Skip to main content

8 infuriating notions clung to by would-be videogame censors

Well, it’s finally happened: the decades-long debate over videogame violence, and more specifically whether it should be legislated, hasmade it to the US Supreme Court.This fall, the court will decide whether a California bill to ban the sale of violent games to minors (which had previously been ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court) was wrongly tossed out.


Above: Currently, there's nothing legally objectionable about this. That could change

In an age when the internet has made unspeakable ass-porn so ubiquitous as to be considered a sight gag, efforts (like the California bill) to stem access to imaginary violencemight seem quaint and laughable, but this is potentially a huge moment for the game industry. A ruling in its favor could finally get desperately out-of-touch state legislators off its back, while a victory for California could turn the tide against it in every other state, and possibly even result in games being declared unprotected speech.

Naturally, this news has led to the usual flood of half-informed cranks that feel the need to air their opinions whenever the topic of game violence is raised in the media. For the sake of these people, I’ve put together a list of their most frequent missteps. For most of you thisis preaching to the choir, butif any of them are reading this right now, they can consider this an intervention. Please: if you’re going to criticize our hobby, at least stop doing this stuff.

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.