The video game disease
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 17 January 2013, 11:31 am
If you live in America and would come down with a case of the bubonic plague or smallpox or something similarly serious, a group of guys in airtight suits would turn up and put you and your family into quarantine. These guys are from the Center of Disease Control. If they don't turn up, they probably were too busy playing video games, because that is what president Obama just asked them to do. They are supposed to "study the causes of violent behavior. That includes looking into violent media like movies, television, and video games."

Now I fully understand that Obama needed to start that study on violent video games and other media, if only to balance his task force on gun control. This way he can reply to the nutjobs who say "guns don't cause shootings, it is video games that cause it" that he is covering that option as well. We all know that ultimately a law limiting access to assault weapons is more likely than one limiting access to video games. But I found the Center of Disease Control a particularly weird choice of organization to study video games. Maybe it is because of their expertise in preparing for the zombie apocalypse?

Note that while both guns and video games are protected by the constitution in the USA, that isn't much of an argument against restrictions. The "right to bear arms" for example already doesn't cover military style weapons like a Stinger portable missile system. The question is only where exactly you draw the line. While guns can have completely legitimate purposes like hunting or self-protection, it is valid to ask what exactly somebody would need an assault weapon or armor-piercing bullets for. To hunt dinosaurs? Video games are protected as "free speech", but again existing law already limits access for some people to some forms of "free speech", for example porn. Stricter enforcement of age limits for video games would clearly be possible without being against the constitution, and already work reasonably well in other countries.
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