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Violent Video Game Law Struck Down

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the gta-still-good-to-go dept.

The Courts 502

The Importance of writes "Washington State banned the sale of violent videogames depicting violence against 'law enforcement officers' to minors under age 17. When challenged, the law was blocked by a preliminary injunction. Yesterday, a federal district court decided that the law was unconstitutional because it failed the strict scrutiny test and was also void for vagueness. Read the 15-page decision [PDF]. A summary of the case's holdings with quotations here."

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frist p0st w3wt! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720061)

frist p0st w3wt!

Re:frist p0st w3wt! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720304)

Ha ha, yeah, I get it!! Ha ha!

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720066)

fp?

Well (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720334)

let me put it like this:

YOU ARE A FUCKING FAILURE AND A DISGRACE TO THE HUMAN RACE, ASSHOLE. GO EMERGE SOMETHING.

--
(dum di dum not too many caps dum di dum still too many caps dum di dum di dum)

i love violent games. (5, Interesting)

Sovern (631825) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720068)

I think they let members of society get out thier frustrations without physically acting them out.

Mod Parent Up (5, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720135)

This is bang on the money. Violent Video games give people stress relif; they are good for society. Would you rather someone take their frustrations out on other people, instead of fake people? Let's face it, there are plenty of injustices in the world that require more attention than any injustices proportedly caused by violence in media, be it video games or film.

Oh Carp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720185)

I hate it when I misspell boalded werds. Sarry.

Re:Mod Parent Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720268)

Violent Video games give people stress relif

Everybody knows you spell that R-O-L-A-I-D-S...

...nevermind.

Re:Mod Parent Up (1, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720362)

Guys! .. GUYS! The widescreen edition of "The Sound of Music" is attacking Marty in sector D-29!

Re:Mod Parent Up (4, Insightful)

Cat_Byte (621676) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720488)

If you use it for practice you'll be soreley disappointed when you can't aim with a mouse and find that one returned bullet does more than take a little health away.

Re:Mod Parent Up (3, Insightful)

pyro_dude (15885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720492)

This is bang on the money. Violent Video games give people stress relif; they are good for society. Would you rather someone take their frustrations out on other people, instead of fake people? Is there any evidence of this, or is it speculation? Personally I'm a fence-sitter on the issue. I don't think some mortal combat is going to make anyone a serial killer but then again we are what we consume, not just through food but through mind as well.

Re:i love violent games. (5, Funny)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720147)

i love violent games
On August 5th I will begin letting some serious frustration out on "personal demons"... :)

Re:i love violent games. (-1)

beanery (762374) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720239)

That's find if you want to play violent games. They are trying to protect our children. While adults may be able to take out frustrations by shooting people in video games and tell the difference between real life and video games, many youngsters do not have the ability to do this. There have been many studies linking violence in movies and video games to violent crimes committed later in life.

Re:i love violent games. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720340)

There have been many studies linking violence in movies and video games to violent crimes committed later in life.

Cites (especially re video games)? Or did you just make that up to impress the moderators?

Re:i love violent games. (3, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720479)

I am sure he can find some studies but the problem is that these studies are usually bullshit and unscientific. A good example is the one that studied children with a history of violence and found that most of them had played violent games. What it doesn't answer is whether the games made them violent or their violence made them attracted to violent games.

This is even older than video games, though. Remember when D&D supposedly made kids violent? The amazing thing is that we live in one of the least violent times in history.

Re:i love violent games. (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720366)

I acutally heard on the radio today in Indiana that a recent study showed teen violence was down this year from last. And I think more violent videogames were released this year. I do not seen a connection between violence and videogames.

Re:i love violent games. (2, Insightful)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720412)

And who here is surprised that people who would commit violence will also play video games?

Wait, which one was supposed to be the causation? Or is there causation at all? Perhaps it's just correlation?

Please be a little more specific with regards to "linking". Vague comments don't help anyone.

Re:i love violent games. (2, Insightful)

TamMan2000 (578899) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720413)

There have been many studies linking violence in movies and video games to violent crimes committed later in life.

funded by?

I have heard of several of these "studies" but when you read about the protocals used in the study there are huge causal leaps of faith one must take to believe the data.

Re:i love violent games. (2, Interesting)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720425)

Well then I guess maybe the parents of these minors ought to try parenting them instead of letting the state decide what's best for their children. I remember playing Doom and Wolfenstein when I was younger and my mom telling me I could only play them if I was done all my homework, took breaks every now and then, and understood that violence wasn't the way to solve problems, nor was it acceptable, and that if I started getting into fights at school or my grades started dropping, no more video games. (fighting was, however, still allowed in hockey...gotta love Canadian hockey moms!)

Re:i love violent games. (1, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720454)

These are some of the same type of people that think that teens should have the right to abort their babies with out telling their parents.

Killing babies is OK, Video games are bad. That is fscked up.

Re:i love violent games. (1)

Solosoft (622322) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720463)

Those games are also rated. They do rate games for a reason. If mom and dad go buy there kid some M rated game and he's like 8 that's THERE PROBLEM. Not the game maker or the rating people.

If you don't like it ... don't play it

Re:i love violent games. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720464)

That's find if you want to play violent games. They are trying to protect our children.

I'm only three, you insensitive clod.

Sovern (posting from kindergarten, forgot my login)

Re:i love violent games. (4, Informative)

dirk (87083) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720478)

While many studies have linked violent video games and movies with violent crime, there have been no studies that they prove that violent movies/games CAUSE violent actions. Correlation is not causation.

To steal an example from Michael Moore, why do these people playing violent games mean that is what caused their violent actions? The Columbine kids liked bowling as well, but no one is trying to say bowling causes violent actions. While it is easy to say that most people who committ acts of violence see violent video games and movies, that ignores the fact that most people who see voilent videos games and movies do not committ acts of violence.

i dunno (1)

waspleg (316038) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720260)

if i could get halo/ut style sticky nades for traffic and highway situations i think my level of violence would increase substantially

Re:i love violent games. (1)

floridagators1 (726469) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720471)

Well, it's clearly second class to actually physically harming someone, but if it stops people from killing cops, I'm all for it.

This is bulshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720476)

When children see violence, and they don't witness the _concequences_ of their violence they learn the wrong lessons and see violence as a solution to their problems. Don't believe me? Don't you think the US Public's acceptance of our Iraqi invasion is, in large part, due to our constant acclamation to violence over the TV and video games? Most people I know don't even see it as real -- it is just another TV show.

Wake up and be human. All violent games which show someone being shot, should have another scene where they see the victim's spouse, children, parents huddled over a gravestone or see the body go through convultions on the operating table. This is the only way to cure our turly insane acceptance for these inhumane acts.

So.. (4, Interesting)

manavendra (688020) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720069)

... if a cop is killed in a movie, then ban the movie?

And possibly all future productions by those involved in it?

Re:So.. (2, Insightful)

black mariah (654971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720141)

No, but it is rated R and movie theaters have the option of not allowing children to see it. In fact, if it's bad enough then it's rated NC-17 and nobody under 17 can see it at all. Learn to read.

Re:So.. (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720219)

Except those are voluntary actions. There is no law banning children from theaters for R or NC-17, such a law would be unconstitutional, see the first ammendment.

Re:So.. (0, Flamebait)

black mariah (654971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720264)

In many places it IS illegal to allow anyone under 17 into R or NC-17 rated movies. This doesn't have a fucking thing to do with the first amendment, moron. All that says is that the movies can be made, not that 8 year olds can see it.

Re:So.. (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720451)

No, it isn't. Think about what you just said. You basicly said its not censorship if you stop people from seeing a movie so long as you let them make it. There's no sense to that whatsoever. It is not illegal to let kids into an R or NC-17 movie. Many (most?) theaters don't give a flying fuck. Those that do only do so because they think the negative publicity from it would hurt business.

Re:So.. (4, Insightful)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720236)

14 years old can pull the trigger as easily as a 22 year old.

In this country, ([stand up straight, remove hats] our Blessed and Glorious Country), you are a child, a child you hear, with no rights, no voice, no nothing, until you turn 18 and then wham, society hits you with a ton of bricks (paperwork) and all of a sudden you're supposed to conduct yourself as an adult and a productive member of society. Well, if you don't get the training and exposure, sherlock, you ain't gonna be any good at dealing with adult stuff.

I'm of the opinion that all the under 17 or under 18 laws can be brought to under 13 and society will be better off in the long run.

US, wake up, the other 5.7 billion people can't all be wrong.

Re:So.. (1)

manavendra (688020) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720385)

True. But there isn't a law banning children or pregnant mothers or people of nevous disposition.

Agreed the content may not always be pleasurable, but such blanket laws just impose a total clampdown, and pave way for even more restrictions

Re:So.. (4, Funny)

gUmbi (95629) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720253)

... if a cop is killed in a movie, then ban the movie?

*shrug* At least the public would no longer be tortured by Police Academy sequels

All that remains... (4, Interesting)

cloudkj (685320) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720077)

...for Washington state legislators to be done is to ban all music talking about hate and violence toward law enforcement offers, ban all movies depicting anti-law enforcement scenes, and ban all TV shows that show or insinuate violence against law enforcement officers.

Re:All that remains... (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720223)

Washington State banned
the sale of violent videogames depicting violence against 'law enforcement officers' to minors under age 17.
Learn to read, dumbass. This is no different than not allowing children into an R or NC-17 rated movie. Stricter regulation of adult-oriented games should be WELCOMED by guys like you and me. It keeps the goverment out of our asses about games, makes stupid parents feel better, and does NOTHING to those of us that are actually old enough to be playing the games in the first place.

Re:All that remains... (1)

Jeff Reed (209535) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720394)

But that's not what the law is doing. A law banning the sale of M-rated videogames to under-17-year-olds, sure. I'd be okay with that, but this law banned sale of games featuring violence against law-enforcement officers, regardless of ESRB rating. Plenty of Everyone- or Teen-rated games feature such content - under this law, they would have been forbidden to minors as well.

Hell, if you read any of the links in this post (even the one to the previous slashdot story on the subject), you'd know this. Pay attention before you post.

Re:All that remains... (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720423)

Sure, because when the government is done trampling the rights of those who aren't old enough to vote yet, they probably won't decide to restrict older people or anything. Nah. Not our fine, upstanding legislators.

Re:All that remains... (1)

conteXXt (249905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720230)

and then everyone could unsubscribe to cable :-)

sheer brilliance!!!

Re:All that remains... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720274)

Nothing better than sitting down to a game of GTA, while listening to NWA's "Fuck the police", while watching the greatest scene in Terminator when he kills all those cops in the police station, with a Law and Order episode where a cop gets killed in the picture in picture..

Re:All that remains... (1)

Unnngh! (731758) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720309)

No, the new decency laws will effectively do this by making it prohibitively expensive to do anything the least bit riskee. No need for laws when you can accomplish the same through extortion;)

My favorite line (5, Interesting)

hether (101201) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720087)

"Do the Roman centurions of 'Age of Empires' ... qualify as 'public law enforcement officers'?"

Shows just how laws like that could be misinterpreted...

Re:My favorite line (3, Interesting)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720226)

How about the zombie police officers in resident evil? No historical obfuscation there. It IS a public law enforcement officer, no question about that. It just happens to not want to serve and protect, unless it means serving up your brains for lunch.

What about a film noir story that depicts a corrupt cop? Is it ok to kill him, because he is corrupt? What defines his corruption? What if he just performs vigiliante actions, like killing robbers and then planting guns on them? Can he be killed?

Would it be okay to make a game in which I could be allowed to...oh....say.... rob a hooker after doing her? Carjack innocent people? Oh....wait

Re:My favorite line (1)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720381)

Would it be okay to make a game in which I could be allowed to...oh....say.... rob a hooker after doing her? Carjack innocent people? Oh....wait

LOL, good one. How many other games can you think of where you're killing cops indiscriminately? Not many.

Re:My favorite line (1)

Dehumanizer (31435) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720462)

What about playing Duke Nukem 3D (not DNF! No jokes, please! :) ) without killing any of the pig cops? They're wearing uniforms and badges, after all... :)

Useful metaphor for this kind of reactionism:drugs (5, Interesting)

vuvewux (792756) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720089)

Drugs became illegal in the US because of these exact types of stupid legislators. Now, it's part of our culture. Walk down the street and you can find zillions of people who actually believe that pot kills. Same with video games. Once they ban them, it's easy to "educate" people with PR campaigns. Eventually, hardly anyone will remember the days when a 10 year old could play space invaders. Zillions of people will actually believe that videogames cause violence. Truth won't matter. Science won't matter. Research won't matter. They will believe it because they don't think about it, and are afraid to take a minority stand.

Re:Useful metaphor for this kind of reactionism:dr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720218)

Actually, drugs (specifically marijuana) became illegal because of a single man's insane crusade against them. Drugs STAYED illegal for many other reasons.

google for "Harry J. Anslinger"

Re:Useful metaphor for this kind of reactionism:dr (3, Interesting)

mcb (5109) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720298)

Maybe. However i don't know anyone who thinks pot kills, everyone knows that pot just makes you stupid. In fact, I would argue that most people think alcohol is far more dangerous to your health. Drinking too much can kill you, smoking too much pot can't.

Drugs like heroin can kill. It's a good thing that heroin is illegal. So comparing video games which don't hurt anyone, to drugs, seems to be doing an injustice to video games.

Video games _do_ cause violence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720370)

From a study in December 2002 [childrennow.org] :

  1. Most of the top-selling video games (89%) contained violent content, almost half of which was serious in nature.
  2. Killing was almost always seen as justified in the games and players were always rewarded for their acts of violence.
  3. The negative consequences of violence were rarely shown, with most victims appearing unaffected by the aggressive acts committed against them.
  4. More than three fourths of games rated "E" for "Everyone" (79%) contained violent content. In half of these games, violence was significant to the plot.

Re:Video games _do_ cause violence (1)

Brando_Calrisean (755640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720418)

And none of those facts show that videogames cause violence.

Thanks for coming out, though. Better luck next time!

Re:Useful metaphor for this kind of reactionism:dr (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720387)

Pot kills just like drinking does.

Most people who use pot wouldn't be smart enough not to drive after they have used it. Hence it's just as dangerous as any of the other "take my mind off life" style addictive substances.

Re:Useful metaphor for this kind of reactionism:dr (1)

Kainaw (676073) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720445)

Walk down the street and you can find zillions of people who actually believe that pot kills. Same with video games.

You cannot simply equate pot to violent video games. People are harmed and killed under the influence of pot, or by someone else who is under the influence. If you want to equate pot to violent video games, you have to make the argument that after playing a violent video game, your capabilities are somehow impared while you are under the influence of the video game.

I think there is a short-term sensory influence of the video game, but I don't think it would impare anyone capabilities. For them to react in an overly violent manner, I would claim that they were violent to begin with and the game really had nothing to do with it.

Dear Slashdot (1, Offtopic)

Letter (634816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720090)

Dear Slashdot,

So, like, I was wondering why there has yet to be a story about Martha Stewart's jailtime posted here. I mean, every other story that gets posted to the New York Times finds its way on here within a couple hours. Anything involving Martha Stewart is definitely "news for nerds." (Especially her crème brûlée with mascarpone. I mean, what other dessert would you want to screw?)

Sincerely,
Letter

Re:Dear Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720305)

I think the editors decided there would be too many "federal pound me in the ass prison" jokes that don't really apply, since female convicts are lacking an essential body part.

However, I'm left wondering, since her sentence is pretty light, if she is entitled to "conjugal visits".

Interesting story title (0)

Bricklets (703061) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720120)

Violent Video Game Law Struck Down

Hey, leave the poor guy alone! :)

Re:Interesting story title (1)

avisdream (770669) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720153)

Yeah, that's awfully violent.

Good (5, Insightful)

vuvewux (792756) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720133)

Long ago we needed a separation between Church and State. Now we need a separation between Parent and State. Parents need to take some responsiblitity in raising their children and stop blaming every form of media that doesn't fit into their package of morals.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720193)

Bah, and I had mod points this morning and burned them.

MOD PARENT DOWN (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720266)

Please, for the love of christ, please stop posting "MOD PARENT UP/DOWN" posts!

MOD PARENT DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720403)

Please, for the love of christ, please stop posting "Please stop posting \"MOD PARENT UP/DOWN\" posts!".

Re:Good (1)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720204)

we just need parents. this raising a child by a village shit obviously doesn't work.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720267)

I wholeheartedly agree. My fiance (a police officer) and I have three kids. GTA hasn't found its way into our collection of PS2 games, because, strangely enough, we act like parents. Neither of us is going to try to tell other people they can't play it... that's not any of our business.

What's interesting about her job is she is now a PO with the local ISD. When she worked at the school in east county where the average income is much lower, and people are more "common" for lack of a better term, a phone call to a parent resulted in an apology and an action. Now that she works at the school in the "affluent" neighborhood, a phone call to a parent results in blamestorming, "not my child" and "you people should be doing more to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen." Those folks want the rest of the world to raise their children so they're not inconvenienced, and they're the people that think laws like this are a good idea.

Re:Good (1)

danmart (660791) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720339)

Parents need to take some responsiblitity in raising their children

Good point.

Parent's kids suck because they were taught to be sucky by their parents giving them everything they wanted except attention. It is not the state's fault or lack of religion or some other country's fault. It is the parent's fault. They were too lazy to give their kid the attention he/she needed and too wimpy to lay down the rules they needed.

If you have a sucky kid it is because you were a sucky parent. End of story.

Re:Good (1)

ianc7 (694137) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720389)

Personally I'm all for reinstituting the now defunct seperation of Church and State. I'd also like to say that my shooters don't come out until after my son is tucked in for the night and are nowhere to be seen in the morning. Cheers, Ian C.

you seem to have forgotten one thing (0, Troll)

waspleg (316038) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720431)

all organized religions and governments exist because someone wants to control someone else's behavior. There are no other reasons for either, everything always comes down to that premise.

This mindset is always based on two central points.

a.) My way is the right way, and because it is the right way, it is better than anyone elses (yours).

b.) Because I have the right way, and mine is better than yours, then I must know what's best for you because you clearly don't since your way isn't mine.

These ideas have caused virtually all wars murders and persecutions of all people throughout time.

and attacking a symptom doesn't fix the problem

The answer is, people don't know what is best for them; no one does because no one created themselves and they don't know why they are here, so you must leave people alone and help them when you can and it is meritted without interference in their personal evolutionary process. (do unto others as you would them do unto you isn't just a good idea it's the law, universal law.)

of course none of that will happen as long as people think they can solve problems by simply killing the people they have a problem with. (notice that doesn't work)

Good to see (5, Interesting)

XeRXeS-TCN (788834) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720134)

It's a good sign that free speech and common sense has largely won out in this circumstance; it's been some time since I've seen a legal issue on here that actually followed the principles of freedom granted by the constitution, rather than blatantly ignoring it ;P

One thing that I did notice though, was:

Given the nationwide, on-going dispute in this area, it is reasonable to ask whether a state may ever impose a ban on the disseminations of video games to children under 18. The answer is "probably yes" if the games contain sexually explicit images, and "maybe" if the games contain violent images, such as torture or bondages, that appeal to the prurient interest to minors.

Which suggests that as expected, the debate over violent/explicit video games is long from over, and more restrictions may well be brought in over time.

Re:Good to see (1)

The Queen (56621) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720241)

Well I don't know about the rest of you, but I think a sexually explicit game is far more stress-relieving than a shoot-em-up. ;-)

Great! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720144)

Let's go kill some police officers to celibrate!

That's a joke. I'll simply take solace in the fact that I'll now be able to purchase GTA: San Andreas without having to meet a man at Taco Bueno at 4 in the morning for some shady under-the-table exchange of goods.

Ahh good... (0, Offtopic)

Moocowsia (589092) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720146)

Now I can stop worrying about the gameplay in San Andreas and get back to trying to get that 6 star rating in Vice City.

Good...and bad... (5, Insightful)

nebaz (453974) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720156)

It is interesting that the court appears to have said that obscenity can not be used as a justification (i.e. can't sell Playboy to minors) because obscenity deals with sexual matters, rather than violence.

While I think that this is a great win for free speech, does it seem a bit weird that the ability to blow someone's head clean off is given a higher protection than showing someone's nipple? Which one is really worse in the long run?

Note: I am not for censorship of any kind, though I think voluntary ratings and PARENTAL INVOLMENT I N CHOICES are the best solution, but it speaks volumes that violence seems to be celebrated but anything sexual must be covered up "for the children". It really goes to show the almost paradoxical prudist warrior culture that permeates America today.

You reminded me of (2, Insightful)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720356)

Austria. When I was there in 2000. There was some advertizing compaign that had naked people in shop windows. Yes, the woman was topless and you could see her boobs (no pubic areas though ). Ya know what? After a while, I didn't notice them (boobs). Mind you - she was hot!

So my point - other countries don't make a big deal out of nudity and nothing bad is happening to them. Is it?
My question what's the real difference?
Is it that we're, generally speaking, infantile or adolescent here in the U.S.? Or what?

Re: Prudist Warrior Culture? (1)

Lightwarrior (73124) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720439)

> It really goes to show the almost paradoxical prudist warrior culture that permeates America today.

Where in the world do people come up with this stuff? Ever heard of a film called "Braveheart"? You may remember some scenes of violence in that movie. And what rating did it achieve? R, for "brutal medieval warfare". That doesn't pull any punches; that doesn't say word one about the sensuality between Wallace and Murron.

> ...does it seem a bit weird that the ability to blow someone's head clean off is given a higher protection than showing someone's nipple? Which one is really worse in the long run?

That depends on how much you think seeing these things influences people. Would you rather deal with teenagers getting pregnant, STDs, AIDS-like epidemics, etc - or would you rather deal with murder, rape, riots, mobs, gangs, etc?

Seems like we have a lot of both to me.

Sex isn't love; desire is an emotion, just like anger. Either taken to an extreme can have unintended side effects.

Substitute some sort of exploitive pornography for "nipple", then ask yourself the same question again. Doesn't seem like children should be exposed to either one, does it? But, as you said, their parents need to be involved either way.

-lw

So... (4, Interesting)

Unnngh! (731758) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720162)

...are most cops that get injured in the line of duty attacked by people under the age of 18? I'm glad the law has been stopped--this is, IMO, the duty of the parent not the gov't.

Re:So... (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720301)

I think they're attacked by people under 18 who play violent video games and have some sort of addiction to gorgonzola, though I'm not sure where that fits in to the whole scheme of things...

I get more violent watching Congress on C-SPAN (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720172)

Than I ever did playing Doom, Quake, or Half-Life.

Erm.. (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720173)

Arn't most games involving this sort of thing 18s any way? O.o

I've played violent games since as long as I can remember and now I'm almost a complete pacafist, nice to know that society made me this way and not that I learnt that violence was a pointless expression which words can express much better.

Sure some days I feel like kicking someones face in and I'm greatful that we have Street fighter and similar games so I can vent my destructive urges before they end up getting me in court with this new "look at me funny and I sue you" world we live in.

BS (5, Insightful)

thedogcow (694111) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720208)

This is such bullshit. There is no formidable connection between violent video games / music and a proclivity to commit violence in the long run.

I'll tell you what the problem is with the youth of today with all the violence.... Shitty parents. Mystery solved.

Someone help me out with this one... (5, Interesting)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720210)

Graphic depictions of depraved acts of violence, suc as the murder, decapitation, and robbery of women in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, fall well within the more general definition of obscenity. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has found that, when used in the context of the First Amendment, the word "obscenity" means material that deals with sex. Only "works which depict or describe sexual conduct" are considered obscene and therefore unprotected.

Why exactly is sex deemed to be worse than violence? Why are violent portrayals protected but sexual portrayals not?

Re:Someone help me out with this one... (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720396)

Because sex is needed for the furtherance of the specie, and, by extension, of any group.

So if the poor and stupid and criminals stopped having sex (can't have babies without sex) the WASPs could eventually have their nice little world where everybody is rich, smart, and law-abiding.

Twisted huh?

Why would they want that? (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720441)

Then they wouldn't have anyone to look down on and feel superior in comparison to.

Re:Someone help me out with this one... (1)

Piquan (49943) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720477)

Why exactly is sex deemed to be worse than violence? Why are violent portrayals protected but sexual portrayals not?

Because the use of violence in literature has often been used to speak out against the government; less so for sex.

Personally, I find a naked woman less profane than a naked blade. But the free-speech protection offered here isn't about what is and isn't profane; it's about what is used to speak out against The Man. That needs to be protected.

From the decision:

Undaunted by the clear pronouncements of the Supreme Court regarding the limited scope of materials that are subject to regulation as obscene, defendants argue that the Court should expand the definition of obscenity to include graphic portrayals of violence. No court has accepted such an argument, probably because existing case law does not support it. In addition to the fact that the Supreme Court has expressly limited "obscenity" to include only sexually-explicit materials, the historical justifications for the obscenity exception simply do not apply to depictions of violence. Sexually-explicit materials were originally excluded from the protections of the First Amendment because the prevention and punishment of lewd speech has very little, if any, impact on the free expression of ideas and government regulation of the sexually obscene has never been though to raise constitutional problems. The same cannot be said for depictions of violence: such depictions have been used in literature, art, and the media to convey important messages throughout our history, and there is no indication that such expressions have ever been excluded from the protections of the First Amendment or subject to government regulation.[citations omitted]

Why is that... (1)

mr3038 (121693) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720249)

...the first game that comes to my mind is GTA: San Andreas? Not that it changes anything as all the other GTA games were 'not suitable for persons under 18 years', here in Finland. (Not to mention that USA doesn't yet make laws here...)

I understand the idea behind this new "law" but I still think that this is wrong way to fix the problem. If USA really wants to make life safer for 'law enforcement officers', how about stricter gun laws, instead? I think I have forgot something... oh yeah, not having lots of guns would be unconstitutional. I guess you should ban computer games and movies instead.

Re:Why is that... (1)

JPelorat (5320) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720364)

This was a state-level issue, not a federal one. Not that it would ever have made a difference, it's just too easy to get stuff online, and they don't have the resources or the authority to search incoming packages.

It was just a poorly-thought-out law all around.

Video Game Demographic (5, Insightful)

Eberlin (570874) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720263)

As the demographic moves from teenyboppers to more mature folks in their 20's, are they even really focusing on the right people? Yes, I understand that it's not exactly wholesome material when 47 fiber-wires the local law enforcement officials. I also understand that I'm playing a video game.

For the younger crowd, there's a rating system in place. If mommy buys Hitman: Contracts or Vice City for little johnny (even after reading the rating for it) -- and continues to let the PS2/TV/Internet babysit the child, I believe no law can help that "family."

It's a strange society that looks to everyone else for responsibility in raising children. When all else fails, I suppose we can always blame Canada. Until then, spend time with your children. Make sure they know the difference between reality and fantasy. Give them a sense of morality. Lead by example and for fsck's sake, let them know they matter. I bet that'll work much better than any legislation could.

Struck down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720287)

Why so violent with your language?

Wouldn't "Violent Video Game Law Lightly Swatted Away Without Harming a Fly" be more appropriate?

Download them from DC? (4, Funny)

Eudial (590661) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720313)

The law is leaving the poor kids with no option but to illeagally acquire the games (warez). Great job!

Violent, ok... sexually explicit ,no? (4, Interesting)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720322)

Yet again, we teach our kids and everyone playing games that pretend death is fine, but pretend love is not... and they wonder why everyone's weird!

If kids did everything they see in video games... (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720326)

then, because of pacman, teenagers would gather in
dark rooms, listen to electronic music and pop pills. Oh wait...

On /. restrict = bans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720335)

All the law says is that stores are subject to fines if they sell violent video games to children under 17. Nobody is banned from playing them.
Just like R rated movies, I saw parents take their kids to R rated south park. I'm sure there will be parents who purchase GTA3 for their children.

Doom III (2, Funny)

filtur (724994) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720337)

Well with Doom III finally coming out, I can't be held responsible if I go about blasting demons and zombies that I come across.

Obligatory Simpsons reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720401)

Bart: "Dad! You killed the zombie Flanders!"
Homer: "He was a zombie?"

Confessions of a Slashdot fanboy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720352)

I guess you could say I am your typical Slashdot reader. At work, I walk with a swagger, I freely boast my knowledge, put down Micro$oft and colleagues think I am condascending and downright arrogant. But this could not be further from the truth. I am heavily overweight with unkempt hair, soiled clothes and a repugnant odor. I go home and skulk about my dark roach infested parent's house and play role playing games with people I never met. I imagine they are a lot like me. Maybe we are friends. On weekends, I kick back and break out the Sears catalog and crank some out on the lingerie section. Oh what it would be like to be with one of these real women. I used to have some real magazines, but my mom caught me and threw them away. Weekends are also great times to go online and karma whore on Slashdot. I am the author of many brilliant Micro$haft and "clippy" jokes. Later in the evening I will crank out some code and follow that up by breaking out the Sears catalog and cranking some code on that. Long live Linux! I guess you could say that I'm your average Slashdot reader.

Let's get it over with (2, Funny)

causality (777677) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720369)

I'm really growing tired of this bit-by-bit slow progression. Let's go ahead and get it over with. Let's install the telescreens, make everything illegal, certainly ban anything that any person on the planet thinks might possibly harm or inconvenience anyone in any way, and live tied down to a bedpost for the rest of our lives to make sure we are nice and safe from all the nasties. Let's have all of this done by tomorrow, the wait is killing me.

Let them have my kids (1)

Sarojin (446404) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720384)

Thats right let the government take control of the tasks which I as a parent am supposed to have control over.

I don't want to be a responsible parent and teach my kid right from wrong, I want to live in a society who dictates that for me. Uncle Sam hit the ball right on its mark, I mean why should I tell my kids how to act in society, or the differences from movies, video games, and reality when I could push the blame on those darn folks who make those games.

Look when I was growing up sure we listened to people like Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, and we never once bit the head off a bat, unlike that wretched Marilyn Manson.

When I grew up, we didn't look at films by John Wayne, and Clint Eastwood and decide to go shoot up our schools. My great government at the time did their darndest best to make sure guns didn't flood the schools, and education back then was the focal point of society.

No more. I say forget spending on education and send that money towards the prison systems, where all the kids will rot for playing video games. Least when I grew up we didn't have video games. We just had World War II, and Vietnam, real man games.

Damned kids

Roles (1)

trifakir (792534) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720390)

A well-written game should be educational for the young generation as it seems to substitute quite much books nowadays... One can, for example, let the kid choose if he wants to be the cop or the mafia-bloke and if he is the cop, some bonus points should be added to his score and partiotic songs played.

Anyway, in case of future such laws, the shoot-all-cops games can always be exported abroad. I'm sure there will be plenty of market overseas. You just need to steer the police uniforms with 2-3 GIs to make the thing more recognizable...

Seriously, if you ask me all shoot-em-all games should be banned. Give'em incredible machines - that's a great one!

This is ridiculous (3, Insightful)

Dehumanizer (31435) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720415)

First, as others have said, what makes a game (or, for instance, a cartoon or comic book, although these ones are less censored these days) different than a movie or a book?

GTA is much more "light" than any cops movie, yet are these censored all the time? Are all of these X-rated or something?

Second, the thing about law enforcement officials, specifically, is absurd. If that law passed, then what would come next? Shouldn't firefighters enjoy the same "protection" from violence in games? Old people? Women? They can be killed in a movie, but not in a game, because a game is different, right?

Besides, doesn't the game have an "M" or an "18" on the box? Shouldn't be sold to minors, period. No need to create a NEW law about the killing of THESE people you PARTICULARLY don't want killed, even if it's just a game. If a parent wants to buy it for his 8-year old kid, anyway, despite the obvious sticker, then it's HIS responsibility (although in America he'll blame the games industry and/or the government anyway, if something goes wrong with the kid later).

(BTW: the "kill the haitians" thing in Vice City was even more ridiculous. Drug dealers can sell drugs, kill people, but god forbid they make racist comments, because they are NICE people, good role models, after all...)

What about TV? (1)

nanospook (521118) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720444)

Guess we should also ban all those episodes of TJ Hooker.. where's the bill?

the US is being laughed at again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720450)

because their laws are more facsist than any other country. Respect the authority now and mod me down.

new headline (3, Funny)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#9720469)

Am I the only one who thinks the headline to this story should be "Violent Video Game Law Fragged"

remove the taliban don't emulate them (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9720474)


good to see you Americans are really getting the hang of extremism, the taliban and the Bin Ladens send their regards and said something about when can they have their training manuals back

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