How becoming a parent makes you more in favour of censorship – Reader’s Feature

A reader muses over the fact that while he used to hate the concept of censorship becoming a parent has made him think again.

Following on from my last feature on politicians using games as a reason for the (huge) increase of mass shootings.

Whilst looking into that feature I was struck by my thoughts regarding censorship and legalisation and how they have changed over the years. When I was younger I was entirely against any kind of censorship – be it within the game, music, or movie Industries – and I am almost religious about my ability to have free speech.

The problem with free speech is that it is never entirely free and you always have some caveat that includes things such as hate crime, inciting violence, etc. My issue with this line of thinking is who decides what is crossing the line from crass jokes into full hate crime?

It is not such a massive leap to consider these rules being implemented against the people who are fighting for these limitations further down the road. For me, free speech should be free speech, in the words of Trey Parker and Matt Stone; It’s all funny or none of it is funny.

You may be wondering what this all has to with the gaming industry at present, except for the passing reference. Well, we now find ourselves in a time of near photorealistic graphics and we have a nation of parents that still see these things as something nerdy children play in the dark who have no friends, rather than the multibillion dollar industry it now is.

Hopefully, with the growth of esports, it will finally wake up these mothers and fathers to realise just how powerful the technology will be that their children will be growing up with. I have always been fairly tech savvy, but these days I struggle with my smartphone, whilst seven-year-olds are learning to code.

It is a new world that children are growing up into and one that as a new parent I feel totally unequipped for. I have always been a fairly tech-minded person but the kids these days are a wiz on the computer before they even join secondary school.

It is extremely difficult for a parent to monitor everything their child does, even from my position. But from the position of a parent that only uses a computer for work and believes consoles are the tech equivalent of Dungeons & Dragons, this is impossible.

To now tie my first two points together. I used to not believe in censorship at all, however in this day and age, maybe it is time for the industry to show a little self-restraint, before it is forced upon them?

By reader Raoul Duke

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email [email protected] and follow us on Twitter.

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