BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

July 22, 2008 -

GamePolitics has confirmed that, last night, New York Gov. David Paterson (left) signed video game legislation passed by the Senate and Assembly into law.

UPDATE: We've obtained a copy of the Governor's press release on the video game bill signing:

Governor David A. Paterson signed a package of bills, many of which are focused on public safety and protecting the rights of New York residents. [One of these will] ensure the State will explore the negative effects of violent video games.

 

“We have the obligation to be constantly vigilant about amending our laws to protect the residents of New York State. Many of these bills will do just that by closing loopholes or creating new laws to enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers,” said Governor Paterson...

 

...other bills signed by Governor Paterson are directly aimed at protecting children... A.11717 / S.6401-A [the video game bill] establishes an advisory council to conduct a study on the connection between interactive media and real-life violence in minors exposed to such media. This bill will also require new video game consoles to have parental lockout features by 2010, and mandate that games sold at retail disclose the ratings obtained from the gaming industry's voluntary rating system.

GamePolitics has received this comment from Richard Taylor, Senior Vice President of Communications and Research for the Entertainment Software Association:

The state has ignored legal precedent, common sense and the wishes of many New Yorkers in enacting this unnecessary bill. This government intrusion will cost taxpayers money and impose unconstitutional mandates for activities and technologies that are already voluntarily in place. It also unfairly singles out the videogame industry over all other forms of media. One wonders where this overreach by government in New York will end. If New York lawmakers feel it is the role of government to convene a government commission on game content, they could next turn to other content such as books, theater and film.

Will there be a court challenge? We've put this question to the ESA; they've told us that they are reviewing their options. For a variety of reasons, the main one being that the bill has no real teeth, it's entirely possible that the industry will just live with it.


Comments

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

although Windows Vista already does…

岩「…Ace beats Jack」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Can someone please explain this section for me:

2. This section shall not apply to a "mail order business" as  defined
   36  in  section  three  hundred  ninety-six-m of this chapter or to any film
   37  which is a reproduction of a motion picture, concert, musical production
   38  or other video event, OR ANY VIDEO GAME, which  has  not  been  given  a
   39  rating, nor shall it apply to any motion picture OR VIDEO GAME which has
   40  been altered subsequent to receiving a rating.

Just by reading that, it makes it sound like you could simply bypass this whole law just by not giving the game a rating. I may be reading it wrong or something.

It also seems that you could bypass the law by altering the game after getting a rating.

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: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

I also enjoy it when politicians put this little clause in their bills:

Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision  or
   44  part  of  this  act, or the application thereof to any person or circum-
   45  stance, shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction  to  be
   46  invalid  or  unconstitutional, such judgment shall not affect, impair or
   47  invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation
   48  to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision or part of this act,  or
   49  in  its  application to the person or circumstance, directly involved in
   50  the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.

Basically what this means is as follows: We know this bill is unconstitutional, unecessary and will wind up costing the taxpayers money. But we're going to pass it anyway.

I say that any bill that includes this provision should fail imediately and the person writing it should be fired.

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: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

EZK, That is pretty standard statutory language. It is called a "severability" clause. Without it, when one part of a law is declared unconstitutional, the whole law could be thrown out, not just the offending piece.

For instance, without this clause, if the "ratings must be displayed" section of this law is overturned, the "new consoles must have parental controls" and advisory commission may also be thrown out. While we might cheer that, the legislature wants to avoid such outcomes so it routinely incorporates severability clauses into multi-part legislation.

 

 

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

And yet we can't justify a line item veto. Go figure.

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: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

It's the subsequent to recieving a rating part you're overlooking.  They were actually smart enough to factor out mods entirely.

The really interesting part is the definition of a game console.

NOR SHALL THEY INCLUDE A HANDHELD
15 DEVICE IN WHICH SUCH ENTIRE DEVICE, INCLUDING THE VIEWING SCREEN, IS
16 DESIGNED TO BE HELD IN ONE`S HAND

They specifically left out the handhelds.

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

I know that the purposely left out handhelds and PCs from the law.

But that section quoted is still confusing. To me it reads that reproducing a film or video game would let you bypass the law. Selling a game with out a rating would let you bypass the law and altering a game after getting a rating would let you bypass the law.

I think they are trying to make the provision for documentaries, concert recordings and indie games sold over the internet, but it still reads funny.

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: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

EZK, You give them too much credit. I'm sure they were not thinking about mods, indie games sold over the Internet, or the like.

The sentence case language in the material quoted is existing New York law. The material in CAPS is what is being added by the law just signed. So the language regarding alteration after receiving a rating is from the original law, which applied to videos only. They just shoehorned the video game language into it, which I agree makes the language awkward.

 

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

"The sentence case language in the material quoted is existing New York law."

Wait.  Are you saying that there is existing NY law covering film and other media in this regard and that NY is simply adding video games to that existing law?  If that's the case, I don't see why video games should be excluded from existing media laws.

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Indeed, I am saying exactly that (at least in reference to videos, not other media).

Section 612 of the General Business Laws of the state of New York currently reads:

§  612.  Sale  and  rental  of  films.  1.  No  person, partnership or
  corporation shall sell or rent at retail or attempt to sell or  rent  at
  retail  a film unless the rating of the motion picture from which it was
  copied is clearly displayed on the outside of the case, jacket or  other
  cover of the film.
    2.  This section shall not apply to a "mail order business" as defined
  in section three hundred ninety-six-m of this chapter  or  to  any  film
  which is a reproduction of a motion picture, concert, musical production
  or  other  video  event  which has not been given a rating, nor shall it
  apply to any  motion  picture  which  has  been  altered  subsequent  to
  receiving a rating.
    3.  A violation of subdivision one of this section shall be punishable
  by a civil penalty of not more than one hundred dollars.
 

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

If it is indeed exsisting law, then New York already has unconstitutional laws...more reason to get it shut down in court, so that all media types can be unrestricted...

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

As I've said before, the law only requires ratings for games which have received a rating.

It's just plain ridiculous.

"Governor David A. Paterson

"Governor David A. Paterson signed a package of bills, many of which are focused on public safety and protecting the rights of New York residents. [One of these will] ensure the State will explore the negative effects of violent video games."

It should say "The state will explore whether or not there are any negative effects of violent video games without jumping to the conclusions reach and preached by luddites who have an agenda."

"A.11717 / S.6401-A [the video game bill] establishes an advisory council to conduct a study on the connection between interactive media and real-life violence in minors exposed to such media."

Again, what connection?

"This bill will also require new video game consoles to have parental lockout features by 2010, and mandate that games sold at retail disclose the ratings obtained from the gaming industry's voluntary rating system."

The bill will also require that it be bright during the day and dark during the night, that grass is green, birds can fly and that politicians continue to use the fear mongering spread by the PTCs of our world as a tool to make feel good bills such as this in an attempt to win over the soccer mom voters.

Business as usual really...


 

Re: "Governor David A. Paterson

"The bill will also require that it be bright during the day and dark during the night, that grass is green, birds can fly..."

Ostrich and emu are breaking the lawwwww! Sorry had to :)

Re: "Governor David A. Paterson

what about Bluegrass?

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

This is right up there with a law to protect them from Zombies.

"We have the right to protect our citizens, you DON'T have the right to take that away from them!"

"But there aren't any Zombies!"

"This only goes to show how successful the bill was! We should all get voted a pay raise."

It doesn't protect them from anything, the games all have ratings, the consoles all have parental controls. However, now that they are legaly required ratings, maybe they will claim that the ESRB shouldn't be involved in these legaly required ratings and it should be done by a government comitee.

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

I love that joke:

A man comes by banging two pots and yelling. Another man stops him and asks,"What are you doing." The man with the pots says, "Scaring away the pink elephants." The otehr man responds, "But there are no pink elephants." The man with the pots proudly states, "I'm doing a great job, aren't I."

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: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

I'm glad someone caught the reference.

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Cue everybody's favorite Metropolitan Moron coming in to claim that it's becuase of his whistle blowing that this got passed.

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

He's late.  I wonder what the hold up is?  Did his ego get so inflated he can't lift his head off his pillow to watch the news?

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Who are we talking about?

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Jim Liebowitz

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

This bill will also require new video game consoles to have parental lockout features by 2010, and mandate that games sold at retail disclose the ratings obtained from the gaming industry's voluntary rating system.

I wonder if this new "advisory council" will examine consoles in 2010 and suddenly realize "they were there all along?" I assume our emails and letters didn't get read, but then again, he only reads for a short period each day so I'm guessing his secretary put them in a pile somewhere doomed to being ignored. This is the kind of bill that if someone in state government just listened, they'd know it was pointless.

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

"For a variety of reasons, the main one being that the bill has no real teeth, it's entirely possible that the industry will just live with it."

GP, that is not the point, at all.  Aside from the "slippery slope" factor, the fact of the matter is that this law is unconstitutional.  This is black and white; the ESA should be challenging this law on those grounds alone.

What happens the next time such a bill comes up?  One with just a little less bark and a little more bite?  They'll have set the precedent in this bill.  A damaging precedent.

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

I agree. If the industry doesn't stand now, then the anti-game lobbyists have already won.

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Anyone know what the  the specifics of the bill are, if it is just another circle jerk or is there actually anything of real value?

 

"The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" gaming reviews
gryphonosiris.blogspot.com

"The Good, the Bad, and the Videogame" Reviews on the best, worst, and controversial issues of Videogames. gryphonosiris.blogspot.com/

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Circle Jerk. Basicly any games that currently have ratings must have ratings. Funny eh? Anything you can think of gaming wise that has one is covered under this as now 'needing' one. And the parental locks? Only on 'new' concoles and not on handhelds and such.

The only thing this really does is say "we care! see?! SEE?!" and also makes the group of guys to sit around and talk about how awful videogames are for people and get payed goverment money to do so.

However, regardless of the 'teeth' this has, it should still be objected to and overturned. If it isn't it will set a dangrous precident for new laws coming in on the subject to go "oh well you let this one stay, why not ours?".

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Yes. What is the text of the bill and its bill number. I want to read it first hand.

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: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Here's the text I believe, the number is A11717

http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A11717&sh=t

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Thank you fo posting that sh=t

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: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Curious that they list VIDEO GAMES and film (just like that) in saying that they should have a rating warning on them, along with the consols having a parental lock system...

Yep, circle jerk indeed, as all of this is ALREADY in place. What idiots.

 

"The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" gaming reviews
gryphonosiris.blogspot.com

"The Good, the Bad, and the Videogame" Reviews on the best, worst, and controversial issues of Videogames. gryphonosiris.blogspot.com/

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

I sincerely hope the gaming groups stand up and kick this law back where it belongs. it's a waste of time and money! Seriously if our politicans could just take thier heads out of their asses for a few minutes mabye they'd see what they could be working on right now.

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

theyre looking for a hole in the industry's defenses, methinks, but only after throwing their credibility against a brick wall multiple times.  lets see what the ESA/EMA/ETC. does...

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Say goodbye to those tax dollars, and say hello to yet another failed bill.

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

And the monkey flips the switch.

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Fun line from an oft-maligned movie.

"I'm not responcabel fer my comuter's spleling errnors." -- Xlorep DarkHelm

"I'm stel not responcabel fer my comuter's spleling errnors." -- Xlorep DarkHelm

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

This is ridiculous. It is totally unncecessary.

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Here we go again maybe.

Re: BREAKING - New York Governor Signs Video Game Bill Into Law

Game Politics, why is it that when it's an article about a republican you're always ready to say so, yet when it's a democrat like this guy there's no mention of his party affiliation whatsoever?

 
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