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Monday, August 7, 2000
Lieberman Anti-Game Politics?
5:52 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Our CGA affiliate Gamecenter has posted an interesting article on Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, the man Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore is expected to name as his VP tomorrow. You may have heard Lieberman's name before in relation with video games -- specifically, he is an opponent of video game violence and favors a strict ratings system which is enforceable by law; in fact, he was the inspiration behind the ESRB/IDSA voluntary rating system now in place.

Gamecenter's short report on the senator reveals he has also targeted Hollywood and television, crusading against the exposure of youth to violent content. On June 4, 1999 he introduced a bill "to create a uniform rating system for all entertainment media violence. The '21st Century Media Responsibility Act' amends the Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act to apply that law's warning label requirements to violent media products."

Although his stance towards the industry is currently relaxed (last year he praised the software industry's self-regulation) he previously held a hard-line stance, as this quote from the Gamecenter report reveals:

In December of 1998, Lieberman said that companies marketing mature-rated games to teenagers suggested that "Joe Camel has gone digital," an allusion to cigarette manufacturers targeting teens. He also took aim at the violent content in games while praising family-friendly mainstream games. "But move away from the mainstream, and you'll find a different, more sinister face. Over the last few years, we have seen the rise of a small but significant core of ultraviolent games that are far more realistic and gruesome than the shooting games that first caught our eye six years ago. They are also far more perverse and antisocial in the way they reward death and depravity. Killing and carnage is not enough any more--to torture and maim is often the name of these games now."
For more on our possible future VP, check out the Gamecenter article and Sen. Lieberman's own web site.

Interactive Digital Software Association
Lieberman Statements on Media Violence
Lieberman on Games at Gamecenter

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