Thursday, April 06, 2006

I discussed the topic with Dr. B today and with students in my class. One student had played the game GUN and another spoke up for the right to free speech. I think I listened. All three pointed out what a failure it is to try and legislate against video games that are overly violent or even racist. I have to agree to some degree, but I don't know that it's always possible to let the marketplace decide what is right and what isn't.

Dr. B pointed out that I should make sure that I try to look at the game before commenting on it. That would be best. He said that many people who commented on the GTA game hadn't actually seen it before they came out against it.

But I've also been thinking about the other things that are related to the restrictions on such games. There are some kinds of speech that are regulated by the law; it's not legal to say anything you want to say. An incite to riot, for example, is restricted, and you can't, for example, speak for the assassination of the president. So some forms of speech are understood to be out of bounds.

How far would a violent or racist game have to go to be so objectionable that most people would agree it should be banned or restricted?

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