Parents Television Council Wants Video Game Legislation

January 25, 2008 -
Recent word that the Entertainment Software Association would begin making political contributions on behalf of the video game industry brought a sharp response from watchdog group the Parents Television Council.

Within days of the ESA announcement, PTC president Tim Winter issued a statement essentially threatening that his organization would target any elected official who "cashed a check" from the ESA

In an interview with Ars Technica PTC's national grassroots director Gavin McKiernan, explained that video game legislation is central to its dispute with the video game industry. The PTC supports legislation to restrict minors from purchasing games with mature content. The ESA, on the other hand, has historically (and successfully) opposed numerous attempts at such government regulation.

McKiernan told Ars Technica's Ben Kuchera:
The political issue that has the greatest likelihood of being discussed by legislators is also the one that the ESA has expended a great deal of time and money on, and that is to prevent laws that would assist parents in protecting their children from adult entertainment. The ESA's contributions will be overwhelmingly based on this issue and their stance on this issue is one that is opposed to the interests of families. 

We frequently hear from our members and parents that keeping violent video games out of their children's hands is a top priority...

McKiernan explained the PTC's perspective on game laws:
[Previous] laws have been struck down on relatively narrow premises, and the opinions have fallen into two basic lines of reasoning. The first being that the laws were too vague in their definition of what would be prohibited... The second being that some justices felt that there was not sufficient evidence at the time of the hearing to show clear harm to minors as a result of playing certain types of games...

Our members' greatest concern is with violent video games that can be purchased by children because there currently are no legal ramifications for retailers who sell 'M' or 'AO' rated games to minors.

We limit the sale of firearms, cigarettes and alcohol to minors because of their obvious detrimental effects. We have reasonable age restrictions for operating motor vehicles. We should employ similar logic and reason with other products that repeatedly have been proven to be harmful to children.

Comments

one word just one word hippocrits

I wonder how the death tolls from video games compare to those from Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

I'm sure the numbers are staggeringly similar. Either that, or somewhat different.

Comparing mind-altering substances, operating a vehicle, and firearms with a type of media that has been declared protected under the First Amendment? Epic Fail

Just like Brent Bozell

Once again the PTC tries to sell their forum of thought control to the rest of us. I would like to point out that every parent I have talked to has always laughed when mention of the PTC has come up. One mom even told me they are nothing but a group of thought police who try to control what others due based on their moral and religious beliefs.

"Our members’ greatest concern is with violent video games that can be purchased by children because there currently are no legal ramifications for retailers who sell ‘M’ or ‘AO’ rated games to minors."

Please show me any case where a child was able to buy an AO game from a retailer? Better yet show me a case where anyone was able to walk into a local retailer and pick up a copy of an AO game. Once again the PTC makes a blanket and unresearched comment trying to instill fear in parent, fear that little jimmy might just be playing a porn game.

Like some other people already said, it's a tarp. They're just going to slam whoever shows up.

Ya know, the PTC would end up doing something stupid to the video game industry and would end up in the same situation that they were in for the WWF(WWE). But that's just my opinion.

They don't take tips, they don't take lessons,
they never win by messin',
they're the fellahs at the freaking PTC!

The PTC says there for helping parents, but it really doesn't seem like it :/.

"We limit the sale of firearms, cigarettes and alcohol to minors because of their obvious detrimental effects. We have reasonable age restrictions for operating motor vehicles. We should employ similar logic and reason with other products that repeatedly have been proven to be harmful to children."

alright there. as soon as you show me videogames and PROOF that can't be rebutted by a simple test, get back to me punks.

Is there anyone here who's too young to work that has 50-60 bucks burning a hole in their pocket? Because I never did...Also do you have a ride to the store in order to buy these games?

You will note above a comment I made and I next pointed out that I had emailed it to the PTC. I also added at the end, the closing:

Andrew Rhodes
Wilmington, NC

Referenced FOX News story:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKzF173GqTU

Use Google Advanced News Search and Google Advanced Blog Search for "mass effect" over the last week to see many articles responding and debunking the misinformation. Mass Effect may also be found on wikipedia.org for further Factual details.
----------------------------------------------------------------

You will note the link is THE news story.

Here is the reply the PTC sent back (I'm forwarding a copy of the reply to Dennis so he can verify (or not) that I actually received it:

So, let me get this straight, if there are any news stories on tv anywhere
on media issues that are later shown to be incorrect (I don't know anything
about the news report in question so I will assume you are correct for the
purposes of this email but I am not going to spend the time to learn if that
is accurate just because you are worked up about it) then the PTC is
obligated to make some sort of statement? uh huh. I will try to remember
that, thanks for the feedback.

Gavin

Parents Television Council
National Grassroots Director
xxx.xxx-xxxx (nightwng2000 blocks out telephone number)
The nation's most influential advocacy organization protecting children
against sex, violence and profanity in entertainment

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

I don't really see why any of this is such a big deal. Here in Canada, movies and games are regulated by the government. A theatre cannot legally sell a ticket for an 18a movie to an unaccompanied 17 year old, nor can a store like EB Games legally sell an M rated game to someone under 18 (in Ontario and I believe a couple other provinces, 18 is the age for M, making the existence of AO seem even stupider).

In practice, these laws really make no difference. Most kids have friends or siblings (or friends of siblings) who are 18, and can just buy the games for them. Of course, there are also kids who will not do this, as their parents will simply throw out the games, which could happen just as easily without the laws. Personally, I think movies are a bigger problem. Kids can go to movie theaters (many theaters anyway) and buy a ticket for a movie other than the one they intend to see. They then see the 18A or R movie and go home, with their parents none the wiser. At least with video games the kid brings it home. (This point ignores friends' houses, as that applies to both movies and games)

And this reply has been sent:

Mr. Mckiernan,
At no point did I suggest you blindly accept my claim about the news report in question. If you had actually read the email properly, you would have seen at the end the link to a recording of the news article.

I also note that your organization condemns ratings systems such as the ESRB for not playing a game through and not revealing all information to individuals and Parents.

Certainly, your organization demands that ALL information regarding ALL transmitted media be obtain. Therefore, logically, it should follow that YOU do the same.

So, yes, if you truly want individuals and Parents to have ALL the appropriate information, and ALL that information must be correct and truthful, then you MUST practice what you preach and ensure that ALL information transmitted is based on truth and not deceit.

The PTC has placed itself on "moral highground" by condemning how OTHERS act. Therefore, it stands to reason that your organization does not lack in the areas it claims others do.

Therefore, YES, the PTC is obligated to make a statement, if as it claims, it abhors lies and deceit that it claims the video game industry (or other industries), individuals, or specialty news outlets, then certainly it must abhor lies and deceit AGAINST those same individuals. Unless of course the PTC is now claiming that lies and deceit are "morally acceptable" when it benefits the organization's motives. And quite frankly, such a stance WOULD deserve condemnation.

You, the PTC, chose to be the "moral watchdogs" over everything that individuals are exposed to. So live up to that responsibility, or accept the condemnations of your hypocriscy.

Andrew Rhodes
Wilmington, NC

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nightwng2000
NW2K software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

"We should employ similar logic and reason with other products that repeatedly have been proven to be harmful to children."

Yes we should. However, what you are ignoring is the fact that the JUDGES FOUND NO SUCH LINK with videogames. What a mentally selective world thou livest in..

@ Nightwing

So they will instantly file FCC complaints the moment any of their members hear a four letter f word on live TV, but when the news lies to the audience, they look the other way because it is not their problem.

Talk about a contridiction of morals.

Let me get this straight. Video games are compared not to other forms of violent media like movies, TV, and books. That would make too much sense. Instead, they're compared to alcohol and tobacco.

How does this make a lick of sense? We regulate those things because they put harmful chemicals into the body! There's a causal link between alcohol and getting drunk! There's a causal link between smoking cigarettes and getting lung diseases.

There's no causal link between video games and anything!

Well, except fun, obviously... assuming the game is good.

I love how he brings up restriction of three far more dangerous items and then pretends that government restriction actually works.

Um, no.

"We frequently hear from our members and parents that keeping violent video games out of their children’s hands is a top priority…"

I do not understand these people. If it's such a priority to them, then what makes parents so impotent in this matter? Are they just stupid and/or lazy?

Who said video games aren't harmful? What about those poor TV's damaged by Wiimotes? And Have you ever been hit in the eye with a disc? Damn it hurts!

*at above* hahaha, nice.
but seriously... all of this is due to bad parenting. but of course, they rather blame it on something else then admit their wrong.
parental control fixes all. are they stupid?
this is one of the reasons why i hate our society

Personally, I'm tired of watchdog douche-clowns like these blaming the retailers. Not our fault that your kids want to come and buy these games. More importantly, we're not the ones handing out the money for the younger kids to come and buy the games with.

Maybe the PTC needs to take time to look into what's going in in homes that make these little kids want the violent games. Where are the parents who are supposed to teach them otherwise? Better yet, where the F*** is the family communication?

Parents of the world, there's this new thing you can do to prevent problems with your children. It's called talking to them and it works wonders!

Out of all the watchdog organizations listed on GP, The PTC (Parents That Censor) I'd say would be the most ominous. They do after all wholeheartedly
support anti game legislation. Hell they probably support Bush's war in Iraq.
(Parent groups like this do after all kiss our president's ass right?)

"[Previous] laws have been struck down on relatively narrow premises, and the opinions have fallen into two basic lines of reasoning. The first being that the laws were too vague in their definition of what would be prohibited… The second being that some justices felt that there was not sufficient evidence at the time of the hearing to show clear harm to minors as a result of playing certain types of games…"


"... there might have been some other reason to, something about a bill of rights or something. its not important. just focus on those two we listed before!"

This quotes tells me all I need to know about the parents television council

"America’s number-one crime-fighting show, America’s Most Wanted: America Fights Back, gives American viewers an opportunity to help the police with unsolved crimes. Host John Walsh created America’s Most Wanted in memory of his 6-year old son Adam, who was kidnapped and found murdered in 1981. Since 1988, America’s Most Wanted has played an important role in crime prevention efforts. By providing pictures and identification of criminals at-large, it has successfully linked viewers with state and federal law enforcement agencies. Despite the undeniable public service America’s Most Wanted provides, the show is unsuitable for young children, due to the graphic and adult nature of the crimes under investigation, which include kidnappings, murders, pornography, and drug-trafficking. Profanities include words such as “bastard,” “hell,” “damn,” and “bitch.” Occasionally episodes look at cases involving sexual violence."

That tells me they are scared of real life

"We should employ similar logic and reason with other products that repeatedly have been proven to be harmful to children."

Um, video games haven't been proven to be harmful.

"We limit the sale of firearms, cigarettes and alcohol to minors because of their obvious detrimental effects."

Let me get this straight... a form of media, only said to be dangerous due to junk science, that is yet to prove anything but coincidental correlation of brain activity when playing a game, which doesn't mean that it'll make someone violent, that hasn't turned me into a nutcase, is as dangerous, as a device solely built to kill, a drug that causes long term bodily harm by building up tar in the lungs and creating cancer, and a perception altering drug that slows reaction times, and can kill in large doses. Riiiiiiiggggghhhhhttttt!

Sorry, but i have been playing M rated games since 9, without any detrimental effects, and unless they bring out a game called "bong" with a revolutionary control system, my opinion wont change.

PTC = Puritans Terrorizing Civil Liberties.

Buh? Wait someone is using my nick?

@nightwng2000:

Which e-mail address did you send to?

Even if legislation did get passed, let's be realistic here. How effective is the law against kids smoking cigarettes? I remember when I was in high school and my fellow students smoked in the parking lot while waiting for the bus to come pick them up. New laws won't magically keep M-rated games out of kids' hands.

We need to rely on the ESRB to self-legislate themselves, oy.

This is again, where the parents need to be involved and charged if their kids play them, stop blaming others, take some fucking initiative and put your damn foot down. Best Buy isn't responsible, you are, Best Buy is only responsible for selling, if you do your god damn job as a parent they will never play it.

hayabusa75,
I sent the first one to the email address for Letters To The Editor on their site.

Follow up emails were straight replies back to him.

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

lol spot on Spartan
 
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