Video Game Censorship

Video Game Censorship

I’m going to give you a few reasons why people believe censoring video games is a good thing, and why, for the most part they are wrong. But, the key to understanding the viewpoint of an anti-gaming activist is to admit, to an extent however, is that he’s right about some things.

1. Yes, entertainment can change your personality

A common dismissal to every debate involving censorship is, "it's just harmless entertainment! It has no effect whatsoever!"

Have you ever heard a song that made you sad? Never cried at the end of a movie? Ever? Not even at the end of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King when the King says, "my friends, you bow to no one?" And all the king's men bowed to the little hobbits? You've never had your emotions moved by something you watched or read or heard? Ever?

Have you never heard an activist actor or actress say they hope their movie "raises awareness" on an issue or "has a positive impact"? Schindler's List didn't change the way you thought about the Holocaust? You don't think Uncle Tom's Cabin changed the way people thought about slavery?

So can we admit that what we read and watch and hear can change our mind and emotions? And that it's at least possible someone could make a game that influences the people who play it, for better or worse? Can we admit that playing Doom III filled some gamers with horror and dread or at least raised the amount of adrenaline in their bloodstream? The truth is you play these games because you like to feel this way, you like the feel of adrenaline pumping through you. This is the same reason you watch horror movies or action flicks or visit a haunted house at Halloween time.

In fact, the whole point of any entertainment medium is to change the audience, to manipulate their senses.

Why it’s wrong…

It’s wrong for the same reason it’s right. Video games are no different. You're not playing yourself in Grand Theft Auto; you're living a story through a character....