COLUMN: Violent Video Game Sales Need Drastic Measures
Protecting American children is now becoming a full-time job with awful content coming out of the entertainment industry, violence and all. This is especially true with an industry that’s bigger than even movies or television… video games.
Conservative activist and Media Research Center founder and president Brent Bozell was interviewed about this issue last week by the Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney. In that interview he said this about what should be done:
Why do some of these videos have to be so ultra-violent and what could be done to keep them away from children? Which is why one recommendation put forward by yours truly was if everyone is going to agree that young children shouldn’t get these — these nasty, ultra violent videos, then treat them like any other commodity that’s kept from children. Treat them like cigarettes. Treat them like liquor. Do that which you can do in a store to make sure they never get their hands on it.
After the awful shooting which took place at a Florida high school this past Valentine’s Day, Bozell’s advice couldn’t be more important. The good news is there are some institutions that are now doing just that.
A very good example of a company taking this matter seriously is Nintendo, the Japanese gaming giant responsible for such iconic franchises as Super Mario, Pokémon, and The Legend of Zelda. When they released their innovative and popular Nintendo Switch console last year, they included parental controls in the system to help parents manage when game time is over for their kids, and even block content that’s inappropriate for children under the age of 18 (i.e. Grand Theft Auto):
Nintendo should be given props for taking this crucial first step, especially considering that it’s first-and-foremost a largely family-oriented brand when it comes to its industry. That being said, it’s not enough.
Part of the problem is that major retailers that sell video games, including giants such as Walmart, Target, and GameStop, need to put in guidelines that prohibit anyone under 18 to even go near any game that has an ESRB rating of Mature. If they indeed do have these guidelines in place, they certainly need to enforce them.
Amazingly, some on the far-left are saying that Trump’s warnings against violent video games, as well as his meeting with multiple power players in the industry, was nothing but a distraction against calls for gun control. Read this from New York Daily News columnist Chris Ferguson:
With this meeting, Trump appears to be making the violent video game debate into a solidly right-wing moral crusade. Fewer and fewer people are interested in continuing this debate. As with most moral panics, it will die off with the passing of generations.
So by stating how retailers should be restricting M-rated video games to those under 18 years of age and treating them like cigarettes and alcohol, Bozell, the president, and others are engaging in a right-wing crusade… who knew? You shouldn’t expect anything less from the Daily News, a notorious progressive rag that has been going after the NRA and gun owners for years.
And there’s a coordinated effort by the entertainment industry in particular to hammer anyone who blames a majority of pop culture – rather than guns – for the violence going on in the country today. And they wonder why they continue to alienate a majority of conservative audiences? Why people are tuning out?
Most of the gaming industry – as well as the entire pop culture – should take head at what Nintendo has done in an effort to maintain its long-earned reputation among customers. Of course video games can be a fun way to escape for a while. But, when individuals play them for hours every day – especially a title like Grand Theft Auto, then there are problems. And that’s how incidents like the Stoneman Douglas shooting occur.