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New Bill Would Restrict Sale of Video Games to Minors

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the hey-they-can't-vote-right dept.

Games 650

RobinH writes: "According to this article at MSN, "A bill introduced in Congress last week would make it a federal crime to sell or rent violent video games to minors," and it "would apply to games that feature decapitation, amputation, killing of humans with lethal weapons or through hand-to-hand combat, rape, car-jackings, aggravated assault and other violent felonies." We know that sometimes kids who are never exposed to alcohol until they are 19 or 21 can go way overboard the first time... is there a possibility of the same thing happening with violent video games?" Here's CNN's story as well.

cancel ×


fp for gopher (you're all assholes) (-1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479252)

March 1993

The Internet Gopher Protocol
(a distributed document search and retrieval protocol)

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
not specify an Internet standard. Distribution of this memo is


The Internet Gopher protocol is designed for distributed document
search and retrieval. This document describes the protocol, lists
some of the implementations currently available, and has an overview
of how to implement new client and server applications. This
document is adapted from the basic Internet Gopher protocol document
first issued by the Microcomputer Center at the University of
Minnesota in 1991.


gopher n. 1. Any of various short tailed, burrowing mammals of the
family Geomyidae, of North America. 2. (Amer. colloq.) Native or
inhabitant of Minnesota: the Gopher State. 3. (Amer. colloq.) One
who runs errands, does odd-jobs, fetches or delivers documents for
office staff. 4. (computer tech.) software following a simple
protocol for burrowing through a TCP/IP internet.

The Internet Gopher protocol and software follow a client-server
model. This protocol assumes a reliable data stream; TCP is assumed.
Gopher servers should listen on port 70 (port 70 is assigned to
Internet Gopher by IANA). Documents reside on many autonomous
servers on the Internet. Users run client software on their desktop
systems, connecting to a server and sending the server a selector (a
line of text, which may be empty) via a TCP connection at a well-
known port. The server responds with a block of text terminated by a
period on a line by itself and closes the connection. No state is
retained by the server.

While documents (and services) reside on many servers, Gopher client
software presents users with a hierarchy of items and directories
much like a file system. The Gopher interface is designed to
resemble a file system since a file system is a good model for
organizing documents and services; the user sees what amounts to one
big networked information system containing primarily document items,
directory items, and search items (the latter allowing searches for
documents across subsets of the information base).

Servers return either directory lists or documents. Each item in a
directory is identified by a type (the kind of object the item is),
user-visible name (used to browse and select from listings), an
opaque selector string (typically containing a pathname used by the
destination host to locate the desired object), a host name (which
host to contact to obtain this item), and an IP port number (the port
at which the server process listens for connections). The user only
sees the user-visible name. The client software can locate and
retrieve any item by the trio of selector, hostname, and port.

To use a search item, the client submits a query to a special kind of
Gopher server: a search server. In this case, the client sends the
selector string (if any) and the list of words to be matched. The
response yields "virtual directory listings" that contain items
matching the search criteria.

Gopher servers and clients exist for all popular platforms. Because
the protocol is so sparse and simple, writing servers or clients is
quick and straightforward.

1. Introduction

The Internet Gopher protocol is designed primarily to act as a
distributed document delivery system. While documents (and services)
reside on many servers, Gopher client software presents users with a
hierarchy of items and directories much like a file system. In fact,
the Gopher interface is designed to resemble a file system since a
file system is a good model for locating documents and services. Why
model a campus-wide information system after a file system? Several

(a) A hierarchical arrangement of information is familiar to many
users. Hierarchical directories containing items (such as
documents, servers, and subdirectories) are widely used in
electronic bulletin boards and other campus-wide information
systems. People who access a campus-wide information server will
expect some sort of hierarchical organization to the information

(b) A file-system style hierarchy can be expressed in a simple
syntax. The syntax used for the internet Gopher protocol is
easily understandable, and was designed to make debugging servers
and clients easy. You can use Telnet to simulate an internet
Gopher client's requests and observe the responses from a server.
Special purpose software tools are not required. By keeping the
syntax of the pseudo-file system client/server protocol simple, we
can also achieve better performance for a very common user
activity: browsing through the directory hierarchy.

(c) Since Gopher originated in a University setting, one of the
goals was for departments to have the option of publishing
information from their inexpensive desktop machines, and since
much of the information can be presented as simple text files
arranged in directories, a protocol modeled after a file system
has immediate utility. Because there can be a direct mapping from
the file system on the user's desktop machine to the directory
structure published via the Gopher protocol, the problem of
writing server software for slow desktop systems is minimized.

(d) A file system metaphor is extensible. By giving a "type"
attribute to items in the pseudo-file system, it is possible to
accommodate documents other than simple text documents. Complex
database services can be handled as a separate type of item. A
file-system metaphor does not rule out search or database-style
queries for access to documents. A search-server type is also
defined in this pseudo-file system. Such servers return "virtual
directories" or list of documents matching user specified

2. The internet Gopher Model

A detailed BNF rendering of the internet Gopher syntax is available
in the appendix...but a close reading of the appendix may not be
necessary to understand the internet Gopher protocol.

In essence, the Gopher protocol consists of a client connecting to a
server and sending the server a selector (a line of text, which may
be empty) via a TCP connection. The server responds with a block of
text terminated with a period on a line by itself, and closes the
connection. No state is retained by the server between transactions
with a client. The simple nature of the protocol stems from the need
to implement servers and clients for the slow, smaller desktop
computers (1 MB Macs and DOS machines), quickly, and efficiently.

Below is a simple example of a client/server interaction; more
complex interactions are dealt with later. Assume that a "well-
known" Gopher server (this may be duplicated, details are discussed

later) listens at a well known port for the campus (much like a
domain-name server). The only configuration information the client
software retains is this server's name and port number (in this
example that machine is and the port 70). In
the example below the F character denotes the TAB character.

Client: {Opens connection to at port 70}

Server: {Accepts connection but says nothing}

Client: <CR><LF> {Sends an empty line: Meaning "list what you have"}

Server: {Sends a series of lines, each ending with CR LF}
0About internet GopherFStuff:About usFrawBits.micro.umn.eduF70
1Around University of MinnesotaFZ,5692,AUMFunderdog.micro.umn.eduF70
1Microcomputer News & PricesFPrices/Fpserver.bookstore.umn.eduF70
1Courses, Schedules, CalendarsFFevents.ais.umn.eduF9120
1Student-Staff DirectoriesFFuinfo.ais.umn.eduF70
1Departmental PublicationsFStuff:DP:FrawBits.micro.umn.eduF70
. {Period on a line by itself}
{Server closes connection}

The first character on each line tells whether the line describes a
document, directory, or search service (characters '0', '1', '7';
there are a handful more of these characters described later). The
succeeding characters up to the tab form a user display string to be
shown to the user for use in selecting this document (or directory)
for retrieval. The first character of the line is really defining
the type of item described on this line. In nearly every case, the
Gopher client software will give the users some sort of idea about
what type of item this is (by displaying an icon, a short text tag,
or the like).

The characters following the tab, up to the next tab form a selector
string that the client software must send to the server to retrieve
the document (or directory listing). The selector string should mean
nothing to the client software; it should never be modified by the
client. In practice, the selector string is often a pathname or
other file selector used by the server to locate the item desired.
The next two tab delimited fields denote the domain-name of the host
that has this document (or directory), and the port at which to
connect. If there are yet other tab delimited fields, the basic
Gopher client should ignore them. A CR LF denotes the end of the

In the example, line 1 describes a document the user will see as
"About internet Gopher". To retrieve this document, the client
software must send the retrieval string: "Stuff:About us" to at port 70. If the client does this, the
server will respond with the contents of the document, terminated by
a period on a line by itself. A client might present the user with a
view of the world something like the following list of items:

About Internet Gopher
Around the University of Minnesota...
Microcomputer News & Prices...
Courses, Schedules, Calendars...
Student-Staff Directories...
Departmental Publications...

In this case, directories are displayed with an ellipsis and files
are displayed without any. However, depending on the platform the
client is written for and the author's taste, item types could be
denoted by other text tags or by icons. For example, the UNIX
curses-based client displays directories with a slash (/) following
the name; Macintosh clients display directories alongside an icon of
a folder.

The user does not know or care that the items up for selection may
reside on many different machines anywhere on the Internet.

Suppose the user selects the line "Microcomputer News & Prices...".
This appears to be a directory, and so the user expects to see
contents of the directory upon request that it be fetched. The
following lines illustrate the ensuing client-server interaction:

Client: (Connects to at port 70)
Server: (Accepts connection but says nothing)
Client: Prices/ (Sends the magic string terminated by CRLF)
Server: (Sends a series of lines, each ending with CR LF)
0About PricesFPrices/AboutusFpserver.bookstore.umn.eduF70
0Macintosh PricesFPrices/MacFpserver.bookstore.umn.eduF70
0IBM PricesFPrices/IckFpserver.bookstore.umn.eduF70
0Printer & Peripheral PricesFPrices/PPPFpserver.bookstore.umn.eduF70
. (Period on a line by itself)
(Server closes connection)

3. More details

3.1 Locating services

Documents (or other services that may be viewed ultimately as
documents, such as a student-staff phonebook) are linked to the
machine they are on by the trio of selector string, machine domain-
name, and IP port. It is assumed that there will be one well-known
top-level or root server for an institution or campus. The
information on this server may be duplicated by one or more other
servers to avoid a single point of failure and to spread the load
over several servers. Departments that wish to put up their own
departmental servers need to register the machine name and port with
the administrators of the top-level Gopher server, much the same way
as they register a machine name with the campus domain-name server.
An entry which points to the departmental server will then be made at
the top level server. This ensures that users will be able to
navigate their way down what amounts to a virtual hierarchical file
system with a well known root to any campus server if they desire.

Note that there is no requirement that a department register
secondary servers with the central top-level server; they may just
place a link to the secondary servers in their own primary servers.
They may indeed place links to any servers they desire in their own
server, thus creating a customized view of thethe Gopher information
universe; links can of course point back at the top-level server.
The virtual (networked) file system is therefore an arbitrary graph
structure and not necessarily a rooted tree. The top-level node is
merely one convenient, well-known point of entry. A set of Gopher
servers linked in this manner may function as a campus-wide
information system.

Servers may of course point links at other than secondary servers.
Indeed servers may point at other servers offering useful services
anywhere on the internet. Viewed in this manner, Gopher can be seen
as an Internet-wide information system.

3.2 Server portability and naming

It is recommended that all registered servers have alias names
(domain name system CNAME) that are used by Gopher clients to locate
them. Links to these servers should use these alias names rather
than the primary names. If information needs to be moved from one
machine to another, a simple change of domain name system alias
(CNAME) allows this to occur without any reconfiguration of clients
in the field. In short, the domain name system may be used to re-map
a server to a new address. There is nothing to prevent secondary
servers or services from running on otherwise named servers or ports

other than 70, however these should be reachable via a primary

3.3 Contacting server administrators

It is recommended that every server administrator have a document
called something like: "About Bogus University's Gopher server" as
the first item in their server's top level directory. In this
document should be a short description of what the server holds, as
well as name, address, phone, and an e-mail address of the person who
administers the server. This provides a way for users to get word to
the administrator of a server that has inaccurate information or is
not running correctly. It is also recommended that administrators
place the date of last update in files for which such information
matters to the users.

3.4 Modular addition of services

The first character of each line in a server-supplied directory
listing indicates whether the item is a file (character '0'), a
directory (character '1'), or a search (character '7'). This is the
base set of item types in the Gopher protocol. It is desirable for
clients to be able to use different services and speak different
protocols (simple ones such as finger; others such as CSO phonebook
service, or Telnet, or X.500 directory service) as needs dictate.
CSO phonebook service is a client/server phonebook system typically
used at Universities to publish names, e-mail addresses, and so on.
The CSO phonebook software was developed at the University of
Illinois and is also sometimes refered to as ph or qi. For example,
if a server-supplied directory listing marks a certain item with type
character '2', then it means that to use this item, the client must
speak the CSO protocol. This removes the need to be able to
anticipate all future needs and hard-wire them in the basic Internet
Gopher protocol; it keeps the basic protocol extremely simple. In
spite of this simplicity, the scheme has the capability to expand and
change with the times by adding an agreed upon type-character for a
new service. This also allows the client implementations to evolve
in a modular fashion, simply by dropping in a module (or launching a
new process) for some new service. The servers for the new service
of course have to know nothing about Internet Gopher; they can just
be off-the shelf CSO, X.500, or other servers. We do not however,
encourage arbitrary or machine-specific proliferation of service
types in the basic Gopher protocol.

On the other hand, subsets of other document retrieval schemes may be
mapped onto the Gopher protocol by means of "gateway-servers".
Examples of such servers include Gopher-to-FTP gateways, Gopher-to-
archie gateways, Gopher-to-WAIS gateways, etc. There are a number of

advantages of such mechanisms. First, a relatively powerful server
machine inherits both the intelligence and work, rather than the more
modest, inexpensive desktop system that typically runs client
software or basic server software. Equally important, clients do not
have to be modified to take advantage of a new resource.

3.5 Building clients

A client simply sends the retrieval string to a server if it wants to
retrieve a document or view the contents of a directory. Of course,
each host may have pointers to other hosts, resulting in a "graph"
(not necessarily a rooted tree) of hosts. The client software may
save (or rather "stack") the locations that it has visited in search
of a document. The user could therefore back out of the current
location by unwinding the stack. Alternatively, a client with
multiple-window capability might just be able to display more than
one directory or document at the same time.

A smart client could cache the contents of visited directories
(rather than just the directory's item descriptor), thus avoiding
network transactions if the information has been previously

If a client does not understand what a say, type 'B' item (not a core
item) is, then it may simply ignore the item in the directory
listing; the user never even has to see it. Alternatively, the item
could be displayed as an unknown type.

Top-level or primary servers for a campus are likely to get more
traffic than secondary servers, and it would be less tolerable for
such primary servers to be down for any long time. So it makes sense
to "clone" such important servers and construct clients that can
randomly choose between two such equivalent primary servers when they
first connect (to balance server load), moving to one if the other
seems to be down. In fact, smart client implementations do this
clone server and load balancing. Alternatively, it may make sense to
have the domain name system return one of a set of redundant of
server's IP address to load balance betwen redundant sets of
important servers.

3.6 Building ordinary internet Gopher servers

The retrieval string sent to the server might be a path to a file or
directory. It might be the name of a script, an application or even
a query that generates the document or directory returned. The basic
server uses the string it gets up to but not including a CR-LF or a
TAB, whichever comes first.

All intelligence is carried by the server implementation rather than
the protocol. What you build into more exotic servers is up to you.
Server implementations may grow as needs dictate and time allows.

3.7 Special purpose servers

There are two special server types (beyond the normal Gopher server)
also discussed below:

1. A server directory listing can point at a CSO nameserver (the
server returns a type character of '2') to allow a campus
student-staff phonebook lookup service. This may show up on the
user's list of choices, perhaps preceded by the icon of a phone-
book. If this item is selected, the client software must resort
to a pure CSO nameserver protocol when it connects to the
appropriate host.

2. A server can also point at a "search server" (returns a first
character of '7'). Such servers may implement campus network (or
subnet) wide searching capability. The most common search servers
maintain full-text indexes on the contents of text documents held
by some subset of Gopher servers. Such a "full-text search
server" responds to client requests with a list of all documents
that contain one or more words (the search criteria). The client
sends the server the selector string, a tab, and the search string
(words to search for). If the selector string is empty, the client
merely sends the search string. The server returns the equivalent
of a directory listing for documents matching the search criteria.
Spaces between words are usually implied Boolean ANDs (although in
different implementations or search types, this may not
necessarily be true).

The CSO addition exists for historical reasons: at time of design,
the campus phone-book servers at the University of Minnesota used the
CSO protocol and it seemed simplest to just engulf them. The index-
server is however very much a Gopher in spirit, albeit with a slight
twist in the meaning of the selector-string. Index servers are a
natural place to incorperate gateways to WAIS and WHOIS services.

3.7.1 Building CSO-servers

A CSO Nameserver implementation for UNIX and associated documentation
is available by anonymous ftp from We do not
anticipate implementing it on other machines.

3.7.2 Building full-text search servers

A full-text search server is a special-purpose server that knows
about the Gopher scheme for retrieving documents. These servers
maintain a full-text index of the contents of plain text documents on
Gopher servers in some specified domain. A Gopher full-text search
server was implemented using several NeXTstations because it was easy
to take advantage of the full-text index/search engine built into the
NeXT system software. A search server for generic UNIX systems based
on the public domain WAIS search engine, is also available and
currently an optional part of the UNIX gopher server. In addition,
at least one implementation of the gopher server incorperates a
gateway to WAIS servers by presenting the WAIS servers to gopherspace
as full-text search servers. The gopher<->WAIS gateway servers does
the work of translating from gopher protocol to WAIS so unmodified
gopher clients can access WAIS servers via the gateway server.

By using several index servers (rather than a monolithic index
server) indexes may be searched in parallel (although the client
software is not aware of this). While maintaining full-text indexes
of documents distributed over many machines may seem a daunting task,
the task can be broken into smaller pieces (update only a portion of
the indexes, search several partial indexes in parallel) so that it
is manageable. By spreading this task over several small, cheap (and
fast) workstations it is possible to take advantage of fine-grain
parallelism. Again, the client software is not aware of this. Client
software only needs to know that it can send a search string to an
index server and will receive a list of documents that contain the
words in the search string.

3.8 Item type characters

The client software decides what items are available by looking at
the first character of each line in a directory listing. Augmenting
this list can extend the protocol. A list of defined item-type
characters follows:

0 Item is a file
1 Item is a directory
2 Item is a CSO phone-book server
3 Error
4 Item is a BinHexed Macintosh file.
5 Item is DOS binary archive of some sort.
Client must read until the TCP connection closes. Beware.
6 Item is a UNIX uuencoded file.
7 Item is an Index-Search server.
8 Item points to a text-based telnet session.
9 Item is a binary file!

Client must read until the TCP connection closes. Beware.
+ Item is a redundant server
T Item points to a text-based tn3270 session.
g Item is a GIF format graphics file.
I Item is some kind of image file. Client decides how to display.

Characters '0' through 'Z' are reserved. Local experiments should
use other characters. Machine-specific extensions are not
encouraged. Note that for type 5 or type 9 the client must be
prepared to read until the connection closes. There will be no
period at the end of the file; the contents of these files are binary
and the client must decide what to do with them based perhaps on the
.xxx extension.

3.9 User display strings and server selector strings

User display strings are intended to be displayed on a line on a
typical screen for a user's viewing pleasure. While many screens can
accommodate 80 character lines, some space is needed to display a tag
of some sort to tell the user what sort of item this is. Because of
this, the user display string should be kept under 70 characters in
length. Clients may truncate to a length convenient to them.

4. Simplicity is intentional

As far as possible we desire any new features to be carried as new
protocols that will be hidden behind new document-types. The
internet Gopher philosophy is:

(a) Intelligence is held by the server. Clients have the option
of being able to access new document types (different, other types
of servers) by simply recognizing the document-type character.
Further intelligence to be borne by the protocol should be

(b) The well-tempered server ought to send "text" (unless a file
must be transferred as raw binary). Should this text include
tabs, formfeeds, frufru? Probably not, but rude servers will
probably send them anyway. Publishers of documents should be
given simple tools (filters) that will alert them if there are any
funny characters in the documents they wish to publish, and give
them the opportunity to strip the questionable characters out; the
publisher may well refuse.

(c) The well-tempered client should do something reasonable with
funny characters received in text; filter them out, leave them in,

Re:fp for gopher (you're all assholes) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479266)

My neighbor's dog has a 5 inch clit!!

Re:fp for gopher (you're all assholes) (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479267)

Now that is a fine logged-in first post!

btw, I would rather be an asshole than a whole ass!

No this fp is mine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479277)

Give it here or I'll come after you.

2nd post (-1)

Anonymous Cunt (571958) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479257)

Logged in though. Arse.

This post is mine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479299)

I am also taking this post. You can't stop me. No one can. I shall seize all posts I deem necessary to continue the struggle.

Huh... (1)

Alexis Morissette (211656) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479258)

That rules out just about all video games, doesn't it?

Re:Huh... (1)

pi radians (170660) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479351)

Nope, only the extremely violent ones.

I don't see the problem in this law (although I am Canadian so really it has little to do with me) Limiting the amount of visual violence (especially with the interactivity of video games) can't hurt.

Maybe this will convince game makers to worry more about gameplay, and less about boobs and blood.

Who knows? We might all benefit.

Re:Huh... (4, Insightful)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479411)

Um, technically 'Archon' would qualify, as it depicts "the killing of human beings or human-like beings by the use of an object as a lethal weapon or hand-to-hand fighting". So would BattleChess, or, for that matter, Zork I, given that it prohibits depictions in general, instead of specifically realistic graphical depictions.

smelly (-1)

Anonymous Cowrad (571322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479261)

there's a funny smell coming from my pants.


Re:smelly (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479387)

Hey cockjunky no one wants to hear about your cheese doodleydoo problems. GHbdba oobaahaa you adaae are sucka

O&A (0, Informative)

Guns n' Roses Troll (207208) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479262)

Opie & Anthony, along with little Jimmy Norton, dictate my values system.

Over my dead body (1)

HungWeiLo (250320) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479263)

They'll pry my copy of Virtual Valerie from my cold, dead fingers, which are incidentally attached to my virgin ears and virgin eyes.

political example (5, Funny)

drudd (43032) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479269)

So does a video game which allows you to dope-slap your congressman count as violent or as political activism?


Lethality. (3, Funny)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479273)

killing of humans with lethal weapons

Good, so that Quake-engined game where I bludgeon people to death with safety goggles and old Smith Corona typewriters can still sell over the counter to the local toddlers, then.



Re:Lethality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479335)

"killing of humans with lethal weapons" What about aliens?!?! Arnt aliens people too? No one wants to protect them. How many times are we going to let violent depictations of Zeratul being eaten by a Zerg? This is sickening.

repeat (1, Informative)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479283)

Didn't we cover this yesterday? And several times in the past?

Re:repeat (-1)

Anonymous Cowrad (571322) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479337)

Everyone needs to get the chance to make their stupid fucking jokes and "insightful" comments.

Looks like a slow day for /.. Old stories or "hey, look, microsoft isn't playing fair" pieces.

Re:repeat (0)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479405)

Old stories or "hey, look, microsoft isn't playing fair" pieces.

Like that story today about how WMP changes settings on audio files? The funny thing is: It is Real and Quicktime that is bitching, they are just as bad as MS, if not worse, when it comes to grabing ownership of various file types.

Anyone can go overboard on something new (3, Insightful)

jroos (205868) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479284)

I've found myself going overboard on things that are new to me all the time. It might be a new game that I spend 12 hours playing the first day or spending all day driving around a new car.

The problem is when people go overboard on things where someone gets hurt. I don't agree with anyone that says a violent video game leads to real life violent action.

hmm...this seems pointless (3, Insightful)

mr.albino (522374) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479287)

i play grand theft auto 3 quite often and i don't go around car-jacking and murdering old women with louisville sluggers. i've played violent videogames since i was 10. i am 15 now. i've never commited a crime or some sort of outrageous violent act. some of these congressmen need to focus on more important issues than this, like how we are losing our rights and are fighting a pointless war.

Re:hmm...this seems pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479350)

Don't worry about it, man. You're young. You'll have your WHOLE college career to commit crimes :)

Re:hmm...this seems pointless (1)

alyandon (163926) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479388)

Yes. You sound like a rational human being that can fully understand the difference between commiting simulated violent acts in a game (no bad consequences) vs commiting violent in acts in real life (bad consequences virtually assured). This is all about being able to distinguish between fantasy and reality -- the most fundamental basis for judging whether a person is sane or not.

The problem is that sane people like you and I seem to be becoming more of an exception than the rule. This, unfortunately, makes extremists from both ends of the political spectrum want to ban content based on its supposed ability to incite brain-damaged tards to commit real world violence.

Re:hmm...this seems pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479422)

you are 15?

well son you have a long way to go before you understand the real world. trust me, you have no idea.

how are video games... (1)

stagl (569675) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479292)

any different from movies? would the law be the same for both??

Re:how are video games... (2)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479360)

Most movies aren't interactive... while most games involve rewarding the player for some behaviors and punishing other behaviors. For instance, a pacifist style of play isn't too feasible in most FPSes, because it tends to end your game rather quickly.

H.R. 4645 refers specifically to "video and computer games", not movies.

Good idea... (1)

taustin (171655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479293)

... since it's blatantly unconstitutional, and this will finally get it to the Supreme Court, where Congress can get bitch slapped yet again with the 1st Amendment.

Re:Good idea... (1)

mallan (37663) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479376)

Yeah, and selling porn to minors is blatantly unconstitutional as well, is it?

What about NC17 rated movies?

Video games are quickly approaching the realism of video/film (DOA3, for example), so why is it a problem to put the same restrictions on them as other media?

Re:Good idea... (2)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479386)

how is this more unconstitutional than the movie theatres refusing to allow minors admintance to R rated movies ? Don't get me wrong this is CRAP, another example of the government trying to parent instead of doing what they are there for, but I see this going through. In the 'NEW' facist america it is better to protect the potential for abuse than deal with reality. Beware the HomeLand Defense for will come for you.

Re:Good idea... (1)

ZeLonewolf (197271) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479415)

... since it's blatantly unconstitutional, and this will finally get it to the Supreme Court, where Congress can get bitch slapped yet again with the 1st Amendment.

I would say that it's probably no more unconstitional than laws that prohibit the access of minors to things like cigarettes, porno, or spray paint.

Re:Good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479424)

Ok, and restricting Playboys to kids is blatently unconstitutional as well??? Cripes...I swear most of the people posting on /. these days are 16 year olds that still regard cops as pigs and congress men as all looking out only for Disney's best interest.

Get a clue, until you are 18 you have few rights other than what you parents give you. This law prevents you from buying the software but doesn't prevent you from playing it if your parents so agree. There is nothing wrong with that.

As a recent adult (I just turned 30) I sympathize with the kiddies as I still feel I was one of ya'll...BUT learn the law and stop crying censorship at every turn. Maybe the editors at /. need to learn this as well. Everything coming from Michael or Timothy's keyboard seems to be that someone somewhere is oppressing you. Note to /. editors - Grow Up. It sucks being a kid and being told what you can and can't buy, but thats a part of growing up. Your parents control your lives and if you have good parents this isn't a bad thing. If you have sucky parents, I sympathize. Regardless, your parents are in charge of your life until either emancipated by the courts or by legal age.


Related story (2, Informative)

EyesWideOpen (198253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479294)

There's a related story here [] which mentions a Salon article about a Missouri judge who overruled a request for dismissal of an ordinance that would require kids under 17 to have parental consent before buying violent or sexually explicit video games.

Re:Related story (1)

Schrodinger's Mouse (466881) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479370)

The difference between that ruling and this bill is that the bill presumes that video games are speech and thus kinda protected, while the judge's ruling declares them to be Something Else and thus not at all protected.

(He's a federal judge, not state, BTW.)

Hurrah for stupid laws. (1)

ldspartan (14035) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479296)

I'm not too worried about something this moronic actually going through.

Of course, given the lawmakers current track record, I probably should be...

"car-jackings"..... (2)

friedmud (512466) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479297)

It is funny how much of an impact a simple 2d game named Grand Theft Auto can have on the world.


yeah it worked for cigs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479298)

Yeah bold move, it worked really well for tobacco.... NOT! I have yet to be carded for tobacco purchases, and yes I am over the age. Its amazing the complete bad choice of priorities.

Binge gaming? (1)

Shadarr (11622) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479301)

I'm sure this won't make a noticeable dent in the games purchased by minors, unless you believe that underage drinking doesn't happen. Reality aside, this is a stupid law. The first time someone discovers a great game, they play it night and day, non-stop. If they are in school (or even better, on summer vacation) this doesn't really matter a whole lot, but if they're 21 and out in the work force, they could be fired for coming in late and being a total zombie.

Movies vs. Video Games (0, Flamebait)

former (576328) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479302)

The MPAA and the networks have a lot deeper pockets I guess. After all, tell me why it's not a crime to see someone decapitated, killed, etc. on TV and in the movies? To single out just video games seems a little short-sighted. Something tells me it's not for the benefits of our children. Oh, and define enforcement for online purchases... Are you 18? Yes. Bingo!

Here we go! (0)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479304)

You can start posting your rants about how this spells the end of free speach and now adults won't be able to buy ChessMaster 5000 at the local Wal-Mart.

good. (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479307)

Thats right, good.
Newer games are becoming more graphic then ever, and there is too much. Anybody who has raised a child knows this. The question is "whats too much for a particular child?" well, the government can't tell on a child to child basis, but parents can. As long as parent get the option to allow there children to play those games, its a non-problem.

!good (1)

mstorer3772 (526790) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479402)

The problem is that is being passed as a law. The industry already has a self-imposed ratings system, just like movies.

Where's the reasoning behind making a law to restrict games when there is no such law covering... oh... say the soft-core porn passed off as teenage comedy these days?

Microsoft Rules! (0)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479310)

Wired [] []

The states released a June 2000 Microsoft e-mail that showed a plan for Microsoft's media player to play music files in proprietary formats by rivals RealNetworks and Apple.

"Remember the 'embrace and extend' campaigns we've used in the past," Microsoft employee Frasier Mocke wrote to colleagues, "and personally I want us to rule the airwaves."

Another Microsoft executive, Dave Foster, cut the discussion short: "No more replies," he wrote. "We need to keep all of this off the airwaves."

Resistance is Futile!

security through obscurity = modding down anti-linux posts so maybe noone will see them

Unsusal rule (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479311)

"New Bill Would Restrict Sale of Video Games to

I think adults should be allowed to buy video games if they want to.

not a big deal really..... (2)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479313)

some stores (like Kmart, WalMart, and I think Blockbuster) already such policies. It's similar to movies that are rated PG-13 (must be age 13 or with parent), R (age 17 or 13+ with parent), and NC-17 (no one under 17).

Also, responislbe parents are out there. I used to work for Kmart in high school, and have had parents returning the Mortal Kombat III they purchased for their 7 year olds. Likewise people would ask if game blah was too violent for their kid. I'd just point them to the display about the ESRB ratings.

Re:not a big deal really..... (1)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479372)

I said: already such policies

Should read: already have such policies

Offtopic, but... (0, Offtopic)

saider (177166) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479314)

I just saw an ad for Microsoft Visual Studio .Net on Slashdot (up in the banner). Very interesting...

Re:Offtopic, but... (1)

Schrodinger's Mouse (466881) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479334)

And on the MSN link I saw a banner for the new Netscape version. It happens.

Re:Offtopic, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479339)

.....take .... screenshot......

please don't get carried away (4, Insightful)

tps12 (105590) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479316)

I know every slasheep's autoresponse to this is "I want my GTA", but I'm going to risk my karma in order to speak my mind...please have patience, and try to give this argument some credit.

First, we have to recognize exactly what this bill would do. It would quite simply regulate the ability of youngsters to obtain video games that contain the kind of thing we already don't let them observe in movies or talk about in public. That is, it doesn't take away any rights.

Further, contrary to popular belief, the First Amendment does not give carte blanche permission for all speech. For example, Article 3 clearly gives Congress the power to limit speech "as is Deemed Apt for the Preservation of a Free and Fair Societie." This has been interpreted by the Wallace court as permitting such devious acts as shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater illegal, and under the Grommet Doctrine has allowed threats against the President's life and other disruptive speech to be further limited. Those who use the First Amendment out of context to support hurtful speech are just that: hurtful, to America.

Lastly, recall that the Constitution does not grant the right of "Personhood" to minors (those under 18). Technically, they fall under the same category ("non-free Chattel") as slaves once did.

In conclusion, let's please think about this objectively; this legislation would not give up any of our current rights, and in protecting our children from corruption would actually serve to protect our rights for generations to come.

The problem is overreaction... (3, Redundant)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479414)

"In conclusion, let's please think about this objectively; this legislation would not give up any of our current rights, and in protecting our children from corruption would actually serve to protect our rights for generations to come. "

The problem isn't about our rights, it's about conservative over-reaction. 'We think games bad' is turning into 'law says games be good'. There is simply no proof that this really needs to be done. This kind of behvaiour 50 years ago would have resulted in a similar law on Rock and Roll music. Do you really think Rock and Roll turned kids into hoodlums?

What happens when this law gets passed? What's the next one going to be? Cell phone ban without the need to prove that they're really harmful? Maybe they'll stop showing Law and Order because it gives children ideas about how to commit crimes.

Sorry, I don't want to live in a world where the people passing the laws think that children should be seen and not heard.

(Sigh) Morons, as usual. (3, Insightful)

Kasreyn (233624) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479318)

I promise you, during my high school years I played at least TEN TIMES as much DOOM as the Columbine shooters. I lived and breathed DOOM. It was my way to vent aggression.

Most people who know me find me peaceful to a fault. Gandhi is one of my heroes. I've never been in a fight. I've never punched anyone. I don't own a weapon (well, I have a pocket-knife...).

The Columbine shooting was a combination of nutty kids and adults who left guns within their fucking reach. It had nothing to do with videogames. But of course, videogames are easier for a Congresscritter to attack. It makes them look good at re-election time, and the gun lobby is much stronger and stupider (for the LAST TIME idiots, we don't want to take away your guns, we just want to keep them out of the hands of kids!).

Besides, no one ever got re-elected telling Americans they're bad parents.


Re:(Sigh) Morons, as usual. (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479421)

as for a de-stressor... Q3 or the others (UT with a chaos sniperrifle and 100 rounds comes to mind)

nothing beats a regular ole Q3 tournament with 12 bots all set for nightmare and you find a nice spot to camp and create a "guts fountain".. Ahhh!

after only 5 minutes playing like that you are completely de-stressed, (eye's twicthing and fingers shaking... but de-stressed about the people you have to deal with...:-)

Underground Ring (2)

NoWhere Man (68627) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479319)

This will just cause an underground ring to develop for video games. You could even start having games, or mods for games, being developped by people that are only released in an underground.
In the PC world, Warez would become a larger, more dominante form of pirating software. People might start developping kits to copy console games, just like credit card readers are being sold in the 2600 magazine.

If this bill passes, it might create an even bigger problem.

Remember... (1)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479320)

If you're under 18, you can't collect classic arcade hardware. (And if you're a seller, even for a hobby, imagine the annoyance of asking ID to sell stuff on eBay.) Geeeez.

oh yeah? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479322)

well FUCK YOU!!!!

yes, YOU!!!



you fucking FUCK!!!

go FUCK yourSELF you fucking FUCK!!


FUCK you you fucking FUCKER of a FUCK!!!



fucking FUCKERS!!

fucking fucking FUCKS!!!

Even m$ games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479325)

The Midtown Madness series allowed ppl to (attempt) to run over pedestrians. They don't do anything if you run into them, but is this too much?


I can see it now.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479327)

Teenager: "Can I get a copy of Grand Theft Auto 3?"

Clerk: "I'm gonna have to see some ID"

Teenager: "It's in the car"

Clerk: "Sorry, no ID, no game"

Teenager: "Then can I get a pack of Marlboros, a sixer of Natural Light, a Hustler, and a handgun"

Clerk: "Will that be paper or plastic?"

But seriously, I hardly see this as much more than more Useless Congressional Crap(TM). Police forces aren't going to want to waste their time busting the Blockbuster guy for letting Jimmy rent Resident Evil. I won't go on about this legislation being introduced by a Democrat, but expansion of government isn't the answer for much of anything, let alone depictions of violence. Are there going to be Contributing To The Delinquency Of A Minor charges put on those who rent/buy these games for a kid?

Effective? (3, Insightful)

Matt2000 (29624) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479328)

The worst part about all this legislation is that the people that write it think it's going to be effective, then they go back to sleep and think they've done something about violence in schools.

How many kids 16 and under actually buy the video games they play themselves? I bet they don't buy more than 1 in 4, and so this legislation would just force kids to pirate that one title they would buy.

Why don't we try to control the source of the real violence, real guns, instead of going after these false demons like video games that don't have a powerful lobby to protect them.

The Gov't is not to parent my kids... (2)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479329)

It is my job to be the parent of my kids, not the Government's. I want to be the one to choose what my kids can and cannot play.

I know damned good and well that I won't be able to prevent my kids from drinking or smoking or watching Beavis and Butthead. But I do know that while they're in my supervision, they'll behave. The way I see it, if they go out and experiment a little, that's fine. It's called curiosity. If my kid is 10 years old and watches a porno with his friend that stole it from his dad, oh well. That stuff happens all the time. Yet kids somehow still manage to be normal.

If I decide a game is too violent for my kids, then I'll make sure that they're not allowed to in my house. If they still manage to play it at a friend's house anyway, I may frown on that, but at least I know that because of me their exposure is still limited. The benefitting factor is that some of their need to see this game is satisfied, and it's not a big issue.

But what if the Gov't bans the sale of games to minors? That decision places a lot of weight on me that I don't need. On top of that, I don't approve of that decision! What if I write a note saying "Please let my child by this game anyway?" Will the retailer accept it? I doubt it. The law sounds like it's going to be too absolute to allow for things like their parents okaying it.

Let me parent my kids, don't make the decisions for me. If you feel the decision must be made for me, you better convince me that there's a problem that you're really fixing. There is 0 proof that video games have a negative impact on the health or behaviour of a child. Only speculation.

Re:The Gov't is not to parent my kids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479407)

Maybe this is for those that aren't sure if they have kids or not.

dumb (1)

GreenPhreak (60944) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479332)

I think this law is just plain dumb. I mean, I guess I can understand people not wanting their children to be exposed to 'Rated R' type games, however, parents should take an active role in their child's life and interests. Trying to legislate morality into the public realm is not the way to solve this, as you tend to blanket-censor too much, and you leave it up to some government committee to decide what your child should or should not view. Take the time to review things for yourself, so that YOU are the one deciding what is right for your children.

When a government forbids minors from drinking or smoking or playing video games, it just makes it that much more cool to do it at a young age. Countries with less strict regulations on alcohol/smoking (most of europe) tend to have a lot less problems with the whole taboo/cool issue associations. When will our government learn that this is not the way?

ObRemark (1)

Mike Schiraldi (18296) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479333)

I didn't write this, but...

Video games affecting people? Come on. When my generation was growing up, Pac Man was the big thing. If video games affected us, by today we'd all be hanging out in dark rooms, munching pills, and listening to repetitive electronic music.

Inane comment from Tim (2)

nagora (177841) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479336)

We know that sometimes kids who are never exposed to alcohol until they are 19 or 21 can go way overboard the first time... is there a possibility of the same thing happening with violent video games?

And some kids get so into drink by the time they're 15 that if they don't get into re-hab they end up dead. Try to at least come close to a rational argument.


This seems suitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479342)

"Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if
Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running
around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills
and listening to repetitive electronic music."

Kristian Wilson, Nintendo, Inc, 1989

Overly broad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479343)

Car-jackings, aggravated assault, rape, and killing with a lethal weapon is portrayed all the time on TV and PG-rated movies. The decapacitation and amputation clause may make sense, but the rest of it establishes a double standard compared to other visual media.

The law they should pass. (5, Insightful)

bahtama (252146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479346)

I got an idea for a law that will solve alot of these problems. It is called the "You Must Spend Time With Your Kids and Teach Them Right From Wrong." bill.

The problem is the people who don't know right from wrong and don't know the difference between the REAL world (and not the one trademarked by MTV) and computer games, rap lyrics, tv or (insert scapegoat here)

Isn't this currently in place? (2)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479348)

They already have ratings on games. Why doesn't the game industry just follow through with what they currently have in place and follow similar rules that movie theaters do? If the game is rated M then you must be 17 or with a parent to purchase it. I don't really see why we need to make selling games some sort of federal crime. Will they now start doing undercover sting operations at your local EB?

What about arcades? (1)

PantyChewer (557598) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479352)

We know that sometimes kids who are never exposed to alcohol until they are 19 or 21 can go way overboard the first time... is there a possibility of the same thing happening with violent video games?

That would mean banning kids from video arcades until they are 18. How you gonna do that? There are places that still have some of the great old games from the 80's, and there are a ton of "violent" video games in the arcades now. Are the owners expected to ID people? Are they expected to have an "adult" section?

we card! (1)

NotAnotherReboot (262125) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479353)

I can't wait to see those tobacco style "we card!" signs at computer stores. Then we can have commercials showing a nerd going into compusa and trying to buy Quake 3 (or any other BLOODY AND DISGUSTING game that MAKES us want to kill people) and having the guy across the counter ask for id and when he doesn't have one he can look all disappointed. Of course those stores will probably have to fire the teens currently working there because they'll be underage too. Sounds like a great plan...wait, no.

I do think it would be cool to have like a Gordon Freeman "We card" sign though. :)

ok (1)

misfit13b (572861) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479354)

That's fine by me. I won't lend my copy of GTA3 to one of my friends just cuz he has young kids that don't need to be exposed to that kind of stuff (plus his wife would kill me).

If the parents want to buy the games for the kids, that's at their own discretion. But kids shouldn't be buying such games by themselves w/o the parents being aware of it. The MSN article didn't mention an age tho, just said "minors". I'd be ok with a 16 or 18 age limit. (No reason to wait to 21!)

However, if the .gov tries to make it so that I can't get my hands on M rated titles (see also: Australia), THEN we'll have a problem. I don't see that here.

This is fucking silly, go catch osama you dummies (2)

t0qer (230538) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479355)

There are a lot more things in the world to waste my tax dollars on than making an age limit on video games. It's stupid i'm sorry.

So no vids featuring decapitation eh? I guess there should be a law against any comic created by Todd McFarland (Spawn) or H.R. Giger (Aliens) as well, hell while we're at it let's shit down on anime too. There's lots of violent scenes in those too.

About the only thing i'm against kids seeing in a video game is hentai tentacle rape scenes or stadium size pulsating vagina's. Maybe it's the catholic guilt coming out in me, I dunno.

My point is, there is a lot more things in this world we need to keep checks on, video games certainly do not fall into this.

Where are the parents? (1)

Click 0 Nett (525613) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479356)

It's not the government's job to watch the kids, its the parents! If parents do not wish their children to view this kind of material, then they are responsible for filtering it for their kids. The government makes a VERY bad babysitter.

I propose a video game... (1)

feloneous cat (564318) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479359)

...where the goal is to propose STUPID legislation that does nothing, infringes on peoples rights, and is in general a waste of time and money...

I call it "Leisure Suit Larry Does Congress"...

binge gaming (1)

BigBadPete (241096) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479361)

We know that sometimes kids who are never exposed to alcohol until they are 19 or 21 can go way overboard the first time... is there a possibility of the same thing happening with violent video games?

Yeah, those insane binge-gaming sessions where you play until your hands cramp, your eyes water and your vision blurs, and you get so jittery from the fast pace of the game that you twitch for an hour after you're done playing.

"Hi, my name's Pete, and....and I'm a gamer!" *cries*

isn't this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479363)

a bad day for IDSOFT? :-)
Hope they'll make it...

Man, this is really going to play havoc with. . . (2)

kfg (145172) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479364)

army recruiting, and half of basic training is going to have to be remdial.

Next thing you know they're actually going to be *arresting* 6 year olds playing "cops and robbers" for pointing their finger and someone and saying, " Bang!"

Oh, wait. . .


Why stop there? (2)

PD (9577) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479365)

It's clear that what our society really is looking for is a reclassification of children. Instead of considering them to be human, let's classify them as something else until they are 18. That way we can take away all their human rights. They aren't human, so how can they have human rights?

If they aren't human, we can search their lockers at school. They can't buy anything because they can't enter into a contract. They are human, so they can't be considered competent to make their own decisions about anything at all.

So, if children aren't human, why the shit do so many people care about them playing a few video games?

Gak. Idiots.

Sounds like a good idea to me. (1)

Spy4MS (324340) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479366)

I think America is totally backwards that we outlaw sex and promote violence in our entertainment.

I'd much rather have my kid watch a softcore porno (that doesn't objectify the opposite sex, at least) than an action movie that glorifies killing people. And for some reason, we can see violence every day on Saturday morning cartoons, but not a single image of nudity. If you ask me (I know, you didn't ask) that's f--ked up.

sounds familiar (3, Funny)

Fjord (99230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479371)

decapitation, amputation, killing of humans with lethal weapons or through hand-to-hand combat, rape, car-jackings, aggravated assault and other violent felonies

Admit it, you just lifted this from an ad for Grand Theft Auto 3.

So What? (1)

ZeLonewolf (197271) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479377)

I don't find this to be any more of a big deal than laws against minors having access to alcohol/cigarettes/violent movies/porno/lottery tickets. If you're OK with your kid playing violent games, you can go into the store and buy it for them.

Of course, it's doubtful that any law would make it much less likely for kids underage to get their hands on these games - after all, look how easy it is for kids to get their hands on alcohol/cigarettes/violent movies/porno/lottery tickets.

Look, all I'm saying here is that laws restricting the rights of minors are just fine, and makes the stuff more legitimate in the hands of adults. If minors can't buy violent video games, there won't be this huge lobby of people trying to get rid of them.

So long as it's not "human" .. (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479379)

I'm confused: Are decapitations/dismemberments of non-humans acceptable? Also, it would prohibit killing of humans with lethal weapons. What about traditionally non-lethal weapons (foozeball bats, broccoli, post-its)?

Is it just more or does this seem targeted at GTA 3?

Seems fair... (2)

xkenny13 (309849) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479381)

... it covers eight kinds of explicit in-game depictions, including scenes of:
  • decapitation and dismemberment,
  • murder,
  • car jackings,
  • illegal drug use,
  • rape,
  • prostitution,
  • assault and other violent crimes.
There's no reason kids *shouldn't* get parental permission before buying video games involving the above material.

Parents should be aware of what their kids are doing.

No Rental "Without Parental Consent" (4, Insightful)

BRock97 (17460) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479382)

Your article leaves out one important piece of info, the rental cannot occur without parental consent. In my opinion, this changes things considerably. Something people don't seem to recognize is that video games have become a lot more "real" in just the last five years. Real to the point that a person can get their health back by having sex with a prostitute. Beyond the fact that I think this is one of the most innovative ways to get life back, I wouldn't want my friend's three year old to see that. If it is good enough for movies, it is good enough for modern games...

Let's anylize the proposed legislation (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479383)

It looks to me like the proposed legislation would not make it illegal for the minor to OWN said program merely prevent them from PURCHASING it without their parents permission. I kinda want parents to be involved in what their kids are doing instead of out partying while junior is planning the biggest thing since Columbine. Children are just that, CHILDREN. Just because Johnny knows how to shoot his daddy's gun does not mean he is responsible or mature enough to use it without supervision. Having said that, I have to admit I really enjoy a good game of GTA3. There's nothing like whacking pixel generated people to relieve stress.

nah. (2)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479384)

> We know that sometimes kids [...] can go way
> overboard the first time... is there a possibility
> of the same thing happening with violent video
> games?

Not really. All you have to do is look at the past 20 years to see this.

When the NES (just as an easy example) released, did anyone who was age 18 suddenly self destruct, rotting themselves in front of the tv for days on end? When Doom came out, did 18 year olds suddenly stop dropping out of school because they spent their every waking moment shooting demons?

These groups of people likely never had access to games before, much less violent games. Suddenly having them available had little to no impact on their ability to function in society.

Self-destructing on games, alcohol, or drugs has little to do with the point at which they become available. Seems to me a lack of proper upbringing or being just plain stupid has a greater effect than anything else.

First time exposure? (2)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479385)

We know that sometimes kids who are never exposed to alcohol until they are 19 or 21 can go way overboard the first time...

The FIRST time? I didn't go to college, but I live in Milwaukee, and I can tell you the people I see going overboard are obviously NOT first timers..

I have a hard time with this one.. Sure, when I was 15, my best friend (Hey Omni!) and I beat Leisure Suit Larry 1 in a single night (causing jaws to drop at Egghead when we returned the game). But that was on an Apple II - not exactly the best graphics in the world.

These days it's MUCH more realistic... I'm really on the fence.

We have a ban on kids watching sex, why not kids watching killing?

Is it really that you're losing somethnig you've always had (virtual killing -Ultima/Spy Hunter), or has something new come along that we maybe should restrict -REALISTIC virtual killing? What happens when VR is closer to the "Holodeck", and blood splatters you as you push your fingers through someone's eye sockets?

Ban the News Next... (2, Insightful)

RailGunner (554645) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479389)

I can hear it now...

"And after children are prohibited from buying games featuring all these vile actions, the next logical step is to prevent networks from airing the News until at least 9PM. It's for the children's own protection, they might not be able to handle the violence of the real world, so Government should protect them as much as possible."

What a crock of sh*t.

There is one entity and one entity only that should govern the lives of children in matters like these: PARENTS. It's entirely up to the parents to monitor what their kids are watching on TV or at the theater, or what games they are playing on any given console, or what games or websites they are seeing with their PC. And the "Parents are too busy" excuse doesn't hold water - it's all a matter of priority.

If, as a parent, you don't mind your kid playing GTA3 (or any other violent game), then that's your business, not mine, not the governments. And the flipside is true, if you don't want your kids playing a violent game, then don't let them. Pay attention to your kids lives, don't expect TV or any other activity to babysit or otherwise replace YOUR job.. which is to raise your kids to be responsible members of society.

Yes, it's a big job, but maybe you should have thought about that before you went and had kids.

Remember, if more Government is the answer, then it's time to re-evaluate the question.

It is just the first step (2)

Cryogenes (324121) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479391)

In Germany, sales of violent games to minors (as well as advertising of any kind) is illegal already. After the tragedy of Erfurt there is now a strong push to outlaw them altogether.

Do you believe in death after life?

for the children (0)

heartstab (213086) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479394)

Do it for the children. They like it, I swear.

I understand about the alcohol thing, but the analogy is flawed, because being drunk, in and of itself, doesn't put images of violence into a child's brain. During the glory days of Half-Life, there were seriously times when I'd go to school feeling naked without my MP-40, and my first reaction going around corners was to bounce a grenade around the wall to kill whatever might be there... Of course I understood the difference between fantasy and reality, but the ideas were there... Some children might have a problem with that.

There's also the issue of desensitization. I'm very much a pacifist, and the idea of real-life violence genuinely disgusts me, but I don't even notice the blood and gore in video games anymore, because I'm too busy either running for my life or chasing down more punk bitches to kill. I once had a girlfriend who was upset because I watched the scene in Dancer in the Dark where she bludgeons him to death with a bank box, without even flinching. I don't know what kind of effect that has on me, but it has had an effect, and I don't think anyone really knows what kind of effect that sort of desensitization has. It's possible it may very from person to person.

Of course, there's the obligatory argument about how children should be raised by their parents rather than legislators and censors...

Pointless (1)

aechols (443299) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479396)

We know that sometimes kids who are never exposed to alcohol until they are 19 or 21 can go way overboard the first time... is there a possibility of the same thing happening with violent video games?

This would only restrict the sale of games to minors, not whether or not they're exposed to them. I don't think this is would make a big change in anything. Timmy the 12 y/o wants to buy SoF. He shouldn't be capable of getting into his car, driving to the store, and buying it. He has to have a parent get it for him. Hopefully the parent isn't a minor, but that's a separate matter. The only people this would affect are minors who don't want their parents to know they got the game. Instead they'll just get a copy or borrow it from a friend whose parent did get it.

Another idea! (2)

bahtama (252146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479397)

So does this mean everyone should see that goat picture at a young age so they won't have a problem with it later? ;)

OK. So: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479401)

- Children cannot be sold violent video games
- But they can be sold paintball equipment
- And there are boy scout camps that teach them to shoot guns.


So what, we do it withother media (2)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479403)

big deal.

Parents STILL have the right to by the game for the kid if they feel it is ok to let the kid play it.

so my 13 year old cannot go and get a copy of GTA3. I have no problem with him asking me first.

this is actualy good for parents, as it will require all kids who want the game to talk to their parents about it, unless you have a buddie who has a brother old enough to buy it for you etc.....

Allow me to play devils advocate AND critic....... (2)

xtermz (234073) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479408) the same time...

First off, the devils advocate bit : We have something similiar to this for movies, why not video games...

Now critic bit : Why do you want to criminalize something as insanely simple as video game sales. If anything, mandate a rating system ( what the hell is wrong with the current rating system manufacturers voluntarily impose now anyway? ) .. Why in the fxck does the govt have to step in and target video games...

And on another note, have you noticed how there isnt hardly any real tough legislation against selling profane cd's, or allowing access to R rated movies, to minors ? .. Could is possibly be because the video game industry isnt a 50 billion dollar lobby-happy entity like the RIAA or the MPAA ... but then again, i am preaching to the choir here at slashdot..

we need to rally up normal folks (tm) who dont keep up with issues like these....

somebody needs to organize a good portal to all sorts of different campaigns, causes, letter writing campaigns, etc related to issues we care about. And maybe even have resources like fliers and PDF's of brochures to hand to the normal folk.. sorry folks, but just firing off a letter to Senator CouldGiveAShitLessABoutYou from wont do it. We need to get _EVERYBODY_ involved

If games can't be sold to minors.... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479409)

If this law is past, I think we can watch the video game business collapse. Every study I've seen, and personal experience confirms, that the majority of gamers get into gaming in early adolescence and continue playing into their adulthood. The vast majority of games out there feature violence as the whole point of the game, as anyone who has tried out Quake, Unreal Tournament, Rune, etc. would know.

To counter the argument that game makers just need to make different sorts of games for minors, we just need to realize that the target audience is boys between the ages of 13 and 20, who as a general rule want more sex and violence.

Finally, violence really isn't a good gauge on the harmfulness of a game. EverQuest is far worse than Quake, having some of the same effects as drugs.

The effects of this bill. (2)

seldolivaw (179178) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479410)

Okay, so the kid's not been able to play violent video games. Instead, he's been restricted to watching the mutilation, decapitation, rape, violence and miscellaneous other assorted felonies that are the mainstay of TV and movies. Hmm, this bill is going to make a lot of difference, I can tell.

And how exactly do you "go overboard the first time" playing a violent video game? You'll suddenly decide killing is cool and go out and knife a load of people on the street?

How 'bout religion instead? (1, Troll)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479412)

> would apply to

Lessee here.

"games that feature decapitation, amputation, killing of humans with lethal weapons or through hand-to-hand combat, rape, car-jackings, aggravated assault and other violent felonies"

Ban those. After all, those aren't free speech [] , according to our judiciary.

Meantime, kids grow up with the Bible (Mk. I for the Jews, Mk. II for the Christians), and some with the Koran - all three of which feature plenty of all of the above, (OK, with the possible exception of carjackings, though I'm sure the Hebrews ripped off a couple of chariots while hauling ass out of Egypt) - all of a sudden, it's "Congress Shall Make No Law Abridging..." again.

And while we're at it - virtual kiddie pr0n is protected free speech, and so are junk faxes.

So while we wade through junk faxes every day, and our kids have to put up with a flood of spams for "hot lolita incest teen in barnyard", and we've got a whole segment of the population that's raising a generation of kids taught that the extermination of the Jews is religious duty because it's in their "holy" book (at least the Christians and Jews decided the calls for genocide in their holy books no longer applied), but it's a federal crime to sell Grand Theft Auto or Mortal Kombat to a kid because it might warp his innocent little mind?!?!?

What the almighty high holy fuck are our judges and legislators smoking, and would they at least be so kind to least legalize it?

Oh lord (2, Troll)

CaseyB (1105) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479417)

I can just feel the stupidity congealing around this topic.

Look, they are just proposing that videogames be subject to the same rules that violent/sexual movies are ALREADY subject to. There's nothing unreasonable about this. They're not banning them, they're not preventing kids from playing them. They're just saying that kids have to get their parents to consent and buy the games for them.

We know that sometimes kids who are never exposed to alcohol until they are 19 or 21 can go way overboard the first time... is there a possibility of the same thing happening with violent video games?

That's the dumbest fucking thing I've ever read on slashdot. Period. There's not even a crazy way to interpret that statement so it makes sense in bizarro world.

My favorite part of the article (1)

martyn s (444964) | more than 12 years ago | (#3479419)

First let me include the obligatory "don't these people believe in the first amendment...". There it is.

Not that I'm making fun of that or anything, after all, check my sig, but I guess I'm just tired of this civil rights circle jerk that I get myself involved in three or four times a day on slashdot.

In unrelated news, and the point of the post, here's my favorite quote from the CNN article:

...a 19-year-old failed student shot dead 16 people at his former school and then killed himself. The April 26 shooting in the eastern town of Erfurt was Germany's worst mass murder since World War II.
Yeah 16 people shot dead, yeah that's Germany's worst mass murder since World War II, when 10 million people were killed by the Nazis. A distant second, I suppose.

I have more bleach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3479423)

I be given shoutz out to all da fallen homies. I be pourin out da fo'ties on da co'na lata.
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