That said, we're with the jackass on this one. In this case, he's California assemblyman Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), whose latest attempt to "protect children from the harmful effects of… violent videogames" is Assembly Bill 450. AB 450, according to Yee's press release, "would prohibit the sale, rent [sic], and distribution of violent videogames" to anyone under 17. A warning label would also be mandatory for adult-rated games, and anyone who sold such a game to a minor would face a $1,000 fine.
Now, what the Mercury would usually do here is point out some facts. Like how the Entertainment Software Association states that the average gamer is 29. Or how the unnamed studies that Yee's press release refers to--the ones that insist games are "bad for kids [sic] mental and physical health"--don't exist. Or how Yee's moralizing feels a lot like what happened with rock music, comics, TV, and movies.
Instead, let's grant Yee the fact that some of the most commercially and critically successful games--Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Halo 2, Half-Life 2, Resident Evil 4--are undoubtedly made for adults. (Let's also humor Yee by pretending there's not already a rating system in place for those games.) Let's use our maturity--we do have a mean age of 29, after all--and let Yee win.
Will it suck to get carded at GameStop? Yep. But if blaming videogames for the ills of the world is tired--remember the furor over Mortal Kombat back in 1992?--then it's downright exhausting for gamers to continually defend them. Maybe if Yee wins, politicians will realize that adult-rated games, like adult-rated films, can be enjoyed by those they were made for. And then we can play games, and Yee can find some other art form to demonize. Like… uh… that damn hiphop music! Yeah! Have you heard those lyrics? That music is terrible.