Insomnia | Commentary

On Insects and their Laws

By Alex Kierkegaard / October 21, 2009

Finally, from time to time there comes to [these few] -- what it will certainly be hardest to concede to them but must be conceded to them nonetheless -- a moment when they emerge from their silent solitude and again try the power of their lungs: for then they call to one another like those gone astray in a wood in order to locate and encourage one another; whereby much becomes audible, to be sure, that sounds ill to ears for which it is not intended. -- Soon afterwards, though, it is again still in the wood, so still that the buzzing, humming and fluttering of the countless insects that live in, above and beneath it can again clearly be heard.

Friedrich Nietzsche


I am not sure how I've so far managed to avoid the subject of so-called "game politics", it is indeed a wonder -- the site (including the forum) has been going for well over three years now and you'd be hard pressed to find even a single mention of lawyers or politicians! This blissful state of affairs, however, came to an end earlier today, when I checked in on the forum to find there waiting for me, as a present from one of my readers, a thread titled "Videogames and the Law"... So the subject has finally been forced on me (as that of "art" had been not so long ago...), and I guess it'd make no sense trying to ignore it any longer. Let us then, for once, attempt to approach this subject as only we can: with a clear and sober head, in a lucid and incisive manner.

And what, then, about videogames and the law? So much fuss, so much commotion has been made around this subject, so many words have been scribbled and continue to be scribbled about it on a daily basis (perhaps there are even entire books on it? I would not be at all surprised!), that surely, one would be forgiven for thinking, there just has to be some connection there!

In all seriousness, does anyone understand why all the chatter about lawyers, judges and politicians is completely irrelevant? Why there is, in all seriousness, absolutely no connection between videogames and the law? I strongly doubt it! At any rate I've yet to come across anyone who does. Here is the why then:

It all boils down to this: Lawyers, judges and politicians only care about violence in videogames. This is the only aspect of videogames they are interested in. And they only care about it because the slaves (who elect them and/or pay their wages) care about it. If they didn't care, no one would. If, then, we manage to explain that violence in videogames does not exist, that the very concept of "violence in videogames" is absurd, we should (at least in theory) manage to entirely rid ourselves of all those people who, deep down, do not really give a fuck about our hobby.

Here then is the explanation: The concept of violence in videogames is absurd for the simple reason that the concept "violence" is indefinable in the context of virtual worlds. It is a concept fundamentally linked to reality. It was invented to designate a process that can only occur in reality, and makes absolutely no sense outside of it. Outside of it, the word itself simply becomes illegible -- meaningless. People who use the word "violence" in connection with videogames, then, are either using it metaphorically, or, if they are trying to use it literally, are plain simply idiots. What the slaves are trying to accomplish, then, in their deranged, utterly insane efforts to purge the universe from negativity and conflict, is to ban random colors from videogames! Their ultimate goal, as I will have occasion to explain in hilarious detail in a future article, is to restrict the palette of colors available to game designers! In other words, here as elsewhere: the internet simply does not have lols big enough!

That takes care of that, then -- it takes care of the interest that lawyers, judges and politicians take in videogames. This interest, which, as I have explained, has its ultimate source in the slaves: the people, the mass, the mob, the rabble. And since explaining anything to the rabble is impossible, even the simplest thing -- that, for example, hot and cold are not opposites -- it is impossible to stop the lawyers, judges and politicians from making a big fuss over videogames. It is a futile exercise, not worthy of those who have better and more important things to do with their lives -- like play games, for example. Or study philosophy.

Then there is the other side of the coin -- the interest that gamers show towards the slaves and their laws. And just as the slaves only care about a single aspect of videogames, the so-called "violent" aspect, so do gamers only care about one aspect of the slaves' law-making shenanigans: whether the slaves may one day attempt to take their games away from them. If, then, we manage to show that the slaves are completely incapable of taking away our games (or indeed of taking away anything whatever, lol), we will have also solved the other half of the problem.

And it is indeed plain that they are. Simply put, democratic societies are perfectly incapable of preventing anything from happening. At most they can retard its development or slow it down, but they can never put an end to it. So an Alexander, a Napoleon or a Hitler could just simply wake up one fine day and say: "VIDEOGAMES ARE BANNED" -- and within days or at most weeks no one across the empire would be playing videogames (except perhaps Alexander, Napoleon and Hitler). But to get anything banned in a democratic society is close to impossible (anything simulated at any rate -- real things get banned all the time, for reality is the ultimate thing the slaves fear -- and rightly so!) At most a thing may get OFFICIALLY banned, while UNOFFICIALLY everyone still has it and keeps doing it. At most it might get a bit more EXPENSIVE, in which case only the poor would really be affected (which, in all seriousness, does them good, for it motivates them to work harder in order to be able to afford the good things in life, which are almost always by definition illegal). Take for example the banning of certain movies, books or games in Australia. Is anyone seriously trying to tell me that if I lived in Australia I would find it IMPOSSIBLE to watch Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers? Or play Postal or Manhunt? Has Australia also banned torrent apps? Or international mail order? So basically, to people like me, the only effect official bannings have are to cause outbursts of laughter.

And Australia is even an extreme example, for in societies as weak as the US or those of Western Europe, the Australian problem does not even exist. When was the last time the US banned any kind of work of simulation -- whether musical, literary or cinematic? When was the last time it banned a videogame? And even if it ever did, or may do so in future, how could such a banning ever amount to anything more than mere words? And how long before it was overturned? And in any case, the entire country's population is ALREADY knee-deep in illegal activities of all kinds (and I am not only referring to anal sex here -- what US citizen does not have a hard drive full of illegally downloaded shit?)

In short, videogames are in no danger. The only way for them to GET INTO danger is if our societies suddenly became dictatorships. And this will never happen as long as the slaves have nuclear weapons. Or at any rate before mind control technology starts becoming widely available. So stop worrying about it. There's absolutely no point in monitoring politicians' speeches, or court rulings, or stupid fuckin' blogs like GamePolitics.com. If you are genuinely worried that videogames might start getting banned, you should start paying attention to nuclear weapon security measures and the current status of mind control technologies. Anything else is mere chatter that the journlolists fill the internet with in order to justify their slave-wages. They have given up pretending to be interested in games, and are now instead occupying themselves with trying to cover anything but! So stop paying attention to their idiotic chatter! There are far more important subjects worth investigating! Subjects that demand your full time and attention!

In short, the only question left to ask on this subject, as in so many others, is this: "Are you an insect or not?"