NY Legislation Gains Momentum: Guv to Detail Video Game Proposal to Al Sharpton Group Today

April 20, 2007 -

Suddenly, video game legislation is a very hot topic in New York state.

As reported earlier this week by GamePolitics, first-year New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (D) will fulfill a 2006 campaign promise by pressing ahead with efforts to legislate violent and sexually-explicit video games. Spitzer hopes to pass a law restricting sales of such games to underage buyers.

According to the New York Daily News, Spitzer will detail his video game proposal today in a breakfast speech before Rev. Al Sharpton's organization, the National Action Network.

Meanwhile, State Sen. Andrew Lanza has been appointed to head a legislative task force on the video game issue. The Staten Island Advance reports that Lanza made reference to Monday's Virginia Tech rampage in discussing the issue of video game legislation. Lanza's senate web page contains the following quote:
 

The Virginia Tech massacre is a painful reminder of the culture of violence which has severe and tragic consequences on our youth and for our society... It is imperative that we find a way to prevent these virtual realities from continuing to fuel and to teach the violent behavior which is corrupting or youth.


With bi-partisan support for the issue and the end of the assembly session drawing near, expect New York's video game legislation situation to heat up quickly.


Comments

Al Sharpton does have a job

His job is to tell his sheeple how bad they have it, and how defenseless they'd be without Al Sharpton to protect them. Al Sharpton's job is to sensationalize problems that only Al Sharpton can solve.

He's much like a dragon-slayer for hire who runs around painting horses green and gluing wings to them. "You don't KNOW how much danger you'd be in from all them nasty dragons if I wasn't here to slay them!"

test

Someone had to say it:

The National Action Network of New York Group (or nanny group for short), is looking at vidoe game legislation.

Anyway what exactly does Al Sharpton have to do with this issue? Al is ually known for abusing the race card, exploiting oversensitive people and in general being a prick. I think New York is just trying to appeal to the oversensitive people so he can blame video games on everything. Maybe he's trying to make amends for NYC trying to ban the n-word.

VT shooter didn't have any video games and his roommates said he didn't play video games. He was just partially autistic and made fun of back in high school. Just the facts.

Wait this is good news, now that New York protest group can actually protest about something tangible (the law) in conjuction with the intagible practice of scapegoating games. So now they can not seem like they are happy over the tech massacre.

WTF?!? First off, this guy needs to get his head out of his ass

Second off, why the hell does anyone take Al Sharpton seriously? The guy doesn't even have a god damn job!

Fear not, fellow gamers. This law will be struck down in the courts like the rest.

@GameClucks

That glaring double standard is a very improtant thing when it comes to legislation. When legislators try to make these laws they do so under the premise that "video games are worse than other media and are therefore different and can be singled out". The more the differences between Video games and other media becomes blurred, the much more it ruins attempts to single out games. It starts to becomes a case that if your going to attack one form of media, then you should attack them all, and if you are going ignore the problems of one fomr of of media, then you should ignore them all. Bascially, you should treat all media similiarly and not single out any one.

What you are saying about pointing out how people can distinguish between fiction and reality is very important and serves grealty in defence of all media; but right now we are dealing with video game legislation, legisation not against all media but only one single one. With video game legislation, the arguement that gamers can distiguish between fiction and reality is important, but so is the arguement that video games aren't really that different than movies...

I wish people would stop brining up movies as a source of violence that needs as much attention as the pols seem to think games do. I realize that it's a method to expose a glaring double-standard, but I don't think that's the point that needs to be made.

I can watch a horror movie where someone gets a limb severed by a hacksaw and not even flinch. However, if I see a Nova broadcast of a doctor performing surgery, I get queasy and have to turn the channel.

Why? Because my brain is able to differentiate between entertainment and reality. I can distinguish real blood from red pixels on a computer screen for the same reason.

There is a clear difference between violent entertainment and actual violence. Saying that playing games leads to violent behavior because of the interactivitiy is as ridiculous as saying that acting in action movies leads to violent behavior. If that was the case, the governor of California would be a mass-murderer.

The only people that don't seem to be able to separate fake from real, are the politicians and the psychopaths. And I have my doubts about the psychopaths.

So not only does State Sen. Lanza know hoe to "win" a game which nobody has played or seen because it's not finished yet, he's also blaming it for the VT shooting? Wow. Just wow.

@SounDemon
Perhaps 'wild claim' was a bit excessive in this case, but you can't just claim 'No one plays those anyway' as an excuse. If this was actually brought up in any kind of discussion that response wouldn't fly, and it only takes a quick wiki search of 'Grand theft auto' to show that there was a game based on a real city and to assume that they aren't going to be able to find out about it because it is before GTA III is unlikely and they would likely attack you for trying to weasel out of a lie if you used that as an exuse.

All I am saying is we have to be careful not to fall into the same mentality of taking common misconceptions and presenting them as fact that we take these legislators to task for.

I can imagine the GTA Npcs making insults that they say when you get up in front of a car, oy. Remember all those orators and philosophers? You might want to look for some of their quotes for the way unlike people think, oy.

On a somewhat relavent note, I got this from over at Destructoid the other day
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070417-gamers-affected-by-violenc...

Apparently, the study concludes that when it comes to stuff like Media leading to violence and all that other stuff, Movies and TV are actually more influencial in making poeple violent than video games are... i think they believe the reason for it is because, in terms of effecting a person mentally, Movies and tv are just plain much more effective since they allow for a deeper immersion from the viewer... Video games on the other hand actually keep the gamer more detatched from the experience... ironically, the interative part of the game, the part that politcians claim makes video games worse than movies, is actually one of the things that helps create this detatchment; the other being comparativly weaker storytelling....

I haven't read through the study itself to really judge it's value, but this is actually a big deal to video game legislation if it has any actual value... i kind of assume that it atleast has as much value as all those other studies out there (meaning the politcans must accept this study if they accept those video game studies, or they must reject both), if not more... Other than the first ammendment, the politcans have to prove that video games are different from movies and TV in order to pass these laws... however, this study says that movies and tv is actually worse, meaning their attempts to say Video games are worse suffers greatly, thus making it even harder for them to pass the law. The study really does something that has been seriously lacking from all other video game studies; comparison to other media... seriously, all other studies so far attempt to prove video games are bad, and never in an intance prove that they are actually worse than other forms of media or activities; it's a serious flaw in their arguements...

Really, the study just says what i believed for a long time... for a long time i felt that i was much more mentally effected by live action movies then i was with most any video games; it's the reason why i tend to emote more while watching a movie than playing a game... I can hack and slash and do terrible things in a video game with little problem, but you will never catch me watching something like SAW... or most horror flicks for that matter (seriosuly can't stand watching movies like that...)

I play GTA2 a lot on my PC.

I just sent an e-mail to Lanza. Here is what I wrote:

I am a New York state resident currently away at college. It sickens me that you would bring up the tragedy at VTech in a bid to legislate videogames. Not only that but link the two where no videogame link has been found. You are reported as saying: "The Virginia Tech massacre is a painful reminder of the culture of violence which has severe and tragic consequences on our youth and for our society… It is imperative that we find a way to prevent these virtual realities from continuing to fuel and to teach the violent behavior which is corrupting or youth."

You can find my information at www.gamepolitics.com

I do not apreciate my tax money being used to fund attempt at unconstitutional laws. If you want to stamp down on the culture of violence you need to include Movies and Music to the list. Movies have violence far more graphic than videogames ever have. If you don't belive me then just watch a movie like Dawn of the Dead. The fact is that placeing blame on videogames and missrepresenting facts is not only dishonest but also wrong. Please explain why useing a tragedy to further your own agenda is what a responsible politician is supposed to do.

Welcome to November 2005.

Oh, yeah, oy. If we want to get rid of this culture of violence, we all need to change ourselves first so THEN the economy will try to appeal to those tastes. I never knew so many people were Constitutionally Retarded, oy.

So Eliot Spitzer the new Rod Blagojevich. But seriously, how can he not see the constitutional flaws in all of this. The Gov has got to know that this type of legislation won't fly and hundreds of thousands of taxpayers dollars will be wasted in the process. I can't believe he could be that stupid. What a moron. Somebody in his cabinet had to have brought this up to him. Or he just doesn't care. Guess we should start calling him Idiot Spitzer.

fuck this idiot. let him make a fool of himself.

@philoetus
Nobody really plays the original 2 GTA games;
London: 1969 is the exception to the rule.
Is it such a "Wild Claim", if all the GTA games are truly measured after GTA 3?

As wrongheaded as video game legislation usually is as it depends upon a skewed reading of inconclusive science and a sensationalistic and oversimplified reading of tragic situations in which involve the games only as a tertiary and contributing factor (columbine, dawson school shooting, that dude in alabama who tried to claim the "GTA made me do it"), usually you can say that the people pushing them though extremely agnorant are at least slightly honest. But to bring up VT shooting to push your thing through when its basically known at this point that there is no connection at all to video games is bloody cynical, as well as insulting both to everybody who died and lost friends o family in that massacre, as well as all the people who play violent games and go on to lead healthy normal day-day lives.

If you want to talk "culture of violence", lets start talking movies since in those videos and still pics that NBC got its abundantly clear that the psycho dude was inspired by and emulating sensationalized action movies more than anything else, as well as pushed over the brink from the plays and poems he was writing. Im sure thats jst an oversight to ignore those things, and the language to add in R-rated movie regulation and to prevent anybody from reading or writing violent or disturbing poetry or plays is about to get amended in there. Or you could go off of his wierd sht he wrote about how he's dying like jesus to point out that the graphical imagery int he new testament clearly sent him over the edge, and start banning all (violent or potentially disturbing) religion to kids. Those sort of laws while just as unconstitutional as any video games ones, would at least be slightly related to the tragedy at hand and not bold blooded political opportunism.

"Eliot Spitzer, you sir are human garbage."

Best quote of the day. Sadly, Spitizer is, has always been, and will always be an opertunist loser. Like a lot of politicans ten to be.

As Broly would say "Trash is trash, no matter how much effort the put resisting it"

Sorry for the obscure DBZ refrence, it's 5 am here and i'm running on Soda and anime.

@nightwng2000

Unfortunately, it's so true...

"The Virginia Tech massacre is a painful reminder of the culture of violence which has severe and tragic consequences on our youth and for our society… It is imperative that we find a way to prevent these virtual realities from continuing to fuel and to teach the violent behavior which is corrupting or youth."

Yeah.....right..... So why the fuck isn't he targeting the much more prolific, much more realistic, and much more graphic violence frequently shown in movies? Two-faced, no?

Sorry, the first sentence should read "when the killer has not been found to have played video games in the first place."

i really want to know why people elect politicians that make wild assumptions based on obscure facts to create unconstitutional laws.

This guy HAS to know that the law will be struck down like all the rest- just like he HAS to know that videogames had nothing do with VT.

This is a simple matter of winning political brownie points.

Andrew Lanza, you dispecable piece of ****. That's low.

I'm disgusted. It's not just that they're going to waste my money (I'm a NY State resident) to champion and eventually defend the bill in court, but to exploit the Virginia Tech tragedy in this manner is below the low. There ought to be a law like Godwin's Law against that.

Let's see these two heroes try some public debates over this, preferrably not during working hours, so that I could make it.

To suggest any corrections to Mr. Lanza, please contact him at:

http://www.nyssenate24.com/contact_info.asp

Though I doubt he'd listen to any reasonable objections.

Eliot Spitzer, you sir are human garbage.

Just 3 words for these people:

No Games Found

Know what's ironic? Andrew Lanza lives in the New York district of Great Kills.

Only thing better would be if he lived in a district called, "Great Kills...By The Way, I'm Ignorant".

I used to think Eliot Spitzer was at least semi-respectable. The logic behind his bill was flawed, but no more so than any other politician who has proposed similar legislation in the past.

But, to go before Al Sharpton (especially in light of what happened recently with Don Imus) AND to invoke the VT shootings? That's just plain beyond reprehensible.

Spitzer, you're a cheap political whore. Nothing more. Here's hoping the ESA and the ECA take you and this law to court for all it's worth.

The better you are at lying and deceiving the general public and the better you are at lying to and using certain organizations, the better a politician you are.

Too bad that's a part of reality rather than a part of the fictional world of video games.

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software

Oh, and lets not forget using and abusing the tragedies of others for your own personal, religious, and/or political agendas. You get extra "points" for that.

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software

"You win by killing New York City police officers. You score points for picking up prostitutes. The better a mass murderer you are, the better you do at the game."

It makes me sick. Is there no agency through which people in these positions can be made answer for lies like this?

FACT: The grand theft auto series has parodied cities, never feature them.
FACT: There are no "points" in the game, gotten through picking up prostitutes or by any other means.
FACT: Being a better "mass murderer" in the game will just make it harder for you, so actually killing less people would make you better at it.

Why doesn't the new management at Take Two break their silence over these wildy innaccurate statements about their games and expose this for the scaremongering it is.

How can they bring the VTU incident into this when the killer was found to have played video games in the first place? Besides which, wasn't he an adult, as in, the bill wouldn't even apply to him?

How sad that they are using tradegy so quickly to drum up emotional support for a completely unrelated matter.

Here's what goes through a politician's mind when he hears about a massive death toll:

"Is it in Iraq? Well then I guess I have to think about the time table for withdrawl...Is it in America? GOOD! Then I can push my agenda and get screen time! Let's prey he played videogames!"

I think I know why politicians hate GTA, remeber that mission in Vice City where you have to take pictures of the senator?

[...] The gig’s up, gamers. The government has had it up to here with all the murders lately. Politicians are finally committed to bravely confronting the pimply-faced, Cheeto-chomping axis of evil. If the only way to prevent man from killing his fellow man is by keeping 15-year-olds from buying Manhunt 2, by God, they’re going to do it.[Via GamePolitics] [...]

[...] [via Gamepolitics] [...]

@Belgarion89

Of course it'll be struck down. So far, they all have. But that's just one side of the problem; the other?

Who pays for all of it? Taxpayers.

No! Bad Politician!

Seriously, can we somehow rub their noses in the messes they stir up with their baseless accusations?

@shoehorn
"FACT: The grand theft auto series has parodied cities, never feature them."

That would be untrue, "Grand Theft Auto: London, 1969" was released in 1999 as an expansion to the original GTA.

While I agree with your sentiment that they should stop spreading misinformation, the only way to combat that is to avoid making generalizations and wild claims ourselves. When we start making claims that are easily proven false, it weakens our argument.

Since when has it been the duty of the leaders of our country to look after and direct the public interest? All they do these days are pass legislation that furthers their political and financial interests. I am not saying that all politicians are like this, but the ones that actually care about issues such as poverty, education etc. don't get a voice, because these other personally motivated ones exploit tragedies such as VT.

@Thisj
Next time you decide to make an attempt at at arguing the removal of a constitutional right to bear arms, please use something the resembles American or "the queens" English. Maybe some tolerable grammar and punctuation. A spell check might be in order. Maybe some logic and reasoning. I'm not a grammar master but damn, that made my eyes water a bit.

Also I find going hunting with my grandfather fairly relaxing, sometimes setting a target 200 away then seeing how many times I can hit it with my old winchester.

Also they do feed people. I have forgotten the actual anem of the group but they usually take in a massive amount of meat that was shot by hunters every christmas. Feed a tone of people with it. So its feeding people and helping them. Not to mention the cases where someone with a concealed carry permit has stopped a violent crime in progress.

As for your presidential aspirations.... I have many reasons I don't like Bush, however he has atleast made an attempt to improve his speaking.

However as always I have no shame in being an American, I can only be judged for my actions and noone elses. We have a decent govermental framework, one that can be salvaged, however people like you would make that immpossible.

Please before you make another highly uninformed post, think.

owh well i know something that helps agains massascares in schools and everywhere else in america....

let me think..

erm...


what about: " don't sell guns in a country" , might sound stupid i guess, but where are guns for? relaxing? eating? help people? NO! THEY ARE THERE TO KILL PEOPLE!!!!!.

and where are games for?
kill people? NP THEY ARE THERE TO RELAX, HAVE FUN AND GOD KNOWS WHAT MORE!

anyway , i think i could be president of america, i can do it much better, cuz bush sux , let's plant a wall in bagdat, i guess the people will luve us more by that XD OMFG for crying out loud! whahahaha what a shame if ur a american , and your country is getting ruled and controlled by this kind of people hahahaha , i dont worry about it , i just laugh when the next few people get killed by these stupid things hihihi

[...] [via Gamepolitics] [...]

The reason why video games are being targetted is because they are a relatively new medium of entertainment. The older generation (think 40+) who make up a major segment of both lawmakers and voters are unfamiliar with video games. They don't understand them, so they either fear them or feel justified in making an effort to control them. The same thing happened with comic books and rock and roll. Over time, kids who grew up reading comics or listening to rock music became lawyers, politicians, and voters and they knew better than to blame society's ills on the media they were raised on. Eventually, when the folks who are 20-30 now start making the laws, we'll see none of this outcry against video games. Of course, we'll probably lash out at some future generation's new toy, because if history has shown anything, it's that no generation is above the hypocrisy of those past.

However, if you don't think "eventually" is soon enough, there is an alternative. Make the facts about the issue known. I don't mean "the VT shootings have nothing to do with this" or "research doesn't support this idea, only bad interpretations of the numbers...yadda yadda". These are fine debatable points, but they won't mean a whole lot to people who are on the other side of the aisle on this issue. Besides, you don't want a debate...you want an easy to understand, bulletproof statement. So, what you say is "This has been tried again and again in these places, and it has been consistently ruled unconstitutional. It will cost taxpayers' money, and waste precious legislative time, and still accomplish nothing." That's the winning message: futility and waste. That's something everyone can understand immediately that almost everyone will get behind. So, you take that message and you repeat it constantly and loudly. Organize websites, letter campaigns, and rallys to promote this message (and not to stand around and play with a Nintendo DS). Convince people not to vote for politicians who waste money grandstanding in this way, and things will change.

The reason why they (politicians) try this is because they are betting on video gamers being unable to organize in any meaningful way. If they see that this is a losing bet, they'll take their chips off the table.

"The Virginia Tech massacre is a painful reminder of the culture of violence which has severe and tragic consequences on our youth and for our society… It is imperative that we find a way to prevent these virtual realities from continuing to fuel and to teach the violent behavior which is corrupting or youth."

I almost threw up when I read this. This scumbag is exploiting a horrible tragedy to further his political agenda. I probably shouldn't be surprised, though.
 
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