In another recent district court ruling, the judge issued a preliminary injunction against the formation of a law that would restrict video game sales based on ratings. In my opinion, this is a good thing. I don’t deny that violent video games may induce violence inducing behaviour. For that matter, I don’t deny that violent movies may induce similar behaviour either, or tv news that show violence or anything else reported on the media today. I don’t believe that’s the root of the problem.
Creating a law just to curb the sale of such items is just a band-aid solution. It’s market economy at work. The industry will find another way to sell to their customers what is in high demand. You can’t butt heads with an emergent behaviour phenomena like market-economics and hope to succeed with just a regulation. The trick, I think, is to work with it. Work towards an environment where the economics of selling violent video games simply doesn’t work for the industry. There’s less incentive to produce it if there’s less demand for it.
The problem may lie in the way kids are raised increasingly in today’s world. It’s the lack of attention the children get. It’s the social coherence that increasing numbers of families are experiencing.With it comes belligerence, kids working to earn their own spending money and a whole host of other issues. Buying violent video games is simply just one of the symptoms of the huge social problems we have today in the US. Other issues like teenage drug addiction, drunk-driving, rates of high-school dropouts, teenage pregnancy all can probably be traced back to the same root cause. The parents are not at fault by themselves though. High cost of living, long work hours, lack of social infrastructure, lack of education are all to blame. It’s a classic downward spiral, each generation producing more of the same.
It’s easy to point out problems. I don’t have a solution for this. There are tons of people who realize it’s the root problem and are working towards solving it. I don’t see major changes changes and haven’t for a while. In fact, the problems are getting worse. The rate of the downward spiral is way higher than than the solutions people are coming up for it. I do see hope in grassroots movements created by communities. These have the best chances of working because they are the most passionate and they are in constant contact with the people they’re trying to help. It’s about people after all, not laws.