Michigan Gaming Law Killed

GameDaily BIZ has word on the demise of Michigan's recently passed (story) legislation that made it illegal to sell Mature or Adult rated video games to minors. The law was put on hold by a temporary restraining order shortly before it was to take effect (story), but now has been hit with a permanent injunction on Constitutional grounds, with the presiding judge specifically citing the lack of actual correlation between violent games and actual violence:
Although the federal government is still pushing for the CDC to investigate the effects of all electronic media on children, there is still no evidence of a direct link between violence in video games and real-life violence acted out by kids or teens. Regarding studies cited by the state in support of the bill, Judge Steeh said, "Dr. (Craig) Anderson's studies have not provided any evidence that the relationship between violent video games and aggressive behavior exists... The research not only fails to provide concrete evidence that there is a connection between violent media and aggressive behavior, it also fails to distinguish between video games and other forms of media."

While certain politicians and anti-game activists have also suggested that games are far worse for children than other media because they offer interactive, not passive experiences, the district court once again shot down this notion. "...it could just as easily be said that the interactive element in video games acts as an outlet for minors to vent their violent or aggressive behavior, thereby diminishing the chance they would actually perform such acts in reality....Not only does the Act not materially advance the state's stated interest, but it appears to discriminate against a disfavored 'newcomer' in the world of entertainment media. Thus, 'singling out' the video game industry does not advance the state's alleged goal," concluded Judge Steeh.

Naturally, the ESA couldn't be happier with the court's ruling. The organization also said that it would seek reimbursement from Michigan for its legal fees, a move it also recently took with the state of Illinois.
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21 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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21.
 
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh President
Apr 5, 2006, 21:39
21.
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh President Apr 5, 2006, 21:39
Apr 5, 2006, 21:39
 
Well, I guess we just don't see eye-to-eye, because you aren't looking at my views either.

But at least we tried.

20.
 
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh President
Apr 5, 2006, 19:11
20.
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh President Apr 5, 2006, 19:11
Apr 5, 2006, 19:11
 
Zeph you're looking past my reply again. I said nothing about a retailer selling a minor something illegaly. I said the minor will get a friend to go purchase it for them. I think you are misunderstanding the aim of these laws.

These laws are meant to stop minors from buying M rated games. There is no stipulation that an adult is not allowed to purchase a game for a minor. These laws won't change a thing because most retailers already refuse to sell M rated games to minors. All this law will do is punish them if they slip up or decide to on purpose sell a minor an M rated game.

PARENTS WILL STILL BUY THEIR CHILDREN M RATED GAMES AS THEY HAVE ALWAYS DONE

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19.
 
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh President
Apr 5, 2006, 18:37
19.
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh President Apr 5, 2006, 18:37
Apr 5, 2006, 18:37
 
Yeah, you need to read what I wrote about the alcohol sales from the local 7-11 guy too. He might do it at first, but when he gets caught, and he will, he will never ever do it again. Ever.


In regards to your final statement, I agree with you. They need to find a way to tackle this so that it gets passed.

18.
 
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh President
Apr 5, 2006, 17:11
18.
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh President Apr 5, 2006, 17:11
Apr 5, 2006, 17:11
 
Bad parents & Bad kids is the EXACT REASON that we need a good law to enforce ratings.

Now how is a law concerning sales to minors going to change the fact that dumb parents will still buy their kids M rated games?

You restated what you said before without answering my question. Just as you said you would skirt me at GameStop somehow, why would a law stop you from doing that? I don't know how old you are Zeph but I have a feeling you are equating your experiences at 16 with those of today's 16 year olds. It's much harder to buy an M rated game for those teenagers. And I understand that you think a law will make it even harder for them to get adult games. But it won't... It will remain exactly how it is now. Stores will check ID and kids will be denied purchases, they'll get older friends to make purchases or their own parents.

But that's not even the issue I have with the law... The issue I have is that it's simply unconstitutional and the reasoning behind kids + video games = violence is currently unfounded despite small biased studies.

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17.
 
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh President
Apr 5, 2006, 09:18
17.
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh President Apr 5, 2006, 09:18
Apr 5, 2006, 09:18
 
Sepharo, you make sense.
Sam, you're completely wrong.

The average age of a FPS violent game is 13-35, and mostly made up in the 16-24 bracket.

If I had a 15yr old son that wanted GTA: anything, I'd tell him that at 16, I would begin to look at his maturity level vs. adult material. At 16, I'd talk to him about porn, sex, drugs, alcohol, games, movies, and whatever else he wanted to talk about at a more even eye-level. I'd still be his dad, but I'd begin to be less parental & more advising friend.

At 18, even more so. At 21, all bets are off. So from 22 onward, he would hear man to man advice.

--------

But you know, all that means nothing. At 16, I was old enough to make my own money & buy my own shit. I don't need mommy or daddy, and your gamespot ass isn't gonna stop me from buying anything in that store.

Bad parents & Bad kids is the EXACT REASON that we need a good law to enforce ratings.

And bull, fucking, shit about all the money it would take, blah blah blah. It doesn't cost hundreds of millions of anything. All you do is fine everyone the same way we do with minors purchasing alcohol. Those fines are heavy. How would you like to have a 7-11 paycheck & have to pay a $800 fine because you sold a beer to a 20 year old. YOU CHECK ID & if you didn't before, YOU DO NOW!

16.
 
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh President
Apr 4, 2006, 22:36
16.
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh President Apr 4, 2006, 22:36
Apr 4, 2006, 22:36
 
Thanks Sam you saved me a longer response...

Zeph as someone who worked at GameStop for four years, the rating system has a huge impact on a games sales. Not only would we not sell M rated games without checking ID but I saw parents everyday policing what games their kids were choosing.

"MOM PLEASE PLEASE BUY ME TUROK"
"What's the rating?"
"IT'S EVERYONE"
"Lemme see.... M huh? No this isn't for you"

Shit played out like that everyday in the shop. The problem are the bad parents and I saw them all the time too.

*Mom puts GTA on the counter with young boy in hand*
"Mam are you aware that this game is rated M and is intended to be played by adults?"

#1 "No... honey is this the game you wanted?"
"YEAH YEAH YEAH"
"Well that's what he wants..." *hands money*

#2 "YEAH I'M PAYIN FOR IT AIN'T I?"

Now how is a law concerning sales to minors going to change the fact that dumb parents will still buy their kids M rated games? It won't change a damn thing. It'll get a lot of hype and in a few years everyone will forget about it and it'll be a little addendum to the ESRB*


*sanctioned by US law blah blah blah.

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15.
 
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh President
Apr 4, 2006, 21:34
15.
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh President Apr 4, 2006, 21:34
Apr 4, 2006, 21:34
 
Yay

Why not make it a law? Because there are far more important things to be spending enforcement tax dollars on than this. Wasting tax money to enforce the unenforceable won't help... getting people educated and out of poverty will have a far greater effect on violence reduction, as numerous government studies repeatedly state again and again (but are ignored because that doesn't make good shock-journalism).

#14- You are absolutely wrong. Getting an ESRB rating of M or higher *severely* limits your ability to market and retail a game already and has for years. The rating system is there and has effect, but just like parents who take their young kids to R rated movies (e.g. South Park, it's a cartoon, so it must be for kids!), can be ignored by the irresponsible.

The other real problem we have to make the current generation in political power understand is "video games" != "for kids".


14.
 
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh WIN!
Apr 4, 2006, 19:59
14.
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh WIN! Apr 4, 2006, 19:59
Apr 4, 2006, 19:59
 
It's a fair argument you make Sepharo, but then again it is also one made in error.

There's a great rating system in place, one that's easy to understand
and let's not forget that it is a great ratings system that has never been imposed & which kids understand to be the equivilent of copying the superbowl for later watching. There is simply nothing to the current state that suggests that any company, any government, or any person considers ESRB to be anything but a pathetic joke.

This is why the government is putting pressure on the gaming industry & this is why the gaming industry must respond or find themselves & their precious ESRB under the issuance of laws that will tie their hands & they don't want that.

13.
 
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh WIN!
Apr 4, 2006, 18:09
13.
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh WIN! Apr 4, 2006, 18:09
Apr 4, 2006, 18:09
 
I still find it sad that so many people think "Oh this protects children from M rated games? What a great law."

There's more to it than that. The reason this is getting struck down, and the reason we celebrate that, is because it's a victory for freedom [wow that sounds lame]. The government has no buisness regulating the entertainment industry and it has been policy to allow entertainment to regulate itself alongside strong parental supervision.

There's a great rating system in place, one that's easy to understand and is open to revision and improvement at the same time. Don't bring up Hot Coffee as a failure on the ESRB's part because not only did the ESRB respond accordingly and raise the game to an AO rating but it could not have possibly known about an unaccesible sex scene hidden in code in the game unless Take 2 was totally forthcoming with them which they weren't.

The laws that have been trying to pass regarding regulation video games have so many issues that need to be ironed out before one of them ever becomes close to workable...

How do these laws define violent or mature? Do they do it based on ESRB? Why base a law on a third party? Who does this affect? What are the penalties? Etc. Etc.

Whenever a law is made one must always read it carefully and ask... "How can this be abused?" Because it always will be abused. Feel-good laws have no place in our government. They may sound good, and have a good general purpose but how do they go about accomplishing that purpose and do they adhere to the constitution? The recent string of video game legislation fails these simple questions.

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12.
 
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh WIN!
Apr 4, 2006, 14:03
12.
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh WIN! Apr 4, 2006, 14:03
Apr 4, 2006, 14:03
 
And all the little kiddies scream, YAY!!!!

11.
 
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh WIN!
Apr 4, 2006, 12:23
11.
Re: Judge Steeh fopr teh WIN! Apr 4, 2006, 12:23
Apr 4, 2006, 12:23
 
That's how we do in Michigan Hump...

We have a mix of conservatives and liberals. And not just how most states have it with libs in the cities and csonervatives on the farms, but we have a mix. With some liberals on farms and some conservatives in the city. But all around everyone has that mid-western level-headedness with a twinge of eastern morals.

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10.
 
Judge Steeh fopr teh WIN!
Apr 4, 2006, 10:11
10.
Judge Steeh fopr teh WIN! Apr 4, 2006, 10:11
Apr 4, 2006, 10:11
 
OMG this Judge is a peach. He not only tossed it out on the same grounds that were found in other states but he goes to address one of bigger points of contention and thats comparing games to other forms of entertainment.....he even said it was discriminitory. nice!



----------------------------------------------------------------------
I am a Blues Nazi.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
"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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9.
 
Activist Judge....no doubt!
Apr 4, 2006, 10:01
9.
Activist Judge....no doubt! Apr 4, 2006, 10:01
Apr 4, 2006, 10:01
 
*sarcasam on*

Obviously yet another case of activist judges who dare to think critically about the facts and merits of the case before them, rather then acting as a rubber stamp.

I am outraged!

*sarcasam off*

This comment was edited on Apr 4, 10:02.
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8.
 
Re: No subject
Apr 4, 2006, 08:37
8.
Re: No subject Apr 4, 2006, 08:37
Apr 4, 2006, 08:37
 
Because there are no laws that prohibit minors from accessing violent content in other media. Video games should not be singled out. If they are going to go after violent media, they need to go after all violent media. Make it law to keep minors out of R rated movies(I'd love that). Make it law to keep minors away from music that talks about violence(rap sucks).


This comment was edited on Apr 4, 08:51.
7.
 
Re: No subject
Apr 4, 2006, 08:33
7.
Re: No subject Apr 4, 2006, 08:33
Apr 4, 2006, 08:33
 
Excuse my question but why exactly was this new law bad and why is it good that it has been stopped now?

Was thinking the same thing actually. I mean videos with adult content are out of reach of minors. What's the difference if it's a computer game?

Haven't read the full story yet though, so there may be something I am missing.

6.
 
No subject
Apr 4, 2006, 08:28
6.
No subject Apr 4, 2006, 08:28
Apr 4, 2006, 08:28
 
Excuse my question but why exactly was this new law bad and why is it good that it has been stopped now?

5.
 
No subject
Apr 4, 2006, 03:00
5.
No subject Apr 4, 2006, 03:00
Apr 4, 2006, 03:00
 
craig anderson etc are getting better, actually starting to do studies that take into account criticisms. unfortunately he's been spouting rubbish for years long before he had any evidence. and "aggression" is still far more mild than what people have in mind when they think of the causality.

This comment was edited on Apr 4, 03:00.
4.
 
Re: No subject
Apr 4, 2006, 02:03
4.
Re: No subject Apr 4, 2006, 02:03
Apr 4, 2006, 02:03
 
Good to see that judges who should, also can see most things clearly.
listening to http://www.progulus.com/ a mountain stream of progressive, rock and metal
3.
 
No subject
Apr 4, 2006, 01:45
3.
No subject Apr 4, 2006, 01:45
Apr 4, 2006, 01:45
 
hahahahahah the puns are enbdless. I love it.

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FUNGS 53

Looking to add BF2 members to our clan. Drop a line if interested.
2.
 
No subject
Apr 4, 2006, 00:55
2.
No subject Apr 4, 2006, 00:55
Apr 4, 2006, 00:55
 
Good job, Michigan! Way to shoot it down. ^_^

-Hyatus
"da da da"

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