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Comic for: March 14th, 2006
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Gaming News: "The Gaming Disease"
Posted: Tuesday March 14th, 2006 by

Democratic Senators Joseph Lieberman (CT), Hilary Clinton (NY), and Dick Durbin (IL) last Wednesday, March 8th, convinced a Senate committee to appropriate funds for an extensive study of the "impact of electronic media use" that would be organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Source: Gamespot [ more info ]

Now, I don't really mind the idea of an unbiased, third party agency investigating the "impact of electronic media use". But the CDC is NOT an unbiased, 3rd party agency. The CDC is an operating division of the Department of Health and Human Services and thus receives its funding as part of the DHHS budget. That's not exactly what I'd call unbiased or 3rd party.

But what really bothers me is, what does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have to do with studying games/gamers? For my money, and it is, in part, my money (taxes), I prefer they continue to study... you know... actual diseases and not be sent off on some wild, anti-gaming goose chase initiated by wild, anti-gaming peckerwoods... er... Senators.

This initiative doesn't outline how, when, why any restrictions might be levied. But, it's obviously meant to give anti-gaming legislators a means to justify the levying of restrictions on the gaming industry. You might remember recently an appellate court overturning a St.Louis Missouri law designed to prohibit making violent video games available to minors without a guardian's consent on the grounds that the county would have to provide proof violent video games caused psychological harm to minors. This bill, CAMRA (Children and Media Research Advancement Act), could potentially serve just that end.

Again I'll state plainly that I'm all for keeping certain games, movies, etc. out of the hand of "unsupervised" minors. But, I'm sick and tired of the current approach to restricting the exposure of certain games to a specific audience. Age is not an indication of maturity. So, it's a terrible way to determine the proper viewing audience for any media type. "What's right" for a child should be determined by a parent or guardian that actually spends time with the party in question while they watch, play, or otherwise interact with a piece of media whether that be television, movies, games, or even books. "Parental" Guidance is the key.

Well, I'll wrap this up as I could continue to rant on the subject for hours on end. And I'm probably just preaching to the chior here. I would just like to wrap up this post by saying the bill does NOT single out video games. It covers most media types: tv, movies, video games, cell phones, the internet, et cetera. And, where I don't agree with them using the CDC to carry out their heavy handed ignorance, it might not be a totally unprecendted move. Someone more familiar with CDC policy would have to comment on that. I don't care; I just see it as a conflict of interests.


UPDATE: Comic changed from Hilary Clinton to Joseph Lieberman.

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Thread direction:
Try not to aimlessly bash these legislators yeah? I know it's frustrating how they keep raining this crap down on use, but there are ways to go about showing them our displeasure that do not include issuing forth expletives and inanities on a little known game-related forum. So, no pointless negativy, no direct disagreement with other posters over their opinion, etc.

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