New Video Game Legislation in Massachusetts ...Drafted by Jack Thompson

January 9, 2007 -
If you thought the video game industry's uninterrupted string of federal court victories might discourage states from proposing further legislation, think again.

GamePolitics has confirmed that the Massachusetts legislature will soon take up consideration of a video game bill of the "harmful to minors" variety. This is the same legal concept traditionally used to block distribution of pornography to minors.

The proposed legislation, which does not yet have a primary sponsor, would block underage buyers from purchasing any game which:

  • depicts violence in a manner patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community, so as to appeal predominantly to the morbid interest in violence of minors

  • is patently contrary to prevailing standards of adults in the county where the offense was committed as to suitable material for such minors

  • and lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors.


According to spokesperson Lynne Lyman of Boston's Office of Human Services, about a dozen members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives are prepared to sign on to the bill, as are some state senators. The bill enjoys the backing of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino as well as other influential community members.

Lyman told GP the bill is patterned on Utah's, which Massachusetts officials believe has the best chance to succeed. However, the Utah bill, which failed to clear the state legislature in 2006, is very similar to Louisiana's video game law, which was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge. The legislature in Utah is expected to reconsider the video game bill in 2007, albeit with a new sponsor.

Lyman also confirmed that controversial Miami attorney Jack Thompson assisted in drafting the bill. Thompson was the author of the Utah and Louisiana bills.

Of his involvement, Thompson told GP:
The Mayor of Boston asked me to draft a bill, on his behalf, for the Massachusetts legislature. Mayors get to do that in Massachusetts. Secondly, it is very much like Louisiana. The difference is that these people intend to win the court fight, unlike the knuckleheads in Louisiana. That bill was constitutional. They took a dive because of (ESA boss Doug) Lowenstein's threats.

Thompson's "knuckleheads" reference pertains to the ugly feud which developed between the activist attorney and Louisiana officials, particularly Attorney General Charles Foti and Deputy A.G. Burton Guidry. The "threats" comment apparently pertains to remarks made by Doug Lowenstein to the effect that, "Signing this bill into law would no doubt hurt the state's economy, essentially hanging up a 'Stay Out of Louisiana' sign on the state's borders for video game companies."

Speaking of Massachusetts, GP readers may recall the recent controversy there involving the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) in which a number of local officials and prominent citizens successfully lobbied for a ban on M-rated game advertisements on buses and trains.

GP: We originally broke this story on Monday evening, but we're bumping into Tuesday's coverage due to its impact on the gaming scene.

Comments

MAN GET A LIFE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!

From Freedomgamer's link

a reviewer giving jacks book 5 stars...Jack Thompson is bold enough to disregard those annoying little things known as "facts," making him a true crusader of justice.


can anyone explain this statement? how is one a crusader of justice disregarding facts? Then, what is a Crusader of Justice?

Ok so Boston banned the ads for video games on the MBTA, based on the fact that it would be exposing minors to mature themes? Great, but shouldn't that then preclude them from allowing entire train cars to be inundated with Tanqueray and Budweiser ads? It seems hypocritical and arbitrary at best. This is from a state who only recently has begun allowing liquor sales on Sunday, and who just last year defeated a bill which would permit alcohol sales in grocery stores. If alcohol is so taboo and must be controlled so tightly, yet is allowed to be advertised so freely on public transportation, how can the legislature justify exclusion of ads portraying fictional scenarios based upon objectionable content and its presentation to minors?

[...] Good news! The ESRB (Electronic Software Rating Board) is partnering with the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) to help educate parents about game ratings, what they mean, and what we as an industry do to keep the right games out of the wrong hands. Hopefully this will go a long way in keeping misinformed politicians like Jack Thompson from trying to, basically, outlaw games. A ton more information can be found at the ESRB and PTA. Bookmark to:          [...]

-I’m surprised Jack “Windbag” Thompson has managed to last this long with so many failed bills, proposals, “debates”, whatnot…-

Well he is the Little Engine that Couldn't.

Forgot to add this.

-and lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors.-

You mean something like this?

http://www.amazon.com/Out-Harms-Way-Jack-Thompson/dp/1414304420/sr=8-1/q...

[...] New Video Game Legislation in Massachusetts…Drafted by Jack Thompson - Never underestimate the stupidity of government. [...]

Tiki:

You can't effect a ban or partial ban on an item based on the premise, "Children would rather do this than study." In general Children would rather do /anything/ but study. If you remove video games, tv, movies, radio, toys, games, and books you would be left with children outside doing dangerous things (The true source of all outdoor fun. Just look at jarts.) rather than studying.

Would you prefer to lock all children in empty rooms with only study materials? (Which BTW /is/ actually harmful.) They'd probably spend a good portion of their time meant to be studying watching paint dry or day dreaming.

BTW, one interesting fact on test scores in the US. As you know in the US you get an academic education through twelve grades, until you are eighteen years of age. However, other countries do not have this same standard, and do not conduct their tests in the same ways. Often for many other nations at the point where our students naturally goto high school there students are given aptitude tests, those who do well goto more academic training, those who do poorly are dropped or goto trade schools. Those who are dropped or goto trade schools DO NOT HAVE THEIR TEST SCORES RECORDED FOR THESE STATISTICS that are so often quoted. This is another case of how statistics may be manipulated to show untrue results. Now, this doesn't mean education in the US is amazing, merely that the statistics quoted are entirely flawed, and cannot be used as an accurate basis for an arguement.

Your other statements regarding the "average american" don't have much basis either. Do you honestly think that if you did a scientifc survey that the majority wouldn't know Dick Cheney was the Vice President? There are so many /jokes/ about the man how could you /not/ know his name?

@Jes:

Kind of reminds me of another metaphor I thought of for Jack.

A common metaphor for American Liberty is that "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins."

Jack's idea of American Liberty is tying up other people and then punching them in the nose.

If the bill does not have a primary sponsor it's DOA.

Yuki Says:
January 9th, 2007 at 6:34 pm
Anki: and you win the “I didn’t study history” award.

You'll excuse me if I don't take studying advice from someone who can't even copy down my handle properly.

As for "[forcing] one industry to restrict itself more then others are doing", I'm not saying that I want a government body to step in. I'm saying that the games industry has a long way to go before they can claim they're being as responsible as they can be.

Like I said, the games industry doesn't gain anything by holding itself to the same lax standards as the movie industry. The film industry's standards are its own problem, and us worrying about it is a pointless distraction and a waste of effort in the long run.

Yuki Says:
January 9th, 2007 at 6:34 pm
Every single judge has stated that the industries self policing policies are vastly superior to other, similiar industries.

I don't believe I've ever seen anything of the sort. The issues argued in court rarely have anything to do with the industry's ability to police itself so much as the content of the games and whether interactive electronic media counts as "speech" in a First Amendment sense.

Yuki Says:
January 9th, 2007 at 6:34 pm
Games should be treated no different then any other media, and until the other media is held to the same spotlight, then the industry has every right to point out the hypocracy of people attacking them when the movie and music industries are utter failures in the area of self policings.

I agree - games are being unfairly targeted. And it's true that the industry has the "right" to criticize. But the bigger question is: what does that kind of criticism actually achieve? It does nothing to further the games industry's message or solidify its position; it just comes across as a smokescreen excuse.

Like it or not, violent media does affect the people who view or play it. It doesn't necessarily make people more violent, but it certainly desensitises them to violence. I don't doubt that the interactivity has some effect as well; the hyperbolic rhetoric JBT and his ilk uses is obviously embellished to make their case reverberate better with worried parents, but I have no doubt that violent games can affect the people who play them. It's just a case of figuring out how it affects players.

Yuki Says:
January 9th, 2007 at 6:34 pm
...if the industry had a pair they could have bankrupted JT years ago. Same applies to the mainstream media. if the industry wanted, they could use the legal system to force the MSM to fairly and accuratly report on games. Thats why there are Slander and defamation laws in the country.

The sue-happy antics of the RIAA haven't endeared it to anyone - and they've actually got the law on their side. Frivolous slander and libel lawsuits would do more to cause finanical problems for the industry in the long run, especially since you admit that you wouldn't expect them to win most of the cases.

Yuki Says:
January 9th, 2007 at 6:34 pm
My ideas might be a bit extreme ,but they are certinaly better then the industry sitting on it’s ass doing NOTHING!

You're right - the industry should be doing something. But there are more positive, responsible and constructive things that it could do to strengthen its position before the lawsuits start flying.

Education and PR are the foundations for a stronger industry defence. Gaming has a very negative reputation, and suing people isn't going to improve that. On the other hand, if the industry can demonstrate that they're being proactive in enforcing ESRB ratings it's going to be hard to argue that the government needs to step in; and by interacting with parents to encourage research into the games their children play and education about the ratings system they're going to help their reputation among non-gaming adults.

@Juggernautz: Unfortunately, "Columbine Simulator" is pretty much lawsuit proof. Obviously only game in existence is FACTUALLY a Columbine simulator. If dragged into court, Jack would actually win one here by stating that it his OPINION that other games simulate Columbine via supposed similar elements.

I'm betting the only way he'll shut up about the term is if one or perhaps even a number of Columbine survivors tell him to shut up and stop using their personal tragedy to advance his political causes.

Of course, real research into Columbine has shown that it had nothing to do with games, and even very little to do with bullying. Harris was a psychopath who viewed it as his right to punish the world for its supposed inferiority to him, and Klebold just happened to be a follower who happened to latch onto him.

This is an interesting article on it: http://www.slate.com/id/2099203/

That "...for minors" line got me thinking about what games influenced me. I bought Deus Ex when I was 12 and that made me start thinking very politically, and even in that game, you can blow people into tiny pieces with a grenade launcher. And on a couple of levels, there are innocent children (that often tend to be very helpful, by exchanging info for food).

Shock/horror.

Wouldn't Jacky boy's constant labelling of Bully as a 'Columbine simulator' be considered slander? Consider that

a) It had nothing to do with Columbine, apart from the fact it was mostly set in a school.
b) It was obviously not a simulator.

His use of that term could be considered as harmful, as it is playing in the public's strong opinions on those events, but I'm assuming the courts need something more concrete such as statistics, facts, etc.

[blockquote]Daniel, calm down man. If you react with anger like that you get yourself nowhere and raise your blood pressure. Calm down grab some popcorn and laugh as another state provides us with quality entertainment.[/blockquote]

Like hell he should calm down. This "quality" entertainment, judging from face value, is going to be a rehash sequel of Loony Louisana Legislation. Hopefully the outcome will be more different and bizarre.

Yuki Says:
January 10th, 2007 at 4:41 pm
I”m not trying to be mean man, but the fact is, playing nice nice is what go the industry into this spot in the first place. They sat around for so long doing nothing to counter there critics that now the critics have a massive edge .

"Playing nice" is not the same as "doing nothing". The industry's been doing the latter for too long; frankly, gaming's been a niche for too long, and I'm not surprised that the industry's unprepared for this kind of attack.

Still, I don't see how better PR and education could hurt the industry. It's a positive, proactive step, the sort of thing that we need to repair the damaged public reputation of game developers.

This isn't necessarily about stopping lawsuits and legislation right away, it's about bringing more people on-side, to get better footing for the future. There's no quick-fix; if lawsuit costs were enough to stop these things happening, then the dozens of First Amendment appeals that the industry's won would be enough to discourage these things.

There needs to be a long-term, positive plan to reinforce the fact that the games industry is doing its job, but to encourage parents to do their part to prevent their kids playing violent games.

Lawsuits, no matter how you look at them, are not a positive thing.

off topic, but don't know who to email.
KUSI news (san diego) just gave a small report that PS3 and Wii are capable of accessing pornographic sites. and the new anchors suggested to parents to monitor their children activities

@Khyris
Excellent post just one thing:

“more aggressive dispositions would only be valid if causality could be proved through a control set.”

Actually no, the court have repeated said that the mere tendency of speech too make one aggressive is not enough to restrict it and if you look at the world and what it means this is perfectly understandable. Aggressive is a very board term covering both bad and good behaviors of both minuscule and great proportion. The APA DID find a scientific valid link between games and aggression it is a big weakness of our side that we keep denying that. The reasons this is not a threat in court is that while JT misleads you to think aggression is synonymous for violence (an very extreme form of aggression) the studies link is based on thing such as kids throwing snowball, talking back to their teachers, honking a horn for literally milliseconds longer in lab, and so. All of these are valid measures of aggression, even things that may concern a parent, but they are not violence as JT wordplay leads one to believe (and APA has denied such link, after all they did even study it in the report) and they are most certainly not a “compelling governmental interests”. The Illinois case rejected these studies for that reason.

[...] Massachusetts has drafted a game bill with the help of Jack Thompson. According to him, the mayor of Boston asked him to. [...]

For me, the issue of video gaming is not that it is immoral but that it distracts children from their studies. One can always argue that parents should be more responsible, that children should learn to control themselves, but we know these don't often happen.

One can see this in U.S. society. From their own polls to studies by the American Institutes of Research, it has been shown that the average Americans student can barely say anything about both world wars, the American War of Independence, or even the U.S. Civil War. The average American adult cannot name his own Vice President, any government department, or point out his own state (let alone Iraq, Afghanistan, or China) on a map. Most American college graduates do badly in reading comprehension and even basic math skills. Compared to industrialized nations, Americans have some of the lowest test scores in math and science but spends more than most countries for education.

Meanwhile, media groups report that American kids now watch something like three hours of television daily; for American adults, four to five hours.

Finally, even in countries like South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, parents are becoming concerned that their children are spending more time playing games than studying.

[...] Generally, I leave commentary on video game legislation to Game Politics and The Video Game Law Blog because there’s so much to keep up with. Now, however, anti-game attorney Jack Thompson has been asked to draft up a bill that would restrict the sale of violent games to minors in my home state of Massachussets. This trend in attempting to legislate against games is getting pretty ridiculous, and I have been researching it on and off for the last couple years, so I thought it might be time to weigh in. In short, the bill in Massachusetts won’t pass, no bill of this kind will be likely to pass in the foreseeable future, and odds are that you live in a state that is now or has recently been wasting time or money trying to pass doomed legislation aimed at securing voters. [...]

For those wondering about why people want the industry to sue all their critics, look at WWE.

They sued the PTC in 2000 over lies that the Parent Trash Cult spread about Smackdown, notably over the Lionel Tate case(12-year-old Tate murdered a 6-year-old girl and his lawyer claimed that Tate was watching wrestling at the time), as well as getting advertisers such as Wrigley's and Worldcom to pull advertising from WWE programming, even though some companies that were mentioned by the PTC(like Hershey's and M&M/Mars) either never did pull ads or never advertised on WWE to begin with. Ironically, the PTC got a dose of their own medicine when Omaha Steaks and another company pulled their advertising from the PTC's website over the PTC's censorship.

Eventually, when Lionel Tate appealed his First Degree Murder conviction, he got a new lawyer who said that Tate watched The Flintstones at the time of the murder. The PTC quickly settled WWE's $30 million lawsuit(which was close to trial, another note: a Federal judge rejected the PTC's motion to dismiss on First Amendment grounds), giving Vince McMahon $3.5 million and a public apology.

IMO, if the industry uses the WWE vs. PTC case as a guideline for a libel suit against Jacky Boy or Dave Grossman, the industry would stand a good chance of winning that case.

Beardog:

Well, that maybe true Bear, but either way, I think just the threat of lawsuits would be enough to stem the tide of this BS all the time. At the very least it would get a few people to reconsider there anti game posistions if they suddenly knew they couldn't grandstand and lie to try and get press and voters without facing massive lawsuits.

With that, I completely agree

Khyris

To each his own, we'll have to agree to disagree on that. But either way, I hope we can both agree that the Passive stance the industry has taken in the past is both foolish and ineffective. Some action, be it aggresive as I suggest, or less direct as others have suggested. But either way, the point I want to make, and I hope you can understand this, is that the industry has been playing defense for far to long, and that some action has to be taken. They have been silent for to long.

Something has to be done, someone in the industry has to say Enough is Enough and start fighting back. I shudder to think of what might happen if the industry just sits by while the critics and politicans line up against it.

First, thank you all for reading. It is reassuring to not be surrounded by sheep.

And even more, thank you for disagreeing. It is important that no-one blindly accept what they read, even if it agrees with most of the rhetoric you ascribe to. For that is the kind of mentality that makes politicians believe that whatever the latest opinion poll says must be right. If no-one ever questioned, we'd never advance ideas.

@Yuki

While you are right that the ends of "less attacks on games" could be met by means of launching frivilous litigation, I feel that would be the wrong route to take, and would make us no better than those purveying the frivolous litigation which we are protesting. I would prefer taking the high road myself, but again as an individualist, do not feel that I am discouraging others from taking a more aggressive approach, nor even judging them.

My clarification of libel and slander standards was intended to be purely academic and not editorial. While I do not argue with you that Jack has said some things which are in contrast to the reality most of us perceive, I am merely pointing out that it would be too difficult to prove that he was knowingly lying, whether he is or not. I have no doubt the list would be immense.

My own personal opinion seperate from that is that he believes within his own mind that what he says is true, whether reality reflects his perceptions or not. Beyond my personal morality against excessive litigation, in this case, I think it would harm the strength of our First Amendment rights to attempt to silence someone because you "know" they are wrong about something. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, up until the point where they try to force others to follow the same opinion by law. I would say that the only suits we should file, are the countersuits which directly defend the First Amendment. Any further attempt at squelching him would be seen by him as justification for attempting to squelching us. It's hard to win a case telling someone to shut up about your freedom of speech.

As for your conjecture of his true motivations, I would say it's impossible to read the man's mind, having never seen him other than through the distorting lens of the media myself. You may be right, but I don't think his true internal motivation really matters at the end of the day. What matters is what he presents to the world, and he does tell people that his children and the future are important to him... therefore if we can show that the method he is taking does more harm to them than good, he must either change his methods, or be seen as hippocritical.

Khyris

Good post man, very well written.

That being said, I seriously disagree with you in a few regards.

The first is this: I don't beilve that the industry would win all or even most of the suits it COULD bring against it's critics. That isn't the point, the point is that by showing them we won't sit by idly while they lie and defame the industry, they'ed be less likely to attack it. If you wanted, I'm sure members of this forum could generate in mass the list of lies that thompson is guilty off.

The other thing is this: Jack doesn't actually care about kids, it's a smoke screen. Anyone who has followed jack knows that it's all about 2 things. His personal vendetta, and his ego. He doesn't give 2 Shits about kids, he's only in it for his own ego, he even admitted it in a Rolling stone interview.

Otherwise, damn, thats was a great post, have to copy that down, print it out and send it to some lawmakers we know.

Wow, Khyris. I think you should send that draft around, oy. Let's see Jack flame at this oy. Send it to politicians as well, oy.

"The difference is that these people intend to win the court fight, unlike the knuckleheads in Louisiana. That bill was constitutional."

Really? Well, guess what! The judge said no! Sit boy, sit! *bats with newspaper* You've been bad! Bad! Go lay down! GO! LAY DOWN!

Khyris,

Go to Boston, and get yourself in front of those lawmakers. Say it out loud. That's very well thought out and researched. Something we need more of. Less reactionary hate (which I've never really engaged in minus a few "idiot" grumbles here and there.) and more reasoning thanks.

...Yes I did read it all.

Why? It was intelligent and well written.

I'll be impressed if anyone was actually able to read through all of that... I apologize, but I've been following the controversy for years and never taken the time to post before... I had a lot on my mind... and actually I cut myself short before rambling further

I think there's a few big misperceptions here about some basic constitutional principles.

Libel and slander are very specific charges that require evidence of harm to prove. Jack can call people knuckleheads and other nasty names all he wants. Only if he was to claim something that could be proven he was knowingly lying (e.g. "Doug Lowenstein murdered JonBenet Ramsey") would Mr. Lowenstein (and possibly the Ramsey Family) be able to file a successful suit.
A lot of what Mr. Thompson says is constitutionally protected by the same 1st Amendment that protects all forms of Digital Media as well. The biggest factor in this is that no-one can prove that he does not believe his own claims. Some gamers might claim that he is just in it for the money and limelight, but such a suspicion is not sufficient evidence for libel nor slander suits.

Equal Protection under the law. This is another constitutional tenet that sets precedent for requiring the same kinds of restrictions and prohibitions one one industry as the next. No single industry nor individual may be singled out for preferntial treatment... therefore the established regulations of the recording industry IS relevant to any attempt to regulate the same on video games. Whether the current regulations on the recording industry THEMSELVES are constitutional, or merely a moralist affront, outdated and in need of review or repeal, is another matter.
In order to remain constitutional in this respect, most statutes state that "ANY material which is harmful as determined by x,y,z must be subject to regulations 1 2 and 3" as opposed to just singling out a given medium.

However, IMO, any form of censorship, no matter how obscene, perverse, disturbing, etc... should not be the place of the government to enforce self-regualtion. In generations past, I feel that many parents admitted they were too lazy/incompetent to guide the growth and development of their own children and demanded someone else do it for them, in which case they really have no business raising children in the first place, but I digress, as that is my own subjective opinion.

Returning to objectivity;
The government can not constitutionally force any industry to regulate itself. The government CAN however intervene when it is demonstrated that there is a threat to public safety, and at that point, it is completely irrelevent whether that industry has been successfully regulating itself or not. The government may set standards, for example, for choking hazards of any small parts of toys marketed to children under a given age. It was demonstrated that there was a significant mortality rate from this problem. Demonstrating a significant mortality rate as a result of video games is far-fetched at best. The argument that video games coincide with more aggressive dispositions would only be valid if causality could be proved through a control set. At this point, it is equally likely that aggressive dispositions are more likely to adopt video gaming as a past-time. This, co-inciding with the FACT that violent crime rates among youth have dropped in the past decade would more likely suggest that, when provided with the outlet of video games, aggressive children are LESS likely to carry-out acts of violence that they WOULD perpetrate without such an outlet.

I am not claiming this to be fact, merely pointing out that this alternative interpretation of the SAME data available to all proves that Jack Thompson's assertions are not the ONLY probable valid conclusion to be drawn. This "reasonable doubt" prevents his claims from being provable as fait accompli in a court of law.

Subjectively;
I feel it is unreasonable for Mr. Thompson to dismiss the FACT that violent crime among youth has decreased in the last decade on the assumption that "If we haven't heard about it, it's only because it's not being reported," as he claimed on national tv. The constantly increasing ready availability of information contradicts the probability of that statement, which has the same basis in logic as "if I didn't hear about the dodo bird flourishing, it's only because they are not being reported." When we discovered the earth was round, it wasn't simply because "fewer people (with more advanced mathematical surveying equipment) were reporting proof of flatness, but the flatness was still rampant!!" That's absurd. He can not ignore inconvenient data simply because it does not fit his foregone conclusion, as that violates the integrity of the scientific method so vital to our system of proof.

I am willing with open ears to listen to every word Jack has the constitutional right to say. And I have the right to refute it all. Not because we shouldn't be concerned about our children, but that we SHOULD be concerned that once again we are turning to the government to raise our kids for us, to decide for us what's moral and objectionable.

Morals have no place in government, which exists only to protects our freedoms and rights. We, as Americans, should have the right to do anything and everything we want, up to the point where we begin to interfere with out neighbor's right to do anything and everything they want. It happens that a christian moral "Thou shalt not kill" coincides with murder law, which addresses interfering with another's right to continue to live. However, christian morals also state "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live!" which is diametricly opposed to our murder laws. In this case the law flies in the face of a religious moral. An extreme example, I admit, but the point is that we can't possibly make laws that align with all morals of all religions, and no single religion shall be given preference by the constitutional government, so we can't make laws with the intent of conforming to morals at all. As long as we continue to make laws that conform to rights, and leave the morality and decency to the parents to pass to their young, we'll find that the two will align more often than not in the most equitable ways. We can avoid all the conflicts that you see plaguing the sunni, shia, and kurds today. They have no hope of living peacably with another, because they have never known anything but a state aligned to ethnic and religious preferences. Religion and morality have a place in individuals lives who choose it because they need it to feel fulfilled, but it should remain an individual pursuit, not a national crusade like Jack is trying to create.

I think if Jack had spent more time with his own children, teaching them moral values, and more importantly WHY it pays to be moral in the long run as you find your place in society, and how to differentiate fantasy from reality, he'd be doing so much more for his kid than he's done with all this publicity and madness. That is my challenge to all the public crusaders seeking the limelight: if everyone paid attention to their own faults, nobody would have those faults to weigh upon anyone else... let alone the time to do so.

The man believes he's creating a better world for his kids to live in. That's commendable. But what he fails to see is the opportunity-cost. The world is what you make of it, the world will be what his kids make of it, and he should be teaching them to make something of the world in the right way, and the right way does NOT include complaining about everyone else's way. Live your own life, and no video gamers are going to force your kids to turn into psycho-killers, and if you give decent parents the chance to raise their own kids, chances are their kids won't grow up to be psycho-killers either. Make sure you're qualified to raise your own kids before you try to raise everyone else's... and the only way you're going to be sure is if you pay attention to them for a change, instead of the rest of us.

Whoops, I was still focusing on the subway ad issue, not the new legislation. This is even stupider.

Why don't they make R rated movies also equal to pornography? Oh yeah. There's a huge lobby by the movie industry to stop that from happening.

Plus at least a movie is two hours to watch. How many hours are kids playing these things without parents noticing? That is what always bothered me about the logic behind these bills. For kids to sneak these games past their parents, kids have to be going unsupervised by parents for hours on end. The problem isn't with the game, it's that parents are letting their kids go unsupervised for hours on end. Who knows what else they could get into? Videogames are the least of their worries.

Oh and let's ignore the huge spide in violent crime in the city before these ads were even up. Let's ignore all the murders and violence the city has been keeping off the news. If you've lived in Boston or lived as a student, you know how much more violent the city has been in the past couple of years. A friend of a friend even got stabbed over by the Fens, a major hot spot of violence. You wouldn't belive some of the other stories I heard from a guy who works security in the area.

And yet THIS is a topic the mayor focuses on? Thanks, Mumbles.

@ Jotun

I think that comment you made up there about how you hope that Jack Thompson loses everything was marvelous. I knew you weren't a bad guy. Anyone who says that about Jack Thompson can't be a bad guy. I don't care who it is. Jack Thompson is an evil man and he's trying to take away freedom of choice. He should move to Germany, where there about to make playing all violent video games a crime punishable by prison.

People like Jack Thompson are mentally retarded and sick. Why does anyone listen to him? He is a horrible person and he needs to lose more cases. I hate his lies and his guts. He is a despisable person and no one should ever listen to him and anyone who does should seek psychiatric help immediately. Jotun, that was a great comment and that man is a PIG. He needs to be removed from the Florida Bar Association and people need to realize who he is. A lying ugly PIG.

Mayor Mubmles is so full of it. I remember a time when I thought Democrats were for freedom of speech. Boy I was wrong. Like most any politician, they have no actual backbone and will go with whatever they are told will get them votes. This time the mayor is listening to the snake that is Jackie boy.

I'm guessing the city is going to allow the MBTA to leave up all alcahol ads on the subway? This is such a witchhunt. Over 300 years and the people of MA still fall for it.

“lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors. ”

I think that aptly describes all those "Do You Tanqueray" gin and vodka ads I see on the subway.

Father Time:

Your partialy right. I don't think we should attack everyone. Opinion is opinion, an everyone has a right to it. But we should attack anyone who states items as fact that are wrong. Like jack, and policitians and the Mainstream Media.

Attacking someone who just says they don't like games is pointless and silly, but attacking someone who claims that games are directly responsible for violence? With no PROOF? Yeah, we should sue that person.

@Ani

And frankly Yuki, I’m not the least bit convinced by the “sue everybody” approach you generally advocate around here. Firing lawsuits at people for calling the industry names is just going to reinforce the perception that it’s an immature and frivolous industry. People like JBT would just become more determined.

I don't think he means sue everybody that calls the industry names he means sue people with power who use it to try to pass legislation. If some random joe schmoe calls the game industry evil people that make child killers we shouldn't sue if he writes a editorial saying that games are evil we shouldn't sue (and we probably wouldn't win anyway). But say a gaming magazine does a review on Bully, saying it has guns, death and is a columbine simulator, do you think Rockstar is going to sue them? Of course they would and they would probably win. Now let's look at Jacky he says the same things (and more stuff) and he uses them to get unconstiutional bills drafted and it wastes the industry's time and the state's money, a decent lawmaker would check his facts Jack knows the facts yet he keeps on doing this why the heck should he not be sued (and don't give me that on how it will hurt the game indusrty's image since Jack is convincing every state legislature one at a time that they are all porn peddlers). Suing Jack and his associates will get them to either be quiet or stop slandering their image. Even if the industry loses it will sned a message to Jack that he better watch what he says.

Anki: and you win the "I didn't study history" award.

It's one thing to request responsibility, it's another to force one industry to restrict itself more then others are doing. If the industry has to force retailers into abiding by the Policies, but won't force the movie or music industry to do the same, your rewarding them for incompitance and punishing the only industry that is actually succesful in it's efforts. Thats hypocritical and flawed and more proof that you aren't paying attention. The game industry has done more then it should to control sales to minors, which is why they win in court, among other things. Every single judge has stated that the industries self policing policies are vastly superior to other, similiar industries.

If thats that case, why would we want to force them to adobt stricter rules when the ones already in place are vastly better then any other industry of this type. It's hypocrital, it's stupid, and it shows the same type of biased thinking that the people in office show.

Games should be treated no different then any other media, and until the other media is held to the same spotlight, then the industry has every right to point out the hypocracy of people attacking them when the movie and music industries are utter failures in the area of self policings.

As for my Sue back ideal, it wasn't arrived at by chance Anki, it was arrived at cause the industry hasn't ever had the courage to activly fight back against it's critics. Determined or not, a begger hasn't got much of anything to use against those he hates, and if the industry had a pair they could have bankrupted JT years ago. Same applies to the mainstream media. if the industry wanted, they could use the legal system to force the MSM to fairly and accuratly report on games. Thats why there are Slander and defamation laws in the country.

While I would like to think there were other options, the time for those options had come and gone years ago with no action whatsoever from the industry. Now, it's to late for PR campaigns and commercials. Until the lies and slander stop, it wouldn't matter how much the industry tried to educate the public, the MSM would keep sensationalizing it and just make it look like the industry is the bad guy. When they are left with the choice of either reporting fairly or giving the industry milliions of dollars from lawsuits, then they might take the former.

You can disagree with me all you like anki, thats your right, but the fact is, history has shown so far, that i'm right. Every media that was ever attacked, the first thing people did was try to claim it was different from other media. Comic books are a prime example.

Regardless of the end result in court, that doesn't change the perception of games a being for kids. Until the industry silences the liars and the Sensationalist media, that won't ever change. My ideas might be a bit extreme ,but they are certinaly better then the industry sitting on it's ass doing NOTHING!

@ x(wai)x Says:
And who gets to make the decision on which games “lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors?”

Probably a judge but on what level I do not know.

And how can they apply the same standard to all minors?

They can't but still, it shouldn't be that hard to do, can you think of well anything that has "serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value" for minors, and not adults, but that doesn't matter, if this law gets passed most retails will just not sell T or M rated games to kids period and not even bothr to find out if has artistc scientifc etc. values for kids (with a couple exceptions I bet).

[...] Massachusetts residents! Jack Thompson is drafting video game sales legislation at Mayor Menino’s request. This would be pretty much identical to the law that was just blocked in a Louisiana court for unconstitutionality. The general legal approach taken by the bill has already failed in other states, and each state has had to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in court fees to the Entertainment Software Association. It is time to write to your local representatives and tell them that you don’t want the state wasting your tax dollars on legislation that simply will not pass. [...]

Yuki Says:
January 9th, 2007 at 5:07 pm
Anki:
You actually are wrong. The argument that the movie industry has failed in it’s self regulation was crucial in the last 9 cases, among other things.

You win the "Missing Aniki's Entire Point Award".

I'm not saying that there's no double standard - I'm saying that arguing the point outside of the appeal courtroom is a waste of time. We all know there's a double standard, now can we please get on with something positive and proactive?

Like it or not, the games industry has a responsibility in this matter. The fact is, by being more forthright with education and (for instance) enacting it's own system to deal with retailers who break ranks with ESRB ratings, it would make life a lot easier when these legislative efforts come down the pipeline.

Until the games industry can demonstrate that it's taking every reasonable step within its sphere of influence to prevent inappropriate material reaching minors, there's going to be room for people to criticize it.

And frankly Yuki, I'm not the least bit convinced by the "sue everybody" approach you generally advocate around here. Firing lawsuits at people for calling the industry names is just going to reinforce the perception that it's an immature and frivolous industry. People like JBT would just become more determined.

It probably won't pass.

Menino pushes for dozens of state level bills every year. This year the total is over 60. Most likely, this came up because of the recent rise in homicides in Boston. A law that's more likely to pass that's part of the same folio automatically suspends drivers licenses and revokes vehicle registrations of people who are convicted of a firearms violation.

All of which pretty much ignores the real source of the rise of homicides in the city, which is predominantly driven by murders among recent Cape Verdean immigrants who have brought their gang war to our city (a problem that seems to happen in many cities with large CV immigrant populations). The crimes are particularly vile of late, which may have brought a panicked sense of urgency to the mayor's office.

Addressing the issues in that particular community through city outreach, education and community pacification is the only way that you'll reduce the level of homicides (and is exactly what worked to stop the high levels of gang violence in the past).

The Boston Herald will probably pick this one up as it's media champion, so brace yourselves for that bullcrap.

So, exactly how long until Jack starts calling Menino a knucklehead? I wonder if the legislators in Louisiana have something to say about a never-was lawyer calling them "knuckleheads". Jack is clearly a professional....ambulance chaser.

[...] New Video Game Legislation in Massachusetts [...]

Are these people retarted don't they see what happened before and WTF with the games not providing sciecetic crap I don't know a game like that. It will burn and FAIL!!!!!!! :X

Knuckle heads....like he can talk. I am pissed at him and the LA politicians because I live in LA, so its wasting my parents money, and now Studio will not wanna come here, like Doug said. So I will have to move when I get older. I'm not worried about the bill because it will get shot down...I just wish money and time werent wasted.

Ok, hope you all don't mind if I step in an correct a few things.

Anki:

You actually are wrong. The argument that the movie industry has failed in it's self regulation was crucial in the last 9 cases, among other things. Mainly cause of the fact that the laws dont' just violate teh 1st amendment, but the 14 as well. Still, the other thing to remember is something called precident. With a mountain of previous victories, any law passed now has a very very slim chance of surviving the court challange.

Otherwise speaking, jacks fighting the unwinnable battle now. It's been over the momment LA struck down his last bill. Now, he's just fighting to keep his head above water so to speak.

If the industry really wants this to end, it needs to get aggressive. It's inaction against jack and his croonies is what allows them to think it's safe to keep doing this. If they were suddenly facing slander and liebel lawsuits left and rigth for there actions, they might think seriously about not attacking an industry with a 10 billiion dollar financial backing.

In the end, jack and his followers will continue to fight this battle until they are shown that it will cose them just as badly as they are costing the tax payers. IT's why the industry needs to be more proactive.

But hey, thats just what I think.

I for one am not worried one bit, simply because Jack Thompson is involved. Maybe I should take Jack Thompson with me when I play the lottery so he can cause me to win by ruining the machine. Seriously though, this legislation even if it passes will be challenged by the courts and struck down and Jack will piss and moan about what a bunch of "knuckleheads" the judge and legislators are and go back to Florida to sulk. Then he'll move onto a new state and the process will repeat. Before long, Jack's going to run out of states.

-Auto

Of course this law won't pass. EVERY video game can have artistic value etc. If you look hard enough. Same as how nearly every game is violent in some way.
 
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MaskedPixelantehttp://www.cinemablend.com/new/Marvel-Black-Panther-Movie-Confirmed-By-Stan-Lee-66993.html Black Panther is apparently getting a movie. And maybe one for Black Widow, even though I think it's too late for her.09/02/2014 - 1:53pm
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Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
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