×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

142 comments

So what's the point of having ratings? (2, Insightful)

NMBLNG (1289254) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009233)

So, what's the point of having those ratings in the first place? Aside from letting people know if a game is gruesome or not, there's no real repercussions of young kids getting a hold of 'mature' games.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24009277)

Uh, why do movies have ratings?

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (4, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009317)

ooh ooh...my turn...

Why does food have listed ingredients?

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (4, Insightful)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010439)

Because allergins can lead to severe medical problems?

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (5, Insightful)

jmac1492 (1036880) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010827)

Of course they can. But it's not illegal to sell someone milk, even if they are lactose intolerant. It's the person's responsibility to know they can't handle milk.
I can just hear you asking, "But wait! Kids don't realize that their allergens are bad for them. We currently handle selling video games EXACTLY how we handle selling milk: Making the kids PARENTS responsible for preventing them from getting their hands on things that their parents think are bad for them.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (3, Insightful)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24011131)

Holding parents responsible? Pfft! We can't do THAT now can we?

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (5, Insightful)

xalorous (883991) | more than 5 years ago | (#24012467)

Which is exactly the point. Ultimately parents are responsible for their children, and they should be held accountable.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (0)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009319)

Movies have ratings for two reasons. The first is a guideline for parents to see whether or not a particular movie should be watched by their kids. The second is that it is illegal for a movie theater to allow unaccompanied children into movies with R (or higher) ratings. The games' ratings really only take care of the former. The latter could conceivably be enforced in an arcade, but most games these days are not played in arcades.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (5, Informative)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009363)

This is false. It is not illegal, it contravenes the contract the most movie theaters have in place with the distributor.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (2, Informative)

LoganDzwon (1170459) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009397)

+1 I was just trying how to write his properly. Also, the age of consent is 17 in the movie world.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24010833)

"the age of consent is 17 in the movie world."

Does this mean you won't get charged with statutory rape if the chick is 17 and you were making out in the back row of the cinema?

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010953)

Unless you have sex with her, you're not committing statutory rape.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (2, Insightful)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24011231)

Sex is well defined so I'm gonna call you an idiot. Please don't be offended. Really you're just ignorant and, for that, I don't blame you. "Digital penetration" is one such example where coitus did not occur but is still a violation of various laws. For instance, to take what you said, "Well, she was 4 and we "didn't have sex" so it isn't illegal." (Sorry to pick on you and I'm pretty sure you're probably not a child molester but good luck telling the folks after they've read your last post.)

Correct... (2, Interesting)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010767)

Most people don't realize this, but the whole movie rating system is contractual in nature.

Though the cynics like me will point out that it was done to AVOID stuff like this where the government tries to make it mandatory. Laws and court battles are expensive. Criminal charges are outright crazy, but look at alcohol laws - they didn't want a situation where allowing a minor to see an R rated movie would be a felony.

So they regulate themselves a bit. Besides which, I think that most stores do the same thing with 'adult' video games, so why the big deal?

Then again, we STILL have people who think that prohibition is a good thing, who think that violent video games create violent kids*. Heck, kinda like the hoopla about dungeons & dragons back in the day.

Of course, my parents generally didn't care about the rating system. I was allowed to rent whatever I liked from the rental store, to the point of getting a permission slip from my parents to allow me to rent R rated movies as a young teen. I just had a verbal warning to not get anything from the horror section. Wasn't interested in them anyways.

My opinion, formed from my experiences and those of my friends is that adults under estimate what kids can handle, and over estimate any 'damages'. A kid coming upon a body IRL is probably going to need some counseling. A body on the boob tube isn't the same thing. Especially in a movie, as long as the parent has first verified that the kid knows it's a piece of fiction.

*Statistics, if anything, point out the opposite when it comes to real violence, of the sort that garners criminal charges.

Re:Correct... (3, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#24012153)

And do you know what solves the horror movie stuff?

Going hunting for deer.

When you put either buckshot or a razer-tipped arrow down its gut and watch it writhe in pain before its last breath, you know what terror and horror is... And you were the one that caused it. Chainsaws and fingernail freddy dont scare me. To me, they're boring. Instead, when you shoot arrows or bullets, or catch and skin a fish, you know what life is and how to snuff it out.

I did it when I was 12. I killed animals 3x the size of myself. And watching a deer writhe in pain before you take your pistol (you ALWAYS carry a pistol, even if you have a rifle) and shoot it in the head just does something... Either you like it or abhor it. I could do it if that meant eating or not, but I choose not to.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24009375)

Actually, you're wrong here. It isn't illegal for an unaccompanied child to watch an R rating (at least in my state). It IS standard policy at movie theatres to forbid under 18 viewers of R movies, but it isn't a legal requirement.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010233)

So the only thing ratings do is allow parents to determine whether a film is suitable for their kids?

Sounds good, let's keep it that way.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1)

Acapulco (1289274) | more than 5 years ago | (#24011787)

In Mexico, the ratings are used by movie theatres for access. If you don't show ID you won't get to see the "C" movies (unless of course you look like you are old enough).

And it's actually backed up by law, so, in theory (a very big "in theory"), the state can prosecute those movie theatres that let minors inside a restricted movie.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (4, Insightful)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009305)

So that parents can have some idea of the content in the games they buy their children. And stores can implement policies preventing the sale of violent games to minors independent of the government.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009955)

Wouldn't it be just as easy for the parents to do a little research on the game to figure out of it was right for their kids? OK, it probably wouldn't be just as easy, but the parents could make a much better judgement call if they downloaded the demo, or just went to a few review sites to see what the game was like. Instead of trusting the ratings blindly.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24010007)

Probably true, but having extra information is better than no information even if the ratings aren't the complete picture. Better for a mother dragged into the video game store by her 11-year old son have some idea what he's buying than no idea.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (0, Offtopic)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010025)

This is America, no one's responsible for themselves anymore.

If something doesn't have oversight set up to protect you from yourself, it's only a matter of time before it does.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24010091)

This article is not about parents being fined for buying video games for their kids. It is about kids getting fined for buying video games. The kids are probably buying the games without their parent's consent anyway, so how is the parent supposed to do research. If the parent was fine with the game, they could go into the store and buy it themselves (or with their child). It seems like this is to try to give parents more control over what their kids do. Just like a parent is allowed to give their own kid alcohol in their own house, but the kid is not allowed to buy alcohol for themself. It allows a parent to make the decision what is right and wrong for their kid.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 5 years ago | (#24011929)

They can also decide not to let their kids go to the video game store in the first place.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (5, Insightful)

Thugthrasher (935401) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010211)

That would be a best case scenario. But if you are a parent, and you have 3 children all aged of 12-18 (mine did at one point about 15 years ago, not the mention the 10 year old they had at that point) and the children are all interested in different things, it becomes a nightmare to try to keep track of every individual thing they want. Now, if one of the children is interested in video games, the parent should probably try to keep some handle on what the more popular games out there are, so they can easily make calls if the kid asks "Can I have this game?" However, if kid suddenly asks for "Obscure Game X" the parent might not be able to make an easy call while at the store...it's quite convenient if there are ratings in that situation. If the game is rated "E for everyone" or "T for teen" then the parent should be safe assuming it is an acceptable game for their 15 year old child. However, if the game is rated "M for mature," the parent can THEN say "Well, not right now, let me look into it a bit and I'll decide for you." Again, these are close to ideal parents in this case, but just an example of how ratings are useful, even if there isn't a law governing how games are sold based on ratings.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010303)

No, it wouldn't be just as easy, or even come close to working. Shopping often involves looking at what a store has BEFORE you make a decision. Your method would require the parent to download demos of EVERY game ever produced, so that when they showed up at the store, the parent would already know what each and every game on the shelf is like. This doesn't even bring in the issue of consoles, which would require the parent to go out and rent every single game released so that they would be prepared when their kids decide on it at the store. Demos for consoles are few and far between after all.

Now, you may be suggesting that parents and kids make two trips to the store for any one game purchase. The first one is to see what the store has, and then the parent and kid drive home (to the rental store if it is a console game) and the parent sits down and tries the game that they are considering buying. After the parent has put many many hours into the game to check for inappropriate material, they can then drive back to the store with their kid to make the purchase.

Now, I'm not in favor of censorship in games any more than movies, I know that many people would be horrified at some of the material that I expose my child to, and I am under the opinion that most parents do a crappy job paying attention to what their kids are exposed to, BUT your suggestion is simply unworkable. Generally, the responsible parent, either buys the game and takes it away if they find it objectionable, they try to figure it out based on the information on the box, or a combination of the two.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010327)

It ain't that easy.

Do you remember the Quake ad? Unfortunately I can't find that picture online, but it depicted one of those "ideal families", mommy, daddy, two kids, gathered around the computer, all smiling, the only thing that was missing was some sort of halo around them to make it a poster for some religious group.

Now imagine someone buying Quake based on that ad.

But even aside of ads, it isn't easy to find real information about a game online. If anything, you get opinions, praise and slander alike, but really little info what it's about. You also can't say that you go by producer, there is no studio that produces "only" a certain kind of games. Playing it yourself may also yield no sensible information within a few hours, or at least can't rule out that sooner or later you run into something you don't want your kids to see.

Not to mention that there are few parents who actually play well enough to get far...

So I do see ratings as a good thing to give parents guidelines. What's important, though, is to also note why a game got a certain rating. Why has a game a certain rating? Violence? Sex? Drug use? Language? I think I'm not alone when I say that a PG13 (language) is not the same for me as a PG13 (violence). I laugh at the former, you hear worse on the average schoolyard. I would at least take a look at the latter.

But what stands is that the final arbiter when it comes to what a kid can or can't see is the parents. No state, no government, no "opinion group", no lobbyist, no organisation, no company.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24012593)

"But even aside of ads, it isn't easy to find real information about a game online. If anything, you get opinions, praise and slander alike, but really little info what it's about. You also can't say that you go by producer, there is no studio that produces "only" a certain kind of games. Playing it yourself may also yield no sensible information within a few hours, or at least can't rule out that sooner or later you run into something you don't want your kids to see."

THIS IS JUST SO NOT TRUE. IDIOT!

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (2, Interesting)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010335)

The ratings are a very convenient first step. If it is rated M, I know it is not okay for my daughter; no need to look into it. If it is rated E, I know it is probably okay. I'll still look into it, but being able to "eyeball" and rule out an entire class of games makes life easier. On top of that, once the games are home, it's easier to set clear boundaries. My kid knows that any games rated E that I've allowed in our house are fair game, but that games rated M or whatever are daddy's games.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 5 years ago | (#24011451)

I agree, though I think the ratings are a good thing in that they gave you probably a quick idea as to whether or not you should do the extra work.

If I had kids, I would have no problem with them seeing a 'G' rated movie. If my eight-year-old wanted to go see a 'PG' movie, I might at least check it out, where I wouldn't if my 13-year-old wanted to see it. If my 15-year-old kid wanted to see an 'R' rated movie, I'd want to see whether it was worth going with him.

The ratings system can give you a quick reference. No, it's not perfect and we can all come up with plenty of examples of it's imperfections.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (4, Insightful)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009335)

To provide the customer an objective analysis of things they or the party they are purchasing for may find offensive in the game before purchasing the game in an effort to reduce returns or unsatisfactory feelings arising from the purchase.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010351)

Yeah, I agree. I bought this Barney game and only fond out after buying it that you can't blow off that freak's head. If it had a rating, telling me it is suitable for kids, I could have avoided it!

"objective analysis".. riiight (3)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24011121)

an objective analysis would be putting the game up for download with a survey.

The process for rating games is like that for rating movies.. old curmudgeons get together in a room, and if they see any red pixels it's given an M rating.

They gave PSOGC a teen rating because of "blood". You ran up, killed a monster, and as it died it melted into the floor leaving a very synthetic neon pink "splat" on the ground which looked like nickelodeon's "gak".

Re:"objective analysis".. riiight (4, Informative)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#24011549)

PSOGC

Phantasy Star Online for the Gamecube for those of us left baffled.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009337)

obviously, because you don't _think_of_the_children_, you must be a terrorist. the proper channels have been notified and you will be swarmed by federal agents shortly.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24009859)

I'm sure terrorists think children make fantastic targets. So even they are "thinking of the children".

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (2)

FriendComputer (787127) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009345)

So, what's the point of having those ratings in the first place?

Aside from letting people know if a game is gruesome or not, there's no real repercussions of young kids getting a hold of 'mature' games.

Presumably the repercussions of young kids getting a hold of 'mature' games is that they're punished when their parents find out. Voluntary ratings systems ostensibly exist to inform the consumer about content, not to restrict it. Methods of enforcement are left up to the end users.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009969)

What if a 14 year old buys himself an M rated game for the DS? A kid could easily hide a DS game and never have his parents find out about it. Also, while only playing while outside the house, it would be pretty difficult for his parents to catch him playing.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (0)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010061)

Who cares? I sure as hell don't. Your kid, *your* responsibility.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24010281)

Yeah, I don't want you in my society either?

So who's going to leave?

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010375)

Time to tell your kid about the birds and the bees, or do you want some hentai game to do the job for you? I mean, he could start wondering why his doodle ain't vanishing when it gets hard.

How about a completely radical and novel idea, like... I dunno, preparing kids for the real life instead of trying to shelter them from it?

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010991)

If he's 14, then I really don't care. Personally, by the time a kid is 14, I think we're past any content that's gonna harm him. By that age you're wrapping up the whole parenting gig and getting ready to send them out alone to find out the rest. A video game isn't going to screw them up at that point if they're not already there.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (5, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009351)

So, what's the point of having those ratings in the first place? Aside from letting people know if a game is gruesome or not, there's no real repercussions of young kids getting a hold of 'mature' games.

Well, highlighted IS the reason for the rating system. Although the "people" in question are supposed to be the parents who are supposed to,you know , be parenting their children.

If children are buying these games without parental supervision, then they are already being trusted by their parents to have enough assets available to them to be able to do so. If their children are able to obtain the funds without their parents knowing, then they should be able to realize this when unknown 40$ games appear around the house.

Busy or not, theres correlatable signs to be able to track your childrens actions. And as a parent, no cry of correlation isnt causation will fly as you don't need a warrant to check their room.

Do apologize if you're wrong though.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#24011977)

Hell, when I was younger, I sure didnt ask to get some "mature game". That mark wasnt even around then. You bought/downloaded/copied a game to see if it was good.

Whoops. That Leisure Suit Larry is mature, I guess. Oh well.

These days, people just download what they cant buy. If 16 yr old cant buy said game, just rip it from piratebay. Really, who cares?

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24009413)

Agreed. If you were underage, all you need is an older "friend" (or a parent who lets you buy GTA:SA even after the salesperson informs the parent that its now "A" rated due to the Hot Coffee hack, which I saw happen) and your golden.

Being in Arizona, I don't know of any laws or regulations that prevent the sales of "M" games to minors. All that we have it at the register if a "M" game is scanned, it asks if the buyer is 18. Most of the time sales people don't care or assumes your 18 anyway.

I do think we need to have some regulation regarding "M" games. That regulation I think starts with the parents. I'm tired of hearing all these stories about parents freaking out about violence in video games and such, when they don't watch and understand what their kids are playing in the first place!

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (2, Insightful)

shadylookin (1209874) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009591)

To give parents who don't have time to play video games a general idea of the type of content in them so they can make a somewhat informed decision about whether they want their children to play the game. If nothing else it certainly wasn't made so the government could fine children $25 unconstitutionally.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1)

Strilanc (1077197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009627)

The same reason insulation must display a resistivity value: so the customer knows what the hell they're buying. It might not be illegal to sell mature games to young kids, but it's illegal to put a teen rating on those games (or it should be!).

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009915)

...there's no real repercussions of young kids getting a hold of 'mature' games.

Just because there are no legal repercussions, doesn't mean there are no repercussions. Likewise, if your kids watch an X rated movie, the police don't bust them, but you might ground them. It's the job of the parents to raise kids, not the police.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24010419)

Aside from letting people know if a game is gruesome or not, there's no real repercussions of young kids getting a hold of 'mature' games.

Perhaps that's because there are no real consequences. Children should not be considered programmable devices.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1)

Chees0rz (1194661) | more than 5 years ago | (#24012073)

I remember running into wal-mart 'real quick' to buy Diablo II when I was younger. The cash register reminded the woman to card me, so not only did I have to get my dad from out of the car, but I had to give him the money to give to her (a little extreme). Anyway, my parents never cared what I played because they trusted me, and I was open about it. Kids are either going to sneak it, or they are going to have an open conversation with their parents. Denying kids to go off and purchase whatever they want at least promotes the latter some of the time.

Re:So what's the point of having ratings? (1)

xalorous (883991) | more than 5 years ago | (#24012523)

Ratings are there so that sales clerks and parents can stop children from buying inappropriate items.

In related news.... (1, Funny)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009303)

As the lawyer was leaving he was pulled from his BMW and thrown to the street as a 15 year old told him what for..as he jacked his car and ran over a hooker leaving the garage.

Re:In related news.... (5, Funny)

LoganDzwon (1170459) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009559)

too bad that 15 year didn't have GTA to play. He would have known to have sex with the hooker first.

Re:In related news.... (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#24012515)

too bad that 15 year didn't have GTA to play. He would have known to have sex with the hooker first.

However he did have Larry. That's how he knew to avoid sex with the hooker at all cost.

The money goes to lawyers!!! (1)

lazyDog86 (1191443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009321)

The money goes to the lawyers, not the game companies. That's just not right. Game companies are paragons of virtue. But lawyers, man, they just make me hope that I find an RPG on a rooftop and a couple of handgrenades in an alley so can run them down in the street and frag those lawyers.

Re:The money goes to lawyers!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24009437)

Looking at the size of the legal fees the game companies asked to have the state cover I'd say the state got quite a bargain.

Re:The money goes to lawyers!!! (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 5 years ago | (#24012133)

Of course money doesn't go to the game companies. If they want money, they'll have to go to court and show actual damages -- and since they probably weren't selling M-rated games to minors in the first place, that would be a pretty tall order.

Oh Boy now I'm a babysitter! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24009431)

What about my right to play M-rated games online without prepubescent rants about how my mother is a slut who sleeps with any guy who can pwn her n00b of a son who can't even sploit his way to the 1337 sn1p3r spots? Or listen to little Billy discuss how he discovered the joys of masturbation!

Thanks Minnesota attorney general. You really saved the day, you jackass.

Re:Oh Boy now I'm a babysitter! (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009923)

Hehe. Well, it's the job of the Attorney General to enforce the law. When Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed the law, it was incumbent upon the state's offices to pursue it. Now that the courts have struck it down, those same people should act accordingly, unless they really feel that it's worth pursuing further. In this case, it really isn't. Good for Lori Swanson for recognizing that and not dragging this through the courts further.

Remind me why this feels right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24009663)

Legal-geeks: Why aren't these video games classified as commercial speech? They are envisioned and produced much like hollywood movies.

I can understand when an individual works on a game of their own that it would be classified as free speech. I can't understand how corporate-game-development-sweat-shop output can be other than commercial speech.

Not that I want the game industry to be anything but self-regulated. I'm just curious why the legal system has suprised me and ended up with the right outcome in this case (even down to the paltry lawyer fees!).

Re:Remind me why this feels right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24009735)

I'm afraid you're a bit hazy on the concept of free speech.

No, it does not mean that it's released under the GPL.

Re:Remind me why this feels right (1, Redundant)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010815)

It wouldn't be commercial speech because it is a work of art; it doesn't matter who created it, or what their motivations were. Commercial speech generally consists of things like advertisements, which are more focused on encouraging the audience to engage in some sort of economic activity directly related to the speech.

Anyway, I doubt it would matter. First, the commercial speech doctrine lacks much of a foundation, and the idea of uniquely significant limitations on speech merely because it is commercial in nature may not last much longer, given current trends and weak legal rationales for preserving it. Second, commercial speech is protected under the First Amendment even now, provided that it is not misleading and concerns lawful activity (which, in the case of a game, would be the playing of the game, rather than emulating in real life the things that happen within the game). Such protected speech can only be regulated by the government if there is a substantial government interest in doing so, where the regulation achieves its goal but is no broader than necessary.

Your tax money at work! (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009675)

Realize where that money comes from they're now paying, and what it was being used for in the first place.

Such things affect everyone, no matter how much he doesn't care about games. Or whatever other trivial matter that should be handled by people individually is being made a public issue.

Nannystates aren't just interfering with your privacy and free decision, they also cost a ton of money that could be spent better.

Re:Your tax money at work! (1, Insightful)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009755)

Realize where that money comes from they're now paying, and what it was being used for in the first place.

Such things affect everyone, no matter how much he doesn't care about games. Or whatever other trivial matter that should be handled by people individually is being made a public issue.

Nannystates aren't just interfering with your privacy and free decision, they also cost a ton of money that could be spent better.

Actually, the money was spent very efficiently. It gave Pawlenty national exposure as the good guy fighting evil and protecting the children. And at a very convenient time, just when McCain sewed up the nomination and it became obvious that he might need a more straight party line guy as his VP.

Re:Your tax money at work! (0, Troll)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009827)

Care to tell me what my benefit is?

If anything, it told me that Pawlenty guy wastes my tax money. Now, I don't know him, but should he be a politician, I wouldn't vote for him. What the US needs right now is politicians who can spend money wisely and know where it's put best to help the economy recover.

Re:Your tax money at work! (1)

homer_s (799572) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010259)

What the US needs right now is politicians who can spend money wisely and know where it's put best to help the economy recover.

And how would a politician know "where it's put best to help the economy recover"?
Even if he/she was a good honest person with no special interests pushing him/her in one direction, how would that person have all the necessary information to make a wise decision?
Look at the mess they made with ethanol.

Re:Your tax money at work! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010545)

Of course you can't predict with certainty which projects are "good" for the economy. But it doesn't take a genius to know what kind of projects aren't. Care to tell me what beneficial effect should have come out of this suit?

What this reeks of is a cheap (or rather, not so cheap) attempt to appear hardcore and protective of our kids. Why people consider this a good thing is beyond me. What your kids may or may not do should be first of all your business. That's what parenting is all about. If you don't want to be a parent and take that responsibility, don't have kids.

It's time people realize that they don't only have rights but also responsibilities. Back in my days (write larger, btw, it's hard for us old folks to read that 10pt fonts), that's something we learned early on. Our parents, who deserved that name, made sure we learned that well. You're responsible for your actions. You're responsible for the people you're, well, responsible for. Maybe mandatory military service ain't so bad, it tells you something about taking responsibility. At least I learned a lot about it... but I ramble.

I don't want a politician that tries to take responsibility from me. When you hand over responsibility, you invariably hand over freedom as well. They are linked to each other. With freedom comes responsibility.

Re:Your tax money at work! (1)

homer_s (799572) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010597)

Care to tell me what beneficial effect should have come out of this suit?

What made you think that I thought this suit was a good idea? Really, my response was just to this one statement of yours:

What the US needs right now is politicians who can spend money wisely and know where it's put best to help the economy recover.

And my point was that there is no one person (or a group of people) who can determine which projects are good and what is bad. It takes the collective intelligence of people brought together by the price system and profit signals to determine where to invest and how much.

Here [youtube.com] is Friedman explaining this better than I ever could.

Re:Your tax money at work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24011005)

Yes, military service teaches you that slaughtering strangers gives your nation purpose.

Re:Your tax money at work! (1)

T3Tech (1306739) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010549)

Exactly, had the legislature been doing their job to begin with and not passing laws that fail to pass Constitutional muster, the government wouldn't have wasted thousands of dollars in tax money.
Hmmm.. kinda the same issue with the DC/Heller thing.

Although, more to blame than .gov and the legislators are the people that think .gov is the be-all and end-all arbiter/solver/fixer of societal ills; along with those who vote for elected officials that hold such a nannystate philosophy, if there be such a separate group of people.

Re:Your tax money at work! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24012099)

As stated above, if you get rid of responsibility, you also invariable have to hand over freedoms. Why someone would want to do that is beyond me.

My theory is that people follow this train of thought: "I don't play games/watch $genre/use the internet, so if they regulate it it's fine by me, since I don't have to take care that my kids don't play violent games/watch $genre/get lured by some molester".

So the only solution would be to get more people online, more people to play games, more people to watch porn... If you want a policy to be unpopular, make sure many people support the opposite.

By that logic, though, every smoker should do his best to convince someone to start it... hmm... I gotta rethink that, I guess.

Interesting to see other plaintiffs here: (2, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009733)

Considering that the "Entertainment Software Association" was listed as one plaintiff, it seems that this case was not levied in reality against the "buyers" but against the "sellers" of the software. Well, not actually even the sellers, but people associated with the selling and manufacture.

I am just a silly Slashie, but it seems to be like trying to sue the Motion Picture Association of America [mpaa.org] for when some kids sneak into cinema to watch an M rated movie if they are a few months shy of the age limit. Maybe sue Paramount because some teenage girls ducked in and saw Johnny Depp in Pirates III?

*slap forehead*

Re:Interesting to see other plaintiffs here: (1)

lazyDog86 (1191443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009935)

Ummm...I think that you might be confusing plaintiffs with defendants.

The ESA sued the Minnesota AG, as a proxy for the state. The analogy here would be that this is like being sued by the MPAA. It is my understanding that that is something to be avoided. Perhaps the lesson here is that being sued by the ESA is also to be avoided.

Re:Interesting to see other plaintiffs here: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24012003)

All three of the Pirates of the Carribean movies are PG-13, so by definition any teenage girl would satisfy the age recomendation.

What's needed is a law to lock up the parents (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#24009863)

Why not lock up the parents who allow their offspring to possess "mature" material.

Enforcement of parenting skills would go a lot further than trying to ban everything in sight.

I wonder if the religious do-gooders who started this suit will have to foot the bill personally.

Re:What's needed is a law to lock up the parents (3, Insightful)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010011)

What kind of law is that? One of morale judgment? I'm not going to get started into laws, but the parents are not doing anything illegal. They're making the decision we, the United States, have decided to give them once they have lived for 18 years. We've stated that once you've been alive for 18 years then you are physically and mentally mature enough to understand the situation you make your conscious decision in.

Whether or not that's correct or not is a whole other ball game.

Re:What's needed is a law to lock up the parents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24012079)

Because such a law is just as nanny-state a policy as fining these kids. Either way, it's the government trying to tell parents how to raise their children.

Re:What's needed is a law to lock up the parents (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010427)

Who the heck are you to tell me how to raise my kids and what I may or may not show them?

Me? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#24011629)

I'm the same person who's telling the publishers what they may or may not publish. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Re:What's needed is a law to lock up the parents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24010547)

Enforcement?
No, no, no.
ENCOURAGEMENT of Parenting Skills.

You cannot enforce something that does not exist, but you can encourage it to develop.

-another person who forgot his password...

Re:What's needed is a law to lock up the parents (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#24011803)

If you imprison parents, who's going to watch their kids?

Parents have the right to raise their children any way they want, and stepping back outside of the imagination of morals, it's the point of the more darwinian aspect of intelligent life to leave it to parents to make the decisions they want.

If their children then 'succeed at life', then they're influence may have helped. If their children 'fail at life', then that's just nature taking it's course.

We can't have winners without losers, and worse, we can hardly predict who will be what.

How can one person judge another to do what's right when no one's judged them but themselves?

Does this mean minors can now buy porno, too? (2, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010119)

I mean, there's no provable, causal link between violence and porno either. AND porno has been found, time and time again, to BE protected.

There's something schizophrenic going on here...

Re:Does this mean minors can now buy porno, too? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010461)

Sure it is. For some odd reason it's more acceptable to show how people hurt each other than to show how people pleasure each other.

Don't ask me why. But take the average PG13 action movie, with gunfights, people "dying", explosions... if you showed the same detail in sex, the movie would get an M. If it wasn't outlawed for too extreme display of weird sexual practices in the first place.

I think... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24010371)

I might just institute a no video game rule, or at best, make it something that was played, as a family, on a game night, but not something my kid could turn to as a self-stimulant. Ditto with TV, movies, etc. That way everything could be vetted before it came into my house and more importantly, none of it would become a overwhelming soul-crushing obsession for me and mine that you fucking nerds have with it.

Re:I think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24010393)

Control freak. Your kids will become more obsessed with it because it is "forbidden." Too bad you won't learn that until it's too late.

Re:I think... (1)

CyberData4 (1247268) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010521)

You had me until the last sentence. Keep in mind, you're posting on /. Don't call others nerds in a derogatory fashion, it just reeks of 'pot, kettle, black....'

Film Ratings in the USA are not enforced by law (3, Informative)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 5 years ago | (#24010625)

Every time videogame rating laws come up people ask why they shouldn't be legally enforced the way film ratings are. This is an incorrect assumption.

In the USA films are rated by the MPAA which is a trade association of the film industry, not a government agency. The film ratings are enforced by the MPAA themselves not by law. States or the federal government do not enforce the ratings. There is no state or national law preventing the sale of R-rated films to minors.

This is the same situation as videogame ratings. The games are rated by the industry and enforced by the industry.

Why is this not yet tagged... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24011075)

suddenoutbreakofcommonsense?

I just don't get it . . . (1)

GotGame.com (1315089) | more than 5 years ago | (#24011859)

They mine as well also write a law fining underaged kids who sneak into R movies . . . why they are treating video games any differently from other forms of media is still beyond me o_O

$65k fine? (2, Funny)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 5 years ago | (#24012065)

Why did they bother with a $65k fine? I would have been more impressed if they had made it a $65,535 fine or something.

Re:$65k fine? (1)

swordfishBob (536640) | more than 5 years ago | (#24012097)

Why did they bother with a $65k fine? I would have been more impressed if they had made it a $65,535 fine or something.

But that's only $64k (a dollar less than it, actually), which is clearly less than $65k.

(ducks)

Why (1)

nova.alpha (1287112) | more than 5 years ago | (#24012131)

Why limit people's access to information? This is, like, one of the humanity's worst mistakes. I feel really sad for kids who are nowadays experience ratings, censorship, and parents who don't know any better. *sigh*

so what thats like.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24012537)

3hrs of the lawyers time?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...