Malik  (5/4/05)

Government Gets Game 

With how no one seems to know how to properly gauge games and their effects on children...ok, no one who has a voice, which means we geeks who have plenty of firsthand experience are out of the loop, despite how this directly effects us...the state of Illinois has stepped in with their own take on game ratings.

As I found on Gamespot, a bill in Illinois (know oh so cutely as the "Safe Games Illinois Act") is set to help that state make a real nightmare for the game industry and the geeks who live within it's borders. Basically, this new bill is worded is really confusing language about what defines an "evil" game. It includes some things such as the inclusion of "mutilation" and "maiming" as something that would get the highest age restriction. However, without including further definitions, we could see some interesting bullshit in Illinois.

Ever think of a child-safe game like Super Mario Bros? I'm talking old-school. This is a game that I promise I'll be putting into the hands of my kids, if I ever have the fortune/misfortune to have any. This is a very friendly game that includes Mario mutilating and maiming goombas, troopas (koopas), etc. Mario is not a nice man, in the sense of doing any of these naughty activities. Hell, he ends it all off by taking some 'shrooms.

In all reality, this is not how I see things, but it is easily how some voted official, who probably doesn't know a XBox from a GCN from a NES. I'm not trying to stereotype, but on average, the vast majority of politicians don't know much about video games (it's not exactly a job or hobby that will get them far in their careers). I've seen too many non-gamers with a voice (usually politicians or dumbass lawyers) try to impose their wills upon a situation they don't understand.

Anyway, in reality, the best solution is for parents to try watching their kids, understanding their kids, and talking with (not "to" and not "at") their kids. The last thing we need to see is further fire about how evil games are, how those unrelated need to solve the "problem", how games "cause" problems, and all of the legal nightmares that will be falling down around how this bill will, most likely, be deemed unconstitutional. All that this "solution" will cause is further stresses and headaches for the poor people who have to deal directly with this confusion; the game clerks.