California Game Bill Signed

Governor Schwarzenegger Signs California Games Bill (thanks Primotech) announces that the bill restricting the sale of violent games to children before the Governator has been signed into law, to take effect on January 1, 2006. Here's a bit:
Governor Schwarzenegger has released an official statement on his action, commenting: "Today I signed legislation to ensure parent involvement in determining which video games are appropriate for their children. The bill I signed will require that violent video games be clearly labeled and not be sold to children under 18 years old. Many of these games are made for adults and choosing games that are appropriate for kids should be a decision made by their parents."

The bill requires warning labels to be placed on violent games. Customers purchasing games with the label would be required to show ID; retailers who either did not check for ID or did not show the labels will be liable for a $1,000 fine per infraction. The stronger punishment written into the bill is a result of a previous effort by Assemblyman Yee to limit sales of violent games, the failure of which Yee believed to be due to a lack of consequences.
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65 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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65.
 
Re: No subject
Oct 12, 2005, 09:25
65.
Re: No subject Oct 12, 2005, 09:25
Oct 12, 2005, 09:25
 
If stores like Wal-Mart (which sell the vast majority of games) are forced to ID people who want to buy mature rated games, they will simply NOT SELL THOSE GAMES.

I doubt it. The Wal-Marts around where I live have been carding for M-rated games for the last year or two. Any M-rated game scanned brought up a message telling the clerk to check IDs, even on the self-checkouts.

64.
 
Re: So...
Oct 10, 2005, 07:41
64.
Re: So... Oct 10, 2005, 07:41
Oct 10, 2005, 07:41
 
No legislation will change that. It's a factor of our no-thought-required, first-world, 21st century life, unfortunately.. if you can't legislate that parents get better at parenting, then you better make it harder for the kids to get their hands on things that require that parental attention.
Nice post, nice childhood

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63.
 
Re: Perfect
Oct 8, 2005, 16:17
63.
Re: Perfect Oct 8, 2005, 16:17
Oct 8, 2005, 16:17
 
Great news because : No more frivolous lawsuits to game developers for kids playing their no-under 18 games. Becuase if some kid is playing it, theres now a LAW against whoever let that kid play it, not against the developer. Walmart, the parents, etc. Not devs.
That attitude is not just naive, it's also dead wrong. Special interest groups and even the states sued the tobacco industry for marketing its products to children even though there were plenty of laws against such sales. Once similar video game laws are in place, expect many similar lawsuits to follow.

Bad news because: Walmart simply won't want that kind of legal liability, and will stop selling these games.
As I wrote below that is bullsh*t. Wal-Mart sells tobacco and cigarettes. It will sell 18+ games too if that becomes the new "M" rating.

This comment was edited on Oct 8, 22:18.
62.
 
Re: No subject
Oct 8, 2005, 16:12
62.
Re: No subject Oct 8, 2005, 16:12
Oct 8, 2005, 16:12
 
If stores like Wal-Mart (which sell the vast majority of games) are forced to ID people who want to buy mature rated games, they will simply NOT SELL THOSE GAMES.
That is bullsh*t. Wal-mart sells cigarettes and alcohol both of which require an ID. Enough said.


61.
 
Perfect
Oct 8, 2005, 14:56
Vek
61.
Perfect Oct 8, 2005, 14:56
Oct 8, 2005, 14:56
Vek
 
This is great news AND bad news for the game industry.

Great news because : No more frivolous lawsuits to game developers for kids playing their no-under 18 games. Becuase if some kid is playing it, theres now a LAW against whoever let that kid play it, not against the developer. Walmart, the parents, etc. Not devs.

Bad news because: Walmart simply won't want that kind of legal liability, and will stop selling these games. Because gamedev is now completely publisher and money driven, and thus largely driven by what large retailers are willing to sell, that means no more of these games will get made.

This comment was edited on Oct 8, 15:00.
60.
 
Re: So...
Oct 8, 2005, 14:41
60.
Re: So... Oct 8, 2005, 14:41
Oct 8, 2005, 14:41
 
a ten year old kid can go into Barnes & Nobles and buy any non-pornographic book/magazine they want. There is a discrepancy there.


This is where I run into trouble with something like this bill... essentially, I agree that some of these products should be restricted to verified "adults", but I think there are huge gaps in our classification of what's appropriate or not..

For example, your ten year old kid could go to the B&N to pick up a copy of American Psycho.. or Tropic of Cancer, or something 'cheerful' by Anne Marie MacDonald, etc. While the clerk might go so far as to raise an eyebrow (if they were even familiar with the works -- most of the time, they're barely out of childhood themselves), as long as the right amount of money makes an appearance, they'll dutifully pack up the books and send the kid on their way..

Now.... .... in many ways, I think that's a good thing.

I was lucky enough to have grown up in the kind of house where if I had brought those books home to read, my father would have sat me down and read them to me. Then there would have been DAYS of discussion about the content, and you bet your ass I would have BEEN TAUGHT about that content and why the author might have felt compelled to produce it.

I'm not just making this up either, at ~12, I pulled a copy of some short fiction by Anais Nin off my parent's bookshelf and began to flip through it.. "'the fullness of her honey pot?' hmmm.. what have we here?" Along comes Dad, plucks it out of my hands, and says "Oh! This is some very fine erotica! .. Know what that is?" I nod my head, thinking "maybe he won't read it to me if he thinks I know already.." "Really? Hmmm... well there's a lot more to it than just sex, you know. Here sit down, let's have a look."

So yeah, I would never have been 'punished' for bringing home a Hustler or something.. I just would have had to read it with the old man! Don't ever make the mistake of having your father read erotica to you, kids. EVER. You will only come to understand it's deeper meaning, and WTF is the point in that

But, yeah.. ultimately I consider myself lucky to have grown up in that kind of environment. Even though it was sometimes embarrassing, the only real taboo in my household was not taking the time to understand or contextualize the 'art' you're exposing yourself to.. Children are EVENTUALLY going to learn about sex and violence, so rather than leave the responsibility of contextualizing those things to strangers, my parents felt quite strongly that it was absolutely their responsibility to teach me about that stuff.. It's really not rocket science; I can't imagine anything more organic..

Sadly, I am aware of how truly rare it is that parents take that point of view. Far too many kids grow up glued to the TV because it keeps 'em quiet and stationary, while their parents vegetate on the sofa right behind them not talking to one another..

No legislation will change that. It's a factor of our no-thought-required, first-world, 21st century life, unfortunately.. if you can't legislate that parents get better at parenting, then you better make it harder for the kids to get their hands on things that require that parental attention.

This bill is still better than no bill; It is by far an imperfect solution, but life is full of those..


There is active parenting and there is passive parenting, and ultimately, it's the passive ones we need to concern ourselves with.. they populate the world with their sociological experiments. There's no telling what kind of moral compass will be guiding their progeny..

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This comment was edited on Oct 8, 14:59.
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59.
 
So...
Oct 8, 2005, 13:16
59.
So... Oct 8, 2005, 13:16
Oct 8, 2005, 13:16
 
...without reading any of this thread, my question is what is deemed sufficiently "violent" to warrant this and how strict/open the enforcement is. If it is just violence, violent actions of any type, that is a wide range of games. In that case, methinks it would have been better to tie it into the rating. I realize the rating is not an official thing, but that woudl be better than nothing and I would be more than willing to opt for an official rating board if it ended all these shenanigans. Lastly, how strict is the ID thing? IE how much of a witch hunt is this? If some sixty year old guy comes in to buy one of these games, will the company still be fined $1,000 for not checking his ID?

Blah blah blah, I think that:

  • It needs to be tied into the rating system. Pick anything - from violence to humor - and any semi-intelligent person can recognize that there is a wide range to it. There does have to be context; it cannot just be a broad, sweeping generalization or categorization.

  • The industry has brought a lot of this on itself. It may have a ratings system, but the awareness and enforcement pales in comparison to that of movies. And, no, I do not think the movie industry does all that much to enforce its rating system. Relatively, though, it does a hell of a lot more than the gaming industry does. I will be nice and not even mention Rockstar. :)

  • Overall, I am for restrictions. I do think some people, most notably those still growing and forming their mental and self-identity structures, need not be exposed to certain things. I admit that I never thought it at the time, but I can now see where I was, frankly, a child in many ways even into my mid or later teen years. There are some inherent flaws with a set age, people are dynamic, but a properly set age limit should, on the whole, average out to work fairly well.

  • Potentially, gaming can be superior to every other media out there, but even with that, I do not think gaming should have a drastically harsh set of restrictions placed upon it, relative to the other media formats. In contrast with how lax the restrictions are enforced (or just placed period) on the other media types, the harsher restrictons on gaming stand out that much more. I am ok with the movie system; I am aware of the stickers and labels on music CDs, though I cannot ever think of a time I have seen them enforaced; and a ten year old kid can go into Barnes & Nobles and buy any non-pornographic book/magazine they want. There is a discrepancy there.

  • Ideally, the government would run one consisten, fair rating and restriction system. Alternately, I guess the industries can be left to regulate themselve, but there should be some way of checking in on them. The biggest thing that nobody (on the legal front) wants to deal with is (a) making it consistent across the board and (b) putting things into context.

  • I do still think gaming needs to grow up. I swear 50% of the industry just never thinks about the larger picture, 40% of the industry still has a maverick, "Do whatever I want" mentality, and maybe 10% of the industry is actually trying, if not necessarily succeeding, to look at the bigger picture.
I sooo do not want to read this thread if it is all bashing.
Glad that I am older than twenty-one :D,
Ray

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58.
 
Re: A bit deeper
Oct 8, 2005, 11:58
58.
Re: A bit deeper Oct 8, 2005, 11:58
Oct 8, 2005, 11:58
 
And you assumed that the retailer sold the game to a minor.

Avatar 12670
57.
 
Re: No subject
Oct 8, 2005, 11:56
57.
Re: No subject Oct 8, 2005, 11:56
Oct 8, 2005, 11:56
 
The problem with this bill is that it *does* make sense. But the underlying effects do not show up in the bill itself.

If stores like Wal-Mart (which sell the vast majority of games) are forced to ID people who want to buy mature rated games, they will simply NOT SELL THOSE GAMES.

What sounds like good commen sense is de facto censorship. If Wal-Mart doesn't sell games under these circumstances (and they've publicly said if they were forced to ID customers that they will avoid selling the games altogether to avoid liability issues) the games won't get made.

Also see: http://www.primotechnology.com/index.php?art=articles/0905/gamebill/page1.htm

56.
 
Re: No subject
Oct 8, 2005, 11:36
56.
Re: No subject Oct 8, 2005, 11:36
Oct 8, 2005, 11:36
 
"And unless i'm mistaken, the parents have valid 18+ ID"

Apparently you've never been to California, lol.

Seriously though, the law makes some sense by having consequences for kids buying something that wasn't for them.

On the other side, singling out just video games is retarded and does absolutely nothing.

55.
 
No subject
Oct 8, 2005, 11:21
55.
No subject Oct 8, 2005, 11:21
Oct 8, 2005, 11:21
 
Customers purchasing games with the label would be required to show ID

This might have been covered earlier in the thread, but i can't be arsed to read all the posts.

Anyway, how will this bill change anything whatsoever? The parents are still going to be the ones buying the game for their underage kids. And unless i'm mistaken, the parents have valid 18+ ID, and it's the parents requesting the purchase from the retailer, so the shop isn't doing anything wrong.

In my mind this is a bullshit piece of legislation. All it does is give the impression that people are taking this issue seriously, but it actually does nothing what so ever to stop kids playing mature games.

54.
 
Restricting Harmful Influences
Oct 8, 2005, 10:47
54.
Restricting Harmful Influences Oct 8, 2005, 10:47
Oct 8, 2005, 10:47
 
I betcha adults drinking alcohol has harmed far more kids then violent games.

Of course these types of laws don't make sense.

And how far do we want to go to restrict all those harmful influences? What nutjobs are going to make the decisions about what is harmful?

53.
 
Re: No subject
Oct 8, 2005, 04:29
53.
Re: No subject Oct 8, 2005, 04:29
Oct 8, 2005, 04:29
 
In the UK it's against the law to sell 18-rated games, movies or magazines to a minor. I have no idea why anyone has a problem with this, unless they're under 18. Honest to God no idea why this isn't already a law in the US. Unconstitutional? Then the Constitution is wrong - so change it like you did every other time.

Aldo 14 (I think) is spot on this will take the wind out of Jack Thompson's sails. It won't stop him but now he can't campaign against publishers and developers, only stores and ISPs (cos we know if you can't buy the game you'll download the "preview" edition.)

52.
 
Re: A bit deeper
Oct 8, 2005, 04:28
52.
Re: A bit deeper Oct 8, 2005, 04:28
Oct 8, 2005, 04:28
 
The bottom line: This type of legislation would be absolutely unnecessary if parents did their job.

As a teacher of 23 years, I have seen time and time again the effects of idiotic parents. Why some of these morons are allowed to breed is criminal ...


But no one wants to blame themselves ...


______________
a.k.a. Oompa Loompa (the orange version)
"I got your last puzzle right here ... Oompa Loompa this bitch!"
This comment was edited on Oct 8, 04:31.
51.
 
No subject
Oct 8, 2005, 04:12
51.
No subject Oct 8, 2005, 04:12
Oct 8, 2005, 04:12
 
No way this will survive a court challenge, Retarded Design has more of a chance to survive a challenge

Its actually the politicains fault for building a society where they serve the dollar, instead of the people.


But I don't get a sense you're listening, so, fuck it, let's go to Hell !
Avatar 1858
50.
 
Re: A bit deeper
Oct 8, 2005, 00:49
50.
Re: A bit deeper Oct 8, 2005, 00:49
Oct 8, 2005, 00:49
 
The bottom line: This type of legislation would be absolutely unnecessary if parents did their job.

As a teacher of 23 years, I have seen time and time again the effects of idiotic parents. Why some of these morons are allowed to breed is criminal ...



-----------------------------------
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49.
 
Re: No subject
Oct 8, 2005, 00:42
49.
Re: No subject Oct 8, 2005, 00:42
Oct 8, 2005, 00:42
 
please Mr. Gubment...i'm too busy drinking a six pack to care what my kids are doing, so can you pass a law to do my job for me."
Actually the thinking is pass a law to protect me from the kids of that lazy bastard and bitch drinking the beer and ignoring their kids.

48.
 
Re: Who the fuck cares
Oct 8, 2005, 00:38
48.
Re: Who the fuck cares Oct 8, 2005, 00:38
Oct 8, 2005, 00:38
 
Sarzy, I'd agree with you if we didn't already have laws in place that prevent minors from buying games rated M anyways. If you arn't 17, then most law abiding stores arn't going to sell an M rated game to you. I was carded about a month ago when I bought a PC game rated M, so clearly stores already take this seriously. EA Games has always been against M rated games, so using them as an example doesn't really prove anything. They are the company who famously decided to not release Thrill Kill because it was deemed too violent. The fact is, this law barely changes anything, except increasing the age by one year, and making harsher punishments for the retailers. Any company that really cared about selling games that people under 17 could buy, would have been already self censoring themeselves years ago. As long as the retailers continue to stock M rated games, the developers will continue to make them. If this law were somehow prohibiting the sale of M rated games in national retailers, THEN I would have a problem with it. Frankly, I don't think a 12 year old should be playing Grand Theft Auto without his/her parent's consent. This law doesn't prohibit minors from playing M rated games, it just make it harder for them to get them. Also, plenty of incredibly violent, sexually explicit R rated movies get released every year, so if you're going to compare this with the film industry then there will still be a plethora of M rated games.

47.
 
Re: A bit deeper
Oct 8, 2005, 00:38
47.
Re: A bit deeper Oct 8, 2005, 00:38
Oct 8, 2005, 00:38
 
Sides how would I know if they even came with a parent, unless I saw the parent?
You looked out the store window or stood in the parking lot and saw the parent in the car which your previous description implied. You wrote nothing about these parents coming inside to buy the game.

This comment was edited on Oct 8, 00:39.
46.
 
Re: No subject
Oct 8, 2005, 00:21
46.
Re: No subject Oct 8, 2005, 00:21
Oct 8, 2005, 00:21
 
lol. forget about public health and services, city planning and so on, just PROTECT ME FROM THE TERRORISTS (home and abroad)

His right about the gov buddy:) The constitution says that the States are suppose to supply the other crap. Its called true history of politics. That Makes sense. The states would know what their people's needs are. So there for your lol is not valid! lol


"Sure your smart!!!Your just not letting anyone know!!?!

This comment was edited on Oct 8, 00:27.
o0
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