BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

June 24, 2008 -

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 [video game] 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...

 


Comments

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

First 9/11 and now this!

Johnny Bruce wannabes?

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" /////

Re: Johnny Bruce wannabes?

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

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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...

-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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...

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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

YAY LAZINESS!!!!!!!!!

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

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

.....

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

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Industry sues in 3, 2, 1.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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.

 

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Mandatory ESRB rating = Violation of Fifth Amendment

Mandatory Government rating = Violation of First Amendment

 

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

wow act your age thompson. maybe this site is better suited for your mind and age.

www.4chan.org

 

go troll there faggot.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

*yawn*

 

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

Yes, but the real crime is...

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.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

IS THIS A GREAT FREAKING COUNTRY, OR WHAT?!  JACK THOMPSON, ATTORNEY AND YOU'RE NOT.  HOOAH!

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

please, you are shaming acual lawers who currently have a licence.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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.

-"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." -Sir Winston Churchill

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

YES IT IS!  For the most part.

Now please stay on topic.

 

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

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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?

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Wait...  Don't the games already have to be rated?  What the hell?

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

At leest tha edgamacation cistem iz wurkin an vydio gamz ar tha mos impokunt problum.

The Feds don't care about the Fourth Amendment

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.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Actually it makes more of a *swooshsloshslurp* sound. :)

E. Zachary Knight
www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA Myspace Page

 

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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!

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

 

>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.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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...

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

"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?

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Some pinball games are real art, just like some other games.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

thank god I live in Detroit....

 

 

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Wow, I never thought I'd see anyone say that...

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Unfrickingbelievable.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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

Good thing there aren't any social or economic issues afoot...

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

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

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

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

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Jesus christ. This Lanza guy has no idea what he's talking about, does he?

Odd justification

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.

Wow.

 

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.

 

Sincerely,

Andrew Eisen

 
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