An apparent avalanche of e-mail from GamePolitics readers caught the attention of a game-bashing editorial writer at the Henderson Daily Dispatch (North Carolina). Here's what happened:
On Sunday, GP mentioned an editorial in the Dispatch which supported Louisiana's video game statute and criticized the federal judiciary for continually overturning such laws. The industry, along with ESA boss Doug Lowenstein, came in for sharp criticism, as follows:
"...the courts have been consistently wrong... Violence continues to erode the quality of life in the United States... at least the Motion Picture Association of America makes some attempt at self-policing... Games have a rating system, too, but it is a sham and unenforced..."
"In criticizing Louisiana... ESA President Douglas Lowenstein invoked the name of (Hurricane Katrina)... we are outraged that many gaming companies seem to operate without a conscience, or - so arrogantly voiced by Lowenstein - even a sense of dignity."
A number of GP readers were upset by the editorial and apparently e-mailed the Dispatch, prompting a follow-up editorial on Tuesday:
"Saturday's Dispatch editorial... has created a stir among the online community, primarily gamers who probably happened upon our opinion through Google news or some other source."
GP: Uh, not Google, it was GamePolitics...
"Most... disagreed with our notion that the video game ratings system is a 'sham'... One writer directed us to a Federal Trade Commission site where it was reported that children were able to purchase an R-rated DVD movie 81 percent of the time, but were only able to buy an M... rated video game 69 percent of the time."
"We'll go on the record as being corrected... But we won't be dissuaded from our position that states really should be allowed to regulate adult-oriented material in all media."
"...It is against the law for children to buy adult magazines... None of the self-policed entertainment media can say as much... society perpetuates an unfortunate double-standard that exposing a child to nudity could ruin them for life, while letting him beat up hookers or carve up zombies with a chain saw really isn't that big a deal..."
Whichever way you lean in this debate, kudos to GP readers for expressing their concerns and kudos to the Dispatch for addressing them.