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

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.

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  1. 0
    Nick Sparx says:

    @ Gameboy
    Gamers are forming a peaceful protest in Bryant Park Manhattan sometime in May. We intend to display how responsible gamers play, and that we all are not crazy potential shooters.

  2. 0
    Nick Sparx says:

    Well the truth is that if the consumer is underage the vendor will not sell you the game. Now if you try to reinforce this then you will just add to the rise in identity fraud i.e fake ID. Then you have kids getting fake IDs to buy video games, I hope your happy now,before Chris Matthews tears you a new asshole.

  3. 0
    Gameboy says:

    @ BlueWolf72
    Not a bad idea. Form group and call it something like Gamers Against Violence (somewhere along those lines) to prove that not all gamers, in fact most don’t, approve of actual violence. I know we’re just BSing, but someone should do something like that.

  4. 0
    GPK says:

    “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.

  5. 0
    BudgetMessiah says:

    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.

  6. 0
    thijs says:

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

    let me think..


    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?

    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

  7. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  8. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  9. 0
    philoetus says:

    “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.

  10. 0
    Wolf ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    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.

  11. 0
    Thefremen says:

    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!”

  12. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    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.

  13. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “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.

  14. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

    NW2K Software

  15. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

    NW2K Software

  16. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  17. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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”.

  18. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  19. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  20. 0
    Snakestream ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “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?

  21. 0
    Yuki says:

    “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.

  22. 0
    Barfo says:

    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.

  23. 0
    SounDemon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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?

  24. 0
    BmK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  25. 0
    Tyetheczar says:

    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.

  26. 0
    Archgabe says:

    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 http://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.

  27. 0
    monte' ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    On a somewhat relavent note, I got this from over at Destructoid the other day

    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…)

  28. 0
    Tyetheczar says:

    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.

  29. 0
    philoetus says:

    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.

  30. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  31. 0
    GameClucks says:

    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.

  32. 0
    monte' ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    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…

  33. 0
    Grimm22 says:

    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!

  34. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  35. 0
    Facts says:

    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.

  36. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

  37. 0
    Khyris says:

    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!”

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