This special episode of Zero Punctuation is a public service announcement brought to you by the ESA and the Video Game Voters Network.
Unless your head is trapped in some kind of sensory deprivation device, it can't have escaped your notice that video games have a slightly worse relationship with mainstream media than serial killers. Leaving aside the fact that in the eyes of many half of them spurt blood like a malfunctioning sprinkler lodged in the throat of a hemophiliac, it's easy for us veteran nerds stuffed full of muscle memory to forget that to a total newcomer the video game controller might as well be the cockpit of a jumbo jet. To the layman, games are frightening, and both media outlets and politicians have a tendency to exploit these fears to gain points with Joe Dumbface, especially in election years like oh say for example this one!
And it seems like some old git is calling for game regulation every ten minutes, but what can we do? Well, they are old gits, so we could conceivably just wait for them all to die, but in the meantime we have the Video Game Voters Network. The VGVN is an organization that lets American gamers get together to let their opinions be heard by legislators.
It's true that there are people who see games as a convenient target, that there are many of them among politicians. And it may be true that one day such people will be remembered alongside those who tried to outlaw movies and novels and theatre and dancing and those people who said the steam train would cause women to spontaneously die of shock in its wake like rows of screaming dominoes, but until that it's up to us to show nongamers that just because games aren't boring doesn't mean they're different to books, and just because games aren't two hours long and written by overpaid chimpanzees doesn't mean they're different to films. They all fall under the constitutional right to free speech. If someone who wants to legislate the censorship of art and culture gets in this November, then the next thing you know you're picking jackboots out of your teeth.
Video games are the cutting edge of a whole new wave of creativity: interactive storytelling, a development as artistically significant as the moment Picasso realised which end of a brush was which. And he couldn't even draw a proper face!
The VGVN is important because games are too important to be left in the hands of the anti-fun brigade, and an armed uprising would only prove their bloody point. November will come sooner than you think, so now is the time to get off your arses, go to videogamevoters.org and sign up to do your bit.
This episode has a credit roll, but no addenda.