What’s At Stake
The creation and production of interactive games as an entertainment medium is burgeoning, and video games are redefining entertainment. Games continue to explore new creative frontiers by featuring massive multi-player interaction, increasingly life-like graphics, and sophisticated interactive storylines.
Game content is constitutionally protected, and efforts to regulate the distribution of games and their content is dangerous, unwarranted, and an infringement on the free speech and artistic rights of game creators. Government does not regulate access to or sale of movies, books, and cable TV. There is no government mandate to show ID when seeing or buying an R-rated movie, and there is no reason to hold video games to higher scrutiny. These legislative actions on video games by politicians, many of whom don’t even know how to play them, creates a double standard for this innovative medium. But if the attack on video games works, what’s to stop elected officials from going after the other media we enjoy also? Government regulation based on games’ content will stifle creativity, and will have a chilling effect on game publishers who may feel the need to dilute content due to the threat of government action and fines.