Governor against violent 'Conan" video game

January 18, 2008 6:09:09 PM PST
Before Arnold Schwarzenegger was "Governor" Schwarzenegger, movie fans knew him by many other names, like "The Terminator" and "Conan the Barbarian." It's that last one, Conan, which the Governor is trying to dis-own tonight, in relation to a new violent videogame.

The head-slashing "Conan The Barbarian" is one of newest ultra-violent video games to make it to store shelves in time for the holidays. But the cover is looking awfully familiar.

The 1982 movie catapulted the bodybuilder-turned actor toward fame in one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's best-remembered roles.

Today, a quarter of a century later, as Governor of California, he is distancing himself from Conan, the video game.

"The Conan character existed far before the Governor portrayed him in the movies, and it still exists in different forms of entertainment. The Governor has no association with that game," says Aaron McLear, Governor's Press Secretary.

Furthermore, the video game industry and the Governor are on opposite sides of a long legal battle over stricter rules regarding ultra-violent video games and minors.

"Conan" and similar games already have an 'M' rating for mature audiences, but the state wants more disclosure of content and the ability to impose fines. Until the courts settle the issue, child psychologist and State Senator Leland Yee says parents have to take responsibility.

"While our kids may be tugging at us and saying 'Can you buy this', ultimately we parents must take control on this issue."

THQ, the maker of the Conan game, insists it's based the video game on Robert E. Howard's short stories, not the Governor's movie. Still, gamers say it's hard not to make the association, and want to buy it.

"The people that know the old-school movies can't help it. They see Conan. They think Arnold. But the new generation has no association whatsoever," Zachariah Alfred, Gamer.

It's unclear how popular the video game is. Conan has only been out for a few weeks and no sales figures have been released.