State Sponsored Activities vs The Private Activity
In answer to those of you who have pondered the lack of a 'Killers Register' to go alongside the Sex-Offenders Register, or have questioned why a 'murder simulator' (ie. an FPS) is acceptable when a 'rape simulator' is not:
Simply put, war is not murder - or, at least, that is what governments would have you believe.
When the state sanctions an activity, it is then permissible to carry out that activity. the US, for example, had no issue whatsoever with the use of 'Shock & Awe' in Iraq, Agent Orange and Napalm in Vietnam, or the use of Nuclear weapons on Japan at the end of WW2. Games depiciting the use of such weapons are common-place and no one in 'the establishment' bats an eyelid over them.
In all of these games the common theme is often that your character is one authorised to take action on behalf of the ruling body. That means you can do what you like with impunity (Does this remind anyone of the absolutions given to crusaders *before* they murdered whole cities of people?) - Indeed, this theme extends beyond computer games and right into mainstream films and media (24: Jack Baeur? Tortures someone every coupla hours and ignores the law to 'get a result' constantly - thats fine, he's a good guy - defined as working for the government!?)
Now, consider the furore over the 'Manhunt', 'Bully' and 'GTA' game titles. Herein, the protagonists that you play and encounter in the game are *not* state-authorised persons - they are 'outside of sanction' and not under 'official' control.
It's the same thing as the current ridiculous debate about drug classifications in the UK. Hundreds may die each year as a result of Class A drug abuse, its true, but THOUSANDS die from alcohol and nicotine abuse, ignoring the effects that such have on the functionality of society! Why the difference in treatment? Because one is state-sponsored and the other is not.
How about we compare badger-baiting, hare-coarsing and fox-hunting? The first two are clearly illegal, the third is 'under debate' and is a 'tradition'. Why? Well, take a look at the people who are in the 'countryside alliance' and like to kill foxes and who they are! The same people who want to ban your games, thats who!
This is about social division and political control - it's part of the model that governments since Thatcher have been actively pursuing. Don't be blind-sided by the smaller issue of one game. Look at the bigger issue and the patterns that emerge.
(hm. I may have rambled a bit there... I'll clear up any questions anyone has....)
BH, because its largely plausible.