Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
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Thursday, July 21, 2005

GamerDad on Hot Coffee

Andrew sends up his thoughts about the ESRB decision. He takes a pretty heavy hand to Rockstar in general, but this point he makes more clearly than I've been able:

What's being missed is the difficulty. Activating this stuff in the game requires a determined person (or child). It isn't easy and it requires third party equipment like GameShark to do. No child left unattended and innocent is going to "stumble" onto this stuff. And, I might add, a determined child with Internet access and no supervision can uncover MUCH worse things on the Internet with far less effort.

This is a serious issue (especially if Rockstar put the code in there) but the controversy has done more, I think, to introduce this mod to children - than it has done to protect children from it. Believe me, before the story broke most kids had no idea this content was there and the game was released last October (or so). Now every kid knows about it and is probably trying to make it work. Kids are like that.
-- GamerDad & Hot Coffee


Winkyboy said...

I just posted this on, but I thought of it while reading Cathode Tan today:

I imagine the rating of media will at some point become a task to heavy to bear.

At some point, computers will be powerful enough to create experiences practically (and eventually, literally) on-the-fly. We will have games like Spore where content is created by the player of the game -- only on a much grander scale.

That's the future. Right now, we have mod teams working for months to build whatever it is they want to build. (Gosh!) Laws might be able to stop producers from creating an engine that can support free-will creation of any content, but were that to happen, someone would build an opensource engine that can do all that, anyway. So why bother?

There will never be an organization large enough and ready enough to police all art, a category which video games fall directly under. It is impossible to have a law that can enforce what is acceptable and what is not; such a decision must be handled by the end user, be it the player of the game, or the parent of said player.

So what is the point?

Responsibility. As in PERSONAL responsibility. It goes hand-in-hand with this other scary concept called "freedom". People will have to stop being afraid to take care of themselves, and that's all there is to it.

Josh said...

Great thoughts. It's like watching a war between the demogogues and the apathetics. People caring too much for what isn't really their domain and people caring way too little for what is.