I guess you could say the topic has gotten a little sex-heavy here as of late, but when things like this happen, they just can’t go ignored.
Porn star Ron Jeremy recently took time from appearing at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, went across the strip to the Consumer Electronics Show and talked about how violent video games are worse than porn. It’s a bit like if Hitler had suddenly cleared time on his schedule to cry out against the evils of driving SUVs, not to mention all the potential mental anguish suffered by kids who ran up to Jeremy asking for Mario’s autograph.
This is a difficult topic to cover, naturally; not because of any moral implications, but it’s just too easy to fall into subconscious double meanings. Take these quotes from the story, the first from video games journalist Andy Chalk:
“I wouldn’t want my kids (the hypothetical ones, that is) playing Modern Warfare 2 or becoming overly familiar with Ron’s body of work, but is it really reasonable to say that one is significantly worse than the other?” asked Mr Chalk.
“Body of work.” Hoo boy. And, knowing from personal experience, I don’t think you have to let people know you don’t actually have any kids if you write about video games a lot. The next quote is from the reporter herself:
Now the man voted America’s top porn actor by the Adult Video Network, has put his weight and influence behind a number of software blocking tools.
I’m writing a letter to the AP Style Book asking that the term “put his weight behind” never be used in reference to a porn star again. And it somehow seems worse that it’s in regard to something as sterile as software blocking tools. Run, Norton, run!
As for the actual debate, it still, as always, comes down to parental will. It’s true that violent video games are (slightly) more accessible to children than porn nowadays. Do I think they’re as damaging as watching one of Jeremy’s 2,000+ excursions into sleaze? No, but it definitely can have a detrimental effect on some children. I think parents can benefit from paying close attention to what their kids are asking for and enforcing a solid but reasonable set of guidelines. Kicking them out of the house once in a while to receive those frighteningly foreign elements of “sunshine” and “fresh air” can also greatly heal the nerves and sensibilities of both parties.
Hypothetically, I mean. I’m still a games writer, after all.