Right around the time Jack Thompson became the gaming community’s arch nemesis, I knew gaming needed an organization that spoke on behalf of gamers – all gamers. Mobile. Console. Personal Computer.
While the ESA has been around for years and is intrepid in its desire to protect software developers of all kinds, there does not yet exist an organization that exists to inform, brief, and champion the overwhelming power of Interactive Media to those who may not fully understand, grasp, or internalize it the same way gamers do.
I learned American Geography from Oregon Trail. I learned math from Super Munchers. I learned the basics of economics from Sim City. Games at their best can entertain and educate and engage the human brain in a way no other medium can. Period.
Alas, often, the people ‘in power’ aren’t particularly inclined to spend their time playing Grand Theft Auto V or Bioshock or Battlefront II. Rather, their job is to listen to the people who vote for them, and enact their constitutes desires.
Which is problematic. A mob mentality is a real thing, and fear and ignorance of the unknown have led to many a tragedy and calamity, big and small, in this great nation.
Thankfully, America has a long standing history of respecting art in all its forms. While Congress may deem a game, or movie, or type of music violent, it will not deny its right to exist. We do not ban movies. We do not ban games. We do not ban music.
This gives me hope.
As Loot Boxes become a subject of controversy, I advise those most eager to see swift and furious action regarding the topic to give pause, and take a breath.
Loot Boxes can be a problem. Just like freely available pornography, alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and yes, legalized gambling, can be a problem.
But, like those above mentioned vices, they are not *always* a problem. People who partake responsibility can find much enjoyment and enrichment from playing an online game like the wonderful Hearthstone or Gwent: The Witcher Card game – and yes, from spending a few dollars on Battlefront II if they so choose.
We must be careful and rational as we address this issue, else risk leaving it in the hands of those least likely to handle it deftly, and most likely to act rashly.