ACLU: NY Video Game Bill Passed by “Flawed Process”

Rochester, New York public radio station WXXI reports that a representative of the New York Civil Liberties Union has termed the state’s video game bill a "flawed process."

Bob Perry of the NYCLU told WXXI:

This bill was adopted in the last minutes of the legislative session, without hearings, without meaningful debate, without an opportunity for members of the public or industry to address the constitutional issues and the media technology issues implicated by the bill.

NY Metro has additional comments from Perry:

The legislation proposes an ambitious state system regulating the way video games are sold in retail stores and viewed at home based on content that the First Amendment protects from regulation.

Meanwhile, the Empire State News reports that NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman (left) urged that the bill be vetoed:

New Yorkers do not need the state judging which video games are appropriate and which aren’t. Parents, not government committees, should be responsible for making those judgments. If the legislature wants to reduce youth violence, it should fund educational programs to teach students conflict resolution skills.

Bill sponsor Sen. Andrew Lanza (R) countered with:

This [law] does not prohibit the sale of video games based on … content. This simply requires a labeling. And at the end of the day if a game is rated mature, or violent, this does not preclude or prohibit someone from selling it to a minor. I wish we could do that, but the First Amendment, I believe, protects against that.

Gov. David Paterson must decide by tomorrow whether to sign the bill into law. The measure, which would require that games be rated and console systems have parental controls built in, passed overwhelmingly in the state legislature.

It is unclear whether or not the video game industry will oppose the New York law if the Governor signs it.

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  1. oto kirlama says:

    I’m all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there’s one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what’s stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

    But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you’ll find they don’t think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless… yeah.

    The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can’t figure out the controls for Halo so it’s frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it’s in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child’s life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can’t be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It’s too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

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  3. Thad says:

    "I wish we could do that, but the First Amendment, I believe, protects against that."

    Yeah, damn that pesky Bill of Rights preventing politicians from telling people what they can and can’t do.

  4. Adrian Lopez says:

    Are you sure about that? People here keep talking about this bill as if it requires ESRB ratings for all games, but the version of the bill that I read (which may be different from the one that was passed) only requires ratings for games that have already received a rating. Therefore, games previously rated by the ESRB would be required to display that rating, but others would not.

    It’s still wrong, but it’s not exactly what people here make it out to be.

  5. Jeremy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Also makes indie games illegal, sorry little guy that wants to sell your game, you suck go elsewhere.

  6. E. Zachary Knight says:

    The bill target’s only retailers. The retailers have to make sure that all games they sell are rated by the ESRB. If they are caught selling a game without a rating, they will be fined.

    The real victim here are the classic game stores. The stores that sell games from before the ESRB. AS far as I know, the bill make no provision for those games. Thus it would be illegal to sell classic games.

    E. Zachary Knight
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  7. Vinzent ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m curious. We all know that this bill is utterly useless when applied to things like GTA, but what if that isn’t the real target? I admit I haven’t read the bill, but could it be that it is designed to attack groups that make or distribute things like Super Columbine Massacre? And if so, who will be the target of the punishment? Will it be the game’s creator or will NY hold the ESRB responsible for not rating the game?

    Anybody know?

  8. KayleL says:

    it should fund educational programs to teach students conflict resolution skills.

    Wait? Why isn’t that happening? Everyone with common sense says that could help with youth violence. Oh, I almost forgot, politicians don’t have common sense.

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

    Hey before 9/11 causing all the city people to move to Long Island, Long Island was a pretty peaceful place.  So don’t group all of New York with the idiotic politicians who make pointless laws….

  10. Adrian Lopez says:

    Mandatory labeling based on constitutionally-protected content is also unconstitutional, Mr. Lanza.

    Sponsoring unconstitutional laws should be an impeachable offense.

  11. Cheater87 says:

    Woah woah woah there is a Lieberman who does not want to ban and censor video games????

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

    What I hate more about this bill is that I emailed the senator who is sponsoring this bill and that was mentioned in this article and essentially he replied with a "Thanks for writing" virtual shrugging of his shoulders


    What ticks me off more is that essentially any idiot can tell that this is a "I save the childrenz from the violentz videoe gamez so vote for me!" bil……nothing more and nothing less…..

  13. jParadox says:

    Woo hoo to Ms. Donna Lieberman!  She makes a very good point!  Parents, not the government, should decide what kids can and can not purchase.  It should never be the government’s job!  But, of course, someone will call Ms. Lieberman racist due to a similar comment Obama said to the voting community that made Jessie Jackson get his panties in a knot.  (Which wasn’t directed just to the African-Americans.  It was also directed to the Caucasians, Hispanics and other minorities/majorities as well.  Calm down, Jessie.)

    What I still don’t understand about this bill is why enforce something that is ALREADY enforced by the ESRB?  Isn’t that sort of like reinventing the wheel?  No matter how many times you try to reinvent (or in this case, enforce…) something, you’re going to get the same product in the end!  If parents care to READ the packaging of their consoles, *gasp* parental controls are ALREADY installed, and all you have to do is read the M-A-N-U-A-L to learn how to set it up! 

    But then again, this is NYS… and we’ve been known to pass assinine laws.  I should know, I lived in this dead-end state all my life, to the LEFT of the mountains in a soon-to-be-ghostown city called Buffalo. 

    Or, maybe they’ll pass this, hoping to get more revenue that’ll go to the places that don’t need it. 

    Ahh, the system works in ways I guess I can’t comprehend… Stop spending money you can’t afford to spend, NY!! (Ahh, another familiar and over-used phrase I use in my daily life…)

  14. DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The fact that it’s redundant SHOULD be the reason it’s opposed… it’s not like all video games aren’t already ESRB rated with labels ten times bigger than movie rating labels anyway… and not transparent to the box art either.

  15. Anonymous says:

    No matter how redudent this bill is, it should be opposed, leting this by is a step off the slippery sloap

  16. Jeremy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So does that mean they wont let me sell my Colico Vision in NY anymore?  Also whats up with the Republican saying he believes the first amednemnt protects freedom of speech …. umm are you not sure … do you not understand the bill of rights (I know good old george doesnt), if so maybe you should resign I mean how can you accept a paycheck to pass laws if you dont understand the basis this country is built on.  That would be like me accepting a paycheck to write code and not know what objects are.

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

    Good golly gee!  Now not only do I have to pay hidiously higher than the average because I live on an island gas prices but now I get to pay taxes for a state that may be passing mentally unsound laws.

    The system works…………

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