Gaming and politics

I will probably need to add a new category for games and violence/politics at some point here on buttonmashing.com. I don’t cover them as thoroughly as Game Politics and others but I still follow it closely. (I’m little bit of a poltical junkie but I try to avoid anything too political on these pages). Anyway, this is old in blog-time, but there’s a good response to Hillary Clinton’s propsed legislation I briefly mentioned here at Tech Central Station.

I like that other people are getting into the discourse. John Luik isn’t a gamer but says something that I just love.

For some, these complaints about video games are nothing more than a reflection of the cultural and generational divide between those below and above age 40. For instance, the Economist recently noted that “The opposition to gaming springs largely from the neophobia that has pitted the old against the entertainments of the young for centuries. Most gamers are under 40, and most critics are non-games-playing over 40s.” That may well be true, though studies suggest that about half of Americans play some sort of video game. As for age and bias, I am both not a game player and rather regrettably well past 40, but the evidence leads me to side with the kids who want to play.

I also find it interesting how many people (bloggers) out there are into gaming in one form or another that aren’t “gaming bloggers”. I read a lot of gaming blogs (too many!) but I also read my fair share of blogs on other topics. I recently read this little gaming blurb on VodkaPundit about Bushnell’s comment about the number of gamers being smaller than 20 years ago. The VodkaPundit, as long as I’ve read him, doesn’t often comment on such things, so it’s cool to see others talking about it. What really amazed me where the number of comments remininscing about gaming. I think that’s a great thing and I hope it continues.

Comments

  1. Yeah, I’ve been thinking about this as well. I think we have one generation which looks upon new media with fear, not realizing that the generation just behind them has already gotten over it.

    So you have a 50 or 60 year old lawyer/professor/whatnot complaining that these new fangled devices will cause brain damage and epilepsy and riots and lewd behavior. And all they remember is that everyone who plays these things is under the age of 12 and doesn’t know any better, so it’s good to wave wildly and yell to get their attention.

    But then you have a whole hoarde of thirtysomethings who have been raised on this stuff since about it’s inception. And we’re fine. No, really, it’s good of you to worry and everything gramps … but honestly … we’re OK.

    Which is one reason none of these paranoid attacks resonate with parents. It’s like telling people that cars are unsafe because they go really fast or that flouride will poison your soul. Sure, at one point this kind of fear was at least defensible. But now it just looks increasingly silly.

  2. Bit by bit, I think that the non-gaming generation is starting to get it. The more adult gamers (like us) who are open about the way we spend out time, the better. I get a few puzzled looks but mostly I get curiosity and questions about the pastime.

    I wouldn’t say that none of these attacks resonate with parents. Even among people who grew up in the gaming generation there is a common belief that it is normal to grow out of gaming and “put away our childish things.” Plus, there is no denying that mainstream games today are more photo-realistic and allow a greater virtual depravity than the games of our youth. Leisure Suit Larry is, in many ways, tamer than The Sims. Some parents might accept gaming as a pastime for their kids, but not “that kind of gaming.”

  3. Next thing you know kids will be watching Elvis Presley gyrate on stage. This “Rock and Roll” stuff must be stopped!

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