Recently, Katie Couric tackled the subject of video game violence in one of her Follow Up Friday segments. It was a fairly one-sided report adamant on perpetuating video games as a major factor in violent tragedies like school shootings. Games were subtly scapegoated through the usage of people like Daniel Petric in its ad hominem, and ultimately the report set its sights on public sympathy as a means of conveying its message. Whether you play video games or not, Katie’s attempt to impart to you that video games even indirectly cause school shootings is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. It’s a censorship bar over art and a challenge to our free speech.
Doesn’t it sound familiar? Our government’s battle with obscenity and its definition has been chronicled through cases like the infamous Roth v. United States and later United States of America v. Extreme Associates, both cases that have attempted to employ a national standard for determining things that are unprotected by our freedom of speech (more specifically pornography). But how far does this battle go? Video game hate has almost become a ritual over the last few years. Every so often a depressed, socially outcast kid gets it in his head to take revenge on his bullies or alleviate his anger with a gun and the video game industry becomes a punching bag. When do we stop turning our attention to entertainment and start putting ourselves under the microscope?