Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Freedom of Speech and Games

As some of you know, I moved to US just recently. This means that a lot of things here are still new to me, which included my very short knowledge regarding rights and law. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v._Entertainment_Merchants_Association


But I’d like to share this news from yesterday, that now games are considered protected speech, just like books. Children under 18 (a.k.a 16 years old who had an allowance and a car) wouldn’t be able to buy “violent” games before this change without their parents. Now this has changed, and any 11 year old can get his bike and his little credit card and shop away!

Silliness apart, I have no personal problems with the law at all. I believe parents should be the ones supervising this, and not the government.

What it does make me think though, is if games will change with this. Would tittles that otherwise wouldn’t include blood just add litters of it in every action scene? Will Mario bleed now? Will Sonic say “screw this, I’m getting a shotgun!”? Will Pokemon fights end with “Fatalities” like is Mortal Kombat?

Ok, I’m being silly again, and I don’t believe those children friendly games will change, since after all, parents can still say “no” to violent games their children want to play.

But back in Brazil, when Ragnarok online was recently launched, parents demanded a change in the game. There were two cosmetic items related to smoking: a cigarete and a pipe. They were removed, because the company didn’t what the kids playing to go away in face of the parent’s complaints.

Will all this said and written here, what do you guys think? Will games become less shy about including violence? Have you ever thought a game could have been better with less “sugar coated” scenes and that it did it that way because of age restrictions?

Personally, I hope they don’t add extra violence. I like things without litters of blood running around and I cringe at torture scenes in movies.


(Also posted at MMO Voices)

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