so considering that there are other media besides games which much less publisher self-censoring, and that those media aren't forced by politicians to censor themselves, it seems fair to expect that if there were less publisher self-censorship in the game industry that the politicians would do no more than they're doing right now
i think in some respects this publisher self-censorship even hurts the credibility of games; games are seen as 'for kids' because, in an attempt to self-censor, only games that are 'for kids' are allowed to be made by publishers
How much does it cost to write a book? The financial pressures on book authorship are far, far less stringent than game development. Not to mention the technical hurdles. Of course, as an indie game developer, you are already well aware of that distinction.
There's no arguing that hypocrisy is involved here. A six year old child can walk into a govenrment-funded public library, sign up for a library card, and check out books that feature graphic descriptions of sexual intercourse and deplorable violence. Any underage child can do that right now, and no one is stopping them. There is essentially no censorship for the written word at all.
Yes, we would probably be better off without this hypocrisy. It is an artificial limitation and doesn't really make sense any more. (in this age of the internet) But for the time being, the door is still open to loosen these self-imposed restrictions. I for one am still grateful that censorship is left up to the industry, rather than the government.
And of course, in the wonderful world of indie development and self-publishing, there are no censorship restrictions at all. Thanks to this Supreme Court decision, that will continue.