NY Pols Reach Agreement on Game Bill; Passage Delayed Until July

Details are few at this point as New York State legislators worked late last night to wrap up the current session.

As expected, the Senate and Assembly reached agreement on video game legislation. However, time ran out before the measure could be passed in both houses. Legislators expect to formally pass the bill when they return in July. At that point the video game bill will go to Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D), who is expected to sign it into law.

WXXA-DT/TV (Albany) reports:

Republican Senator Andrew Lanza (left) who represents Staten Island describes the type of video games his legislation is trying to label for parents:  "Games that, for instance, reward you for shooting and murdering New York City police officers."

[Senate Minority Leader James] Tedisco says, "Nobody walks up to me on the streets and says, ‘Because there’s violent video games, I’m leaving the state of New York.’  They say, ‘I’m leaving the state of New York because I can’t afford to live here.’"

Meanwhile, Lower Hudson Online has this:

Two agreements were announced yesterday.

One would place limits on who can see violent video games. It would make it a felony to sell violent and obscene video games to minors. In addition, manufacturers would have to equip game consoles with parental-control devices, retailers would have to label games that are violent and obscene, and the state would establish a committee to study the problem.

"We were all always on the same page in protecting children. We just had to come up with ways to compromise," said Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, D-Brooklyn, co-chairman of the joint conference committee.

GP: Based on an inaccurate news account, we originally listed this bill as passed. In checking with Sen. Lanza’s office, we learned that it has been agreed upon but not yet officially passed.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    Durastik says:

    There is already laws like this in New Zealand, under 18s can’t buy, play or watch R18 games (GTA and F.E.A.R for exapmle), this in no way effects the sales of the games, and in my opinion is better for the industry, it means if a derranged child shoots someone after playing GTA, the blame can fall on the parents for breaking the law and allowing the child to play this game, not the developers for making the game.

    What a mature adult plays is up to them, what a minor plays should be controled, as there is no evidence to show that a 8 year old needs to know all the details about pimps and drug dealing.

    An 18 year old should be able to play Manhunt 2 for exapmle, but not an 8 or even 16 year old, becuase although the difference of maturity between two 16 year olds can be vast, a standard that can gauruntee that the majority will be mature enough to understand the game, so therefore a ratgin system useing 3 key ages, as in New Zealand works.

    These are the ratings we use down in NZ; R13 (Canis Canem Edit, not very common) R16(SOCOM, God of War) or R18(GTA)

  2. 0
    draq ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Requiring manufacturers to include parental controls? Yeah, that’ll happen. If they don’t already have them, I seriously doubt Nintendo, MS, or Sony will add them just to please one state.

    If this actually holds up in court (which it won’t), I’m imagining something like the fireworks situation, where people just go across the state boarder to get their stuff. All in all, what a useless law.

  3. 0
    MasterAssassin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This frankly shows the stupidity of the NY legislature. I honestly didn’t know that selling a kid GTA was as bad as statuatory rape or manslaughter. Frankly the victims of the above crimes and thier families should be insulted by this legislation. This not only unjustly demonizes a harmless entertainment product but also trivializes tragedy. Obviously they wouldn’t know how truely traumatizing things like those could be if they think those are as bad as selling a kid a violent game.

  4. 0
    BmK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Im my opinion, this is just the government picking for straws. Both the Republicans and Democrats have no idea how to fix the real problems out there so instead they make up problems such as violent games warping children’s minds and causing them to be more violent, ect.
    We live in a culture of fear where everyone is just scared shitless and most of this is due to the mass media which is constantly bombaring us with death, destruction, violence on the news and then rather then placing the blame of the individuals commiting the violence, they blame it on a third party.
    12 year old Johnny didn’t kill his friend because he was fucked up in the head and had mental problems, or the fact his parents were negligent crack addicts who didn’t bother to raise or even care for their child. NO, it’s because he played GTA: SA, watched Scarface and listened to 50 Cent (actually 50 Cent would probably drive me to kill, not becuase of the contents of his lyrics, but because he just fuckin’ sucks so much).
    A 550 pound obese man isn’t at fault for being fat, even though he eats fast food three times a day and biggie sizes it, it’s McDonald’s fault for having so much fat and calories in their food.
    Today’s society just fuckin’ sickens me to know end. Now one is responsible for their own actions anymore and the nanny-state has to come in and protect us from ourselves. We are being babied and infantised by the government (esspecially young people and teenagers), and more and more laws and restrictions are being put on us every year that goes by. The worst part is people just sit by let it happen. Of course i’m just sitting here complaining on the internet, but i’m not a citizen of NY state. If i was i’d definelty write letter of disapproval to my state reps about this kind of stuff but in the end i feel in the end it would make no difference. The only way to make a difference IMHO is to vote against both the Democrats and Republicans. No more of this lesser of the two evils crap. The fact is both parties are equal when it comes to incompatance and placing more and more government restrictions and regulations on our lives. Whether it be for morality or protecting us from ourselves.

  5. 0
    Homer says:

    What ever happened to a free country. Yeh right. there are so many laws and camera’s all over the place. You don’t know what the laws are till you break them or go to jail for breaking them. You cant even walk out your door with out stressing.

  6. 0
    rdeegvainl ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I usually complain online, then i started writing to those who represent me about the issues i care for. Until recently i had no inclination to believe that any sort of system got my message. Then i recieved an e-mail, from one of my state reps. except it was just a mass produced letter talking about some victory of republicans over democrats. They said absolutely nothing about any of the many issues I wrote to them about. They just assumed i supported them or something and put me on there mailing list. Not a single word about being a Caring citizen, or a thank you for your time and concern. Has anyone actually been able to successfully communicate with an elected official. The only one i know that have, either completely support the current policies that are set up, or have a crap load of money spewing out of their mouths. And i can’t even vote them out of power because there isn’t anyone running against them in my district. If I wasn’t currently in the military and stationed elsewhere, I would run against them, just so people had an option. but alas that won’t happen for a few years yet. Until then all i can do is gripe and continue to write to some machine somewhere about my complaints.

  7. 0
    Lost Question ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I would like bill against repetitive, unconstitutional, and/or pointless legislature I would like these bills classified as felony’s class E or above depending on how much is changed from the last bill. Anyone invloved in such legislature are punished by the bill.
    It would make bandwagon jumping a look before you leap process, and more or less kill off the “think of the childeren” throw away legislature for votes.
    after all many (im guessing round 70-90%) politicans dont want to do something that could get them thrown in jail or give there opponents come voting time some good dirt.

  8. 0
    GyverX says:

    Has anyone thought about how good this can be? think about this. Putting ESRB ratings on these games (That I myself play) actually have a good purpose. These new rules would place more and more responsibility on the game creators and sellers. This almost eliminates the “Blame it on the video game” syndrome. This could actually be good news for gamers. in the courts and media, it places the blame on everyone else but the gamers and the game. If your under age, and your parents wont buy you that latest open ended game like GTA III and up, then by it when you come of age. untill then. this is good news all around

  9. 0
    Raptor says:

    As adults always said to me. “stop wasting your time on video games!” So right back at ya you! Jesus shouldn’t you worring about gas prices and war and other MORE important shit? Jesus I am glad I stoped voten. I am really sick of these Mother f’ers tellen us what we should be watchen, eatten, doen, sayen. Well here is my free speech talken. FU!

  10. 0
    Shadow2100 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I merely wish to say that no one should be surprised by the politicians tactics. They have always been doing this and always will. They don’t care about you or your freedoms. They only care about their precious fucking money and their votes, that’s it. They don’t want to solve the real problems because that’s not what the rich and powerful want. It wouldn’t benefit them. Do you all honestly believe that they will EVER fix the education system? NO. As for NY making this ridiculous law, big surprise. Lets not forget who is in charge of that state.

  11. 0
    Mike (DeathRain) ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I just wanted to make a quick comment about my home state here. I’m sorry if I’m saying anything anyone else already said, but I didn’t have time to go through the comments today.

    So yeah, I live in New York and I’ve been following this issue and writing my state representatives. Did anyone else here see anything about the other bills proposed in the NY Assembly? There were two that would keep retailers from displaying violent games where minors would see them. So if they want to display them, they’ll have to have a separate area off limits to minors, or just not let minors in the store. And then another bill would require retailers to keep game copies present and playable for “authorities” (which from what I could tell, were unspecified) to play as spot checks.

    I’m just becoming more and more floored here. This state is so screwy some times. It’s like living in a place where everyone has senile dementia and is struggling to understand a changing world. They try to understand, fail, and then act on things anyway. I seriously think I’m starting my own country somehow. Kind of like the guy with the abandoned oil platform in international waters. Anyone know how he went about all of that?

  12. 0
    Volcanman says:

    //Offtopic, I know, but I love how there’s that incredible bias in this country. Violence is okay as long as it’s not too nasty, but a nipple gets a game AO. What is wrong with this picture? //

    Not true. God of War wasn’t rated AO, and there were plenty of boobies.

  13. 0
    RPS says:

    Offtopic, I know, but I love how there’s that incredible bias in this country. Violence is okay as long as it’s not too nasty, but a nipple gets a game AO. What is wrong with this picture?

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

    Actually, in the US, I don’t think a child going to a R-rated movie in the theatre is even a misdemeanor. It could probably cost someone their job, but that’s because of the theatre’s own policies, not because the US government says so.

  15. 0
    Josh says:

    Hmmmm….so Movies which after portray exceptional violence and nudity as well as some very dangerous stunts is less dangerous to our kids than videogames? Most kids can tell you the difference between pretend and real…and thats fairly easy to do with a videogame…however in the theater, actuall people apear to be doing the dangerous things and commiting extreme violence…Yet a child going into an R rated movie is a misdemeanor at most…how do videogames receive a felony penalty in light of this? I can help but wonder which lobiest is behind this move.

  16. 0
    Mad_Scientist ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m curious as to what James Tedisco’s view is. From the quote of his, it seems like he might have thought that the Senate was wasting time on video games, and should have been focused on other issues. Hard to say for sure though, but that seems to be what he was driving at.

    So does he oppose the law? Or does he actually think it’s a good thing, just not something they should spend time on right now?

  17. 0
    Malygris says:

    What happened to the days when “parental control” meant your parents telling you not to do something, and then keeping an eye on things to make sure you didn’t?

  18. 0
    Kevin c says:

    Wait a sec, I hate legislature that limits myself because of irresponsible parents just as the next gamer, but I have to ask this, Has anybody here actually gone to the government to defend their rights instead of just bitching about it here or in other posts/forums? I think we as a people have to unite to actually defend our fucking selves. Whos with me, my email is nighthawk3729@gmail.com for anyone who wants dtand up for them selves and take their thumbs out of their ass’s.
    -Kevin C.

  19. 0
    jocumo says:

    @Law of the Game

    Ҥ 120.01 Reckless assault of a child by a child day care provider.
    § 120.03 Vehicular assault in the second degree.
    § 120.30 Promoting a suicide attempt.
    § 125.10 Criminally negligent homicide.
    § 125.40 Abortion in the second degree.
    § 130.25 Rape in the third degree. (“Statutory Rape”)
    § 130.40 Criminal sexual act in the third degree.
    § 135.10 Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree.
    § 150.05 Arson in the fourth degree.
    § 230.05 Patronizing a prostitute in the second degree. (A person over 18 patronizes a prostitute who is under 14.)
    § 176.15 Insurance fraud in the fourth degree.”

    All of these are the equivalent of selling a violent game to a minor? :Q

    I wasn’t aware that it was as bad as arson and rape.

  20. 0
    jocumo says:

    I also love how these politicians are attempting to regulate a medium that they clearly don’t understand. I’m willing to bet money on the fact that these people never actually played the games that they attack. In fact, you don’t get a “reward” for killing NYC cops in the GTA games. If anything, the game punishes for you by raising the difficulty. In order to in any way reasonably regulate an industry, you should at least retain some sort of comprehension of it. I live in NY, so this really hits close to home. I usually hear of such bills being introduced in Louisiana and other far away states. I never really considered that my own state was as blind and ignorant, but I suppose I’ve been proven wrong. It’s really going to suck when this bill inevitably gets shot down and the taxpayers are left with a debt that should have never existed in the first place.

  21. 0
    bUGSY says:

    I want to make a game where all you do is kill children and cops, and the final mission/battle is to assassinate the President.

    It’s called free-speech. If you don’t like it, don’t play it. Just like movies, tv, music, etc.

  22. 0
    jocumo says:

    The ignorance of these politicians is astounding. Honestly, I wonder myself how such incompetent idiots get support for such bills when there is clearly a precedent of failure for such bills. Not to mention, half of the bill is irrelevant and redundant, as they are calling for things that are currently standards in the videogame industry(Ratings/Parental Controls, ect.). The other half is just idiotic. How can it be a felony to sell a violent video-game to a minor, meanwhile selling cigarettes and alcohol to minors don’t even hold such harsh consequences? I suppose the only way these politicians get elected is to promise diversion based BS such as “protecting children”. It’s all about image to them, never about solving the real problems. It’s quite sad that the prospect of gaining more votes by portraying a false image outweighs confronting the real problems.

  23. 0
    Homer says:

    There is always that excuse (blame it on the video games)
    when if the kids were not being tought different that video games are for fun, enjoyment, relaxation there would be a whole different effect. Its not the video games, its the violence around the world. So I guess if I buy an R rated movie and my son watches it thats wrong huh. I guess I shouldn’t let my son watch or go to school to learn about history either. Alot of violence is in that.

    There is always somewhere to put the blame expect in the right place.

  24. 0
    Relinquished says:

    Since when do video games reward you for killing cops?

    I assume they’re looking at the GTA series, But I know for a fact you do NOT get rewarded for killing cops… Actually I recall that raises your wanted level more than killing some random bystander…Which is technically a punishment.

    Last time I checked, having a “high wanted level” in the real world isn’t very rewarding…

  25. 0
    AgnostoTheo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The most disgusting set of words I ever hear out of a politicians mouth is “Protecting the Children.” The fine state of New York has NO BUSINESS doing the jobs that parents should be doing ON THEIR OWN. Jerks. -.-

  26. 0
    Mauler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Given the costs of fighting this in NY I think we are going to see the judgment to recoup costs over a million, perhaps two. You’ve got first amendment issues on the whole, compelled speech (retailers would have to label games that are violent and obscene and no word if the ESRB ratings would be enough) general equality (just games). Good thing they didn’t pass all those other spending bills listed in the link. They wouldn’t be able to afford it.

  27. 0
    Meggie ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    ““We were all always on the same page in protecting children. We just had to come up with ways to compromise,” said Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, D-Brooklyn, co-chairman of the joint conference committee.”
    …and NONE of you thought labeled retailers FELONS was extreme? Good to know my calls/letters/emails got through to you morons.

    That whole paragraph jumped out at me. I realize the author is just summarizing the bill, but failing to mention the redundancy (parental controls, labeling, etc) makes the bill actually sound like it’s accomplishing something.

  28. 0
    Waffles ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Nobody walks up to me on the streets and says, ‘Because there’s violent video games, I’m leaving the state of New York.’ They say, ‘I’m leaving the state of New York because I can’t afford to live here.’”

    That quote just wins on epic proportions.

  29. 0
    MaskedPixelante ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    Oh, this is going to end badly… we don’t know if the new ESA boss has a wait and see attitude towards this.

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

    With all of the precedent proving these bills are unconstitutional, I think it’s about time the penalties for intentionally ignoring the constitutional rights should be much, much larger. I also think the people of NY should file a class-action against the individuals who passed it as it clearly isn’t a legislative process that went on. The ESA alone has enough information readily available for lawmakers that it is clearly negligent on their part.

  31. 0
    random j03 says:

    the only thing in that blurb that doesn’t currently exist is the the making the sell a felony. why is it when i listen to politicians i feel my iq drop a few levels. don’t these people realize that there are more important things hurting their kids lives then this? you have school systems in shambles, people without health care, over crowded prisons and sentences not fitting the crime, ppl past retirement age re-entering the workforce because social security didnt cover them and people losing jobs and entire life savings because of corporate scandal and crimes. do they think that if they can effectively control what ppl see they can control what they think and how they act? or is it just easier to keep your job without having to do it if you go after things like this? i’m sure new york has plenty of other problems that they could be working on then passing a bill that will most then likely get shot down. if anyone has a link for what the law entails i would like to read it. if all it essentially does is make it illegal to sell a game to minors, they really haven’t accomplished anything. who are they going to pin it on? i see them going after mom and pop outfits to try and set precedence because they know the majors could fight them and win with no problem. at most all they’ll do is hand out fines like they do to convince stores who sell cigarettes to minors. i don’t see them going after the workers themselves, and so it leads me to believe they know it will get shot down and their only trying this to be a scare tactic.

  32. 0
    Toastrider says:

    @Kat Ingersoll:

    Twain may have lived well before the digital age, but a hell of a lot of his writings are still accurate.

    Ironically, some of Mark Twain’s works have come under the censorship hammer in the past.

  33. 0
    point09micron says:

    “They say, ‘I’m leaving the state of New York because I can’t afford to live here.’””

    Can’t afford to live there because of the exhorbitant taxes resulting from the legislature wasting time and funds on blatantly unconstitutional laws. It’s a vicious cycle eh?

  34. 0
    BmK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Does it require the game to be BOTH violent and obscene or does it bar both violent and obscene video games.

    That second “both” (the one that’s not bold shouldn’t be in there.

  35. 0
    BmK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Does anyone have a link to the wording of the law in question? Does it require the game to be BOTH violent and obscene or does it bar both violent and obscene video games. If it’s the former then well, this law is uesless as laws already exist barring obscene unprotected speech to minors. If it’s the latter then it is definetly unconstitutional when it comes to the violence part.

  36. 0
    Rob says:

    “Legislation that would require warnings on violent video games is also on its way to the governor’s office.”

    What about, oh I don’t know….the BIG FUCKING M ON THE FRONT OF THE GAME THAT SAYS MATURE 17+?! There is your fucking warning! Or how about the back that also tells you what the game contains, like blood and gore, language, etc. Stop bitching at the gaming industry and take responsibility for yourselves as parents or even just the dick heads you are and get a God damned clue. Assholes!

    Also, to quote George Carlin, fuck the children! I’m sick of seeing this same lying bullshit every god damn time. “We are protecting the children.” Bullshit! Has nothing to do with the children, because if it did then you need to, as already stated, take responsibility as parents and make sure they don’t play the games that you feel with “harm” them in some way. Don’t make bullshit laws and/or attempt to ban shit in order to “protect the children”, because then you’re just pissing on the rights of every single other person for the sake of your own delusional expression of “protection”.

  37. 0
    Mike says:

    I’m glad those in power have their priorities straight. I mean who will protect us from ourselves? Isn’t their enough crap that needs to be fixed, monitored, or upheld in society that those in office can create laws for common good.

    If something as insignificant as video games are these people’s top priority what does that say for all the other issues that are happing in their fine state?

    I suggest that if they legislate laws such as these that they most show their opportunity cost. “Yes, ma’am we passed the video game law to protect your children from going to Wal-Mart and buying mature games. However, we had to pass up on legislation to further keep pedophiles from school zones and family neighborhoods.”

  38. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    They are reffering to GTA. I guess getting a police officer’s gun is a reward and cool wanted star that just happens to make the game more difficult(they have it backwards, shooting police in GTA doesn’t reward you in any way).

  39. 0
    Mike (DeathRain) ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ redegvainl

    I’ve had success. My U.S. Congresswoman replied with a personalized response. Now, I’m not saying it was actually her, but it was purely about the issue I wrote to her about, which was a Net Radio bill that would have taxed and essentially bankrupted most small net radio stations. So I take comfort in the fact that my personal thoughts were considered by at least one politician.

  40. 0
    Kelly says:


    Manufacturers already include parental controls.

    I know, because I’m a game tester and we have to check every game to make sure the rating syncs correctly with the level allowed on the console.

    The GameCube, PS2, Xbox, Wii, PS3 and Xbox360 all have parental controls built in already (but only for the North America units).

    PS2, PS3, Xbox, and Xbox360 also have parental controls for movies, as these consoles play DVDs.

    I think it’s pretty ridiculous they are trying to pass a law like this. The game industry already does everything in the bill, and then some.

    Consoles already have parental controls; video games already include ratings on the box, and more in-depth ratings can be found at the ESRB website; stores already do not permit anyone under 18 to buy an M rated game.

    I went to GameStop with a friend of mine to get ‘Zone of the Enders’. It’s a somewhat older PS2 title where you are a giant robot fighting other giant robots in space. There’s no blood, no sex, just fighting robots, and it still got an ‘M’ rating. I went to pay for it and they asked for my ID. I’m 24 and I shop there all the time, but they still needed my ID. Then they wanted my friend’s ID. I explained that he’s a year older than me, and that it didn’t matter anyway, because I was buying the game, and the bastard simply would not sell me the game.

    I don’t know why anyone needs a bill when you’ve already got the whole industry dancing along to the politician’s tune already.

Leave a Reply