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Netto Azure
April 26th, 2010, 04:48 PM
US Supreme CourtJustices to Consider Law Limiting the Sale of Violent Video Games (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/27/us/27scotus.html)‎


The Supreme Court (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/s/supreme_court/index.html?inline=nyt-org) on Monday agreed to decide (http://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/042610zor.pdf) whether California may forbid the sale of violent video games to children.


Lower courts have consistently struck down similar laws under the First Amendment, declining to extend obscenity principles to images of violence. The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case in the absence of disagreements in the lower courts suggests that at least some justices might be prepared to rethink how the First Amendment applies to depictions of violence, at least when they are sold to children.
The 2005 California law at issue in the case imposes $1,000 fines on stores that sell violent video games to people under 18. The law defines violent games as those “in which the range of options available to a player includes killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being” in a way that is “patently offensive,” appeals to minors’ “deviant or morbid interests” and lacks “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”
A unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, struck down (http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2009/02/20/0716620.pdf) the law, rejecting what Judge Consuelo M. Callahan, writing for the panel, called “an invitation to reconsider the boundaries of the legal concept of ‘obscenity’ under the First Amendment.”
In defending the law in court, the California officials submitted “several vignettes from the games Grand Theft Auto (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/c/computer_and_video_games/grand_theft_auto/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier): Vice City, Postal 2 and Duke Nukem 3D, which demonstrate the myriad ways in which characters can kill or injure victims or adversaries,” Judge Callahan wrote. But she said the “heavily edited selections” did not “include any context or possible story line.”
The state urged the appeals court not to apply “strict scrutiny,” the searching judicial review usually called for when content-based laws are challenged under the First Amendment. To survive strict scrutiny, laws must be narrowly tailored to promote a compelling government interest. The state instead urged the court to apply a more relaxed standard used in obscenity cases involving minors, one that requires only a showing that it was not irrational for lawmakers to find that exposure to the materials in question would harm children.
Judge Callahan rejected the looser standard, saying it was specifically rooted in the Supreme Court’s “First Amendment obscenity jurisprudence, which relates to nonprotected sex-based expression — not violent content.”
She added that the justification offered by the state to support the law — that violent video games cause psychological harm to children — was supported mainly by evidence based on correlation rather than causation.
Michael D. Gallagher, the president of the Entertainment Software Association (http://www.theesa.com/), said First Amendment protections should apply to video games just as they do to books, films and music. Industry self-regulation is working, he said, and it is harder for minors to buy M-rated games than it is to buy R-rated DVDs.
The justices first considered whether to hear the case, Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association, No. 08-1448, in September and apparently put off their decision until they finished work on United States v. Stevens (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-769.pdf), last week’s 8-to-1 decision striking down a federal law that made it a crime to traffic in depictions of animal cruelty.
The fact that the court decided to hear the video game case instead of sending it back to the lower courts for reconsideration in light of the Stevens decision indicates that some justices consider the two sorts of depictions distinct for purposes of the First Amendment.
In a separate development, the court turned down a request from Michigan that it address a dispute over how to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.

Well get ready for a blockbuster Supreme Court hearing. :(

Yusshin
April 26th, 2010, 05:04 PM
Yay! I <3 this law, even if it's not in my country.

Finally some sense :|

icomeanon6
April 26th, 2010, 05:18 PM
Even if this thing goes through, it's not like it's going to work. Violent games will find their way into the hands of minors whether they like it or not, so they might as well just let the video game industry regulate itself in that regard. I doubt it'll pass, anyway. All their findings are based on obviously bogus studies, and that guy in the article is right about it being easier for a kid to obtain an R-rated movie than an M-rated game.

We the minor-gamers have nothing to worry about, not even the ones who live in California.

Erin
April 26th, 2010, 05:40 PM
It's always baffled me, the way things work in the U.S. (at least in this respect).

In South Africa, Europe, and most other parts of the world, openness about sex is generally accepted as a natural human impulse && process. Meanwhile, extreme violence in media is censored as unnatural, dangerous, && counterproductive. In the U.S., this seems to be reversed.

That's not to say that everyone who plays Diablo is going to become an insane psychopathic murderer. But to deny that regular exposure to violence doesn't have a psychological affect on those who play these games extensively would be foolish.

Good on the courts. Freedom of speech && expression don't equate to elimination of censorship in nessecary cases. Just as the civil liberties guaranteed in the Constitutions of the world are established to maintain free society, some forms of censorship && self-limitations for extreme cases are established for the maintenence of a stable society.

shookie
April 26th, 2010, 05:53 PM
Even if this thing goes through, it's not like it's going to work. Violent games will find their way into the hands of minors whether they like it or not, so they might as well just let the video game industry regulate itself in that regard. I doubt it'll pass, anyway. All their findings are based on obviously bogus studies, and that guy in the article is right about it being easier for a kid to obtain an R-rated movie than an M-rated game.
I agree, I don't see this having a huge impact on minors gaining access to M-rated games. The legal drinking age is 21 in the US, but that doesn't stop high school students from drinking.
Sure, it will stop a 13 year old from walking into Game Stop and buying GTA with his allowance. It's not going to stop his older brother or his best friend's older brother or his own parents from going into Game Stop and buying the game for him.

The whole nudity vs. violence exposure in the U.S. thing is a different can of worms, though. >_>

Erin
April 26th, 2010, 05:55 PM
The whole nudity vs. violence exposure in the U.S. thing is a different can of worms, though. >_>

Care to expound on that?? I'm curious.

shookie
April 26th, 2010, 06:06 PM
Care to expound on that?? I'm curious.
Well, I've heard from people across the pond that America tends to be very prudish when it comes to nudity. Breastfeeding in public is very taboo, for example.
Violence, on the other hand, is pretty censored as well for the same reason(s) that this supposed law is coming up. It's definitely more prevalent than some cases of nudity, though.

I see the root of most of this from society's insane paranoia that because a little kid sees a gun, he'll become a sociopath and run around murdering people, or because the same little kid sees somebody breastfeeding (as in, using a body part for what it's meant to be used for), he'll grow up confused and as an outsider.

I'd get into it more since there's parts of it I feel strongly about, but I don't want to risk overstepping boundaries in the community here.

Erin
April 26th, 2010, 06:16 PM
Violence, on the other hand, is pretty censored as well for the same reason(s) that this supposed law is coming up. It's definitely more prevalent than some cases of nudity, though.
I'd contest whether violence is so censored in American media, at least in relation to the rest of the Western world. When I spent a summer there, I saw more violence on television than I'd ever see back home. Additionally, you see excessively graphic video games such as "Dead Rising" being censored or outright banned by the SA && EU authorities, but being released && easily accessible for minors in the United States.

I see the root of most of this from society's insane paranoia that because a little kid sees a gun, he'll become a sociopath and run around murdering people.
That's not the point I'm trying to make. They're not gonna go murdering people, but if a child sees graphic violence excessively during stages of development, it does have an effect on their personality, just as significant exposure to anything else detrimental would. Likewise, seeing breastfeeding or nudity in art or occasionally in media isn't going to turn a child into a twisted pervert, but if they're sitting in front of porn for seven hours a day, it's going to leave its impression.

As with everything else in a consistently stable society, I believe moderation is the key.

Hamilton
April 26th, 2010, 06:23 PM
either way they can't go through with it- First amendment rights

Esper
April 26th, 2010, 06:39 PM
In South Africa, Europe, and most other parts of the world, openness about sex is generally accepted as a natural human impulse && process. Meanwhile, extreme violence in media is censored as unnatural, dangerous, && counterproductive. In the U.S., this seems to be reversed.
This was one of my first thoughts as well.

I'm curious to see what the court does with this. I hope it doesn't come down to a simple opinion poll of the justices on the seeing-violence-makes-you-violent vs. seeing-violence-has-no-effect-on-kids spectrum.

Erin
April 26th, 2010, 06:40 PM
either way they can't go through with it- First amendment rights
First Amendment rights can be limited under exceptions of extreme obscenity.

I go to an American International School where they actually have a semester-long course on the U.S. Constituion, comparing it with our own. It's surprising how many limitations there are on the Amendment that Americans tried to use to defend nearly every kind of action they've ever taken.

The question isn't whether it violates the First Amendment, I think, as much as whether the Court will classify excessive video game violence as obscene. Lower courts have set the precedent at "no", but in global history, the higher courts don't necessarily follow lower courts' precedents.

Regrettably though, I have to agree that even if the Court rules in favour of censorship in certain cases, it'll be difficult to actually enforce.


I'm curious to see what the court does with this. I hope it doesn't come down to a simple opinion poll of the justices on the seeing-violence-makes-you-violent vs. seeing-violence-has-no-effect-on-kids spectrum.
But we all know that this is totaly what it's gonna end up being. Ironically, High Courts across the globe are some of the most politically partisan institutions in government.

donavannj
April 26th, 2010, 06:46 PM
I think if they rule in favor of the state of California, they're going to completely mess up the very well designed ESRB rating system (which, in my opinion is far more balanced, fair, and a better guideline that the movie rating system employed in the US - they even explain individual ratings rulings, iirc, and consistently re-evaluate games and include locked content on the game disc in their ratings, whereas movies can get away with "unrated" content on their DVD/VHS/Blu-Ray releases D; ).

Well, I've heard from people across the pond that America tends to be very prudish when it comes to nudity. Breastfeeding in public is very taboo, for example.

This can be traced to the fact that much of the early colonial American population was Puritan, or some other Christian denomination of similar ideals.

@Hamilton: Won't stop the biased against video games older generation that inhabits the Supreme Court, though. D;

And this wouldn't stop kids from getting violent games... it'd just put the decision in the hands of the majority of parents who have no idea what's what in video games because they don't do their research before buying a game. D;

.Gamer
April 26th, 2010, 07:00 PM
Dear Government,

Please stop making dumb laws that do nothing and try to focus on more important stuff like unemployment and how we are in debt up past our eyeballs to China.

Thanks,

The Rest of America


Yay! I <3 this law, even if it's not in my country.

Finally some sense :|


Law is bad, They shouldn't be allowed to tell you what you can/cannot buy just because "OMG IT VIOLENT!" They have age-related ratings on the games for a reason.

:|

Yusshin
April 26th, 2010, 07:02 PM
I like any law that reduces the chance of children becoming exposed to violent (and sexual) media.

The law itself may not help all that much, but it's an effort. I'm sure a few thousands kids won't be exposed to these bad influences if this law were to pass, and I find that that's a success.

Rellyms
April 26th, 2010, 07:13 PM
Dear Government,

Please stop making dumb laws that do nothing and try to focus on more important stuff like unemployment and how we are in debt up past our eyeballs to China.

Thanks,

The Rest of America

I'm with .Gamer, it's against our first amendment rights first of all and second parents should have enough sense to see what their kids are playing or how the react to certain things around them.

@Yusshin: Would you feel the same way if the law was passed in your country?

shookie
April 26th, 2010, 07:21 PM
I like any law that reduces the chance of children becoming exposed to violent (and sexual) media.

The law itself may not help all that much, but it's an effort. I'm sure a few thousands kids won't be exposed to these bad influences if this law were to pass, and I find that that's a success.
It doesn't really reduce anything by a large amount. It's sort of like a slap on the wrist or hitting these companies on the nose with a newspaper and telling them "No, bad company!" when a minor gets an M-rated game. All this is going to do is just have people find more ways to get around these laws so a 12 year old can play a game not suited for him.

This can be traced to the fact that much of the early colonial American population was Puritan, or some other Christian denomination of similar ideals.
Huh, I actually didn't know that. I'm usually more aware of the effect than the cause.

Erin
April 26th, 2010, 07:22 PM
I'm with .Gamer, it's against our first amendment rights first of all and second parents should have enough sense to see what their kids are playing or how the react to certain things around them.

See, there's that First Amendment thing again. =\\

The. First. Amendment. has. restrictions. in. regards. to. obscenity.

Please. understand. your. rights. before. invoking. them.

@Yusshin: Would you feel the same way if the law was passed in your country?

As a matter of fact, her country, my country, the European Union, && many others have passed laws restricting or censoring excessively violent video games.

Oddly enough, we're still getting by.

It doesn't really reduce anything by a large amount. It's sort of like a slap on the wrist or hitting these companies on the nose with a newspaper and telling them "No, bad company!" when a minor gets an M-rated game. All this is going to do is just have people find more ways to get around these laws so a 12 year old can play a game not suited for him.

In this regard, you're right.

I think though, that what this will do is provide more incentive for stores to make sure they're checking IDs, and for that matter, verifying that they aren't fake IDs.

There's nothing that can be done to prevent parents, siblings, or friends from buying M-rated games for minors. That I won't deny. But there is much that can be done to ensure that stores are honouring ESRB ratings which, as donavannj pointed out, are well devised.

As an added benefit, revenue collected from the fines can be used to fund financially-strapped local governments, as the money collected would likely go to them.

I don't see why everyone's in such an uproar about this. All it really does is give government an ability to actually enforce the law.

donavannj
April 26th, 2010, 07:26 PM
I like any law that reduces the chance of children becoming exposed to violent (and sexual) media.

The law itself may not help all that much, but it's an effort. I'm sure a few thousands kids won't be exposed to these bad influences if this law were to pass, and I find that that's a success.

There's still the whole uninformed, unwilling to do research parent aspect of it. D;

That's what I feel is the core issue about violence in video games and teens getting their hands on violent games. Lack of a parent doing research before buying a game for their teen/kids. D;

.Gamer
April 26th, 2010, 07:30 PM
See, there's that First Amendment thing again. =\\

The. First. Amendment. has. restrictions. in. regards. to. obscenity.

Please. understand. your. rights. before. invoking. them.





Thats true. But they cannot tell companies what they can and cannot sell. The companies are a free entity can produce whatever they want as long as there are proper labels attatched and/or warnings applied. Please. Understand. What. You. Are. Typing. Before. You. Type. It.

Also, agreeing with donovannj, if a parent is willing to buy a game for their child that is excessively violent/sexual/has goatse references, don't worry about it, its not your job, nor the governments job, nor anyone but the parent's job to worry about what goes on with that child and what video games he does/does not play.

I personally don't care if kids buy violent/sexual video games. I mean, they are going to see it sooner or later. Sheltering them only makes them turn out worse imo. They are more sheltered and more naive. People who blame their violent actions on video games are just crazy nutjobs who should be kept out of society anyway. Parents are responsible for the actions of their children. If they aren't willing ot accept that responsibility, then they ought not be parenting.

donavannj
April 26th, 2010, 07:33 PM
Thats true. But they cannot tell companies what they can and cannot sell. The companies are a free entity can produce whatever they want as long as there are proper labels attatched and/or warnings applied. Please. Understand. What. You. Are. Typing. Before. You. Type. It.
Ah, but that's where you're wrong. I point to the many standards of food and product safety and the illegality of most narcotics, plus the age restrictions on alcohol and tobacco purchase and consumption.

.Gamer
April 26th, 2010, 07:38 PM
That has nothing to do with the first ammendment though lol

donavannj
April 26th, 2010, 07:40 PM
That has nothing to do with the first ammendment though lol

Yes it does, by the logic of the post of yours I quoted... you said that the government can't tell companies what they can and can't sell, and I just provided examples of government restrictions on what companies can and can't sell.

.Gamer
April 26th, 2010, 07:41 PM
I meant they can't in regards to the first ammendment, however regarding non-speech related products they can.

Rellyms
April 26th, 2010, 07:42 PM
See, there's that First Amendment thing again. =\\

The. First. Amendment. has. restrictions. in. regards. to. obscenity.

Please. understand. your. rights. before. invoking. them.



As a matter of fact, her country, my country, the European Union, && many others have passed laws restricting or censoring excessively violent video games.

Oddly enough, we're still getting by.




It may protect us from our indecencies, but who's to say that a game will cause such an uproar or any kind?
A game in no way will provoke violence in a stable citizen and that's why theirs a rating on it.

Please believe I understand my right completely, please don't insult my intelligence.

Your government obviously isn't charging 1000 euros for not following this law.

Erin
April 26th, 2010, 07:46 PM
Thats true. But they cannot tell companies what they can and cannot sell.
Really? Awesome. So I'm a 12 year old, I'm gonna head over to my local convienience store and pick up a gram of weed, a handle of Absolut, six R-rated movies, a carton of Marlboro Menthols, and a few birth control pills.

Case and point.


Also, agreeing with donovannj, if a parent is willing to buy a game for their child that is excessively violent/sexual/has goatse references, don't worry about it, its not your job, nor the governments job, nor anyone but the parent's job to worry about what goes on with that child and what video games he does/does not play.
In a perfect world I would agree with you; I'm quite the Libertarian.

But here's the catch: In many states, it's already illegal to sell M-rated games to minors without parental consent. Many other large firms have a company-wide policy that extend that rule, even to states that don't have the requirement in law.

That being said, enforcing laws && policies that are already in place doesn't seem too outrageous. There's more critical aspects of the private sector under risk of government encroachment that need to be focused upon. Regulation of sales of certain goods to minors is just a matter of commerce.

Sheltering them only makes them turn out worse imo.
Most sane people wouldn't the censorship of throwing a set of ninja stars at a zombie to cripple it, then running up to it, cutting open its chest with a knife && ripping out its intestines "sheltering" of a child. Those who do probably shouldn't be parenting.

If they aren't willing ot accept that responsibility, then they ought not be parenting.
I agree with you on fundamentals, but I'm a realist. Many parents of the 21st Century shouldn't be parenting to begin with, && several either won't be informed enough to or won't care to research the video games they allow their children to purchase. For the same reason drugs, alcohol, R-rated movies, sex-related products, tobbaco, lottery cards, and a variety of other goods have limitations on their avalibility to minors, so should excessively violent or profane video games.


Your government obviously isn't charging 1000 euros for not following this law.
You're correct. It's charging around 65,000 rand.
Why is it such a big deal? Parents who still approve of or believe their children are mature enough to play such video games can still purchase the games for their children. All this does is fine companies that sell M-rated games to children directly, which is against the laws of several states && policies of even more companies to begin with.

donavannj
April 26th, 2010, 07:48 PM
I meant they can't in regards to the first ammendment, however regarding non-speech related products they can.

That is true. And what I listed moreso pertains to the Ninth Amendment rights of the people.

EDIT: What concerns me is the way the law is worded... by their definition, numerous games that are rated T would be illegal to sell to minors, and even a few E and E10+ rated games. Their definition is too vague. I trust the ESRB more than any government when it comes to video game ratings. As proof, Grand Theft Auto IV was recently re-rated from M to NC-17.

Erin
April 26th, 2010, 07:57 PM
That is true. And what I listed moreso pertains to the Ninth Amendment rights of the people.

More of a general legal question than an ideological one, but in what way would the Court use the Ninth Amendment to strike down the California law?

"Unenumerated rights" have been used in a lot of state && federal legislation, but I've never seen it used as by a Court. Seems to vague to be the primary reasoning to a ruling.


EDIT: What concerns me is the way the law is worded... by their definition, numerous games that are rated T would be illegal to sell to minors, and even a few E and E10+ rated games. Their definition is too vague. I trust the ESRB more than any government when it comes to video game ratings. As proof, Grand Theft Auto IV was recently re-rated from M to NC-17.
EDIT: Alright, help me clear this up, because this may be why I'm not understanding everyone else's stance in this.

What's the specific wording of the law? My understanding was that the legislation in question only allowed government to fine retailers that knowingly sold M+ games directly to minors.

.Fenris
April 26th, 2010, 08:01 PM
Huh? If games like GTA or Postal get the heat, I'm good. BUUTT they wanna do this with games where you're the SWAT team member or Navy SEAL, etc; we're gonna have problems.

donavannj
April 26th, 2010, 08:07 PM
More of a general legal question than an ideological one, but in what way would the Court use the Ninth Amendment to strike down the California law?

"Unenumerated rights" have been used in a lot of state && federal legislation, but I've never seen it used as by a Court. Seems to vague to be the primary reasoning to a ruling.


EDIT: Alright, help me clear this up, because this may be why I'm not understanding everyone else's stance in this.

What's the specific wording of the law? My understanding was that the legislation in question only allowed government to fine retailers that knowingly sold M+ games directly to minors.

It wouldn't... I was talking about the product safety regulations and the like with that. It would primarily be the First Amendment if it were struck down, since video games are more of a media of expression like art and writing than they are a product.

It isn't clear which games would be affected by California's law, which defines a violent video game as one that "includes killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being."

I underlined the world that could be used very loosely in this case. That's my main issue with it, since maiming can be stretched to cover cartoony human injury, including games like The Sims, even though it's a completely optional thing in The Sims. The WSJ article I quoted: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704464704575208463106126530.html?mod=rss_whats_news_us
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704464704575208463106126530.html?mod=rss_whats_news_us)

Rellyms
April 26th, 2010, 08:09 PM
You're correct. It's charging around 65,000 rand.
Why is it such a big deal? Parents who still approve of or believe their children are mature enough to play such video games can still purchase the games for their children. All this does is fine companies that sell M-rated games to children directly, which is against the laws of several states && policies of even more companies to begin with.

Then the parent should be charged with Accessory to murder/said crime. It's like they've given the kid a loaded gun and drugs.

donavannj
April 26th, 2010, 08:14 PM
Then the parent should be charged with Accessory to murder/said crime. It's like they've given the kid a loaded gun and drugs.
Now that's quite a rash comparison to make, and fairly irrational to boot, since children can technically use hunting rifles if they've taken a training course in most states. And the drugs part wasn't necessary. :\

If a parent feels, after having done ample research, that their child is mature enough to handle the game, then, by all means, let the parent buy it. It's those who don't do their research that I worry about. :S

Erin
April 26th, 2010, 08:16 PM
I underlined the world that could be used very loosely in this case. That's my main issue with it, since maiming can be stretched to cover cartoony human injury, including games like The Sims, even though it's a completely optional thing in The Sims. The WSJ article I quoted: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704464704575208463106126530.html?mod=rss_whats_news_us (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704464704575208463106126530.html?mod=rss_whats_news_us)
(http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704464704575208463106126530.html?mod=rss_whats_news_us)
Now that you bring that into play, it is rather concerning. Adding a fine to existing laws in order to encourage enforcement I have no problems with, but I agree with you in that policymakers trying to reform the definition of video game ratings is unnessecary; it's like trying to fix a clock that works just fine.

I won't deny that the ESRB ratings work just fine; our own rating system is modeled after ESRB, && not without reason. Making it legally binding I have no problem with, unnessecarily trying to reform it, I do.

My bad you guys.

Then the parent should be charged with Accessory to murder/said crime. It's like they've given the kid a loaded gun and drugs.
Or it's like a parent purchasing condoms for her 17 year old son, whom they deem likely && responsible enough to have safe sex.

Or a parent who consents to get their child to get a hunting liscense, if they deem their child responsible enough to do so.

Neither of which are illegal at all.

flight
April 26th, 2010, 08:19 PM
Now that's quite a rash comparison to make, and fairly irrational to boot, since children can technically use hunting rifles if they've taken a training course in most states. And the drugs part wasn't necessary. :\

Since when did anything America's government do was rational? That was just irrational in itself lol.

In most states. In other states, if they would be carrying guns, then it would post a problem for the parents, because you know what, they're minors and don't have a license. Though that's not what this is about.

If a parent feels, after having done ample research, that their child is mature enough to handle the game, then, by all means, let the parent buy it. It's those who don't do their research that I worry about. :S

Oh please, like Silent Hill and Resident Evil are gonna cause much damage to a 10-year old. They have enough of an imagination already.

donavannj
April 26th, 2010, 08:23 PM
It's been rational... it's just not been as obvious recently because of partisan-based politics. D;

Oh please, like Silent Hill and Resident Evil are gonna cause much damage to a 10-year old. They have enough of an imagination already.

Not necessarily one that gets images of killing people, though. D;

flight
April 26th, 2010, 08:27 PM
Not necessarily one that gets images of killing people, though. D;

And how is that different from Power Rangers whose is supposedly a ~totally~ non-violent franchise because all you have to do is dress up in a tight suit and whip out some tae kwan do? They can get violent through those means, y'know.

donavannj
April 26th, 2010, 08:29 PM
And how is that different from Power Rangers whose is supposedly a ~totally~ non-violent franchise because all you have to do is dress up in a tight suit and whip out some tae kwan do? They can get violent through those means, y'know.

True... but you also have to consider the fact that a 10 year old's imagination would make him or her terrified of the dark after playing Silent Hill, Resident Evil, or Left 4 Dead. You have to consider the emotional scars, too. D;

.Gamer
April 26th, 2010, 08:30 PM
I think it should be the parents responsibility to teach the child that there is a difference between real life and video games. Honestly, its not that hard of a concept to grasp. People are too worried these days about how people feel about stuff. Personally, I think its retarded. They don't show old cartoons and stuff because they were "too violent." My arse they were. Society is going farther and farther down this road that leads to some supposed happy ground where butterflies are everywhere and unicorns poop hapiness. Its getting a bit out of hand.


EDIT: 999 post!

flight
April 26th, 2010, 08:31 PM
True... but you also have to consider the fact that a 10 year old's imagination would make him or her terrified of the dark after playing Silent Hill, Resident Evil, or Left 4 Dead. You have to consider the emotional scars, too. D;

That or he might get a Super Soaker and a garden hoe and start kicking some ass.

Rellyms
April 26th, 2010, 08:32 PM
Now that's quite a rash comparison to make, and fairly irrational to boot, since children can technically use hunting rifles if they've taken a training course in most states. And the drugs part wasn't necessary. :\

If a parent feels, after having done ample research, that their child is mature enough to handle the game, then, by all means, let the parent buy it. It's those who don't do their research that I worry about. :S
Really? What parent reads through an entire instruction book before buying a game, which store let's you play an entire game before buying, which site do parents know about that explain in full detail about any game.


Or it's like a parent purchasing condoms for her 17 year old son, whom they deem likely && responsible enough to have safe sex.

Or a parent who consents to get their child to get a hunting liscense, if they deem their child responsible enough to do so.

Neither of which are illegal at all.

And when their responsible child shoots someone, they should be charged for giving their so "responsible" child a gun. (Accessory & Child Endangerment)

donavannj
April 26th, 2010, 08:50 PM
That or he might get a Super Soaker and a garden hoe and start kicking some ass.

XDDDD That made me laugh in the middle this serious discussion! And that just reminded me of the SNES/Genesis game Zombies Ate My Neighbors, which was one of my favorite games when I was 10. /kinda an exception the the standard of 10 year olds being afraid of zombies

On a serious note, show me a case where that has happened.

@Rellyms: There isn't a book that explicitly explains each game, because that would be wasteful and cost inefficient. Instead, parents can use Google, Commonsensemedia.org (which can do some spot on assessments, even if the reviewers are more socially conservative than ratings boards), the official ESRB website, etc. A smart parent would think to scope out a game before buying.

As for your second point, most parents go off of the age that they reflected upon as themselves being ready to handle a gun as a guideline for allowing their child to use a gun. Five year olds are fast learners and can understand a lot more than most give them credit for.

Erin
April 26th, 2010, 09:09 PM
And how is that different from Power Rangers whose is supposedly a ~totally~ non-violent franchise because all you have to do is dress up in a tight suit and whip out some tae kwan do? They can get violent through those means, y'know.
That's the concern though.

Since they're actually not using ESRB's set ratings (again, my bad on that one) && trying to create their own, games as low-rated as E10+ could possibly be classified as "violent" because of stupid cartoon violence.

Will it go to that extreme? Probably not. Could kid-oriented games (i.e. Shadow the Hedgehog) be inadvertedly effected by the law? Certainly.

Stick with what works && enforce it. ESRB's a group of professionals who know what they're doing && rectify mistakes (i.e. changing the most recent Grand Theft Auto's rating from M to NC-17). Policymakers who have little or no experience in the field shouldn't be making new definitions.

I think it should be the parents responsibility to teach the child that there is a difference between real life and video games. Honestly, its not that hard of a concept to grasp.
They should. They won't.

People are too worried these days about how people feel about stuff. Personally, I think its retarded. They don't show old cartoons and stuff because they were "too violent." My arse they were. Society is going farther and farther down this road that leads to some supposed happy ground where butterflies are everywhere and unicorns poop hapiness. Its getting a bit out of hand.
This I can agree with; political correctness has taken far too much of a priority, to the point where people try to be so politically correct that it's sometimes taken as patronization and offends.

But at the same time, there's a level of decency that needs to be maintained. Moderation is the key.

which site do parents know about that explain in full detail about any game.
Wikipedia. Commonsensemedia. Whattheyplay. ESRB. Parentpreviews. Theyre's a myriad of them. Thing is, most of them are too busy, too clueless, or too carelss to actually check.

And when their responsible child shoots someone, they should be charged for giving their so "responsible" child a gun. (Accessory & Child Endangerment)
This is an aspect of American law I'm not really familiar with. In South Africa, in the case of a minor maliciously injuring another person, the minor is charged, && if a direct trace to the original provider of the weapon can be linked (which, in all honesty, doesn't happen in most cases), they are charged or fined as well (depending on the circumstance) for the infractions you described.

Is it similar in American law?

donavannj
April 26th, 2010, 09:14 PM
This is an aspect of American law I'm not really familiar with. In South Africa, in the case of a minor maliciously injuring another person, the minor is charged, && if a direct trace to the original provider of the weapon can be linked (which, in all honesty, doesn't happen in most cases), they are charged or fined as well (depending on the circumstance) for the infractions you described.

Is it similar in American law?

It varies on a case-by-case basis, typically, though it usually makes national news when someone under the age of 12 intentionally shoots someone, so, in those cases, it's almost a given if a weapon source can be established.

Red1530
April 27th, 2010, 09:23 AM
Since we are discussing the First Amendment, I think it is prudent to include its text.Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.To the supports of this law I would like to know your reaction if a similar law was applied to books. If you don't like a similar being applied to books, then you cannot support it for video games because video games are also telling a story.

donavannj
April 27th, 2010, 09:41 AM
Since we are discussing the First Amendment, I think it is prudent to include its text.To the supports of this law I would like to know your reaction if a similar law was applied to books. If you don't like a similar being applied to books, then you cannot support it for video games because video games are also telling a story.

More aptly applied to that amendment, books and video games are a form of expressing political views, which falls under free speech.

lx_theo
April 27th, 2010, 07:03 PM
What I have a problem with is how general their definition of a violent game is. Whats that? Well over half the games on store shelves?

flight
April 27th, 2010, 07:27 PM
XDDDD That made me laugh in the middle this serious discussion! And that just reminded me of the SNES/Genesis game Zombies Ate My Neighbors, which was one of my favorite games when I was 10. /kinda an exception the the standard of 10 year olds being afraid of zombies

On a serious note, show me a case where that has happened.


There is A case, however it is not recent, but assuming you don't care anyway:

Here. (http://parentingsolved.typepad.com/parenting_solved/2009/01/child-drives-car-after-watching-grand-theft-auto.html)

As you very well know, Grand Theft Auto has been a video game of great controversy when it comes to safety among children. This is not an exception. :( Like I said, very outdated, but an incident nonetheless.

And he wasn't even 10!

Gary, the Magic Fairy
April 27th, 2010, 07:45 PM
There is A case, however it is not recent, but assuming you don't care anyway:

Here. (http://parentingsolved.typepad.com/parenting_solved/2009/01/child-drives-car-after-watching-grand-theft-auto.html)

As you very well know, Grand Theft Auto has been a video game of great controversy when it comes to safety among children. This is not an exception. :( Like I said, very outdated, but an incident nonetheless.

And he wasn't even 10!
Because driving is totally something only found in GTA. If he had taken said car to go shoot people on the street, then maybe. That article is ridiculously biased.

flight
April 27th, 2010, 07:51 PM
Because driving is totally something only found in GTA. If he had taken said car to go shoot people on the street, then maybe. That article is ridiculously biased.

You do realize that(and thank god) there wasn't a gun even around, right? I mean, if there was even a gun in the vicinity and he noticed it, things might've gone a lot worse

As I said, the article is an incident nonetheless. It can be biased, it can be outdated, but it's an incident. It's not my problem to be concern with their bias after all.

lx_theo
April 27th, 2010, 07:59 PM
What I have a problem with is how general their definition of a violent game is. Whats that? Well over half the games on store shelves?

The Corrupt Plague
April 27th, 2010, 10:38 PM
Even if that law passes, it's going to do nothing. Even if they can't buy them, the kiddies are still probably going to download them from some warez site. Fact: kids are not morons, I have actually seen some around here that are younger than TEN that already know about emulation.

Pokeyomom
April 27th, 2010, 11:06 PM
I think we should still sell violent games to kids; but we should subject them to eductaion on HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE FICTION FROM REALITY. This would largely be a parent responsibility. However, since most parents suck, maybe a law like this might not be a half bad idea. Kids are being exposed to waaaayyy to much these days.

Captain Fabio
April 28th, 2010, 12:17 AM
The whole debate of children and teens been exposed to violence, sexual themes and so on are in the world, outside of video games as well.

Maybe the government should look at preventing crime, instead of criminal themes in a game.
Bottom line is, a game is a game.
Anyone who thinks it is real and takes is so seriously that they think it is ok to go out into the real world and do it, is a complete idiot, or has a mental disorder.
Either way, law or no law, they would do it regardless.

FreakyLocz14
April 28th, 2010, 12:34 PM
Being a lifetime resident of California and a gamer, I have my opinions on this.
I think parents should be the one who decide what games are appropriate for their children, not the government. I'm against this law but it would be more reasonable to just not sell the games to minors but should be exepmt if the parent is buying it for them because it would mean the parent has no objections with their child playing the game.

lucariojon
April 29th, 2010, 01:25 AM
I like any law that reduces the chance of children becoming exposed to violent (and sexual) media.

The law itself may not help all that much, but it's an effort. I'm sure a few thousands kids won't be exposed to these bad influences if this law were to pass, and I find that that's a success.
(Back of Pokemon soul silver box) Rated E for everyone- Mild cartoon violence.
Since it says violence, Pokemon might not sell in California anymore =/
If you ask me, I think parent's should look at the rating of the game for once, then the state wouldn't have to do this, because kids wouldn't be getting games not appropriate for there age group.
If you ask me, I don't like the fact that we can't buy violent games if were a kid, all of my friends normally tend to only play fighting games/ violent games.
I just have one question, though. Is this only in California or is it gonna hit every other state?
The whole debate of children and teens been exposed to violence, sexual themes and so on are in the world, outside of video games as well.

Maybe the government should look at preventing crime, instead of criminal themes in a game.
Bottom line is, a game is a game.
Anyone who thinks it is real and takes is so seriously that they think it is ok to go out into the real world and do it, is a complete idiot, or has a mental disorder.
Either way, law or no law, they would do it regardless.

I agree with this user, violence is pretty much all around us =/
Its on the streets, in the alleys, and sometimes even in your school =/
Games are just games, like this user said, they shouldn't be taken seriously.

EBeing a lifetime resident of California and a gamer, I have my opinions on this.
I think parents should be the one who decide what games are appropriate for their children, not the government. I'm against this law but it would be more reasonable to just not sell the games to minors but should be exepmt if the parent is buying it for them because it would mean the parent has no objections with their child playing the game.

Exactly, I also think that if the parent decide to buy it for there kids, it means the mother/ father of the child means he/ she can play the game.

TeddyPicka
April 29th, 2010, 03:07 PM
Even though this law is being carried on out on the other side of the world, I fail to see why it is a good thing. Video game violence for me is a good thing as it helps take my anger out rather on some lifeless pixels than my friends and family. The incidents which arise over video game violence related deaths would be more of a refference to the criminal having a mental illness. For instance, shortly after the realease of GTA IV in Britain a boy attacked another with a claw hammer and the game was blamed. I'm from Glasgow which was named the murder capital of Europe so I live in a world full of death and murder. People locally die all the time in my area so why have none of these deaths been related to games ?.

Meowth! That's right!
April 30th, 2010, 06:30 AM
This is stupid, obviously a 7 year old shouldn't be able to walk in and buy Grand Theft Auto but why can't a 17 year old? Usually when a young kid is playing something inappropriate it's because their parents bought for them it not knowing how violent it was or it's their older brother's game or something, so an age restriction isn't going to stop that. Anyway if a kid is old enough to be buying their own games then they're probably old enough for a bit of computer generated violence, my 14 year old sister walked into a game shop and bought Modern Warfare 2 without being asked for her age or anything. Heck when I was 7 I played Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64 and it didn't affect me, I'm not shooting people in real life, but then again guns are actually illegal in my country as they should be, but that's another topic altogether.

TeddyPicka
April 30th, 2010, 08:57 AM
TBH some people can't judge a persons age for crap :o I mean I'm fifteen but I look alot older and I was Id'd to buy step brothers on DVD but yet I was allowed into an over 18s dancing :S Age restrictions are so much of a fail it's unbelievable :/

Rich Boy Rob
May 1st, 2010, 01:48 PM
I like any law that reduces the chance of children becoming exposed to violent (and sexual) media.

Great! Lets completely ban: TV, Books, Computers, Games, Magazines, Films and actually while we are here why don't we blind and deafen all children at birth too, that'll stop em seeing (or hearing) anything violent or sexual.

Anyway mini-rant over. I seriously don't get this whole thing about games influencing people's actions. I mean (to roughly quote Marcus Brigstocke) people from 20 odd years ago aren't all running around mazes chomping pills trying to escape ghosts while yelling "WAKKA WAKKA WAKKA WAKKA", or running left and right shooting boxes at invaders from space, so why should modern games be any different?

InMooseWeTrust
May 2nd, 2010, 10:30 AM
All Pokémon games that involve battling are violent, because they involve attacking your opponent until they faint. Let's have that established first.

I like any law that reduces the chance of children becoming exposed to violent (and sexual) media.

The law itself may not help all that much, but it's an effort. I'm sure a few thousands kids won't be exposed to these bad influences if this law were to pass, and I find that that's a success.

It's a simple economics thing. Yes, you might deter 0.01% of kids playing those games from becoming violent, but at the same time, you're taking away the right to enjoy video gaming in all its glory from 99.99% of the gamers who are NOT violent as a result of violent gaming (the issues themselves are a lot more complex than what you can solve with a simple banning). Is it really worth it to take away some enjoyment from the overwhelming majority to only stop a few people? No, it's not.

There are plenty of other bad influences and they're just as deadly. What if some of these kids are raised by abusive parents, and to them, violent video games are a form of outlet for aggression (like sports and martial arts are for some people) keeping them from doing violent things to other people? When you take an action in favor of or against something, there are unseen opportunity costs, and sometimes, the benefits of the prohibition are not worth the things that come out as a result. The best example of this is alcohol prohibition in the United States.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court is full of the same ideological garbage that exists everywhere else in the country. They're supposed to INTERPRET the Constitution, not make laws. Lately they've been doing too much of the latter and not enough of the former. The founding fathers didn't want the government to micromanage people's lives, which is what this law entails. The government is supposed to govern people in a fair way. Nothing more, nothing less. Maybe instead of worrying so much about video games, the government should focus on the trillions of dollars we owe to every other country in the world, and try to end peacefully some of the foreign entanglements that are destroying America's image to the world.

Oh please, like Silent Hill and Resident Evil are gonna cause much damage to a 10-year old. They have enough of an imagination already.
........................................... no comment.

What I have a problem with is how general their definition of a violent game is. Whats that? Well over half the games on store shelves?
Even Pokémon and Mario Kart are violent. Without violent games, I'd be stuck with playing.... um.... Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, ...... Hamtaro.... That's about it.

As you very well know, Grand Theft Auto has been a video game of great controversy when it comes to safety among children. This is not an exception. :( Like I said, very outdated, but an incident nonetheless.

I know a lot of people who play Grand Theft Auto and they would never even hurt a fly. Well, they would hurt flies, but you know what I mean.

ANARCHit3cht
May 3rd, 2010, 03:13 PM
Welll... I don't really see this passing. In the event it does pass, not much would change. Parents usually buy the video games for the children, anyway... . It should really be up to the parent about what content their children can and cannot view.

Kenpari
May 3rd, 2010, 04:08 PM
I don't quite understand this... You already can't sell an M-rated video game to anybody under 17. Somebody 17 or older has to be there to buy it.

salochin
May 3rd, 2010, 05:19 PM
I suppose captialism and Free Speech are no longer U.S. Values. Pssh, why bother with stopping at games? Why not "Unrated" DVD's? Heck just get rid of anything that portrays the world as anything other than a bundle of a joy where we all eat rainbows and ride bunnies with unicorn horses that run on love and don't need money. -.-

Honestly, M-RATED hmmm, are we now admitting that the ESRB is useless, that it's not doing it's job, why even have it then? So a game is M-rated, and might contain blood. Sorry I forgot the world isn't violent. Gun running, drug wars all that doesn't exist in the real world, why should anything even similar to that even be sold, it's not as if developers HAVE THE RIGHT. You know that first ammendment? Oh it's just a myth.


But refocusing the topic, is it honestly that bad? 'Promoting animal Cruelty' What beating pixels will cause people to subconsiously want to beat their dog? If they are that stupid to start learning daily habits from video games, why are they not in a sanitarium? Honestly Games DON'T promote bad habits to anyone with an IQ high enough to read, why censor freedom of speech and a taxable industry? More goverment and more power to the feds, that's all it is.

TRIFORCE89
May 4th, 2010, 04:02 AM
I don't have a problem with this. We do the same thing with film, so why shouldn't it apply to games?

The ESRB needs some tweaking. The M-rating should be split because there is some much in that category that just shouldn't be grouped together. Something is needed between T an M.

Regardless, right now, a lot of retailers do not ask for ID, even if they claim to follow the ESRB. So, if you need to give them a little kick in the butt or an incentive to actually do that. Go right ahead.

Doesn't seem all that drastic to me. Looks like they're just telling retailers to actually do their job. I miss something?

donavannj
May 4th, 2010, 06:38 AM
I don't have a problem with this. We do the same thing with film, so why shouldn't it apply to games?

The ESRB needs some tweaking. The M-rating should be split because there is some much in that category that just shouldn't be grouped together. Something is needed between T an M.

Regardless, right now, a lot of retailers do not ask for ID, even if they claim to follow the ESRB. So, if you need to give them a little kick in the butt or an incentive to actually do that. Go right ahead.

Doesn't seem all that drastic to me. Looks like they're just telling retailers to actually do their job. I miss something?

There is no law on this... it's all done on the part of the theaters, if my memory serves.

The ESRB is a far better rating system than the movie rating system, and is applied in a more discriminating manner than the movie ratings (most PG-13 movies I've seen would be an M-rated game if converted into a video game with the same plot, though I do agree that T and PG-13 should be broken up a bit more, since maturity very much varies between a 12/13 year old and a 15 year old, and the ESRB makes games the majority of 15 and 16 year olds can handle into M-rated games).

Every major (and most of the minor retailers) game retailer in my area, if you look under 17 or 18, will ask you for ID, and a similar law was struck down this decade in my state.

Also, it's the wording that's troubling to me, which can end up including cartoon violence because "maiming an image of a human" can include even slapping, if the wording were to be interpreted loosely enough.

ANARCHit3cht
May 4th, 2010, 06:43 AM
Also, it's the wording that's troubling to me, which can end up including cartoon violence because "maiming an image of a human" can include even slapping, if the wording were to be interpreted loosely enough.

That is a pretty good point. I play a lot of games that aren't just based on killing people, stealing, and all the stuff they are basically trying to limit. Some games just have a few scenes were you see any sort of "violence" despite how trivial it might be. Also, games like Tales of Symphonia aren't even "suggestive" of the violence theme that most consider it to be. There is no blood, and you fight monsters, not kill random humans.

I could see that what they are trying to do, and it is a good cause, but they aren't doing it in the right way.

SBaby
May 25th, 2010, 11:26 AM
I don't know why the Supreme court has to get involved in this kind of thing. All they're going to do if they limit the sale of violent video games is end up with more piracy than ever before, as the more violent games become harder to find on the market. This has happened in other countries and it will end up happening here.

PokemonLeagueChamp
May 25th, 2010, 12:05 PM
Great. US government has gone from -50 to -300 on the IQ scale.
They already took over TV, now they want to restrict almost EVERY game because:
"Z0MGZ KIDZ PL4Y V10L3NT G4M3S S0 TH3Y G03S 1NS4N3 4ND K1LLS PPLZ!!!! D4TS N0T G00D!!! W3 MUST H4S M04R C3NS0RSH1P!!!!"

Just in case you had no idea what that says:
"ZOMGZ KIDZ PLAY VIOLENT GAMES SO THEY GOES INSANE AND KILLS PPL!!!! DATS NOT GOOD!!! WE MUST HAS MOAR CENSORSHIP!!!!"

Well, that's damn stupid. You mean to tell me I can't ****ing buy Pokémon Black and White till 2012 because I won't be 18 and won't be able to buy "violent" games till then?! Honestly, this is the stupidest proposal since the health care bill. Frankly, at least in my case, being barred from buying MARIO, POKÉMON, and ****ing LEGO STAR WARS because of "violence" might actually make me violent due to the Bull****-ometer going off the charts.

And these are our so-called "representatives" proposing this. Good goin' America.....

PkMnTrainer Yellow
May 25th, 2010, 12:20 PM
I'm a minor and I play Left 4 Dead 2 ._.
That game has enough gore to make ME mildly uncomfortable at times.

There was nothing preventing me from getting that game =3 I live in America.