Media Violence

by Peter Marus

The entertainment industry, which gets tons of tax breaks and kickbacks from our government, have been trying to get the heat off them about violence and put it on their biggest rivals creatively and financially, the video game industry.

Video games are still relatively new, so they haven't gotten the lobbyists or muscle in the government yet, so they are the easy target about content.  It also is a media that is interactive, where the player can influence the story they are experiencing.  It is also a media that makes Billions of dollars every year, and it makes more year over year.

All these things drive the entertainment industry mad.  Movies and TV can't have the interactivity with the viewer like videogames, and that leads to videogames to have deeper, richer stories that have depths movies can't ever get.  The entertainment industry also can't stand that the videogame industry has had more of an impact on technology (direct downloads, extra content with a purchase of a product, most forms of digital rights media, always on internet connection, etc.)than them, and they have to adapt to what the videogames have done.  They can't stand being in the back seat.  So they chose to throw money at the problem to try to censor and hobble the videogame industry, at the very least to keep them from pulling away and making the entertainment industry and their ways seem even more out of date and old.

Some facts about the videogame industry:

-They employ as many people-when looking from publisher to store-if not more people than the entertainment industry

-Their distribution systems are better and more efficient than most in the entertainment industry.

-They have a ratings system on par with the movie and TV mediums, and many stores do a better job age checking kids for videogames than movies or music.

-The writing staffs in videogame companies are more creative and more robust in their stories.  In fact, many of the current writers are former TV or Movie writers that were shunned by their former fields because their stories were too creative.

-Videogames make more profit per unit than most DVDs or movie viewings.

So you see, they are a ripe target for the Government.  Not because they have more violent content than movies or TV, but because the government haven't extorted them yet.  What about the kids who are allegedly influenced by games and made more violent?  Always look who funded the studies, and the fact is there has not been a definitive link to violent video games and kid's behavior.  

Besides, if there is a problem, it's more with the parents who are neglecting their kids by not doing the research themselves on the games their kids are asking for, and not monitoring their kids.  THEY are a problem more than the games themselves.

Video games are a form of art, no less art than a painting in the Louvre, or the movie "Citizen Kane" or any TV show.  At the very least, they should get the same protection as a movie or any other art.