BREAKING – NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Moments ago the New York State Senate voted 61-1 to approve a bill proposed by Sen. Andrew Lanza, a Republican from Staten Island.

Sen. Lanza is seen arguing for passage in the photo at left. Sen. Thomas Duane (D) of New York City cast the lone dissenting vote.

The video game bill mirrors that passed yesterday by the State Assembly, a Lanza staffer told GamePolitics that the measure will now go to Gov. David Paterson for consideration. If Paterson signs the bill, it will become law in 2010.

Prior to that, however, the video game industry is likely to sue, arguing that the measure is unconstitutional.

UPDATE: We’ve got an mp3 of Sen. Lanza’s final three minutes of argument in favor of the bill. Here’s an excerpt:

If you look closely at this bill, [concerns expressed by Sen. Duane] are not valid. Let’s start with speech. There’s all kinds of speech. If we take an old-fashioned pinball machine and plunked it down here in the middle of the chamber, no one would call it speech. But when we put that up on a video screen, it does become speech and I acknowledge that. And it deserves protection under the Constitution… There is some confusion with respect to what this bill actually accomplishes… The word prohibition was talked about. I want to be clear. This bill does not prohibit the sale of any video to anyone…


This simply says that every video game sold in the state of New York simply should have a rating consistent with what the ESRB does presently in a voluntary way… it does work. But the problem with "voluntary" is that tomorrow someone can change their mind. Someone could decide tomorrow to no longer place ratings on these games. So this is not about prohibiting the sale, this is simply about providing information to parents…


Last year’s version… that included a provision that would have made it an E-felony to sell these games, we all thought it was wrong. And we took that out. We worked with the industry. We worked with the Assembly and we do have an agreement here on a piece of legislation that I think will go a long way in allowing parents to make good decisions in regard to what is and what isn’t appropriate for their chidlren…


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  1. Cobvious says:

    First, not saying it isn’t hypocrisy, just noting that it might not be a violation of the first amendment.

    And why would a mandatory government rating be a violation of the first amendment? They aren’t banning it, or prohibiting either its making or sale at all, merely requiring the content to be clearly labeled (once again, this is neither neccesarry or fair to the game industry, but sometimes, that’s life). Lot’s of things are required to be clearly labeled, mostly for health and safety reasons. I could definitely see a good lawyer (i.e. someone who isn’t Jack Thompson) making a good argument that noones rights have been abused in any way by this law.

  2. Anonymous says:


    >My biggest concern is that this legislation is aimed only at video games.  Movies have a voluntary >rateing system, shouldn’t this bill cover them too?  What about books?  We’ve never had a rateing >system on books!


    LIRB:The Literary Ink Rating Board

    All books being sold in the state of New York must be rated by the LIRB.  Having a book rated by the LIRB takes approximately 6 months, and costs less than 20,000 dollars.  The LIRB requires you to send the worst passages of text in the book to the LIRB.  We then wait five months, and spend the next month looking at the cover of the book and pretending to read the passages of text you gave us.  We then pick a rating out of MNA (Minitrue Not Approve)  MAFDC (Minitrue Approve for Developing Citizens) MAFAC (Minitrue Approve for All Citizens) MAFA (Minitrue Approve for Adolescents) and MABNFDC (Minitrue Approve But Not For Developing Citizens).  All books must use the entire bottom left quadrant of their cover displaying the LIRB rating.

  3. Haggard ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "Nobody says we’re banning freedom of speech, just.. pruning it a little."

  4. gs2005 says:

    Will enough people in New York be angry enough to get these politicians to actually reveal what their reasoning is, despite the buckets of illogic that just happened today?

    Citizen apathy is just as bad as politicians passing laws that make them feel like they somehow contributed to society, when in fact, they did not.

  5. sqlrob says:

    Mandatory ESRB rating = Violation of Fifth Amendment

    Mandatory Government rating = Violation of First Amendment


  6. Austin_lewis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hey, call it "vote with your balls" and you’ve got a great idea there man.

  7. Jack Wessels says:

    1. This is the same thing you’ve said about all the other unconstitutional bills passed which, being unconstitutional, were shot down.

    2. It doesn’t actually do anything that isn’t already done, it’s just a waste of taxpayer’s money.

    3. Please refrain from using "Hooah!" as it is used by the Army, and is probably insulting to them when used by someone as deranged as yourself.

    4. Once again, you’re not the only attorney who posts on this site, and soon you won’t be one at all.

    5. Every list needs a five.

    6. Stop posting in all caps. It makes you seem like a two year old.

    Jack Wessels, 17 year old who makes funnel cakes at his Summer job all day, yet is more intelligent and mature than a 56 year old soon to be ex-attorney. Hoo-fucking-ah.

  8. Shih Tzu says:

    Besides, he’s wrong and being a douche about it.  Pinball machines are art as much as any other artistic creation; how ironic that video games have apparently clawed their way up to "speech" status while leaving pinball in the dust.  If I want to make a pinball game where you knock balls into exposed orifices, it’s my constitutional right to do so.  Better yet, why not a political-satire pinball game where you smash a ball into 61 targets in a legislative chamber?  Hmm…

  9. GrimCW ( User Karma: -3 ) says:

    we love it so much in fact thats why we’re always in debt, and never near being out.

  10. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Yep. It’s kinda scary actually. The industry has done everything to satisfy these lazy bitches with ratings, content discriptors, encouraging rating enforcement, and they never stop!!! They just can’t seem to pay attention to their own children, so they demand that the government do it for them, and along the way, the parents who actually pony up with some effort are slowly being forced to cede control of their households to a fucking nanny state. Germany comes to mind.



    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block and Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, a book by Harvard Medical School researchers Larry Kutner and Cheryl Olson

  11. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    COOL! Thank you government, now I can just have baby after baby and not have to take care of them!! The government’ll do it for me!!!!!

    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block and Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, a book by Harvard Medical School researchers Larry Kutner and Cheryl Olson

  12. Anonymous says:

    I really want to see a GP reader who IS an attorney tell you that that bit doesn’t work.

  13. MaskedPixelante says:

    When will these people learn? In the end, it’s all up to the parents and what THEY think is appropriate for kids.

    Of course, parents today aren’t the smartest group of people in the world. Somewhere along the way, parents were hypnotically implanted with the desire to let the government raise their kids, and this is the result.

    I’m brought back to the hypothetical question of what would Frederic Wertham say if he were alive today. Today, his sensationalist propeganda would probably be struck down in a matter of seconds. Don’t worry, in a couple years, video games will be swept under the rug when the popular trend become fake Death Notes.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  14. Anonymous says:

    But are movies required to have ratings?  No.  Are books required to have ratings?  No.  The sheer hypocricy of this bill coming down on one form of media and not the others will likely bring the end to this bill.

  15. Artifex says:

    Oooh silly politicians, won’t you ever learn? I guess the ESA will be collecting their lawyer’s fees in less than a year and NY Taxpayers will be footing the costs…again. Bringing their record of unconstitutional laws being struck down up to 10 out of 10.

    (Ponders if this would still happen if politicians were held financially responsible for unconstitutional garbage like this bill.)


    "If we take an old-fashioned pinball machine and plunked it down here in the middle of the chamber, no one would call it speech."

    The problem that I have with the statement, is that the NY Senate would just smile and nod without thinking of the repurcussions of their actions. It’s worrying that Lanza could easily replace ‘pinball machine’ with any type of medium. "Book, Piano, Rock and Roll, Dungeons and Dragons, Heavy Metal, Rap, Painting Canvas, etc etc." It’s nothing new to politics, of course, it’s just generally worrysome that this Bill was passed without a blink of the eye or a lodged complaint or disagreement from anyone that voted on the bill. 

    (All of this leaves me wondering if the general public would have even ever known about the bill, even if it were much much worse, or a total ban…would people even care until it was far too late? What if the ESA and ECA weren’t there to advise folks about the situation? Could other things be taken away with such alacrity and stealth? )

    Anyway,  I’m not usually one to be picky about comparisons, but anyone who says that pinball machines don’t deserve the same protections as other mediums should be called out. Pinball machines are art, and should have the same protections as any other form of art (even commercial art). They also have the potential to be a medium for political speech. The idea that because they never have been used in that manner does not mean that they would never have the capacity.


  16. Cobvious says:

    Just to note people, this one might ACTUALLY get past the judicial system this time. The reason why is that they aren’t blocking people from buying or selling games, merely making it mandatory that they have a rating on them instead of voluntarily.

    Now as to the point of not being able to give the ESRB ratings the force of law, if I was reading the argument stated above correctly, this isn’t mandating the ESRB rating, simply a rating. They could potentially make up their own, government sanctioned rating system and force all games to be rated by that. Mind you that would accomplish nothing but flushing millions of taxpayers dollars down the drain and probably make games sold in New York a few dollars more expensive, but hey, that’s not important. The only important thing is that they look like heroes in the papers and have some feel good accomplishments to note when re-election time comes.

  17. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    Yeah, but you don´t have anything to do with that law, because you are a failure.

    —————————————————————————- The cynical side of videogames (spanish only):

  18. Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:



    Look for this to be ruled unconstitutional soon.  The ESRB is not a governmental agency, ergo cannot be forced to rate jack shit.

  19. Andrew Eisen says:

    YES IT IS!  For the most part.

    Now please stay on topic.


    Andrew Eisen, BHS 2007 International Chorus Gold Medalist and You’re Not

  20. Jack Thompson, Attorney ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


  21. Anonymous says:

    I wonder. what part of "cannot give esrb force of law" and "if it’s not rated, it’s not sold by big box stores" does this law maker not get?

  22. thefremen says:

    Why should states care about First Amendment rights? Hell, why should they restrain themselves from doing anything that would potentially harm civil liberties if its for the sake of political gain?

    State censorship means they can run ads saying they are taking a bold stance to protect children. Repealing the Fourth Amendment means they’re doing all they can to stop terrorism at home and abroad. Getting rid of the Second Amendment means they’re protecting our children from dangerous weapons. Taking away our right to vote means they are keeping morons from ruining the democratic process. etc.

  23. Dick Ward says:

    I live in the D as well, so I feel I have some perspective.  Mr Big is going through a bit of shock that something like this could happen in New York, as am I.  It’s also summer here, which means that the metro Detroit area temperature is almost tolerable.  This is the same sort of thing that happens at the beginning of every winter, when snow covers the entire state and makes even Harpos look clean.  Cleanish, anyway.

    Rest assured, he will snap out of it and go back to the sort of simmering anger and contempt that most of us Detroiters spend our time in.  The mystery yet unsolved is why more of us don’t choose to move, but I suppose that’s a topic for another day, another forum.

  24. The Masked Otaku says:

    You hear that?  *whizzzzzzzzzz*  That’s more taxpayer dollars pissed down the drain!

  25. Darkreaper says:

    Im dissapointed but not surprised.  These idiots in New York are more concerned with Video Games than the violence thats going on outside.  I could my dog in office and he’ll do better than these morons.

  26. Helpless Kitten says:

    Wait…did he imply that he thinks that all games have the artistic value of a pinball machine?  Ugh, as a gamer who delights in the visual and story telling advances of the past 10 years I am saddened and apauled.

    My biggest concern is that this legislation is aimed only at video games.  Movies have a voluntary rateing system, shouldn’t this bill cover them too?  What about books?  We’ve never had a rateing system on books!

  27. Vinzent ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "This simply says that every video game sold in the state of New York simply should have a rating consistent with what the ESRB does presently in a voluntary way… it does work. But the problem with "voluntary" is that tomorrow someone can change their mind. Someone could decide tomorrow to no longer place ratings on these games. "

    OMG! Either the depth of his stupidity is amazing, or he is the most cunning and lazy man on this planet. He just got paid by taxpayers to fix something that wasn’t broken, and was a complete non-issue.

    What’s on his agenda tomorrow, passing legislation to make sure the sun rises?

  28. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    First New York, then the world… By the way, where´s Jack Thompson claiming this is all his work behind the courtain? He is late…

    —————————————————————————- The cynical side of videogames (spanish only):

  29. Loudspeaker says:

    Wow.  NY State likes to waste money.  Way to go team!  SHEESH!

    Good thing there aren’t any social or economic issues afoot…

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  30. Andrew Eisen says:

    So, Lanza’s justification for making a voluntary rating system mandatory is the possibility that tomorrow, the ESRB could just decide to stop rating games.



    Andrew Eisen


    P.S. – Dear Lanza,

    They’re called video games, not videos.  When you call them videos, you sound like you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    And that bugs me.



    Andrew Eisen

  31. Anime_Otaku says:

    So… is the Governer a smart guy or will he sign this despite the fact it will be struck down? I’m not that bothered as I’m in Scotland but it is a bit annoying as it’s always bad to see governments knowingly waste money that’d be better off being spent elsewhere, like gun control or education.

  32. shady8x says:

    It about time they made pong, tetris, pacman and other ancient games illegal!!!

    Those damn things have been destoying america for ages.

    I am also glad that GTA and Manhunt are not affected by this law as those are good wholesome games for the whole family.


    Glad that I moved from New York now that they will be raising taxes or not fixing roads…

    I would want these retarded politicians voted out of office but they would only be replaced by equally bad ones…

  33. PHOENIXZERO says:

    This is excellent news for the videogame industry’s attorneys, more work (and easy money) coming their way! Another state where politicians can’t be bothered with that silly Constitution thing or Bill of Rights. Can’t say I’m surprised though, I mean who would be surprised to learn that New York is run by a bunch of idiots? Of course once this is shot down they’ll all be shocked about it.

  34. BmK ( User Karma: 1 ) says:

    To me this isn’t issue isn’t solely about video games but about Freedom of Speech in general and keeping the government out of deciding what media we can or can’t watch, play, read or listen to. I’m a firm believer that the government should stay the hell out of the free speech regulation/censorship business and that they shouldn’t be able to decide for anyone whether they are adults or minors, what they can or can’t watch,play, read, or listen to. If you find something offensive, then don’t watch, play, read or listen to it. If you find a form of free speech media inappropriate or unsuitable for your children then it is your responsibility as a parent, not the nanny-state, to make sure your kids aren’t exposed to it regardless of whether it’s the GTA games, Scarface movie, 50 cent CD, The Holy Bible, Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species or Harry Potter novels.

    While this law isn’t restricting or censoring the access to Video games it is a slippery slope in that direction as well as an all out waste of taxpayer’s money for an issue that has no proven harmful effects (over 50 years of research has found nothing more then extremely weak, inconsistant, incredibly flawed and biased links between violent media and harmful effects) and is solely meant to make the politicans look like they are doing something useful when it really isn’t useful at all and there are more, much more pressing concerns to deal with.

  35. DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    *sigh* People have already explained this several times…

    Jacky boy currently is accessing the site from a proxy server since he’s IP banned from the site. Proxy servers screw with formats in some way that i don’t fully understand nor do i WANT to, but regardless, with THIS site’s format, it inserts backslashes whenever it enters quotation marks or something.

    In any case, he’s circumventing an IP ban and Dennis is allowing the posts in one at a time anyway. He’s still acting like a child who got his favorite toy stuffed in his parent’s closet, but he sneaks into it to play with it anyway.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Exactly my point.  Conversely though, I would fully support a bill that suggested fines for game stores caught selling M and Ao titles to underaged folk. Granted it wouldn’t slow down the ones that have "mommy" buy it for them but hey it might help a little maybe.

  37. Girricane ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Much like the communism domino effect back in the 50s, it’s a scary but true idea when it comes to the realm of legislation.

    You give a mouse a cookie…

  38. Anonymous says:

    I can make it out.

    Essentialy he’s trying to say we’re getting our knickers in a twist for nothing and this is no threat to gaming.

    Well, 47, this indavidual law is no threat to gaming. I agree there. This is not however the issue. The issue is this law in being a needless and meaningless law is wasting time and money better spent elsewhere on bigger better issues.

    But, the even bigger issue is letting this law go unchecked opens the door for more and more laws to be seen as ok. It could eventualy lead to something as drastic as forcing the ESRB to watch every moment of gameplay in every game before it hits the shelves. Which sounds at first like a really good idea to judge the content of the game.

    But consider an MMO like WoW? How long would it take you to see everything in azeroth, play as every class, play as every race, hit every unique quest and go through all the possible items. Even with a big team of guys reviewing it this could take a few months to do, delaying the game’s release and the programmers getting paid.

    The point isn’t that this law in and of itself will destroy gaming 47, it’s what it could lead to which could.

  39. ZippyDSM says:

    You seem to forgot the damage the comics code did to the comics industry, the trouble with sub media specific censorship is it guts creativity and and waters down mature themes, the current environment is so bad Fallout 3 can not have child death in it becsue the ESRB has been labeling it AO lately because of the rampant content fear thats running through the industry.
    Hell look at Turok theres a perfect example of fck up censorship and censorship nazis have not even gone into full effect, once you have censorship from the top down things will only get worse and worse, so yes we complain every time they do it because if we do not no one will.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)


  40. Steel Valor says: Offical Response

    It is time we put parents back incharge of parenting. With parental controls now becoming a standard on consoles and the PC we should put them back in charge of raising their kids. Any politician that feels they can force their will on our children will not have our votes in November. If that means abstaining for the vote so beit. You need to learn your place and that place is not in our homes!

    Let the parents parent … how about you do something about astronomical gas prices that turn into record profits or better yet stop the mass exodus of good jobs instead. NY needs your help … just not with the little stuff.

    SteelValor, Founder
    The New York Online Gamers Network

  41. Chadius says:

    On the plus side, I moved to Massachusetts a few years ago.

    On the minus side…Mass is also considering a stupid bill.


    ESA lawsuit in 3…2…1…

  42. Sai says:

    What? They want to pass a ratings law because they think the ESRB could just up and quit at any minute? Nevermind the main developers wouldn’t let any unrated games pass through on their consoles, and no retailers would carry an unrated game anyway. Did he even bother to find out how any of this works?

  43. karsten ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Isn’t the ESRB raring clearly marked on the box ? in the first place? Both on the front and on the back of the box?

    This seems like a pleonasm to me, meaning that it does something that’s already there, i.e. the ratings on the back of the box for video games. I was also amazed and in 😯 when I read the Lanza’s statement about ‘that tomorrow someone can change their mind’ as if the video game industry should suddenly decide to not rate video games anymore.  I don’t think it is going to happen…

    The whole argument seems to go ind circles anyway. I mean, it could go like this: In order for video games to be reviewed we need a mandatody decision that in the state of N.Y. there must be statue saying that all videogames sold in this state need the voluntary rating of the ESRB clearly marked on them so that the mandatory rating (which should be similar to those of the ESRB’s) can be shown’.

    I’m sorry, but it does NOT compute…especially since, as have been said, most major retailers won’t carry or sell games that haven’t rated by the ESRB…

    There’s something wrong when politicians try to pass bills & laws where the civil society already outshines these laws as I do think that both the ESRB and PEGI ratings do. Maybe Lanza should haven spoken to Andrew Bub, the gamerdad, first?? Or have read his excellent guide to videogames, published by the ESRB and the PETA.

    Even us gamers do think that M-rated games (or 18+ games rated by the PEGI in Europe) should not be played by 10 or 12 year olds. But if a dad or mom says ‘it is OK’ for their kids to play M-rated games, I am here to judge these parents as bad parents. And neither should anyone be.



  44. Dark Sovereign says:

    Of the 150 seats in the Assembly, 104 are Democrats, 42 are Republicans, 1 member belongs to the Independence Party, 1 member belongs to the Working Families Party. The Senate is composed of 32 Republicans and 30 Democrats.

  45. Dark Sovereign says:

    Liberals. The New England states tend towards liberalism. The governor of New York certainly does.

  46. Zevorick says:

    Dumbing down America one parental responsibility at a time.

    The same could also be said for free thought but eh, that opens a can of worms i’m not willing to defend

  47. TheEdge says:

    Fellow angry gamers!Who do I blame!?!?Liberals or Conservatives!?!?!?!?!??!?

    Or is it just Liberals?Or maybe a load of Republicans?WHO DO I BLAME?!?!?!?!?!?

  48. mogbert says:

    Remember to hold your hands in the air and scream as we all slide down the slippery slope.

    Once the ratings are no longer voluntary, then they will say that it should be a government board that determines the rating. Then there will be a kerfluffle about some game that a senator doesn’t feel got rated high enough, and the rating will be even stricter. Then they will determine that they need to rerate some of the older games that went through under the old regime to make sure the standards are current. Then a ton of M rated games will be rerated as AO and get pulled off the shelf.

    The only thing we can hope for is that it takes so long for this to happen that gamers start to get elected to congress.

  49. Mike Papadopoulos ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    "a piece of legislation that I think will go a long way in allowing parents to make good decisions in regard to what is and what isn’t appropriate for their chidlren"

    I didn’t know legislation was required in order to allow parents to be good parents.


    -Mike out.

  50. Brokenscope says:

    Feel good save the children video game bill.

    Legal Fee’s defending it in court.

    Creating Jobs for 16 cronies and yes men.


  51. NOVABLACK. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    HAHAH hilarious if it wasnt such a waste of money!

    SO they want ratings on all games. Even though i havent seen a game without a rating in over 10 years…

    and parental controls on all new consoles… that all have parental controls already…


    ok… whats the point of this again?


  52. Are'el says:

    I don’t have time to read the responses, but I wanted to point this out.  The Senator got it backwards.  Being "voluntary" is how it’s been so successful.  The ESRB is a private organization, free of government influence (mostly).  The government isn’t the ones saying what is age appropriate on the back of the box.  BUT, if you make it a law that it must be there, then what happens if the ESRB decides to shut down their doors?  It’s their right as an organization to just go, "I quit."  Pass a law that it must exist, however, then you must either fund it (and thus open the door to "stipulating" how the money is spent and vying for governmental oversight of the ratings), or you must replace it (and thus create a government run ratings system that essentially controls the pulse of the gaming industry).

    This REALY needs to be struck down.

  53. ZippyDSM says:

    First step?

    Take a look at the flannel skirts the officials in power are wearing honey we are in a nanny state, we are just lucky they have yet to run out of drink and pills, once thats gone they’ll be bullying us because they have nothing else to do.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)


  54. ZippyDSM says:

    And the gears of solyent green grind and churn for another bill has been served to the witless masses….and they cheer for they feel protected while eating their own…
    Ah government…its whats for dinner….

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)


  55. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    The reason people are so pissed off is because of concerns for indy developers and that this is compelled speech. Then of ourse there’s the "slippery slope" arguement (which sucks ASS!!!!). People are worried that this is the first step towards a nanny state.


    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block and Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, a book by Harvard Medical School researchers Larry Kutner and Cheryl Olson

  56. Miyamae898 says:

    I see this as being a waste of tax payer money and senatorial time… but I really don’t see where a problem is here. Yeah, most of the things are already in place; ratings, parental controls (The PS2 had parental controls, in case anyone forgot.), etc., but nothing is being infringed here! No gamer’s rights are being cramped on, it’s really just an official movement on psuedo-official policies. And I don’t really find it much of a pain to take my wallet out and flash my ID to buy a game.

    Now, the ridiculous simplification of video games as a legitimate media form is offensive. I don’t see how–in cases like MGS4 and GTA4–practically interactive cinema experiences can be compared to a pinball machine.

    If you ask me, he doesn’t even need to bring up the point of infringement of any constitutional rights because these measures really don’t touch on the first amendment! No one is being censored, no one is having their product restricted. That said, if it does end up that whatever measures instituted would unfairly throw the AO-rating (AO Ranting below) on your average M-rated game

    In agreement to him, though, I do feel we need to take better care of kids, and have more teacher/parent relations in schools… What the hell ever happened to the PTA, anyway?

    And my AO Rant. I’m sure it’s been thrown around, but the parent companies of Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Gamestop, etc, really need to pull that stick out of their arses on AO games. Here’s a thought: Carry them. And check an ID at the register. It’s an inconceivable concept, apparently; one that has been used by the seediest of seedy adult film stores of the universe.

    Maybe I’m one of the few gamers who doesn’t mind pulling her ID out to buy a game, maybe I just don’t think kids should get to watch the hooker or stripshow scenes in GTA–however entertaining I might find them, but I’m an adult who’s more or less numb to the concept and acts of them.

  57. Keegs79 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

     Geez…who is voted for these idiots to vote on our rights? Why does ANYTHING video game related seem to be an issue more than actual serious stuff? Wow…

  58. Nash says:

    I wonder what the New Yorkers are thinking now?

    "Oh dang another politician after videogames…now wheres the ESA and their subpoena? Oh wait there it is!! Oh dang…goodbye tax dollars "

  59. Arad ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I blame the people who don’t do their research.  Being Liberal or Conservative doesn’t make you less stupid when you start writing bills about things you know nothing about.

  60. Arad ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    <47 casts ‘Wall ‘o Text’!  It’s super affective!>

    Seriously…I got about three lines in before I kept losing my place.  From what I can read it’s a guy QQing about QQing.  Can anyone make out what’s being said in a legible manner?

  61. 47 says:

    Some of you are so f’ing wound up that its just embarrassing. I’m a huge gamer myself, but ill never understand why soo many gamers, get so f’ing bent outta shape the minute someone brings up their beloved past time. I mean gamers are the most insecure individuals out there, by a LONG, LONG shot.  By reading these comments you would think that this bill will stop your favorite games from hitting store shelves or that Big Brother will come into your home and snatch your precious little video games. Jesus Christ guys, get a grip and loosen the f**k up! NO one is gonna take your video games from you. You still will be able to play GTA V and GTA VI and GTA VII and so on… This bill, as COMPLETELY POINTLESS as it is, will do nothing more than assure you that there is a rating on the box, which if i can remember, there has ALWAYS been a rating on the box. This is such a pointless bill that it barely deserves a mention, but some of you gamers see Senate and Video Game in the same sentence and you decide to light your Marcus Fenix underoos on fire and run around your house screaming like a f’ing maniac stating that the Govt is hear to take your games. Next time you see those words together, do the industry a favor, slow down, breath, pull your underwear out from the crack of your ass and read. Know what it is that you’re about to go ape shit over before you actually go ape shit…now that iv got that out of my system, its back to Metal Gear Solid 4(which by the way is the greatest thing to hit consoles…ever)

  62. Verbinator ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Sure, there’s parental controls now. But tomorrow someone could take them off.  Shame on this current session of the NY senate and shame on the voters of New York for who voted these idiots into office.  I’ve stopped sympathizing with the "poor taxpayers" in the states and cities whose elected idiots pass these laws. The "taxpayers" either voted for them, or did nothing (or at least not enough) and let them be elected.

  63. Haggard ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Be careful, he’s probably stalking these comments right now. I hear he doesn’t get a lot of work these days..

  64. Anonymous says:

    Then again won’t it sort of be a slap to their ego when they realize there are already parental controls on the newer consoles and that the ratings are on the box?

    Not at all.  This is politics, where such critters frequently request stuff that is already there, save it for a later "I care about XYZ" re-election ad campaigns and basically pat themselves on the back for doing nothing.

    Requesting stuff that has already been done and implemented is a great way to claim credit for the work of other companies, and it never really matters how long such features have existed before they stuck their nose into such business.

  65. Anonymous says:

    Well, the biggest danger here is to the older games market. Stuff like the older Nintendos and Ataris etc did not go through the ESRB for rating. Now, there’s no question those games are harmless, but under this law, they would be illegal to sell, because they don’t have the ESRB rating marked on them.

    In essence, even if the law were constitutional, it achieves absolutely nothing other than putting out of businesses the very shops that sell games that don’t contain highly graphical violence etc, and, as you say, the other two laws are moot because gaming systems already do this voluntarily.

    That, however, is pretty irrelevant, since the law is not constitutional and will therefore cost the Taxpayer a fortune when the law is struck down.

    So not only is it a law that would achieve nothing and cost a fortune if it is struck down, it’s also a law that will achieve nothing and cost a fortune if it is passed. Either way, it’s the ‘little people’ that are the ones that lose out in the end.

  66. King of Fiji ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Then again won’t it sort of be a slap to their ego when they realize there are already parental controls on the newer consoles and that the ratings are on the box? 

  67. Dark Sovereign says:

    Can somebody please explain how a president invoking Article 2 constitutes as oppression? Especially by European standards?

  68. F**ked up says:

    Thats what i want to know. Was it some smart politician? (If there is such a thing) Or was it someone that just didnt care or even understand what they were voting on?

  69. Anonymous says:

    If they took all that wasted money and put it into the Mets, they would win the World Series every year

  70. King of Fiji ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Your damn straigt us poor tax payers!


    I feel at 19 that I could be a smarter senator than the idiots who voted yes on this bill.  T_T

  71. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Wow. Now it seems even more redundant.

    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block and Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, a book by Harvard Medical School researchers Larry Kutner and Cheryl Olson

  72. Adrian Lopez ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Does anybody have the text of this bill? I’ve looked at the text for A11717 referenced in the previous story and it says:

           S  612.  Sale and rental of VIDEO GAMES AND films. 1. No person, part-
         nership or corporation shall sell or rent at retail or attempt  to  sell
         or  rent at retail a VIDEO GAME OR film unless {the} A VIDEO GAME rating
         {of} OR the RATING OF THE motion picture from which {it}  THE  FILM  was
         copied  is clearly displayed on the outside of the case, jacket or other
         cover of the VIDEO GAME OR film.
           2. This section shall not apply to a "mail order business" as  defined
         in  section  three  hundred  ninety-six-m of this chapter or to any film
         which is a reproduction of a motion picture, concert, musical production
         or other video event, OR ANY VIDEO GAME, which  has  not  been  given  a
    rating, nor shall it apply to any motion picture OR VIDEO GAME which has
    been altered subsequent to receiving a rating

    It would appear the requirement is not that all games be rated by the ESRB, but rather that games which have been rated must display the rating on the outside of the game’s box. Although I still believe such a provision should be struck down on the grounds that it’s compelled speech, it’s not as bad as if all games were required to carry an ESRB rating.

    What bugs me about this bill, apart from the fact that it appears entirely useless in light of current practice, is my feeling that console manufacturers should not be required by law to include technological measures against constitutionally-protected content, and that video game publishers should be allowed to sell previously rated games as unrated. We’re not talking food labeling here; we’re talking about labeling speech. Can you imagine if comic books that once carried the Comics Code seal were required forever to carry that seal? I think it would be deemed… unconstitutional.

  73. NecroSen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Adrian Lopez:

    I was going on the senator’s words with what I just said. Probably a bit out of place in regards to the ratings “requirement”.

    Still, I think we can all agree that most of that legislation is pointless. The current system works perfectly fine. Hell, the ESRB rating system works better at point-of-sale than the MPAA system!

    These politicians are blind.

  74. NecroSen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh, so if tomorrow the publishers all decide to stuff the ESRB system and release their games without ratings…

    Hold on a second. Isn’t that already happening with movies today? When was that precedent discussed during this debate?

    And another thing I hadn’t thought of when I commented on the earlier story today: New York state has absolutely no authority to dictate that consoles – manufactured by international companies not based in New York – have parental controls on them. Neither can they give a voluntary rating system force of law by requiring it to exist.

    If they want to form that 16-person panel, fine. Just leave the BS at the door.

  75. Anonymous says:

    So… what? If the ESRB shuts down, what then? Does New York foot the entire bill for the ESRB’s continual existance should they ESA go bye bye? Or do they blacklist games from then on out? Will it only be legal to sell import games with PEGI rattings? (Or whichever ratings you wouldget with your imported media?) Maybe the nation of orgin will have to rate the games, so we have ratings from PEGI and BBFC games next to the CERO rated games(without local input) and all US game publishers are banned from selling in the state?

    Have you killed off all indepentant publishing for the computer? Can I no longer peddle freeware and shareware from a kiosk or dedicated computer store? (Sure they died out a while ago but that is not the point.)

    And what is this "consistent with what the ESRB does presently in a voluntary way"? Does that mean if they refuse to rate something you will compell them to? If someone self-rates a game or another rating board pops up, they are bound by this law to sticker games the same age groups as the ESRB?

    Or is this to say that the 16 member panel will give NY-GameRating stickers, and as long as the ESRB is around, they will rubber stamp the same rating? Since New York should have it’s own rating consistant with the ESRB. Man so many ways to take his speech and come out with bad scenarios…

  76. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Anyone who impersonates JT should be kicked off.

    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block and Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, a book by Harvard Medical School researchers Larry Kutner and Cheryl Olson

  77. WehrGeist says:

    Could we get at least an IP confirmation in GP red *yes or no, not actual IP* I know, I know… he sometimes (or always) uses a "proxy" /////

  78. Jabrwock says:

    This bill does not prohibit the sale of any video to anyone.

    Unless you don’t get an ESRB sticker, and then it’s prohibited… Hmmm….

    Compelled speech, the contents of which are determined by a non-goverment (ie unaccountable) entity, unconstitutional. NEXT!

    — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

  79. GrimCW ( User Karma: -3 ) says:

    this bill isn’t in front of congress, theres a differant similar one there.

    this one is a NY only thing

  80. MaskedPixelante says:

    Wait, isn’t the new governor legally blind?

    You people are screwed, unless it’s in brail, someone with an agenda (read: Jack Thompson) will tell him it’s something that will give… I dunno, tax breaks to puppy shelters.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Well, they can’t have their cake and eat it, either the message in adult games are ‘wrong’ and they need regulating by law, or there is no message, and hence no speech, it cannot be both.

    The whole reason for regulating a game medium is because of the ‘adultness’ of its content, of the message it portrays, you can’t use the excuse that it doesn’t portray a message in order to put restrictions on who can hear the message it doesn’t present…

  82. Anonymous says:

    I want to see someone acctualy do that with a pinball machin, just to prove a point that it is speach.

  83. MaskedPixelante says:

    Probably not, this IS Bush’s America after all. If there WERE such a law, then Nancy Grace would have been sued for libel a LONG TIME AGO.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Question, would there be a legal way to prevent people from attempting to pass such laws short of a consituinal amendment?

  85. Kincyr says:

    maybe Senator Duane was the only one who knew the MPAA was also voluntary

    岩「…Ace beats Jack」

  86. elijah ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    hey mr. government man, thanks for taking it one step further to help parents to NOT have to raise their children.

  87. jadedcritic says:

    Do we know anything about this bill?  If it declares games to be constitutionally awesome, I could get behind it. .  Jokes aside, I wouldn’t think twice about it. If it has an teeth at all to it, I would expect the big 3 to have lawyers dogpiling that thing like frat boys on a drunk cheerleader.

  88. JQuilty says:

    Probably just someone who wasn’t in attendance.

    Anyways, I think we know the drill by now. ESA will sue, state gets screwed in court and the taxpayers are out millions of dollars thanks to the morons in government. Thanks, guys.

     EDIT: I at least hope they got rid of that draconian penalty for violations, putting it as a class E felony (the same as statutory rape).


  89. GrimCW ( User Karma: -3 ) says:

    like i said before, the whoas of this state come from that god forsaken city 9 out of 10 times.

  90. King of Fiji ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    *bangs head against desk*

    Someone get me off of this island of long and into New Hampshire.  I’m officially fed up with New York.

    If its not over development of the island its pointless laws like this getting passed. 

Comments are closed.