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Joe Lieberman VS Scorpion

By: raptor

Not sure how many of you were around (or developmentally far enough along) to remember the 1993 Senate hearings on video game violence, but it is something that never has been lost to me.

I mean, how often does government make a full on attempt to control something in our lives… right? RIGHT??? Anyway, it really made me disgusted with politicians (or I guess, more so than ever). Of course, there have always been those scapegoats that are turned to to explain societal ills. And, I suppose there always will be. But this, this hit a little too close to home.

As a teenager in the 90’s, one thing I had a deep personal investment in were video games. And here were these old, crunchy, blowhards trying to regulate yet another industry… one that I happened to love.

I think one aspect of the whole charade I can recall most, was the speed with which the big gaming mags at the time took sides. One in particular, EGM (Electronic Gaming Monthly), became a major mouthpiece for Sega.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. We all felt like gaming mags back in the day had their own biases, were guilty as sin when it came to putting those biases on full display. But I’m telling you, EGM was ALL IN for Sega.

My console of choice at the time was the SNES. So, my purchase of the much maligned Mortal Kombat (the SNES version) on Mortal Monday (remember that promotion?) felt pretty natural. And, after playing the console version (which admittedly was quite different from the arcade version) I felt I had made a good purchase.

But EGM came short of calling we stalwart Nintento fans a bunch of turds for choosing this LAME version of the game. I mean, Nintendo replaced blood with sweat??? HOW STUPID!!! Thing is, it went beyond the preferential, and straight into downright disgust for Nintendo and NOA’s big chief Howard Lincoln.

Lincoln was, at one time in his life, a lawyer. So he knew quite well how to parse his words for his and Nintendo’s benefit as good as any politician. Bill White however, was an oafish clod, who couldn’t make a case for rescuing a child from oncoming traffic.

Yet, routinely, EGM would make it quite clear that they felt White represented the road ahead for gaming better than any representative marched before Congress. They lost me as a reader during that whole fiasco.

From all the hubbub, we gained the ESRB. Which, according to some sources, is one of the best  enforced ratings systems for any product or media.

And of course, legends were born from the ashes. Have you seen Ebay prices for an unopened Night Trap for the Sega CD?

So much was made of the games of the time, yet the internet was just on the horizon. And it makes gaming violence or crude content look like Blue’s Clues in comparison. I fully believe that, sans the internet, games would still be on the forefront of major legislative attacks for censorship.

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Vaporman87 Posted on Dec 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Holy cow, I couldn't agree more.

Now I actually purchased BOTH versions of MK; the SNES and Genesis versions. My personal thoughts were that, while the Genesis version stayed closer to the arcade in terms violent content, the SNES version had superior graphics and controls.

But, that's just me.

Oh, and Night Trap looks like it's going for anywhere from $150 to $400 still sealed. Yikes.

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