Prez Hopeful Romney Continues to Push Video Game Issue

Following the release of a new TV ad on Monday, the Mitt Romney campaign has been hitting the video game content issue hard this week, most notably during a swing through Colorado.

A new press release lays out a Romney theme “protecting our children.” Following along the lines of the “ocean of filth” TV spot, the campaign pledge says in regard to video games:

Governor Romney Will Punish And Fine Retailers For Selling Excessively Violent And Sexually Explicit Video Games To Minors. 

While the current system of voluntary self-regulation of video games has improved, we still need to do more to protect our children.  There must be strong punishments and fines for retailers that sell violent and sexually explicit video games to minors. 

GP: We’re not quite sure what Romney is saying here. While he gives props to the strides made by the ESRB, he’s clearly advocating retail sales legislation. Does he have a secret plan to circumvent the constitutional issues that have sunk every other such attempt?

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


  1. 0
    Cindy says:

    I am a parent that believes your child is going to learn all about the “real life” no matter what you do to prevent/hide it from them. I have never kept anything from my child to “protect” them from what the real world is all about. My child plays some of these games with my permission knowing they are simply that…games. Open communication is the key to making the children what they are. If a child thinks video games are what real life is about, then there is more missing there than what meets the eye. I have never let the video games be a babysitter for my child-he is allowed so much time each week and that’s it. He earns his right to play based on his hard work in school and around the house. His hard work proves to me what type of person he is and his ability to understand the difference between a game and “real life”.

  2. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thad, that’s what I was thinking.

    In addition to the problems already mentioned, this would be doubly unconstitutional under the tenth ammendment. Retail transactions do not fall under congress’s congressional purview. States can regulate them. Congress can’t. Unless he wanted to do some endrun as with the drinking age where they hold your highway funds unless you make the laws they want, this will never fly.

  3. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This has been to sent to the Romney for President Campaign:

    I am troubled by the stance that Romney has taken regarding video games in his recent press release. The problem I have is that in the same breath, he both praises and condemns the industry. He praises them in their efforst to self regulate, but then tells them that he is going to force them through law to do what they are already trying to do.

    I also find it disturbing that he makes no mention of movies or music and efforst to enforce their ratings and content descriptors. According to the recent FTC report ( found at in their secret shopper tests, the video game industry had only a 42% failure rate in enforcing the M rating of games. This is a huge improvement over the results of 2003 secret shopper test which resulted in a 69% failure rate.

    Meanwhile the movie industry had a 71% failure rate in enforcing the R and unrated movie ratings. This is a marginal improvement from 81% failure rate in 2003.

    The FTC after all their tests have praised the game industry in their efforts with suggestions on improving them, but over all they were praised. The FTC then went on to condemn the Movie industry for their lack of effort to enforce movie ratings in the retail scene.

    The game industry after receiving the report, thanked the FTC and made promises to take the extra steps proposed to them, while the movie industry has mostly ignored the suggestions made to them.

    Why, with such blatant disregard for the FTC report, to you focus solely on games and not movies? Why do you even propose legislation on video games when in no less than 9 state such legislation has been tried and has failed on constitutional grounds and resulted in the loss of millions of tax payer money in legal fees?

    I applaud your efforts to protect children from pediphiles and pornography, but I find your stance on video games to be unnecessary.

    Instead of legislating games, you should work with the game industry to educate parents in the value of setting standards for their children and enforcing them in a home environment. Education is the key to winning this aspect of the “protect the children” battle.

  4. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    “I think this entire argument boils down to freedom of speech verses obscenities. Since freedom of speech is restricted to minors when obscenities are involved, the question now becomes are some M-rated games “obscene”?”

    Hate to tell you this, but your personal opinion is not the best standard for what is and is not obscene. As far as obscenity laws go, the only true standard for determining what is obscenity and what isn’t is the Miller Test:

    Now, attempts have been made by legislators to force games through the Miller Test. However, all of those attempts were struck down as unconstitutional. Why? There are many reasons, but one of the biggest is the trouble in rewriting the second prong of the test. Since “sexual conduct” or “execretory functions” would not apply to a solely violent game, legislators have tried coming up with new terms, such as “excessive brutality” or the like.

    The problem here is, these terms are inherently vauge because, unlike copulation, the level of violence in media is ambiguous and dependent entierly on context. For example, if I told you of a game where you jump on your enemies heads to crush them back into their bodies and then kick their carcasses at other enemies, would you say it is obscenly violent? Would you think the same thing if I told you I was talking about Super Mario Bros. (jumping on Koopas and kicking their shells)? That’s the problem with these bills. Their language is always so vauge the could be used to restrict plenty of kid-friendly games, because all of them (except puzzle games) contain some degree of violence. Once again, it’s all about the context.

    I’d also like to point out that, for anything to be considered “obscene,” it must pass all three steps. This means that excessive violence or sexuality is not enough for the courts to consider something obscene. It must lack “serious literary, artistic, political, and scientific value.” This is the crucial requirement, as it is the only one of the three which does not differ from region to region or from person to person. Under it, I see no games that would pass the first two steps that would fail the third. Even GTA, the whipping-boy of parents like yourself, contains plenty of well-executed satire of our society. Thus, it has liteary, value, and would likely pass the test if it was put under it as is.

    To reiterate, while you may personally consider some games “obscene,” it is much more complicated to legally make them so. There are simply too many flaws in the “violence=obscenity” argument to restrict violent games that way.

  5. 0
    Miraba says:


    He did, in fact, raise taxes, but not how you would notice them if you didn’t live in MA. Fees were how he taxed people without actually raising taxes.
    Also, $1.3 billion came in through no effort of his own. Sure, he can balance the budget, but expect to see cuts in higher education (thus raising state taxes and fees), environmental upkeep (thus raising state taxes), and federal aid to states (thus raising state and city taxes).

    I’m not sure what you consider important, but I’m going to take a stab that you consider legislating morality a good use of tax money.

    On the flip side, at least he’ll have a valid excuse for spending his time away from the place he’s supposed to be running.

  6. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Governor Romney Will Punish And Fine Retailers For Selling Excessively Violent And Sexually Explicit Video Games To Minors. “

    SO, by most cencorcrat standards, retailers will be fined for selling the ultra violent and sexually explicit super smash Bros to minors, I mean, the game has panty shots, panty shots count as sex scenes, right, right!? [/sarcasm]

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

    Why are you targeting mature rated games ONLY? Why not also target R, NC17 and Unrated movies? Some one on here posted some stats on it before where mature games being sold to a minor is like 50% but movies with ratings listed above is sold to minors at like 95%. (Figures not exact, trying to recall from memory.) If you target one form of speech, why not apply it to all forms of speech?

  8. 0
    Pumas says:

    @ cwpete

    “The gov’t could regulate this if these games if they are deemed obscene. To some it may be obscene, to others not. Also, some of these games are not just “M” rated, others carry the dreaded AO rating. “

    Obscene is actually defined in terms of its legal interpretation.

    Violence is not deemed obscenity. Lewd and lavicious sexual depiction is, but I can’t think of a single video game that is both rated M and sexually explicit save for perhaps the Hot Coffee modification to GTA:SA. Even then, one had to apply a “hack” to the game to access that content.

    The point is, unless the legal definition of obscene is changed, no violent video game can be considered obscene. Thus, no violent video game can be legislated under obscenity.

    Also, name an AO game currently on the market. I can only think of Manhunt 2 and I do not believe it’s been released yet. Even then, it’s violence, not sexuality and thus not obscene. Crude perhaps. Not targeted, produced for or even appropriate for children definitely. But nonetheless protected by the consitution. The only way to legally “protect the children” is through industry wide self regulation. And honestly I think they’ve done a really good job thus far and continue to improve.

  9. 0
    RJ says:

    Also have to realize if the government were to finally to get a bill passed like this, they will go completely crazy. They would want a group A to do this, a group B to do that, a group to see if groups A & B are doing what they should be doing, then another group to advise this group. Then come the endless committees that are created to look deeper in the subject matter. And the cycle repeats, so they would spend countless tax dollars on something thats stupid in the first place.

    Would rather see that money put somewhere else than yet another pointless law

  10. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:

    @ cwpete
    That which you suggest, that courts would find violence to be equally “obscene” as sexual explicitness, is pretty much exactly what has been attempted in every state-level anti-gaming law I know of for the last four or five years.

    The fact the courts have consistently found no reason to believe that violence is equally obscene as sexual explicitness is why every single one of those laws has been shot down. Each time, it added one more precedent against the (ridiculous, I my opinion) notion that a narrative containing “intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language” should be judged legally obscene.

    I wish you, as a gamer, father, and Romney supporter, great success in passing your values on to your own family. I wish you complete and utter failure with the pretentious suggestion that your relatively broad opinions about what is or is not “obscene” should be applied anywhere outside of your own home.

  11. 0
    Miraba says:


    Violence is not obscene, pornography is, and no game with pornography will be rated anything other than AO (or not rated at all). M-rated games are not obscene and cannot reasonably be classified as such.

    BTW, as someone who had to live in MA while Romney was running it, please, please vote for someone else, anyone else. His constantly-shifting stances show that he has no opinions of his own, only what will help him get to the next public office. Once he’s in power, there’s no way to predict what he will do.

  12. 0
    BmK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    You’re thinking of legal obscenity laws which are constitutional because obscenity is not protected by the first amendment. With that said though obscenity laws only cover sexually explicit speech that:

    As a whole, appeals to the prurient interest
    Depicts of describes patently offensive sexual conduct; and
    As a whole, lacks serious artistic, literary, scientific or political merit.

    for minors there is a obscenity test that deals which sexual explicit content that:
    As a whole, appeals to the prurient interest of minors
    Depicts of describes sexual conduct that is patently offensive to minors; and
    As a whole, lacks serious artistic, literary, scientific or political merit for minors.

    Beyond that obscenity test for minors the government cannot restrict minor’s Free Speech rights unless they can show that the speech in question is actual harmful to minors (of which the evidence claiming this is extremely weak, inconsistent, incredibly flawed and of course biased).

  13. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Right now, retail stores are better at not selling M-rated games to minors than they are at not selling R-rated movies to minors.

    Someone explain what the actual problem is.

  14. 0
    Pumas says:

    @ cwpete

    “The state does the same thing you described with respect to enforcing alcohol sales to non-minors. They hire kids to try to buy beer from stores then yank their liquor license if the kid succeeds.

    Problem is, the state is regulating the business. Here the key difference is, the business is regulating the business. I don’t think that would fly. It may be a conflict of interest for the publisher as the game publisher will probably make more dough for the sale of the M-rated game to the minor verses fees to the retailer.”

    Ah, but there’s a major difference that you’re not taking into consideration here: Alcohol is a controlled substance. Consumption of alcohol is not a right protected by the constitution. Video games are published media. Published media constitutes “speech”. Speech is a right granted and protected by the consitution. Lawmakers can NOT enforce a law that violates the constitution. Any such law would be struck down by the courts.

    I don’t think it’s a conflict of interest at all though you are correct that it would cut of profit. A better way to do it would be a series of agreements. The retailers agree not to sell games without ratings. The publishers agree not to allow retailers to sell M rated games to those under 17 (aka pull them off the shelf if they do). And the ESRB agrees to refuse an ESRB rating to any publisher who does not demand that the retailers enforce the rating. Industry wide self enforcement. The ESRB gets paid to do ratings, but can refuse to do so for any publisher who allows retailers to sell M rated games to those under 17. The retailers refuse to sell games without an ESRB rating thus putting pressure on publishers to obtain ratings which they will in turn require the retailers to enforce. The publishers recieve pressure from both spectrums as they cannot sell their games to retailers without a rating, but cannot achieve a rating if they do not require their retailers to enforce them.

    It’s complicated sure, but as it’s been said hundreds of times, the government cannot regulate speech. It is up to the industry and its consumers to do so voluntarily.

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

    Look, if a minor was refused an R-rated ticket, why could he not get a lawyer and sue the theaters for denying him his freedom of speech? I don’t think it would hold. I don’t think the freedom of speech argument is valid here because in both cases, obscenities nullify their case.

    Because it’s the theater denying him access to the movie not the government doing it through legislation. The U.S. constitution bars the government and state from regulating Free Speech materials not cooperations or websites such as gamepolitics if they wish to censor or regulate speech.

  16. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Thanks for the correction regarding penalties to the movie theaters. I think my point still holds, notwithstanding penalties to the theaters for that self mandated policy of refusing R-rated ticket sales. Shouldn’t they still be sued for denying minors their “free speech?”

    No, because they are a private entity, not the government. Private entities can self censor all they wish an not violate the first amendment.

    Furthermore, they aren’t denying minor’s their free speech right, they’re declining to exercise their own. You are not violating my free speech rights if you refuse to sell me all the books in your house, or decline to expound your views at length to me. Same with the movies.

  17. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:

    The “M” rating is an age-appropriateness suggestion. It’s not a legal restriction, like your ratings in the UK may be, and it is not in any sense intended to be a legal restriction. One problem with having a law against selling “M” rated games to anyone is that it would take purposefully loose, admittedly subjective opinion, and turn it into a hard-and-fast criminal law.

    In the U.S., we reject the notion that any expression should be censored or banned just because mob rule du jour thinks it “simply isn’t suitable.” We believe it’s more important to protect the chance for any message to be heard, regardless of how “suitable” it may seem to purveyors of the social status quo. This often leads those of us who value this civil liberty to defend messages we personally find distasteful, because we believe that it is far more distasteful to allow our government any foothold toward deciding for us what we can or cannot, say, view, or think.

    In other words, ultimately it’s none of your business whether or not I am practicing what you believe to be proper “parental responsibility.” If YOUR child buys a copy of Hostel 2, and YOU have a problem with that, take it up with the retailer who sold it to her. Don’t blame the content of the movie, and don’t blame its First Amendment protections. How did she get the money to pay for that movie? And why are you letting her spend that money, unattended, at a retailer that does not follow any age-restriction policy? Why do you let her visit the homes of friends when you disagree with their house rules about what kinds of movies are allowed?

    (Of course, your parenting decisions are none of my business, either, but you sort of brought them up, for the sake of discussion.)

  18. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    “Its impossible for a parent to always keep an eye on their child.”

    That’s why you teach your child, so they know right from wrong whether or not you’re around, and don’t need to have an eye on them all the time. If your kid constantly does the wrong thing whenever you’re not there, you’re not doing your job right.

    Legislation like this, the kind that would make the government your nanny, just masks that problem. It doesn’t fix it. It says, “Well, yeah, you screwed up as a parent, and now your kid needs 24-hour surveillance; we’ll get right on that.”

    Besides, we’re still talking about sending kids to jail for selling video games. Any way you slice it, that’s ridiculous.

  19. 0
    JC says:

    Its impossible for a parent to always keep an eye on their child. So the government can help by not allowing said child to purchase M rated games at a video game store. But its not right for them to say they can’t play them at all. THAT is where parental responsibility kicks in.

    Obviously that’s why you’re suppose to be apart of their life. The government thinks it helps, but again, its a waste for something that isn’t damaging at all. I’d be more concerned about drugs. The fact is, we have laws preventing drug use, but do they always work? No. That’s why you have to be involved with your child’s life.
    Such a law fining is just pointless when it doesn’t cause damage. Btw, parental responsibility is every waking moment… There’s no “break” from it.

    Granted, the analogy isn’t 100% valid, since playing video games is very different from 13 year olds engaging in sexual activities, but I hope the point of it is still there.

    Actually, the analogy isn’t even 1% valid.

    Sexual acts have potentially dangerous reprucssions if you’re not prepared for what is likely to happen especially if unprotected. Whereas a video game is just simply entertainment that only increases reaction time and has no such reprecussions upon the player.
    I see no point in the analogy, its a horrible example.

  20. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ cwpete

    Alcohol and video games are two different things. One is a drug consumed in liquid form, the other is protected speach. One has proven harmful effects, while the other has speculated harmful effects.

    They do not make a very good comparison.

    The key to a well run society is for people to be taught good principles and then let them govern themselves. Education not legislation is the key.

  21. 0
    BmK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Man there is alot of censormongers showing up in this forum defending these retarded anti-gaming laws. Don’t they all realize that minor’s DO have First Amendment rights and the government can’t restrict Free Speech access to them.

  22. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    The problem is that all these laws tend to be too vague. Sooner or later you would get a parent getting in legal trouble for using their judgment in what media their child was mature enough to consume.

  23. 0
    Predatorian234 says:

    I kinda agree with Rob. I mean, as long as it doesn’t screw with MY ability to purchase whatever game I want (I’m 21), then I have no problem not allowing an 8 year old to pick up Manhunt. But the law must end there and only there. I mean, when I was 13 I couldn’t go out and see an R rated movie. I needed my parents to take me. And I don’t see anything wrong with that.

    Now if they try to pass a law saying that a parent could be thrown in Jail for buying a M rated game for their child, THATS where I have an issue.

    Its impossible for a parent to always keep an eye on their child. So the government can help by not allowing said child to purchase M rated games at a video game store. But its not right for them to say they can’t play them at all. THAT is where parental responsibility kicks in.

    And I can understand that whole “If Law A gets passed then that opens up room for Laws B, C, and D to be passed”. But who says we can’t let A slip by and then simply not allow the rest? Especially since Law A makes sense, and Law B doesn’t?

    I’m all for freedom of speach, but not allowing a child to play GTA is not an infringement on rights. If so, then 13 year olds should freely be able to have sex. I mean, by that time they are fully capable of bearing children. But no, the government controls that, and for good reason.

    Same with this. And after a law was passed saying that 13 year olds can’t have sex, I’ve never seen a law that says adults can’t have sex, or a law that says we MUST use condoms if the couple is not married, or any other “B, C, and D” laws.

    Granted, the analogy isn’t 100% valid, since playing video games is very different from 13 year olds engaging in sexual activities, but I hope the point of it is still there.

  24. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Are the not penalties for movie theaters who sell R-rated tickets to minors who are unaccompanied by and adult? I believe that there is. If so, these penalties have probably withstood any “free speech” court challenge.

    Actually no there isn’t any legal penalties for movie theaters. Like stores refusing to sell M rated games to minors, movie theaters refusing to sell R rated tickets to minors is something that’s entirely voluntary. A movie theater could let your 8 year old and their friends into see Hostel 2, and there would be a damn thing you could do to them about it because there isn’t a law that says they can’t.

  25. 0
    JC says:

    It is silly to allow such legislation. Sure, you can make it illegal. However, you’ll be paying more money for taxes for something that doesn’t work. It is like the silly prohibition, it just doesn’t WORK.
    The point of such a law he is proposing would have to be enforced, and may just simply get minors jailed instead. Then, the draconian fines would just have children (17 and under barely entering the workforce) getting fined or even sent to jail (in NY).
    Having to use resources to actually enfore such a stupid law is a waste of taxpayers money when it could be used for better protection of the public by helping keep drugs off the street.

    To sum it up Rob, its a waste of money, won’t help prevent kids getting their hands on games, and is likely to punish people for having fingers pointed at workers b/c of baseless accusations.

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

    Are the not penalties for movie theaters who sell R-rated tickets to minors who are unaccompanied by and adult?

    No, the MPAA rating system is voluntary, just like the ESRB. No laws for that either.

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


    “Are the not penalties for movie theaters who sell R-rated tickets to minors who are unaccompanied by and adult? I believe that there is.”

    There aren’t. There are no legal penalties at all. The R rating is strictly voluntary theater policy, not at all enforced by law — and, in fact, it would be unconstitutional to make it a law, since there are regulations against giving independent bodies, such as the MPAA or the ESRB, the power of law.

  28. 0
    Pumas says:

    We all know a law that specifically targets video games will never go through and that even trying to do so for all media will have a major court battle to go through…but I do somewhat think that perhaps the industry needs to take more aggressive steps in ESRB ratings enforcement. Voluntarily of course, but something like an industry wide agreement to take steps to avoid games not designed for children being sold to children. The ESRB also needs to step up to the podium and flat out say, “Our ratings are guidelines and we expect all retailers to abide by those guidelines. However, they are also guidlines for parents. The industry cannot be held responsible if parents are ignorant to ratings we clearly put on video games.”


    The major publishers set up a contractual distribution agreement with their retailers that states that the retailer will pay a fine to the publisher if they are found to be selling M rated games to those under the specified age of 17. The publishers enforce this through the use of mystery shoppers over 16 but under 17 (aka, leagal to work but under the M rated age…good way for a kid to make some money eh? :P) who go into the stores and pick up a game by said publisher that is rated M. If the retailer sells the game to the 16 year old he hands the retailer his business card, returns the game for a full refund and lets the retailer know the publisher will be contacting the manager/contract signee soon. The mystery shopper reports to the publisher with documentation, the publisher fines the retailer as per the contract and the manager of the retail outlet is inclined to crack down on the sale of M rated games to those under 17. If the retail outlet fails to cease sale to those under 17, the publisher pulls its games from said retail outlet for a specified period (6 months-1 year). No law needed. No rights violated. Any fines of retailers could be used to fund the mystery shopper program.

    I don’t know how enforcable that is, but it’s an idea. I truly think that industry self enforcement of this issue will ultimately be a much better outcome than the creation of a law that no doubt will be thrown out after lengthy and costly court battles.

    Rated M and AO games are designed for adults. Not kids. Go Fish is a kid’s game. Go Fish played with cards from a strip club is not a kids game. Society and politicians can grasp this concept. So why is it that they cannot grasp that while there are video games designed for children, not ALL video games are designed for chidren?

    One last thing – My local Best Buy requires ID with a birth date on it for ALL M rated games. I’m 24 and have a full beard yet still have to show my ID when I buy an M rated game. It’s annoying for me of course, but I can appreciate that sort of self enforcement of the ESRB ratings.

  29. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    There’s no demonstrable harm in a minor playing or buying an M-rated game. Simply put, it’s not illegal because there’s no good reason to make it illegal.

    Besides, say what you want about Joe Average’s parenting skills, but if you’re not going to trust him to raise his own kids, why trust Joe Bureaucrat to raise yours?

  30. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Long story short: The US in general is against the criminalization of speech. That’s essentially what government enforcement of age ratings would be.

  31. 0
    Miraba says:


    I’m going to assume you haven’t been here long, because this question comes up every time in the lawsuit.

    In the US, very few kinds of speech are prohibited. The only one that’s banned from being accessible to minors is obscene speech, where obscene = pornographic. Minors have the right to every other kind of speech allowed under law, and yes, that includes violence. It’s been upheld in numerous court cases.

    If you don’t want your child to play violent games, don’t give him money to buy them. Tell his friends’ parents that you don’t want him to play them. If you find him playing one, confiscate it. If you’re ever a parent, act like one.

  32. 0
    John Kanders ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I understand in France and Germany people can and do get sentenced to prison for espousing Nazi sympathies or by selling Nazi paraphenalia. Such restrictions are anathema to Americans. We (ideally) believe that unpopular speech is a necessary (and not a necessary evil) in a free society. When you punish people for speaking their minds, you endorse repression. There’s no such thing as a dangerous idea, only dangerous actions. All throwing a Nazi sympathizer in jail will do is drive similar sentiment underground, it won’t abolish the sentiment.

  33. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Interestingly enough, Barack Obaman kind of addressed Romney’s tactics – albeit indirectly – when both were in South Carolina in regards to the issue of age-approriate sexual education. I really like what he said here:

    “We have to deal with a coarsening of the culture and the over-sexualization of our young people,” Obama said. “Of course, part of the coarsening of that culture is when politicians try to demagogue issues to score cheap political points.”

    “What we shouldn’t do is to try to play a political football with these issues and express them in ways that are honest and truthful. … Certainly, what we shouldn’t do is engage in hypocrisy.”

    Hear! Hear! Even if Hillary looks almost certain to win the nomination, I’m still throwing my support behind Obama precisely because of statements like this, as it shows he takes a practical and sensible approach to these issues. Here’s a link to the full article

    Unfortunately, it looks like Romney is attracting a lot of the bigger conservative backers. And in American politics, we all know what really goes a long way in money. :(

  34. 0

    […] Wesley Clark Link to Article mitt romney Prez Hopeful Romney Continues to Push Video Game Issue » Posted at on Friday, July 20, 2007 Prez Hopeful Romney Continues to Push Video Game Issue July 20th, 2007 Following the release of a new TV ad on Monday, the Mitt Romney campaign has been hitting the video game content issue this week, most notably during a swing through Colorado. A new press release lays out a Romney theme “protecting our children View Entire Article » […]

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


    Several obstacles. First and foremost is the 1st Amendment. Games are speech, because they tell a story, no matter how much a certain lawyer would like to deny that. So the 1st protects it, no matter who the target audience is.

    Secondly, they can’t just legally enforce the ratings, because unlike the UK, the government can’t delegate legal authority to a private body such as a ratings board.

    Thirdly, in the US they like to take things too far. Instead of using the same fine, as say, selling cigarettes, alcohol, or pornography, they go for outrageous fines like $10,000 or 2 years jail time (or life sentence, if you did it 3 times under the NY law!), whereas selling a kid a naughty mag will get you $150 fine and no jail.

    And finally, as others have mentioned, the final hurdle is that the US system resists unnecessary laws. Judges look at the ESRB and retail enforcement, note that it’s doing well, and ask why a new law is needed if most retailers block kids from buying, and the only reason kids get the games is because the parents bought them anyway.

  36. 0
    Tom ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Rob

    I lived in the UK for a number of years and you’ll find that your fellow countrymen have a very different mindset then Americans.

    To whit: “Why should they have the right to buy software/movies etc that aren’t designed and made for them?” American answer: because.

    In a lot of ways it’s really as simple as that.

  37. 0
    Gamer81 says:

    Why doesn’t this idiot also want to regulate movies? After all, the movie industry is doing a far worse job at keeping inappropriate movies away from kids compared to the video game industry.

    Geez, are all of these politicians really that simple-minded? They can’t go after multiple media forms, just one, because going after many media forms would make things too complicated for them? Can they even walk and chew gum at the same time?

  38. 0
    Rob ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Brokenscope: Yep. Why not make it illegal? Why should they have the right to buy software/movies etc that aren’t designed and made for them. I mean game developers always bang on about these mature games being made for adults. They aren’t made for kids. They simply aren’t suitable. Sooo, why not make it illegal for kids to purchase them.

    “Parental responsibility” is fine, but we all know that throwing the phrase around isn’t the same as parents practising it.

    @Tom: I wouldn’t say that’s happened in England. Here we have laws governing what can and can not be sold to minors/children and it hasn’t lead to the erosion of free speech rights, so I don’t hold much stock in the thinking: If A happens it will lead to B which will cause C. Doesn’t always work like that.

    It boils down to a simple thing. If I was a parent, I wouldn’t want my kid to be able to walk into a shop and buy Hostel 2 and Manhunt etc and then go to their mates house and play/watch it.

  39. 0
    laterose says:

    @ Rob

    Because in America there’s this wierd idea that says more laws then absolutely necessary is a bad thing. We don’t always follow that idea, obviously. But really a voluntary system that prevents retailers from selling to minors *should* be enough, and that makes legislating it unnecessary. The law would also single out video games, which isn’t right. Either it applies to all media, or none of them.

  40. 0
    Tom ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Rob:

    It’s a First Amendment issue. The government cannot restrict the availability of speech to any of its citizens regardless of their age. The Constitution doesn’t distinguish between someone who’s 17 or 18 – neither between a kid of 8 and an old man of 80. The only situation where this isn’t the case is with speech that is considered obscene – that can be regulated. Offensive speech and speech in general cannot.

    It’s a very valid slippery slope issue. Once the government censors speech in one arena then it is more likely to censor speech in other arenas. Judges across the nation know that and have upheld it consistently but politicians bank on their constituents not knowing the actual law.

  41. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Okay, then would you also support legislation that makes it illegal for a minor to buy and R rated movie? Would you make it a crime to sell I minor a ticket to a movie that is R rated?

  42. 0
    aniki21 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yuki Says:
    July 20th, 2007 at 9:31 am
    Not unless that plan includes abolishing the the good ol first amendment.

    If the standard set by the current Republican administration is anything to go by, I wouldn’t be surprised. Of course, 90% of the current administration’s evil is probably solely Dick Cheney’s doing rather than anyone else…

    But yeah, it’s almost certainly just big campaign promises that won’t materialize if he ever gets into office.

  43. 0
    John ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Rob because an M rated game is 17+. A 17 year old is legally a minor. The opposition is mainly the precedent it would set.

  44. 0
    Rob ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I still don’t understand how anyone can’t be against a law that says it’s illegal to sell M rated games to minors. I honestly don’t understand it. Can someone explain to me what’s wrong with that? Why do we want to sell M rated games to minors when they aren’t developed for them anyway?

  45. 0
    Daniel ( User Karma: 1 ) says:

    So hes going to cut violence out of all games “for the children” even for adults who are old enough to play it???? THAT BASTARD!!!!!!

  46. 0
    Tom ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ah the death throes of the passing politician. Nature can be a beautiful thing.

    As Yuki says and as everyone here knows, what he suggests can’t happen. The concern is that if people react positively to his campaigning on this issue other politicians who do have a chance might take it up.

    If what Romney’s saying resonates with voters then don’t be surprised to see “we will protect the children!” become one of the clarion calls for candidates scrapping for second place.

  47. 0
    Yuki says:

    Not unless that plan includes abolishing the the good ol first amendment. Regardless, it’s just hot air, anyone in his office with a brain will tell him that he’s got zero prayer of getting a law to stick. He’s likely just doing it to sound big. Nothing more.

  48. 0
    MasterAssassin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Because it is unconstitutional, it infringes on the rights of others, and takes responsibility away from parents. Minors have first amendment rights. We don’t prohibit minors from buying R-rated movies so the same standard should aply here. Romney is digging himself a grave. There are a ton of people who are going to be old enough to vote in the next election who were in high school when these politicians were pushing for this crap a few years ago(myself included). We remember how we didn’t like it and we don’t like it now. Romney has pretty much just alienated a whole group of voters. Romney likely won’t get the nomination anyway. Anyone who stands side by side with Pat Robertson likely isn’t someone that most republicans would nominate, given that Mr.Robertson has already done enough damage to thier party.

  49. 0
    Twin-Skies ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @John Kanders

    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire

  50. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    And the black boots march on with bibles in hand to free the world from colors and thinking….

    Rob:its simple even teh UK is gettign annoyed with the bans on media and having a limitation on importing it, do you really want to to have to leave the country and import stuff yourself in order tog et and enjoy the media you like….

Leave a Reply