Games Are Porn

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Legal

HogWhen "God of War" creator David Jaffe said that games are porn during his speech at DICE a few weeks back, he was referring to the addictive nature of interactive entertainment. When Utah State Representative David Hogue (R-Riverton) said games are porn, he meant it.

Hogue successfully pushed a bill (HB 0257) through that ammended an existing pornography statue by adding violent videogames to the mix. In other words, violent videogames are now deemed obscene in Utah and anyone who distributes said porn to minors would be charged with a felony. The bill was passed by a 7-2 vote in a Utah House committee.

What separates this bill from previous efforts by states like California, Michigan, and Illinois is that violent games were tacked on to an existing pornography law. It's completely reasonable to have laws against the sale of pornography to minors. But simply defining violent videogames as pornography just doesn't float. Like the other videogame bills, this will surely be overturned as trade groups like the Entertainment Software Association and Interactive Entertainment Merchant's Association get involved. It's blatantly unconstitutional.

Games are not porn, although the porn industry is slowly experimenting with games like Naughty America. That MMO game will not be sold in mainstream retailers because it will get an Adults Only rating, which is like the NC-17 rating in Hollywood. Games are not obscene. Retailers wouldn't sell oscene games.

Hogue didn't specify nudity or sex in games, because there are few games that have nudity and no games feature sex (aside from the hot coffee mod which required an additional peripheral and a lot of navigating to find). Violence occurs in many games, just as it appears daily on free TV. For that matter, sex is prevalent on TV. Have you watched a soap opera for five minutes? Does that mean we should deam TV pornography as well?

This whole thing is so ludicrous. And it's not going to stop because it's election time and Democrats and Republicans are all taking the "save the children from evil violent games" approach in attempt to get lazy parents who should be minding their own kids to vote for them. Hollywood went through similar growing pains, but the fact that so many politicians, parents and mainstream media "talking heads" are so clueless about games isn't helping the problem.

In about 10 years, we won't see these types of political ploys any more because the older generation that "don't get" games will be moving into retirement homes. A whole generation of gamers will move into positions of power in the media, politics, business and Hollywood. One day soon, even the President of the United States will have grown up with videogames. That's the only way for this problemt to go away. Put the old folks who think all games are violent, sex-filled romps away to pasture and we can go on with our lives.


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