Video games are “soft targets” for censorship

Russell Bradburn writes at

All politicians, left or right, engage in this sort of media scapegoating, and games are a particularly soft target for it. … What has our new president to say on the issue? Not much, apparently. The Obama campaign went as far as to place ads in the Xbox 360 game Burnout paradise, so Obama clearly understands that games are an important part of youth culture. On the other hand, sometimes he appears to send mixed mesages on the subject.

Furthermore, in order not to appear too far to the left, Democrats need a social issue to appeal to conservatives. As I said before, games are a soft target. There’s no one with the right combination of wealth, attractiveness and influence to stick up for the industry, and Democrats would rightly never call for the censorship of books, movies or television. This would alienate their liberal base and cost them votes.

In July 2008, NCAC opposed legislation to create a system for regulating the sale and content of video games in New York. The bill passed. In opposing the legislation, NCAC along with the NYACLU opposed content restrictions as a violation of the First Amendment.

NYACLU legislative director Robert Perry said, “State appointed officials would review the standards by which the industry establishes video game ratings, and the state would then require these ratings to be placed on packaging as a condition of sale. The bill clearly creates a regulatory scheme that would infringe on the free speech rights of video game creators, retailers and their customers.”

NCAC executive director Joan Bertin said, “The entertainment industry’s current rating system for video games already helps parents make informed decisions. The system cannot become subject to the government’s editorial oversight without violating the First Amendment.”

You can read NCAC and NYACLU’s letter to NY Governor Paterson here and the press release here.


About Blog of the National Coalition Against Censorship

Blogging Censorship is where National Coalition Against Censorship staff weigh in on the censorship issues on their minds.
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One Response to Video games are “soft targets” for censorship

  1. I agree they are easy target

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