Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
logo design by man bytes blog

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

NIMF's "Victory" Feels Rather Hollow

Gaming Today covers quite aptly Dr. David Walsh's statement on the lashing Manhunt 2 has received:

The NIMF statement applauded the rating as it declared take Two's decision "a victory for parents and children."

“Because of the their thoughtful decision to give Manhunt 2 its strongest rating, “Adults-Only,” the ESRB has sent a strong message to Take-Two and other game makers that they no longer can push the envelope on gratuitous violence in video games. The ESRB showed real leadership in assigning this rating and further evidence it is making significant progress in keeping extremely violent and graphic materials out of children’s hands."

The NIMF goes to make a statement that should raise an alarm for all those that value the freedom of choice and the right for freedom of expression.

“Hopefully Take-Two has learned from its Manhunt 2 experience and will undertake preventive measures to ensure its future games, including Grand Theft Auto IV, are appropriate for families and gamers."

"As gaming technology continues to change, we hope to continue to work with the ESRB to ensure that future games have appropriate content and context for children."
-- NIMF's Victory "for Children" Shuns Freedom of Choice

Remember when I said there was the assumption games were for kids - well, there you go. And that apparently trying to keep Manhunt 2 off shelves completely is indicative of the fact that we can't control what parents purchase for their kids? Yeah, that's there too.

I agree with NIMF on some points and their mission in general - but this is just advocating censorship because it's easier than fighting the real fight. NIMF's "victory" comes up short because in celebrating this - they are also admitting defeat. They admit they can't educate parents about a Mature rated game. Mature rated games "have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older" - hence are not family games. But that won't satisfy NIMF.

If it's on the shelves, kids will want to play it and parents will buy it for them. That is the message of this "victory".

And it's also the problem at hand.

No comments: