  Then, perhaps the First Amendment won’t be some ethereal concept worthy of ridicule when it protects other people and something tangible and obvious when it governs his own creative output.       

Here are the facts of the matter, for old people who can’t be bothered to inform themselves:  Videogames are a form of entertainment, like other forms of entertainment.  It’s shocking that I would have to reiterate that, but apparently there is a deep idiocy setting in out there, and I need to try and get this in before it hardens completely.  Much the same way that our society has determined that a rated R movie contains material that is unacceptable for our tender young, so too have we determined that videogames rated M include things we might not like young children to see.  Assuming that videogames did transform respectful youngsters into slavering sharpshooter rapists, it’s not a point I’ll grant in any other context, but let’s say it’s true:  Where did they get the (then) two or three hundred dollar Playstation 2 to run this toxic software?  The computer with the 3D hardware?  The broadband connection?  I really want to know what societal dementia persists in letting parents off the hook for this shit. 

(CW)TB out.

must not sleep
must warn others

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