BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. Supreme Court

May 20, 2009 -

For the first time ever, the United States Supreme Court will consider a case involving a restriction against the purchase of violent video games by minors.

GamePolitics has just received the news by way of a press release from the office of California State Senator Leland Yee (D). It was Yee who sponsored the contested video game law as an Assemblyman in 2005. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in October, 2005, triggering a court battle with between the state and the video game industry which will now extend to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The law, scheduled to take effect January 1st, 2006, never became effective due to an injunction issued by U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte in December, 2005. Judge Whyte would eventually go on to permanently enjoin the law in August of 2007, ruling it unconstitutional. Gov. Schwarzenegger, however, ordered an appeal to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court.

In February of this year, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit upheld Judge Whyte's ruling, leaving the U.S. Supreme Court as California's last option, an option that Gov. Schwarzenegger has now chosen to exercise. Schwarzenegger's comments are contained in the press release:

I signed this important measure to ensure parents are involved in determining which video games are appropriate for their children. By prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 and requiring these games to be clearly labeled, this law would allow parents to make better informed decisions for their kids. I will continue to vigorously defend this law and protect the well-being of California’s kids.

For his part, Yee, a child psychologist by trade, said:

I am hopeful that the Supreme Court – which has never heard a case dealing with violent video games – will accept our appeal...  

 

Passing this law was not easy and thus we should not expect the court proceedings to be any different. The multi-billion dollar video game industry relies on the revenue generated by the sales of these extremely violent games to children; thus they have the desire and resources to fight this cause at every turn.  Despite their high-priced lobbyists, they were unsuccessful in the Legislature and despite their high-priced lawyers, I am hopeful they will inevitably face the same fate in the courts.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown (D), whose office will handle the SCOTUS appeal, added:

California’s children are exposed everyday to video games that glamorize killing sprees, torture and sexual assault. In the face of this brutal violence, I am petitioning the Supreme Court to allow the state to enforce its reasonable ban on violent video game sales and rentals to minors.

The A.G.'s office has initiated the appeal by filing a petition for a writ of certiorari. As GamePolitics readers may recall from the recent Jack Thompson appeal, the Supreme Court process dictates that the justices as a group will consider California's petition in private conference at a later date. If four of the nine justices vote to grant California's petition, the case will advance to the filing of briefs. Otherwise, the appeal will end.


Comments

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

The laws don't prohibit the parent buying the game and allowing their under 18 child to play it. It's like movie ratings--parents are free to say, we're going to buy this and let our kids watch it, but it also protects stores. I worked in a toy store for a while, and it was amazing how parents would be completely clued out to what their kids were buying, then come in screaming they were going to sue us because they caught little Johnny playing a violent video game that we sold him. marire sani

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

You know I thought with the recent fiscall miss that California is in, I would think they would be smarter then to waste money on this, apparently not. I've just about lost all respect Arnold, he's a hypocrite. Hey Arnie where you thinking about how your violent movies would influence children? Apparently not because that would have affected your own wallet. So it's okay for you to make a fortune off of a movie career that consists almost entirely of brutally violent action films on par with GTA yet it's not ok for a kid to walk in and buy Resident Evil 5 or Gears of War 2? You can't have your cake and eat it too, if this bill dealt with violent movies then I doubt you would be so supportive.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

To this day I'm impressed at Schwarzenegger's ability to emphasize the importance of protecting California's kids with a straight face.  I'm sure he was thinking of that when he filmed that scene where he kills around 17 police officers in the first Terminator movie.

M. Carusi

Capitol Gaming

http://capitolgaming.blogspot.com

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

So, Arnie, you need something - anything - that shifts the public's attention from your other failures as governour? And "family" always works with the masses, right? "Do it for the children!"

Let's hope that they are actually much smarter than you and your kind think.

ZAR.

 

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

I signed this important measure to ensure parents are involved in determining which video games are appropriate for their children.

 

um.. what?

 

so if this passes and a game is deemed 18 rated, and i have a 17 year old kid, then the state/ratings board has decided that this game is not suitable for my kid..

Am i missing somethig here?

In the current system i have ratings i can use to decide if a game is suitable for my kid.

with this new system, i am told if a game is suitable for my kid, and it is illegal for me to decide that i think it is suitable and allow my kid to buy it....

So... how does that make me more involved in deciding? By taking away my right to decide?

wtf?

Thats as utterly stupid as saying, "here i want you to be more involved in how you manage your finances, give me your money and ill spend it for you".

How about it yee?

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

in fact.. heres something for you jackasses who somehow have power in california.

 

Y'know the budget cuts you made to education ? yeah those ones which clearly dont 'protect the kids'. How about you take all the money you keep throwing onto the fire that is video game legislation, and use it to buy extra books for kids in schools, so they can develop a brain big enough to work out whats real and whats a video game, and then everyone wins. Or take the money and use it for a ratings awareness campaign. Hell if your just going to burn it give it to me, i could find a MILLION better uses.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

''The multi-billion dollar video game industry relies on the revenue generated by the sales of these extremely violent games to children''

 

 

yes... because logically the primary audience for a business is children with deep pockets filled with $10 of allowance money. I mean... itd be stupid to create an adult game , y'know FOR ADULTS who have jobs and can afford to throw down $50 on a copy of GTA6. Clearly getting those piggy banks empties is the best source of revenue.

LISTEN TO HOW LUDICROUS YOUR ARGUMENT IS YEE!

ffs.

 

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

Yes a "psychologist" must obtain a Ph.D. from an APA accredited institution, typically receiving 5+ years of intense training.  They are also licensed by the state in which they practice.  So they certainly are a "profession" not a "trade".  Of course psychologists and psychiatrists tend to hate each other, but that's a separate issue.

 

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

So what are the odds SCOTUS will hear the case?

I personally am not sure where to put the odds but my gut says 50:50 odds.

Well a SCOTUS decision will either open up more legislation or shut it down for a good while.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

If being a hypocrite was a weapon,California politicians are freaking WMDs.

When you try to cut funding for education and at the same time you say that you are doing this for the children????

BULL-CRAP!!!!

I am sure hell has a spot with their name on it.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

Dude California has a major budget crisis right now, so much so that they held a special election so that citizens could vote on budget proposals (and only budget proposals).

The bill was passed in 2005.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

I'm still a little concerned. We have at least one Justice (Scalia) who says this law would be unconstitutional, and a recent decision cutting against the First Amendment dealing with profanity on air.

I see it breaking down as such:

Holding Unconstitutional:

Stevens
Ginsberg
Souter (provided this is heard during his last session)
Breyer

Holding Constitutional:

Scalia
Thomas
Roberts
Alito

The deciding vote will be Kennedy. While he's usually pro-First Amendment, he recently sided with the majority on the indecency case I previously mentioned.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

GIVE ME BACK MY GODDAMN MONEY!

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

My god this is gonna be a fail of epic fails.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

<i>California’s children are exposed everyday to video games that glamorize killing sprees, torture and <u>sexual assault</u>.</i>

Still spouting that, huh?  I have yet to see one game that where the player has the option to rape somebody in a retail store.  Yes, you have non-industry games on the web, and there was that whole RapeLay thing on Amazon, but this bill wouldn't affect either of them.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

 Just to be clear, sexual assault does not only include rape. Any sort of groping or related activities would also be considered sexual assault. Now, I can't think of one off the top of my head here, but I'm sure there's at least a couple games that have some sort of sexual assault in them.

Anyways, that's not the ridiculous part of the sentence. The stupid part is the thing they spout over and over again. That if some activity is in a game, that game is 'glorifying' that activity. Even if in the game you are a cop hunting down a deranged killer to throw him in jail, these people will say that the game is 'glamorizing' whatever the deranged killer is doing.

Either they have a very loose definition of glamorize and glorify or, *gasp*, they are a bunch of lying politicians that are so full of shit that you can look in their eyes and see the brown.

Just for the sake of it lets look up 'glorify' in the dictionary (I would talk about glamorize as well, but it just refers to glorify in the definition).

to cause to be or treat as being more splendid, excellent, etc., than would normally be considered.

Now, you could make the argument that something like GTAIV glorifies mass murder, but it's a tough thing. Within the confines of the game, killing could be considered a fun thing to do, but the game is NOT saying, "check it out, killing people (in real life) is totally freakin sweet, look at that blood!". I think that's the issue here, that they still believe that 'fun' murder within the game translates to glorifying murder in real life. It just doesn't work that way unless the person playing is already predisposed to being heavily influenced by media.

This has been a long enough post, so I'll stop here.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

For they:

- A bare nipple constitutes a sexual assault against children. No use to discuss with them. Nipples are bad.

- Extreme violence is attacking an alien monster with a colorful laser gun. You can´t let kids watch that kind of stuff. Everybody knows that ficticional monster also have the right to no be tortured via a PC mouse. But if Mickey Mouse does, it is OK. Hey, Mickey is good, isn´t he? Arnold *Swazzernager also is good, too.

- Every game is as same as violent as any other game. Halo, Grand Theft Auto, Assessins Creed, Bioshock, Rapelay and Cooking Mama are murder simulators in which you can earn many points killing and raping everyone and learn advanced war combat killing tactics that the Pentagon would envy. So rape is also a militar technique. It´s very logical.

- All games are evil. So it doesn´t matter if they have to lie to pull out an unconstitutional law. Itz 4 teh childrenz, off course...

 

*I still don´t know how to write that idiot´s name... :)

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

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

good thing these views werent around 1000 years ago else we'd all be dead.

ppl seem to forget nipples exist for breast feeding, a totally natural thing. Ppl are just ridiculous.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

Hmmm. If Arnold and Jerry think children might follow a bad example set by a violent act in a video game and that alone is enough to prohibit them from buying one, it stands to reason that their act of flaunting the Constitution and ignoring their oaths to uphold it may also set a bad example for our children. So how do we protect our children from being influenced by politicians who place political grandstanding on unconsitutional platforms ahead of their legal obligation to obey the law? We've had too many people killed already by politicians who believed they were above the law.

CopyOwner

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

Somebody knows if this law has flaws as the Utah´s bill? Is possible that California´s bill has a better chance than its predeccesors?

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

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

This California law was already ruled unconstitutional by the Federal courts twice(once in District Court, once in the Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit).

It's substantially flawed, and has no chance.

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

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

Yee must be a complete moron if he truly believes a prohibition on state executions of minors is likely to have any bearing on a case involving the free speech rights of minors and retailers. Killing a minor is rather... um... final. Selling violent games to minors is rather... um... not.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

___________________________________________________________

Passing this law was not easy and thus we should not expect the court proceedings to be any different. The multi-billion dollar video game industry relies on the revenue generated by the sales of these extremely violent games to children; thus they have the desire and resources to fight this cause at every turn.  Despite their high-priced lobbyists, they were unsuccessful in the Legislature and despite their high-priced lawyers, I am hopeful they will inevitably face the same fate in the courts.

___________________________________________________________

Trans:

___________________________________________________________

We've lost every single case till now, so I'm going to hint at some kind of conspiracy theory and hope no-one notices how much of our already enormous financial shortfall has been wasted and will continue to be wasted in pursuit of legislation that was doomed from the top, after all, I don't care, it's not as if the money is coming out of my own pocket.

___________________________________________________________

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

I think I know what this is going to end like.

 

And Yee, what part of the decision "This is unconstitutional" don't you really understand?

 

Even if it does fail, you will never hear the end of it from Yee.

 

TBoneTony

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

Well I don't know...Plessy seemed to have a pretty good case in Plessy v Fergurson and he lost that...Constitutional or not doesn't equal right or wrong. Thought this bill is both unconstitutional AND wrong.

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

"Yee, a child psychologist by trade . . . ."

The Grammar Nazi thinks that one can be a carpenter or a plumber or a fish-monger, etc., by "trade" but that one is a child psychologist by profession.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

I am not so sure about that.  A psychiatrist is a professional, but I do not believe psychologists have the legal status of professionals.  Thus 'by trade' is appropriate.

 

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

About as "appropriate" as a pair of Speedos during February in Fargo, N.D.

The "trades" most properly refers to those blue-collar jobs related to construction and other blue-collar dominated heavy industries. Those who hold these types of jobs are called "tradesmen." Carpenters, welders, pipe-fitters, plumber, brick-layers, etc., etc. The kind of occupations which one might learn in a "trade school" 

The "professions" on the other hand, most properly refers to those white-collar jobs which require advanced formal educaction which leave their beneficiaries with a high degree of skill, knowledge, and competence in a particular white-collar occupation. Those who hold these type of jobs are called "professionals." Lawyer, doctors, dentists, nurses, etc. etc. The kind of occupations which one might learn in a "professional school" (e.g., medical or law schools). 

I'd think that if given a choice between classifying a psychologist as a trade or a profession, profession is the much more appropriate choice.  

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

Whoa, let's clarify what's going on here.  The Court isn't "hear[ing]" anything, nor is it definitely going to "consider" anything, other than whether it will accept the case.  This is a petition for certiorari, nothing more.  We're a long way from any decision on the merits.  Also, this is not an "appeal."  It's more like a request for permission to appeal.

Personally, I doubt the Court will grant cert., for a variety of reasons.  Most significantly, there's no split between the Courts of Appeal.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

"California’s violent video game law properly seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games."

 

No it doesn’t.  You should try reading Judge Whyte’s ruling.  Also, “excessively violent, interactive video games” are not harmful to children.

 

"In fact in Roper v. Simmons, the court agreed we need to treat children differently in the eyes of the law due to brain development..."

 

You’re kidding me?  Now, Yee is touting this line?

 

"The multi-billion dollar video game industry relies on the revenue generated by the sales of these extremely violent games to children..."

 

Don’t be daft.  The sales of “extremely violent games to children” isn’t a remotely significant chunk of the industry’s earnings.

 

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

 >I signed this important measure to ensure parents are involved in determining which video games are appropriate for their children.

So in doing so, you're going to give them an out, so they do not need to be involved and can blame somebody else? Brilliant. Give that man a medal.

>The multi-billion dollar video game industry ... have the desire and resources to fight this cause at every turn. Despite their high-priced lobbyists, they were unsuccessful in the Legislature and despite their high-priced lawyers, I am hopeful they will inevitably face the same fate in the courts.

By 'unsuccessful', you mean they repeatedly had your laws, and indeed similar laws in no less than nine other states, shot down? Yeah, *real* lack of success there.

/b

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

This is a frivolus lawsuit to begin with, so it may not go to the supreme court

anyone want to know if the govenator will file a "Motion to Kiss My Ass" lawsuit

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

Arnold Schwarzenegger continues to prove that steroids shrinks not just your balls, but your brain as well.

Leland "Pee-Pee" Yee is a liar and a fraud, since less than 1% of all video game sales are to minors by themselves.

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

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

I think he's been taking too much bull shark testocerone up the ass.

 

--------------------

-------------------- Making sure I retain my INSANITY

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

In the midst of their state going bankrupt this is what they choose to spend money on?

Does anyone know where we might find a total of money spent on this bill thus far by the state?  I'm sure its nowhere near the billions in deficit they have, but every little bit counts in state government level the same as the individual level.. if you can't make your mortgage payments, but you're still smoking 3 packs a day, something is wrong.  If you're bank is going under and you need government bailout money, yet you can still afford to pay tens of millions in bonuses, something is wrong.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

dont you worry, they cut unneeded funding for education, and spent it on this bill instead.

100% the best way to 'protect the children'

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

Dang it. Yee's website doesn't have the press release on it. Suck. I want to read the thing. Why do you torment us so Dennis? Please link it.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

Yee finally has it up:

http://dist08.casen.govoffice.com/index.asp?Type=B_PR&SEC={EFA496BC-EDC8-4E38-9CC7-68D37AC03DFF}&DE={D7CF72C1-9B38-43AE-94ED-5203B301F673}

Nothing on the ESA site with their full statement.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

 Oh lawd is dat sum CP? (court proceedings)

 

Srsly, california's budget is in MAJOR distress why the heck should they waste any money on this? 

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

Let them see it so it can be ruled unconstitutional, and the issue can die.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S. ...

They just love wasting their voters money, don't they?

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

Please let SCotUS hear the case. Please let SCotUS hear the case. Please let SCotUS hear the case. Please let SCotUS hear the case. Please let SCotUS hear the case. Please let SCotUS hear the case.

That is all I have to say about it. I want them to hear it and then rule on it. I have little doubt they will rule along with the 10 other Federal court decisions, but a SCotUS decision will finally shut the govenrments up about it.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

Agreed. A SCotUS case will finally force them to show all/lack of evidence against game registration.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

Facts/evidence will have very little part in this. A SCOTUS Appeal is mostly about law, legal theory.

And considering the make-up of the current SCOTUS, this appeal has a VERY real chance of succeeding IF Cert is granted.

Re: BREAKING - California Appeals Video Game Law to U.S.

I doubt that, honestly. Conservative or not, I don't think that the SCOTUS is in support of nanny-state tactics and censorship like this.

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-
 
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