Why Video Games Are Stuck at The Thanksgiving Kids’ Table

A column in the Iowa State Daily explains why politicians continue to think of video games as nothing more than kids’ stuff, comparing the perception of the pasttime to a college student returning home for Thanksgiving:

"Thanksgiving break is over, and I am sure a few of you were met with the surprise, upon your arrival home, that you would be relegated to the children’s table. Despite your learned knowledge as a college student, you were still deemed unfit to sit next to your elders and discuss body scanners, Obama’s approval rating and corn prices — opting instead to challenge your cousin to a deviled-egg eating contest.

This is similar to how society views video games. Despite their status as a multi-billion dollar industry and their growing popularity, complexity and depth, video games are still seen as a domain for children and the immature to enjoy overly violent content. I think the usefulness of these ideals have been depleted, and it is about time that video games prop up a chair next to grandpa books, great aunt music and cousin movies and TV.

Misconceptions about video games seem harmless, but these fears have resulted in a number of court cases including a U.S. Supreme Court case, Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association and Entertainment Software Association, still being debated, that seeks to restrict the sale of "violent" video games to minors. Although I believe the Supreme Court will strike down this restriction, these views about video games will continue, as they have after more than a dozen other court rulings, as long as these misconceptions are not addressed."

The author goes on to say that the videogames of today are no longer kids-only; that video games have evolved so much since their inception that they are sometimes a more powerful medium of cultural significance than books, movies, music or television. The trick, the author believes, is in getting those alleged adults to see that and to understand. Their generation’s parents thought that, like video games, rock ‘n roll would destroy youth and corrupt them beyond compare, and prior to that, the generation before would be destroyed by jazz music. Those notions proved to be untrue.

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