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Supreme Court To Rule On State Video Game Regulation

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the incrementing-scalia's-frag-count dept.

The Courts 278

DJRumpy sends in this quote from an AP report:"The Supreme Court will decide whether free speech rights are more important than helping parents keep violent material away from children. The justices agreed Monday to consider reinstating California's ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors, a law the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco threw out last year on grounds that it violated minors' constitutional rights. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who signed the law in 2005, said he was pleased the high court would review the appeals court decision. He said, 'We have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions, just as we already do with movies.'" SCOTUSblog has a more thorough legal description of the case.

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Der Gropenfuhrer (0, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#31988962)

All [erosblog.com] heil [spitfirelist.com] Der Gropenfuhrer! [rosi-kessel.org]

Also, fuckin' hypocrite.

Re:Der Gropenfuhrer (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989038)

How come every time a stupid, insane law comes along, the people pushing it are screaming "think of the children"?

Maybe we should require people to get a parenting license before procreating.

No, WE do not have a responsibility (5, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989004)

Parents have a responsibility to be parents and raise their children as they see fit. I do not.

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989068)

Yes, correct. So we should also eliminate the laws that prevent 7-11 from selling them cigarettes, porno mags, and alcohol. It's the parents' responsibility to keep them from getting their hands on stuff like that.

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989148)

Actually...It is!

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989162)

Yes, correct. So we should also eliminate the laws that prevent 7-11 from selling them cigarettes, porno mags, and alcohol. It's the parents' responsibility to keep them from getting their hands on stuff like that.

Believe it or not, society existed before laws against minors consuming alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and viewing pornographic material. I have no problem with someone below the age of 18 enjoying any of those things if they can prove that they are of sound mind to understand:

a. the implications of using said items
b. the short and long term effects of said items

In reality, we all know what prohibition does. Teens still smoke. Teens still drink alcohol. Teens still look at porn. The only differences is, in our world, they are doing it away from the safety and guidance of adults.

Now, I'm not saying that there should be a free pass for anyone to consume these currently prohibited substances... I'm just saying that our current approach clearly isn't working.

Give it some thought.

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989240)

yes because looking at pics of boobies is gonna destroy.....what exactly?

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989282)

Productivity from too much masturbation.

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (3, Funny)

Psmylie (169236) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989320)

Not having a law in no way requires said 7-11 to sell cigarettes, porn or alcohol to minors. Also, there is a minor but very crucial point of there being demonstrably harmful physical effects to two of those items. Or all three, if you include carpal tunnel.

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (2, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989390)

Way off. It's the parents responsibility to be parents when the kids obtain the stuff. Smart people realize no law is going to stop what people consider a civil disobedience at best.

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (2, Interesting)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989874)

Way off. It's the parents responsibility to be parents when the kids obtain the stuff. Smart people realize no law is going to stop what people consider a civil disobedience at best.

I don't even think you can return an open game. Certainly not a PC game. So, as a parent, what do you do?
Why are people up in arms about restricting R-rated games to minors?? What is the problem? Minors don't even have full legal rights. Are you surprised that you can't get your nose pierced (without guardian permission) if you are 15? How is that different?

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (2, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989074)

This. It would be nice to see the courts regard kids subject to "media influence" as prima facie evidence of parental neglect, but that would mean actually holding someone to their responsibilities, and we can't have that, now, can we?

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (3, Insightful)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989264)

But parents can't be aware of what their children are doing 100% of the time. It's a LOT easier to control distribution at the point of sale, rather than at the point of consumption. If a parent tells their kid they are not allowed to purchase or play a certain game, can that parent ensure that their 15-year-old kid won't still buy that game when said parent tells their kid "yes, you may go to the mall with your friends"? 1,000 parents, enforcing a self-ban on violent games for their 1,500 kids isn't nearly as effective as 100 retailers being banned from selling them to those kids. If the parents want their kids to have access to those games, then they can still buy GTA 9 for Johnny's birthday.

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989486)

Parents SHOULD be aware of what their children are doing 100% of the time. When I was growing up, I didn't go anywhere without letting my parents know. Even when I'd sneak out at night, I was sure to leave a note, because I knew my mother would call the cops if I was missing. That note would detail where and who I was with, and what time I expected to return. This was enough to satiate my parents.

When my parents let my older brother play GTA2, but not me, it felt quite unfair, but my brother is 4 years older than me. When I came of what they deemed a proper age, they went and purchased UT2K4 for my birthday and I was happy to have their blessing, rather than trying to sneak-play a violent game. I knew there would be hell to pay if I was caught playing a game I wasn't allowed.

It's really not that difficult. You keep the entertainment in a public room in the house, computers, TV's, etc. Then you tell them what they can and can't do. Then you punish them if they break the rules.

Putting a restriction at the point of sale is about as effective as stopping kids from downloading music. The whole issue is a parenting problem, and it wasn't a problem over a decade ago, so why are we proposing a new fix?

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (0)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989726)

Parents SHOULD be aware of what their children are doing 100% of the time. When I was growing up, I didn't go anywhere without letting my parents know. Even when I'd sneak out at night, I was sure to leave a note, because I knew my mother would call the cops if I was missing.

Dude, have you read what the OP wrote?? Of course parents should be aware where their children are. But if you allow your child to go to the mall, you certainly can't know or prevent them from buying an R-rated game or seeing an R-rated movie. Hence, the retailer should probably enforce it. My understanding is that movie theaters enforce the ratings (though voluntarily).
If you are a good parent you would even see that your child is playing GTA 9, but good luck returning an open game disk...

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989914)

Yes, we're lucky enough that Movie theatres do the self policing, so that the cops don't have to be involved in that. And the Law has been created to stop minors from smoking, drinking. However, this won't stop older friends or family from boot-legging.

That's why parenting is more crucial. If your a kid and you saved up your allowance to buy a video game, and your parents take that game away, you just wasted your allowance. If thats not enough ground them for a week.

My point is that we've tried putting laws to stop under-aged this and that, and it never ferrets out the problem entirely. However, a good mom or dad can be VERY effective. 2 Parents looking after their own kids can be way more efficient than a police force looking after all the kids in the city.

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (4, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989934)

"you certainly can't know or prevent them from buying an R-rated game or seeing an R-rated movie. Hence, the retailer should probably enforce it."

ABSOLUTELY NOT! It is not the job of retailers to prevent kids from getting into trouble. Being a good parent does NOT mean knowing where your kids are 100% of the time. Being a good parent means teaching your kids how to handle the responsibility of being able to go buy that video game without permission.

We live in a society now where everyone thinks kids should be monitored 100% of the time and yet people still complain about helicopter parents. MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MINDS, PEOPLE! Kids should have some degree of freedom. Parenting is making sure your kids know how to handle that freedom. The ultimate purpose is that they know how to handle the freedom they receive when they turn 18.

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (0)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#31990060)

You're looking at a very small portion of the population. Until you've had to parent a child with a naturally unruly and disobedient personality, you can't understand why these laws are necessary. You and I were faily well-bahaved kids. My sister, however, was not.

I know for a fact that my parents didn't do anything different with my sister, yet she has turned out to be a horrible person. I'm pleasantly surprised that she hasn't done time in prison, yet. She had the same rules and restrictions that I did. My parents disciplined her the same way, albeit more often due to her behavioral problems. Somehow, I went to university, graduated, obey the law, and have become an all around productive member of society, unlike her. She barely graduated HS by going to night school, was married and divorced by 21, knocked up by her boyfriend at 22, has had run-ins with the law, and is the biggest self-entitled, abusive jerk you can imagine. She's Brittany Spears, without the money or fame.

Violent games have nothing to do with how my sister turned out, but I guarantee that if selling alcohol to 16-year-olds was legal, she would have killed someone in a drunk driving accident before her 18th birthday. I hate to think what would have happened to her if the sale of illicit drugs was legal.

It's a proven medical fact that the parts of the human brain which control executive, long-term, decision making, are not fully developed until around 20 years of age. That's why the collective experience of society has determined, over the millenia, that 18 and 21 years of age are the key ages for granting freedoms. If my sister was permitted, by law, to purchase things that are currently outlawed for minors, she would not have had the mental capacity to make the wise decision to stay away from them; my parents wouldn't have been able to enforce any rule to prevent her from obtaining them, and she would be a much, much worse person than she is today.

With some kids, you can be as loving as Christ, as harsh as a drill instructor, have complete omniscience, or be anywhere in-between, and the kid will still be unruly, disobedient, and a general drag on society. It really does take a village to raise a child, and in today's society, that means laws which are enforced.

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (1)

databank (165049) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989740)

You may not be able to tell what your children is doing 100% of the time but it seems to me that its a lot easier to control the distribution of money at the parents end. If your kids don't have money then they can't buy the game or have to ask you for it.

The exception IMHO is if kids get a job. Ultimately, if they get a job and make their own money then they are already showing the signs of maturity to becoming independent and have the right to make a decision with the money they make.

I would never tell anyone how to raise their kids and every child is different but there are sensible alternatives out there then making more laws.

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (1)

AthleteMusicianNerd (1633805) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989266)

Kudos

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989354)

the judges also tend to agree with what you just said. This wording of "consider reinstating California's ban" is a crock of bullshit. There is no way to determine how the supreme court is going to rule in advance.

They're not considering reinstating the ban. They're considering making a judgement which could have absolutely nothing to do with the video game ban, if they so choose.

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989468)

Jesus was an extraterrestrial

Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989978)

Sort of. I'm not sure at what point in our culture we went from "it takes a village to raise a child" to "don't tell me how to raise my kids" and "not like I give a damn about your kids".

I don't think it's as simple as "no you can't have this". Not sure that ever worked. People need to set examples, they need to at least try to explain things to children, and people DO need to give a damn past what's at the end of their nose or purse string.

Agreed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989030)

He said, 'We have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions...'

What effects are those, again?

Re:Agreed. (2, Insightful)

ProdigyPuNk (614140) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989188)

In the end it doesn't matter whether there are effects or not. So long as the masses believe that violent video games caused Columbine etcetc, this argument will always exist - and unfortunately will prevail a lot of the time. Good parenting > nanny state.

Re:Agreed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989262)

Whooooosh...

Re:Agreed. (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989340)

The problem is yet again the state is having to take over for piss poor parents, who don't teach their kids shit and use the x360 and PC as a babysitter. I let my kids play violent games if they wanted, and I never worried about it. Why? Because I taught them the difference between reality and video games, that's why! I sat them down with editors and showed them how game worlds were created, how by editing a WAD file you could add your own pictures to DOOM, how scripts decided the in game actions, etc. By the time I was done the boys knew what what going on from the time they clicked the icon until they hit exit.

Of course the side effect of that was listening to my rather unique "cursing" of the games like "You call this a level? There is tearing everywhere! And who designed this AI? I'm standing right in front of them and they aren't even attempting to dodge! DUCK YOU DUMMY!"

I believe it ultimately comes down to the parents to teach values and install responsibility in the child. Considering the fact that the oldest is getting ready to start medical school in the fall in the hopes of becoming one of those doctors without borders, and the youngest shall be most likely joining him in college a couple of years later to be a graphics artist, I think I did alright. But picking them up from their friend's houses I can state they are FAR from the norm, with waaaay too many kids living in homes where the parents don't interact with the child if they can help it, and the TV/game console/PC being the defacto babysitter.

Blame it on both parents having to work now, too many fathers not bothering to stay with the families, whatever, but more of my boy's friends were being raised by the machines than weren't. Too many parents just aren't bothering to even see or hell, even care what their kids are doing as long as it ain't bugging them. Sad and pathetic, but all too true.

"We" don't have a responsibility ... (5, Insightful)

SlappyMcInty (688145) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989032)

The kids' parents have the responsibility. Get your big government nose out of my business.

Re:"We" don't have a responsibility ... (4, Insightful)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989070)

The kids' parents have the responsibility. Get your big government nose out of my business.

That's the point of the bill. To make sure that the purchase is parentally responsible. This bill isn't in YOUR business unless you're in the business of selling R-rated materials to minors without parental consent.

Re:"We" don't have a responsibility ... (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989310)

First of all, I doubt there is any evidence that companies on the whole are selling "R"-rated (ignoring the fact that there is no such rating) games to minors. Secondly, if the parent doesn't object to, say, their 16 year old buying an M-rated game why should it be the State of California's business to tell them they can't?

Re:"We" don't have a responsibility ... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989666)

First of all, I doubt there is any evidence that companies on the whole are selling "R"-rated (ignoring the fact that there is no such rating) games to minors.

Really? You just mentioned "M-rated" moments later. That is the rating! The problem is that the ESRB doesn't have the manpower to thoroughly rate a game entirely accurately, nor does anyone take the rating seriously enough to impose any actual limitations on it.

If the parent doesn't object to, say, their 14 year old driving a car, drinking alcohol, or smoking a cigarette, or seeing an R-rated movie, why should it be the State of California's business to tell them they can't?

I think that this kind of legislation should only go through if we can either develop a proper rating system or inject some serious power into the ESRB because they can't quite handle the responsibility as it is right now.

Re:"We" don't have a responsibility ... (2, Insightful)

hldn (1085833) | more than 3 years ago | (#31990046)

If the parent doesn't object to, say, their 14 year old driving a car, drinking alcohol, or smoking a cigarette, or seeing an R-rated movie, why should it be the State of California's business to tell them they can't?

i'm not sure about smoking tobacco, but a parent can allow their kids to drink alcohol and drive (preferably not at the time time) at home on private property (in most states.) lumping an R-rated movie in with that is lol, but unbelievably parents can also allow their kids to see those too!1~!

it shouldn't the government's business and it isn't. this type of legislation should NEVER go through, because it's my job as a parent to decide what movies/games my children have access to, not the government and certainly not some faceless ratings organization.

Re:"We" don't have a responsibility ... (2, Insightful)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989546)

The kids' parents have the responsibility. Get your big government nose out of my business.

That's the point of the bill. To make sure that the purchase is parentally responsible. This bill isn't in YOUR business unless you're in the business of selling R-rated materials to minors without parental consent.

No, that's not the point of the bill. The point of the bill is that the Gov't knows better than the parent what is or is not appropriate for their child. And that leads to the point of the GPP - as a citizen they don't want a say in how your or anyone else raises their child; they want to leave it to the child's parent and their parent alone.

Now granted, there is some communal responsibility for everyone to help ensure parents raise their child right; but they community need not stamp all over the rights of the parent and/or child to do so; and bills like these (among others) are doing just that. What you may think irresponsible another may have a purpose behind teaching, or just a desire for the freedom to not do so. Some of us cherish the freedom to do as we please more than anything else.

Exceptions where community/government should step in mind you would be things like child sex/enslavement/etc issues; but that's goes far beyond a parent's right over the child.

Re:"We" don't have a responsibility ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989612)

OH NO R RATED... we're all gonna DIE.. our kids will BECOME ZOMBIES WITH MURDER IN THEIR EYES AND BIOLS ON THEIER SPLEANS FO ROT ADN DECAY..

I think his problem is the whole false premise this is based on: that information is harmful and thus censorship is justified. if the parents don't want their kid buying 'r-rated' (whatever that means, seriously it is arbitrary) anything, they shouldn't be giving him money in the first place..

Industry self-regulates (5, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989034)

The video game industry puts ratings right on the cover. I don't want the goverment to tell me how to raise my kids.

We let the movie and music industries self-regulate. Why should video games be any different?

Re:Industry self-regulates (0, Troll)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989072)

Because video games are new and scary, while republicans are old and fearful. 10 to 1 the supreme court rules against individual freedom once again.

Re:Industry self-regulates (4, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989096)

The charge for video game censorship has been led by Democrats in California and New York. Hillary Clinton has considered it one of her personal crusades.

I won't begin to suggest all Democrats are evil. I'm a middle of the road guy. But suggesting that this is a Republican issue just isn't factually correct.

Re:Industry self-regulates (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989212)

Mod parent up. While the repubs tend to be a little schizoid on the matter (less regulation! think of the children! less regulation! think of the children!) the dems are quite clearly all about the regulation. But the GP's part about "old and fearful" is correct, it should just say "while politicians are old and fearful".

Re:Industry self-regulates (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989336)

Yes, you are correct. Both Republicans like Schwarzeneggar and Democrats like Clinton are in the wrong here.

I won't begin to suggest all Democrats are evil. I'm a middle of the road guy.

How's this for middle of the road? All Democrats and all Republicans are evil.

Re:Industry self-regulates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989232)

where were you when tipper gore was stomping out rap cd's and calling for massive, sweeping censorship legislation?

Re:Industry self-regulates (5, Informative)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989124)

I don't want the goverment to tell me how to raise my kids.

They aren't, they're telling your kids how [not] to raise themselves. There's nothing to stop you buying restricted games for them, if you want.

Re:Industry self-regulates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989192)

mod this up kthx

Re:Industry self-regulates (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989272)

Some people like to sensationalize, misunderstand and misread everything that comes across their path.

Re:Industry self-regulates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989292)

There may be a bit of hyperbole here...

Movie industries self-regulate by having the ratings *and not letting minors buy tickets to those movies* when they are rated adult-only, which is something I thought was enforced thru regulation (otherwise, movie houses would be more than happy to sell tickets to minor to all the R rated movies they so want to see before they are 17).

Why are the music and game industries trying to be any different?

Re:Industry self-regulates (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989412)

Movie theaters are encouraged not to sell tickets to kids for R-rated movies, but it isn't against the law. The unwritten policy most theaters seem to follow is that kids can see these movies when accompanied by parents, but sometimes they do sell tickets to kids.

Re:Industry self-regulates (0, Troll)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989992)

The video game industry puts ratings right on the cover. I don't want the goverment to tell me how to raise my kids.

What are you talking about? No one is telling you how to raise your kids. All they're saying is that if you want to buy an R-rated game for your kid, you should do it yourself. How is that wrong?

We let the movie and music industries self-regulate. Why should video games be any different?
Apparently they don't self regulate well enough. I know for a fact that movie theaters don't self-regulate well in my area. I don't have any kids, but I imagine I would be pissed off if my child saw an R-rated movie because no one bothers checking ID

Coming from the Terminator (3, Insightful)

Myji Humoz (1535565) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989058)

We surely wouldn't want to expose the children to any media influences that glorify violence and fighting, now would we?

Re:Coming from the Terminator (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989134)

We surely wouldn't want to expose the children to any media influences that glorify violence and fighting, now would we?

And sex too.

That's why if this bill is upheld, there should be restrictions on what books minors should be allowed to purchase. Any book that's sexual and violent shouldn't be able to be purchased by someone under the age of 18 - like the Bible.

Re:Coming from the Terminator (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989288)

That's why if this bill is upheld, there should be restrictions on what books minors should be allowed to purchase. Any book that's sexual and violent shouldn't be able to be purchased by someone under the age of 18 - like the Bible.

Good. Do that too. Force parents to buy it for their kids, just like they pretty much already have to.

Re:Coming from the Terminator (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989216)

I've changed over deh years. No moah voilence or machinegun or liquid robots for me, only Abadah [youtube.com] and deh econamy and the govuhment and so on [msn.com] .

Re:Coming from the Terminator (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989278)

Coming from the Terminator (Score:3, Interesting)
We surely wouldn't want to expose the children to any media influences that glorify violence and fighting, now would we?

I see what you did there - but I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

If a hardcore porn director would have said that he didn't want to expose children to hardcore porn, would that be in some way hypocritical, too?

Just because the guy was in a movie with a lot of violence doesn't mean that he can't believe young children shouldn't be seeing it.

To top it off.. here's the movie ratings for the Terminator series, valid for the U.S.:
Terminator 1: R
Terminator 2: R (certificate #31159)
Terminator 3: R (certificate #39974)
Terminator 4: PG-13 (certificate #45308)
Terminator 4 - Director's Cut: R (certificate #45600)

R: Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian
PG-13: Parents are strongly cautioned to give special guidance for attendance of children under 13 - Some material may be inappropriate for young children

So as far as the ratings are concerned, young children shouldn't be seeing any of the Terminator movies to begin with, regardless of what Arnold Schwarzenegger believes.

Re:Coming from the Terminator (4, Funny)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989836)

Schwarzenegger: "Da veedo games are bad. Dey are too violent and muzt be kept away from de impressionable youth".
Parent: "If video games are bad, then what is good Mr. Schwarzenegger?"
Schwarzenegger: "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women."

Re:Coming from the Terminator (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989296)

They aren't restricting kids from playing violent video games. They're keeping kids from buying them directly. The parent is perfectly allowed to buy the game for their children, if they see fit.

Re:Coming from the Terminator (1, Troll)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989770)

They're keeping kids from buying them directly.

No, they are not. There is nothing in the bill to prevent kids from buying. The bill instead fines and criminalizes the stores that do not check ID carefully enough or that find it a civil disobedience measure, or that don't find the cost benefit ratio to work.

At best, it locks out kids that don't have any older friends, any "cool" older relatives, any older siblings, with no access to garage sales or craigslist, with parents whom are control freaks, no access to bittorrent, etc.

Oldest child, living in moms basement, no friends, no money, no broadband internet = stuck, all other kids OK. A couple retailers will be publicly screwed with TV cameras rolling, and a couple photo ops. That's about it for effects.

Re:Coming from the Terminator (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989504)

Actually, the Governator addresses your concern in the very article summary.

He's not arguing for outlawing violent video games; he's arguing that kids shouldn't be able to buy them directly, just as they (theoretically) can't buy a ticket for an R-rated movie themselves.

I'm not saying I agree with that position, but there it is.

You know.. (2, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989082)

You know who else is always thinking of the children? Pedophiles.

Quote the Governator (1)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989092)

"We have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions, just as we already do with movies," the Governor said in a statement.

I know that kids can't get into rated R movies, but stores have been getting more and more strict about not letting kids buy rated M games. I remember when I was like 18 they wouldn't sell Halo 3 to me because I didn't have my ID with me.
My question is, is it A CRIME to rent a rated R movie to a minor? I somehow seriously doubt it. If it is, thats sick. And I cannot understand at all how this could be true for videogames either.

RAISE YOUR KIDS RAISE YOUR KIDS RAISE YOUR GODDAMN KIDS

Re:Quote the Governator (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989138)

In the USA film ratings are self-regulated just like videogame ratings. If a kid can't get into an R-rated film it is because the theater is enforcing the policy.

Re:Quote the Governator (1)

ProdigyPuNk (614140) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989152)

No, it's not a crime. The movie/music/video game industries adopted ratings and admission/sales policies as an act of self-preservation. It was either that or the government was going to start regulating them. While it's not illegal to run a movie theater that doesn't follow the rating guidelines, it will soon not have any movies to show as all the other companies will stop supporting the theater.
This "For the kids" excuse is really getting old. It's one of those things that politicians can get away with time after time because no one wants to attack that position and look like they are "anti-kid" to the less-than-informed general public.

Harmful Effects (3, Interesting)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989094)

"We have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions, just as we already do with movies."

Which harmful effects are those? Have there been credible, peer-reviewed studies which actually show any negative effect of seeing violence on a screen?

Re:Harmful Effects (2, Interesting)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989242)

And which laws? The MPAA rating system is not required by any law.

Re:Harmful Effects (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989356)

I think the advertising industry has a pretty good idea of the effects mass media has on people, not just children, though the industry does exploit them to get to the adults. So, I would agree that the games without a "counterpoint", so to speak, have a very strong effect. The correct way to handle it is not through censorship, but by assuring the the counterpoint is available. The parents are the primary counterpoint here.

Re:Harmful Effects (0)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#31990004)

Which harmful effects are those? Have there been credible, peer-reviewed studies which actually show any negative effect of seeing violence on a screen?

There is tons of credible, peer-reviewed studies on this type of thing. The fact that you demand it only shows that you haven't looked.

The conclusions are less certain, though, because of the difficulty of isolating the different variables. Does the fact that murder rates skyrocketed in South Africa after television was introduced prove conclusively that violent TV was to blame? Of course not, we would need to perform dozens of such experiments to be sure. A similar effect was noticed in isolated communities of northern Manitoba [wiley.com] , with direct evidence linking it to television (the kids were acting out violence they saw on TV). On the other hand, some researchers have pointed out that Japan has violent TV, but low murder rates. What is the difference? The effects are hard to quantify.

There are tons of studies showing that kids who watch violent TV are more likely to be violent when they play afterwards. Some have criticized this again because it is only looking at the immediate effects, not at the long term effects. But these are reproducible experiments, if you do a search you will soon find one.

There are also studies that show a correlation between children who watch violent TV, and those who are violent as adults. It's a real link, but it's also problematic because, as we know, correlation is not causation. It is difficult to design an experiment that would test the causation.

So yeah, of course it is obvious that violent games and TV don't cause everyone who consumes them to become a murderer, but there is evidence that it might be a contributing factor, and there is strong evidence that violence has immediate effects on its viewers.

Wrong. (4, Interesting)

Psmylie (169236) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989112)

(Arnold Schwarzenegger) said, 'We have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions, just as we already do with movies.'"
  WRONG. WE don't have a responsibility, PARENTS have a responsibility. WE (as in "we the people") have a responsibility to make sure the Constitution doesn't get corrupted by well-intentioned feel-good attempts to legislate morality. Get it straight, ya big goof.

Re:Wrong. (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989358)

WE don't have a responsibility, PARENTS have a responsibility.

The loophole with that is when someone undermines the responsibility of a parent by selling them an M-rated game without the parent being around to consent to that. Asking that a parent or guardian be present when a kid is purchasing something above their "appropriate rating" as determined by an association of videogame publishers is, in no way, infringing upon your rights. It's taking the "granting of permission to view these materials" away from the store and putting them comfortably into those who YOU claim should have the responsibility to make those decisions. Is it a stupid law? Absolutely not. Is it neccessary to make a law about it? Very debatable.

Re:Wrong. (2, Funny)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989634)

So instead of buying it, the kid will just download it from TPB.

Re:Wrong. (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989360)

WRONG. Families do not exist as self-contained units isolated outside of the rest of society. They never have and they probably never will. In the real world people interact with each other and there needs to be rules governing that interaction in order to prevent anarchy. Societies that do not govern themselves tend to end up like Somalia or your favourite war zone---which are not places that most of us want to live. We (as a society) do have a responsibility to ensure that children grow up in an environment that is conducive to them learning to be functioning members of society. The world does not own you anything, including free rein to do whatever you like.

Re:Wrong. (2, Insightful)

Psmylie (169236) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989624)

The world also does not owe you whatever you consider to be a "safe" place to raise your kids. What this law is (and laws like it) is a hamfisted attempt to remove the burrs and rough edges from society in an attempt to make a sweet and fluffy world in which to raise their kids. Also, you state that society needs rules. How many of those rules are actual laws, and how many are social contracts that aren't backed up by law? What I mean by that is that no law is needed for this, just like no law is needed to prevent kids from getting into R rated movies without a parent/guardian. This is something that can/should be worked out with parents and the stores that sell games. It does not and should never be made into a law, not in the US.

Re:Wrong. (0, Troll)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989826)

Do you really expect every parent to talk with every store owner about what their children can and cannot buy? Setting laws is one of the ways that societies govern themselves. Societies that fail to govern themselves tend to get washed away in a tide of sociopaths.

Re:Wrong. (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989560)

Not to mention the fact that he is totally wrong about the movies -- MPAA ratings are only a guideline. These ratings happen to be widely enforced by theaters and stores, but that is entirely voluntary on the part of the retailer -- they are under no legal obligation to do so.

Re:Wrong. (1)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989760)

I disagree with you here. My opinion:

Life is meant to propagate and succeed (which is also a good basis for morality). People have built civilizations based on group effort. We all have jobs based on our strengths. The strong and brave protect, but rely on others to feed them. The strong and stupid do the feeding. The brave and stupid just frak everything up and we have to fix it before they populate the world and blow it up.

I think a lot of people here are mad at the parents for being bad parents who can't control their household. Punishing the parents by letting them screw up their kids isn't helping anybody. Have you ever met anyone successful who said "my parents let me get away with anything!" I sure as heck haven't. I've met a few ex-cons who said that though.

I think US censorship is screwed up anyway and needs a major overhaul. I'll save that rant for another time.

Re:Wrong. (3, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989864)

PARENTS have a responsibility

Exactly! We need, like, a law that requires the parents to buy the game for the kid so the parent can decide... oh, wait...

Re:Wrong. (0, Troll)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 3 years ago | (#31990066)

WE don't have a responsibility, PARENTS have a responsibility. WE (as in "we the people") have a responsibility to make sure the Constitution doesn't get corrupted by well-intentioned feel-good attempts to legislate morality. Get it straight, ya big goof.

No one absolves you of the parent responsibility. All this does is to make sure your kid can't buy an R-rated game without your knowledge. Constitution can hardly get corrupted, because it is a well known fact that minors do not have full constitutional rights or responsibilities (just check with your local school if you don't believe me)

Comparison to movies. (2, Insightful)

neochubbz (937091) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989128)

The problem with comparing this to movies is that MPAA Rating system isn't law, merely a voluntary policy (Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_Picture_Association_of_America_film_rating_system [wikipedia.org] ) Stores that refuse to sell/rent R-Rated Movies/M-Rated games to minors are well within their rights; stores are free to conduct their business as they wish. However, on that same note, stores can also choose to sell these movies/games to whoever they want.

But but (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989136)

There are no laws revolving around renting R rated movies to minors, and already existing pornography laws should cover pornographic games...

Why is it so hard... (2, Interesting)

CondeZer0 (158969) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989140)

...for people (specially those sitting in the Supreme Court) to understand something as simple as: "Congress shall make no law"? Now law, means no law!

And that video games are speech is so obvious that is shameful if anyone needs it pointed out to them.

If parents don't want their children to play certain games, just like if they don't want them to read certain books, or don't want them to jump from certain bridges, it is their problem to figure out how to do this.

Re:Why is it so hard... (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989186)

Perhaps 24-hour parental surveillance would be a more "constitutional" way for parents to regulate their children's buying habits than having to be present when the kid buys a game? Are you daft?

Re:Why is it so hard... (3, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989676)

Hey, what they could do is give the kids laptops supplied with webcams, and have the schools monitor their activity 24/7.

I'm surprised that nobody thought of that before.

Re:Why is it so hard... (1)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989298)

If the State of California were the U.S. Congress, then you'd definitely have a point.

States have historically had more leeway in such matters; there used to be no problem, even Constitutionally speaking, with an individual state having an official religion.

Re:Why is it so hard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989362)

See the 14th amendment

Re:Why is it so hard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989514)

Please explain how games are political speech.

Do you want sensitized soldiers? (1)

Orga (1720130) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989142)

Seriously, without violent video games won't the 18 year olds immediately entering the military after high school be sensitive to violence? Won't they be more prone to freeze up in the height of combat? I'm sure Arnold can appreciate the benefit of a soldier free of moral hesitation.

Re:Do you want sensitized soldiers? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989244)

Because sitting on a couch with a bag of chips playing a FPS in your air conditioned house adequately prepares you for the 115 degree heat wearing 80lbs of gear with bullets snapping and cracking all around you and seeing a bullet drill a 7.62mm hole in the face of your buddy right next to you, right?

Re:Do you want sensitized soldiers? (1)

Orga (1720130) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989490)

If not then what is the point of regulating these games? If there an effect or not.

Important? (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989164)

> decide whether free speech rights are more important
> than helping parents keep violent material away from children.

It's not a question of importance, but of relevance.

He will be back.... (2, Funny)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989166)

He told the court he would be back...

And this is different from R-rated movies, how? (1, Interesting)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989184)

The U.S. really needs to have a single system for rating all media for age appropriateness and content, and enforce it at the distribution level. Movies have a rating, TV shows have a rating with a code for content (FV for fantasy violence, D for dialog, etc.), games have their own rating, but magazines and music, to my knowledge, do not. The only one that can't really be controlled is the internet.

Ideally, parents would know what their children are doing 24/7, and be able to determine for themselves what is appropriate for their children. We all know that no parent can actually do that. It's simlply impossible. That's why these ratings need to be enforced. Selling or distributing these things needs to be enforced like the ban on selling alcohol or cigarettes to minors is enforced. Sure, the enforcement isn't 100% effective, as kids still smoke cigarette butts off the street, sneak into their parents' liquor cabinet, or get their older siblings to purchase them for them. But the ban and enforcement is, for the most part, effective enough. The major difference, however, needs to be that enforcement ends with the sale or distribution of this media, and does not actually outlaw the act of kids playing these games or watching these movies (like alcohol and cigarettes are). That should be up to the parents to decide.

Anyway, that's just my opinion.

Re:And this is different from R-rated movies, how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989536)

Ideally, parents would know what their children are doing 24/7

No. Ideally parents should educate their children so that they could be trusted without 24/7 surveillance. Sadly, it seems that many parents have the same view as you, and imprison their kids in their homes. I am constantly amazed by the fact that you don't see kids in the streets these days.

Re:And this is different from R-rated movies, how? (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989582)

You can expand it further to general goods and services. Everything from adult rated video games to age of consent. We, as a society, say that you need to be an adult to indulge in the following items: $LIST_OF_ADULT_ITEMS. You can draw the age line at different places for different things (18 for voting and 21 for drinking for example).

People will argue that kids mature at different rates, but, well, that's ImaginationLand where there's a magic test for "adultness" that can be applied every birthday to every young person. Part of civilization is agreeing on things like this. I see it as kind of a test. This sort of stuff is Society 101. If we can't get a general consensus on where to draw the age line for various things then we really are hopeless.

------

Stan: But Chef, when IS the right time for us to start having sex?
Chef: It's very simple, children; The right time to start having sex is...seventeen.
Kyle: Seventeen?
Chef: Seventeen.
Sheila: So, you mean seventeen as long as you're in love?
Chef: Nope, just seventeen.
Gerald: But what if you're not ready at seventeen?
Chef: Seventeen. You're ready. :-)

Re:And this is different from R-rated movies, how? (2, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989592)

Ideally, parents would know what their children are doing 24/7, and be able to determine for themselves what is appropriate for their children.

Actually, no. You need an exit strategy better than, yesterday was your 18th b-day so good luck today in the wild free world.

Your plan is reasonably appropriate during the early toddler years. An utter disaster in the teenage years. The goal is to gradually slack off on the fascism while raising the kids to have good judgment... If they have good judgment they simply don't need the laws.

Furthermore, if they don't have good judgment, a ban on trendy enemy of the people "X" will simply result in them finding another equally effective way to ruin their lives.

Either way the laws are quite ineffective. You either end up with a society where the moral majority clowns hate the average 19 year old for thoughtcrimes, or you end up with 19 year olds whom hate the moral majority clowns for being SS guards. A great law if you want to do the old fashioned "divide and conqueror" against the american people, not so good for everyone else of course. But I suppose, never let morality stand in the way of a good profit...

The only thing I want (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989198)

is for the violent games to be properly labeled as violent games. Beyond that, the parent should make the decision.

You're missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989228)

The question is not whether the law is stupid (It is, of course). It's none of the government's business how you raise your kids.
The question here is whether the state has the right to make an asinine law like that or not. And, unfortunately, they do. The 9th circus... err... circuit court fabricated some inanity that free speech laws prevent age restrictions on products (how would it be constitutional for video games to be protected speech for minors and not for porn for example?). This is judicial activism - i.e. legislating from the bench.

Like it or not, the correct way of dealing with this, is voting the idiots who passed this out of office, and repealing the law - not expanding the meaning of the constitution. Don't get me wrong, I'd be very happy if the law was expunged from the books, but doing it through the courts is probably not the right way, and the plaintiffs should not get their hopes up.

Who is he to say what's violent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989316)

Total Recall anyone? Show that to some minors. Talk about graphic violence.

Um, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989406)

Honest question - please not to flame. :) How does not selling the game to a minor negate parental responsibility? Does it not *enforce* it by *requiring* the parent buy the game for the child?

As Alex may say... (1)

billsayswow (1681722) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989548)

'We have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions, just as we already do with movies.' Protect against the ol' ultra-violence? But that's the most horrorshow part of a game. We already have enough developers getting tolchok'ed in the gulliver over even implying a bit of in-out-in-out.

Responsibility (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989636)

We have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions, just as we already do with movies.

First, we have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to prove scientifically exactly what the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions are, which we haven't done with movies either. I'm not against ratings systems, but they don't currently stop kids from buying tickets to Winnie the Pooh then switching theaters to Saw IV. So I'm not to sure how effective they would be in keeping the same kids that have no problem getting their hands on drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes from getting their hands on violent games.

My two bits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31989662)

I remember, back in the day (Myself being sixteen, this wasn't so long ago- five, six years max) I went out to Wal-Mart and bought a copy of Black Hawk Down for PC (Not a great game, but OK). I told the guy at the register that I was going to buy Black Hawk Down, and he said I'd need a parent- but as soon as he realized that it was a game, he laughed and rang it up right away, no parent in sight. Granted, the game was rated T, not M, but still, I couldn't have been more than 11 at the time- and I'm a short guy, so I didn't even look that old.

However, the game was quite a bit of fun, and it didn't change how I think or turn me into a psychopath. So I guess the moral guardians have a point, but so do we. In some cases, kids CAN get games they're not supposed to have- but the impact they do have is quite overstated.

pot/kettle (2, Interesting)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989828)

"We have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions, just as we already do with movies" ...said the man who got fame and fortune from making violent movies...

Uhhh...false dichotomy? (2, Informative)

BaronHethorSamedi (970820) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989860)

The Supreme Court will decide whether free speech rights are more important than helping parents keep violent material away from children.

The summary is actually lifted directly from the linked article. What a sterling piece of objective, non-editorial journalism.

The Supreme Court will of course decide no such question. Measures are already in place to help parents keep violent content away from children; those parents that care to keep informed about the sorts of entertainment that their children consume have more resources and information available to them now than they have ever had. The question becomes whether the state can hold retailers criminally liable for failing to fill a role that the parents have apparently abdicated. Also from TFA:

The supporters of the law say the same legal justifications for banning minors from accessing pornography can be applied to violent video games.

This isn't clearly the case at all. The case will revisit the issue of whether violence (not sex) can constitute regulable obscenity under the First Amendment, a parallel that courts have repeatedly refused to draw.

They point to recent Federal Trade Commission studies suggesting that the video game industry's rating system was not effective in blocking minors from purchasing games designed for adults.

Largely because that isn't what the rating system was designed to do. The whole point to the ESRB is to allow parents to make informed decisions as to what their children can watch, play, etc. The ESRB was never intended as a deterrent against children consuming that content without parental knowledge, or with parental consent. The notion behind the California law (and others in many other states that have been struck down) is that because the ratings aren't doing something that no one ever expected them to do, the state needs to have power to punish retailers for selling a product that (unlike tobacco or alcohol) has a strong component of judicially-recognized speech. I'll be interested to see what SCOTUS does with this...

Here is the part I don't get (1)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 3 years ago | (#31989878)

I must ask, how the hell are children this young getting to the store on their own and shelling out $60+ for a game? How can parents not know their child is walking around with that much money on them, and where are they getting it if not from the parents?
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