Illinois Guv Was an Early Proponent of Banning Violent Game Ads from Public Transit

December 3, 2006 -
In the wake of recent controversies over GTA ads on mass-transit vehicles in Boston and PortlandGamePolitics notes that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was an early proponent of removing such advertisements.

As far back as 2004, Gov. Blagojevich urged the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to drop ads for GTA San Andreas. The Guv's call to ban the ads preceded the passage of his Safe Game Illinois Act by less than a year. The Illinois video game law was eventually ruled unconstitutional.

Free speech issues were also raised in the CTA controversy, as reported at the time by Chicago's ABC-7:
In Chicago the CTA is collecting $90-thousand dollars to plaster one of the games, "Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas", on the side of 400 CTA buses in the month of December.


The transit agency depends on advertising on buses, trains, and el station walls for $20-million dollars a year. But the governor says the video ad should be taken down because it encourages young people to buy the game illegally...




The CTA says the governor's campaign is admirable, but they can't simply reject ads that are tastefully done simply because they don't like the product.




"As long as an ad meets guidelines that have been in place for years, they're not legally obscene, sexually explicit, then the CTA is required to take those ads. It's also an important source of revenue for us," said CTA spokeswoman Noelle Gaffney...



State Rep. Edward Acevedo opposed the Governor at the time, saying:




Are we going to censor the billboards or commercials on the video games? I don't think there's any way to get around that constitutionally.



Comments

What is the big deal with violent video game ads all of a sudden? I live near Los Amgeles and I have seen many ads in Los Angeles for True Crime Streets of New York and no one complains about that. Violent video games have a right to advertise where ever and when ever they want. I think a great penalty that a judge could put on Jack Thompson every time he loses a case, would be to make him play violent video games. That would be great if they forced him to play them because then maybe he would see how empty and baseless his case is. They should definitely make him play the violent video games that he tries to ban. Rub his nose in his own full of feces case.

Anyway, these games are good and need to be praised, not condemned. Besides, who buys games based on advertising anyway? I personally never buy anything off advertisments and the arguments of these jerks are solely based on collecting votes from conservative idiots like Thompson. Thompson is a jerk and a complete lowlife that should never have been given the right to practice law. How could any state be retarded enough to give a loser like that a license to practice law? Although he isn't the only one who is against these great innocent forms of entertainment, he is certainly the most vocal one.

Other idiots, who are on his side of the issue, don't really make attacking violent video games their lives work. That's why I focus on Jack Thompson. He is a loser and a lying piece of garbage and I hope he loses his license to practice law and the Florida Bar Association needs to reevaluate the people that they allow to pratice law, if this is who they think is fit to practice law, they're retarded and they need to be fired and Jack Thompson needs to lose his license to practice law. I hope the people at Penny Arcade and the people at Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games continue to fight this awful threat and try to get his license taken away. He is utterly unfit to practice law and the issue of video game violence is only noticeable anymore because of him and he needs to be disbarred.

I hope Judge Ronald Friedman gets him into serious trouble because of his contempt after losing the Bully case. He cannot be allowed to attack innocent industries like this. Why does the country allow this? Why do they allow people like Jack Thompson to have licenses to practice law? In my opinion, that man isn't even fit to work at McDonalds. He should be in a mental institution where he belongs because he's reached the level of insanity on this. Florida, please take away his license to practice law. He is giving all lawyers a bad name and is a total disgrace and fraud who needs to be committed to a mental institution. This man is insane and a golddigger. He mustn't be allowed to do anything against the video game industry and shouldn't be allowed to pracitce law at all. He is totally unfit in every way.

Based on what I've read about this man, he is an abusive goddigger, a liar, a fraud, a bum, a loser, a jerk, a manipulator, an attacker of an innocent industry, whose only crime is to give people entertainment, an ambulance chaser and a pig. If you think a man like that is fit to practice law in this country, the country is in serious trouble. These innocent games shouldn't be regulated like they're drugs because they're not at all like drugs and they don't have the effects of drugs. Here's a message to the Bar Association dump Jack Thompson. He is a mental case and a bum liar who shouldn't have ever been allowed to practice law anywhere in this country.

He needs to shut up and stop attacking an innocent industry and if these games want to advertise on buses and underground trains, they have a right to. I can't understand why there are advertisements for beer all over the place and no one cares, but everyone is on top of ultra-violent video games for advertising. Here's a lesson, violent video games aren't at all a danger to anyone and they don't kill people. Unlike beer, alcoholic beverages cause people to drink and drive which kills people and that's allowed to be advertised, so stop attacking it and, above all, stop listening to that madman, Jack Thompson, whose sole purpose in life is to attack an innocent industry. He is a lowlife and he is not even fit to work at Mcdonalds, let alone be an attorney.

"The CTA says the governor’s campaign is admirable, but they can’t simply reject ads that are tastefully done simply because they don’t like the product."

Although I disagree with the CTA on the "admirable", I do agree with them on everything else said in that line. :)

I like the way that the income from the ads was adressed here, I was wondering about that.

It's not like public transport just shoots out of the rear of a magic donkey. They need the cash to improve service and repair their fleets. I've seen the shite results from when they try to depend entirely on bus fares to keep running, busses that've been in use since 1970, that explode weekly and fall apart daily.

Don't worry, I'm safe, they closed down.

“The CTA says the governor’s campaign is admirable, but they can’t simply reject ads that are tastefully done simply because they don’t like the product.”

Translation: We applaud the sentiment of protecting children but there's nothing that would make us, or even allow us to pull these ads. No, "I don't like it!" isn't a valid reason.

Uhh, what exactly does he mean by 'buying the game illegally?' ESRB ratings don't have force of law, there's no law saying only X, Y and Z are allowed to buy M-rated games. That's just company policy.

Exactly, unless kids are buying video games with adult content, it isn't really possible for them to purchase a game illegally. So how can that be an issue?

Besides, if you make that sort of argument, couldn't you argue that ALL ads encourage people (children included) to buy the product?

I also haven't heard a controversy about a violent movie since Fight Club. Have movies become a non-issue when it comes to violent media now?

I think it could work the gov would have to phony up half his income to pay for it!! thier everyone is happy! :3

[...] Original post by GamePolitics [...]
 
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