North Carolina Video Game Legislation to be Revived

January 22, 2007 -
A video game bill which failed to clear North Carolina's legislature will be re-introduced by its Democratic sponsor in the 2007 session.

As reported by the Star-News:
(State Sen. Julia) Boseman said she would again file her bill to make it a crime to sell violent and sexually explicit video games to minors... She said she is going ahead despite the fact that similar laws around the country have been deemed unconstitutional intrusions on free speech. "We think we can reduce the conflict with constitutional issues," she said.

The previous version of Boseman's bill was passed by the North Carolina Senate in 2005 but was never taken up by the House.

Comments

@ Shawn Gordon

I know what you mean about catering to stupid, and in the words of Ron White

"You can't fix stupid."

Overall, I like her. But not on this issue. I mean, she's brought NC the lottery. And while the lottery has suffered it's own controversies, it's still a welcome addition, to me anyway. And it's true that she's led a number of fights when it comes to justice and the legal system.

But her idealism has been misused, as so many others have been, by sychophants who wish to dictate their personal, religious, and/or political agendas upon other individuals and other people's children.

Had I the eloquent oral communication skills that I believe many here to have, I would ask to speak when hearings on this bill begin here in NC. And my focus wouldn't merely be on Freedom of Speech issues, but the issue that such laws violate Parental Rights by denying Parents the Right to make their OWN decisions as to what is or is not appropriate for their OWN children, as opposed to being dictated to by other individuals, organizations, and/or government officials.

I've written long posts in the past regarding my beliefs regarding this, as well as long posts regarding the intentional misinformation and outright lies and deceit that have been spread regarding the facts of the overall issue of video games. Many of us have.

We know that this bill, drafted by the same individual who drafted, at the least, the bills in LA (which proved to be a failure constitutionally) and the Utah bill (see recent previous articles), will also fail. And as such, will cost NC a significant sum of money. Money which could be put, at the least, to more useful purposes, such as educating Parents about resources available to help them make informed decisions as to what is or is not appropriate for their own children.

Maybe the same person who drafted the NC bill should do the same thing they put to Utah: That they defend this bill themselves when it goes to court (if it even passes to begin with), with the additional requirment, as put to them by myself previously, that THEY be the one solely responsible for ALL court costs when the law is deemed unconstitutional, at all court levels they wish to take it. And, as before, it must be a BINDING CONTRACT, actionable if that individual fails to follow through. And I still feel the additional requirement of that individual publically taking SOLE responsibility for their failure. But, as before, we know that said individual is too cowardly to take "individual responsibility" for their failures. As proven time and again.

nightwng2000
NW2K Software

Some times I wonder if we are teaching the wrong people the old saying of "if u dont suceed try, try again."

"Surely one would think that these politicians might open up their tiny little eyes and see that these worthless, unconstitutional bills are being shot down by the courts as violations of free speech and creative freedoms"

Problem is when those tiny little eyes open, they can't take in much and we have some idiots who jumps in front sign to get the politicians on their side.

“We think we can reduce the conflict with constitutional issues,”


A bill that is slightly unconstitutional is still... gasp! Unconstitutional. "Reducing" conflicts doesn't get rid of them. It reduces them. My understanding is that a bill that is at unconstitutional is still not allowed under our constitution? I mean sure, our gov is using it as a napkin nowadays but still.

I don't suppose the fact that she's blonde might tie in with her stupidity? Hmm.....

"“We think we can reduce the conflict with constitutional issues,” she said."

No, you don't think, much less know, how hard your bill will fall, just as all the others before it have. Please die in a fire, and have a nice day. :)

"Reduce the conflict with constitutional issues"? The chances of that happening are pretty darn slim. Not unless they basically pull out a lot of teeth the law would have. So they're either gunna makea law thats gunna give the ESRB and the Gaming Industry another 500 grand once it gets overturned, or a law with no teeth. Yeah. Great options there. *sigh*

How about she doesn't refile the bill and we put the money into our road system. The roads in NC are horrible.

Okay, it was already a problem that they were trying to do it in other states, but now that it's happening on my home turf, I'm even angrier.

"She said she is going ahead despite the fact that similar laws around the country have been deemed unconstitutional intrusions on free speech."

You dumbass! What makes you think your bill has any chance at all?

We think we can reduce the conflict with constitutional issues

Brokenscope has it right. "Reducing" the conflict doesn't make it legal, you have to "eliminate" them. Otherwise there's still a constitutional issue that allows the court to throw it out...

I'd love to hear exactly HOW she's going to "reduce" it, while still not really dealing with the overall constitutional issues...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

I don't know why they keep coming up with these bills to ban selling certain games to minors. When I was under 18 I wasn't able to buy M rated games unless my mom was there. What's so different about these bills?

@ Jabrwock
Thanks. I didn't know it was only store policy.

@EvilZombie
For what it's worth, every form of media in the US is self-regulated. A theater usher could let a 6 year old into an NC-17 movie, and he wouldn't have done anything illegal (unless it was pornography, that's the one exception). He'd get his ass fired, and the National Association of Theater Owners might impose some kind of penalties on that theater, but the actual law isn't involved.
Also worth pointing out is that the 40% failure (he's rounding, btw. I believe the actual number was 36%) rating Thompson loves to point out is about on par with kids going to the movies, and less than half the failure rate of kids buying R rated DVDs.
He also likes to believe that teenagers never successfully buy alcohol or cigarettes.

@EvilZombie

When I was under 18 I wasn’t able to buy M rated games unless my mom was there. What’s so different about these bills?

Unless you are living outside the US, you weren't able to buy M rated games because it was store policy. These bills want to make it legally binding, which can't be done in the US. There's too many constitutional protections for both minors and artistic expression.
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

The day you politicians can get a bill that bans the sale of videogames past the first amendment is the same day I rank in the top 50 Yu-gi-oh TCG rankings for north america (which is a LONG time away, if ever ).

Here's why, your retarded politicos

your two options for choosing to get rid of games are to either
1) try to force the esrb system, which fails as it is a private system, and a private system cannot be enforced on the public.

2) you try to skip the Esrb system, at which point the bill fails because the esrb exists and what you are trying to do is bypass it, and thus you face the wall of constitutionality.



I wonder when Thompson is going to try for a constitutional amendment.

“We think we can reduce the conflict with constitutional issues,” she said.

Nope. Legal precedent heavily favors the industry, as does the First and Fourteenth Amendment, so there is no 'conflict with constitutional issues', other than her own stupidity.

“We think we can reduce the conflict with constitutional issues,” she said.

Here's an easy way to stop the constitutional conflicts: Stop trying to pass stupid laws that don't actually do anything but waste taxpayer money.

Surely there's something more productive these people could be doing?
 

@Jquilty - my friend, if you post another comment like that I will IP ban you...

See our comments policy.

@Daniel

In England it's known as "Common Law". In North America that usually just applies to couples living together, but in the UK it's the collection of "laws" that are basically derived from court decisions that had to deal with a lack of a specific law.

In some countries, they "codify" these decisions. France & Quebec both did so. Basically they write down all the decisions from the courts, and those become law until the legislature passes it's own version...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Darth_Toxic, I know how you feel. I too reside in NC. I'm not much happier about Boseman's bill than you are.

The bill didn't succeed the first time. What makes her think it'll pay off this time around?

They do know similar bills across the country failed too. I wonder when -- no wait, make that IF -- people like Boseman will ever get the message?

“We think we can reduce the conflict with constitutional issues,”

A little advice for you Julia: You won't succeed at this, so DON'T EVEN TRY.

I don't think we really need to make this a law... The games they usually mention controverial wise are games that suck and that nobody wants to play anyway.

when will they realize that these games are rated 17+ and age 17 falls under the category of 'minors'?

@ Brokenscope

It's a good thing we live in a country with a Constitution. I'm taking a Political Science course and I hear that, in Britain, there is no constitution which means that nothing can be declaired unconstitutional. They have an unwritten constitution, but that's not enough and this means that in Europe, some anti-gaming bills could pass and if they pass there, that could have bad effects here because it might motivate anti-game activists to try harder here and no I'm not trolling on this site. I'm here to back up violent video games because that's what I've been doing for many years.

Yes... I have a grand idea - legislate social stupidity right out. See, the issue isn't the video games, nor is it the retail stores... its the parents. As someone who managed a retail store for 5 years, I can't count how many times I'd get a 12 year old with $200 from mommy and daddy in the store unattended. If someone sold them the game, then mommy and daddy would come back and complain.

Here is how one conversation went with a customer who had given their kid enough money to buy 4 new games. They bought GTA: Vice City, Bully, Manhunt, and God of War on PS2

Parent: "HOW DID MY SON GET THIS GAME?!"

Me: "I assume he bought it"

Parent: "Who sold my child this graphic game?"

Me: "I'm sorry sir, it seems one of our staff sold these M rated game to your pre-teen"

Parent: "Let me talk to your manager"

Me: "you are"

Parent: "How can you guys continue to sell these kinds of games to kids?"

Me: "We dont set out to do this, sometimes an associate doesn't think about what they are doing. I'm sure you can understand though, I mean sometimes a parent gives their 12 year old kid roughly $200 to free-roam a mall, completely unattended where any number of predators could claim him, to buy whatever he wanted."

Parent: "How do you know he was unattended?"

Me: "Well... either your entire line of questions have become illogical on your implication that you WERE there, or you weren't there and aren't taking responsibility - which is why you're here to begin with... to make us take responsibility. Funny.... in an ironic sort of way"

I didnt stay employed there much longer, but not because of that... I moved shortly after, and I'm not returning to retail because the whole job class caters to "stupid" as if it okay.

The point is that legislating stupid out of society isn't a good plan. It doesn't do anything to promote personal responsibility an as such, serves to allow people to find bigger and better ways at being stupid. For now, I think a simple fine should good enough, however, it will "inconvenience" customers and then they'll get mad asking why they have to show an ID for a game...

UUummmmmmmm just because you "won" doesn't mean you can pass damaging bills.

If you want to contact your Senator - you can go to www.ncga.state.nc.us
and send them an email.

I was worried about the absence of legislation. These bills will be mostly the same, except now, they will have to deal with the ECA...which will hopefully be awesome to behold.

“We think we can reduce the conflict with constitutional issues,”

Running afoul of only one amendment instead of two amendments still results in an automatic failure. You need to eliminate the conflict, which you can only do by gutting the bill to pointlessness. You'd be much better off with just not pushing it again.

This is just depressing. Why is it that these bills keep sprouting up like weeds? Surely one would think that these politicians might open up their tiny little eyes and see that these worthless, unconstitutional bills are being shot down by the courts as violations of free speech and creative freedoms. If they want to pass these bills so bad, why don't they go to China where the government doesn't have to worry about little things like the First Amendment or freedom of speech. Honestly, if they try to pass something like this in my state, I'm going to do everything I can to stop it. Someone needs to alert the people of North Carolina to the blatant unconstitutionality of this legislation and show them that their tax dollars are being wasted on pathetic bills with less chance of survival than a snowball's chance of surviving in hell. Gamers in North Carolina Unite!

Here's one way to avoid stepping on the toes of the constitution: Stop writing bills to supress creative freedoms!

Now that it's the "Next Generation" in consoles, is there any chance of this issue laying to rest? All three consoles have parental controls. Even if junior is able to get past ID checks, he/she still must bypass mommy's lock out codes.

@Zerodash

It will certainly strengthen the industry's case that it is doing a reasonable job of allowing parents to do the deciding... That's the whole state's case, is that parents are overwhelmed and need the government to step in, right?
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...
 
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