For a brief window in the mid-2000s, video games became politicians' favorite piņata. Joe Lieberman and Ted Kennedy spoke out against 2004's JFK Reloaded, a game that let you re-enact the Kennedy assassination. The "Hot Coffee" modification to Grand Theft Auto—which allowed players to (poorly) simulate intercourse with in-game girlfriends—left Lieberman and Hillary Clinton in a huff in 2005. That same year, the Illinois Legislature (among many others) banned the sale of violent games to minors, with then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich sending a message to "the parents of Illinois" pointing out that "98 percent of the games considered suitable by the industry for teenagers contain graphic violence."
The last couple of years haven't been as fruitful for video game scolds. Jack Thompson, the longtime face of the anti-game-violence movement, was recently banned from practicing law in Florida. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled that a California law banning the sale of violent video games to minors was unconstitutional. There is a Wii in the White House. With America's pro-gaming forces gathering strength, crusading politicians must now journey beyond our shores to find games to rail against. Enter New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has joined with the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault in calling for a stateside ban of a Japanese "rape simulator" game called RapeLay.