Activision Rips Lawmakers’ Fixation On Postal

Activision Rips Lawmakers’ Fixation On Postal

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.

California Ban of Violent Video Games Must Go [San Francisco Chronicle, via MTV Multiplayer]


  • Nice quote. But again, Postal 3 could be released today and it wouldn’t be any more defining of the medium of videogames than The Brown Bunny is for all ‘films.’ You simply can’t use an outlier case and call it average. Its like citing a Lamborghini and saying that all cars are too fast and so should only be driven by people with race car training.

  • valid reason, but when these kind of debates come up reason seems to disappear. And the damage caused by these postal games has already been done and because of them its only going to be harder for video games to be taking seriously.
    Even if postal 3 comes out and it doesn’t sell a single copy it still exists and that good enough for them.

  • I, for one, look forward to Postal 3. Postal 1 & 2 haven’t left me with any violent urges to do horrible things with cats to people or any such thing. But I do still giggle at the phrase ‘get milk’ 😀

  • I think Postal should be villified. Because I LOVE violent games. To be fair, Postal was not original, it was not witty nor clever. It wasn’t really funny, it was graphically primitive and had remarkably boring gameplay mechanics.

    I can’t exactly understand how the developers thought that it would end up as being provocative. It simply equips the righteous Christian soldiers with a great example of excessive violence.

    On a side thought though, I bet Farmville will cause more deaths than Postal, as avid facebookers forget to feed their kids and then strangle them for interrupting the precious farm creation. The stories are already in the news.

    An interesting angle for the 18+ rating case in terms of direct impact gaming has on society.

  • LOL i still remember when i first got to play postal, only played the first level, it really wasn’t anything that special, graphics were crummy at best, plot well.. what was the plot for it? never even figured that out. I don’t know why these people try and bring it up as some sort of solid evidence. Hah much more sobering at age 14 was hiring a R18+ film Full Metal Jacket (in which the clerk didn’t stop me hiring it nor did he check ID)
    I don’t understand why its fine to watch the most messed up sh1t in movies, but its not ok in a videogame? I’ve never played a videogame that made me feel nearly as sick as watching the movies Hostel or Saw. IMO Movies can have just as much impact and influence as a videogame. How many kids are taken to hospital yearly because they are trying to be like a hero they have seen in some movie. For example Kids jumping off the roof trying to emulate Superman.

  • you know, I worry about the mental fortitude of people if violence in media is really a problem…

    what I’m saying is, if people can’t experience violence in media, without adverse consequences… well… I say those people need to harden the **** up, rather than everyone else be punished. and yes, I don’t mean people who find it squeamish, I mean people who get obsessed with it, then go and massacre people in real life.

    what I’m saying is, if in general people are really that fragile to be swayed by media, then we as a people have a problem! on the other hand, if it wasn’t for people being swayed by advertising, I wouldn’t get so much content for free!

    swings and roundabouts I guess…

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