NY Bill Might Keep Nasty Games in a Locked Container

The New York legislature has a fondness for video game legislation, it would seem.

Last year New York became the first state since 2006 to pass a video game bill and have it signed into law by its Governor. The New York video game statute lacks teeth, however, and the video game industry has not opposed it.

As GamePolitics reported earlier this month, Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright (D) introduced a bill aimed at shielding minors from games containing profanity and racist stereotypes.

In addition, Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R) has submitted A2837, which seeks to block minors from any game that "glamorizes… the commission of a violent crime, suicide, sodomy, rape, incest, bestiality, or sado-masochism…"

Kolb’s bill also requires warning labels on such games; violators would be subject to both civil and criminal penalties. Fines of $1,000 are spelled out in the bill.

But Kolb isn’t finished – not by a long shot. Retailers would be required to keep such games either in an area "inaccessible by the general public"  or "in a sealed and locked container."

Retailers would also be mandated to make copies of the offending games available for examination by parents.

A similar measure proposed by Kolb in 2007 failed to move out of committee.

GP: While Assemblyman Kolb no doubt has good intentions, his legislation clearly has constitutional issues. For example, deciding whether a game "glamorizes" any of the activities enumerated by Kolb would seem to be a highly subjective endeavor.

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241 comments

  1. 0
    Adamas Draconis says:

    I heard it as "better to be silent and thought a fool, then to speak and remove all doubt." Same thing differant wording.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  2. 0
    ddrfr33k says:

    The quote is from Mark Twain, and you’re close.  It’s usually written, "It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt."  At least, that’s the way I’d seen it in other literature.  Either way, it’s an awesome quote and I commend you for bringing it up.  Dead writers ftw!

    http://treasurebin.blogspot.com Game reviews from the bottom of the bargain bin

  3. 0
    ddrfr33k says:

    First off, GS makes it a terminatable offense to sell games to anyone under 17.  This is done internally with GS’ own secret shoppers.  They have done so without any government law nor enforcement body.  In this, enforcing policies voluntarily without government intervention means less taxpayer dollars thrown at a frivolous committee, less government oversight, and less bullshit.  People can get on with their lives.

    Obvious efficiency is efficient.  And you’re not.

    http://treasurebin.blogspot.com Game reviews from the bottom of the bargain bin

  4. 0
    farlander28 says:

    That’s a brilliant example, Chuma. Most of us have probably forgotten that board games have been doing that for decades. Aside from the "small parts, don’t give to children 0-3" warnings, which are deliberately kept separate, the age suggestions have to do with the general nature of the content of the game, and whether or not younger children should be playing it.

    This guy is nothing but a Troll of the highest order. I’m just amazed it took Jack so long to start up here again.

     

    "Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" – Denis Leary

  5. 0
    HungryHungryHomer says:

    That law is like a law that says "if a beverege has a certain pecentage of sugar, and is also alcoholic, then a minor can’t buy it, unless he has parental consent."

    It might be a state thing, but that’s actually a law in (at least) Ohio and Pennsylvania. A parent or legal guardian can purchase and provide alcohol for their charges, even while in a public place, provided the minor in question does not become ‘visibly intoxicated’.

  6. 0
    sortableturnip says:

    "The ESRB ERC signators, which include Wal-Mart, Target, GameStop, and others all have agreed in writing not to sell Mature games to anyone under 17."

    Proof?

  7. 0
    Chuma says:

    I have a board game that is aimed for ages 7 and up.  There are no small parts.  Do you think that this means it is harmful for a child of 5 to play it?  Or do you think that they are just informing people of the target market?  If you believe the former, then frankly you either have no idea what age descriptors are for or are just ignoring points that destroy your argument in order to delude yourself.

  8. 0
    Solipsis says:

    **Quote: saulytarsus** Thank you, RabidChinaGirl.  It takes a female to see through all this "everything is unconstitutional" nonsense.  First of all, you are correct, a number of game retailers already sequester their "M" games. ****

     

    Did you even read what she wrote? She’s clearly referring to the transparent display cases we’ve been discussing all along — you know, the anti theft measures that still allow minors, and everyone else, to look at the game cases.

    And I find commenting on gender uncalled for. I’m a woman too, and I think this law is as unconstitutional as hell. Must be lacking in feminine simplicity, huh?

  9. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    It’s kind of hard for something to "pick up steam" when no one in the Utah legislature has yet to even file the bill, let alone introduce it.

    Oh, and news flash: If Jacky Boy wants the unconstitutional piece of garbage passed so it can be summarily rejected as unconstitutional, the bill has to be filed and passed by session’s end on March 12th(and they started just this past Monday, so the worthless turd only has 6 weeks left).

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.


    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  10. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    I agree with you Baruch.  I go to gamestop about 3 times a week, often on monday, thursday, and friday or sunday depending on various other things and the short sunday hours, and every time I go in (I normally get there at 1500 or later) I see kids who should be in school still, have no parents, or, and this is my favorite, parents buying GTA IV for their 10 year old (there’s no way that kid was older than 10.  Personally, I think he might’ve been 8).  I even watched a clerk say ‘ma’am, we really don’t suggest this game for your child’, just to hear the kid erupt into a tantrum. 

    Are you telling me you can’t keep an eye on your child at home, either?  I have an 8000 square foot house, and I still manage to find what my son’s up to, what he’s playing and watching, etc. 

    Parents today are, for the most part, lazy as fuck.  Of course, laws giving parents on welfare extra money for each child they have don’t help the situation, nor the fact that they’ve started teaching ‘morality’ in our schools, along with a heaping helping of bullshit (global warming, for example).

  11. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    We all know it is you Jack(ass) Thompson.

    Stop trying to hide behind the name of saulytarsus.

    Also your videogame legislation is going to be knocked down again and again with your rantings and hatred of the Videogame Industry.

  12. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Why does the phrase ‘I know him not’ come to mind?

    It’s an interesting day when someone denies knowing themself.

    I suppose that would be ‘I know me not’, which doesn’t speak well of you, but it is, possibly, the most accurate thing you have ever said, I don’t think you’ve ever truly stood back and looked at who, and what, you are.

  13. 0
    Ambiguous says:

    Yes, many stores do keep their games locked in glass cases, but its not to restrict it from minors.  Its to prevent theft.  I personally hate it myself.  I won’t shop for games at a Wal-Mart becaue its  apain in the ass to ask the clerks to open it every few minutes so i can take a closer look at a game.

    I vastly prefer gamestops method of doing things.  They do indeed keep games behind the counter, but once again it is no to keep it from minors, its to prevent theft, contrary to what salty aka Jacky has said.  With their open box system, I can easily look at the descriptions on games without harassing the staff, and they even leave the instruction manuals inside so I can get a good idea of what I’m buying before hand.  To effectively shop for games at stores with glass displays, you have to know what you want already.  I dunno about others, but I’m not always up to date on every new release and what they are about.  I like to browse the selection before buying, and I can’t do that when things are locked away.

    So basically, even ignoring the entire consitutionality issue here, I wouldn’t want this law just because it would be inconvenient for me to have to prove I’m old enough to look at 17+ games.  Even if it was passed, so what?  Parents will buy them for the kids, or the kids themselves will just buy them online or from friends.  This law will do nothing, even if it was passed, besides make shopping a bitch for the legitimate people.  It’s actually a fairly small number of people that are able to buy games when they aren’t old enough, especially if they shop at a reputable place like gamestop.

  14. 0
    Baruch_S says:

    Negligent employees my foot. It’s the parents’ fault that their kid got ahold of the game, movie, or what-have-you. Having employees check ages is a service that retailers provide in order to avoid getting a bad reputation; it’s not the retailer’s or employee’s responsiblity to keep someone’s kid from buying stuff. If you can’t keep an eye on what your kid buys and plays, it’s no one’s fault but your own.

  15. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    The only people who declare victory despite evidence to the contrary are blind. And, a saying you may want to become familiar with. "It is better to be though an idiot than to speak up and remove all doubt."

    Do you know what that means? Obvious not, so here it is. It means that you should have walked away from the argument.

    The enterainment industry is alive due to the constituion, not in spite of it.

    Also , Iahve a challenge for you, can you find the MPAA rating on a DVD case? And I highly doubt you can. Just because the rating is obvious, clear and concise, it is not an admition that the product is harmful.

    Using your logic, playing GTA will destroy ones mind, yet if they were to see, say, Deliverance, SAW, The Hills Have Eyes, or Wolf Creek, the kid would come out completely unscarred. And the line is only blurred with "choose your own adventure" DVDs and books.

     

    And stop pretending that you aren’t Thompson. The attack on MR Zelnick as your very first post gave you away.


  16. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    Now then, on to the latest jabroni troll, saulytarsus, Metropolitian Moron of Miami, Painus in your Anus, it doesn’t matter what his name is:

     

    Complete and Utter Epic Win for that comment

  17. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Yet another unconstitutional piece of garbage for the pile, as it violates both the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech and the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law, and is unconstitutionally broad.

    Now then, on to the latest jabroni troll, saulytarsus, Metropolitian Moron of Miami, Painus in your Anus, it doesn’t matter what his name is:

    -Rating systems are merely suggestions, nothing more, nothing less. Although, you can now argue that the MPAA’s system has turned into a joke now that the movie studios have been releasing unrated versions of the films on DVD with more and more frequency.

    -On that note, it is much, much easier for a 12 year old with "no parent in sight" to buy unrated movies such as Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Step Brothers, Pineapple Express, the American Pie movies, National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, etc., than it is for that same 12 year old to buy GTA IV, Fallout 3, Call of Duty 4, Call of Duty: World at War, Saints Row 2, etc. And not just because most of the stores either have most of the more recently released games(most Greatest Hits games and other older games are put on shelves next to those cases) behind a glass case or behind the counter(all due to potential theft/shoplifting issues), unless it’s the Guitar Hero and Rock Band packages. The Federal Trade Commission gave the video game industry its best grades ever in the last report.

    -Funny, you neglect to mention that it’s not just M-rated games are behind those glass cases or behind the counter, but also E and E-10 rated games like Madden NFL, NASCAR, Kingdom Hearts: Re: Chain of Memories, Chrono Trigger DS, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, etc.

    -Come to think of it, sales to "12-year-olds with no parents in sight"(if it actually happens) only accounts for less than 1% of all video game sales! Do the math.

    Now, onto the Constitution:

    If you’re going to infringe on a Constitutional right like freedom of speech based on the claim that the speech in question is “dangerous”, then you better damn well show absolute proof of that. It’s NEVER been done. There is no proof that any harm will come of anyone playing a “violent” video game.

    If there is a danger so clear and so threatening to the American people that causes these self-righteous politicians to step on the First Amendment, wouldn’t any rational thinking person have to believe that the danger would have to be so obvious and clear that there would be no argument against it? Especially since you’re directly contradicting a Constitutional amendment.

    We, the American people, have not been given any valid reason to believe that this abridging of our freedom of speech is necessary. There just simply isn’t any evidence at all of any danger from “violent” video games. This “protection” from “violent” video games isn’t needed or wanted for that matter, but please feel free to use everyone’s tax dollars for protection from things like a 10-foot storm surge from a Category 3 or greater hurricane or the fuselage of a 747 airplane entering the workplace or the home.
     

    And two more things:

    1) if Arizona wins the Super Bowl, it will be by a field goal at best(Pittsburgh’s defense is the best in the league). I said on another forum Arizona 27-24.

    2) American Idol Sucks. And that’s the bottom line. 

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.


    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  18. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Forgot to add, he said that a rating system for music would be a trojan horse, because of the lack of anything other than ideas to work with, there’s no imagery.

    It should also be noticed in the same testimony that it was generally accepted that a voluntary system was the best way of approaching any kind of rating system…

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=YZW3TazHW3E

  19. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    It rates them as a voluntary concession, it’s not saying ‘only 17 years old and upwards can play this game’, it is stating it’s own opinion on who the game is suitable for, it is not an ultimatum, it is advice for the parents to inform them that the content of the game may be unsuitable for younger players.

    If the parent is not monitoring the material being bought into their own home by their children, then, quite frankly, they need to be more careful, it is not, nor, I sincerely hope, will it ever be, the governments job to monitor what media goes into someone’s house, after all, it’s their house.

    You seem to think that little Billy going into a store and buying an M rated game is the fault of the Store and the company that made the game, not the fault of little Billy, and if said little Billy goes home, installs the game, and manages to install it and play it without his parents even noticing, then what does that say about the parents? Why are they letting a 10 year old kid use a computer in such as way as he cannot be monitored?

    Would you let your 10-year old child use a computer without monitoring him?

  20. 0
    Erik says:

    You just lost.  The state has not restricted movies by age groups.  MPAA = No force of law.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  21. 0
    Erik says:

    You seem to be missing the fact that the MPAA has been age rating movies for around eighty or so years.  And all of this without any force of law.  Now I know you have a hard time wrapping your brain around "informative ratings" as opposed to them being a manner of increased governmental control in our lives.  But that would be due to completely ignoring the standard set by the movie industry.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  22. 0
    Erik says:

    Next question?  Okay then.  Why should the video game industry have its ratings have any sort of legal weight whatsoever when the MPAA and movie industry have had a voluntary system with no force of law for some 80+ years?  Why should one industry be singled out from the rest?  Oh yeah, I forgot.  Its the current scapegoat. 

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  23. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Hmmmm Jack’s favourite artist according to him….

     

    Frank Zappa was also one of the main supporters of refusing to censor media. To quote him…

    ‘I do believe that a Buzz-saw between someone’s legs on an album cover is a pretty good indiciation that it’s not for little Johnny’.

     

  24. 0
    Erik says:

    And once the parent finds out that the child bought said game they have every right to take it away from them.  All you are promoting is a crutch for lazy parents.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  25. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Because Libel and Obscenity laws are designed for things that are (a) designed to harm people in the case of Libel, something Jack Thompson should be very familiar with and (b) capable of causing immediate impact on the person viewing it in the case of Pornography.

    With a Video Game, you have to install the game to view the content, you have to buy it, and take it home, much as in the case of ‘R’ rated videos, however, in the case of displaying Pornography or Obscene content openly, the content is instantly accesible simply by opening the magazine, which makes it too accessible to people who should not be viewing it, as with the covers of many restricted Videos.

    I’m sure in the case of AO rated games, that an ‘under the counter’ approach, or specialist shops, may be more appropriate, as it is with Adult movies and Magazines, however, to apply that to Mature rated games is a deliberate attempt to move them into the same realm as those kinds of products, which they most certainly are not any more than something like Rambo is the same as ‘Debbie Does Dallas.’ or the pornography that Mr. Thompson included in his filing to the Supreme courts.

  26. 0
    Erik says:

    So you think that inappropite and harmful are interchangable synonyms do you?  Bzzzz, wrong.  Some things can be inaproppite without being harmful.  The industry rates them because there are certain subjective beliefs within different cultures on what is and isn’t approprite for a minor to view.  As this is based on a culture’s moral structure and not "harm" the way things are rated from culture to culture varies.

    Try again.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  27. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Movie Theatres have also agreed to not let under 17’s watch movies rated over their age, and they do so, though not as effectively, I might add, as Video Games are refused to be sold to underage players.

    Would you have ‘Government Enforcers’ standing in Movie Theatres to make sure that never, ever happens?

    At one point or another, personal responsibility, and parental responsibility must play a part, you start handing that sort of power over to legislation, and it will not end at Video Games, remember, there are parts of the Bible that are strictly ‘Over-18’s only’, would you have that censored as well, kept in special glass boxes under the counter and only sold to people of ‘appropriate age’?

    That last sentence of your post, by the way, seemed oddly unrelated to the rest of the post, why did you include it, I wonder? Why did you feel the urge to point out that you live in Phoenix, I have a hunch that it is because you live in Florida.

  28. 0
    nighstalker160 says:

    So are they going to make you take M rated games out of the door in non-descript brown bags now too?

    Can’t you just see it, sleazy guys in sunglasses, hats, brown trench-coats going up to the counter "So, can I get a copy of GTAIV?"

    Old lady: "YOU STAY AWAY FROM MY GRANDSON YOU PERVERT!"

    Clerk: "Ma’am its just a video game. Not porn."

    Old Lady: "Well that’s worse!"

  29. 0
    Meohfumado says:

    Good call Nightwng2000.  And everybody needs to remember that "Inappropriate" =/= "harmful"

    Having an 8 year old see two people having sex is inappropriate.  Is it harmful?  Not entirely.  Depends upon the context.  In the context of an 8-year-old walking in on his parents, it is inappropriate, but not harmful.  Just means the parents are going to have to have an awkward conversation with their kid.  An 8-year-old watching BDSM pron online….now that could be both inappropriate and harmful (assuming no parental unit again is willing ot have that awkward conversation to set matters straight).

     

    "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

  30. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    Why is there a rating system?

    Simple.

    Because not every individual or Parent thinks alike.

    We do not share the same beliefs, interests, or consider the same material appropriate for our child that someone else does.

    As with the MPAA and the TV Rating system, the ESRB contains information that each individual and Parent requires to make at least a partially informed decision.

    It contains an overall flashcard lettering system.  Each rating system does.  The rating systems have changed over time.  Look at the MPAA article in Wikipedia.  That rating system has gone through several changes over the decades.

    We should also note that while there are age ratings, what constitutes an "age appropriate" value changes over time.  Society either grows more leinient or more strict.  Watch TV for the past 30 years.  Look at what has become of language censorship.  It varies.  Both based on WHO is doing the censoring as well as overall society.

    The very fact that one person may see a game as rated T while another thinks it should be rated M is evidence of this.  Indeed, the previous article about the Nintendo game supposedly containing "Islam is the light" is another example.  Notice the implied complaint that because the game supposedly contained that one line, an E rating was not strict enough.

    Imagine trying to set a rating system for written literature (books, magazines, newspapers, etc).

    Why have ratings?

    Because while one person may not think that GTA I is appropriate for their 10 year old, another may think, after knowing their child for the last 10 years and evaluating the content, design, context, and other factors, that the game may be sufficiently appropriate for their own child.  They may learn otherwise.  But in the end, they know better what is or is not appropriate for their own child.

    It isn’t about the material being "harmful".  It’s about Parents being informed. 

    "Hey, it’s an M rated game!  Why?  Let’s see…"  :: Looks at the various descriptors. ::

    The flash card ratings are eye catchers that say "pay close attention, there is content in this game that you may not approve of."

    I like the rating system.  What I don’t like is some Tin-Pot-Dictator-Wannabe telling me what I SHOULD find appropriate or not appropriate for myself or my own child.  (Note I said "dictate" as opposed to offering a simple opinion that I can follow or dismiss at my leisure.)

     

    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

  31. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    Kolb’s bill also requires warning labels on such games; violators would be subject to both civil and criminal penalties. Fines of $1,000 are spelled out in the bill.

    But Kolb isn’t finished – not by a long shot. Retailers would be required to keep such games either in an area “inaccessible by the general public” or “in a sealed and locked container.”

    Retailers would also be mandated to make copies of the offending games available for examination by parents.

    Warning Labels about the (myth) of violent videogames causing violence in real life?

    Keeping offencive games in a sealed and locked container?

    Where are the adult gamers meant to know if the retailer has got a sealed and locked container?

    Also do parents really want to examine copies of offencive games???

    Sorry but this has way too many Fredom of Speech and Expression violations to it. Also the freedom of speech for parents not wanting to have violent content soved down their throats by this bill that reqires them to “unwiillingly” observe violent content in games.

    sorry but this bill is going way too far.

  32. 0
    Mad_Scientist says:

    You know, that law is really, really absurd now that I think about it more. Especially since it mentions parental consent, but as far as I know material that is "harmful to minors", aka "obscene to minors", can’t be shown to them regardless of parental consent. Or am I completely wrong about that? Assuming for the moment that I’m not…

    So basically, that law says that "if a movie/etc fits a certain criteria and is also harmful to minors, it can’t be shown to minors unless there is parental consent." If anything, that law could be construed as a loosening on obscenity restrictions because it at least somewhat implies that it’s ok for minors to see porn as long as they have parental consent.

    That law is like a law that says "if a beverege has a certain pecentage of sugar, and is also alcoholic, then a minor can’t buy it, unless he has parental consent."

    Honestly, what in the world is the point of that law?

  33. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Not quite….. it has levels much like films do and games are rated to those levels by a random test panel of ESRB members(the  USK is almost like it), thus why some games slip though a get hit with a harder or softer label.

    Its not a question of "harm and/or effect" its a question of what adults think are ok for children, the MPAA has more of a set panel that dose tis best to to not rate some films right that is allow to hand out unrated stickers to things harder than NC17 and weaker than G alike.

    I wonder if i the US you can create a law where you can restrict the buying rights of minors without restricting their viewing rights, porn aside mind you.
    I do like the UKs way of handling Mature content even if the BBFC can be immature about slotting media properly since if its not labeled it makes it hard to sell….

     


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


    http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com

  34. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    But, in your travels and observations, watch closely WHAT is put in cases.

    Are ALL video games, no matter what the rating, put in the cases or only those of certain ratings?

    It’s an individual (or company’s) store policy which can vary from store to store.  Even franchise stores may have seperate policies based on the state they are in.

    Wilmington, NC, for example:

    WalMart sells DVDs of both movies and TV shows.

    They are all on regular shelves.

    But, occassionally, you’ll find special security wiring around, most often, new releases and compilations.  There is, however, no policy on the sale of rated material, even Uncut items.

    Computer games are also sold on the shelves, in the open, like the DVDs.

    Video games, however, are ALL in cases.  No matter what their rating.

    But they don’t do NC-17 or videos.  OR unrated "adult" videos, such as Playboy Calendar or the kind of thing you’d see on Cinemax late night.

    The EB Games/Gamestop here obviously specialize in video/computer games and all their games, no matter what the rating, are on the public shelves.  They have the checkout cases and the cases behind the checkout, but they contain specialty items and collector’s items.

    Of course,t hey don’t sell AO rated material either.

    Then, we have teh DVD/video specialty stores like SunCoast.  They sell all their videos/DVDs on shelves.  AND they sell the NC-17 videos, like Playboy calendar and the Cinemax late night movies, and they are also on the shelves, with opaque seperators sitting in front of them but still accessible.

    Each person has their own experience with various companies and various policies and laws.

    The fact is, I’ve always said I don’t need any individual, organization or government entity dictating to me what is or is not appropriate for myself or my child.

    The rating systems aren’t dictating to me.  They are informing me of what specific products contain.

    The store’s aren’t dictating to me what is or is not appropriate for myself or my child.  They are setting policies to respect the desires of the Parents who may feel that some product is not appropriate for their child.

    But the purpose of the legislatures is to open doors to make anything any one individual or organization deems "inappropriate" become the rule for everyone else to follow, even if they don’t share the same beliefs.

    After all, I find a great deal that specific relgiions expose children to to be bigotted, dishonorable, unethical, obscene, and potentially "harmful to minors" (not only to those being taught but to their future victims as well) as well as inappropriate for children.

    While the Constitution states that no law can be made to respect one religion over another (thereby deeming one religious sect more "appropriate" and less harmful than another), one could argue that in an effort to "protect the children" from "harmful and obscene material", legislation should be drafted to "protect the children" from ALL religious teachings and potential "harm".

    It all sounds well meaning until those same folks who are "well meaning" restrict EVERYTHING, from media products to even average speech, to "protect the children" from "harmful material".  Obscenity is, after all, in the eye of the beholder.  And I’ll gaurantee you I would have been making this same argument had I been an adult when the suggestion that there be a "community standards" policy and law enforced.  That did nothing but grant individuals, organizations, and government officials to blank check power to dictate anything and everything they wanted just by the threat of envoking "community standards" for the purpose of banning and/or censoring anything and everything they wanted to.  While many stand up to such nonsense as "community standards", much has been lost to it as well.

    And these laws, seemingly well meaning, are just an extention of such nonsense.

    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

  35. 0
    Mad_Scientist says:

    Hey, looking at the timestamps, he waited 3 minutes. Of course, he also missed or purposely ignored posts that had already answered his question.

  36. 0
    Rennie Davis says:

    Wrong again, Saulytarsus. As Justice Thurgood Marshall stated in striking down a federal ban on mailing unsolicited advertisements for contraceptives, “The level of discourse reaching a mailbox simply cannot be limited to that which would be suitable for a sandbox.” Bolger v. Youngs Drug Products Corp, 463 U.S. 60 (1983).

    Likewise, as the Arkansas case demonstrates, one cannot require retail shelves to only carry material suitable for the youngest ages. That would place on impermissible burden on the adult who wishes to access the material.

    (“Material harmful to minors,” which is a legal term for material obscene for minors, is an exception because it is a form of obscenity. And, as is well established, in order for material to be obscene or obscene for minors it must be in some way sexual.)
  37. 0
    DavCube says:

    Don’t change the subject, Jack. This article isn’t about you or ‘your’ bill.

    And you know, you should probably pay attention to your current job. You haven’t posted there in over a month.

  38. 0
    Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    Games hasn´t been tagged as harmful by any real goverment institution, except for dumb-watchdogs groups and conservative-religious groups and stupid people as you… and there are not enough videogames with sex, nude, homosexuality, racism or even bestiality to start.

    Stop trolling, Jack. You look like a dumb. 

    The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

  39. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    I’m unaware of any issue the music industry has had with content labels but I don’t follow that industry and am unfamiliar with Frank Zappa.

    Having said that, if he said an industry would rue the day it implemented a voluntary rating system then so far he’s wrong as far as the video game industry is concerned.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  40. 0
    DavCube says:

    No one’s saying they’re safe for ten-year-olds. It’s just that the guidelines are already in place, and are already being used. The only ones at fault are individual negligent employees when they don’t follow them. Not the creators of the consoles, the games, or the retailer itself. Just the individual person. In essence, a law for something that’s already being done without it is a meaningless waste of time and money.

    Not to mention that, by and large, games with the described content you posted pretty much don’t exist. (Sorry, GTA isn’t porn. The gamers have checked, and aside from Hot Coffee, it’s equivalent to R-Rated movie material. Not actual porn.)

  41. 0
    Meohfumado says:

    BS…every nanny-state law in the land was made to try to sanitize the world for some stupid parent who couldn’t do the job they signed up for when they had a kid.

    "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

  42. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    I answered this question in another post but I’ll answer it again.

    "The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings are designed to provide concise and impartial information about the content in computer and video games so consumers, especially parents, can make an informed purchase decision. ESRB ratings have two equal parts: rating symbols suggest age appropriateness for the game and content descriptors indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern."

     

    Andrew Eisen

  43. 0
    Mad_Scientist says:

    I know you asked Andrew this, but I’ll answer.

    YES!

    Now, this may sound odd, but I think that a 12 year old should be able to buy GTA… legally speaking. I think any store that did so purposely would deserve the bad PR it got as a result, and the loss of sales it would certainly suffer from boycotts, etc.

    But I do not think the government should get involved in this. In my mind, obscenity laws already can be abused in unfortunate cases at times. I don’t think we should expand the government’s powers in that area at all.

    Since GTA is not considered obscene under current laws, then there should be no laws prohibiting its sale in any way. Period. That’s my view at least.

    On a side note, try to be patient. People can’t be expected to always answer you in mere seconds, oftentimes we might be busy and you may not get any replies for hours even.

  44. 0
    Meohfumado says:

    Its pre-emptive.  Use your own rating system instead of waiting for one to be legislated, and being forced to accept it.

    Pretty simple actually.  You are a smart guy, I’m surprised you didn’t pick up on that…

     

    "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

  45. 0
    saulytarsus says:

    Okay, nobody has an answer to why the game industry age rates its games.  Here’ s the answer:  Because it knows certain games are inappropriate (harmful) to minors. This is the corner it is has painted itself into.

    Now, having won the argument, I am going to eat dinner, watch American Idol, stick pins in my Simon Cowell doll, and then have a glass of wine, and go to bed.  Cheers, mates, the Constitution lives, despite the entertainment industry.

    Andrew, keep checking those laws.

  46. 0
    DavCube says:

    Sorry Jack, your vigilante sample sizes of 1 don’t prove a damn thing. You yourself said that about every other person you talk to on this site. Math doesn’t hold its tongue for you or anyone else.

  47. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    A 12-year-old has the right to buy GTA.

    The retailer has the right to refuse the sale.

    The parents have the right to tell the child no.

    The gov’t cannot make a law denying a 12-year-old access to protected speech.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  48. 0
    saulytarsus says:

    Nobody’s trying to sanitize the world.  If Mature games are appropriate and safe for ten-year-olds, then why does this industry age rate and restrict them?  Really need an answer to that.  I’m waiting for it. 

  49. 0
    saulytarsus says:

    Nope, he’s restricting physical access by the class of people that the industry itself says should not buy them to the product.  Are you saying, Andrew, and this is what it comes down to, that a 12-year-old should be able to buy GTA IV without a parent in sight?  Please answer. 

  50. 0
    saulytarsus says:

    And all the adult customer has to do is present his age ID and then peruse the materials.  Very simple.  That solves the adult access to adult materials problem.  Next question, please. 

  51. 0
    Meohfumado says:

    Why argue the legality of it?  Why not just argue the common sense of it all?

    Restricting sales to minors will not bring down violent crime.  It will not stop the next Columbine from happening, and it won’t keep little Timmy from seeing or hearing things his mom and dad don’t want him to see and hear.

    You cannot sanitize the world for your children.  Better to prepare them to deal with the realities of life than blind them with the illusion of your delusion.

     

    "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

  52. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "This legislator dude is not restricting sales."

    Yes, he is.

    "AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to prohibiting the sale or rental of certain  video  games,  which  are  pornographic  or promote  violence or illegal drug use, to minors…"

     

    Andrew Eisen

  53. 0
    Mad_Scientist says:

    You’re wrong. You’re making the same flawd arguments that Jack Thompson makes.

    The ESRB ratings do not say that a video game is harmful to minors. An M rating does not mean that a video game is obscene.

    All the ratings are, are suggestions. The ESRB basically says, "we think that many parents won’t want kids under 17 to see this." The ESRB’s opinions are, legally speaking, no different than those of a random person off the street. Legally speaking, if the government found some random drunk on the street, told him to slap some ratings on a couple video game boxes, and then said that is was going to enforce those decisions by law, it would be no different than enforcing the ESRB ratings.

  54. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "Then why does the industry label them as inappropriate for someone under 17?"

    It doesn’t.

    You don’t seem to understand the ESRB ratings and what they’re actually for.

    From the ESRB:

    "The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings are designed to provide concise and impartial information about the content in computer and video games so consumers, especially parents, can make an informed purchase decision. ESRB ratings have two equal parts: rating symbols suggest age appropriateness for the game and content descriptors indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern."

     

    Andrew Eisen

  55. 0
    saulytarsus says:

    Thank you, RabidChinaGirl.  It takes a female to see through all this "everything is unconstitutional" nonsense.  First of all, you are correct, a number of game retailers already sequester their "M" games. 

    As to working with parents, that is being done.  What the retailers, many of them, are still doing is selling M games to kids with no parent in sight.  If a parent is educated but not there, how is the parent part of the sale?  That’s the problem.  The sequestering of the product makes the age enforcement more likley.  This legislator dude is not restricting sales.  he’s facilitating sales of mature games to mature buyers–someone 17 and over.

  56. 0
    Rennie Davis says:

     

    Shipley, Inc. v. Long, 454 F.Supp. 2d 819 (E.D. Ark. 2004).
     
    Provisions of Arkansas law regarding segregation of materials that are inappropriate for younger minors but constitutionally protected as to older minors and adults declared to be “facially unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution because such provisions are overbroad and impose unconstitutional prior restraint on the availability and display of constitutionally protected, non-obscene materials to both adults and older minors.”
     
    Thus, given that minors have a well-established constitutional right to access non-obscene video games, retailers cannot be required to segregate those games by locking them in a case.
     
  57. 0
    Mad_Scientist says:

    I can’t verify whether are not that’s actually part of the state law at the moment, but I noticed something. Every paragraph I read had a "and is harmful to minors" part of it.

    "Harmful to minors" is in other words "obscenity." So the entire law is redundant and pointless, as far as I can tell. I forgot, but there are some laws like this, one of which I think actually specifically mentions video games, if I remember correctly.

    But there are totally different. Obscenity is already illegal, so basically, this laws says, "don’t let a minor into a movie that it is currently against the law for them to see. If you do, it’s against the law." A pointless law that means nothing.

  58. 0
    saulytarsus says:

    Not harmful to minors?  Then why does the industry label them as inappropriate for someone under 17?  Because they’re too heavy and they might give themselves a hernia if they pick up a copy of GTA IV?

    Come on, Andrew.  Frank Zappa warned the music industry 20 years ago that age rating products was a trap and that it would rue the day it put PMRC stickers, voluntarily on its products.

    The ESRB has created that same trap for video games.  If you age rate and restrict a product you are actually admitting, by the rating and labeling and age checking that it is verboten for someone under 17.  Otherwise, why rate it?

    It would have been far, far smarter for the industry to dig in its heels and refuse to age rate, and then it would not now be the trap it is in.  Obama is going to spring that trap and various states are as well in the next few months.  Just watch.  Dumb ESRB, very dumb.

  59. 0
    ddrfr33k says:

    As an employee of GS, I’ll call bullshit on your statement.  All of the items we store behind the counter or in the back room are either discs for which the case is on the floor, stuff that’s too big to keep on display, or redundant copies.  Not one item stored behind the counter doesn’t have an empty shell on the floor. 

    Fail comment is fail.

  60. 0
    saulytarsus says:

    Maybe it would be a good idea, Andrew, to check laws before you start telling everyone here they don’t exist.  See immediate above state statute.

  61. 0
    LegendaryGamer00 says:

    1.They are more descriptive.

    2.The rating is very big and clear on the box(unlike most ratings on DVD’s and Theater releases).

    3.It looks better than other rating labels.

     

     

    "Video Games Rule, Jack Thompson Drools"

  62. 0
    saulytarsus says:

    Wrong again Andrew. here’s a state code provision that penalizes admission of a minor into a movie:

    1847.013  Exposing minors to harmful motion pictures, exhibitions, shows, presentations, or representations.

    (1)  "KNOWINGLY" DEFINED.–As used in this section "knowingly" means having general knowledge of, reason to know, or a belief or ground for belief which warrants further inspection or inquiry of both:

    (a)  The character and content of any motion picture described herein which is reasonably susceptible of examination by the defendant, or the character of any exhibition, presentation, representation, or show described herein, other than a motion picture show, which is reasonably susceptible of being ascertained by the defendant; and

    (b)  The age of the minor.

    (2)  MINOR’S AGE.–A person’s ignorance of a minor’s age, a minor’s misrepresentation of his or her age, a bona fide belief of a minor’s age, or a minor’s consent may not be raised as a defense in a prosecution for a violation of this section.

    (3)  OFFENSES AND PENALTIES.–

    (a)  A person may not knowingly exhibit for a monetary consideration to a minor or knowingly sell or rent a videotape of a motion picture to a minor or knowingly sell to a minor an admission ticket or pass or knowingly admit a minor for a monetary consideration to premises whereon there is exhibited a motion picture, exhibition, show, representation, or other presentation which, in whole or in part, depicts nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, sexual battery, bestiality, or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors.

    (b)  A person may not knowingly rent or sell, or loan to a minor for monetary consideration, a videocassette or a videotape of a motion picture, or similar presentation, which, in whole or in part, depicts nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, sexual battery, bestiality, or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors.

    (c)  The provisions of paragraph (a) do not apply to a minor when the minor is accompanied by his or her parents or either of them.

    (d)  A minor may not falsely represent to the owner of any premises mentioned in paragraph (a), or to the owner’s agent, or to any person mentioned in paragraph (b), that the minor is 17 years of age or older, with the intent to procure the minor’s admission to such premises, or the minor’s purchase or rental of a videotape, for a monetary consideration.

    (e)  A person may not knowingly make a false representation to the owner of any premises mentioned in paragraph (a), or to the owner’s agent, or to any person mentioned in paragraph (b), that he or she is the parent of any minor or that any minor is 17 years of age or older, with intent to procure the minor’s admission to the premises or to aid the minor in procuring admission thereto, or to aid or enable the minor’s purchase or rental of a videotape, for a monetary consideration.

  63. 0
    Mad_Scientist says:

    By better, I mean they have a higher enforcement success rate. The FTC does studies every now and then, where they check on how well people are enforcing the ratings. The video games are enforced better, ie the underage shoppers in the study were less successful in purchasing M rated games then they were R rated movies.

  64. 0
    Mad_Scientist says:

    It doesn’t. Let me repeat myself: there are no laws restricting movie content to certain age groups specifically.

    There are laws regarding "obscenity". These laws could apply to any work, be it movies or games, and are generally pretty limited. No M rated game or R rated movie would ever be considered obscene.

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