New York Video Game Law: Exclusive FAQ

Q: Who sponsored New York’s video game law?

A: There were two identical versions, one in the NY State Assembly and another in the NY State Senate. The Assembly version (A.11717) was sponsorsed by Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D, Brooklyn). The Senate version (S.6401-A) was sponsored by Sen. Andrew Lanza (R, Staten Island).

Q. How was it voted on in the legislature?

A. The Assembly version was passed 137-1. The Senate version passed 61-1.

Q. How did the bill get to be law?

A. After approval by the Assembly and Senate, Gov. David Paterson (D) signed it into law on July 22nd.

Q. Is this the same legislation that former Gov. Spitzer was favoring before his hooker incident cost him his job?

A. No. The bill under consideration last year would have made selling an M-rated game to a minor a felony crime. There is no such provision in this law.

Q. What does the law require?

A. The law requires:

  • Video games sold by retailers in New York State which have a "standardized" and "commonly used" (e.g., ESRB)  rating must display that rating on the outside of their packaging.
  • New console systems sold in NY State must have parental controls
  • A 16-member advisory council, appointed by the Governor, will a.) study the relationship between violent media and youth violence b.) evaluate the effectiveness of the ESRB rating system and make recommendations concerning it c.) study the potential of creating a parent-teacher violence awareness program to identify and assist potentially violent student

Q: Does the law apply to games sold online as well as in retail stores?

A: No. Although Sen. Lanza’s website initially claimed that it did, a reading of the legislation shows that "mail order" businesses, which under NY law include online retailers, are exempt from the rating requirements. GamePolitics contacted Sen. Lanza’s staff, which said that the online comment was a mistake and does NOT apply. The law applies ONLY to so-called "brick and mortar" retailers.

Q: Are the current ESRB ratings & content descriptors sufficient to meet the requirements of the law?

A: Yes. As long as a video game available at retail displays an ESRB rating and its associated content descriptors (and they already do), the retailer is in compliance.

Q. What about small publishers or independently created games which are not submitted for an ESRB rating?

A. As long as they are sold via online, no problem. They aren’t required to be rated.

Q. Are used games subject to the law?

A. If they are sold at retail, yes, but not for online sales, Ebay, etc.

Q. Do all games sold in New York have to display a rating?

A. Not exactly. Only games that are rated must display the rating. If an indie developer, for example, created a game, did not pay the ESRB to rate it, and sold it on his own, through non-industry retail channels, doing so would not violate the law. For all practical purposes, however, that’s a non-issue. All major retailers require games to be rated by the ESRB.

Q. When does the rating requirement take effect?

A. 120 days from the Governor signing the bill, approximately November 18th, 2008.

Q. As far as the parental control requirement for consoles, when does that take effect?

A. September 1, 2010.

Q. Why is there a delay?

A. "In order to permit the industry to adjust accordingly." We assume that relates to giving retailers time to clear their inventory of any remaining older consoles which lack parental controls, or perhaps giving the industry time to devise parental controls (although they are already in place for the current console generation).

Q. Does the law apply to sales of used systems?

A. No, it applies to new systems only.

Q. Are PC’s considered game systems under the law?

A. No, they are specifically excluded.

Q. Are handhelds like the DS or PSP subject to the law?

A. No, they too are specifically excluded.

Q. Who will serve on the Advisory Council?

A. That is up to Gov. Paterson, who will appoint the 16 members. According to the law, 14 of the members should have expertise in juvenile violence issues, while one seat goes to represent video game retailers and another goes to represent video game "manufacturers" (we believe they mean publishers).

Q. How long do the Advisory Council members serve? Are they paid?

A. Three years. They are not paid.

Q. When does the Advisory Council take effect?

A. Immediately.

Q. What are the penalties for violating the law?

A. In regard to selling consoles without parental controls, to quote from the legislation: "Whenever the court  shall  determine  that  a  violation…  has  occurred, the court may impose a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for a single violation and not more than fifty thousand dollars for multiple violations resulting from a single act or incident." As regards selling a game without a visible rating, the penalty is a civil fine of $100.

Q. What has been the video game industry’s response to the law?

A. Prior to the Governor signing the bill, the ESA, representing game publishers, asked members of its Video Game Voters Network to urge the Governor not to sign. Now that the bill has been signed, the ESA has not said what course of action it plans to take. The EMA, representing video game retailers, also opposed the bill as unnecessary. While the organization has not officially declared its course of action, initial comments seem to indicate that it believes its members can live with the law because it essentially changes nothing. Moreover, there has been a law in NY State for some years requiring DVDs sold at retail to display ratings which apparently has not impacted retailers in any material way.

Q. Why is this law different from numerous other laws that the game industry fought (and beat) in court?

A. The main reason is that there is no attempt to regulate the sale of any game. Other laws typically called for a fine or even the arrest of a retail clerk who sold an M-rated game to an underage buyer. There’s nothing like that in the NY law.

Q. Are there other laws that the video game industry has not opposed?

A. Yes. There are laws requiring that information about the industry’s rating system be posted in retail stores on the books in several states, including California, Washington, Georgia and Michigan. In Maryland there is a law making it illegal to sell a video game containing pornographic content to a minor which was not opposed by the industry.

Q. What other groups have opposed the law?

A. A number of groups have expressed concern. They include:

  • NY Civil Liberties Union
  • Americans for Tax Reform
  • Media Freedom Project

Q. Will any of these groups sue to block the law, even if the game industry doesn’t?

A. That remains to be seen. GamePolitics was in touch with the NYCLU on July 23rd, but they had not decided upon a course of action at that point.

Q. What would be the constitutional arguments against the NY law?

A. One argument is that by using government power to mandate that there must be a rating on a game or parental controls built into consoles, it is thus "compelled speech," a free speech no-no. The advisory council, it could be argued, is a governmental oversight agency that will impose its will on the industry’s content rating process.

Q. Are there political risks to the video game industry in fighting the law?

A. Possibly. Since the law basically affirms parental resources that are already in place, fighting the law might be portrayed by game industry critics in terms of the industry not being serious or committed to the permanence of its ratings and/or parental controls.

Q. Where can I find all GamePolitics reports on the NY law?

A. Click here.

Q. Where can I find a copy of the legislation?

A. Here

Q. Is it true that before he was busted as a client of a call girl ring, former Gov. Spitzer attacked the inclusion of hookers in Grand Theft Auto when he was pushing video game legislation in 2006-2007?

A. LOL, yes. In fact, GamePolitics readers named him Gaming’s Biggest Political Hypocrite over the call girl issue.

GP: We will be updating this FAQ as new information/developments become known.

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73 comments

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

    It’s a BLOG. For crying out loud, there’s millions of them on the internet that do the same exact thing. You’re making the biggest deal over absolutely NOTHING.

  2. 0
    Funky J ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    GAH!

    the cut and paste function don’t seem to work for me properly :(

    The last paragraph should read:

    I’m not saying all that GP does is bad, but considering you class this as a "news website" and what you do as "journalism", then you should expect someone like me to be here to analyse and criticise the way you do things.

  3. 0
    Funky J ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    A Troll? Hardly.

    I have been on this site since day one, and been a vocal critic of Dennis’s "Fox News" style of beating up stories to get page hits.

    Examples:

    1) One of the first things Dennis did was call for the boycott of Microsoft’s Xbox over the Chinese Spaces word blocking, whilst refusing to even acknowledge that both Nintendo and Sony also rely on the Chinese Government to do business, and refusing to acknowledge that Microsoft Xbox was different and seperate to Microsoft Spaces.

    After all, what was he writing his stories on? a windows machine? even Macs use chinese parts!

    And given the recent revelation that Sony was forcing children in Africa down mines for the collection of coltran, why was there no call for the boycott of Sony’s Playstation?

    2) The report on the Irish politician who came out and mentioned in passing something negative about videogames and you released your hound dogs on him because he was involved with an IRA led prison breakout. You took his fight against what he believed to be a righteous cause and used it against him because he dared criticise videogames, reducing it to a redundant US v THEM argument.

    3) The report on games in the UK being required to undergo Epilepsy testing you "neglected" to mention the fact that TV and Movies and Adverts also get the same testing, instead making readers believe that videogames in the UK were under attack from more governmental forces and undergoing an extra process that other media didn’t have.

    And that’s just off the top of my head…

    There appears to be a general lack of knowledge of any of your writers to situations outside the USA, but especially in regard to Europe/UK, Australia and the Middle East. So many of your stories show an American-centric view of concepts such as censorship and legal process with little regard to local customs, history and precidents.

    Not to mention an almost complete the lack of proper investigation on most stories – you don’t even attempt to contact the people you quote in your stories most of the time – as the same quote is carried from game website to game website. Instead, you just push news stories from the feeds, assuming what you have is fact.

    I’m not saying all that GP does is bad, but considering you yourselves class this as a "news website" and what you do as "journalism", then expect someone like me to be here to analyse and criticise the way you do things.

    The only reason I do so is the hope that you will become better at doing it…

    So, if you still consider this trolling, then get the hell off my bridge!

  4. 0
    point09micron says:

    I was already opposed to this law, simply because it singles out video games for all this treatment, while excluding movies, video sales, and all written media.  The fact that this "advisory council" is to include people with "expertise in juvenile violence issues" is a pure slap in the face to every game developer and player.  Now that "games cause juvenile violence" is officially stated in NY state laws, next year the NY House and Senate will be able to use it as precedent for content-based sales restrictions, like they’ve been trying to do all along.

    Fuck New York.  Seriously. 

  5. 0
    lumi says:

    Actually, I think that would be a hilarious response for some indie developer to take.

    "Hmm…we were getting ESRB ratings on all our games, but now the law says we have to get our games rated…I guess ESRB isn’t good enough for them.

    Alright, folks, it’s PEGI or bust from now on!  Let’s go get all our games re-rated!"

  6. 0
    beemoh says:

    >”In order to permit the industry to adjust accordingly.” We assume that relates to giving retailers time to clear their inventory of any remaining older consoles which lack parental controls, or perhaps giving the industry time to devise parental controls (although they are already in place for the current console generation).

    All games consoles already have parental controls- it’s that big button on the front marked “POWER”.

    /b

  7. 0
    Anonymous says:

    So, given that there’s really no meaningful change that this law forces upon the gaming industry, what abuse is this law meant to address?

    It seems to me that this law is a prime example of government waste – a law that takes thousands of man-hours to produce and which costs taxpayers a lot of money, and which does precisely nothing.

  8. 0
    Seiena_Cyrus ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m starting to think that Fahrenheit 451 should be mandatory reading before entering a Public office -_-; Here read this…don’t do -this- got it? Good… >_>

  9. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    The next law shall require brain implants that cause children to go blind when in the presence of content we deem innapropriate for them! BLEH!

     

    -Entertainment isn’t the reason the world sucks. It’s the reason we know the world sucks. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard researchers Larry Kutner&Cheryl Olson

  10. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    What on Earth are you talking about?

    The ESA does not represent consumers, it represents video game publishers.  The ESA owns the VGVN but I can see where you’d make the consumer group argument there.  That said, what does that have to do with this article?

    Again, GP shows it’s overblown sense of self-importance, and proves it will be dishonest and inaccurate when they think they can get more hits on their website.

    Huh?  Examples please.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  11. 0
    TBoneTony ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I bet that the 16 man advisory counsil will find out that there is nothing wrong with Videogames and that Violent Videogame use that has increased and that youth violence that has decreesed has no real correlational relationship.

    But even if they find out that truth, the politicians will still not be happy about it and they will go for more pointless laws that either are unconstitutional or (like this piece of toilet paper) don’t make any real change as the changes in the Videogame Industry have already been in place regardless of the government’s pointless opinions on their pathetic understanding of the Videogame industry.

    It is like saying…

    Oh…Videogame consoles have parental controls now, lets make a law that requires ALL videogame systems to have parental controls making people believe that we did this instead of the “EVIL” Videogame Industry…

    I basically think that this takes all the hard work that the Videogame Industry and makes it seem to the voter that the government did all this.

  12. 0
    Funky J ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Can I point out something about this FAQ?

    ESA and Video Game Voters Network are NOT representative of the Video Game Industry.

    Both are consumer organisations.

    A few stories down the front page of GP is the REAL industry response:

    Because it has no effect on their bottom line.

    Again, GP shows it’s overblown sense of self-importance, and proves it will be dishonest and inaccurate when they think they can get more hits on their website.

     

     

  13. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    ME: Boy, I sure do enjoy breathing!

    *Door get’s kicked down* COP: You better keep breathin’ BITCH!

    ME: Yeah, I’ve been doing that already.

    COP: Yeah, well now it’s the law you little fuck! If you don’t breathe at least once a day I will see to it that you never breathe again! Wait…then I’d be breaking the law… You better be immortal, you worthless prick!

    ME: Yep. I sort of have to.

    COP: Yeah, ’cause it’s the law!

    ME: No, because I have to to live.

    COP: Oh. Yeah. I forgot ’bout that.

     

    -Entertainment isn’t the reason the world sucks. It’s the reason we know the world sucks. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard researchers Larry Kutner&Cheryl Olson

  14. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    "Q. Who will serve on the Advisory Council?

    A. That is up to Gov. Paterson, who will appoint the 16 members. According to the law, 14 of the members should have expertise in juvenile violence issues, while one seat goes to represent video game retailers and another goes to represent video game "manufacturers" (we believe they mean publishers)."

    Next up, Fred Phelps is appointed head of sexual education in public schools.  :/

    Yeah, no bias in this "research", huh?

    Nightwng2000

    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

  15. 0
    Father Time says:

    "Video games sold by retailers in New York State must have a "standardized" and "commonly used" rating displayed on the outside of their packaging."

    Does that include rating systems that are standardized but not commonly used in the U.S? Like PEGI?

  16. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Yes, they’re also key factors in Communism, too. Or a Theocracy, for that matter.

    The term "dictator" or "tyrant" would have been far more applicable and wouldn’t come across like the post of a belligerent child.

  17. 0
    lumi says:

    Use of the term might be a little extreme here, but it’s not entirely inaccurate.  Centralization of authority and censorship are two key aspects of fascism.

  18. 0
    Anonymous says:

    If minors want to play GTA IV no one, except their parents, has any business stopping them.  Anyone who doesn’t see that is a fascist.

  19. 0
    Anonymous says:

    The "ignorant masses" are the ones instituting this law – so surely they play a significant role?

    The lawmakers here clearly think that they are helping parents better protect their children – hence the requirements for parental controls and clearly displayed ratings. In that way, parents have a lot to do with thing. It’s just publishers (not developers, at least not directly) and retailers that pay the price.

  20. 0
    lumi says:

    …what does that have to do with anything?  This bill isn’t addressing parents AT ALL.  It’s addressing developers and retailers.  No developer in his right mind is considering not showing the ESRB ratings, because no retailer would carry them.  And all the consoles ALREADY HAVE PARENTAL CONTROLS.  You think that next gen consoles won’t?  They’ll decide it wasn’t worth it?  It was a huge PR victory, and it should actually be getting even more emphasis since someone outside the industry is now demanding that it be done.

    The topic of education in video games is pretty much about parents.  This law has NOTHING to do with parents.  Not even a little.  The "ignorant masses" are a non-factor here.

  21. 0
    Anonymous says:

    But people *do* intend to stray from the sidewalk – such as misinformed parents who buy GTA IV for their kids and then complain about innappropriate content in video games played by minors.

    Just ‘cos you’re smart and are up-to-date with current affairs, doesn’t mean the ignorant masses are. However, I’m sure we’d both agree that eduction would be a preferable (and more effective) solution.

  22. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Well, the problem with your argument is this: in this case EVERYONE is walking on the sidewalk and no one intends to walk anywhere else.  The thing is, it restricts freedom if we’re told we must walk on the sidewalk even if we don’t intend to go anywhere else.

  23. 0
    Anonymous says:

    That’s a ridiculous argument. Just cos you’re well informed enough to realise walking on the sidewalk is right doesn’t mean everybody else is. Where there are ignoranty people, you find legislation. The true solution would be to prevent ignorance in the first place, but that would rewquire an entirely more proactive approach on the part of Govt, somthing politicans seem reticent to persue.

  24. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    Because it’s a waste of tax payers’ money and lawmakers’ time.

    The ratings and parental control requirements are already voluntarily and universally followed by the gaming industry, so why spend money and time to legislate on it?

    At worst the advisory council will be nothing but a grandstand for moral crusaders, at best it’s a body that makes recommendations based on half-assed research or outright lies by people with their own agendas.

    As a New York State taxpayer I’d prefer they used all that time and effort figuring out how to defeat MTA’s proposed fare hike. I’m sure I’m not alone.

    http://pixelantes.blogspot.com/

  25. 0
    chadachada(123) says:

    What’s the definition of a "retail" store? If a pawn shop counts, then that means that pre-ESRB games (like the original Super Mario Bros, hell, all games before 1994) would be unable to be sold. I go to Gamestop and see old Sega, SNES and NES games, those would be illegal to sell. Think about it, this would affect sales, and IS unconstitutional.

  26. 0
    Gene says:

    I honestly do not understand why everyone is getting their knickers in a twist over this. One, games already proudly display their ratings. Two, shops should be fined if they sell games to minors. Three, this advisory council is a joke and will be a huge waste of time and money because it will never get anything done. (Committees = procrastination.) Really, I can’t see this making much difference to the games industry.

     – In the beginning, there was nothing. So God started making stuff.

  27. 0
    King of Fiji ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My knickers are in a twist over this because my money which I’d would rather spend on gas money, insurance costs, and apparently the knickers that I wear has to be spent on pointless laws that essentially are laws insured to get everyone involved with said pointless law a favorable look in the eye of the voting public come this election year.

    Taxes on Long Island are expensive enough as it is and I don’t need to pay taxes for this….

  28. 0
    lumi says:

    Knickers are getting twisted, as you say, because the bill would be a dangerous precedent for industry detractors to point to when trying to pass more harmful bills.  Think of it as baby steps; someone proposes another law that’s just a little different from this one, but in a significant, damaging way.  Then they say "well, this one passed, and we’re almost the same thing.  You didn’t oppose that one, why are you suddenly trying to oppose this one?"

    It also takes some of the bite out of the constitutionality argument.  If we don’t oppose this one, it de-legitimizes any future attempts to use that defense.  "If it didn’t apply to the 2008 NY law, why does it apply now?"

    We can’t wait for them to put one up that actually hurts us to oppose it.  If it’s wrong, it needs to be opposed, end of story.

  29. 0
    Gene says:

    There’s a difference between ‘protecting [free] speech’, as you put it, and selling games illegally (which is pretty much what is happening when a game is knowingly sold to someone underage). The fact that it’s a fine is irrelevant in the grant scheme of things: it’s a deterrent, nothing more. And I think there should be a deterrent in place to stop minors getting their hands on M-rated games.

     – In the beginning, there was nothing. So God started making stuff.

  30. 0
    Gus Tav Too says:

     

    But a precedent is only created when there has been a court judgment. In this situation there are no ‘baby steps’,  as there has been no case. The only way in which the first step is taken is if this NY Law was challenged and found to be Constiuttional.

    In many ways it is sensible to leave this law alone, as it is quite easy to live with, and keep the constiutional powder dry for a more more dangerous provision that may be passed in the future.

  31. 0
    Seiena_Cyrus ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Father Time

    Darlin’ I’m not even a Law Student and I know that is actually how the legal system works. You -DO- take baby steps to larger more dangerous bills because the courts and the public will notice the change less then rushing forward and saying "M-Rated games are bad! Ban them all!" you simply up the stakes a little at a time…

    Also, Legal Precidence is exactly how Judges rule on cases, they look at past cases and the circumstances, match it up to the current case and take the punishment that fits. I’m sorry you think it works differently however, it doesn’t This is how the Judicial system works. Thats why firsts of their kind try to get the maximum sentance in cases like unusual murders and stuff so that all criminals that follow that line will be likely to get the maximum sentance. Court rooms are games, politics, they don’t call it a three ring circus for nothing you know.

  32. 0
    Father Time says:

    What a foolish eargument.

    It is entirely possible that this bill ISN’T the first in a large series of steps.

    But still just because we don’t challenge this bill doesn’t mean we have less legal footing to stand on in terms of challenging future laws. The proposed argument ‘well you didn’t oppose the last bill why are you opposing this one?’ isn’t a valid argument. Different laws different circumstances. Shouldn’t each law be decided on a case by case basis instead of acting like each law will automatically lead to more restrictive laws being passed?

    Imagine if our court system acted that way

    "If I allow to use Excuse C as a good enough excuse to get you off the hook future defendants will use Excuses D, E, F and eventually Excuse J as good excuses [in this scenario assume that the further you go into the alphabet the excuses get looser, crappier and allows for less personal responsibility]. I can’t allow people to use Excuse J as a legitimate defense (even though you are using excuse C) so you are guilty."

    In both this law and the aforementioned scenario we can use court precedent to draw a line in the sand in terms of what is and isn’t appropriate legislation or excuses.

  33. 0
    JimK says:

    @llumi:  You are 100%…no, 150%…no, 20000% correct.  This is just the first step to getting a legal precendent set that goes unchallenged.  Then they will extend the reach a little bit, and wait for that to be no big deal…then again, and again, and because people were willing to accept each step unchallenged, each one becomes legal precedent and accepted practice.

    We MUST fight every step, no matter how "toothless" it is.  I’m pretty disappointed in Gamepolitics’ seeming laid-back stance on this.  The toothlessness is a smokescreen to hide future development and intrusion into protected speech.

    Do not be fooled.

  34. 0
    Kris O. says:

    Some Virginia GameStop’s carry them as well. My sister bought a bundle of old-school SNES games a few months back, to get her oldest kid hooked (6 years old) hooked on the classics.

  35. 0
    beemoh says:

    Pawn shops would probably come under “used games”, which are exempt.

    EDIT: Except they aren’t as it’s used systems that are exempt. Oops.

    /b

  36. 0
    chadachada(123) says:

    Scratch my last statement. Looking 1 comment down, I saw that pre-ESRB games are excluded….so really, it doesn’t affect anything, but is still unconstitutional

  37. 0
    chadachada(123) says:

    But it’s very evident who will get re-elected. The two that made a bill to "make sure video games have ratings." And it’ll be the soccer moms and imbeciles that will vote them in.

  38. 0
    Keegs79 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

     This is government try to control more and more crap! Ridiculous! As minor as this could be, it is still the government try to control things by regulating video games with this a advisory board. This is outlandish! This is not american! Those two who sponsored the bill should feel ashamed of themselves!

  39. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Well the ECA has informed their members of this. They have not announced any plans yet. But neither has anyone else.

    Why don’t you give them a bit to work out a plan.

    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


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  40. 0
    Father Time says:

    One person to represent the developers? The only possible way for that to be practical is for it to be the same person everytime or someone who may not have had any involvement in the game.

    Although the real question is not whether the industry is present (because what do they know about the apprpriateness of ratings as opposed to your average person) it’s how much credit will the panel give kids. Do they think their idiots that will copy or look up to everything on the screen or not?

  41. 0
    lumi says:

    "Q. Who will serve on the Advisory Council?

    A. That is up to Gov. Paterson, who will appoint the 16 members. According to the law, 14 of the members should have expertise in juvenile violence issues, while one seat goes to represent video game retailers and another goes to represent video game "manufacturers" (we believe they mean publishers)."

    I’m a little disappointed if the developers themselves are the only ones being excluded.  I guess I might be biased, but I really would rather we have one of our own in there.

  42. 0
    black manta says:

    This is also really the only part of the law that bothers me.  Even though the industry representatives get 2 seats, they’ll be a minority with the majority made up of these "juvenile violence" experts.  If the industry representatives object to anything the rest of the council says, they’ll be easily overridden.  They might as well have the word "Token" written on their placards for all they say they’ll have.

    This is going to be just like the movie ratings system Texas used to have, as it was separate from the MPAA’s.  So a movie that would have been given a PG rating everywhere else would have had a more severe rating there.  It means developers and publishers might have to start thinking, "would New York find this acceptable?" when making a game.  On that alone, if for no other reason, this law could be considered unconstitutional.

  43. 0
    Adrian Lopez says:

    "Video games sold by retailers in New York State must have a rating and content descriptor"

    Could you guys please stop misrepresenting this particular aspect of the law? I’m sure it’s not intentional on your part, but I’m getting tired of pointing out that ratings are only required for games that have received a rating. If that sounds ridiculous it’s because it absolutely is, but that’s the law.

  44. 0
    Adrian Lopez says:

    Dear GamePolitics,

    You’ve changed the FAQ text to read that "Video games sold by retailers in New York State must have a ‘standardized’ and ‘commonly used’ rating displayed on the outside of their packaging", but you’ve failed once again to point out the following, taken from the bill itself:

    "This section shall not apply to … ANY VIDEO GAME, which has not been given a rating, nor shall it apply to any … VIDEO GAME which has been altered subsequent to receiving a rating."

    I hope I’m not talking to myself here.

  45. 0
    sqlrob says:

    OK, here’s a question for you.

    What about games that have been reissued with a rating? (e.g. VC games) Are the originals now not able to be sold?

     

  46. 0
    Daroc says:

    This is a really important point.  I hope that People do realize this.  This entire law is both to make people feel good and to set a base for precedent in the future nothing more.  At absolute best this law is a waste of tax dollars.

  47. 0
    Kevin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Here is my problem with this.

    Basically it comes down to telling me what to do.

    example: I’m walking ON the sidewalk. I choose to walk on the sidewalk. I ALWAYS walk along the sidewalk. Along comes an official and says to me, "Hey, you better STAY on that sidewalk. I know you are already on it, and it LOOKS like you will stay on it, but I’m telling you anyways because i’m an official."

    That’s my problem with the law.

    It’s wasted tax dollars. These people were actually spending time getting paid to make legislation that people already follow, and plan on continually doing. Their paycheck is our tax dollars. Are there not other more important issues in the state of New York then this?

     

     

  48. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Yes there is. If you read the text carefully, you will notice that if a movie or a game does not seek a rating, they don’t have to display one. Only those games and movies that seek a rating have to display it.

    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


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  49. 0
    tony selby says:

    my only question is this, if there is a law that states that DVDs must have rating to be sold in brick and morter stores, how does this apply to Unrated movies, is there a special provision that excludes them? or have they simply decided not to enforce the law, thus making it absolutly unnecessary

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