New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to Signing

July 18, 2008 -

There is a good deal of buzz this week surrounding video game-oriented legislation passed overwhelmingly last month by the New York state legislature. New York Gov. David Paterson (left) must decide by July 23rd whether he will sign the bill into law or let it die.

In a story broken by GamePolitics on June 24th, we reported that the NY State Senate passed, by a 61-1 vote, Sen. Andrew Lanza's bill which:

  • requires that games carry a rating
  • requires games consoles to have parental controls
  • establishes a 16-member advisory council on media violence

While the various segments of the video game industry have taken no unified position to date, the Binghampton Press details opposition to the bill from some unusual corners.

Grover Nordquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, said:

This is a feel-good piece of legislation that really doesn't so anything.

GP: That's certainly true (see: NY Video Game Bill Barks, Doesn't Bite)

Robert Perry of the New York chapter of the ACLU, added:

This bill would have the state regulating constitutionally protected speech. The courts will not permit that.

GP: Since the bill doesn't restrict content or sales based on content, we're assuming that the ACLU's Perry is referring to the requirement that games be labeled with a rating, which they already are on a voluntary basis.

Derek Hunter of the Media Freedom Project said:

The bill is unnecessary. The video-game industry is praised as the best at policing itself. They have a great ratings system.

Adam Thierer, writing for the Tech Liberation Front, calls the bill "unnecessary, unworkable, and unconstitutional" in an open letter to Gov. Paterson.

Meanwhile, Jason Della Rocca, executive director of the International Game Developers Association, has apparently issued an alert to IGDA members based in New York, calling upon them to contact the Guv in opposition to the bill.

The key piece of the puzzle will be whether the ESA decides to challenge the law's constitutionality. The game publishers' trade group, busy with E3 this week, has not said what it plans to do in that regard. Their most likely response will be to wait and see whether the Governor signs the bill into law. In the meantime they have urged VGVN members to write the Governor in opposition.

Comments made by the Entertainment Merchants Association, however, give the impression that video game retailers believe they can live with the law's provisions:

The bill is unnecessary and seeks to solve a problem that does not exist. But we do not anticipate that video game software retailers will have a problem complying with its requirements. (It is important to note that NY law already requires DVD packages to display the rating of the movie.)

 

Comments

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

 

Hey, I'm out of toilet paper. Where's the bill of rights?

Oh right, New York already used it.

So how about we pass a law stating that EVERY elected representative be forced to READ the constitution before swearing to uphold it?

 

Just leave it up to chance.

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

Its really disturbing when politicians think its good to pass legislation that contradicts are rights of freedom of speech. This undermines what we stand for and those responsible for this legislation should feel ashamed of themselves. They have no right for their own political gain! 

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

As someone inside the industry, I'm actually worried about provision #1 - say I'm making a small, indy game and don't have the clout or money to have the ESRB review it?  Does that ban me from distributing the game intra-state?  Can I slap a sticker on it: "The game has not been rated; buyer beware" and be good?

Good thing I live on the west-coast...

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

(It is important to note that NY law already requires DVD packages to display the rating of the movie.)

 

Sure, but it does not require the movie to have a rating. I see unrated versions of movies in the capital district walmarts all the time.

 

all this law does is create a council so someone gets paid to sit around and do nothing.

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

The bill is even more useless than GP's writeup suggests. The requirement that games display a rating is only for games which have actually received a rating.

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

As I said in the "Barks, Doesn't Bite" comments, the gaming industry and gamers should be opposed to this law, because it singles out video games for these restrictions.  The fact that games are already rated and consoles already have parental controls is totally irrelevant.

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

I'm hoping to introduce a bill which:

  • requires that people eat food
  • requires that people decide what they're going to eat
  • establishes a 16-member advisory council on what's for lunch

 

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

I'll do you a few better:

I'll make it mandatory that people:

Extract oxygen from the air when they breathe.

Actively engage in cell division.

Blink when their eyes are dry.

Age.

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

I'm guessing this is the Gov's way of a, "Hey look I'm doing something about video game violence by making a 16 member panel." Which really means he needed a way to help his campain finances, so he made a 16 new positions especially for those who "needed" jobs and benefited his cause.  It's that simple.

-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: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

Yeah, I hate laws that only make mandatory what people are already doing.

This is like making a law to require people to produce blood. They are doing it anyway, so why are we making it mandatory?

If I lived in NY, I would be all over trying to convince the Gov that this is useless.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

This is quite literally the most stupid law I've ever seen, and definatly the most useless. If I lived in New York, I'd definatly give the Guv a call/email

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

"requires that games carry a rating"

They do already, voluntarily, and quite informative if you can be bothered to find out what the symbols mean. And the numbers (some people will be that dim)

"requires games consoles to have parental controls"

All the current generation of consoles do already.

"establishes a 16-member advisory council on media violence"

Translation: 15 Jack Thompson disciples plus 1 token gamer with no nads.

 

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

lol how wierd!

I was literally coming on to post the EXACT same thing lol.

Already carry a rating, Already have parental controls..

so what exactly is this law trying to do.. i dont get what all teh money is being spent on...

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

16 useless people who couldn't be employed otherwise.

-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."
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Will the FCC preempt state laws that limit municipal broadband services?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOnce again, the 3DS already HAS a GBA emulator, it just can't run at the same time as the 3DS OS.07/30/2014 - 4:54pm
Matthew Wilsonyou cant street pass in ds mode ether, and if moders can make a gba emulator that runs very well on the psp as I understand it. you are telling me that Nintendo devs are not as good as moders?07/30/2014 - 4:49pm
Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, How is that different from every other credit card company targeting high school and college students?07/30/2014 - 1:40pm
Sleaker@EZK - I think some people are concerned beacuse it's a predatory technique targetted toward younger people that don't understand on top of offering the worst interest rates of any retailer around.07/30/2014 - 11:33am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/30/europe-gets-long-detained-shin-megami-tensei-4-at-cut-price/ "Sorry you had to wait a year for SMT4, would a price cut make it sting less?"07/30/2014 - 10:29am
NeenekoI would hope not. Though it is not unheard of for store specific cards to be pretty good.07/30/2014 - 8:17am
E. Zachary KnightDoes anyone, or at least any intelligent person, expect a retail branded credit card to be anything close to resembling a "good deal" on interest rates?07/30/2014 - 7:13am
SleakerGamestop articles popping up everywhere about their ludicrous new Credit card offerings at a whopping pre-approval for 26.9% APR07/29/2014 - 10:19pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/07/podcasting-patent-troll-we-tried-to-drop-lawsuit-against-adam-carolla/ the podcasting patent troll scum is trying to turn tail and run.07/29/2014 - 9:50pm
MaskedPixelanteOf course it's improved. At launch, Origin was scanning your entire hard drive, but now it's just scanning your browsing history. If that's not an improvement, I dunno what is!07/29/2014 - 8:59pm
Papa Midnighthttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/experienced-points/12029-Has-EAs-Origin-Service-Improved-Any-Over-the-Last-Two-Years07/29/2014 - 8:25pm
Sora-ChanSo it's just a matter of having better emulation software. If it can be done with a 3DS game, with all the memory and what not it takes up, it can be done with a GBA title through emulation.07/29/2014 - 7:30pm
Sora-ChanOther VC titles for the NES and Gameboy had the same setup where you couldn't access the homescreen without quitting out of the game til a later update when those games were released for the public outside of the founder program.07/29/2014 - 7:28pm
Sora-Chanthe 3DS can, and does, run GBA games, as seen by the founder gifts, which included a number of GBA titles. As for running GBA games and still having access to the home screen, I beleive it's more of the game emulation software needs to be updated.07/29/2014 - 7:27pm
Matthew Wilsonthe 3ds already swaps os's with the original ds. plus I dont think people expect miverse interaction when playing a gba game.07/29/2014 - 6:06pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician