Surprise! Denver Transit Authority Votes to Allow M-rated Game Ads

March 28, 2007 -
GTA ads can remain on buses and trains in the Denver area.

As reported by the Rocky Mountain News, directors of the Regional Transportation District (RTD) rejected a campaign led by the Parents Television Council and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood to ban ads for games rated M and above.

Similar bans are already in place in Boston and Portland, Oregon. As in Boston, it was a series of ads for GTA: Vice City Stories which prompted the call for future restrictions. Currently the RTD only excludes advertising for tobacco products.

According to the Rocky Mountain News, the Operations, Customer Service and Marketing Committee of the RRD recommended the ban. But the board, after meeting with an attorney in private, voted 12-3 to allow the game ads. Said board member John Tayer:
It was a tough decision because I think our hearts as a board were with trying to limit exposure to advertisements that promote violence. But the overwhelming weight of the legal advice was that if we pursued this, we would face an uphill battle in court.

ESA representative Peggi O'Keefe spoke to the RTD board, calling the ban:
...both unnecessary and unconstitutional. This proposal . . . would restrict fully protected expression on the basis of content," she said. "Such restrictions are constitutionally impermissible.

Comments

Denver has always been one of the coolest cities.

Now if only the other cities in Colorado would follow suit...

This is a victory, against those who would care about the children.

Wait, Correction: victory against those who would look like they care about the children.

@Gatz

Don't get your hopes up. The Denver DA has said that he still intends to prosecute any and all possession of marijuana under the State statute, which still stands as of the last election.

As for the article itself: "Similar bans are already in place in Boston and Portland, Oregon"...Ahhh, Portland. You can burn US soldiers in effigy, defecate in public...but you better not display ads for mature video games on public transit...Portland, one of the few cities able to make Boulder, CO look boringly normal.

dude Denver is the shit first they legalize marijuana now they are saying yes to M-Rated games. Now all they need is a law that says "who so ever bitches about the last two things listed in this comment shall be flogged" and then I'd move there.

I'm very pleased to see them stand up and put their foot down on the PTC and their ilk. They are a disgusting group of out of touch lazy parents who want to force thier moral beliefs on the rest of us. Hopefully more will follow this great example.

WoW you mean some people still have brains and commen sense!

kinda feels like the twilight zone

My opinion on this is that if you ban M rated games from being displayed on buses, then you have to ban R rated movies as well. But no one wants to ban R rated movies from being advertised on buses and subways.

Someone said no to the PTC!? UNTHINKABlE!!!!!!

Seriously, hooray for common sense.

It's a goverment organization. THey can't restrict things by content. If they have to let the Nazis use the park Pavilliosn and the KKK adopt a section of highway, surely they have to take ad revenue for relatively tame ads.

"It was a tough decision because I think our hearts as a board were with trying to limit exposure to advertisements that promote violence."

Someone explain that one to me. I'd expect an advertisement that promotes violence to some something like, "Go out and shoot someone today! Buy a gun!" not an ad that shows a few illustrations and some text. Because, if I'm not mistaken, box art does not promote violence.

I think this entire situation would've never happened if the transit authorities didn't believe the hype that videogames cause violence (even though teen crime rates and violence in general is incredibly low compared to years passed).

At least they made the smart choice here for a couple of the right reasons, but honestly, they shouldn't even nbe considering violent content. It's not something you can debate and yet several other states have already cut themselves off from a major source of revenue because they can't take the 2 seconds to rationalize the choices.

@squigs

yes, but they weren't being consistant nor fair about it.
an M-rated game is equivalent to an R rated movie.

or to put it better: why can't you advertise a Sopranos game, but you can advertise the Sopranos TV show? that's inconsistant.

I'm a little angry that they didn't explain in their statement that the ads we put on our mass transit will be E for Everyone. The ban, if enacted, would not be unconstitutional, because refusing an ad is not censorship as we use the word. They currently pick-and-chose ads on a case-by-case basis.

It's obvious the real reason here is money. They don't want to restrict ads for the best-selling games. Successful games mean continued ad revenue. M-games are the best selling, for the most part, and something the PTC doesn't realize is that it indicates that general consensus is PRO-Mature-rated games. God of War II would be terrible if they made the content fit "T" for example.

So in summary, read beyond the public statements as they boil down to:
1) Game ads are a major source of ad dollars
2) Our riders are mostly adults
3) The ads themselves are not M-rated (see the cover of Vice City Stories, it has NO violent or overtly sexual content)
4) The PTC does not represent our best interests.

The PTC drives me bonkers. It goes like this: if you agree with the PTC as an individual, use their advice. If you don't agree, ignore them. Recognize the PTC is a very small percentage of a minority of Americans (which can be proven statistically).

YAY for freedom of speech!!! ^_^

Good govt can work sometimes

It wasn't the government. It was a public transportation organization. I am glad to see them continue advertising. They realized after talking to an inteligent lawer, that if they went through with the ban, protecting that decision would take up time and money that could be spent on more important matters.

Now if we could get the governments to do the same.

At the end of the day, the game may be violent, but the advert is not. They are employed as watchdog for the quality of the ads on their system, not to act as unofficial judges of society who not only judge the content of the adverts, but also the product itself.

It's like saying ban all adverts for cars because they might be dangerous in the wrong hands (a lot more dangerous than a computer game in fact).

So, yes, this is a good decision.

I agree this is a good decision, but I'm surprised about the reasoning.

Surely they're allowed to have policies on what is and isn't permitted as long as they're consitent and fair.

But, as we've seen, these bans aren't always consistent and fair. I'll use one of Dennis' old examples. These bans would put a ban on ads for the Sopranos video game, but not ads for the Sopranos show on HBO, and neither would a potential book, soundtrack album, or movie ads, just video games.

[...] In a move sure to land on Jack Thompson’s blunt “to do” spindle, Denver transit directors voted to allow M-rated games to be advertised on public transportation around the city. The vote was prompted by that pesky GTA series, namely ads for Vice City Stories that already earned a ban in Boston. [...]

Good morning! I was surfing the internet Tuesday afternoon during my break, and found your blog by searching MSN for marijuana games. This is a topic I have great interest in, and follow it closely. I liked your insight on Surprise! Denver Transit Authority Votes to Allow M-rated Game Ads, and it made for good reading. Keep up the good work...
 
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NeenekoJust look at how interviews are handled. Media tends to pit someone who is at best a journalist, but usually entertainer, against an expert, and it is presented and percieved as if they are equals.10/25/2014 - 7:38am
Neeneko@MC - Focusing on perpetrator does nothing for prevention, the media and public lack the domain knowledge and event details to draw any useful conclusions. All we get are armchair risk experts.10/25/2014 - 7:36am
Neeneko@AE - no name or picture, I like it.10/25/2014 - 7:34am
PHX Corp@MW and AE The news media needs to stop promoting the Shooters. period10/25/2014 - 7:16am
Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
 

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