Apparently, aping our popular culture and fashion wasn’t enough for our ancestors from across the pond, now they’ve decided to ape our nutso politicians! After my two previous stories regarding gaming politics in Europe, it’s almost no surprise that I’m having to write this one, but I really wanted to hope that common sense could still have a foothold somewhere in the world. Australia, you’re the new Great White Hope; don’t let us down!
Arstechnica has an article up today about some politicos from the European Union (the Old World version of the Legion of Doom) who are borrowing a page from Senators Clinton and Lieberman in their newly conceived plot to regulate the sale and development of violent video games (read: the cool ones). EU Vice President and Commissioner for Justice, Freedom, and Security Franco Frattini, along with having the world’s longest official title, recently announced to the EU Parliament that he would like to see more stringent rules regarding the sale of such games (presumably to young people or the very short), as well as the development of such titles. This idea was met with polite clapping and much adjustment of monocles.
That last bit, the part about regulating their development, seemed kinda vague to me so I did some more research on what exactly occurred in the hallowed halls of the EU Parliament and it turns out that he was exactly that vague. Perhaps it’s my American paranoia getting the best of me, but usually when these political-types say something that vague it’s a purposeful action to leave themselves room to maneuver in the future. Maybe Signore Frattini has more in mind than just “regulating” development, huh? Would it be so far fetched to think that he would opt for a heartwarming (and widely supported by the conservative and the old, alike) poltical platform based on an outright ban of such games?
I’m hoping not, but Europe has a history of charismatic leaders making sweeping declarations that Americans find unfathomable.