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Freedom to Game

Who should regulate entertainment?

By James Stevenson     June 06, 2003


GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY
© 2002 Rockstar

I'll admit it, I'm a media junkie. If I'm not writing and watching TV, I'm playing videogames (doing "research" as I like to say) or going out to a plethora of films. I average almost two films a week in the heavy film season, and a weekend just isn't a weekend if I haven't been to a movie theater, just like a day isn't quite a day if I haven't advanced my WORLD SERIES 2K3 franchise by a day or four. It's rather funny, I guess I didn't realize how many films I saw on a weekly basis until Sarah was noted how she always waited for movies to come out on DISH until we met... heck, we've already seen MATRIX RELOADED twice.


It's rather odd in some ways, things I do all the time were impossible to do 100 years ago. There were few movies, no TV, and no videogames. Yet I still find much enjoyment in good literature, theater, art, and concerts. There is a lot of freedom in this country that we enjoy without even realizing it, such as the freedom to enjoy much of this art that is produced without regulation from the government. Recently though, there was a move made to criminalize the sale of violent videogames to minors.


The United States Eight Circuit Court of Appeals recently struck down a St. Louis county law that made it illegal to sell video games to minors. They stated that videogames were protected by the First Amendment and that there is no reason for the government to regulate games on behalf of parents, especially since the Federal Trade Commission has reported that that 83% of videogame purchases are made with influence from parents.


Even without this law, there are already many places that are cautious about selling games to minors.

GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY

You'll find it difficult at many franchise game shops to get a mature rated game without being seventeen or older, and places like Wal-Mart even fall into this. Even with that and the Interactive Digital Software Association's best efforts, there will always be places where kids will get access to games they don't want their kids to play.


Don't want your kid to be playing GRAND THEFT AUTO? No problem, don't let it in your house, but there will always be Billy across the street who has a copy of the game. Just like back in the days there were always the kids who had Playboy or whatever else for that matter. It won't always be possible to shelter your kids, the obligation still falls on parents to train their kids to make the best decisions, even when they run into some sort of objectionable content. The government can't do that, but parents still can, even in this age of digital entertainment.


TIDBITS



Elpida Media will provide RAM for the PlayStation 3... UNREAL TOURNAMENT 2004 will feature fully controllable vehicles... Nintendo's Space World 2003 has been canceled... MAFIA will be released for the PS2 and Xbox... METAL GEAR SOLID 3 is indeed set in the 60s and may revolve around the character Big Boss... RTX RED ROCK has

SONIC ADVENTURE DX

gone gold...


ON SHELVES



Since we probably won't see GALAXIES this week, I'll take SONIC ADVENTURE DX for the GameCube. Should be fun to play through that game again along with the new extras that are being included.



Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.

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