The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Following up on the news that some video games now feature nudity and cussin', some retailers are reacting predictably by saying they'll ban said game(s). My bet is it's talk... if the game really takes off, they'll start carrying it and just limit its sales to 18 and overs.

This quote from a Wal-Mart drone was funny:

"We're not going to carry any software with any vulgarity or nudity -- we're just not going to do it," Wal-Mart spokesman Tom Williams told Reuters.

Big words, and appropriately family-friendly. Too bad he's lying, as Wal-Mart has surely already carried several software titles that have plenty of vulgarity: Leisure Suit Larry and countless others that have been around for ages. And while we're at it, what real difference is there between software like this and movies? They all have ratings, they're there to cover idiotic situations like this.

Another classic example of confusion media and genre. The assumption is that video games are strictly kid's stuff, therefore all the content in them should be appropriate for kids. Dumb assumption that ignores the basic fact that a video game is a form of media, and like any media, you can put anything on it, targeted toward any audience you want. It's like saying that all movies must be documentaries because they're all on film, or all books are mystery novels just because.