This your thesis. The below is how you supported it. You also might want to note that you are specifically talking about the US Laws.
All my examples are US laws because I am a US citizen, but all nations behave in such a manner. It's just the nature of power to be abused. And just because I see law as evil doesn't mean I don't think it has uses. Everything has a positive use, the only issue is getting it to be used right and finding out if its use is worth the cost.
And this is your support. You use the ban on heroin as your example and claim that no one in their right mind would use it in the first place. Note however in the old days when heroin was not outlawed, many people at first did not know of its very harmful effects. They only hear about the ecstasy it brought, and then once taken they get horribly addicted to it. Think about teenagers who live in the now rather then the future who don't think twice about taking a risk. I know it seems obvious in this time and age, but back then, it wasn't. Same with moon shine and other toxic drinks and drugs. It served a purpose to inform and protect the public from those trying to trick folks who didn't know better. And look where we are now. Now its common knowledge thanks to it.
Don't forget that heroin was originally a pharmaceutical. The makers of pharmaceuticals intentionally misinform the users. "Oh, yeah, it's totally safer than morphine!" Suuuuuure. And this is a perfect example of my above point: Heroin, correctly used, is a fantastic painkiller. It's cheaper and more available than morphine, easier to manufacture, procure and use in safe doses, and although it's not as powerful it's still overkill for most purposes. And the proper use of heroin is ORAL ingestion, not transdermal injection. Heroin is a morphine pro-drug, in the digestive tract it is converted into morphine, and at a lower dose than a normal injection. Heroin pills could work quite effectively as a painkiller... if you don't have an even safer, less addictive option available or need the extra power than opiates provide. Under most circumstances, it's still like nuking a mosquito, and you should probably stick to codeine and other lower-power painkillers.
Again, you use strong words that paint a very black and white picture of laws. "Does a great deal of harm and no good" along with "that's how laws always functions." Do laws simply fall under good and bad?
You fail to neglect things such as "murder" or "child abuse." Does outlawing either of these things really harm people? Does it not do good? Think back in the medieval era where people murdered family members to acquire their wealth. To them, this was common sense. Why wouldn't you benefit yourself by murdering that brother of yours that you've always hated so you can get your father's land all to yourself?
And do you really think the law acts as a deterrent for the violent idiots that beat their kids? Do you really think the fear of the law is any more of a deterrent than the fear or reprisal for murderers, which is how things would be handled without law? Further, BOTH of these are covered below under my examples of good ways to use law. They fall under harming others and restricting their rights, both of which should be prevented if at all possible.
The laws of the US aren't perfect. And you are correct in assuming that some laws are very much for the benefit of big corporation and government officials. But take note you shouldn't generalize laws.
I mean, look at the 10 Commandments of the bible. Those are moral laws dictated by the bible for people to follow. Is that also bad?
The bible, as a source of morals? The same bible that says not to mix fabrics or fuck people with the same parts or you deserve to die, that says that taking slaves is a hebrew's god-given rights, that the price of raping a woman is having to marry her, that a woman exists to serve her husband, that children should be beaten for every dirty look, that people who work on sundays should be murdered, that committing genocide is justified as long as the other party isn't of the same religion and that it's A-okay for children to be SLAUGHTERED EN FUCKING MASSE? THAT bible? You're using THAT as an example?
A kindergarden teacher puts down rules for kids in class. These are moral laws meant to keep order. Is the teacher taking away the rights of students immoral?
Alright, much better. First off, if school was an optional thing I would agree with you. Agreeing to follow those rules in exchange for an education would be perfectly fine. But it's not. School is mandatory. Do I need to make the sex vs. rape metaphor again?
Laws are inherently in place as such to keep order. (Hence, the "common sense" laws sometimes isn't shared among individuals.)
Your argument revolves around the politics of the creation of specific laws by the US government. As such, it feels hard to relate to simply because you are generalizing "all laws are bad" rather then "laws made through politicians and government officials are often detrimental."
Again, this is just part of the nature of power. Power exists for its own sake, and people will always use power to gain more power, no matter how it hurts others. It takes a lot more willpower than most people have, even if you don't have other powerful people pulling at you to get them more.
My suggestion, if you really wish to weave this idea into a story, is to narrow down your generalization. Make people take a look at the specifics rather then a broad (and lofty) agenda of declaring laws as plain bad. And (as said before) weave a tale to entertain first before subtly hiding your message away in the folds. You want to entice your player base first with something they might enjoy before tricking them into engaging in philosophical thought. You have the write to share your opinion with others, but you shouldn't expect people to always be able to understand or sympathize with your cause.
My stories are interesting, if character driven. They always have been. Keeping people interested isn't a problem, getting more than that is.
No matter how well you present it, there will never be a guarantee that readers (or players) will even bother to read into the details of your moral message. And unless you want to write a pamphlet on your philosophical view point, you shouldn't be bothered by it when most (if not all) your viewers pass your opinion over without a glance and get lost in the entertaining interactive aspect of your game.
You know what? You're right, at least on this. I'm sure that most people will pass it by. The issue is that smart people, who pay attention, are going to be included. Now granted, we're few and far between, but we do exist and we do play these games. I want to give them something they can learn from it. Something to pull out of it. And at least in the game "Wounded Gaia" there are enough places to fit different stories with different lessons in the document system and the gameplay itself that I don't have to worry about it. And the main elements of the game, which are "human limitations," "self reliance" and "personal accomplishment while working with both of the former limitations" followed by a huge, morally ambiguous choice at the end of the game that the player will probably have to think about and will hopefully never be sure if they did the right thing or not, (not going into what) can be learned subconsciously through play even if the player doesn't realise it. If that's all they get, I've already done better than most game devs.
Edited by Jeremy Williams, 06 June 2013 - 07:50 PM.