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GDC09: Attorney discusses top censorship issues facing industry


Attorney Lawrence Walters (the anti-Jack Thompson) knows his game censorship issues, having presented on the subject in GDC's past. His latest appearance -- much like an annual iteration of Madden -- covered familiar territory, with an updated roster of censorship kerfuffles. We spoke with Walters after his presentation and asked what he thought were the top three censorship threats facing the game industry:
  • Labeling laws.
  • Studies funded by taxpayer dollars seeking a correlation between video games and violence. He believes the first one that shows something statistically significant will cause serious issues for the industry.
  • "The politically correct censorship emerging from the left," which has occurred since the political landscape changed. He believes it's the same "thought police stuff," it's just now coming from the other side of the political aisle.
What about international concerns?
  • Germany's censorship issues when dealing with violent video games.
  • Australia's lack of M-rating for games causing "de facto bans."
  • "A lack of understanding that free expression is a basic human right." Walters stated that stifling human creativity isn't good. Some people might not like a certain game, but he believes it still has the right to exist.

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