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Banning Arcades in Malaysia?

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the well-I-can-see-banning-tetris dept.

Censorship 283

Amon CMB was the first of several to submit a story from The Adrenaline Vault where they talk about arcades banned in Malaysia. The story is pretty scary, one of the reasons for the ban is that children were willing to steal from their parents to get cash for the games. Think about that next time you get worked up about the government censoring the amount of blood in a game. Seems kinda insignificant relative to some places.

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283 comments

Religion cards (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#722454)

Cool!

Why don't we have that kind of cards as well?

That way whenever some bible-thumping asshole comes to me complaining about my "sins" I could show him the card and tell him to piss off or I'll call the cops and have his ass thrown to jail.

Or better yet, we should wear some kind of a signia of our (lack of) religion on our clothes. That way they should steer clear without bothering us at all.

... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#722455)

Think about that next time you get worked up about the government censoring the amount of blood in a game. Seems kinda insignificant relative to some places.

In America we can't compare our problems to other countries. Once we do that we start giving up rights.

Re:Especially for a gay cocksucker (you) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#722456)

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Re:Not to be a whiner, but... (1)

singularity (2031) | more than 13 years ago | (#722458)

The government cannot "crack down on theaters" since there are no laws requiring theaters to abide by ratings. The ratings system is a completely voluntary thing (hence movies /rated/ "Unrated").

In general, however, the movie industry does a good job of making sure little kids without parents with them stay out of things such as Pulp Fiction. They actually probably do better than stores that sell cigarettes to minors (something that *is* against the law and actively enforced).

I am all in favor of places like Wal-Mart and K-Mart starting to enforce video game ratings. It makes it more likely that we will follow the movie model rather than the cigarette model (the farther the government stays out of ratings system the better - too close to censorship for me).

This HAS happened in the US (1)

kavi_3 (5872) | more than 13 years ago | (#722462)

I hate to break it everyone, but when I was a kid, the town that I was in passed a law that kept kids under 16 from playing arcade games in without being accompanied by a guardian. The idea behind this was that parents were concered that some kids where skipping school and stealing to play video games. While I hates the law when I was a kid, I don't think that this is all that unconstitutional. Stupid and ineffective, yes but not unconstitutional.

Re:I'm proud to be an American (1)

Flavio (12072) | more than 13 years ago | (#722476)

Of course it's the "best" country in the world.

If you can, try to learn about your country's real history. Learn about what your forebears have done to countries in Central America and South America to say the least.

People are usually shocked to know about conspirations developed directly by agencies like the CIA and think these were very isolated occurrences. They weren't.

Your country is democratic only in paper. Proof is everywhere if you care to look.

Don't take this as a flame. Take it as the truth.

Flavio

Re:And then there's Singapore... (1)

Jenova (27902) | more than 13 years ago | (#722490)

Arcades were banned in the 80s in Singapore too.

The ban was lifted in early 90s.

Re:And then there's Singapore... (1)

Helion (28601) | more than 13 years ago | (#722494)

As a famous comedian once said, don't ban the guns. Just make the bullets very very expensive. People will think twice who they want to shot next.

Re:Let's not get silly about this. (1)

Opinionated Newbie (32308) | more than 13 years ago | (#722495)

"Being able to play video games is a privilege, not a right." That's crap. Rights are not delineated, not things that have to be written down and voted on before they exist. Any exercise of free will that is not coercively harmful to others is everyone's inaliable right, including the manufacture and use of video games.

What a load of crap (1)

Beg4Mercy (32808) | more than 13 years ago | (#722496)

The ban is focused on battling gambling and addiction, but includes legal non-gambling game arcades? What a load of crap. Everywhere else has managed to put restrictions on gambling without having to close down video game arcades.

Some children are willing to steal from their parents? Well that is the parents responsibility to disipline their child properly.

This may even have a subtle effect on their economy. Hey, an arcade is a tax-paying business, isn't it?

Re:Its about time... (1)

Beg4Mercy (32808) | more than 13 years ago | (#722497)

I don't give a damn about the arcade owners! It is the users I am concerned about. In the past I have spent a great deal of time in arcades, and loved every minute of it. The government does not control us... its our life... they shouldn't be able to tell us that we can't do something we enjoy without a very, very good reason.

Re:When did the government last censor a game? (1)

Beg4Mercy (32808) | more than 13 years ago | (#722498)

LOL. Good point. I don't really like conspiracy theories though. :)

Re:A Malaysian's Viewpoint (1)

titus-g (38578) | more than 13 years ago | (#722501)

The bans aren't very effective though, The first time I saw austin powers was in Malaysia, even if t doesn't show at the cinema (watched something about mary there another time, v. amusing, never realised there was a word "Ff!" :) you can pick up pretty much anything (including films banned in the US) at the VCD shops & stalls.

Have to agree about the arcades though, scary scary places...

True Story (1)

Nik Picker (40521) | more than 13 years ago | (#722502)

So I was a 10 year old lad when Arcades were available in the tiny Hamlett of Yeovil, Somerset in the UK. I had made a friend there who seemed to have no trouble in having access to cash to drop into those machines.
Later that evening my parents sit me down and start asking me about where I was getting cash to play video games. Turns out the 'Friend' had used his own money from his savings then blamed it on theft by me. His parents had contacted mine and despite all the protestations and declarations of innocence on my part well my parents did not believe me and beat and punished me anyway.

take a moment here: As a 10 year old boy who had not stolen or done anything wrong this was pretty drucking framatic. I sat in my room the turmoil and suffering so intense at the injustice of it all. [cue Jon Katz suggesting its a good thing we dont have guns in the UK].

Later that evening the boy cracked and admitted to his parents that he had stolen his own money and spent it at the arcade.
MY parents of course did not discover this for 24hrs and so.... Well you can imaging the hell I went through.
Whats worse is I cant ever remeber my parents apologising. I can remember being told this was why Video games were so bad and arcades should not be visited.
Funny really how Parents seem to forget their own culpabilities in being responsible for their children in the face of external preasures and influences.
If the children are stealing from their parents punish the guilty children . Not those whose responsible actions should allow them the pleasures and luxuries of life.

My experience. (1)

Lux (49200) | more than 13 years ago | (#722505)

I spent some time studying in Mexico a few years ago. One day I was killing time in an arcade, and a kid who was probably about 5 came up and started playing me.

After I let him win, I realized that he was one of the little guys selling chiclets on the street sidewalk, and that the price of his chiclets == the price of the game. I doubt that the money he was spending was really his to spend.

My point is that this kid was so hooked on this stupid video game, that he was playing with what was probably his families food money.

Re:Not to be a whiner, but... (1)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 13 years ago | (#722507)

well, if they ban the sale of it, its gonna be pretty damn hard for me to get it in the first place, to play in my own home

Re:A Clockwork Orange (1)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 13 years ago | (#722513)

Make sure you send them VHS Though... the Region Encoding will kill ya otherwise.

Re:Not to be a whiner, but... (1)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 13 years ago | (#722516)

Totally OT, but I apologize for wasting the +2 bonus on that post, I just passed the karma threshold to get it and didn't realize I had it.

Re:Not to be a whiner, but... (1)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 13 years ago | (#722517)

I am sorry, but I believe you read my post out of context. My post was a clarification of an earlier post I made, after a reply was made to it pointing some things out. All the points you made pretty much disappear when you realize what I was talking about in my original post.

Re:Not to be a whiner, but... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 13 years ago | (#722534)

The point of that last like, imho, is that we should realize that government saying you have to be 18 or older to buy a game is a much more reasonable thing than alot of people think.

No, i don't think thats reasonable at all. Basically you're saying kids don't have any (or very little) rights. Rights are supposed to be something that cannot be taken away, no matter what. If you start saying you can take away rights from groups of people b/c of certain requirements, you get into a very scary mindset. Should rights only be had by people of certain age, or how about certain IQ. A certain skin color? A certain income? I think most people would agree that the last 3 would be considered discimination. why then is age an ok category? Just because someone is stupid, or is not wise, or does not have experience does not mean we can use that to take away their rights. they need to be educated yes, but placing restrictions on their rights is not a good idea.

Re:Not to be a whiner, but... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 13 years ago | (#722535)

And why should they? What if i don't care that my kid buys an M rated game? What if its ok to me that my kid seens an R rated movie? Shouldn't that be my choice? Why should i be inconvienced b/c of a few lazy parents that want the gov't to raise thier kids? Its the parents responsibility to watch what their kids are doing, not the theaters.

Re:Not to be a whiner, but... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 13 years ago | (#722536)

Banning stuff in your own home never has and never will be a serious threat in the USA.

The number of laws forbidding what you can and cannot do in your own home is mind boggling. You cannot take certain drugs, you cannot install hidden cameras (as a security system), viewing certain material is not allowed, and in some places certain activities with your spouce are not legal. Do a little research, its amazing what you aren't allowed to do in your own home.

Re:A Clockwork Orange (1)

joseph_dcruz (81706) | more than 13 years ago | (#722538)

nah, tape's hardly ever used anymore here in Malaysia. VCDs are the bootleg material of choice, though I wouldn't say no to a DVD copy. Skip the 'few thousand' copies - d'you want to just send me one? I promise to be suitably influenced by the subtle analogies... :-)

Re:Weirdo Fringe Group (1)

joseph_dcruz (81706) | more than 13 years ago | (#722539)

"Maybe there is there some kind weirdo fringe group behind it."

there is - we call them politicians. And yes, we have drug problems, and loony fringes who occasionally stock up on guns, but you must realise that video game arcades are a much more attractive problem for the politicians because they're *easy to deal with*. Much harder to take on the drug lords or loonies who are willing to die for their beliefs.
It's like a kindergarden playground - it's always the little kid who gets picked on, not the big beefy hulker with the scowl. That's how small-minded bullies (who grow up to be politicians) operate...

Re:Religion cards- for Sale (1)

joseph_dcruz (81706) | more than 13 years ago | (#722540)

y'want genuine Made-in-Malaysia religion cards? No problem - just let me stock up on ink carts for the bubblejet, and you can have them in any colour you like - say $2.99 apiece? Lamination two bucks extra... :-)

Other addictions... (1)

Crimplene Prakman (82370) | more than 13 years ago | (#722541)

They cite addiction and gambling as reasons to ban?

An acquaintance is now an avid golfer, after spending his life as an alcoholic, and becoming a gambler soon thereafter. Some people need an addiction, some addictions are more socially acceptable than others.

Should addictive pastimes be banned? I don't smoke, I drink to moderation, I /. periodically, most of my vices are irregular... but I am fortunate. I have no "addiction".

Should my acquaintance be banned from golf courses? Should golf courses be banned totally?

The answer is found in treating addictions, not in removing the drug.

- "Politics is like a drug. It is highly addictive, and frequently hallucinogenic"
- Kevin Myers, the Irish times (slightly paraphrased due to bad memory)
--
We may be human, but we're still animals.

Re:Just cause (1)

Gerad (86818) | more than 13 years ago | (#722542)

Still, you this doesn't completely make sense. Gambling establisments in the same location as video games are causing our children to steal money to gamble more. Therefore we should ban video games? Methinks not.

No... (1)

Gerad (86818) | more than 13 years ago | (#722543)

This thing is about <B>gambling</B>. Mabye you could try reading the whole article next time before making an un-informed post in an attempt to get karma. They're shutting down arcades because gambling in them is becoming a problem, not so much the video games.

Re:Not to be a whiner, but... (1)

Talla (95956) | more than 13 years ago | (#722545)

I really doubt this is very high on Amnestys list of things that needs to be freed in Malaysia.

u all got it wrong.. (1)

n3m6 (101260) | more than 13 years ago | (#722550)

i happen to live and malaysia ..
and i think you all happen to have got the
wrong idea ..
what is illegal here is gambling.. not video games..
i think whoever the journalist was .. must have
freaked out by the picture of hundreds of
gaming machines being crunched..
they were actually gambling machines..
video games are still legal here.. there are
lots of famous places where u can actually go
and play street fighter, tekken 3, etc. etc.

hope this clears the mess..

Re:Let's not get silly about this. (1)

LotharHP (106080) | more than 13 years ago | (#722554)

Just because a minority disagree, does not mean that they are having their basic human rights taken away from them. If that were the case, the Klan would be able to argue it's their basic human right to set fire to black people

Um, I think not. As long as we're talking about America here (and only because these rights are explicity stated in our Constitution. I, and many others would argue that the rights below are the basis for any civilized government), black people, like all citizens have a right to life that cannot be infringed.

I would have the right to steal Dr. Pepper from the store whenever I couldn't afford it, and the legal system would just fall to pieces.

Wrong again, people have a right to property. If you steal you go to jail. End of story.

Perhaps something I've never really noticed about American xenophobia before, and it's only just clicked for me in the /. context.

Huh? From here on in you stop making sense entirely.

I bet this doesn't get touched by the moderators, or if it does it will be negative.

Perhaps, but I don't believe in moderating ignorance.

Democratically elected != Always right (1)

strlen (117515) | more than 13 years ago | (#722560)

Yes, your argument is true, that compared to what right now is going in Burma or Indonesia is nothing compared to what's going in Malaysia. Sure, Malaysia even has an elected government. But elections can be rigged. Also, people just love demagogues and will vote for them, even if they are destined to become dictators. I can already imagine a 60 year old Asian men in a black business suit talking about a mother with 15 children who can't buy herself new shoes because her son stole money from her to play at an arcade? And guess what people will buy that. I can give you tons of example of true dictators who enjoy(or at least did enjoy) popular support and were populary elected. Fujimori, Lukashenka and Milosevic to name a few, but that is far from all. And remember that Malaysia is not in Western europe. Their potential electorate considers such ideas correct, since they fit their Confucian ideology, which defends trade offs of liberty for the sake of order.

And about the "not in your country thing", that is partially true but the internet is not confined to "your country". If you defend freedom of speech on the internet, you should look beyond. Just go and check how many linux user group malaysia has and how many active linux users. I bet that there's quite a large amount, and they too read slashdot, post comments and make jokes about moderates :-)

like you didn't (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 13 years ago | (#722563)

steal from your parents to play Street Fighter II. Or Mortal Kombat... "Dude, check out the blood! Fatality!"

*ahem*
--
Peace,
Lord Omlette
ICQ# 77863057

Re:And then there's Singapore... (1)

chrischow (133164) | more than 13 years ago | (#722568)

i can't speak for canada but the streets of many parts of europe at night are hardly as safe as s'pore

Re:Its about time... (1)

chrischow (133164) | more than 13 years ago | (#722569)

damn right, arcades are kewl places to take chicks... as long as u don't pick games that u suck at that is, then it can be kinda embarrassing. if m'sian arcades are like ones in indo though we're talking about something a bit diff from western ones, more "dodgy"

Re:They are sort of copying Singapore (1)

chrischow (133164) | more than 13 years ago | (#722572)

well gum can get in the machines and screw it up, best ban it lah!

Must ... fight ... the urge ... (1)

Forager (144256) | more than 13 years ago | (#722578)

I don't see how everyone on /. can be so opposed to this! Arcade gaming -- nay, ALL forms of gaming! -- is inherently dangerous to society! Don't they see where this is leading? Imagine, only a year from now, hundreds -- even thousands! -- of gamers wandering the streets trying to get just one more dose of PAC-MAN! It'll be utter anarchy! The government will have to pour hundreds of of millions of dollars into the war on games. Commercials with terrible statistics ("Every five minutes, another child eats a dot ..." and "By the time a child is 6, he will have beaten over 6000 levels"), catchy slogans ("Just say no to dots"), and recovery organizations ("STUPIDS = Stop These Users from Playing Inherently Dangerous Stuff") will dominate television ... it'll be terrible. And those pro-gaming advocates ... they don't see it either! "People don't eat ghosts ... PAC-MAN eats ghosts." Don't they see it! With the level or reality in those games, the people BECOME the PAC-MAN! Won't somebody please think of the children!

::sighs with disgust::

--Forager

Re:No... (1)

Icebox (153775) | more than 13 years ago | (#722581)

Ah, I suppose that banning guns is the answer to people getting shot as well?

This is about video games, not gambling. Just because people gamble on them is no reason to ban them, why do people like you accept the logic that inanimate objects somehow cause people to engage in bad behavior? Why not ban gambling? Why not spend the same amount of energy on catching gamblers as it would take to raid game centers?

Next time maybe I'll wait for the slow readers in the class before I post. Probably not.

Re:Karma Bonus Point (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 13 years ago | (#722582)

Heh, I almost did that too when I got the magical 25 karma. (Noticed it on the last preview before posting - was kinda cool. BTW, it's a +1 bonus, you post at 2 :)) Personally, I think that the karma bonus point should be off by default. Why do you think so many people abuse it? It's there, you have to explicitly disable it! So if I'm not careful, it's easy to accidently post with +1. And I've done it before - although usually, the consequences are mild.

Well, the BC government kinda did..... (1)

Dark Nexus (172808) | more than 13 years ago | (#722588)

Yep, to require ID to be shown to buy "Soldier of Fortune", the British Columbia government had it officially declared to be pornography.

All of that talk about censorship down in the US, and it pops up out of nowhere on Canada's west coast... Go figure.

Dark Nexus

Re:And then there's Singapore... (1)

Chris Hind (176717) | more than 13 years ago | (#722589)

the worst laws are the ones that change the constant

Errr...then it's not very constant, is it? Perhaps there are some great laws that would increase the security without decreasing the freedom, or whatever.

Money and Banking 101 was:Well.. (1)

skybird0 (176892) | more than 13 years ago | (#722590)

Not only does lending create money, now that money is not based on precious metals, it is how virtually all money is created today. For example, if banks loan out 80% of their deposits, the total money supply increase by a factor of 5. The Federal Reserve Banks do the same thing on a grander scale. Federal Reserve Notes are what they loan out. The same is true for currencies around the world

Religon, don't you love it? (1)

ChaosEmerald (178369) | more than 13 years ago | (#722595)

The nation bans gambling for Muslims, who constitute more than half the population, and restricts gaming outlets for others.

I'm confused. Does that mean Muslims aren't allowed to play games by law? From this one sentance, I'm guessing that the law is religously based. But this brings up a question to me. How would the Muslims who want to play games do it? Just say "I'm not muslim"?

Re:Not to be a whiner, but... (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#722596)

You cannot take certain drugs

I realize that reasonable people can disagree on this, but that's not the same thing. Certain drugs can cause immediate mental breakdown, and cause a danger to others. There is a case to made that certain drugs should be illegal.

you cannot install hidden cameras (as a security system)

Reference? As far as I know, that is not illegal, unless you're using them to spy on others (like, recording movies of having sex with someone, and then selling the movie).

some places certain activities with your spouce are not legal.

Well, first of all, that's not at the state or federal level, as I specified. Yes, there are going to be wacky local laws, but 1) they are not enforced, and 2) if they were, they would be struck down by higher courts.

So in practical terms, there is very little that is forbidden in your own home. And usually the only restrictions are when you are violating the rights of others.


--

Re:Not to be a whiner, but... (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#722599)

However, I have seen politicians who want to outright ban game violence, since most stores do nothing to enforce the ratings levels.

Could you provide a reference? Bottom line, you can't, because it has never happened (at least, at the state or federal level, I'm sure there might be some wacky local politician somewhere...)

I realize that this issue is important to many Slashdotters, but I wish we could have a little more reason and less emotion on these issues. Banning stuff in your own home never has and never will be a serious threat in the USA.


--

Re:Not to be a whiner, but... (1)

Karmageddon (186836) | more than 13 years ago | (#722601)

AI concentrate on torture, political imprisonment, etc.

...and capital punishment, which they are against. While they do a lot of good work on torture and in countries with no human rights, they lose my support when they go out of their way to criticize the United States. The United States has long been the most effective proponent of human rights and democracy and I've no use for organizations that ignore it.

I'm proud to be an American (1)

bahamat (187909) | more than 13 years ago | (#722603)

Even as screwed up as it is, and the terrible direction we're heading, this is still the best country in the world.

evil machine forces children to steal from parents (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 13 years ago | (#722609)

I remember stealing money from my parents so I could play games in the arcades. Only a dollar here and there, and not so often that it would be noticed, but stealing's still stealing. I guess I should be caned.

Re:Let's not get silly about this. (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 13 years ago | (#722610)

Being able to play video games is a privilege, not a right.
The "right to play video games" isn't a right that is explicitly mentioned in any legal document. Still, I don't consider it a "privilege" do be able to do with my free time whatever I see fit. I consider that to be my freedom, and that's something that I do have a right to. A privilege is something I need special permission to do, something that I need to earn in exchange for something else.

People try to ban arcades in the us at one time as (1)

Big Torque (196609) | more than 13 years ago | (#722616)

Many moons ago when arcades where new, many parents tried to ban then because it scared them that the kids liked them so much. I saw one news report saying that bight side was it was better then porn alcohol and drugs. SNL did a bit where they had kids going into hard crime to pay for the habit one of them an 10 year old girl prostitute that did her tricks for a quarter at a time. This is just stupid bullshit. There are too many stupid parents that will label anything that there kids care about that is not Jesus, home work, or house hold chores as evil or dangerous. In the end in the US the arcades stayed open and we turn out just fine.

Re:Let's not get silly about this. (1)

astar (203020) | more than 13 years ago | (#722618)

I agree with you. Some subsidiary points: 1) In my personal experience, video games have an addictive component. Most people, even those like myself who are tired of the War on Drugs, would give credence to an argument that addictions that rise to the level of social problems need to be restricted. Closing out video games does not seem to me to cause unacceptable side-effects for a society. 2) Arguably, video games have a negative impact on some users beyond addiction, and since the typical user of concern is a child, it is normative in this society to consider restrictions. Typically, an age restriction passes constitutional muster here. Presumedly, in Malayasia, a ban passes muster. 3) Malayasia has had some success in fighting globalism. For instance, during the "Asian flu", they rejected IMF and World Bank programs, were successful in economic recovery, and our Vice President called for the overthrow of the government! They continue to be leaders in Asia in rejecting the "Washington Consenus". I suggest that video games are one of the cultural components of globalism and the Malaysian's serve their country's general welfare quite well by banning them. And their leadership is known to me to read some of the same material I read on this subject and so I find this connection likely.

They are sort of copying Singapore (1)

CowbertPrime (206514) | more than 13 years ago | (#722620)

In Singapore, bubble gum is banned in public areas including malls and restaurants because it is "disruptive, rude, and litter-producing". This comes from a country which is considered one of the most digital ("the intelligent island") in asia, second to Japan. If Singapore can ban bubble gum, it's not surprising to find other things banned in other asian countries such as video arcades..

God Bless Democracy... (1)

foxxtrot (217297) | more than 13 years ago | (#722629)

It may not work all the time, but at least it would stop something stupid like this from happening (most of the time). The thing is, that these same problems do exist within this country. In fact we do have similiar legislation, the police will raid an illegal Gambling facility, however, the government could pass such a law based on their history of writing laws that are open to monstrous amounts of interpretation. If they ever do pass such a law though, they'd never be able to enforce it, the citizens of this country would disregard that law.

foxxtrot
End Big Government, Vote Republican

Re:And then there's Singapore... (1)

Arthur Dent 75 (221061) | more than 13 years ago | (#722631)

The problem is that there are always some people in a society who are not strong enough to secure themselves. Just because you are able to take care of it by yourself this does not mean others can do this to. I would prefer the state/authorities/police to take care of security.

There are many reasons for stupid laws... Most of the time, someone at some time has thought it would be a good idea that [group x] should not be allowed to do [action y]. Afterwards the groups change, the public opinion changes, but the law remains.

Maybe you should give (at least some) laws something like an expiration date after that they must be reconsidered. Interesting idea, come to think of it.

--

I fear that this will get worse in the future. (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#722632)

Right now, we are at the stage where gamers like to lie, cheat, and steal their way into playing more games. Ultima accounts are being pirated, sold, and stolen every day. Already, the EverQuest master server has been replicated. The ASUS see-through drivers were a sad chapter; even more so since the drivers were hacked to work with any NVidia chipset. In Counter-Strike servers, the number two cheating accusation is that one is using the see-through drivers (number one being the aimbot).

Let's face it: gaming is a corrupt world. There are dishonest players all over the world, trying to get "the edge" at any cost; sometimes, at the cost of human lives. The only ones remaining to stop them are the remaining honest gamers, who play for fun. Unfourtunately, the number of those people are dwindling...

Re:And then there's Singapore... (1)

neuneu (232546) | more than 13 years ago | (#722640)

Ban the gun, and you don't have to worry about bank robberies. Wait...

I sure as hell did. (1)

Kalabajoui (232671) | more than 13 years ago | (#722641)

Let me see, one dollar a week allowance in the 1980's. WTF!! That wouldn't even buy a 2 liter bottle of soda, let alone 15 minutes in an arcade. I swiped about 10 to 20 dollars a week from my mom and dads loose change jar. I recently told my mother about it and she says she never noticed nor does she care in retrospect! They wouldn't let me get a job or so much as a paper route untill I was 16, what was I supposed to do? Ah, I remember the days of waiting for the arcade to open so that I could have my all too brief go at the games I liked. Although I became good enough to beat a few on one quarter, like Ajax, Rolling Thunder, Heavy Barrell, Time Soldiers, etc... Those poor Malasian kids, most of them will never know the priviledge of a western lifestyle, why begrudge them this one small pleasure?

WTF (1)

arothstein (233805) | more than 13 years ago | (#722643)

Think about that next time you get worked up about the government censoring the amount of blood in a game. Seems kinda insignificant relative to some places.

So, you're saying we shouldn't get worked up about government censorship, because our government's censorship is "insignificant" relative to other countries?? I am staggered.

You are either grammatically challenged, or mentally challenged. The whole point of fighting censorship is that censorship starts slowly (on "insignificant" things) but is unstoppable once it gets a foothold.

Re:And then there's Singapore... (1)

shinji1911 (238955) | more than 13 years ago | (#722659)

Uh huh. OT, but I don't see why ppl care so much about a drunk moron who broke the law in another country, and was forced to submit to their peculiar brand of justice.

If their national law mandated that the punishment should be castration, I'd be all up for the idiot getting his balls ripped off.

Never understood why foreigners should get it easy, ever.

Re:What a country (1)

Natalie's Hot Grits (241348) | more than 13 years ago | (#722669)

Isn't it nice to know you can pour hot grits down my pants and not go to jail over it? Shoot, I dont even care if you do it in an arcade! There is this cool game there called Slashdot's Arcade Funhouse featuring me as Natalie Portman.. In the game I go and get petrified and you have to rescue me. It's quite fun :)

see you there cutie ;)

What a buncha dips... (1)

Natalie's Hot Grits (241348) | more than 13 years ago | (#722670)

Who do these peope think they are? I live in malaysia. This is getting out of hand.. They have already sent notices to the arcade's they must be shut down in a month or so.. Since when do kids STEAL from their parents to go to the arcade? I always took money from teh santa clause standing in front of the shopping center. It's not like arcade's are a great economic distress in this country. I mean give me a break!

BOOOOOOOOO for taking down my arcade!

And then there's Singapore... (2)

FFFish (7567) | more than 13 years ago | (#722679)

...with its ban on chewing gum, etcetera. And the caning of that little bastard who was damaging cars.

Huge restrictions on what you can do, when you live in Singapore.

But on the other hand, you can walk the streets safely at any time of night, and you don't worry about people breaking into your car and stealing the stereo.

It's a trade-off, just as with all things in life.

When you allow a lot of freedoms, you also allow a lot of assholes to infringe on your own freedom.

Let some jerk chew gum, and you just *know* he's going to stick it on the seat of the bus when he gets up to leave, just as you're about to sit down on it.

Ban the gum, and you don't have to worry about it.

But, then, you don't get to chew gum, either.

Trade-offs and balances, costs and consequences...

--

Re:And then there's Singapore... (2)

FFFish (7567) | more than 13 years ago | (#722680)

Fair, unilateral, and dead serious.

There's none of this wishy-washy stuff with Singapore. You do the crime, you pay the time, no ifs, ands or buts.

You don't get caught with an ounce of weed and then get off easy because "you're the Senator's son," while some other dude ends up locked up for life for *the same offense.*

And there's none of this pussy piddly fine stuff, either. In my town, it's $3 if I get caught with an expired meter. It's *cheaper* for me to ignore the meter and pay the occasional fine than to follow the law.

In Singapore, I'd probably lose my car entirely. You bet your life I'd be plugging that freaking meter!

**CONSISTENT** consequences that are cost **MORE** to ignore than to follow and the *GUTS* to enfore them -- that's the key to success!


--

Re:And then there's Singapore... (2)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 13 years ago | (#722683)

...with its ban on chewing gum, etcetera. And the caning of that little bastard who was damaging cars.
Huge restrictions on what you can do, when you live in Singapore.
But on the other hand, you can walk the streets safely at any time of night, and you don't worry about people breaking into your car and stealing the stereo.
Odd, the same thing could be said for Europe or Canada, yet they offer considerably more freedom than Singapore.

Could it be that this be the result of guns alone being banned???

--
Americans are bred for stupidity.

Re:Let's not get silly about this. (2)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 13 years ago | (#722684)

No need for Amnesty International in this particular situation then - I'm sure that AI is busy enough dealing with real infringments against human rights. In fact, do us all a favour and go and read their Annual Report and read about some real horrors before describing the banning of arcades as a travesty.


It's a democracy? Really? Well, let's go have a look at Amnesty International's website [amnesty.org]...
Hmmm, lesseee.... Ah! Asia, Malaysia, there:

restriction of individual rights and liberties, ... use by police of excessive force in dispersing peaceful demonstrators, ... allows detention without charge for up to two years, renewable indefinitely, of anyone considered a potential threat to national security. At least 27 prisoners of conscience were detained, ...


Read it all here [amnesty.org].

And next time, stop pontificating about Malaysia being a democratic country without doin' your homework.

--
Americans are bred for stupidity.

Re:And then there's Singapore... (2)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 13 years ago | (#722687)

Security X Freedom = a constant

It's a simple fact of life. Personally, I'd like my Freedom to be very high, and I'll worry about my own Security thank you very much. But some people don't think like that, which is one reason why we get stupid laws. Of course, the worst laws are the ones that change the constant, the ones that reduce freedom without increasing security.

Well.. (2)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 13 years ago | (#722694)

Gambling is only a 'sport' for people who can't do math!

That's right folks. If money represents our hard work and ability to trade.. what purpose does gambling serve? It's not like you are buying a service or a good.. you are simply risking money.

Muslims also don't believe in interest charges on loans, iirc. ANd this again makes sense; although it's so ingrained in our western society, think about it. Why should someone get interest simply because they lent you some money they didn't need anyway? Was more 'money' actually created in society through that lending? Why should more exist then? (Before ripping me apart, consider where money actually comes from)

Re:A Clockwork Orange (2)

jaa (22623) | more than 13 years ago | (#722695)

Maybe we should ship them a few thousand copies of the movie

Sadly, the movie has probably been banned.

Somewhat related... (2)

fReNeTiK (31070) | more than 13 years ago | (#722699)

... But not nearly as bad: In Germany, games which are deemed too violent are routinely subjected to modifications in order to be allowed to advertise and sell them in places accessible by minors.

A very funny example was Half-Life, in which the marines were replaced by some sort of combat droids which would spill motor oil instead of blood. Note that the gameplay doesn't change at all, you're still butchering like crazy...

Re:Well.. (2)

drudd (43032) | more than 13 years ago | (#722701)

Interest compensates the loaner for risking the money they "didn't need anyway." If I have $1000, and you come to me with this wide-eyed internet startup idea, and I'm not looking to get anything back from it, I'm not likely to loan you the money. If, on the other hand, I loan my money out to a bunch of different people, chances are not all of them will fail, and the interest I charge will be proportional to the probability that I get a return.

In this way we allow the people with ideas to bring their ideas/dreams to fruition, when they don't otherwise have the resources to do so.

Doug

Re:Not to be a whiner, but... (2)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 13 years ago | (#722703)

Actually, I am one of the few /.ers that agrees with age restrictions on games. However, I have seen politicians who want to outright ban game violence, since most stores do nothing to enforce the ratings levels. Here the problem is the same as movie theaters, crack down on the theaters, not the movie makers, and in parallel, crack down on the stores, not the manufacturers

Re:confused (2)

joseph_dcruz (81706) | more than 13 years ago | (#722708)

Muslims aren't allowed to *gamble* by law. Games per se are fine, it's wagering money that's not allowed for Muslims. And it's a little harder to get around than saying "I'm not Muslim" since Malaysians carry compulsory identity cards which (amongst other things) help to distinguish Muslims and non-Muslims.
Knee-jerk reactions like this are typical of the Malaysian Government, unfortunately. We use the traditional approach to selecting Cabinet members - it's an intellectual race and the slowest ones win...

Re:Not to be a whiner, but... (2)

Gerad (86818) | more than 13 years ago | (#722709)

Somehow I doubt the government is going to start telling what you can and cannot play in your own home. One could even consider an extention of Roe vs Wade to cover this. I honestly don't think that a government saying that one has to be 18 or older to buy a game that has massive graphic violence in it is all that bad of a thing. That brings it to the point of one's parents telling you what you can and cannot play in your home, and I'm sorry, but you don't have that many rights in a matter like this. The point of that last like, imho, is that we should realize that government saying you have to be 18 or older to buy a game is a much more reasonable thing than alot of people think.

danger is danger (2)

cybercuzco (100904) | more than 13 years ago | (#722710)

Just because theyre banning arcades in Malaysia doesnt mean we should let our gaurd down on the complaints by people that there is too much blood and violence in video games. We could say, oh well let them restrict the violence, at least were not as bad as malaysia. If we did that, pretty soon we would be as bad as malaysia. Attacks on freedom at any level, no mater how insignificant they seem in comparison to other countries, need to be opposed.

Re:And then there's Singapore... (2)

tetrad (131849) | more than 13 years ago | (#722715)

The thing is.. most of Singapore's laws make *sense*.

I tend to agree. Although lot's of Singapore's laws and policies have elicited ridicule or criticism in the west, they have, for the most part, been successful in creating a prosperous and surprisingly free society. For a forceful and rational discussion of Singapore's policies by the man who crafted many of them, read Lee Kuan Yew's new memoirs [barnesandnoble.com].

Let's not get silly about this. (2)

DrWiggy (143807) | more than 13 years ago | (#722718)

The one thing that makes me despise arguments about the preservation of people's basic human rights, is when people do not realise what is a right, and what is effectively a privilege. Being able to vote democratically is a right. Not being discriminated against due to race, creed or sexuality is a right. You have the right to not be imprisoned illegally, or to be tortured.

Being able to play video games is a privilege, not a right.

If you have the rights I've outlined above, you will be able to vote the government out of office who has banned video games, if that is your preference. A populous that is mostly in support of the banning of video games has the right to ban them (through democratic means) if they wish. Just because a minority disagree, does not mean that they are having their basic human rights taken away from them. If that were the case, the Klan would be able to argue it's their basic human right to set fire to black people, I would have the right to steal Dr. Pepper from the store whenever I couldn't afford it, and the legal system would just fall to pieces.

Perhaps something I've never really noticed about American xenophobia before, and it's only just clicked for me in the /. context. I really hate to break this to you guys, but other countries than the USA are democracies as well. In fact, if you had looked up your very own CIA's World Factobook entry for Malaysia [odci.gov] yourself, you would notice that they do indeed have a democratically elected lower assembly, just like the UK. Marvellous. If they don't like it, they can vote them out. In fact, the legal system is based upon UK law (which is pretty hot on the old democratic rights stuff) and they have universal suffrage at the age of 21. Fancy that, they even let women vote as well! These foreigners are getting very advanced aren't they, and there you all were thinking that just because it was somewhere "foreign" it must be one of those places you see on CNN with pictures 100 foot tall of Commies everywhere. Indeed.

No need for Amnesty International in this particular situation then - I'm sure that AI is busy enough dealing with real infringments against human rights. In fact, do us all a favour and go and read their Annual Report [amnesty.org] and read about some real horrors before describing the banning of arcades as a travesty.

Morons. Get your priorities right. I can understand you wanting to bitch about the FBI snooping your data - it's your contry, your right. But to bitch about a democratic government banning video games???? Purrr-lease....

I bet this doesn't get touched by the moderators, or if it does it will be negative. :-)

Whoa (2)

Icebox (153775) | more than 13 years ago | (#722720)

The media there has highlighted police raids on unlicensed game centers

The amazing thing is that this is about video games, not crack houses or militias like the police in the US. I can't imagine that this is one of their biggest problems. Maybe there is there some kind weirdo fringe group behind it.

Re:Not to be a whiner, but... (2)

netpixie (155816) | more than 13 years ago | (#722721)

I salute the efforts of organizations such as Amnesty International, who work for freedom in other nations

A slightly strange comment. AI concentrate on torture, political imprisonment, etc. The fact a few people aren't going to be able to play Daytona is unlikely to worry them.

If I was wearing my flame proof pants, I might mention that it's this inability to see the line that gets merkins a bad name.

Typical Governing (2)

AgentOBorg (178136) | more than 13 years ago | (#722723)

When I was in high-school, they made it against the rules to go to the bathroom durring lunch when I was a Junior, because people smoked there.

Whatever you think of smokming or video games, most good things end-up banned to stop something else that scares the authorities. Authorities like to dictate and ""criminals" tempted them to do it. Give humanity enough rope, they'll always hang themselves some how.

As far as the reason, it seem the Malays actually have a slightly more justifiable reason than is often used here. Blood in gore have been in every media from folf lore ("Kill Snowwhite and bring me her lungs and liver"

A Clockwork Orange (2)

empesey (207806) | more than 13 years ago | (#722725)

This is dangerously close to A Clockwork Orange. In order to remove the bad parts of someone (or a society), they take the good parts out as well. Maybe we should ship them a few thousand copies of the movie

Let's not be complacent (3)

AntonVoyl (125030) | more than 13 years ago | (#722729)

Think about that next time you get worked up about the government censoring the amount of blood in a game. Seems kinda insignificant relative to some places.

Yes, the US government censorship of violent games seems mild compared to Malaysia's banning of entire arcades. But that doesn't make American censorship right. Just because someone is relatively worse doesn't make the situation in the US good.

Being complacent about US censorship because it's worse somewhere else is a sure-fire way to end up like that somewhere else in a hurry.

That said, comparing US censorship to Malaysian censorship is unfair. The US has a tradition of free speech and Malaysia does not. Malaysia bans all sorts of stuff:

  • Homosexuality will land you in prison.
  • Anything that denigrates Islam or Islamic interests is banned.
    • Schindler's List was banned for this reason because it "showed Jews in too good a light" and would "arouse sympathy for Zionism."
  • Anything racist is banned
  • No pornography allowed
  • No guns
  • You'd better not speak out against the government, or else.

I'm pretty sure they'd ban Slashdot if it were based there.

Re:And then there's Singapore... (3)

ToddN (190561) | more than 13 years ago | (#722730)

"fine for spitting on the sidewalk in public? Sure. It *IS* the primary way TB is spread. And is unsanitary."

I sure wish they would enact that ordinance here in Detroit. The owners of the building I work in have to periodically pressure wash the sidewalk in front to blast away the accumulated phlegm, urine and vomit. An old guy the other day let loose with a lung oyster and almost hit me with it.

Detroit is by far the NASTIEST city I have ever been in.... maybe caning some of these consumptives would be a good thing....

Re:And then there's Singapore... (5)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 13 years ago | (#722731)

The thing is.. most of Singapore's laws make *sense*.

$1000 fine for not flushing a public toilet? Sure, that might seem 'draconian'.. but what the fuck is wrong with you? why not just flush the fucking toilet? It's a health risk.

fine for spitting on the sidewalk in public? Sure. It *IS* the primary way TB is spread. And is unsanitary.

Mandatory death sentence for importing illegal drugs? Well.. what's wrong with that? It's clearly made known before you enter the country, and you are given the opportunity to dump whatever you were going to import without fear of reprisal. Bring it in and get caught, they whack you. And so they should.

That kid that was caned? Why the hell should we put him in juvie and spend all kinds of money rehabilitating him? A good public caning was a swift and cheap punishment. Cruel and unusual? Well.. what purpose did his vandalizing that car or whatever serve? Any useful purpose to society at all? Nope. So he gets caned, and learns a swift lesson.

Chewing gum? I believe the ban is on chewing gum in public; and it was done because the people were spending millions every year (the government was) cleaning up black sticky gum residue off of rail terminals, temples, monuments, etc... and some poeple were sticking it on the doors of the trains and such and delaying train runs. Draconian? perhaps... but it's 'if people can't be responsible, we will do something about it'. At least it's not some insidious corrupt government doing it to enforce their own brand of gum... it was fair and unilateral.

And the same thing happens in the US. (5)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 13 years ago | (#722732)

I don't know where the rest of you grew up, but I know of a few people in my high school 10 years ago who didn't obtain their nintendo cartridges legally. (Oxon Hill High School, outside of Washington, DC)

These days, they're having problems with kids stealing other kids Pokemon cards. I'm guessing there's a few kids out there who are lifting a little cash from their parents to get it, too.

And the reason this happens is because unlike Malasia, if you give the kid a good spanking, you get brought up on child abuse charges, or your kid sues you for emotional trauma years later. But if you just let them steal, you're fine, as they're still a juvenile, and they'd just get sent up to Boy's Village for a little while.

Not even a full generation later, and you're not shocked to see some 5 year old mouthing off to his mom. If I did that to my mom, I knew that after we got home, I'd not be sitting so easy for the rest of the day.

Too many kids these say have no real adult supervision-- both parents work, and they're sent off to a daycare or have a babysitter watch after them 'till a parent gets off work. If they're lucky, they have an older brother who will beat them when they do something stupid. [of course, they could also get my brother, who would beat us for no particular reason]

Not to be a whiner, but... (5)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 13 years ago | (#722733)

Think about that next time you get worked up about the government censoring the amount of blood in a game.

Now, don't get me wrong, I believe it is a travesty that there are other countries out there that take away personal freedoms like this. I salute the efforts of organizations such as Amnesty International, who work for freedom in other nations. And, I feel very thankful for the freedom we Yanks have in comparison to some of these other countries. My sadness over their own situation, however will NEVER make me stop fighting to preserve my own rights. While it pales in comparison to the situation in Malaysia, my government telling me what I can and cannot play in my own home is STILL a violation of my rights, and I will continue to fight every single time something like that happenes. Give them an inch, and they'll take a mile.

Before everyone starts freaking out... (5)

Gerad (86818) | more than 13 years ago | (#722734)

I would like to note that a few years ago, when I took a trip to the UK, I ended up going into a few arcades there, and the place was about 75% gambling, 25% video games. If you read the article, it says that the ban was mainly focused at the illegal gambling 'arcades', and happened to catch the legitimate arcades as a side effect. I don't agree with this, but I don't think it's all that bad of a thing either. Given that the US has restrictions on gambling as well, I think people should realize that diferent countries are going to deal with different things differently.

A Malaysian's Viewpoint (5)

efuseekay (138418) | more than 13 years ago | (#722735)

I am sure glad to see that Malaysia has made a /. headline! -sarcasm- Malaysia Boleh! -sarcasm-

Anyway, being a Malaysian, I can give a bit of history about this stuff.

Malaysia is a prudish country. To illustrate, let me list out the movies _we_ have banned : Austin Powers, Prince of Egypt, Schindler's list, Saving Private Ryan, countless others.

We also banned kissing scenes in American TV movies : they are always hilariously cut/bleeped off.

We banned Ellen Degeneres' appearance in David Letterman.

etc.. You get the Picture.

BUT...

The banning of Video Arcades, however, is not exactly a BadThing(tm), though. Have you ever seen some of these "video arcades" in Malaysia? They are not Dave and Busters' nice, clean stuff. But they are like gloomy, full of smoke, and lots of unsavoury characters.

Basically, if I have kids (I don't), I won't even let them -near- that place. If my kids want video games, I'll happily buy a Athlon and QuakeIII for him.

So, please /.-ters, don't judge too hastily. It's the knee-jerk reaction that, unfortunately, permeates too many people (including /. people) nowadays.

(As a point of history, video arcades were banned for the same reasons some years back. But the licenses were reinstated a few year back.)

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