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Out of the Blue

Explicit Video Games May Become Illegal (thanks theAntiELVIS) is a story (not too surprisingly illustrated by a GTA3 screenshot) with more details on the proposal by Rep. Joe Baca (D-California) about H.R. 4645 (story), his bill that proposes to "punish retailers who fail to enforce the video games' ratings system — slapping them with fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 and possible jail time for the third offense." The article offers quotes on both sides of the issue, including IDSA president Doug Lowenstein calling the proposed legislation "unconstitutional," going on to say that kids who get their hands on "M" rated games usually do so with their parents' knowledge. The article is uncertain about the chances that this will be ratified: "Baca has rallied 34 members of the House of Representatives to sign the legislation he introduced. But the bill's future is far from clear."

Link of the Day: APESGRAPES. Thanks EvilToast. And some kids actually find clowns scary!
Link of the Day II: Henry Raddick's Amazon Reviews. Thanks Jonathan C. Forster.
Auction of the Day: Capt. Kirk's Bridge Command Chair. Thanks FrogBody.
Wild Science: Is that a phone in your tooth? Thanks Ant.

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65 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 2.
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45. Re: Typical... Jun 19, 2002, 22:07 Ewigekraft23
 
the reason that government needs to do these things is because there is always some idiot out there that would do these things if they weren't illegal...  
--Ewigekraft23
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44. Re: No subject Jun 19, 2002, 22:05 Ewigekraft23
 
right now the ESRB rating system is a joint effort between most of the gaming industry and many retailers that sell video games, it is a privately-owned company and does not have the weight of law, meaning that the Senate (and house) would have to pass a bill to actually make it illegal.  
--Ewigekraft23
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43. No subject Jun 19, 2002, 22:01 Ewigekraft23
 
i did a debate on this very topic, and if you look at the research it does make sense to impose some sort of fine against retailers who sell M-rated games to people under 17.

one senator (you might remember him as al gore's nomination for vice-president) referred to the ESRB rating system as one of the best rating systems in any industry.

there is statistical evidence that violent video games do in fact cause some sort of psychological damage to children (all they've really proven is that it slightly inhibits the ability to learn math in young children), but all of these are very minor and the impact is not proven to be any worse than when watching a violent movie or television show.

but, then again, movies have a rating system that is enforced--somewhat--effectively. several large retailers already enforce the ESRB rating system in their stores: Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Sears, Montgomery Ward, etc. Many other stores are beginning to enforce the system: Electronics Boutique, Best Buy, and whatnot.

The argument that it is "unconstitutional" and that kids that buy M-rated games do so with their parents knowledge. This is bunk; and even if it wasn't it would be a moot point. I myself own many M-rated games: Unreal Tournament, Max Payne, Quake I-III, Soldier of Fortune I and II, Half-Life, and others. My parents, however, thing I waste hours away on my computer playing Homeworld over and over and over. They have no knowledge of what games I play, and have not been able to prevent me from buying any of them.

Even if the law were passed there is nothing saying that a parent cannot go and purchase an M-rated game and allow his child to play it; just as a parent can go and purchase an R-rated movie and allow his child to watch it. The bill only regulates retailers, it doesn't invade into the household.

I, personally, think it makes sense to enforce the ESRB rating system with fines against stores that sell M-rated games to minors. My debate class agreed with my partner and I unanimously, as well.
 
--Ewigekraft23
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42. Re: California? Jun 19, 2002, 21:27 Bronco
 
Umm you're aware that they do have a Constitution in the UK?

I'm not sure what this has to do with what I wrote. He was asking why the term "Unconstitutional" is bandied about so often in the US. I attempted to answer his question briefly. I'm well aware of the similarities between the two governments. However, there must be differences as Anvil does not understand why people in the States are always throwing that term around.

I know Anvil to be a good, level headed poster. I respect and value his opinions. I've learned quite a bit from him and if I can clarify something from my end I'll try.

Of course I don't know if I'm very successfull or not. I could just be crazy




Bronco
- The poster formerly known as Snappy2Stroke

-- Standing above the crowd,
He had a voice that was strong and loud.
We'll miss him.
This comment was edited on Jun 22, 23:19.
 
Avatar 10139
 
-TPFKAS2S
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41. Re: I agree with #23 Jun 19, 2002, 19:59 House
 
If it's a choice between having to live with an ESRB rating system or living without games entirely, then let there be enforcement of the ESRB. That way the misguided dogooders who wish to blame video games for the evils of society no longer have a crutch to stand on.

You're probably right. Since alcohol is fully regulated, and laws are in place that aim to keep it out of the hands of minors, government and society feel they've done their part. Never mind that it's caused far more suffering and death than illegal drugs or video games.

 
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40. No subject Jun 19, 2002, 19:00 anon@66.32
 
I think Rep. Joe Baca should cut the theatrics and get down to business. I'm sure Liberman wouldn't mind a quick blowjob if Rep. Baca puts on a wig and pretends to be Marilyn Monroe.  
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39. Re: I agree with #23 Jun 19, 2002, 19:00 MammaPJ
 
"Try being a parent and deciding what is appropriate for your child for a change. I've been playing video games (most of them violent in some form of the word) since I was five or six and I sure didn't kill my scholastic peers, nor my colleagues at work. Perhaps you were especially retarded as a child, but I certainly wasn't. I don't want you forcing your child's retardation on mine."

Let me start this as saying I play violent video games since I was in middle school. Mortal Kombat was the first game that really started this whole thing about violence in video games debate.

First off, both you and I were one of the ones that violent video games didn't effect. However, that does not mean that violent video games don't have a psychological effect on people. Studies are at this point inconclusive. I therefore fall back on my own personal experiences. Do violent video games psychologically effect me? Hell, yes! Increased hormonal activity, increased feelings of aggression, etc. Similar to watching an engrossing action movie, or book, or fast paced music.

The simple fact is that these things CAN effect people psychologically. The younger people are, the more likely they can be influenced to a mentally imbalanced state. We put strict ratings on movies, yet people don't see a problem with that. We put warning labels on pornographic books, no problem there. Why should video games be any different?

The problems with this were compounded since World War II when women became bread winners by working. Without them at home to constantly monitor their children, guess what? Crime rates among youth skyrocketed. Academic achievement decreased. The messages in art changed to more provokative themes, including a larger amount of sexuality, discussions of illegal drug use, violence, etc. It happened with movies, music (Elvis in the 1950's, Beattles in the 60's, the heavy metal bands of the 1970's like Kiss, Rolling Stones, Zepplin, 1980s with Motley Crew, Metallica, Poison, gangsta rap continuing through today with Eminem, the "alternative" rock bands, etc), books, etc. Guess who buys most of this music? Kids and teenagers!

I'm not out to slam these artists. I like or did like most of them up there listed at some point, but that doesn't change the fact that I would be very distrubed to have my thirteen year old son/daughter listening to Eminem, watching Eyes Wide Shut, reading Hustler, or, you guessed it, playing a graphic video game. Most 13-year-olds are NOT ready to do that. I should keep an eye on them, and know what they're into, but it still bothers me to think that a 13 year old could walk into a store, and purchase any of those items.

Are you with your kid 24/7? The answer by most Americans is an emphatic no. With women and men working, and with increasing single parent homes these days, it's impossible to monitor kids remotely close to 24/7. In fact, most surveys show that most parents don't spend one hour a day with their kids. Some of this is by lifestyle choices; some is by necessity, usually socially and/or economically.

So what do we do? Say the government shouldn't try to help regulate what gets into the hands of our children? If not, then who? And before you slam other families, remember that this is reality. Reality is parents DON'T monitor their kids closely. Now that may not make your kid go nuts and go on a killing spree, use illegal drugs, etc etc etc. You want to say that all this isn't a factor in why some kids do?! Your kid doesn't have to go nuts to be effected by this; the kid with the gun has a lot of bullets.

"Try being a parent and deciding what is appropriate for your child for a change. I've been playing video games (most of them violent in some form of the word) since I was five or six and I sure didn't kill my scholastic peers, nor my colleagues at work. Perhaps you were especially retarded as a child, but I certainly wasn't.

"I don't want you forcing your child's retardation on mine."

This law isn't doing that. It's making sure you as the parent can regulate what your kid gets his or her hands on. If yoo want your kid to play these games, watch these movies, listen to this music, read this book, so be it! They just can't buy it themselves.

 
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38. Re: I agree with #23 Jun 19, 2002, 18:35 Dr.Haggard
 
#30 & #34:
OK, now this is getting a little out of hand here chaps. My opinion of Doug's actions based on what he said initially was that it was an irresponsible thing to do, and I felt strongly enough about that to say so. I'm fine with his reaction, and perfectly happy to respond, but I take great offense at being called brain dead by a complete stranger.

I think perhaps my brief post gave the wrong impression, but nevertheless you are both jumping to conclusions like there's no tomorrow.

Funnily enough the way I bring my daughter up could hardly be further from the conventional, conservative, dogmatic approach you've assumed, and reading between the lines of your posts the directly contrasting approach (where computer games are concerned) that you seem to be promoting is no less blinkered than the former.

I've played computer games for many many years, but (I guess luckily for my parents) graphic violence, swearing and all the other controversial themes we now see regularly in games are really only a recent trend (in the mainstream at least) of the last decade or so (or at least since games have become more sophisticated they've become more mature).

Now, I'm perfectly happy with all this. We all find an indescribable, base satisfaction in using realistically rendered virtual guns to blow virtual people, aliens and whatever to bloody pieces. Fine, we should be allowed to, and any suggestion that such things might influence normal balanced people adults to do the same in real life is just nonsense.

See? We appear to agree here.

However, personally I think every action one takes or word one says as a parent is incredibly important and should be considered not just in terms of what is right and wrong, since as we're all aware there are very few things that are black and white, but also in a more philosophical sense (for want of a better word).
I am perfectly happy to let my 10 year old daughter read some books, watch some TV programs and yes play some games that more 'conservative' or traditional parents might consider inappropriate for a child of her age (she devours books at a frightening rate, but actually she wouldn't want to read a book that wasn't aimed at her age group, or teenagers at most).
But I know she is intelligent and worldly enough to understand what the real value or meaning of those things are and what should be taken with a pinch of salt, if you see what I mean.

Nevertheless I draw the line at some things, particularly movies and games which are intended for adult audiences, since there comes a point where I do not want her to be subjected to the kind of things many of us adults (with our more refined perspective, experience, morality etc) consider to be entertainment.

She may be wise beyond her years, mature and with a very sophisticated sense of humour for her age, but nevertheles she is only a 10 year old, and there are some things (no lots of things) I don't want her to be subjected to.

This comment was edited on Jun 19, 19:10.
 
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37. Re: I agree with #23 Jun 19, 2002, 18:13 anon@209.157
 
"Except when enforcement fails to 1. result in lower criminal behavior and 2. reduce the sales to minors, their next step will be to tighten the controls of the content."

This is more insidious than that, because they don't have any numbers on sales to minors. In fact, the statistics they do have (which are woefully inadequate) suggest that it's adults buying the violent games, not minors.

The politicians pushing these bills don't see any evidence of substantial violent game sales to minors. But they see good political capital with their "think of the children!" rhetoric.
 
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36. Re: I agree with #23 Jun 19, 2002, 18:07 drfeces
 
crispy said: " If it's a choice between having to live with an ESRB rating system or living without games entirely, then let there be enforcement of the ESRB. That way the misguided dogooders who wish to blame video games for the evils of society no longer have a crutch to stand on."

Yeah right, that has really worked for the 40 year old "war on drugs". Street drugs are banned but plenty of ppl in the gov or otherwise still blame them for society's ills.


 
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35. Re: No subject Jun 19, 2002, 17:52 Hump
 
#17 ahh ok...thanks for clearing that up

 
Avatar 10137
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Both the “left” and the “right” pretend they have the answer, but they are mere flippers on the same thalidomide baby, and the truth is that neither side has a clue."

- Jim Goad
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34. Re: I agree with #23 Jun 19, 2002, 16:53 anon@24.50
 
Except when enforcement fails to 1. result in lower criminal behavior and 2. reduce the sales to minors, their next step will be to tighten the controls of the content.

There'll be large interstate lawsuits against game publishers, claiming they target minors, and all of this other retarded shit the Government uses to squeeze more money out of businesses to pay for their failing medicaid programs and schools. Meanwhile the politicians that used the laws to get reelected by their braindead constituents (people like Dr. Haggard) will focus on the next way of campaigning on removing evil from our vulnerable youth.

Try being a parent and deciding what is appropriate for your child for a change. I've been playing video games (most of them violent in some form of the word) since I was five or six and I sure didn't kill my scholastic peers, nor my colleagues at work. Perhaps you were especially retarded as a child, but I certainly wasn't. I don't want you forcing your child's retardation on mine.
 
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33. Re: No subject Jun 19, 2002, 16:51 dougp
 
Hey I know! Let's just get rid of all the laws and hope everybody does the "right" thing. But what does "right" mean now?

There's a bit of a difference here. We're simply talking about some bullshit law banning games with the M rating to be sold to minors like tobacco, alchohol is, etc..

The simple fact is, you can sit down and explain to someone that it is not right to kill someone in real life, but it is in the game.

Doug Patrick
http://www.dougp.com
 
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32. I agree with #23 Jun 19, 2002, 16:36 c r i s p y
 
If it's a choice between having to live with an ESRB rating system or living without games entirely, then let there be enforcement of the ESRB. That way the misguided dogooders who wish to blame video games for the evils of society no longer have a crutch to stand on.




=©=
 
---
Chris.
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31. No subject Jun 19, 2002, 16:28 anon@216.79
 
Hey I know! Let's just get rid of all the laws and hope everybody does the "right" thing. But what does "right" mean now?  
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30. Re: California? Jun 19, 2002, 16:27 dougp
 
Two responses:

1) #4, I was mearly posting something that might happen. I for one don't see anything wrong with GTA3. It's a game, so sue me if I'm one of the few people who can differentiate the pixels on a screen to someone standing in front of me.

2)#7 (DrHaggard), Where do you get off calling me irresponsible? You do NOT know me. So maybe I can say this (I'm assuming you have kids). Take the time out of your so called busy day to sit down and talk to your kid and EXPLAIN the difference of killing a rendered person/object on the screen than assuming people are irresponsible for giving someone a GAME. It is a god damned GAME.

I don't understand where if I give someone a game that they can associate it with doing that action in real life. Maybe I've been playing games too long or something, but the fact is, @ columbine it WASN'T the games that made those kids kill their fellow students & teachers, it was the fact that they were picked on and they were in a state of depression. When you are depressed you think irrationally. Games don't make you depressed, non-social activity with both your peers & family coupled along with being made fun of gets you depressed.

It seems, my two friends, that you have let the media get the best of you and make you think more how the media wants you to, rather than think for yourselves. If you did think for yourselves, you'd realize what I have said is true.

Doug Patrick
http://www.dougp.com
 
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29. Re: What the hell? Jun 19, 2002, 16:22 Bounty
 
I dunno about you but the Blockbuster near me denied me on many occasions when I used to be a minor while trying to rent "R" movies.

Oh, and by the way, NO ONE should be allowed to rent State of Emergency, for the sake of value for your money.

 
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28. Re: What the hell? Jun 19, 2002, 15:54 drfeces
 
Bounty said: "When some psycho kid goes and kills some people and then they find a copy of the first Doom on his computer, the whole video games industry is the problem, and violent games should be outlawed."

Of course violent videogames are the underlying cause of all the worlds problems. The whole WTC bombing was planned during a marathon Doom Deathmatch between Osama and his al queda cronies.

Seriously though, any time congress/house comes up with some new hair-brained law I get nervous. Suppose this stupid law passes. It would be illegal to sell M rated games to minors in the same way it is illegal to sell alcohol/firearms to minors.

What if I have GTA3 in my house and my 7 year old son plays it while I'm away. Would I then be legally responsible for endangering a minor as I would if he got a hold of my guns or my booze?

Why wouldn't a 16 year old be able to purchase State of Emergency but no one would bat an eye if that same 16 year old went into Blockbuster and rented Gladiator or Platoon?

Mr Baca should be focusing himself on Cailfornia's budget and energy crisises instead of trying to sensationally make a name for himself like that sorry twit Leiberman.


 
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27. Re: What the hell? Jun 19, 2002, 15:32 anon@65.162
 
Wait a second! Some whistle blower feels that the legislation to make things right is "unconstitutional" because retarded parents buy their kids M-rated games then bitch when their little angels go murder people because they don't know the difference between fiction and reality.

Has that ever actually HAPPENED? Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold didn't kill because they had fiction and reality mixed up, they killed for the sake of killing.

- Golbez, posting from work
 
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26. Re: What the hell? Jun 19, 2002, 15:32 anon@65.162
 
Wait a second! Some whistle blower feels that the legislation to make things right is "unconstitutional" because retarded parents buy their kids M-rated games then bitch when their little angels go murder people because they don't know the difference between fiction and reality.

Has that ever actually HAPPENED? Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold didn't kill because they had fiction and reality mixed up, they killed for the same of killing.

- Golbez, posting from work
 
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65 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 2.
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