Game Politics has a transcript of CNN's Nancy Grace talking with anti-game lawyer Jack Thompson and a variety of other lawyers and a psychotherapist about the upcoming video game 25 To Life. As you'll recall, this is the "cops and gangs" game that Senator Chuck Schumer of New York wants banned right this moment before the game is even finished. The comments from these talking heads are typical of the kind of rhetoric that comes from not knowing the complete story behind this week's scapegoat. For people so rabid about the subject matter, they don't seem to know proper terminology. Grace refers to 25 as a "video machine" at one point, for example. Game Politics offers some interesting and informative line-by-line rebuttals, calling out false facts in the transcript.
As you read this transcript, pay attention to how Grace and her guests frame their sentences. Although this plays out like an off-the-cuff debate, each and every spoken word is primed to invoke outrage. There are plenty of loaded words and phrases in there: "murder simulators", "rewire the brain", an attack on Bill Gates for personally allowing this game to exist (as if he himself is out there coding it), and so forth. The program also showed photos of real police officers who were killed in the line of duty at the same time the game's preview trailer was on screen.
I throw my arms up in disgust and frustration at this point; how can pro-game proponents possible hope to open such closed minds? The panel did not include a single person who defends video games, ESRB or otherwise. Nancy Grace is obviously going for the shock factor here, to incite and outrage her audience without presenting both sides of the story. There seems to be a line in the sand when it comes to government and general media perspectives regarding video games: a game is either Winnie the Pooh's Happy Smile Time Adventure or Cop Killer 4: Blood Vengeance Rage. Some of video gaming's biggest opponents have probably never picked up a controller. Perhaps they should explore what they vehemently hate so much before making snap judgments and tossing around half-truths and loaded words.