A Legal Analysis of Brown v. EMA

July 8, 2011 -

            No doubt everyone has heard the good news out of the Supreme Court last week. Video games are saved from government censorship based on violent content, California’s law prohibiting the sale of violent video games to minors is invalid, good times had by all. This article is for those curious as to the how and why of this outcome, and will take readers through the Court’s principal opinion written by Justice Scalia (which is the governing law and will be used as precedent everywhere in the US from now on) as well as touch on a few points from other opinions penned by other Justices.

 

'Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number' Refused Classification in Australia

January 15, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has been refused classification in Australia, according to this Kotaku Australia report. A report by the Australian Classification Board explains why the game was refused classification, or given an "RC," effectively banning it from being sold in Australia. The scene in question involves implied sexual violence:

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Nudity Restored in iOS Version Of 'Papers, Please'

December 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Apple has decided to allow Lucas Pope's original version of Papers, Please onto the Apple App Store for iPad and iPhone. Earlier in the week Pope said that Apple originally rejected the full version of the game which showed scenes of nude bodies as people went through body scanners. Pope then submitted another version of the game censoring out those scenes, which Apple then approved.

But something has apparently changed Apple's mind.

Apple described the whole situation as simply a "misunderstanding" to Pope.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 125

December 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

If you missed Saturday's live broadcast of Super Podcast Action Committee (Episode 125), you can watch the video replay on YouTube, or download it below. On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss the latest GamePolitics poll ("Will Street Fighter V remain a PS4 exclusive?" - 49:30 mark), if Tekken 7's Lucky Chloe will be removed from western versions of the game (59:49), and how Apple thinks nudity constitutes porn and removes Papers, Please (1:12:46).

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Take-Two President: If you don't like 'GTA V,' don't buy it

December 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Speaking at the BMO Capital Markets 2014 Technology & Digital Media Conference (as chronicled by GII) today, Take-Two president Karl Slatoff said that those pushing to get Grand Theft Auto V banned in Australia should simply not buy the game if they don't like it, not get it banned from store shelves.

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Kmart Australia Joins Target Australia in Pulling 'GTA V' From Stores Shelves

December 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Kmart Australia has joined Target Australia in pulling Grand Theft Auto V from stores shelves in the country. This is not surprising considering that Wesfarmers owns both Kmart Australia and Target Australia. Still, this news is likely disheartening to Take Two, who issued a statement expressing its disappointment in Target yesterday.

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Take-Two CEO Expresses Disappointment in Target Australia's Decision to Remove 'GTA V' From Stores

December 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick has expressed deep disappointment in Target Australia's decision to pull Grad Theft Auto V from its store shelves after an online petition specifically targeted the retailer over stocking the game. That petition on Change.org called for the retailer to pull the game over first-person interactions with sex workers (mostly viewed from YouTube videos showing sex with a prostitute followed by a murder in first-person view).

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Target Australia Pulls 'Grand Theft Auto V' From Store Shelves

December 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

It looks like a Change.org petition has garnered enough attention to get Grand Theft Auto V  pulled off store shelves at one major retailer in Australia, according to a GamesBeat report.

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Report: Activision Using DMCA Takedowns on 'Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare' Cheat and Glitch Videos

November 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this Ars Technica report, Activision is using DMCA takedowns on YouTube videos that tell players how to use glitches and exploits in its latest Call of Duty title, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Over the weekend video network Machinima sent out a tweet warning other YouTube video makers that Activision was cracking down on videos that highlighted possible ways to cheat in Advanced Warfare:

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Advocacy Group Criticizes Games That Exploit Israel-Gaza Conflict

August 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A British advocacy group is criticizing games on Google Play and Facebook that glorify or minimize the tragedies surrounding the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The group, Council for Arab British Understanding, said in a statement to the BBC that these games glorify violence and normalize the conflict.

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'Tropico 5' Banned in Thailand

August 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Gamasutra is reporting (based on this AP report) that the government of Thailand has banned Tropico 5 in the country. Why, you may ask, would they do that? According to the report, the government is worried that people will play the game and be compelled to rebel against the rule of law there.

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'The Evil Within' Edited For Japan, Cut Content to Become DLC

July 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

When Bethesda Softworks releases the horror game The Evil Within in Japan, it will be missing some content. Bethesda had scheduled Shinji Mikami’s upcoming survival-horror game for an August release, but the publishers announced that the game would be delayed until October.

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Apple Pulls Pot Game From App Store

May 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Apple has pulled developer Manitoba Games' app about growing and dealing weed from its App Store. The game, called Weed Firm, was yanked from the Apple App Store because of its depiction of illegal activity, according to the developer. The game revolves around "the vicious and lawless career of Mr. Ted Growing," an expelled botany sophomore who decides to take over a pot growing operation. The goal of the game is to become the biggest pot dealer in town, by growing and selling to a cast of amusing and dangerous characters, all while avoiding the long arm of the law.

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Apple Bans 'HappyPlayTime,' A Game About Female Masturbation

May 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

GamesIndustry International has an excellent article chronicling the plight of a female developer whose game was banned from Apple's App Store for depicting a sexual act. At first blush the game, HappyPlayTime, might sound like pornography, but it's more about education in a fun and entertaining way, according to its creator.

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Bikinis, Shorts and Inter-Gender Touching Banned In Chinese Video Games

May 13, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

A few weeks ago we reported on the copious restrictions China has imposed on video game makers wanting to sell their wares in the country now that the console ban has gone bye-bye.

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The Sims 4 Rated 'Adults-Only' In Russia Because of Same-Sex Relationships

May 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Russia's ratings agency that handles video games has given The Sims 4 an 18+ age rating due to the inclusion of same-sex relationships. The game violates a law that protects children from "information harmful to their health and development."

The Sims Russia Twitter account announced earlier this week that the game had earned the restrictive rating. Previous Sims games released in the region have all been rated T (Teen) or 12+ but a law passed in 2010 is the reason for the more restrictive rating.

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Turtle Rock Community Manager Weighs In On Donald Sterling Situation, Gets Fired

May 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Josh Olin, the community and eSports manager at Evolve developer Turtle Rock Studios, has been fired over tweets he made yesterday in support of embattled LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Olin, who is a former community manager at Treyarch Studios and Riot Games, said on Twitter on Wednesday:

"Here's an unpopular opinion: Donald Sterling has the right as an American to be an old bigot in the security of his own home. He's a victim."

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After 32 Years, Small Massachusetts Town Votes to Lift Arcade Games Ban

May 1, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In 1982 Marshfield, Massachusetts banned coin-operated video games. Over the years many have tried to get the law reversed and failed. But the good news is that Marshfield lifted the long-standing ban this week. On Monday, residents of the small town voted 203-175 to overturn the bylaw and welcome arcade gaming back into town. To put this ban into perspective, that's a 32 year ban on playing arcade games; compared to China's 14 year ban on console games lifted this year. Incredible!

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Report: 'Bravely Default' Banned in Saudi Arabia

April 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this Destructoid blog (from a reader named "Lord Spencer" who lives in Saudi Arabia), the government has banned the Square Enix 3DS game Bravely Default for promoting sexual behavior in children and pedophilia. While it is not at all shocking that the government in this country bans a particular game, the reasoning for the Bravely Default ban is as over-the-top as one can get.

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China Details Copious Restrictions On Video Game Content

April 22, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

China will soon be lifting its ban on video game consoles and while that's certainly a good thing, the Shanghai government just released a comprehensive list of content restrictions for game makers looking to release their products in the Asian state.

On the no-fly list are:

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Report: Russia Proposing Stricter Age Restrictions for Video Games and Web Sites

April 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Voice of Russia reports that Russia may adopt stricter age restrictions for videogames and websites soon. One of the biggest online companies in the region, Mail.Ru, has already begun labeling its games voluntarily. The company has already labeled its games with age restrictions on three of its gaming web portals: Games Mail.Ru and Mini-games Mail.Ru as well as the gaming center for its users. The restrictions are based on ratings standards developed by Russian regulators and European counterpart PEGI.

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Ultimate Gay Fighter To Be Renamed After Legal Pressure

April 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While Handsome Woman Productions would not "name names," it is hinting that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has forced the indie development studio to change the name of its "gay-themed" fighting game, "Ultimate Gay Fighter." The studio said that it would change the name of the game featuring LGBT characters due to what it called "legal pressure from an unnamed mixed martial arts promotional company."

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South Park Co-Creator Not Happy About European Censorship of 'The Stick of Truth'

March 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

South Park co-creator Matt Stone is pretty upset that the European release of the game he helped create with Obsidian Studios, South Park: The Stick of Truth, was censored. In an interview with Metro, Stone expressed his frustration with the removal of seven scenes from the European release that involved abortion and anal probing.

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Comcast Subscribers Still Can't Watch HBO Go on Their PS3s, Roku Devices

March 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While most PS3 owners are finally able to enjoy HBO Go on their favorite console, Comcast customers will have to wait a little longer, and there's no indication when the wait will be over. According to The Verge, Comcast Xfinity subscribers can't yet access HBO Go on the console. Ironically, Comcast is blocking access to a pay channel that is owned by Time Warner Cable, a company it wants to buy.

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PEGI: We Didn't Censor South Park: Stick of Truth

March 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The European video game ratings board PEGI, says that it did not in any way force publisher Ubisoft to cut the content it did from the European version of its new South Park RPG, South Park: Stick of Truth. In fact the ratings body said that it judged the uncut version of the game and gave it an appropriate rating.

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A Closer Look at One Censored Scene in South Park: Stick of Truth

March 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Kotaku shows off a couple of screenshots from the European version of South Park: The Stick of Truth. The screenshots - both of which contain spoilers (so if you don't want this specific plot element revealed to you, don't view it) - show off what happens in the uncensored version of the game versus the European version.

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Chinese Government Bans Video Game Advertising on TV, and in Other Mediums

March 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A change in commercial advertising regulations in China related to video games is in full effect, though as this Kotaku report points out, it is a solution for a problem that doesn't really exist.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 90

March 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about buying level 90 characters in World of Warcraft, a story about a UK mom who complained about her son buying thousands of dollars worth of FIFA DLC, the EU tackling free-to-play games, gay leads in video games, and a tax incentives bill that discriminates against violent video games. Download Episode 90 now: SuperPAC Episode 90 (1 hour, 12 minutes) 83 MB.

NCAC Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest Winners Announced

February 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The winners of the National Coalition Against Censorship's ninth annual Youth Free Expression Project Film Contest have been chosen Winners will be flown into New York City for a screening event and an awards ceremony at the New York Film Academy on March 29. This year's theme, "Video Games in the Crosshairs," is of particular interest to those who love games because it asked contestants to make a video dealing with such issues as gaming, violence, virtual reality, and censorship.

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South Park: Stick of Truth Censored in Europe

February 25, 2014 - GamePolitcs Staff

A number of scenes have been cut from South Park: Stick of Truth to get the game a lower rating in Europe. According to a BT Games report citing a document given to the publication by publisher Ubisoft, at least seven 20-second scenes were removed from the European version of the game.

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Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2015/1/27/7921837/grim-fandango-remastered-interview-double-fine-disney-lucasfilm-sony a interesting read, or listen.01/28/2015 - 5:28pm
Wonderkarpyep. but they werent bebop and rocksteady yet. so technically i'm right :P01/28/2015 - 5:00pm
E. Zachary KnightBebop and Rocksteady have already been introduced in the human forms. They were the duo after Shredder's helmet.01/28/2015 - 4:55pm
Wonderkarpmy only complaint is no bluray boxed season sets yet. WTF Nickelodian!01/28/2015 - 4:42pm
Wonderkarpthe voice acting and story telling quality are awesome. Its like they took everything that was great about the original show, and Batman Animated Series'd it but kept it funny too01/28/2015 - 4:41pm
WonderkarpIts Awesome. Bebop and Rocksteady are going to debut this weekend. The new take is Bebop is a thief while Rocksteady is an arms dealer. took 3 seasons to get them on the show.01/28/2015 - 4:41pm
Goth_SkunkAhh! I see. I'm afraid I'm too invested in Game of Thrones, The Newsroom, The Walking Dead, and Hemlock Grove to notice the new TMNT on TV. :(01/28/2015 - 4:40pm
E. Zachary KnightMy kids love watching the 90's TMNT movies. They love the new TMNT cartoon on Nick. Yet, none of them really enjoyed the the new one.01/28/2015 - 4:39pm
Wonderkarpexecution and if there is a real wanting for something new on the big screen. There is somewhat of a wanting for new Ghostbusters on the big screen, but most people seem to agree that the new film shares little with ghostbusters beyond its original premis01/28/2015 - 4:38pm
Wonderkarpadding homages to classic via good storytelling. The new TMNT movie was just a crappy Bayformers affair that did nothing to develop character, with a mishmash of a story. Nerd Culture can accept new takes on older franchises. It just depends on the01/28/2015 - 4:37pm
Wonderkarpactually, Goth_Skunk, TMNT is a thriving TV show on Nickelodian which has enough old and new storytelling to create a thriving new product. its in its 3rd season and it just gets better as a show. The CGI Show is universally praised for being new yet01/28/2015 - 4:36pm
Goth_SkunkI propose that the new TMNT movie was not about making nostalgic adult nerds smile, but introducing the franchise to a new generation of younger fans. And some of those fans may even be kids of the nerds that grew up with the original TMNT.01/28/2015 - 3:55pm
Goth_Skunk...disservice to the franchise. But when I look at it, I see a franchise fanbase that, the last time anything major happened in the franchise, all its fans were kids. Those kids have now all grown up and are adults.01/28/2015 - 3:54pm
Goth_SkunkRemember how Escapists new EIC was talking about nerd culture being "curmudgeonly?" This ties right into that as well. These people I talked with complained about how the new TMNT wasn't being true to its roots and because of that it was doing a great...01/28/2015 - 3:53pm
Goth_SkunkTake TMNT for example: I recently watched the new movie, and I thought it was decent. But a lot of people I've talked with who grew up in the 80's and 90's on the TV show, the video games, and thecollectible toys all unanimously seem to think it's trash.01/28/2015 - 3:52pm
Goth_SkunkRe: Ghostbusters, I don't care if it's a reboot or a sequel, I'm just happy to see another Ghostbusters movie. But it's fascinating to hear people in our age demographic talk nostalgicly about the things we grew up watching or reading.01/28/2015 - 3:51pm
WonderkarpI have a GBA. I dont need to buy virtual console gba games.01/28/2015 - 3:11pm
MonteI wouldn't care about running emulators on the 3DS if nintendo would just release more virtual console games. There are so many titles they could have up but don't. Seriously, its ridiclous that after 3 years they STILL haven't released GBA titles.01/28/2015 - 3:06pm
Wonderkarphttp://www.gamerevolution.com/news/game-boy-color-games-3ds-browser-exploit-30905 Play Gameboy Color Games on the 3ds using a browser exploit01/28/2015 - 2:39pm
prh99http://io9.com/one-of-our-most-popular-special-effects-originally-came-1682151657 Looks like the 1988 anime, Akira and anime in general has effecting popular culture, at least when it comes to special effects.01/28/2015 - 12:26pm
 

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