This week I jump in on the whole violence in videogames debate. My position probably isn’t terribly novel or shocking among gamers, and picking on Katie Couric is really going after low-hanging fruit, but I’ve never really tackled the subject before and now is as good a time as any to wade in.
It’s sad that the debate has gone on so long. It’s also sad how so much of it is driven by the baby boomer generation, since they were the targets of moral panic more than any generation that came before. Rock & Roll, free love, weed, their openness towards minorities, their rejection of the nuclear family… they did a lot of things differently from their parents, and we were promised that all of it was going to lead to one horrible scenario or another. The boomers scoffed at all of it, did their own thing, and the world didn’t end. And now videogames come along and the baby boomers sound an awful lot like their parents. This new thing is unknown to me and I fear it despite all evidence of it being benign.
Is this going on elsewhere? I really only hear about videogame violence in the United States and Bundesrepublik Deutschland. (With the latter having most of the really strange censorship stories.) But we can’t be the only two countries getting hysterical over it. I’m curious how the debate is playing out in the rest of the world.