Further to my post earlier today I have emailed the leader of the UK’s Conservative Party regarding his announcement yesterday regarding video games. The body of the email is after the jump.
I am not a constituent of yours neither am I a member of the conservative party, but I am still worried and angered by your recently announced policy towards video games and other forms of media.
There is no evidence that playing video games, violent or not, causes crime and to make the association paints the people who play video games as potential criminals.
I am in agreement that children should not be allowed to play games meant for adults, just as they should not be allowed to watch films meant for adults. However the responsibility does not lie with the creators of those games/films, nor does it lie with the government. It is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their children do not have access to media intended for a mature audience. The problem is not in too little regulation of the respective industries, nor does it require censorship (which is what you are proposing), all that is needed is for parents to be educated about what is suitable for their children and what is not.
In the case of video games what is needed is not more restrictions on a burgeoning art form but more education of the media and the populace at large. People need to realise, yourself included, that video games are no longer simply toys for children. Video games should be considered with the same attitude as films and other forms of artistic expression. It may have been the case twenty years ago, when I started playing video games, that it was mainly children that were playing them. What has failed to reach the nations conciousness is that those 9 year old gamers have grown up, and are still gamers. the majority of people who play video games these days are over 18, those under 18 are outnumbered by the over 50’s. Video games are not the cause of the breakdown of society.
I will give you my opinion of what is responsible for the breakdown of society, and it is something which the Conservative party has traditionally stood against. People have been stripped of their own responsibilities and can readily blame someone else for their own shortcomings; “Its societies fault”, “I didn’t have the same chances when I was young.” “Its the music my son listens to.” “Its the violent video games that made my son a killer.” and on and on. People no longer feel that they are responsible for the choices they make and feel that they can sidestep the consequences of their actions. Why is this you may ask? Because the responsibilities which traditionally have been those of the individual have been usurped and taken on by a overweening nanny state which claims to do things for “the public good” when, as the results show, the consequences undermine the public good. A parent should be free to bring their children up as they please and an adult should be allowed the freedom to do as they please (within reason, of course) but with that right comes the responsibility to take the consequences of their shortcomings.
Shifting the blame to something outside the person committing the crime simply gives the criminal the ability to say “It wasn’t my fault”. Education is required to make people see that they must face the consequences of their actions, allowing them to say they had no choice is denying not only their humanity but the humanity of every other person on the planet. We must realise that we always have a choice. A person chooses to take drugs, smoke, drink too much, mug old ladies, and steal cars. It is their choice and theirs alone, no outside influence can make the choice for them.
So please, reconsider and rethink your policy of blaming various media industries for the breakdown (as you see it) of society. The blame does not rest with them, but with the over regulation encroaching on our freedoms almost daily. differentiate yourself from New Labour by rolling back the thousands of meaningless laws and nanny statism they have introduced and give people back the freedom to make their own decisions and mistakes, with only themselves to blame.
If you wish to reply to this you can do so publicly on the comments of this post at Gaming Moments, or privately by emailing me at one of the adresses below.
I sincerely hope he has the time to reply.