I'm starting to have this fear that I won't live long enough to see the full apex of where videogames will go. Like how TV, Movies, and books today have their own little niches that appeal to whatever the hell they want. And those who have a problem something in a movie or show simply look for another rather than starting a campaign to shut down that which offends them. Those mediums eventually came to an understanding, and have flourished in their niches since.
In other words, I was born, like many of us, at the beginning of the lifespan of videogames. Not the very first year mind you, but in its infancy. And yet, if games do advance at the rate of TV and films (and not exponentially like we're seeing), we'll expire in the middle of some sort of regulation era. The CCA's and the Hays Codes of the videogame industry will dictate what can and can't be in videogames and essentially ban the sale of it (this is assuming in the U.S.). The industry as we know it today -- or to an extent if Nintendo is concerned -- was smart enough to not have that kind of thing and skipped straight to having an Advisory Board, i.e. the ESRB, and not a regulation committee like the CCA and the Hays Code. Instead of going "NO, you can't have this. BANNED!" they simply go "You can have it, we just have to inform the consumer." Simple stuff, and not terribly intrusive.
Of course there's that AO rating, and by god do I fear that rating now.
Currently the ESRB is smart enough to not abuse slapping that rating on stuff they don't like and deem "morally objectionable". And it looks like they're still good. However with the "current climate", I fear that in the future (either near or far) the wrong people will run the ESRB (or replace it), and turn it into a censorship board in the name of "morality", using the AO rating for things that fail a "test" or "code" or "regulation".
Sounds like I'm paranoid, and I kinda am. But knowing that this industry is in its infancy, I fear that we'll expire before we see this industry grow past this growing pain.