Freedom of expression. Whatever problems you may have with this country today, that ideal still lies at the core of our society.

And without it, we would never have received some of the most memorable entertainment experiences of our lives. Perhaps it's overstating to say that video games have had such a tremendous impact on all of us, and maybe I'm a little depressed that more people in the world would rather watch a movie than read a book.

But it is only by way of our inherent freedoms that we have enjoyed all of that. We can argue all day about where the "line" is and whether or not we've crossed it (Warren Spector certainly believes we have in terms of over-the-top violence), and we can bemoan the loss of the golden era of interactive entertainment when the hardcore ruled and coin-ops were the norm. In the end, however, from where we sit now, we see an industry that has delivered – and should continue to deliver – entertainment that is not constrained by censorship, that does not bow to a singular almighty whim, as it would in a monarchy or any dictatorship.

Game makers have taken advantage of that freedom and explored a great many of the emotions that make us human. Believe it or not, if we sit back and reflect, we have experienced those emotions many times over; we've laughed and cried, we've busted controllers and felt the internal glow of relief mixed with accomplishment upon completing our fun task. Developers were allowed to make it, stores were allowed to sell it, we were allowed to buy it, and machines to which everyone has access allowed us to play. It all seems so simple, so…expected. But today is not a day where we take things for granted; in fact, just the opposite.

So as you're eating your fourth hot dog and laughing with friends and family today, if you're a gamer, take a little time to celebrate this country's birthday. This country that has given you everything from Mario to Uncharted . Even a quick "thank you" will suffice.

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BikerSaint
BikerSaint
8 years ago

"Happy Birthday USA" & "God Bless America"

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
8 years ago

You sir get a thumbs up!

God bless America and Happy 4th everyone!

Cpt_Geez
Cpt_Geez
8 years ago

Happy 4th of July Ben and all the people who comment on this site.

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
8 years ago

"Happy 4th of July" to bad we have to drive pretty far to see the big fireworks.

tes37
tes37
8 years ago

Happy 4th everyone. I thank America for video games and God for the freedom to make them.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

Thank God for the power of freedom of expression that has allowed gaming to come this far. Look at the congressional hullabaloo comic books went through decades ago, if that battle hadn't already been fought I think games would have been the biggest demonizing battleground of all time.

Happy 4th everyone, many issues divide us but gaming still brings us together.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
8 years ago

Which god did you end up picking for your life?

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

There's more than one?!?! HOLY CRAP!

Pyramid
Pyramid
8 years ago

Here where i live is half way to be part of USA but we celebrate like all of you. Happy Bithrday America!!!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

Where do you live?

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

Puerto Rico maybe?

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
8 years ago

Bless you and your badass picture.

cLoudou
cLoudou
8 years ago

Happy 4th of July, everyone.

Dreno
Dreno
8 years ago

Happy 4th to everyone at the psxe site. I hope everyone has a good independence day. And make sure if your drinking, drive safe.

Now I gotta get ready for my wedding. Cheers everyone.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

Found your Rinoa did ya? Congrats

FatherSun
FatherSun
8 years ago

Wedding? Today? Wow! Talk about fireworks! Congratulations!

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
8 years ago

Congrats Dreno!

Here's to hoping she's a gamer too, or at least lets you, LOL

cLoudou
cLoudou
8 years ago

Congrats . And maybe its best if you don't drive if you're drinking.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

Congrats. 🙂

Dreno
Dreno
8 years ago

Haha, yes sir I did. Found her 5 years ago.
Thank you buddy

FatherSun
FatherSun
8 years ago

Happy Independence Day America! Good Bless us all! Everyone!

Pyramid
Pyramid
8 years ago

Puerto Rico,WorldEndsWithMe

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

Happy fourth to all you friendos to our south! Cheers to our ongoing friendship!

cLoudou
cLoudou
8 years ago

Happy belated Canada Day, friendo.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
8 years ago

LOL, we're like the starting QB of the football team while you're the dorky brother of the girl we're banging.

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

Story of my life, LV!

Fortunately, my sister thought all my friends were dorks, too.

But in all honesty, no… I'm the starting everything of every team….

water boy. HA!

(P.s. as if you actually like football, LV!… Oh the stories I have of Texan vacationers to Canada! Dont worry. I know the rest of you are smart. Oh, and for a laugh, look up "Rick Mercer Talks To Americans". It's like the Canadian version of Kids Say the Darndest Things. Enjoy your new public Health Care!)


Last edited by Underdog15 on 7/5/2012 8:40:50 AM

Shams
Shams
8 years ago

Not quite sure why yanks condescend against Canada. Canada basically enjoys the same life style plus a few more amenities, w/o the added cost of being at war continuously all over the world for the past century. Happy 4th.

Jed
Jed
8 years ago

Happy 4th friends.

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
8 years ago

Happy 4th of July everybody.

ZenChichiri
ZenChichiri
8 years ago

As half American, I guess I could chime in and say happy 4th of July 😉

You did miss the article about Canada Day though! How could this travesty happen?!

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

Yeah! I wish happy birthday to my neighbors! lol :p

Axe99
Axe99
8 years ago

Freedom of expression, unless you're gay and want to get married, depending on the State ;). There's a few other quirks as well (where it's Freedom of Expression as long as it doesn't challenge mainstream culture – ironically, though, I'd argue that it's a bit easier to be free in what you do and say in the UK ;)), but by and large the US is a very free country and has a lot to be proud of :). One of which is most definitely the many excellent games it produces – studios of note include (and I'm being non-denominational here, but also missing a heap) Insomniac, Bioware, Bethesda, Bungie, Sony Santa Monica, Naughty Dog, 343, Turn 10, Retro studios and Blizzard, all giants of the industry. And I'm sure I've forgotten a stack – like Criterion! And Infinity Ward, Treyarch, Danger Close, Westwood Studios (or whatever they're called now ;)). I could go on – many of my favourite interactive experiences come from the US – nice work Yankees :).

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

…as far as I can tell, if you don't produce a stage play or a book without a gay character, your work doesn't even get recognized these days.

To me, that's biased very much in favor of gay and alternative lifestyles. I don't think they have any trouble with freedom of expression anymore, regardless of the state.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
8 years ago

I don't think it's even possible to produce a stage play without gay folks, one way or the other.

Axe99
Axe99
8 years ago

I was just being silly – I deffo hope you all have (had?) a very good Independence Day :). I deffo put more thought into the US devs than my throwaway joke about Freedom. I also don't know what the actual culture is like over there, you just hear stuff on the news about people considering gay marriage laws, and entanglement with State/Federal laws and whatnot. We're just as bad (if not worse) over here.


Last edited by Axe99 on 7/4/2012 9:50:53 PM

Underdog15
Underdog15
8 years ago

LOL WTH, Ben!?! You are so wrong about that on so many levels. I know a TON of popular stage plays that do not feature a gay character. Maybe some states do, maybe? I dunno. What I do know, from a TON of study about theatre history, is that whatever is a hot political topic about the day that has anything to do with society and equal rights gets a lot of attention from the theatre world. So it isn't surprising to me if some states only seem to feature gay characters.

But from my experience here, that isn't the case at all about needing a gay character to be popular.

But Ben, we were talking not all that long ago about 19th century drama like stuff Shaw has done and what not… a very popular item at that time had to do with equality to women… like examining the fairness in a man divorcing a wife and vice versa. That topic came up a lot. I'm sure people then would mock plays saying they can only be popular if it makes a woman feel like a full citizen or some such nonsense.

I'm just saying, it's really funny to me to hear you say what you just did… It is sort of a portrait of a mentality I see occasionally down south that I truly despise. And I hope I'm just misinterpreting what you said and that you're actually all for true equality.

Mind you, on the other side of things, I do dislike how the -MINORITY- of behaviors on the pro side of things as well. For example, the recent Pride parade in Toronto. Most people there are there to support equality and their freedoms, but there are a few who simply flaunt sexuality. And I think that misses the point, so from a flaunting perspective, I agree with you. Because then it's no longer an issue of rights, but a sort of in-your-face-and-you'd-better-accept-me-or-else scenario… and I very much dislike the use of discrimination to fight discrimination.

And I don't really know if any of that made sense or not… but it does in my head, so…

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
8 years ago

One difference between Shaw time and now, Underdog:

You still needed talent to write a play and get recognized. Now, all you need is that political agenda and you'll get it produced. Of course, I live in CT, so…

Axe99
Axe99
8 years ago

Sorry about the gay example, I was just grabbing an example to try and illustrate how the concept of freedom, even in a very much free society like the US, is still socially constructed. Could have been a range of other things (bestiality with consenting sheep, for example), but the mind jumped to something that had been on the news lately.

Oyashiro
Oyashiro
8 years ago

Happy birthday America! You don't look a day over 200! 😉

Happy 4th Everybody! *Hands out sparklers*

buckoboy1
buckoboy1
8 years ago

uggh