In Wake of $65K Video Game Law Settlement, Minnesota Newspaper Takes a Swipe at ESA

The Entertainment Software Association took a victory lap this week, announcing the recovery of $65,000 in legal fees from Minnesota after the state abandoned further appeals of its failed 2006 video game law.

An editorial in yesterday’s Duluth News-Tribune, however, dinged the ESA while acknowledging that Minnesota’s fine-the-buyer legislation law was "flawed":

From the outset, the law skirted First Amendment rights and targeted the wrong people – minors… The logic was counter to that of more effective laws to protect minors, such as penalties to bars that allow underage drinking or fines to stores that sell cigarettes to kids.

 

…Though [Attorney General Lori] Swanson had indicated then she would continue to defend it, this week she cut her losses. Hence, the $65,000 of legal fees.

 

"Minnesota’s citizens should be outraged at paying the bill for this flawed plan," Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the video game trade association, said in a statement.

 

He’s right, but what about his group’s members who make and market games depicting sexual exploitation and violence as fun?

 

A little outrage is due there, too, for creating the problem in the first place.

Via: West Central Tribune (the Duluth News-Tribune link isn’t working as I write this)

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

27 comments

  1. 0
    Meggie ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    A little outrage is due there, too, for creating the problem in the first place.

    Yes, surely the ESA and other gamemakers are not already given enough grief about messing everyone’s kids up.

  2. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    "violence as fun"

    So the newspaper in question will be the first in line to advocate for restrictions on:

    boxing, ice hockey, football, competitive budo sports, movies and japanese game shows

    eh?

    Never mind the fact that children play violently from the moment they can play. When they’re toddlers, they bang and throw their toys around, when they grow a little they’ll play cops and robbers (or indians and cowboys a few decades ago), when they go to kindergarten and school they gonna push and shove other kids to establish a pecking order. And all this violent play is absolutely normal. Just like playing violent video games.

    http://pixelantes.blogspot.com/

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

    And suddenly I find myself wanting to defend the ESA.  The journalist wants to bitch about the content while acknowledging 1st amendment rights?  Can you imagine applying this arguement elsewhere?  "Sure the police were wrong to harrass him, but it’s his own fault for choosing to be jewish in the first place".

  4. 0
    infect999 says:

    the only problem I see here is how the Minnesota government is going to explain themselves for wasting 65k of tax dollars on trying to create a stupid law.

  5. 0
    Dave ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What a badly written editorial.  The focus was the settlement money, but then it veered off and started yammering about something else.

  6. 0
    Anonymous says:

    First thing I thought was "Yay! My town’s paper was mentioned!" Second thing I thought was, "People in my town are stupid!" Also, doesn’t the editorial strike anyone else as a little…contradictory?

  7. 0
    Keith K says:

    What about them? The members of the ESA creating violent and sexual laden games don’t cost taxpayers a dime!

    I fail to see the comparison.

  8. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Careful dude, the last time a guy posted something like that everyone dogpiled him with insults and acusations of retardation. I believe it was in the story where this small town sherrif was bitching about GTA and claimed it was being marketed to eight year olds or something like that…what was that dude’s name…drkmatter or something- anyway, everyone was such a bitch to him that he never came back, at least not that I heard of. It was kinda fucked up…uhh…anyway…yeah… I agree with you though, I never understand why people get all riled up about this shit, I look at it as a convenient and safe  way of helping kids come to terms with all the fucked up shit in the world.

     

     -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 & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard Medical School researchers Larry Kutner and Cheryl Olson

  9. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty says:

    Video games have no harmful effects on kids, I am fully sure of that, but that doesn’t mean that kids should be allowed play them. The reason being is that they display themes and imagery for mature adults that kdis should not see. I don’t think anyone would argue that the book Stephen King’s IT is harmful, but at the same time you would not let a child read it.

    If a kid plays GTA or some other violent game, he isn’t going to turn into a killer, but he might start asking his parents awkward questions "Dad, what does "f*ck" mean?", etc.

    Violent video games have harmful effects? No. Inappropriate at times for young children? Yes.

  10. 0
    Anonymous says:

    "The alleged but as yet completely unproven "effects" of violent video games on kids whose parents should not be letting them play them in the first place?"

    If the bad effects are unproven, why should parents not be letting kids play violent video games?  I think you’re arguing against yourself here.

    If you believe violent video games are harmless (as I do) you really need to stop arguing that kids shouldn’t be allowed to play them.  By arguing this way you’re conceding defeat.

  11. 0
    Keith K says:

    The problem of impoverished families having to leave their young children unattended while they work two or three jobs and can’t afford to pay for daycare or a babysitter because their money is ripped away from them by the government to fund unconstitutional bills.

  12. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty says:

    "He’s right, but what about his group’s members who make and market games depicting sexual exploitation and violence as fun?"

    What about them? Also, there are no games that depict sexual exploitation as fun. Before anyone responds with "hookers in GTA!", ask yourself how much fun it is to watch a car bounce on a screen. Sure you might have a little juvenile laugh the first time you see it but it’s a gimmick after that.

    " A little outrage is due there, too, for creating the problem in the first place."

    What problem? The alleged but as yet completely unproven "effects" of violent video games on kids whose parents should not be letting them play them in the first place?

  13. 0
    Godkarmachine says:

    Well if that’s the case then violent games shouldn’t be a problem. The families won’t be able to afford them.

    – The 9 most frightening words a person can ever hear: "I’m from the government, and I’m here to help"

  14. 0
    Father Time says:

    If you’re implying that said families are forced to leave their kids with violent games and that is the problem  then you’re wrong. Said parents could easily take the video games with them or set parental controls on their consoles (all next gen and current gen consoles have them).

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

    "…the law skirted First Amendment rights…" — Good, glad you understand that.

    "…but what about his group’s members who make and market games depicting… A little outrage is due there, too, for creating the problem in the first place." — WHOA, whoa. Did you forget about the First Amendment bit? So soon? Granted, the same Amendment is protecting you should you WANT to be outraged, but the fact of the matter is that you cannont attack those who make speech (like games) you disagree with without jepordizing your ability to make those criticisms.

  16. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    He’s right, I’m outraged! Damn you video games, movies, books, music, television, and LIFE!! Extra damn to LIFE for creating all the things that these horrid pieces of entertainment are based upon!!!

     

    Seriously though, his statement is pretty unfair to all the other things that depict violence and sex. I really don’t know what games he’s talking about when he says "sexual exploitation", and the generalization that "games depicting violence as fun" seems to put it as though he views all games containing violence to be nothing more than trivial action games (action movies, meanwhile, are fine), whereas most of the truly good ones depict violence in a much more serious and dramatic tone, as something that shouldn’t happen, but has to for the sake of whatever the hell the story is about. Even GTA doesn’t exactly put violence in a positive light, since attacking people in the game should only be done when nessaccary, lest you attract the attention of the police. The only reason it’s fun is because it’s so interactive. So no sale on getting outraged over a non-existent problem. I have more important shit to do, like wait for all the violence caused by the written alphabet, the paperback novel, comicbooks, heavy metal, and Power Rangers to go down like those researchers promised.

     

    -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 & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard Medical School researchers Larry Kutner and Cheryl Olson

  17. 0
    Mr Mellowguy says:

    I was reading my local newspaper when I saw an article titled "Police: Boy stole cars," which said that a 12 year old boy stole 3 cars in 2 weeks.  He’s to appear in court for three counts of grand larceny.  This seems to me exactly what people would blame video games for, specifically GTAIV.  I’d be interested to see if anyone implicates that in his trial.

  18. 0
    Vake Xeacons ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Here we go again, blaming games for everything that goes wrong in society. Minnesota’s the one that created the problem. While I’m not happy with the ESA for turning the other cheek when it comes to these controversies, Mike’s right.

    You can’t relate games to tobacco, alchohol, and firearms. We’re talking about art, not harmful chemicals.

  19. 0
    Jabrwock says:

    "Hooray for protecting the First Amendment. Boo for actually exercising it."

    Someone’s bitter.

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

  20. 0
    spastkid says:

    Well, there are such games.. Except that they’re made and sold in Japan, which kinda does make their point, well, pointless.

    I may be wrong, but last I checked, they didn’t have such games in the US.

  21. 0
    Anonymous says:

    ‘He’s right, but what about his group’s members who make and market games depicting sexual exploitation and violence as fun?

    A little outrage is due there, too, for creating the problem in the first place’

     

    Sorry, maybe ‘his group’s members’ got confused as to what was acceptable, due to the fact its perfectly acceptable for films, book, and art, to depict sexual exploitation and violence, but for no apparent reason, videogames are  somehow different.

    heres a hint, apply the standards across the board to all media , and maybe it would be clearer that this was a ‘problem‘, but if you aint gonan do that, i suggest you keep your hypocritical mouth shut!

     

  22. 0
    GrlGmr says:

    Problem? What problem? I don’t see any problem. So we should all just be happy to go back to the days of strict self censorship?

    Not once has any anti-video game law passed constitutional muster. And yet they keep coming. And taxpayers keep having to pay. Games are no different than movies, books, or any other media. Not all of it is suitable for children, and it shouldn’t be the responsibility of the developer or publisher to raise someone’s kids for them.

     

Leave a Reply