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 :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
PHX Corphttps://www.kickstarter.com/projects/iga/bloodstained-ritual-of-the-night/description apparently Bloodstained: ritual of the night will have a Wii U version(through Armature Games)05/26/2015 - 9:02pm
WonderkarpSo I found out I'm Invincible Today. I drove through a Tornado and didnt even know it. was windy and torrential downpour but I drove through like a boss. 05/26/2015 - 7:35pm
ZenEnded up giving the code to Andrew so he gets to be the other guinea pig lol.05/26/2015 - 6:53pm
ZenSo...who wants to help with an experiment and get a free game for 3DS and possibly Wii U lol? Gave a friend the Wii u OlliOlli code from the Humble Bundle and it gave him the 3DS one too. Still have a 3DS code which may give a Wii U version too.05/26/2015 - 4:35pm
Zenjust wish they had been as open about development as they were with X1 and PS4. All we got were interviews saying everything was great and then this lol.05/26/2015 - 4:14pm
ZenYeah, he brought it up again as time went on and stated it was not to be taken seriously. And I am in NO way defending people who are acting like...well....the not so nice way to say "butts". And I don't personally think they haven't worked on the game, I05/26/2015 - 4:12pm
Andrew EisenSo I can see why Bell would be ultra defensive and snippety. But, again, still not an advisable thing to say.05/26/2015 - 3:57pm
Andrew Eisennot to mention horrifically insulting.05/26/2015 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenAgreed, even out of frustration, not an advisable thing to post. As for the rest, sounds like it thought its tweeks and optimizations would work. The idea that it was stringing everyone along and not actually working on it is nearly nonsensical...05/26/2015 - 3:55pm
Zenand looking great...yet refused to even show a single screen shot while touting their open development on X1 and PS4. People are now asking if they even worked on the game or if it was dropped in the beginning & they were keeping up appearances instead.05/26/2015 - 3:53pm
ZenI understand that, but making a blanket statement to cover an entire market like that will do nothing more than push consumers away or alienate a group. Other issues stem from the interviews and public announcements they made stating the game is running05/26/2015 - 3:52pm
Andrew EisenNot an advisable thing to post, I'll grant you.05/26/2015 - 3:47pm
Andrew EisenReading the thread, it looks like he's just getting frustrated with the obnoxious and unreasonable members of the board (most of whom signed up that day).05/26/2015 - 3:47pm
ZenNintendo users in general by stating "Yup, and if you need to pass this on, we really dislike Nintendo users." on their forum. Sincere or not, it's annoyed some fans & put doubt on the company even trying.05/26/2015 - 3:35pm
ZenThey pushed that even just a few months ago it was running great, with effects, but they just needed a few tweeks before release. I posted about this last night, but it has since cycled thru. Ian Bell also had some fairly disparaging things to say about05/26/2015 - 3:34pm
Matthew Wilson@AE @iamc they admired they cant do wiiu, and they have a valid reason for it. the wiiu is too weak.05/26/2015 - 3:24pm
Andrew EisenLied about what?05/26/2015 - 3:11pm
IanCThey outright lied, they kept pushing that it was coming out on Wii U right to they got a publisher, then went quiet. Funny that...05/26/2015 - 3:09pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/2015/05/26/project-cars-struggling-to-hit-720p30fps-on-wii-u/ I love that he is honest. they admited that they are at their wits end with the wiius hardware.05/26/2015 - 1:48pm
E. Zachary KnightHumbleSupport has said the codes don't expire. So That is pretty tempting.05/26/2015 - 1:38pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician