GTA case evolves. A conference held by the Government and Ministry of Culture proposed to forbid 5 dangerous videogames. The list is quite rare:
- Three Hundred The Video Game
- Killer Seven
- Hitman: Blood Money
- Fifty Cent: Bullet Proof
Both Hitman are rated Mature by the ESRB, as PEGI modulates his classification (hitman - 16+ and hitman: blood money 18+). The others are Mature. More than anything, some are very bad games, so they should be banned whatever the risk!
Resolutions were taken at the end ot the conference :
- Keeping an eye out and taking care of Thai youths so they are safe from dangerous games.
- Encourage all involved to take care of Thai youths and keep them away from dangerous games and games which are deemed "unwanted".
- Encourage the development of games and gaming stores as an educational outlet for youths.
- Regulate, inspect/enforce dangerous games and gaming stores.
- Educate Thai youths on the dangers of dangerous games.
The regulation issue seems to be the big thing, but the modalities are quite symptomatic: shop owners must fulfil a information mission, they should even educate consumers about game. It is like french national gambling association that asked dealers to inform gamblers about dependence risk.
Ask a drug dealer to inform junkies to limit their consumption. Such an antagonist posture. Moreover the main goal is the legal responsibility, who is to blame ? Producers, distributors, owners, players? And what about the State which is not able to assume his responsibilities? Violence issues are one of the State fundamentals, as shown by Max Weber, so why give this responsibility to private actors?
No doubt that from a liberal point of view, it would firstly be shop keepers, and furthermore consumers who had played the illegal game. No doubt that the industry will produce a self regulation, to avoid a tough censorship.
Other bad issue that would pleased game industry, lots of underground shops sell illegal copies. So governement and industry should fight all together according to their cross-interests.
The saddest thing in this story is that videogames are suffering a "pathologization" process. Playing games appears as a disease and as a drug.
I would ask a tricky question: isn't it because he wanted to grab a taxi without money that he killed the guy? Thai government as other occidental governments tries to elude social issues. The access to knives is not an issue, the poverty isn't too. It is like Littleton 99s, when public authorities discovered that the murderers were doom players. It was not NRA fault.... Virtual worlds are so powerful they provide real guns... they must be kidding.
Yep, it's quite effective to focus public opinion on game issue, and to take measures in order to prove people that government is efficient.
Moreover, other points are not so bad. Educate about games' danger is not a crime. It can even be interesting if they do have a critical approach and do not consider games as evil production. The main thing is that psychologist will take this market and will publish terrible books on game addiction, game killers, etc.
Well, defending civil liberties is respectable, but we do have to think about the State responsibility and imperatives. Gaming is not a crime, but would you let your child play GTA? So it is not so awful to think about a regulation, you would do that on your own. What must be taken care is the way the regulation will operate. Entertainment is one thing, and in order to stay entertainment, game industry should take care of social issues to preserve these leisure places.
A social debate is at stake, why do not take part of that one, have a constructive approach, educate politics about game and issues. If politics would realize that game are not a cause but a factor as many others, they would be less drastic. If game industry would accept that some ones are disturbed, they would not be so blind-dumb. The thing is that claiming liberty will not let you have it.
Just fight for it, not against but with regulators. En equilibrium is possible. A dialogue should make the debate evolve. If the two camps are still antagonist, be sure that the social conception of games will last for a long time: violence, addiction, etc. Fear fantasies are not a good motivation. Fight for games, fight with the policy makers and mainstream journalists.
If anyone here could be mature with mature games issues...