When the mainstream debate turns to violent video games, it’s inevitable that someone will dredge up Postal. It’s like the triple dog dare, or comparing someone to Hitler, a completely bogus trump card with no real argumentative value.
George Rose, the chief public policy officer for Activision Blizzard, finally called bullshit today in a guest editorial appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle. Postal, of course, was released 13 years ago on PC and neither it nor its sequel appeared on any games console. Rose calls it a “video game dinosaur” and “a commercial flop dropped by mainstream retailers long ago.
“To whip up drama and hysteria where none justifiably exists, zealots supporting this movement cite the worst of the worst,” Rose wrote. “No single movie, television program or video game defines an industry and justifies sweeping regulation, which is why the anecdotal example of Postal is disingenuous.”
This isn’t so much red meat for the video games base as it is getting something on the record for the mainstream public. Not that Postal won’t continue to be invoked, and that larger media outfits won’t continue to take the bait. But it’s good to hear a senior executive call it out, all the same.
That said, Postal may have been a 1997 release and Postal 2 came out in 2003. But Postal 3 is said to be due for a release sometime in the first three months of 2011, sure to make that series current again in some folks minds. Rose’s larger point is against the California law against violent video games, which the Supreme Court will rule on sometime next year. I’m sure Running With Scissors would time Postal 3’s release the day of the Court’s decision if it could.