Lightning Round for NY Assembly: Video Game Bill Passed in a Day

May 31, 2007 -
Yesterday GamePolitics broke the news about a new video game bill under consideration by the New York State Assembly.

Now comes word that the measure, A08696 has already been approved by the Assembly. Last week the New York Senate passed its own video game bill, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Lanza (R). Legislators in both houses are moving quickly because the current session ends on June 21st.

So what will happen to the two bills? The Associated Press is reporting that:
Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R, left) has called for a conference committee of members of both chambers to find a compromise before the scheduled end of the legislative session...

[NY Gov. Eliot] Spitzer announced in Wednesday's leaders meeting that an agreement was reached between the majority and minority leaders of the Assembly and the minority Democrats in the Senate to restrict the distribution of the videos to youths.

Conservative Republican upstaters and New York City liberals alike showed a rare, broad-based support for some action on the issue.

GP: It's clear that video game legislation enjoys bi-partisan support as well as the backing of the Governor. New York will have a video game law this year, as well as the inevitable video game industry legal challenge.

Comments

umm i haven't seen any of you guys mention this but

shouldn't it be up to the parents do tell kids wat they cant do and do

as a teen ive wanted so many M rated games but do i get them...no i dont because my parents are smart enough to say no

and we should be talknig about the false words spoken about video games Like the army uses video games to desense a tize the recuits from killing(FALSE)

the army uses video games to simulate wat might actually happen so the recuits can learn wat to do if a situation happens to occur to save as many lives as possible

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@Gameboy

Yes I know, but it's odd. Ben Franklin already explained to the British people our way of thinking two centuries ago. We hold these truths to be self evident: all men are created equal and censorship is wrong. A cat is fine too.

@Gameboy

If the news does pick up on the NY story, the only way the "true" story will be told is if they get someone other than the members of the NY government to show why the bill was shot down. Otherwise, all you'll hear is "Heroic bill preventing the sale of violent videogames to kids shot down by big evil game industry". They not only have to show why it was unconstitutional, but why some of the examples and measures in the bill made no sense in the first place.

They need to show how the bill would have had no bearing on the V-Tech or Columbine games, how game stores are already taking measures to prevent selling Mature rated games to kids, how ambiguous the rules for judging the game content were, and how any kind of bill like it would be unconstitutional.

It still wouldn't stop a gung-ho state government from passing the same bill, but it sure would make the voting public think twice.

@ Anon

Agreed with above, awesome quote from Jefferson.

I can see big brother looking over my brother's shoulder and nailing a random store because they sold him World of Warcraft /sarcasm

I was just thinking that this might not be all bad. Yes, making selling of video games a Class E Felony is wrong. Requiring parental controls is redundant. What would this council actually do, and why does a state need it? And the Salvage Claus is retarded.

But, it just hit me, this is happening in New York. Everyone pays attention to New York, even if they mostly watch the city. This could turn into a high profile case. I've still not seen a mention of video game legislation in my state paper. It hasn't covered any of the past attempts. But maybe that will change soon. Perhaps as these New York law(s) go to court, the news will pick up on it. And people across the nation will see the true story here. With a high profile defeat of this legislation, we may no longer see these stories here.

I know I'm being naive. We WILL see more. There's no escaping that fact. But maybe, just maybe, there's a chance. And hope springs eternal.

@ Thefremen

Hey don't be so hard on EvilJez. He just has a different point of view. It's not a terrible, insulting, and completely biased view like USA Hater's was. He seems completely willing to discuss the topic on this forum. Rather than run him off, feel free to debate. Otherwise, all you do is prove the senators in New York and elsewhere right.

To Anon,

Yes indeed. And nice quote of Thomas Jefferson. Blaming the evil actions of those insolent and violent teenagers' on movies and games is just totally sick and disgusting.

Iv read both sides of the coin. Some people say its totally wrong. Some people say well, its not censorship, they are just trying to prevent minors from getting their hands on violent games. Noble indeed....

I'm sorry, but this bill is wrong. First off, millions of people play violent video games in the US alone. I know for a fact a decent amount of them are under 17. Now, with that understood, how many kids under 17 have shot people up? VTech and Columbine are not arguments because in BOTH shootings video games were ruled out as a leading cause.

So, ok little timmy gets that M rated video game from wal mart. Fine. Little timmy brings home said video game to play. Now, wouldnt you think timmy's mom would find out what her son was playing? Any decent parent that gives two shits about their child would know what their kids are into.

Gentlemen, we have here a failure for our politicians to understand what a video game is and its effects on people. They do not do research on their topic and they go PURELY off of EMOTION. That, is DANGEROUS. Not only do they not know much about video games, they are also using shock and fear factors to get it passed. This is scary.

If your not scared of this bill because its not censorship then be scared shitless of this bill because its just another step the government is taking into become a parent to the whole country. A big brother so to speak.

"Those are governed best who are governed least."
-- Thomas Jefferson

To Stinking Kevin,

"Go British? Hasn’t the UK had been under government-enforced censorship of entertainment media, at least since the “Video Nasties” of 20 or 30 years ago? (Maybe I missed the sarcasm — sorry if so!)"

That's long time ago, now the "Video Nasties" have been unbanned and released uncut. One prime example will be our favorite zombie movie, err I mean almost favorite, "Zombie Flesh Eaters" (Zombi II in Italy).

Excessive punishment is constitutional to some degree. See Ewing vs California, where a man was given 25 to life for shoplifting golf clubs and the Supreme Court upheld it.

@eviljez

If you want to REALLY troll, post a game on newgrounds about some horrific (inter)national tragedy. It doesn't even have to be good. Something like "darfur mass killings" or "v-tech shootings 2: the vengence".

Your time will be better spent and people will pay more attention to you.

I guess things like this are going to have to happen before there can be a constitutional ruling in favor of the industry, no?

Regardless of the arguments, the simple and clear fact is that regarldess of what some of us may think is the right way to handle this, this bill is DOA, as 9 others before it.

I swear, the industry should go to SPitzer and tell him they are gonna sue him directly for there legal fees if he signs this, and make it a public event to show his constituents just how he's wasting all there money.

...stop me from posting on your board...

I will proofread someday...

because a mature game can not have that and a AO rating can kill a game its tant amount to censorship, the same can be said for smoking being a automatic R rating however R movies sell and unrated DVDs at wallyworld now a days thus its not a issue……

Just to be clear: The First Amendment doesn't necessarily let you say whatever you want, whenever, however. It limits what the government can do to stop you from saying something. Private citizens, corporations, etc. can all still do things that are "tantamount to censorship". You see this all the time on forums around the internet. Someone gets told to STFU and comes back with "I have the right to free speech." The government can't stop you from making a message board. You can stop me from posting on my board. The same applies to the ESRB and the retail outlets. They can say they don't think God of War is okay for 15 year olds. It's up to them. They can tell me that I can't buy a cordless phone because I look shifty, if they want to. It's their private business. This is part of the reason that, in the U.S., private ratings systems can't be given the force of law. Then the government would be advocating something that is tantamount to censorship.

Just because you have the right to say something doesn't mean I have to give you the tools to broadcast it.

Now, the whole ’severability’ clause is what has me puzzled and concerned. Does that mean the whole bill itself cannot be declared unconstitutional? Does it mean that if it’s declared unconstitutional when a specific game is called into question, that game is let off the hook but the bill stays in effect for anything else? How can it be ’selectively unconstitutional’, as it were?

It means that if one part of the bill gets declared unconstitutional, the rest survives. So in theory you'd have to kill the monitor committee and the make store clerk felons parts separately.

A few thoughts:

Not only violence, but *any* nudity and *any* sexual content included in games would become outlawed. Which, okay, most games I can think of that have those have the whole depraved violence option covered (I'm lookin' at YOU, God of War...), but still.

Now, the whole 'severability' clause is what has me puzzled and concerned. Does that mean the whole bill itself cannot be declared unconstitutional? Does it mean that if it's declared unconstitutional when a specific game is called into question, that game is let off the hook but the bill stays in effect for anything else? How can it be 'selectively unconstitutional', as it were?

BTW looking at some of the ratings issues with BIoshouck over AO for killable little sisters it leads to think that if Fallout was made today it would get a auto AO rating because of the hookers and the ability to kill kids.

because a mature game can not have that and a AO rating can kill a game its tant amount to censorship, the same can be said for smoking being a automatic R rating however R movies sell and unrated DVDs at wallyworld now a days thus its not a issue......

@cybrsage: "I will assume everyone has no problem punishing people for selling Adult movies to children.

Since we agree there has to be a limit somewhere, and there should be punishements for breaking the rules, we just need to determine where to put the limits."

Okay, stop right there. You're directly comparing violent video games to adult movies, which is a False Premise, a standard dishonest debating tactic. No such similarity exists; basing an argument against the former because of the restrictions on the latter is totally invalid.

"This law would not prevent a parent from buying the game for a child (unlike the laws about adult movies), just prevent the child from buying it themself.

There are a myriad of laws preventing children from obtaining things they need to be older to obtain. Why is this one so evil? Could it be those railing against it are children themselves or people who profit off selling things to children?"

And there's another dishonest debating tactic: Questioning the motives of the opposition (or perhaps Name-Calling, depending on how you look at it).

The simple fact is that the law is bad from the ground up. Do we need to protect children from violence? The jury is out on that one - there seems to be evidence that sheltering the children from violence can cause greater harm than allowing it. But a vague, overreaching law like this is definitely going to be harmful if it gets passed into law, to retailers at the very least.

" Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R, left) has called for a conference committee of members of both chambers to find a compromise before the scheduled end of the legislative session…

[NY Gov. Eliot] Spitzer announced in Wednesday’s leaders meeting that an agreement was reached between the majority and minority leaders of the Assembly and the minority Democrats in the Senate to restrict the distribution of the videos to youths.

Conservative Republican upstaters and New York City liberals alike
showed a rare, broad-based support for some action on the issue."
--------------------------------
We pass bill we get votes tax payers pay the court costs we pander abotu the evils of it again and get more votes....to pass it again...for the tax payer to get waped once more.....

Don't you love politicians !

Here are some crimes in New York that are Class A misdemeanors (up to one year in jail):

Sexual abuse in the second degree (non-intercourse sexual contact with a minor under 14) [Penal Code 130.60]
Bestiality [Penal Code 130.20]
Necrophilia [Penal Code 130.20]
Forcible touching (i.e, sexual groping) [Penal Code 130.52]

That's right, if A8696 were to be enacted as drafted, perpetrators of these crimes in New York would be punished less severely than a clerk who sold a 16-year-old a video game that contains depictions of “depraved violence” and “indecent images.”

Wait... if eavesdropping by technological means is a felony... why haven't they arrested the President yet? No one should be above the law.

Seriously though, this law is probably going to fail on so many levels.

@Mortium: What you propose is impossible, for the same reason that fuel "boycotts" don't work. Even if you could get a large number of game companies and game stores to toe the line, you'll never get all of them to do so, and companies like Wal-Mart, who support a strong Christian mindset and are, therefore, in support of laws like this; they would happily take all of the sales from the other companies closing their doors.

@Starsmore: Are you sure you're responding to something I said? =^_^=

[...] Lightning Round for NY Assembly: Video Game Bill Passed in a Day Yesterday GamePolitics broke the news about a new video game bill under consideratin by the New York State Assembly. Now comes word that the measure, A08696 has already been approved by the Assembly. Last week the New York Senate passed its own video game bill, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Lanza (R). Legislators in both houses are moving quickly because the current session ends on June 21st. So what will happen to the two bills? The Associated Press is reporting that:Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R, left) has called for a conference committee of members of both chambers to find a compromise before the scheduled end of the legislative session

"I will assume everyone has no problem punishing people for selling Adult movies to children."

Varies for parent, however pornography is illegal to display to a minor regardless of parental discretion.


"Since we agree there has to be a limit somewhere, and there should be punishements for breaking the rules, we just need to determine where to put the limits."

Yeah, some retailers already have punishments in place (gamestop has the pink slip response). Why do we need to make it a felony which results in jail time. Jail time will harm a person, and of course a fellow inmate will probably ask, "what're you in for?" They'll laugh at the truthful answer, and that person will be looked upon as fresh/weak meat. Why should we subject someone for selling a videogame to basically be scarred horribly in jail?



"This law would not prevent a parent from buying the game for a child (unlike the laws about adult movies), just prevent the child from buying it themself."

True, but I guess you don't understand how parents may simply deny such a claim that they bought such "trash" for their child. They'll lie and say the game box was switched or something. Or even worse, they'll place blame upon the retailer to look good in front of her "tea friends."
Then an unlucky clerk may be subject to jail time for simply doing his job.



"There are a myriad of laws preventing children from obtaining things they need to be older to obtain. Why is this one so evil? Could it be those railing against it are children themselves or people who profit off selling things to children? "

See above scenarios. Just because that may "not" happen, it does happen a few times. Why allow such a chance at such a scenario. Some people are just simply irresponsible.
What if the child just simply said they got it from a friend (who looks innocent) and the parent doesn't buy it and then eyes the retailers?

Putting laws like this doesn't save ANY lives. It is a pointless law (such as the 'can't kiss in public' law that we have here) and this law is dangerous since it allows for a serious offense to be put on record which will take away some rights from the convicted.

It is worse that it was passed without a hearing, they _KNOW_ it is unconstituional. They just want to pass it to look good in front of the public, and not have the "you've been warned" from the commitee.

The difference in what harms a child is that video games do not harm a child. In fact, they may benefit with greater reflexes and responses.
Some may get addicted to games, but that's another issue altogether, as it is the parent's responsibility to teach their child about management of time. That is why it is understandable that a child should be older in order to handle the material, it doesn't mean it should be a law that'll use up more money to enforce government involvement in a material object that does no harm to a child. Drugs, which alter the mind do harm a child, and that's why there are laws against it.

I also wouldn't be surprised if there are some children that view this website and despise the law making it illegal for them to obtain it. It is an understandable situation. Were you not a child and "wanted" something but couldn't get it? It is a natural human instinct.
The difference is, a child may think differently upon how they interpret this. They aren't harmed in any way, however they may have friends that are retailers, and wouldn't want to cause them harm at the sole expense of them wanting a simple video game.

I think the children that can get ahold of $50 for a video game must've got it by either working, or from their parent. What kind of idiot parent would give a child $50+ and not ask where it is going?

Minors that are working would also be subject to these laws. What if they bought it themself? Would they be subject to felonies?

It is silly how they make up laws like this [especially vague language], and that is why we have a problem with laws like this cybersages.

I'd go on, but I think I will just sound like I'm reiterating what everyone may have already mentioned.

Nekojin:

How about the fact that a 17 year old can go into Wal-Mart and purchase unrated versions of pretty much any movie out there. Unrated movies being advertised as the stuff too bloody for the theaters. Hostel, and the like.

...yet you don't see politicians making it illegal (through threat of jail time) to sell that kind of stuff, do you?

I just had a thought... a rather EXTREME way to put an end to this non-sense once and for all, but it might be the only way....

TOTAL VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY EMBARGO ON THE STATE OF NEW YORK

hear me out, and the industry will have to move fast to make give this threat some teeth. Upon signing the bill, all specialty retail shops close (just pack up the stores and re-distribute the merchandise to other stores in other states), all game studios begin relocating out of the state, an import ban on all video games and systems to the state, including on-line retailers like Amazon and eBay. The embargo will stay in effect until such time as the law is repealed and ALL the legislators who voted for the law AND the Governor are replaced. In order to enforce the ban, stores in the states surrounding NY will have to check ID before purchases ("In order to protect our employees from potential criminal charges in the State of New York we can NOT sell any game or game system to any resident of New York").

The full impact of such an embargo would not be felt until the Holidays, but once it has re-election will be the LEAST concern for the politicians...

Personally, I would not want to have to face a mob of angry parents who cannot get their children the toy they want most for the Holidays, no matter how much money they are willing to spend...

~ Adding: There are other dishonest debating tactics in that post, especially in the first and second paragraphs, but the two I cited should be enough for now.

cybrsages: "Freedom of speech has always been restricted. Try shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre when there is not a fire and then claim you are exercising your freedom of speech."

There's an extremely large difference here. The government cannot ban theaters or make laws preventing certain classes of people from entering them because somebody might shout "fire" there. See also: Prior Restraint.

@EvilJez
“Regarding this ‘Chilling Effect’… All the precident outside of America say’s your wrong!”

what your not taking into account is the difference in politicans and the kind of activism there is in this country... From what i've heard, most other countries with such laws don't have many politicans railing against vidoe games, the fight out there is very weak. Furtharmore, other countries have video game laws that reflect the same laws that have had for other media for years; the retailers in those countries are well adapted to dealing with such laws... hell, because those laws are common place, i'd imagine that not too many minors would actually try to buy such games or movies cause they know they would probably get caught; some might, but alot less... with less minors trying to buy such things there is less for the retailers to look out for, the retailers of which have been watching these things for years...

However, america is different... this is the first of this kind of law, retailers are not used to having to maintaining perfect performance, watching every single solitary customer that walks in; worried that when one of their minimum wage emploees (who may not care too much) doesn't check for id it could result in harsh penalties... they do what they can, but that are not used to keeping a that close of an eye on things... to make matters more different, our politicans would be highly active in this area. For the sake of "save the children" they would be conducting stings on retailers and watching them like hawks... the moment they screw up is the momnet they become an example for everyone else... unlike retailers in other countries, they have more reason to worry about one of their employees making a mistake and actually getting caught... since politicans in other countries don't watch things as closely, if an emplyee makes a mistake is very likely the mistake will go unnoticed, thus the retailers have little to worry about; their just not being watched... In other coutnries, it's probably like how achohol sales are done here... alchohol has laws that prevent the sale of it to minors, but the issue and activism over alchohol is very weak these days... stings done to actually check that the laws are being upheld are rather rare; hell some bartenders don't even bother to check for ID because they know the chances of cop walking in the day a minor buys a drink is very slim... unfortunatly, because video games have a big target on them, politicans will be stinging retailers often to catch them breaking the law... eventurally it will get to the point where retailers may want to stop selling such games so that it becomes litterly impossible for some minimum wage teenage employee to screw up (no offense to the good teenage employees out there)

hell we don't only have politicans, but we got plenty of activist groups and poeple who would love to do the job for the politicans... groups like the Eagle Forum, NIMF, and Jack Thompson... these poeple would be stinging retailers until they stopped selling such games completely... it would be a serious blow for the industry if someone like wal-mart stopped selling many of their (a company that is a leading seller of games, but yet makes most of it's profit selling other junk and thus doesn't need to sell games that could cause it trouble),games...

@cybrsage

"There are a myriad of laws preventing children from obtaining things they need to be older to obtain. Why is this one so evil? Could it be those railing against it are children themselves or people who profit off selling things to children?"

None of those laws however go against what the consitution states... Porn, is not considered protected speech and therefore it does not violate the 1st amendment to restrict it too children... laws for substances, like drugs and alchohol? nothing in the constution that protects these things... restrictions on R-rated movies? there is NO law preventing the sale of R-rated movies to children, for the same reason these video game laws all fail; violation of the 1st amendment... unlike all other laws that restrict minors and not adults, this one actually does violate the 1st amendment... also i believe it has already been ruled that minors do have the same free speech rights as adults

In order to make an exception to free speech, such as yelling "fire" or porn, a person must prove that these things should be restricted. the 1st amendment is very strict, so it takes alot to show that something should not be protected as a form of speech... so far, lawmakers have tried everything in the book to show that violent video games should not be protected as free speech, however the courts have so far unamisouly agreed that such arguements are far too weak to constitute and exception to free speech. The problems that video games can cause are just about as small as every other form of media; other media which ofcourse is protected

and as if actually visited this site regularly, you would know that the majority of commentors on this site are adults, not children, and don't actually have anything to profit from getting rid of such laws... some maybe minors, and some may work in the industry, but most do not...

@Barfo

Generally, those of us here who say we're in favour of keeping M-rated games away from kids mean that we're in favour of two things: Stores not selling to kids and parents giving their own approval for their own kid. I believe most of us are fine with a parent saying it's saying it's okay for their child to play a game that's "out" of the given age range. In fact, that's really what most of us want - parents to step up and act like parents, as opposed to relying on the nanny state. As I was saying, just because something is a good idea, it doesn't mean you need a law for it. Laws make things overly complicated. Sometimes they need to be complicated. Sometimes they don't. Here they don't.

If you think your daughter can play whatever Teen game when she's 10, or 8, or whatever, more power to you. The point is that you're making the decision on what is appropriate, not the government.

The idea is that we generally agree some stuff is probably not appropriate for most kids of a certain age. That's why ratings and descriptors are nice. However, we also know that there are exceptions to every rule. Metal Gear Solid might be to complex for most 15 year olds, but it might be perfect for mine. That's fine, it's now become my decision as a parent.

@cybersage

You are talking about the only few instances where freedom of speech is restricted (but not without good reason) and acting like it's a real issue. First off shouting fire in a crowded theatre trying to get everyone to panic is inciting a riot. Shouting this is a robbery I have a gun is a threat to the bank and the customers, (unless it's immediately obvious you are joking). The only other times free speech is understandedly restricted (that I can think off the top of my head) is divulging military secrets (treason) and slander.

The 'fire in a crowded theater' thign is a false dilamma, as well as the exception that proves the rule. Fact is that the only options are that all speech has to be guaranteed free or that no speech is free (the false dilemma). There is a middle ground wherby the courts classify those portions of speech that are definitely not protected and then presumptively assume that all other speech (particularly expressive speech) are protected unless they can be showed to be one of those categories of unprotected speech. So for example (not a complete list), commercial speech, spech that directly incites a public disturbance or law-breaking, and obscene speech are all not protected by the same level as other speech. But the fact that those are specifically spelled out as being not protected by 'free speech principles' is in a sense what proves that those principles exist, since if no speech was protected you would have no need to poitn out that there are some types of speech that are specifically not covered by First Amendment protections (exception that proves the rule).

I always read stuff in here from some portion of people who say something along the lines of 'I'm in favour of keeping M rated games out of the hands of minors, but..' etc etc. Well i hate to be incendiary (i do respect that some people reach that conclusion) but i think that the contrary opinion does not get enough exposure.

I am absolutely NOT in favour of keeping M rated games out of the hands of minors, except for my daughter (2.5 yrs right now). And when shes older and i feel she can handle them or T games then i fully expect to revise that prohibiton on a game-by-game basis. (We had a very fun time playing Bully over the weekend together, although i am still just at the level of trying to work on basic profciency at controlling the key functions of the dual shock with her right now)

But i have no interest in tryign to keep M rated games out of other kids hands, it shoudl be fully up to the parent (and also to a certain extent the kid) so of course netiehr am i in favour of trying to put M games into the hands of minors either. Thats because there is no legitimate societal interest in doign so, its not my business to be telling other parents they should be doing a good job parenting, im busy enough just parenting my own progeny. And I am fully confident that video games have little or any harmful effect on kids anyways (and tho the evidence is not conclusive either way, so far the courts agree that it is correct based on the current available evidence to take a skeptical view) so it should be fully up to the parent what they do, as opposed to things where we do tell people how to parent (such as they have to send their kids to school, kids cant drive on public roads until age 16, cant smoke/drink, etc) where there are obvious and clear social interests in those strictures (such as sending them to school so that the younger generation is more likely to be productive members of society armed witht he knowledge they need to contribute, or the fact that 12 year olds driving cars around would be a public safety hazard, etc).

Fact is that i can't see any other basis for the statment to the effect that one agrees with keeping M-rated games out of the hands of other people's kids than that one is already granting that there is presumptively a long-tern harm that is happening to these kids if they are playing these games (perhaps somebody could enlighten me as to an alternate justification). Which, although its a fine hypothesis for scientists to do more primary research to test the validity of, i think given current state of the evidence on both sides is an idiotic principle to base any sort of decision making on absent some future evidence that will actually show some tangible real world harms.

The problem is that there is no proof that there is anything actually harmful in games - unlike, say, cigarettes. There's a legitimate reason to keep them out of the hands of children. Games don't cause riots. Games aren't threatening people with a gun. There is no proof that games cause any actual harm at all.

Games are no worse than movies, books or TV. Outside of porn, there is no law that keeps those things out of kids hands. Why single games out? Why do you need a law restricting games?

Do I think some media should be kept away from children? Yes, I do. Do I need a law to do it? No, I don't. Just because you agree with an idea doesn't mean you automatically need a law to enforce it. Brushing your teeth is good for you, it doesn't require a law.

Be a parent. Do your damn job. Can't be around the kids all the time? Use your v-chip. Use your parental lockout. Stop trying to force other people to raise your children.

Freedom of speech has always been restricted. Try shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre when there is not a fire and then claim you are exercising your freedom of speech.

Try walking into a bank and shout "This is a robbery, I have a gun, give me all your money" and then claim freedom of speech and see how far that gets you.

I find the burning a cross thing hilarious. That's a silly law. However, to be fair, each state has at least one silly law (that's rarely ever enforced), but making that a felony... I could run out of breath laughing at that.

Anyway, this law will need to fail, and then they need to pass some measure to bite the politicians in the ass that stupidly passed this law.
There needs to be instant reprecussions for idiots that try to pass things like this, instead of "next" election day.

I will assume everyone has no problem punishing people for selling Adult movies to children.

Since we agree there has to be a limit somewhere, and there should be punishements for breaking the rules, we just need to determine where to put the limits.

This law would not prevent a parent from buying the game for a child (unlike the laws about adult movies), just prevent the child from buying it themself.

There are a myriad of laws preventing children from obtaining things they need to be older to obtain. Why is this one so evil? Could it be those railing against it are children themselves or people who profit off selling things to children?

[...] Last week, the New York state Senate passed a bill that would ban the sale of certain video games to minors, ignoring the small matter of unconstitutionality that’s seen the laws struck down by the courts in other places that have passed them. Now, the State Assembly is working on its own video-game ban law, and it goes even further than the Senate version by making retailers that sell games with “depraved violence and indecent images” to minors subject to felony charges. The bill also requires video game consoles sold in the state to feature some sort of parental-control technology (which GamePolitics notes the current major consoles already have), and it would give the state’s attorney general the power to stop sales of machines without it. For some unexplained reason, computers and handheld devices are exempted from this part of the law, when it would seem that they pose just as big a “threat” to the youth of New York as consoles. Perhaps the biggest change is that this bill includes a severability clause, which says that if a court finds any part of the law unconstitutional, only that portion will be struck down, rather than the entire law. That sounds like little more than an attempt to skirt the Constitution by lawmakers who know the law will fall foul of it, but all it really does is increase the amount of taxpayer money the state’s going to have to waste defending the law in court before it’s inevitably struck down. Update: Well, that didn’t take long — the Assembly passed its bill in a single day. Now the two bodies have to patch up the differences between their two bills. [...]

To be clear, eavesdropping in the context of the NY law isn't merely overhearing a conversation. It refers to electronic surveillance, primarily - wiretapping, bugging and the like.

@Brandon

Evaesdropping? EAVESDROPPING? Are you kidding me? People do that all the time, it is wrong but that doesn't mean they should make it a felony. Maybe it's one of those laws that they never enforce.

Here's an idea why not the ESA show up during the bill's next step and remind all those present that they will challenge it on consitutional grounds and that will make the NY government pay for legal if/when the bill is declared unconstitutional. If that doesn't work then there is no hope left.

@Evil Jez --

The difference between the United States and England, Australia, Canada and the rest of the world is that the First Amendment of our Constitution states that there will be no laws passed abridging our freedom of speech whereas no other country has such a thing. Over the years, there have been numerous cases in our courts that further define the limits of that freedom, and laws like this from other jurisdictions have already been struck down by American courts. The "chilling effect" argument has been used specifically against laws like this, so there is precedent in U.S. courts.

Why would an Amercian court try to interpret an American law by looking at precedent set in another country?

@Namrepus221:
You realize that the game industry doesn't "get" a cent of anything they win. It all goes to the court fees they paid to fight against the bill. There is no "positive" in this, only wasted tax payer money.

How much do you think that the gaming industry will be getting out of the state of New York when this law is being stuck down as unconstitutional?

I'm betting $2 million.

I was also kinda curiouse, and I found a few other Class E felonies for New York.

"Riot in the First Degree"

"Criminal anarchy"

"Aggravated harassment in the first degree"

"Eavesdropping"

"Bigamy"

and "Incest"

Just a few other class E felonies, and yet, they want to lump in selling M rated games to minors in with these, yeeeah again.

It is times like this I am glad the US has a nearly redudent system of checks and balances.

This is so going to get shot down, and honestly, it should, I mean, a felony for selling a M game to a minor, especially compared to some of the things that Scoops just posted, yeeeeah.

God, how many Amendments can we take a crap on at once? It's like some...depraved, yeah that's the right word...fraternity stunt!

Sorry, 4 to 16oz of pot.
 
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Matthew Wilsonyou know the problem in SF was not the free market going wrong right? it was government distortion. by not allowing tall buildings to be build they limited supply. that is not free market.04/16/2014 - 3:48pm
ZippyDSMleeOh gaaa the free market is a lie as its currently leading them to no one living there becuse they can not afford it makign it worthless.04/16/2014 - 3:24pm
Matthew WilsonIf you have not read http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/ you should. It is a bit stats heavy, but worth the read.04/16/2014 - 2:04pm
Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
 

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