February 8, 2016

DEPENDS. DO YOU WANT HER AS NANNY-IN-CHIEF? Can We Forgive Hillary Clinton For Her Past War On Video Games?

It was one of the hallmark proposals of Clinton’s Senate era, that selling violent games to the underage should be criminalized. Together with Senator Joe Lieberman, the two crafted the Family Entertainment Protection Act.

There were five major proposals to the bill, including:

A prohibition on selling games to minors, where retailers could be heavily fined for selling M or AO games to those under 17
An independent analysis of the ESRB’s ratings system to figure out if it was actually accurate
Authority for the FTC to investigate misleading game ratings
Authority for consumers to register complaints with the FTC for misleading game ratings
An audit of retailers including possible “secret shoppers” to see if underage kids can buy M or AO games from stores

While this bill was being proposed, Hillary Clinton went on the warpath about violent games. This was after Columbine and before Virginia Tech, but right in the middle of the great “Grand Theft Auto” panic, where that series was constantly coming under fire as essentially the sum of all fears for those concerned about violent games. . . .

And here’s what she said when she was asked the famous “are video games art?” question:

“Art is subjective; it’s in the eye of the beholder. I think video games can be fun. They can teach eye-hand coordination and strategy and they can introduce children to computer technology. And there is no doubt they are intricate and sophisticated technologically. I’m not in any way trying to do away with video games. I’m strictly concerned with a small subset of games that are harmful to children — those that are excessively violent and sexually explicit. I want to make sure children can’t obtain these games without their parents’ consent.”

And here, just laying it bare:

“We need to treat violent video games the way we treat tobacco, alcohol, and pornography.”

Which I guess means that she’d crusade against those, too, given the chance.

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