Gaming and the Election: End of the Censorship Wars?

So. Obama won. The Republicans got routed. But what does that mean?

Okay. It means a lot. It means an awful lot. Obama’s going to have a lot more legitimacy; he’s got as much of a mandate as Bush ever did. There are more Dems in the Senate, and the’re more progressive Dems at that. Judicial appointments are on the way, as is the implementation of Wall Street reform and ObamaCare. This election result is going to change America. Hell, it’s going to change the world. No doubt about that.

Since my wheelhouse is supposed to be “the intersection of politics and gaming”, though, it might be a good idea for me to take a stab at what it means for gamingSo I’ve put together a short series speculating on how the Democratic triumph (which, honestly, is what it was) is going to change and/or be reflected in the future course of gaming. First one’s today. It’s short. Don’t worry, they get longer.

#1: The wars over censoring game violence are probably over. At least for now.

This may sound a bit weird, considering that it’s often progressives that are at the forefront of “won’t somebody please think of the children!” reactions to video games. Unfortunately. Nevertheless, it seems pretty likely that it’s over for a while, even over-and-above the Supreme Court decision. Why?

In a word:  Pot. Marijuana is one of the other issues where parental concerns and fears about their kids often tend to dominate the debate. The fact that two states have gone with out-and-out legalization suggests that the forces of fear are less powerful than they used to.  If parents aren’t screaming about their kids getting high, it seems pretty unlikely that they’re going to be screaming about their kids possibly playing GTA, especially when dad (and, yes, mom) are probably gaming too.

The complete collapse of the anti-gay-marriage movement points in the same left-libertarian direction. even if the social conservatives aren’t happy about the more small-“l” libertarian shape of American politics, they clearly can’t do much about it. I’m sure that the younger, more big “L” Libertarian conservatives in the Republican party are already keen to take the reins after this drubbing, and are well-positioned to do so. Are a bunch of young Libertarians going to go after Activision for their latest FPS? Not fucking likely.

Especially because, frankly, we all have more important crap to deal with. Nobody’s going to worry over their kid playing GTA when they’re too busy worrying about how to feed them.

More tomorrow.

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