Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets Precedent

November 12, 2010 -

An article penned by the Editorial Board of the Oregonian calls violent games “poison to the teen mind,” and cites “a fragmented but growing body of research,” to back its hopes that the California legislation will at least “find footing” in order to “set a promising example.”

The opinion piece states that Schwarzenegger vs EMA is not exclusively about free speech, since the law does not seek an outright ban on violent games.

The California law, according to the Oregonian, would “simply prevent the neighborhood video store clerk from deciding to sell ‘Postal 2’ to a 14-year-old.”

The editorial continued, stating:

Barring the sale or rental of excessively violent video games to minors is prudent and sane. Doing so also preserves the rights of video-makers to create anything they want and, with a suitable rating level assigned, sell it accordingly.

Even the author of the editorial sees some problems however, calling the California law "smart but failed," adding:

Deciding which video games need a legal adult at the wheel would be difficult. Is a bloodless shooting victim the same as one made to ask for mercy before getting doused in gasoline and set afire? Justice Scalia was right in asking, "What's a deviant violent video game? As opposed to what? A normal violent video game?"

The editorialist on the outcome that they would like to see:

... we hope the high court will see this from a distance as well as in the fine parsings of precedent and find within its reach the ability to do something simple and consistent with the norms of society: help parents protect their kids from risk.

Comments

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

 It's such a waste of time and money. Do these people realize that retailers already have policies in place barring sales of M-rated titles to minors. And even if they make a law, guess what? Parents will still buy violent video games for their kids. So nothing with change. Ha derp derp. 

I thought that said "Portal 2" at first. Just shows how far behind the times you are when your only frame of reference for violent video games is Postal. 

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

I'd like to point out that you probably can't find Postal² in a retail store.

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

Could you ever find Postal or Postal 2 in a retail store? I'm not trying to make a snarky comment here. I'm legitmately wondering if it ever was sold in any retail stores in the US.

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

Yes.  I bought my copy in a retail store many years ago.

===============

Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

I saw Postal 2 at Bestbuy, Gamestop and a thrift shop before.

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

I've never seen it. Maybe once but that was a LONG time ago.

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

Um no wrong and no. The current system can barely get off a game in the R range of film(hell PG13 is closer to R than half the M rated games). Interactive media is absorbed less than media you sit and do nothing but absorb. In final making a law that effects the dissemination of information(media in general) negatively is the same thing as gross government censorship. We not only do not need it but under current law you can not have a entity separate of government slapping rantings enforced by law on media.

 

There is no middle ground here(tho I suppose there is if you limit fines and any enforcement on the employee who did the sale , like tobacco laws minus license and business fines suspension) but for the most part if you want a law to keep kids from any form of medias by the end of the day government at the request of the dim witless sheep will censor all media as to limit stampedes and "rear ending" awareness...


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

While this is obviously being written by an older person who has never in their whole life actually sat down and played a video game, you claiming that "Interactive media is absorbed less than media you sit and do nothing but absorb" is as baseless and untested as the people claiming just the opposite. Lets not stoop to the level of the people who attack games, gaming culture, and the gaming industry b/c we are afraid they may have some success.

The bottom line is that the industry if very big now and has the kind of money and pull to fight this stuff off. State law after state law has failed in the courts and for the first time in US history they are going to fail in the Supreme Court. I think you will find that this decision by the Supreme Court will dampen other state's interest in similar legislation.

The thing that I find most ironic is that its only the new medium, electronic interactive games, that are being attacked here as "bad for our children" and "poisining their minds". What about the music that glorifies violence, suicide, misogyny? What about the movies that depict violent and realistic rape,  murder, and torture? Video games do look a lot more realistic now then they did even 10 years ago but movies and television programs are still much more realistic and visceral.

Basically the fact that only the new medium that is popular with mostly the younger generation, males 35 and under, is being attacked by these people reveal that these groups do not understand gaming and thus fear it. They hear rumors and stories hyped up by a media that is willing to misrepresent facts to get more ratings and dollars, they hear outright lies from anti-video game crusaders, and they start to believe that their sweet little timmy is only two Doom sessions away from murdering them in their sleep.

I believe we are facing more of this than ever before for multiple reasons but none so much as the fact that video games are maturing and coming into their own. We have a new generation that was brought up on video games and don't fear them. Sales are hitting records and rivaling traditional media with hits like Call of Duty earning far more on opening day than most movies do in their whole run. Once we fight off these last few challenges the wind will be taken out of the old guard's sails and we'll be left with a new medium to fully explore.

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

There were plenty of studies suggesting that because one has to concentrate more for interactive media that the information that is absorb is less than what one takes in just sitting and watching. This was one of the main smaller arguments for interactive media, I do not know if its been fully debunked you don't hear about it as much anymore. It still makes perfect sense to me as a distracted mind will take in less audio/video stimuli vrs a non distracted one (god kows I R proof of that lulz).

 

Like comics years ago video games have become a rallying point for the mentally weak minded and pushy busy bodies of the world. But unlike comics back then its harder to create a slanted censor/rantings board. Harder still to target violence itself as "porn". This is normal,IMO, for a somewhat pure democracy as it ignores the foundation of law to intact what the most active and influential desire. Which is not that different from a aristocracy. At the end of the day we will trade freedoms for protection and lose both in the process.

It is helpful that the industry is virtually (pun) as large as the film industry it allows them ot inject a bit of reason into the argument but also allows them to join with the film industry and reduce our rights and freedoms in other areas.

Getting back to the subject at hand the only way violence will ever be placed near the same scale as porn is if they target all media which is an impossibility. It would be political suicide, unless of coarse the public itself demands it and not just small minded niche groups. Of course looking at the UK and Canada if they make violence in media under certain circumstances legally questionable(abuse of a corpse. Racial,gender,sexuality discrimination,ect )You could tact on vague laws to limit what media can do but thats a much more longer and argues process. But more likely to become a reality given certain trends and what not.

 

IMO I don't think the US government can even begin to regulate violence in media without devolving into a 50's nightmare of hard censorship.The US is just too weak minded and unlawfull these days to be able to handle the responsibility.


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

I challenge ANY Oregonian to go find me a copy of Postal 2 or RapeLay in a RETAIL store in Oregon anywhere and I will hand that person $100.

Promise.

This is Elvis and his DEMONIC gyrating pelvis of the 1950's all over again in the new mellinium.

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

They better not learn of New Vegas then.

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

 Does the average 14 year old know what Postal 2 is?  They were seven when that thing came out.

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

“poison to the teen mind,”

GP needs a "get off of my lawn" tag for moments like this.

The opinion piece states that Schwarzenegger vs EMA is not exclusively about free speech, since the law does not seek an outright ban on violent games.

lol

would “simply prevent the neighborhood video store clerk from deciding to sell ‘Postal 2’ to a 14-year-old.”

Yeah, it also will prevent to children under 6 years old to buy Rapelay in any ToysRUs in the country. Yet another instance of ignorance of the videogame "critics" that can´t tell which games are actually avaliable on stores and which others are just on sale online or even what other games are not even for sale on their own country.

Barring the sale or rental of excessively violent video games to minors is prudent and sane. Doing so also preserves the rights of video-makers to create anything they want and, with a suitable rating level assigned, sell it accordingly.

You don´t need the goverment to do that. That´s up for parents to decide which games can their sons play.

Deciding which video games need a legal adult at the wheel would be difficult. Is a bloodless shooting victim the same as one made to ask for mercy before getting doused in gasoline and set afire? Justice Scalia was right in asking, "What's a deviant violent video game? As opposed to what? A normal violent video game?"

Again with Postal 2 as the only example they have about violent games they know. I´m very sure that Justice Scalia made those questions because the law proposed by California actually can´t answer them.

... we hope the high court will see this from a distance as well as in the fine parsings of precedent and find within its reach the ability to do something simple and consistent with the norms of society: help parents protect their kids from risk.

No, they won´t pass it, because the California´s law is evidently useless for what is supposed is for. Your "norms of society" doesn´t apply neccesarely in everyone, as you sure wish they could.

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

"The California law, according to the Oregonian, would “simply prevent the neighborhood video store clerk from deciding to sell ‘Postal 2’ to a 14-year-old.”

Or in other words, this law won't do anything the industry isn't already doing. I'm pretty sure the prospect of getting fired is enough to prevent the store clerk from selling little Timmy a copy of Postal 2.

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

There are already two factors preventing the neighborhood video store clerk from deciding to sell Postal 2 to a 14-year-old:
1. His boss would fire him for being incompetent.
2. No store sells Postal 2.

If somehow that clerk did "decide" to sell Postal 2 to a 14-year-old, one must wonder why the 14-year-old is doing shady backdoor deals with the local store clerk.

In that case, there are probably larger issues at stake than what the game will do to the kid, like the more-likely scenario that they're doing drug deals instead.

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

And I love that Postal 2 is the only video game that industry critics seem to be aware of.

Don't want your 14-year-old buying Postal 2?  Don't take him to a vintage game store, give him $30, and wait in the car.

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

It's one of the worst examples they can find, and I woudl gather that they keep using it as an example so that the uninformed will think that games like it are the ones being made the most often.

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

"Doing so also preserves the rights of video-makers to create anything they want and, with a suitable rating level assigned, sell it accordingly."

 

No it doesn't, as this will creat a chilling effect, the developers being too afraid to push any sort of envelope as marketing games nationally will become impossible.

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

I have noticed that a big part of the modern conservative movement is pretending neither defacto nor realpolitik exist... it has become an increasingly common tactic to make things effectively illegal without actually making them illegal and thus encountering constitutional problems..... though at this point many such laws have been in place so long that they are considered constitutional.. just look at drug prohibition.   No one challenges it now, and the facade of the 'tax stamp' has been long since dropped... but at the time it was an innovative way to make something illegal when the government did not actually have the power to do so via a defacto ban...

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

Can you really call it a conservative movement when most of the laws are being proposed by liberal Democrats such as Leland Yee?

Pwnage of Empires Xbox 360 Indie RTS

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

The sin tax proposals we keep seeing are evidence enough of that.

Re: Editorial Hopes Law against “Poison” Games Sets ...

Not to mention that they ALREADY can't "create anything they want and, with a suitable rating level assigned, sell it accordingly" -- good luck selling an AO game.

 
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Papa MidnightOh, no problem! Just wanted to let you know that it's what we're discussing. By all means, join in!10/02/2014 - 11:36am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, No problem. In juicy conversations, key points of discussion get pushed off quickly.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoA rather scary censorship. I have known too many people and small companies destroyed by such pressure, so this unnerves me at a pretty personal level.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoMy bad, I always have trouble working out what is going on in shoutbox10/02/2014 - 11:34am
Papa MidnightTo a point stated earlier, it very much is a form of indirect censorship. Rather than engage in rhetoric and debate, one side has instead chosen to cut-off opposing viewpoints at the knees and silence them via destroying their means of income.10/02/2014 - 11:28am
Papa MidnightNeeneko: the topic of Intel's dropping of Gamasutra is indeed part of this very ongoing conversation.10/02/2014 - 11:26am
NeenekoThis can't be good... http://games.slashdot.org/story/14/10/02/1558213/intel-drops-gamasutra-sponsorship-over-controversial-editorials10/02/2014 - 11:25am
Andrew EisenAnd there's also the consideration that the fact that a former IGN editor was one of the people who worked on the game's localization may be unknown (although in this specific case, probably not. Drakes been very visible at events IGN covers).10/02/2014 - 11:24am
Papa MidnightAlso, let's face it: people seem to believe that a conflict of interest can yield only positive coverage. Who is to say that Audrey Drake did not leave on bad terms with IGN (with several bridges burned in their wake)? That could yield negative coverage.10/02/2014 - 11:23am
Papa MidnightThat's a fair question, and it's where things get difficult. While Jose Otero may not have any cause to show favor, Jose's editor may, as may the senior editor (and anyone else involved in the process before it reaches publication).10/02/2014 - 11:21am
Andrew EisenWould such disclosure still be required if Fantasy Life were reviewed by Jose Otero, who wasn't hired by IGN until sometime after Drake left?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
Papa MidnightIn that case, a disclosure might be in order. The problem, of course, is applying it on a case-by-case basis; As EZK said, what's the cut-off?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
E. Zachary KnightAndrew, a disclosure would probably be in order as she likely still has a strong relationship with IGN staff. My follow up question would be "What is the statute of limitations on such a requirement?"10/02/2014 - 11:09am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, my hyperbole was intended to illustrate the difference and similarity between direct censorship and indirect censorship.10/02/2014 - 11:07am
Andrew EisenOpen Question: Former IGN Nintendo editor Audrey Drake now works in the Nintendo Treehouse. Do you think it's important for IGN to disclose this fact in the review of Fantasy Life, a game she worked on? Should IGN recuse itself from reviewing the game?10/02/2014 - 11:07am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, My thoughts on disclosure: http://gamepolitics.com/2014/09/25/what-your-gamergate-wish-list#comment-29598710/02/2014 - 11:02am
Sleaker@EZK - using hyperbole is a bit silly. I'm asking a serious question. Where's the line on disclosure as relates to journalistic involvement in the culture they report on?10/02/2014 - 10:59am
E. Zachary KnightSo a journalist reporting on general gaming news mentions a specific developer and their game involved in said news, and it is suddenly some nefarious conspiracy to hide a conflict of interest. I think someone is reaching for validation.10/02/2014 - 10:53am
Andrew EisenYes, imagine anyone insisting that two utterences of the phrase "Depression Quest creator Zoe Quinn" wasn't influenced by something happening in the future!10/02/2014 - 10:52am
Sleaker@Pap Midnight - So wouldn't it be any journalist writing about general gaming culture would need to disclose any and all links/ties to said general gaming culture to be ethical? Also @EZK to use you're own methodology, I'm still curious on the question10/02/2014 - 10:49am
 

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