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The Enemy


I would like to introduce you to The Enemy, a dangerous set of men and women who desire to destroy, and enrich themselves in the process. These people have existed forever. They will continue to exist after we are gone. They were there in the 1920s, working to censor the beginnings of film. In the 1950s, they crushed the comic industry down into simple superhero stories. In the 1960s, they were the ones getting media attention as they raved that rock n' roll and drugs would destroy the nation. Today, they are going after video games.

The Enemy is not what you may think it is. It is not the people suing the retailers. It is not the ones crying over their children being killed in a drive by shooting that is later linked to GTA. It isn't the church matron, horrified and angry over the publishing of material that is directly at odds with her own moral code. These people are the victims of The Enemy every bit as much as the consumer who is dehumanized and debased, the companies whose profits are stolen, and the creative talents who are driven away because they are afraid. These people are humans who are afraid, scared, hurt, and acting, sometimes rationally, sometimes irrationally, in the only way they see to address that pain. They are not The Enemy.

What is The Enemy then? Is it within ourselves, the consumers, who cycle after cycle invite this attack upon ourselves? Some may say that not only is this not the case, but that our own actions are in fact the least reprehensible of any generation in decades. They may point out that the offending rates of youth violence are among the lowest levels ever recorded (which, one should mention, is factually correct, according to the DOJ). So, it isn't coming from the consumer. What about the industry? They are pushing the borderlines of civilized nature, aren't they responsible? But they've always been doing it. They were doing it in the days of theater with Shakespeare. That can't be it because they've never died off and neither have they destroyed civilization. In fact, the historical removal of such industries by 'well meaning' individuals has generally not stopped the bombardment, so much as it has moved it to another media source as soon as possible. I already said it wasn't the people suffering. They're the tools, not the Enemy.

I would like to introduce you to Jack Thompson. No, he specifically isn't The Enemy, but he's symbolic of it. He's one of them. Yes them, in the paranoid fashion of us versus them from time immemorial. He is a man who is quickly rising to national renown for his 'work' fighting against the game industry, aggressively seeking at all fronts to tear it down and leave ashes behind. He works here in North America, and to a lesser extent in Europe. He is not alone. He is one of The Enemy though. He is an opportunist who trails the suffering of people beset by tragedy and uses their grief as a weapon to gain wealth and fame for himself. A man out of Florida, a man who we should never have heard of, instead is invited on to 60 Minutes because he will hit a retailer with hundred million dollar suits for selling a game to a minor. However, he is neither unique nor original. The Enemy is those who are spreading misinformation and fear regarding new mediums in order to profit off of damaging them. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. They just keep hammering at it since any single win earns them millions and national fame (or infamy) the like that they would never see in honest work.

The majority of us can't do too much against something like this now. Some of us can write, but there's little chance that any of those reading are in a position to stop this kind of foolishness. What can be done is remembering. This is a part of history, a cycle that will occur again in our lifetimes. There will be media, creativity, and wealth made. Following this will be those who are opportunistically seeking to rip it apart to form their own legend. To work though, they need people who will give them credence. They strike at those who are confused, greedy, scared, whatever. It is an age old tale we see playing out today.

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