Randy Pitchford has had enough of government legislators trying to impose rules on the videogame industry.
Despite legislation that regulates the sale of videogames to minors constantly being struck down time after time, a California law is once again soon to be judged in the Supreme Court. It’s a big deal that will likely decide if retail should be held legally responsible for keeping certain videogames out of the hands of minors, or if the ESRB and stores such as GameStop can keep enforcing their own policies which are already working . Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford is annoyed that such legislation is ever even drawn up, and wants it to stop for good.
Pitchford talked to CVG about the line of what’s acceptable and what’s not in today’s videogames and other media. While he admits the studio’s Duke Nukem Forever definitely walks that line, he believes that it’s important to challenge neutral regulatory bodies like the ESRB from time to time with such products to know where that line is.
Pitchford’s major problem comes from crusading government regulators that think they need to go beyond the ESRB, and First Amendment, to ban the sale of these games. It doesn’t make a lick of sense to him. “Seriously, things like Duke really aren’t offending anyone,” Pitchford said. “But some people need to act like they do, for some reason.”
“Sometimes people will say: ‘You know what, that offends me,’ and that’s fine,” he continued. “If something offends you, you have to decide how to deal with the the best way you can. But it’s when people decide: ‘Well that offends me, so now it should offend everyone else. And, in fact, because I think it should offend everyone else, I believe that we should make a rule about such things.'”
Pitchford calls government legislators “bullies” and said: “Those people just need to get the f*ck off the bus … We need to stop them. We need to get away from those people – certainly take the keys away from them … They need to just move the f*ck aside.”
Something that has always confused me is how legislators find cause to ignore the fact that every videogame law has been struck down. It’s not even close, the videogame industry holds a perfect record against laws such as the one going to the Supreme Court. Does this speak to waste and incompetency that may plague the United States government, or do people truly believe that kids need to be legally protected from games? I, like Pitchford, find myself wondering when these government “bullies” will grow a brain, for lack of a better term, or just go away. Even if the Supreme Court strikes down the law, I doubt the issue will end there.