By way of the Game Politics blog comes a story so crazy it’s gotta be true. New Zealand’s government censor (Wait, New Zealand has a government censor?) has threatened to throw the book at parents who buy their children games rated for adults 18 and older such as “BioShock” and “Grand Theft Auto IV.”
On the one hand, I have to applaud the initiative the government of New Zealand is showing in putting the blame for children having access to adult-oriented fare where it belongs — on parents — rather than adopting the U.S. approach of trying to punish retailers. On the other hand? The penalty’s a little steep. In an interview with Kiwi newspaper the Dominion Post, Chief Censor Bill Hastings suggests parents could face fines of up to $10,000 or jail time of up to three months for buying their underage children violent video games rated for players 18 and up.
Three months in the slammer for buying your kid “BioShock?” What’s likely to damage a child more, exposing him to violent media or taking away one of his parents for three months?