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Alexradl avatar 4:15 PM on 08.05.2008  (server time)
A Childish Hobby

As I was laying in bed last night I turned on the Tonight Show. Ben Stiller, being the guest, walked out from the back and sat down. An interesting conversation took place (Bear with me, I couldn't find a clip of the interview so this isn't word for word). Ben mentioned that he had been playing Rockband a lot. Jay said the generic "couldn't you just learn to play a real instrument". After a lenghy conversation about playing online with random people, Jay asked "Do your kids think it's weird when they see you playing a child's game?"

"A child's game". Is that really how society still views video games? With the average gamer being 33 I don't see how people still get away with considering our hobby "childish". How long is it going to take for the video games industry to be fully accepted as a form of entertainment? This may be a simple generation gap. After all, people in their 50's and beyond didn't grow up playing video games. The people in their 50's and beyond are generally the people who make the political decisions about video games. We have people in power who do not understand our passion and consider it childish. They are the people who blindly criticize our industry. It's a scary thought to have people making decisions about video games they have never played or seen.

Our industry is constantly being criticized for the negative influence it supposedly has on kids. It's always about the kids. I can turn on my TV right now and find shows with content that wouldn't be suitable for a E or T rated game. Those shows are far more accessible than video games. Like the Television and Movie industry, there is content for both children and adults. There is simply no reason to still consider the video game industry and video games in general "childish".

The temporary Manhunt 2 banning in the UK is a perfect example of how skewed societies view of the games industry is. The game could have been given an 18+ rating but, was instead banned. A person 18 or older is considered an adult. An adult should be able to chose, on their own, what type of content they allow themselves to view. The public, once again, brought up the issue of the kids but, there was simply no issue. Children could not purchase Manhunt 2. It's always about the kids but, I like I said before the video games industry is not a kid-centric industry.

I'm not sure how long it will take for the general public to realize video games are simply another form of entertainment. For our sake, I hope it's not too long.

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