Well, It finally happened, the government has gone insane. In July of 2005, the infamous "hot coffee mod" came out, literally making the ESRB and game developers alike, shake. In case you didn't know, it was a mod that let you have a sex mini game in "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas". It caused controversy all over the industry. They immediately went into an "investigation" where they apparently looked into how this occurred and how it got by them in the initial observation. The first to blame, was of course Rockstar games, who should get some of the blame in this whole situation. But what they failed to recognize was that in order to get this mod, you had to have an illegally modified console (if that was the system you used) and an illegally modified game.
The ESRB put the game in the category "A" for "Adult". This made it very difficult to sell, only being able to be sold at specialty stores (EB Games, Gamestop, etc.) and not at a department store such as target and wal-mart. The gamers generally didn't have a problem since they would somehow get it anyway. But what most did not realize, was that, with this new mod that got pass the ESRB so easily would make all other games under extreme observation. They were embarrassed and felt that if they flexed their muscles, per-say, they would gain back respect of the industry. They now are much more strict with their ratings and are taking it out on games that have amazing potential but cannot get a decent rating.
Now, the politics come in. Senator Hillary Clinton started a campaign against video games, requiring strict regulations for such games. Next in the crazy crew, was Jack Thompson, a lawyer from Florida. What can I say about him that is not also describing the definition of psycho. He has made so many anti-video game conferences and has made so many stupid decisions in his career, even as far as to compare the head of the ESA to Hitler. You heard me correctly.
With all of this going on, video games are in danger of losing all respectability and freedom. They are constricted to a tight code, completely obliterating the first amendment. But the worst is yet to come, a republican candidate for governor of Texas is trying to pass a bill that will send a 100% tax on violent games. Now, if you are like me, and do not live in Texas, you may be thinking to yourself "This doesn't apply to me" but it does. If this bill is passed, then other states will jump on the bandwagon and try the same bill in their own states. It's unconstitutional. My point is, us, the gamers need to take action or our beloved passtime, will be destroyed. Speak your mind, send an e-mail to politicians that have an anti-gaming campaign up. Or maybe even e-mail or send a letter to your state's senator or governor. I have already sent many e-mails to Mr. Jack Thomson and I have yet to get a response. If you happen to actually send a letter to one of them, please be intelligent about it.
Until Next Time,