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Polls close in a few hours here on the west coast. After you get that “I Voted” sticker (please vote), sit back and enjoy this video of how elections should be decided.

Thanks to Slate News for posting this a few days ago. It has been no more relevant than it is today.

Assassin’s Creed 2 could be off limits to 17 year olds

Should it be illegal for retailers to rent or sell violent video games to minors? That could soon be the case in California, where an overturned 2005 law is being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Attorney General, Jerry Brown, recently submitted a preliminary written argument to pass a law banning the sale of violent video games to anyone under 18.

That doesn’t sound so bad does it? Little Timmy shouldn’t be playing excessively violent games and heaven forbid his parents should have to actually pay attention to what their children are playing. The motivation behind the law is understandable, but the execution has more wrinkles than Jabba the Hutt after liposuction. Read more… »

The topic of violence in any media is always best treated cautiously.  In fact it was merely a few weeks ago that a UK based chat show attempted to broach this subject and ended up landing smack on its face.  Now most criticisms for violence in games seem to be at the progressively more realistic depiction of acts.

The photo realistic game is probably not more than a generation away at most and the mathematical geniuses that slave over 3D engines to make them produce these amazing graphics push things further towards that goal every year.  What I’m proposing is that it might not be the “graphic” progression that fuels violence in games, it’s something a lot more universal than that. Read more… »

pegi

It has been no more than a week since the U.K. government backed the PEGI rating system over that of the BBFC and there are already calls for improvement.

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The long-running battle to become the UK’s version of America’s ESRB is now over, with the Pan European Games Information (PEGI) ratings system standing over the shattered corpse of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). Well, that’s not exactly true, as the BBFC will continue to rate films as well as DVD and Blu-Ray content for the region. Then again, games are overtaking films anyway. Does that make the BBFC a zombie?

A more interesting development in the case mentions that it will now be illegal to sell a game rated 12+ to minors, an action even more strict than US retailers’ self-imposed restrictions on selling Mature-rated games. Now, even arguably bloodless action games will be removed from the hands of British tweens. Now you will know that the person screaming obscenities at you over the microphone is 18 years or older.

In a feature on Canadian site Maisonneuve, Chris Lavigne noted that the big problem with the studies people are conducting on video games and their psychological impact are fundamentally flawed.

He goes on to say this is due largely to the fact that the eggheads doing the research just don’t “get” video games, citing a recent Dutch study that used Crash Bandicoot and Tekken as their contrasts for “violent” and “non-violent”, a study that any informed gamer would call senseless, and not just for reasons of vested interest. Read more… »

manhunt

In particular response to the March 11 school shooting, the German government is in the process of passing legislation which would see a complete ban on the distribution and production of all violent video games.

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southkorea

At the last G20 conference, every country pledged to produce stimulus packages in order to fight the global recession.  For the most part though, these stimulus packages have been focused on building infrastructure, rescuing banks, and saving dead automotive industries.  South Korea is adding something new to the mix.
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