Louisiana Passes Violent Video Game Law On Lies

How can anything in our political system pass when its reasons for existence are nothing but lies? Louisiana recently passed a bill, thanks to Rep. Roy Burrell, to keep video games out of the hands of minors. Obviously, the debate on whether or not that's our government place is other issue entirely. The problem with this bill is HOW it passed.

Burrell brought in "ace" anti-video game attorney Jack Thompson to make part of his point, and this is where things begin to go wrong (to no surprise of anyone who has followed this debate that has went on for nearly 15 years now). Thompson's absurd, ridiculous, and flat out stupid discussion of the Playstation 2's Dual Shock controller was by far and away the biggest lie of the day:

"[the controller] literally gives you a pleasurable jolt and vibration back into your hands every time you kill someone. When you take a car and you run over innocent virtual pedestrians in the game you get a pleasurable vibration as your wheels go over their skulls."

He went on to say that this was created by Rockstar and Sony, and this increases people's urge to kill. Now only has the technology been around since the Nintendo 64, Sony has even been sued over the technology and won't be using it on their next console. Worse yet, the vibration feature is used in nearly every game on every system. Sometimes it simulates a heartbeat in a tense situation (like a close 9th inning in a baseball game), a nudge in a racing game, or even when Mario plays a mini-game in the latest Mario Party game.

Thompson provided no facts, proof, or studies to show this has any extra effect on the person playing the game. His rant on Rockstar's upcoming Bully was likewise over-the-top, saying you could bludgeon teachers with a bat, when not even top-tier video game sites have anything of this nature in their coverage of the game. We know nothing of how it will play, but apparently Thompson snuck out some secret info of the game and decided to use it.

Burrell then began a misguided approach for the reasoning to his bill, condemning the game Border Patrol, an online flash game created by a hate group to make their point about immigration. Key point is that this is a flash game on the internet. It is in no way connected to the industry, nor would his bill have any effect on the game being created or played. That didn't stop him from going through a graphics depiction of the game:

"Immigration is a hot issue right now. Many of these young people would think they may be doing something for the United States (by shooting immigrants). This is their way of contributing."

He also included how the game has players shooting pregnant Mexican woman called the "breeder." Utterly disgusting? Sure. The question is why is this being discussed in any form at a hearing of this nature? He continues:

"…They are getting ready to come out with a new series of games for gang members... they're going to be killing white kids, is basically how it's designed."

He doesn't mention what game this is, who's making it, or how it can be played. With statements like this, is it any wonder that the bill unanimously passed 102-0? As if this situation couldn't get any more ridiculous, the people voting to pass this bill were quoted on Gamepolitics.com as saying that it's up to the courts to decide whether or not the bill is constitutional.

This is where taxpayer dollars are going, towards a bill that will be shot down by the courts like the countless other attempts in numerous states before it. This is a state that still doesn't have homes for people after a hurricane. Apparently, online flash games are a bigger problem than the kids who don't have homes, let alone a computer to play them on.

There's a bigger question then, and that's where did bashing of online flash games come from? "Sources" like the Parents Television Council. In a lavishly constructed manipulative editorial from PTC founder L. Brent Bonzell, he states this about another online game, Super Columbine RPG:

"It's stories like this that underline why states are cracking down on the sale of violent video games to minors. Violent video game legislation has passed in Michigan, Illinois and California, and is being considered in many states including Missouri, Kansas, and Minnesota as well as at the federal level.

But the players of "Super Columbine RPG" don't need an ID to prove they're an adult. Any child can just download this sick game, free of charge, in the privacy of his own disturbed world."

The game has players taking loose control of Kleibold and Harris on the horrifying day and playing out the events. It's a message piece, right or wrong. There's some discussion on the availability of guns, parenting, and of course video games in addition to the sick act of deciding how the events should play out. That's not important to Bonzell though, or that the movie Elephant also based itself on the same events.

He's pulling the same stunt Burell did, preying on an uninformed public. He has every right to voice his thoughts on the game. That's encouraged no matter which side of this debate you're on. It's when he does something like this to shamelessly push people away from a new entertainment medium because he disapproves that it becomes a problem.

This is what people see from the video game industry. This is what the mainstream media covers.

That's why instead of ranting and raving on a message board about how much better the Playstation 3 will be than the Xbox 360, put that energy to good use. As a gamer, you've been pasted as a violent lunatic who takes pleasure in playing a game based on Columbine. That needs to stop. Write these senators. Tell them they're wrong or wasting their time passing bills that won't become law. Write the local news when they feature a story on games like Border Patrol.

Otherwise, you're only letting them win on lies.

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