This recent campaign against Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas started out as something I found funny. A senator with too much time on her hands trying to fill the void of a failed Olympic bid, the hypocracy of being fine with brutal pixelated violence while going hopping mad over a little pixelated nipple, the hilariously pointless campaign to change the rating from 17+ to 18+... it was all very amusing to me.
But now, I'm no longer laughing. Now, someone has actually sued Rockstar Games because she bought the game for her 14-year-old grandson not knowing it contained sexual content. Yes, you read that right: a grandmother bought a game clearly labelled M for Mature (meaning 17+) for her 14-year-old grandson, and is now suing the company that made it because it wasn't appropriate for the kid. I better not be the only one who sees what a complete joke that is. It's the equivalent of suing Unversal Pictures after taking an underage kid to see Land of the Dead because there's a glimpse of boob amongst all of the over-the-top violence.
Why was this grandmother fine with buying her grandson a game in which he could shoot up cops and beat random pedestrians to death with a blunt object, but is mentally anguished enough to sue when she finds out there’s a sex scene hidden in between the piles of drive-bys and drug deals? If she didn’t know about the brutal (and highly entertaining) violence in the game, perhaps she should have erred on the side of caution and assumed the ESRB rating was correct in saying San Andreas isn’t meant for audiences under the age of 17 instead of handing it over to her pimple-faced grandson and crying foul after-the-fact. But no, that would require thinking and common sense, which is clearly a luxury commodity now.
It just amazes me that the people ratings systems are made for are the same people who completely ignore them. It amazes me further that people can sue because they can’t function in society, even with all of the safeguards that have been built in to protect them from themselves. Perhaps if we gave them giant lollypops every time they got upset they would be too pre-occupied to think about what it was that upset them. Or we could say “Fuck it” and put Mercury in their water (I’m sure they’d love the effect it would add). Either way is good.
I’ll finish this little rant with a link to an L.A. Times article that talks about how people are missing the mark when it comes to what is really having a negative influence on youth today. Of course, in a society so apt at missing the mark on every single issue it faces, I doubt many will pay much attention to this, because the hype is so much more fun.