Just when you though the furor over Eidos' "25 to Life" was winding down, another politician steps up to speak out against it.
Nova Scotia's Justice Minister Murray Scott (left) has issued a press release asking gamers, parents and retailers to "use common sense in controlling distribution of this game." Unlike most such outcries, Scott acknowledges that players can choose to be either bad and good in the game. Instead, Scott focuses the level of violence overall, especially a feature which allows the taking of hostages as human shields.
"Relationships between police and communities should be strengthened, not eroded by these graphic and offensive images that are packaged as a game," said Mr. Scott. "We need to be especially careful that our young children are protected from this kind of violence and negative themes."
Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, Minister of Environment and Labour, weighed in as well, saying, "Many games are not for people under the age of 17 and that is why we implemented a video game rating system in this province - to help retailers and the public know exactly what content is in the video."
The Minister of Environment and Labour's Alcohol and Gaming Division enforces Nova Scotia's Theatres & Amusements Act, which requires retailers to ID minors when selling "T", "M" or "AO" rated video games, and "14", "18", and "XXX" rated movies. Although the Ministry rates movies itself, for video games it adopted the ESRB's system in 2004. (CM: Note that in this case "Gaming" refers to "Gambling")
Violating the Act result in a sellers' license suspension rather than a fine. Ms. Bolivar-Getson said everyone, from retailers, to government and parents has a role to play in ensuring the video games that young people buy or rent are suitable for their age.
CM: While it's disappointing that another set of politicians got suckered by Eidos into giving free advertising for a crappy product, It's encouraging that the press release focused more on the negative attitudes present in the storyline, and encouraged parents and even gamers to be responsible.
-Reporting from Saskatchwan, GP North American Correspondent Colin "Jabrwock" McInnes