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New York Bill Aims To Restrict Games Containing Profanity

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the legislation-versus-parenting dept.

Government 133

GamePolitics notes a new bill out of New York which seeks to prohibit "the sale to minors of certain rated video games containing a rating that reflects content of various degrees of profanity, racist stereotypes or derogatory language, and/or actions toward a specific group of persons." It goes on to say: "These games, containing adult images such as morbid violence, rape, alcohol and illegal drug use, as well as other malicious acts, are not appropriate for children under 18. This legislation will regulate the sale of such games." The full text of the bill is available. It also suggests that children who are exposed to in-game crimes are more likely to participate in real-life crime.

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Monkey (4, Interesting)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479215)

"It also suggests that children who are exposed to in-game crimes are more likely to participate in real-life crime. "

So they think it's monkey see monkey do? They give children far less credit than I thought.

Re:Monkey (1, Informative)

routerl (976394) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479233)

"It also suggests that children who are exposed to in-game crimes are more likely to participate in real-life crime. "

I'm fairly certain there are studies directly contradicting this conclusion. Alas, I'm so bored of hearing this B.S. that I won't even go through the trouble of looking up the reference.

Correlation ... (4, Insightful)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479299)

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson:

CALVIN: [as he's watching a TV show] Graphic violence in the media.
Does it glamorize violence? Sure.
Does it desensitize us to violence? Of course.
Does it help us tolerate violence? You bet.
Does it stunt out empathy for our fellow beings? Heck yes.

Does it CAUSE violence? ... Well, that's hard to prove.

The trick is to ask the right question.

(Credit: Written by a "GR" user on forum message 1008906 in websitetoolbox.com)

Re:Correlation ... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479803)

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson:

CALVIN: [as he's watching a TV show] Graphic violence in the media.

Does it glamorize violence? Sure.

Does it desensitize us to violence? Of course.

Does it help us tolerate violence? You bet.

Does it stunt out empathy for our fellow beings? Heck yes.

Does it CAUSE violence? ... Well, that's hard to prove.

The trick is to ask the right question.

I wouldn't say it does all the things you said. Glamorizing yes as it is something the media does but the rest is how it affects our personalities.

I am 19 years old, played DOOM etc. as a very small kid, began playing a LOT when Operation Flashpoint (a shooter aiming for as much realism as possible) was published when I was 11 or so. I played that game practically daily for three years. Afterwards I have played violent games such as Max Payne, DOOM 3, CS (both 1.6 and source), Battlefield 2, Painkiller, Manhunt, the Punisher... The list goes on. I also watch my fair share of violent movies.

How have I ended up? I am a pacifist, physically disgusted to see any real violence.

Why? Well, I think that my father (a software engineer and a gamer to some extent who also happens to be a pacifist) likely had something to do with how my morals ended up. Much more than any videogame of which I know "THIS ISN'T REAL".

So while my single case is not enough evidence for or against anything, I am sure I am not alone in my situation. So until I see some real evidence that graphic violence in media desensitizes us, stunts our empathy or helps us tolerate violence, I really don't believe it one bit. I guess could believe statistics showing that violent people look for violent media to project themselves into but not the other way around.

Unless you were talking about news of course. I admit that after seeing starving children so many times in the news it might get easier to push it to bury the feelings to some part of your brain and try to not care. I just assumed you referred to video games, movies, etc. when speaking of media.

... is not Causation (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480007)

Parent made a very good point from real life experience. Anyone got mod points to spare?

I am 19 years old... How have I ended up? I am a pacifist, physically disgusted to see any real violence.

Relax. I was merely referring to an old Calvin and Hobbes comic. That comic was good for highlighting Correlation does not imply causation [wikipedia.org] , i.e. some people are over-reacting when they say that violent shows/games cause kids to be violent.

... played DOOM etc. ... Operation Flashpoint ... three years ... Max Payne, DOOM 3, CS (both 1.6 and source), Battlefield 2, Painkiller, Manhunt, the Punisher ... fair share of violent movies ...

Rats! You've out-beat me by at least 10 times! It's only DOOM and CS for me, not even violent movies.

I think you're very sensible, and you have very good family values. If you're reading this, my hat off to you.

Re:Correlation ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26482137)

Me too, 100%.

Dont play manhunt it sux0rs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26482301)

hy

manhunt sux0rz. no, not j/k it really sux. dont play it. also, stupid.

Re:Monkey (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479305)

Yes. I did become a street fighter, after all.

No, wait, I didn't.

I wonder what game of my youth was about going to an office and working for hours and hours until my soul died.

Corporate office environment (3, Funny)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480029)

Weekday Warrior [smu.edu] , about a bored corporate drone struggling against office politics.

RuneScape has lots of resource-gathering activities (fishing, cooking, wood-chopping, etc.) that feels just like work.

Re:Monkey (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480215)

I wonder what game of my youth was about going to an office and working for hours and hours until my soul died.

Not in an office, but Animal Crossing is damn close.

Re:Monkey (1)

RailRide (737108) | more than 5 years ago | (#26481441)

I wonder what game of my youth was about going to an office and working for hours and hours until my soul died

Well it's not from your youth, but there is Five Minutes to Kill Yourself [adultswim.com] , which takes place in an office.

Knock yourself out...

---PCJ

Re:Monkey (2, Funny)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#26481853)

So *that* is why I'm overweight. All that time playing Pac-Man taught me to go around eating everything in sight. Luckily, it taught me not to eat ghosts (unless I find a power pellet first). Oops. Gotta go. Blinky's getting too close.

Re:Monkey (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26481875)

Games haven't made me a violent person, however i do spend quite a bit of time eating funny coloured pills and chasing ghosts....

Re:Monkey (1)

analog_line (465182) | more than 5 years ago | (#26481919)

Everquest?

Grand Thieft Auto (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26482179)

Yes. I did become a street fighter, after all. No, wait, I didn't. I wonder what game of my youth was about going to an office and working for hours and hours until my soul died.

I know a man (a friend's brother) who is in prison for parole violation. The crime he was paroled for? Grand Theift Auto.

AFAIK he never played any video games at all. He told his sister (the aformentioned friend) that he stole cars because he loved cars. When he was on parole having a beer with his sister and me, he was extatic that he had been given a ride in a Lotus. "My life is complete!" I thought "Wow, and people think we nerds are dorky!"

I've played GTA and know hookers, but I've never stlen a car (or anything else) and never shot any of my hooker friends in the face.

More to the story's topic: this law is a bigger joke than my friend's imprisoned brother. I can't understand why legislators keep passing laws they know full well are unconstitutional and won't pass muster in any court. WTF is wrong with people?

Re:Monkey (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479353)

So they think it's monkey see monkey do? They give children far less credit than I thought.

You obviously don't recall the mid to low level hysteria of the 90's.
Beavis & Butthead setting things on fire
Children playing at being Power Rangers
Kids emulating WWF in their backyards
Mortal Kombat
Rap music (2 Live Crew and Jack Thompson is just one example)
etc, etc, etc

And the thing is, there was always a kernel of truth embedded in the media and parental fear mongering. Eventually a few kids did get hurt, a house or two did get set on fire, but it was never nearly as many as the 'omg think of the children' types made it out to seem.

The new millennium has had its share of hysteria too. GTA & Bully are the only two that I can think of off the top of my head, but I'm sure /.ers can give other examples. The 2000s have been less about suppressing depictions of violence and more about repressing sexuality.

Re:Monkey (3, Insightful)

Eerikki (1045026) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479983)

And if there was no Internet or TV some kids would still get hurt, and a house or two would still get set on fire. Children play, accidents happen, but does any modern media really increase the amount of mishaps at all? Somehow I doubt it.

Re:Monkey (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26481871)

Television just allows Darwinism to flourish.

Re:Monkey (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26482405)

Lots of cars were stolen and lots of hookers were murdered long before GTA's programmers were born.

Has the incidence of car theift risen faster than the increase in population? If not there's not even no causation, there isn't even correlation.

Re:Monkey (0, Flamebait)

Alsee (515537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26482997)

Has the incidence of car theift risen faster than the increase in population? If not there's not even no causation, there isn't even correlation.

Lack of correlation does not imply lack of causation.

It is possible that Pac Man and other computer games do cause children to turn into violent homosexual flag-burning atheist rapist crackheads, but that there is some other correlated effect independently reducing (by about the same amount) the rate of violent homosexual flag-burning atheist rapist crackheadism amongst game playing children. Grin.

-

Re:Monkey (1)

harl (84412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26482937)

That's a lie. No one was ever hurt before TV was invented.

Re:Monkey (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480249)

Kids emulating WWF in their backyards

WWF? Isn't that panda wrestling?

Re:Monkey (4, Insightful)

steelcaress (1389111) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480765)

I dunno if it's so much "Kids are going to become violent" as "Kids might not understand the violence." I know people have points of contention with "The A-Team" and "Tom & Jerry" -- those are two shows where very dangerous things have been played with (dynamite, guns), very real things. And what happens? Does anyone die? No. They fly through the air, or get their fur blackened, but nothing shows the viewer what really happens when people get shot, or a grenade explodes underneath them. Did I enjoy watching those shows? Well, I like the A-Team. Do I go out in a black van and shoot up people and blow them up? Only in video games, and mostly I prefer the "carve them up with a sword" variety. I dunno. There is a case, too, where some kid beats his friend's brains out with a baseball bat, because the both of them wanted to know what it was like to be dead. And when they died, they'd come back to life and kill the other one, and each of 'em would know the experience of being dead.

What do they live with? What do they know? One person gets raised a pacifist, the other kid gets taught how to hunt animals for sport. Is either of them likely to be more or less violent? I know my 4 and a half year old is not allowed to play or watch some of the games I play (like GTA). He is not allowed to watch Robot Chicken, Family Guy, South Park, Appleseed, or any of the more mature content cartoons (certainly no violent movies like the Transporter or Bloodrayne). He watches Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles, but I sometimes have to ask myself is it any different from what I don't let him watch? Are the things I let him watch by their very nature sanitizing real violence? I guess that's my question...what determines whether someone turns out one way or another? Whether someone accepts punishment, or grabs a gun and says "close your eyes dad, I have a surprise?"

Re:Monkey (1)

oneTheory (1194569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26483099)

This brings up a great question. What if showing real violence the way it actually happens is actually better for kids than cartoon violence? Because when you toss an explosive at someone in real life (or one of those naughty, violent games) they tend to have very bad things happen to them. But in cartoons and lots of TV like you said they just fly harmlessly across the room, singe their eyebrows, whatever.

For me, I have more respect for the impact of real violence seeing it played out realistically in video games and it only serves to bolster my convictions that violence in real life is not something I want to do.

Re:Monkey (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 5 years ago | (#26481831)

Actually, B&B got some heat after some kid set his house on fire emulating them. After that they didn't run around saying 'fire fire uhhh...fire FIRE FFFFIRE' so much. In one episode butthead even yells at beavis 'you're going to get us in trouble again dumbass' as beavis is toying with another fire rant/whatever.

Granted it was some kid left home alone with matches or a lighter available (I still entirely blame the parents) but there was still some hysteria back then, even if it was less than today.

Re:Monkey (1)

harl (84412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26482691)

Don't forget the mid to low level hysteria of the 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s, 40s, 30s.

It's a combination of factors.

Old people are scared of new things.
A small number of kids do bad things and make the news.
Media sensationalizing the effectively zero cases that happen.

Stop and think about how many people have been killed by people emulating wresting? I can only recall one or two, ever. How many video game deaths? Orders of magnitude more die from lighting each year. Then let's step it up a notch and look at how many die from cars. 40 or 50 thousand a year in the states. We have some fucked up priorities.

Also don't forget NY tried this once already and was beat the fuck down by the courts immediately.

Re:Monkey (3, Funny)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26481069)

I'm getting rock band for my son tomorrow... Daddy's got a new retirement plan. If that fails, I can always get the next one GTA.

Re:Monkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26481127)

So they think it's monkey see monkey do?

Who you calling a monkey white boy? [ebaumsworld.com]

Re:Monkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26481357)

Well - after *they* watched so many episodes of Bugs-Bunny and Road-Runner, they've done some wacky and occasionally ridiculously stupid things - so maybe it is monkey see, monkey do - for them...

Excellent News (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26481369)

Have you people been living under a rock?

Government restrictions on games is good now. What a bunch of racists you people must be.

Re:Excellent News (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26481961)

There are no government restrictions on the sale of Games to minors. Currently the age rating system on the boxes is an entirely voluntary system agreed to by the publishers, developers and retail outlets.

It is currently entirely legal for someone to sell GTA4 to a 3 year old child without any fear of prosecution. This law is intended to change that situation.

Re:Excellent News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26482865)

Racist and stupid is no way to go through life.

When will they learn? (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479249)

How many of these laws have to get struck down, with court fees awarded to the plaintiffs challenging them, before legislatures will decide that it's just not worth it to pass them?

Re:When will they learn? (1, Interesting)

pijokela (462279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479335)

I guess you didn't read even the blurb about the bill? Now, I guess the real bill could contain anything, but the blurb made it seem like it would make it illegal to sell games rated for adults to kids.

This is a good thing. This allows parents to better control what games their children play. Then it's up to the parents to actually do that.

Re:When will they learn? (5, Insightful)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479355)

Another way would be if parents actually played the game first. Then decided based on their own childs maturity level.

I just bought Guitar Hero: Aerosmith it had a M rating (15 +) due to maybe a couple of cursae words in the lyrics. Would I let my six year old son play it. You damn right I would. My son has made it out of the house and has heard these words. He knows better than to repeat them. There is no way I can prevent him from hearing curse words, its not even remotely imaginable. The rating system is a farce, and poeple who practice parenting know this. People who don't practice parenting shouldn't be parents, sadly this isn't the case.

Re:When will they learn? (1)

TuaAmin13 (1359435) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480335)

I agree that the rating system does put some sort of (increasingly arbitrary) rating on games today. It's good for parents who are interested in what their children are playing without requiring them to know a lot about the upcoming games. (Mild violence, that's fine. Comic mischief? He sees that watching Nickelodeon.

For parents who couldn't care less about raising their children, the ratings system is to blame for all their incompetence.

Re:When will they learn? (1)

Kamots (321174) | more than 5 years ago | (#26481245)

I'm guessing that you're unaware that the bills that Raul654 is referring to attempted to do... the exact same thing? Bills attempting to do exactly this have been struck down multiple times now, with court costs awarded. Why do you feel that this situation is any different?

Are you also in favor of making the sale of R-rated movies to minors illegal? How about books that deal with violence? Batman comics?

Parents can already control what thier kids play, it's called be a parent.

Re:When will they learn? (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 5 years ago | (#26482023)

How about books that deal with violence?

A very good point. Classic literature is filled with violence and worse. Heck, we read Cantebury Tales in high school and that's filled with Bad Things. Should we ban or burn books while we're at it?

Besides, making cigarette sales to minors illegal certainly hasn't eliminated that issue...and they're a physical consumable. A video game otoh is a much less frequent purchase, can be shared among people (not legally but...) and p2p entirely bypasses the restrictions anyhow.

So maybe instead they should just ask parents to parent.

Re:When will they learn? (1)

oneTheory (1194569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26483153)

So maybe instead they should just ask parents to parent.

That's just crazy talk.

Re:When will they learn? (1)

CrashPoint (564165) | more than 5 years ago | (#26482899)

This allows parents to better control what games their children play.

No it doesn't. That's impossible, because parents already have that control. These ill-conceived laws provide them with nothing but a convenience to which they are not entitled.

phew (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479287)

Well, I'm reassured to see that they are really working on solving the major problems of the world.

  Oh wait..

Experts? (3, Interesting)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479333)

Do they even ask the opinion of experts like paedopsychatrists or anything before writing such laws?

Re:Experts? (1)

RolfRomeo (1147303) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479359)

They will only end up saying that playing violent games is a sign of oppressed memories of abuse.

Re:Experts? (2, Funny)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480049)

Ridiculous, why would they ask a bear about video games?

Re:Experts? (1)

One Monkey (1364919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480429)

These are the people who want anyone with anything to do with the prefix "paedo" executed... they don't even realise it has another connotation, so I guess not.

Re:Experts? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480483)

lol, right, more like it didn't even cross their mind to ask the opinion of an expert. If they did you wouldn't have so many senseless and useless laws. It seems more like they thought process is "Hey, let's put a curfew/CCTV there, assuming it'll do anything to reduce crime". I truly think that people who write laws just assume a bunch of shit just because it seems to make sense to them, i.e. "if we teach kids about abstinence then they won't have sex, makes sense to me".

Re:Experts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26481643)

I know that as soon as I learned about having sex, I wanted to have it.

But then again, I'm on slashdot, we know how that turned out, right?

Re:Experts? (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 5 years ago | (#26482065)

Granted the 'experts' often have their own axe to grind. You become an expert when you're capable of making arbitrary data say whatever you want it to :)

Re:Experts? (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480867)

Related story that i thought was hilarious:
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_49785.html

Re:Experts? (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26483047)

Do they even ask the opinion of experts like paedopsychatrists or anything before writing such laws?

Of course they did. They just made sure to ask the right ones.

-

Their job? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479369)

Legislators can't fix real problems, so, isn't this a distraction? Doesn't it make them look like they're doing something, rather than sitting around?

outlawing them will NEVER fix anything (4, Insightful)

crazybit (918023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479485)

but outlawing a game you obtain:

1. for kids the game will instantaneously become 10x cooler to be played, just because it will be harder for them to get their hands on it.

2. if you have never played the game you'll be treated like a dork.

3. the game will be sold in the "black market".

Outlaw next GTA and RockStar will sell even more copies. It's just human nature to desire what we can't easily get.

Re:outlawing them will NEVER fix anything (4, Interesting)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479663)

Why would a minor worry about being unable to buy a game in a store anyway? I'm pretty sure The Pirate Bay doesn't check for age. Legally binding age restrictions on games will increase piracy.

Re:outlawing them will NEVER fix anything (2, Interesting)

dainichi (1181931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479913)

Since when did outlawing anything stop anybody? In my state it is illegal for those under the age of 18 to purchase/use tobacco, or to purchase/use alcohol if under 21. Yet, explain to me how a buddy of mine has been getting cigarettes and booze since he was 12 (without parental permission or approval)? Let's not even talk about the pot. The laws did nothing to stop him from getting that which he wanted. Except for maybe provide a trivial puzzle for him to solve. Ditto for games. All you need to circumvent those systems is a friend that fulfills the age requirements. as the parent said:

I'm pretty sure The Pirate Bay doesn't check for age. Legally binding age restrictions on games will increase piracy.

On the one hand, they have parties trying to reduce pirating, and on the other, we've got parties creating policies that drive user towards piracy.

Re:outlawing them will NEVER fix anything (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 5 years ago | (#26482147)

Actually, one could make the argument that all these laws are actually teaching children to be criminals. And potentially worse: teaching them to disregard laws, disrespect decision makers, and that they're being forced to live by rules they disagree with (perhaps even rightly so).

I don't blame violent video games for making children into criminals - I blame crap like this that desensitizes them to breaking other laws.

Re:outlawing them will NEVER fix anything (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 5 years ago | (#26483405)

Why do you say "and potentially worse"? I consider it a good thing that people are learning not to assume that lawmakers, and others in authority, always know best. Not having one's own criteria by which to measure such things is, to me, clear evidence of an absence of moral development.

Re:outlawing them will NEVER fix anything (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480145)

3. the game will be sold in the "black market".

      Sold? No, the game will be "downloaded" on the black market :)

Re:outlawing them will NEVER fix anything (1, Troll)

Darundal (891860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480607)

RTFA, he isn't trying to have them outlawed, he is trying to make sure that M rated games are sold only to people over 18, which I don't necessarily see as a bad thing.

Re:outlawing them will NEVER fix anything (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26481395)

No kidding. Let us not forget what happened a few years back with that damned "Asses of Fire" movie. I don't want to end up at war with Canada again just because we get all touchy about kids hearing some profanity. You just know the Spears and Lohan families would be the first to die if that mess started up again.

Re:outlawing them will NEVER fix anything (1)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26483397)

It's true. I can't count how many people I've killed and robbed in the persuit of the Sasquach.

Reminds me of "Farmer Bill Dies in House" (2, Interesting)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479521)

This story would be more interesting if it was about a man named William from New York who aimed to put an end to all the game-playing by cursing at people.

OK, let's pretend they have a point for a minute.. (2, Insightful)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479539)

So, let's pretend they have a point... why target games? You could remove every instance of the word "Game" with any other media (Books, Television, Movies, Music, Theater) and it would be the same thing. But no, if they tried to target "Theater" with a bill like this, they'd get laughed out of politics (and rightfully so.)

"Don't trust anyone over 25!"

Re:OK, let's pretend they have a point for a minut (1)

ya really (1257084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479673)

So, let's pretend they have a point... why target games? You could remove every instance of the word "Game" with any other media (Books, Television, Movies, Music, Theater)

They already do this with movies, rated R (where the parent needs to be in the movie with the child for them to watch) and NC-17 (no one under 17 period).

Re:OK, let's pretend they have a point for a minut (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480307)

No, they don't. There is no law anywhere in the US that prevents children from seeing R or NC-17 movies. It is a voluntary restriction enforced by the theaters that show rated movies.

Re:OK, let's pretend they have a point for a minut (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26482135)

Correct, there's no law against a child seeing NC-17 or R movies, but there is a law prohibiting sale of those movies to minors. This proposed law will simply apply the same rules to the sale of games.

Re:OK, let's pretend they have a point for a minut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26483579)

Correct, there's no law against a child seeing NC-17 or R movies, but there is a law prohibiting sale of those movies to minors

[citation needed]

why target games? (1)

crazybit (918023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479749)

because video games are one of devil's little tricks to control children minds!

after, it's all about the children right?

Re:why target games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26481873)

just remember, the mommy senator to end all mommy senators is about to become obama's administrative assistant of the state...err i mean secretary :)

Welcome Nanny Country overlords

Ambiguity (3, Funny)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479569)

When I first read the headline, I thought it meant that New York would use profanity to ban games. That could work.

Don't you dare buy that ****ing game, you ****, or I'll ****ing kill you!

In Nazi germany... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479737)

...they restricted or burned culture too.

These days they declared video games officially as cultural assets.

Google/Translate [google.de]

There you go :D

Re:In Nazi germany... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479947)

Yes, but they also built roads and sponsored innovation.

You can't automatically assume something is bad just because Nazi Germany did it.

Re:In Nazi germany... (1)

silanea (1241518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480561)

You can't automatically assume something is bad just because Nazi Germany did it.

No, but you chose really, really, really bad examples to make your point. The roads were built using cheap or forced labour and basically no machinery, and they were built to allow the german armed forces quick movement across the whole of Germany, in foresight of the two-front war. Quite a lot of KZ detainees were systematically worked to death building our Autobahnen. And virtually any innovation that took place was driven by the military. Some of the gruel experiments that took place in the concentration camps did yield medical insights that post-war medical science used to the benefit of people, and some of the technology that was invented could be put to civilian use, but I don't really consider that a bargain looking at the price tag that came with it.

Sure, if you're fair. (2, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479821)

I'll accept this restriction as long as the same restrictions are placed upon any books and movies that contain "various degrees of profanity, racist stereotypes or derogatory language, and/or actions toward a specific group of persons."

Oh, what, you can't actually do that for other media? What makes you think you can do it for games, then?

Re:Sure, if you're fair. (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479941)

I'll accept this restriction as long as the same restrictions are placed upon any books and movies that contain "various degrees of profanity, racist stereotypes or derogatory language, and/or actions toward a specific group of persons."

Quick, ban the lord of the rings, it portrays all hobbits as short of stature!

Oh, what, you can't actually do that for other media? What makes you think you can do it for games, then?

Because there's a large constituency that don't "care about them new video game things". There's a large constituency of parents who have to work their ass off to put food on the table that they don't have time to parent as well or much as they'd want, and so the kids are often left alone in front of the TV (with or without video games). I can see that they might want someone else to "make the same decisions they would" regarding what their kids are seeing.

I also imagine that a lot of gamers of age at least 18 are quite complacent and while we may squeal here, who of us are going to pick up the torches and pitchforks?

Also, besides "that's how we've always done it", why at age 18? Isn't there a point in people's development, much earlier than 18, where exposure to violence/sex/... typically affects you the same way it affects adults? Wouldn't that be the point at which we can let you be stupid all you want?

Re:Sure, if you're fair. (1)

HBI (604924) | more than 5 years ago | (#26481977)

Not that I support this form of censorship, but those of us a bit older realize that 18 is an arbitrary number picked to avoid the majority of mortalities associated with childhood stupidity, and probably chosen in an age when 35 or 40 was the average lifespan.

People remain stupid kids for far longer than 18, usually. In my case, into my 30s!

Re:Sure, if you're fair. (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 5 years ago | (#26483139)

Or how about just saying 'anyone under 18 can't do jack-squat about these laws that only impact them anyhow' so they get passed.

I really do find it interesting how our government can pass laws specifically for a portion of the population with no legal representation or ability to directly bring a lawsuit and fight. Yes, their PARENTS could do so, but their parents aren't the ones targeted by the law.

I'm not saying which side is right, but our 'protect the children' theme mimics other trends where a portion of the population was deemed unable to care for itself and thus subject to restrictions, modified or lessened civil rights, different punishments...and so on.

So I might have trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26480103)

marketing Phinal Phantasy Phuck You in Albany?

With money comes power (1)

arghnoname (913106) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480549)

The gaming industry is getting pretty massive in terms of the money that goes through their doors. I've sat in on state lobbying meetings and heard spiels about tax dollars and jobs crossing state lines of such and such subsidy isn't maintained.

I've also heard that if such subsidies and favorable laws are maintained, sweetness and buttercream will come, with jobs for constituents and parades for congressmen.

Once the video game industry figures out that this is a pay to play system like telecom, the RIAA, and the studios have (or the studios move to gaming) we'll have less of this kind of legislation.

Wouldn't this mean all online games? (2, Interesting)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480571)

There isn't a day where I play Metal Gear Online 2.0 or Gears of War 2 online where I do not hear someone say 'fuck' or 'shit' or 'dicklicker' using their headset or bluetooth mic or typing those same words into the in-game chat box.

Shouldn't New York State ban all multi-player games that have in-game forms of communication?

But what if they disabled communication in games? What if in Starcraft or any other RTS, the opposing player arranged his buildings to form the word 'cock' ? Shouldn't we ban Starcraft as there is the potential to communicate bad words?

What constitutes profanity? Swear words? Bad words? What is a bad word? Is taking the (fictitious) Lord's name in vain using profanity? I guess that means GOD of War is a DISGUSTING AND INAPPROPRIATE GAME!!!

These lawmakers will not stop until ALL games are banned.

Re:Wouldn't this mean all online games? (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 5 years ago | (#26483239)

Lawmakers just try to appear to be doing something "good" so they'll get re-elected or can expand their political career.

You're not so likely to see a seasoned politician stand up and propose legalizing crack and prostitution because a significant portion of society deems those as "bad" and that same group feels it necessary to impose their beliefs on the rest of us.

What's really funny is the separation of church and state thing. Religion is a set of beliefs that people live by and belief in some higher being. Yet if you don't mention God directly you can still impose religiously founded beliefs on people and it's OK.

The Law we really need (2, Interesting)

wernox1987 (1362105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480629)

I don't mind violence and profanity in games, I just want a software switch the bleeps or turns the profanity off. I just don't see a point in hearing curse words. Yes, as an ex-marine I do realize that real marines curse, however having it in a video game doesn't add realism. Real Marines scratch their junk constantly and talk about girls, sex, and racial sterotypes. Unless you are going all the way with the profanity I don't see the point. Call of Duty WaW comes to mind here, there's an inordinate amount of profanity but there's also a switch to turn it off, however for some stupid, stupid reason, it doesn't work in online play.

Re:The Law we really need (2, Insightful)

CrashPoint (564165) | more than 5 years ago | (#26483217)

That "stupid, stupid reason" would be that the game doesn't know what other people are saying, on account of it not containing neither a sentient AI nor magical fairy dust.

Good luck with that (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480713)

I think Nico would be best to express my thoughts on this project.

"Is everything you say total bullshit?"

Har (1)

ZekoMal (1404259) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480795)

Government poking its' nose in our fun...now that is amusing. "Stop where you are! We think we know how you should have fun!"

Nevermind glorifying war, 24 hour news networks showing us at least a murder a day, TV shows frequently having 'action' scenes and/or rape/sex scenes, movies doing every kind of horrifying thing to people (Hostel, eh?), and, my favorite of all, when they felt the need to take a picture of Saddam's dead sons and slap it on TV for all to see, with a swift 3 second warning that it would be disturbing.

Nope, all violence clearly stems from video games.

Ya know, some games rated E have swearing in them. In fact, most PG movies have swearing in them (so where is the angry picketing for Shrek and his ass?). As for horrific violence, I'm pretty sure every game involves a little (you're either popping someone's head off or you're setting a trap to have the anthro squirrel fall in a hole). Sex is pretty limited, but I do recall Tony Hawk's Underground having some sex hinted at, and that was T for teen.

In short...I think this will be fun. Once you decide one thing is unacceptable, it's hard to draw the line. They'll be stuck on if Super Mario Bros. really causes animal abuse next, and soon every game will emulate us hugging everyone. Now wouldn't that be FUN?

Re:Har (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 5 years ago | (#26483305)

I really love it when there's some kind of teenage sex scandal that includes video (or any other questionable news)...and the news shows run the clips over and over blurring out things but clearly showing what's going on.

OH MY GOD - CAN YOU SEE THIS? SEE IT? LOOK AGAIN, AND AGAIN AND OMG AGAIN!!! IT"S FILTHY, SEE? DON'T YOU SEE RIGHT THERE HOW IT"S TERRIBLE?

No, they don't sensationalize this stuff nearly as much as video games or 'racy' TV...and we won't mention that they're in prime-time TV slots instead of post-10PM.

Damn right! Good on them.... (1)

Fuzzypig (631915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480941)

Film carry certs to try to protect kids, why shouldn't games? Well there's the rub, you see the very word games I'm afraid is the problem.

Soccer Mommy down the local games store, Johnny wants "Shitfaced-Psycho Killer IV" game and mommy knows it's only a computer game so what's the harm? Average Joe thinks games are for kids, they are not. Entertainment comes in many levels, including kiddies, average Wii and DS game and psycho 18/Mature rated, see GTA, Fallout 3, Manhunt, etc.

You want to make a difference? Employ more people like I met in local game store about 6 months ago, when I went to buy a second hand copy of Quake IV. "You know this game is rated 18. Do you have any proof of age, driving license or name and address on a utility bill?". Very well done son. However I am 38 years old and due to fun career in IT support, I look about 5 years older than that!

Re:Damn right! Good on them.... (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26481841)

You want to make a difference? Employ more people like I met in local game store about 6 months ago, when I went to buy a second hand copy of Quake IV. "You know this game is rated 18. Do you have any proof of age, driving license or name and address on a utility bill?". Very well done son. However I am 38 years old and due to fun career in IT support, I look about 5 years older than that!

Do you think they should do the same for printed books?

I hope you have ID for 'Catcher in the Rye'.

In my Day (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 5 years ago | (#26481675)

Back in my day, games didn't have talking characters with digitized voices.

All the profanity and cursing came from the player. And oh boy, did it.

Gordon fucking Ramsay's game's not censored you cu (0, Troll)

Kartoffel (30238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26482319)

I just found out yesterday that there's a Gordon Ramsay <a href="http://www.crispyontheoutside.com/2008/09/15/kitchen-nightmares-the-game/">video game</a>. It's rated T for teen in the US, yet apparently it still has Ramsay's trademark cussing. WTF?

Oh well. The game also includes SCARY CRIME KNIVES so it's probably banned in the UK by default.

asking for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26482387)

well, it certainly wont help the game industry.

if their parents wont by it for them, the next step will be copyright infringement.

Oh, of course! (1)

Akir (878284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26482715)

How stupid of me!

Of course they learn to curse from games! What a fool I was to think that they were learning from their friends!

I wonder (1)

BoneFlower (107640) | more than 5 years ago | (#26482757)

Ok, there are crimes that occur from time to time that are apparently patterned after something that happened in a game. This is pretty solid- it only takes a single verified instance for this to be proven, and it's happened.

So we know that video games can influence crime. The question becomes "In what ways do video games influence crime?"

Are these crimes that would have happened anyways, and the game just influenced how they were commited?

Or do the games inspire commision of the crimes in the first place, crimes that simply wouldn't have happened without the influence of the game?

From what I've seen of various studies I've looked into, none of them seemed capable of distinguishing between these two very different conclusions.

It gets more complex. Say someone plays GTA and decides to kill a prostitute because it was fun in the game, must be fun for real. This seems to fit the latter category, but does it really? Sure, the thought process that lead to the crime started in the game. But it's possible that in the absence of the game, something else would have set him off and he still would have killed someone. In tis case, it would fall under the first category.

Better studies are needed, to distinguish between the crime itself being inspired by the game, and the form of the crime being inspired by the game. It isn't always the simplest distinction to make, but making it will help to determine the best way to deal with the issue.

Re:I wonder (1)

BoneFlower (107640) | more than 5 years ago | (#26482791)

Oh, I should point out another thing that is relevant. Video games influence crime. that much is proven. Assume they figure out the bit I discussed above, there is still another important question.

In what manner do video games cause someone to criminally behave in a certain manner? Does it alter their personality directly? Does it trigger underlying mental problems? Were they simply the victim of horrible parenting?

It's not as simple an issue as either sides hardcore defenders seem to think.

Re:I wonder (1)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 5 years ago | (#26483297)

I'm not convince games influence crime any more than any other media does.

Depending on a person's personality and imagination, they can get just as "involved" in a book, movie, or even a song. Really can we say with any certainty that, for the majority of people, games have any more lasting effect on personality and character traits then any of these other forms of media?

Really, crime and violence have been around long before even books were widely available. I think we may discover one day that increases in violence and crime may have more to do with the ever increasing human population numbers. More people, more violence and crime.

Same Rules (2, Insightful)

PMuse (320639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26483157)

It is increasingly clear that the censorship crowd is using new media formats as an excuse. These new formats don't present a new problem. They should be censored exactly as much as the old formats, neither more nor less.

Physical objects sold--video games, CDs, DVDs, magazines, and books--need only one rule because possession of the object controls access.

Transmitted media--radio, over-the-air-television, cable television, the Internet (including games, music, and video)--need only one rule because possession of the device/account controls access.

We can debate what those rules should be, but this business of slapping stricter rules on new media than we had for old ones is just a sham.

Censorship? (1)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 5 years ago | (#26483225)

After scanning over the article, it seems to me they aren't attempting to ban the games or prohibit them from being made or sold.

This is more about appropriate content for children. In my mind at least, its similar to how DVD movies with a certain rating aren't supposed to be sold to anyone under the age of 18. Everyone else can still purchase copies though.

I'm not saying I agree with the idea that the government has a right to tell us whether each individual child is mature enough or not to handle the content, but this isn't about preventing most people from obtaining the game.

Absolute bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26483381)

Kids don't buy games because they don't have money, parents buy games for their kids because they have money and the kids ask for them. Furthermore, if they're going to try to censor video games by restricting sale, then they should ban most of what's on television for the same reasons they're stating, and for that matter restrict kids from ever going outside their homes because they'll learn to swear and learn violence from their peers, you fucking morons! Growing up I learned every filthy word I know on the streets of suburbia for fuck's sake, what do you THINK they'll learn on the streets of New York (urban, suburbs, or what have you)?

desu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26483469)

>>reflects content of various degrees of profanity

Fuck-off.

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