Federal Video Game Bill

Variety reports on the Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act, a new Federal bill aimed at penalizing stores that do not check for IDs from purchasers of games rated "M" or "AO" by the ESRB:
Reps. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah) introduced the Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act on Wednesday to ensure that children “can only access age appropriate content without parental permission,” according to Terry.

“The images and themes in some videogames are shocking and troublesome. In some games high scores are often earned by players who commit ‘virtual’ murder, assault and rape,” Terry continued. “Many young children are walking into stores and are able to buy or rent these games without their parents even knowing about it. Many retailers have tried to develop voluntary policies to make sure mature games do not end up in the hands of young kids, but we need to do more to protect our children.”

Bill would require ID checks for purchases of games rated M (mature) or AO (adult only). It would also compel vidgame retailers to post ratings system explanations in the store. Retailers found in violation of either requirement would face a $5,000 civil penalty.

Several state legislatures have enacted similar laws, but each has been struck down by courts on First Amendment challenges.
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78.
 
Absolutely for this bill passing to law
May 10, 2008, 08:59
78.
Absolutely for this bill passing to law May 10, 2008, 08:59
May 10, 2008, 08:59
 
It's about time!

As an adult, there are certain things that I should get to enjoy that little kiddies are not allowed to enjoy.

The less little kiddies in my games, the better my games will be because I won't have to listen to him, have him on my team, see him play, or otherwise notice a completely clueless individual that has not had enough human experience to even play a video game right. I mean, those little children get mad at campers and have all sorts of house rules when they play.

Anyway, no children is a great thing! It's about time. No kids!!!!!!

77.
 
Re: No subject
May 9, 2008, 11:58
77.
Re: No subject May 9, 2008, 11:58
May 9, 2008, 11:58
 
Fallout 2 also let you be a fluffer and pornstar. I highly doubt Fallout 3 will.

That's the problem when anything grows mainstream. It attracts more unwanted attention.

Avatar 20715
76.
 
Re: No subject
May 9, 2008, 07:44
76.
Re: No subject May 9, 2008, 07:44
May 9, 2008, 07:44
 
Fallout 2 had child killing.....you didn't have to do it....but you could.....if you wanted to....

Legislation or no legislation the fact remains that Fallout 3 will most probably not allow child killing.

It will be a weaker game for it....

I have a nifty blue line!
Avatar 46994
75.
 
Re: No subject
May 9, 2008, 03:14
75.
Re: No subject May 9, 2008, 03:14
May 9, 2008, 03:14
 
As if we needed more to prove how foolish this attempt is, according to an article at Next-Gen.biz ( http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10376&Itemid=2 ), games are the most difficult rated-for-adults products for underage people to buy, even without any legal enforcement, as the numbers have steadily plummeted this decade. As usual, Bill Harris has an excellent wrap-up of the news at his blog ( http://dubiousquality.blogspot.com/2008/05/well-isnt-this-interesting.html ). Quoted:
The survey found that 20% of underage teenage shoppers were able to buy M-rated video games, a major improvement from all prior surveys, and down from 42% in 2006.

20%? What was that number in 2000? Oh, yeah--85%.

Here's the progression:
2000--85%
2001--76%
2003--69%
2006--42%
2008--20%
Dead in the water? I think so.

Avatar 19465
74.
 
Re: No subject
May 8, 2008, 22:28
74.
Re: No subject May 8, 2008, 22:28
May 8, 2008, 22:28
 
Mr Tact: Now you're just mincing words so that you can win in this debate. It's not a game. You both have viewpoints and if mature enough, can agree to disagree.

Indeed. I even said so:

It appears that you think it makes sense for it to be constitutional to allow ID checks for tobacco and alcohol (and porn) but it wouldn't be constitutional for games targeted at adults. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree, because that makes no sense to me.

I also agree there is an apparently lack of parenting going on. However, I will take that with a grain of salt since people have seemed to think that certainly for decades, probably for centuries. I recently learned of the "10 cent plague" on NPR. Good thing we intervened and saved our children from that godless horror.

Children need to be protected from some things which we are willing to allow consenting adults partake of. The parents of those children should be the main force of the protection. Our goverment has taken upon themselves to say retailers must assist in doing this for tobacco, alcohol and porn. To paint the line in front of video games and say putting video games on that list is "crossing the line" makes little to no sense to me. I certainly think it's a total joke to call it a first amendment violation.

Anyway, I'm satified with the discussion at this point. Thanks for everyone's participation.


This comment was edited on May 8, 22:32.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
73.
 
Re: No subject
May 8, 2008, 19:52
73.
Re: No subject May 8, 2008, 19:52
May 8, 2008, 19:52
 
Well a few kids saw the movie, and proceeded to recreate the event and one was killed. The scene was removed from movie while it was still in theaters.

Except you're misplacing the fault. The fault is on the parents for letting their kids, who they know to be retarded, watch a movie that could so easily influence them. If you have a kid with mental issues, you shouldn't let them watch movies or play games.

Avatar 20715
72.
 
Re: No subject
May 8, 2008, 19:32
72.
Re: No subject May 8, 2008, 19:32
May 8, 2008, 19:32
 
If this is a way to educate more adults about what their children are playing, I am all for it.
The parent should take the initiative and involve himself/herself in their child's lives. That's what being a responsible parent means.

71.
 
Re: No subject
May 8, 2008, 19:16
71.
Re: No subject May 8, 2008, 19:16
May 8, 2008, 19:16
 
Overon you remember the movie 'The Program'? About a high school football player who goes to college. Well in that movie their was a scene of the football teammates laying in the middle of the road (on the yellow dashes). Well a few kids saw the movie, and proceeded to recreate the event and one was killed. The scene was removed from movie while it was still in theaters.

Anything today can set someone off who has enough mental issues, from Porn, Drugs, Tobacco, Alcohol, Video Games etc.

All this bill is doing is saying 'do your job, and post a sign of the ESRB ratings in your store'. To me personally I see no problems with this. We card for porn, tobacco, alcohol, guns etc, why is a law enforcing stores and retailers to do their job a bad thing?

Parents these days go into a local Gamestop with little Timmy, Timmy shows mommy or daddy a game, Mommy or Daddy takes a passing glance at it and ask 'Is that what you want?', child replies 'YES!', they head up to the cashier and they pull out a form of payment and head home.
Hell I can't tell you the number of children I've listened to on Xbox Live playing the game.

Now granted I don't have kids, but there is no way in hell I would allow my nephew to a rated M game, but the fact is most parents don't know or don't care.
If this is a way to educate more adults about what their children are playing, I am all for it.

Avatar 12670
70.
 
No subject
May 8, 2008, 18:39
70.
No subject May 8, 2008, 18:39
May 8, 2008, 18:39
 
Disregarding obscenity laws, is there a federal law requiring ID for pornographic materials?

Avatar 17249
69.
 
No subject
May 8, 2008, 18:01
69.
No subject May 8, 2008, 18:01
May 8, 2008, 18:01
 
Mr Tact: Now you're just mincing words so that you can win in this debate. It's not a game. You both have viewpoints and if mature enough, can agree to disagree.

And the only reason porn is off limits is due to the puritanical upbringing this country was based on. Should a minor be able to buy it? If the parent agrees with it, then yes. If the parent disagrees with it, then no.

Uh oh. Look like it all comes back to the responsibility of the parent. AGAIN.

68.
 
Re: No subject
May 8, 2008, 17:06
68.
Re: No subject May 8, 2008, 17:06
May 8, 2008, 17:06
 
I had to edited my post so it makes sense to me and is not longer contradictory.

67.
 
Re: No subject
May 8, 2008, 16:57
67.
Re: No subject May 8, 2008, 16:57
May 8, 2008, 16:57
 
How do you reconcile, this comment about the constitutionality of requiring ID for Playboy and Penthouse:

The courts believe that this is constitutional and I agree.

with

Yes, porn and violent video games are in the same category. Both should not require ID to be purchased because both don't do any harm to a minor.

Make up your mind.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
66.
 
Re: No subject
May 8, 2008, 16:19
66.
Re: No subject May 8, 2008, 16:19
May 8, 2008, 16:19
 
So, should or shouldn't be unconstitutional for retailers to have to ID for Playboy and Penthouse (or whatever)? Did I misread this?

Unconstitutional, but no sane politician, judge, or lawyer would dare touch it. Political suicide again.

It should be left to the retailers to enforce or not.

65.
 
Re: No subject
May 8, 2008, 16:18
65.
Re: No subject May 8, 2008, 16:18
May 8, 2008, 16:18
 
and...? So, should or shouldn't be unconstitutional for retailers to have to ID for Playboy and Penthouse (or whatever)?
I think both it's a bad law with no rational justification. However the government is forcing a business to do something that is supposed to protect minors when there is no rational reason to think that minors need to be protected from it at all.

Did I misread this? It seems you just agreed porn and video games are in the same category. Am I misinformed? Can a 12 year old walk into the local bookstore and buy a Penthouse?
Yes porn and violent video games are in the same category. Both should not require ID to be purchased because both don't do any harm to a minor. And no, a 12 year old would not be able to buy penthouse legally.


This comment was edited on May 8, 16:25.
64.
 
Re: No subject
May 8, 2008, 16:08
64.
Re: No subject May 8, 2008, 16:08
May 8, 2008, 16:08
 
Just like video games, porn has no predictable and verifiable health risks to a minor. And by health risks I just don't mean physical health risks but psychological as well. In fact let's say for the moment that violent video games and porn will "warp a minor's mind." I say that it is trivial for a caretaker of a minor to immunize the minor against the "warping" of their mind by porn and violent video games. All a good caretaker all he/she needs communicate the difference between reality and fantasy and talk about porn and violence. It's really quite amazing how well minors respond to frank discussions.

and...? So, it should or shouldn't be unconstitutional for retailers to have to ID for Playboy and Penthouse (or whatever)? Did I misread this? It seems you just agreed porn and video games are in the same category. Am I misinformed? Can a 12 year old walk into the local bookstore and buy a Penthouse?


This comment was edited on May 8, 16:16.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
63.
 
Re: No subject
May 8, 2008, 15:47
63.
Re: No subject May 8, 2008, 15:47
May 8, 2008, 15:47
 
Mr Tact, I never said the word "causal" anywhere. I would use the word "causal" very carefully because it's the strongest statement that can be made. Nevermind causal evidence, there is no correlation evidence for violent video games and real violence in minors. And you need something to correlated before it can ever be casual. Playing violent video games does not make a minor any more likely to be violent.

62.
 
waste of time
May 8, 2008, 15:45
Kxmode
 
62.
waste of time May 8, 2008, 15:45
May 8, 2008, 15:45
 Kxmode
 
ESRB ratings are good enough. Best Buy, Walmart, and other retailers won't sell M rated titles to minors. If the minor is in the presence of an adult they will inform the adult about the title's rating. This is basically a political move to make them look good to their constituents.

-----
http://www.gamemusicjukebox.com/
Game p/reviewer for http://www.gameindustry.com/
"What does Ramen mean? It means Japanese spaghetti."
Avatar 18786
61.
 
Re: No subject
May 8, 2008, 15:35
61.
Re: No subject May 8, 2008, 15:35
May 8, 2008, 15:35
 
Unless I missed it, there is no causal studies showing porn leads to predictable, verifiable negative health risks. We don't allow minors to buy that either.

And anyone trying to get such laws void would be doing the equivalent of political suicide. Most of our porn legistlation has their roots going way back into the 1800s which makes it very difficult to undo since we have been dealing with them for so long. That doesn't make those laws right by any means, and it doesn't justify the current crusades against video games.

Video games are much newer and gets the same protection that has been extended to music, television, film, and books since it is a recognized media for speech (as much as certain parties would tell you otherwise) of which its predicessors have already fought long and hard for their own 1st Amendment protections.

60.
 
Re: No subject
May 8, 2008, 15:31
60.
Re: No subject May 8, 2008, 15:31
May 8, 2008, 15:31
 
From the Variety article:

Reps. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) ..."said he remains optimistic because, unlike the state laws, “This bill doesn’t involve itself in content or defining the standards for ‘mature’ or ‘adults only,’” he told Daily Variety. “It simply requires the retailer to post what the industry has defined as ‘mature’ and ‘adults only’ so that parents can know, and requires checking of identification,” Terry added."

Sounds like they are addressing the previous reasons for previous challenges.
We really should see the actual bill rather than reading variety quotes from one of the sponsers.

This comment was edited on May 8, 15:41.
59.
 
Re: No subject
May 8, 2008, 15:23
59.
Re: No subject May 8, 2008, 15:23
May 8, 2008, 15:23
 
Unless I missed it, there is no causal studies showing porn leads to predictable, verifiable negative health risks. We don't allow minors to buy that either.
Again porn is not in the same category of alcohol and tobacco. Just like video games, porn has no predictable and verifiable health risks to a minor. And by health risks I just don't mean physical health risks but psychological as well. In fact let's say for the moment that violent video games and porn will "warp a minor's mind." I say that it is trivial for a caretaker of a minor to immunize the minor against the "warping" of their mind by porn and violent video games. All a good caretaker all he/she needs communicate the difference between reality and fantasy and talk about porn and violence. It's really quite amazing how well minors respond to frank discussions.
This comment was edited on May 8, 15:26.
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