You know, once upon a time, I thought that there was a real significant difference between the major political parties in this country. As I’ve gotten older however, I’ve learned that what unites them is far greater than what seperates them and what unites them is best summed up in the immortal words of River Tam in Serenity — they’re meddlers. The details of what they want to meddle in vary. Republicans seem to hate that people have sex, Democrats seem to hate that people have money and both of them do their level best to stop it from happening. Case in point: the FCC is considering imposing a single content rating system.
The irony here is that the leader of this particular movement is a Democrat, though anyone paying attention really shouldn’t be surprised. For all their reputations as moral scolds and bluenoses, it’s been Democrats,not Republicans, who have led the crusades against gaming. Whether this is because the Democrats think they can pick up a few cheap “family values” points against a politically weak constituency or because Republicans are generally clueless when it comes to technology and the culture I’m not sure. If I had to hazard a guess I’d say it’s probably a bit of both.
The worst part about this is that this is exactly what the ESRB rating system and the ESA were founded to prevent — and man oh man, don’t we miss Doug Lowenstein! By all accounts, the ESRB system is fair, relatively well managed and pretty easily understood — though they could do a better job on outreach. For the chuckleheads at the FCC however, I guess that simply wasn’t good enough. I guess a bureaucrat’s hands get itchy unless they’re regulating everything in sight so now comes yet another ham-fisted government attempt to put safety rails around existence. That’s why I’ve reach the “pox on both your houses” stage with both major parties. When it comes to voting, I look for an “I” for “Incumbent” and then vote for their opponent.