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Illinois Gov. Seeks Violent Video Game Ban

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the oh-those-wacky-flatlanders dept.

Games 651

Foobar_Zen writes "Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois has apparently decided to build on past "wins". He seeks to impose legislation that will prohibit the distribution, sale, rental and availability of mature video games to children younger than 18. Breaking of this law would be punishable by up to one year in prison or a $5,000 fine." From the article: "The Illinois Retail Merchants Association blasted the governor's proposal as a way for retailers to become "the violence and sensitivity police for the state of Illinois." Update: 12/16 21:14 GMT by Z : Lum's take on this over at Broken Toys is excellent.

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America's Army (5, Insightful)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107633)

I'd like to see how this is handled if some kid downloads America's Army...

Re:America's Army (1)

DeathFlame (839265) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107673)

Or any Online purchase for that matter. Steam? What about free downloads? It'll be about as useful as denying teenagers porn. I mean that's why they built the internet right?

Re:America's Army (4, Insightful)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107815)

Exactly. This thing is a joke. Like Arrnohld's new law in CA that says you can't file share without providing your email. Completely unenforcable. This is just to impress the Luddite Moral Minority who think this something your can slap some red warning tape on and it'll go away.

If you don't know what your kids are buying with the money you give them you have no right to be a parent. And if your kids are old enough to make their own money I say they've earned the right to "corrupt" themselves.

Re:America's Army (4, Insightful)

Stripe7 (571267) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107725)

Given that a recent survey has pointed out that nusery rhymes had more violent content than video games, I think he has to ban them as well. He should also ban all news channels for showing the violence in Iraq and American Cities. Add to that banning all the violent Saturday Morning kids programming, ie Power Rangers, Spider Man, X-Men, etc.. which all depict violent acts of one sort of another.

Re:America's Army (1)

koreth (409849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107908)

He should also ban all news channels for showing the violence in Iraq

The network news already censors out all the really violent stuff. Heaven forbid war should make any of the home viewers squeamish.

No Substitute for Bad Parenting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107785)

Neoconservatives often surprise me by their arrogance. They pretend that a few laws on morality (e.g. restricting violent video games, banning abortions, restricting pornography) somehow substitutes for good parenting.

Don't the neoconservatives understand that today's violent youth did not become violent from playing a couple of violent video games? Look at China [phrusa.org] . Its government outright bans pornography and severely restricts violent video games. Yet, Chinese youth are morally bankrupt -- supporting human trafficking, supporting the rape of Tibet, etc.

When the neoconservatives wake up and support minimum standards of living for even the poorest of the poor, then there will be a sharp drop in violence among youth. Look at Europe. It has minimum standards, and violence is a fraction of what it is in the Colonies.

Re:America's Army (4, Insightful)

cbr2702 (750255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107842)

AA is rated Teen. So no worries; a Teen game could hardly desensitize our youth to killing and other violence.

every generation has its boooogeyman (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107874)

In the 80s, it was eeeevil Rock Music and Rock Music Videos [ifilm.com] !

(to get the reference, click "Frank Zappa on Crossfire")

The fundamental issue remains the same: Who decides? Who controls what we see/hear/think/do?

There will always be some lowbrow who insists that they should decide, they should control. The sad part is often those same lowbrows get elected/appointed to public office.

Re:America's Army (1)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107916)

I'd like to see how this is handled if some kid downloads America's Army...

I am not familiar with that game, but I can comment about the whole on-line thing. What Illinois can do is regulate Illinois ISP's. They can tell ISP's to block mature content unless a customer asks for it.

The other course of action is to have a federal law. Maybe there is a lawyer here who can comment on the interstate commerce clause of the constitution (the part of the constitution that gives congress the power to regulate ALL commerce between states). This might be a problem for states because a buisness outside of Illinois could claim Illinois is violating there rights to commerce using powers the state does not have. Illinois could retort that since they are blocking content from those under 18 who don't have the legal ability to enter into a contract to start with.

If Blagojavic can get the ISP's to voluntarily go along, that would be much better. I don't see how this is that much different than a V chip in a tv set. It gives more power to parents.

Consolidating your base (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107639)

Nothing makes Religious Right voters happier than a proposal to censor things.

Re:Consolidating your base (4, Insightful)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107711)

The governor of Illinois is a Democrat. Illinois is a fairly solidly "blue" state. People on both sides of the political spectrum find video games to be "scary".

What a joke though, in one article I read they listed Halo 2 and Half Life 2 along side Doom 3 and GTA. Like there's any real comparison between those games. It was clear they never played any of the games.

Re:Consolidating your base (3, Funny)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107761)

Illinois is a fairly solidly

wtf? I suck

Re:Consolidating your base (1)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107821)

The only one of those games I'd consider indecent for kids is the last one, for fairly obvious reasons. The first two are about fighting SPACE ALIENS for crying out loud...Doom's about killing DEMONS. What are they afraid of, little kids wanting to grow up to become space rangers or exorcists?

All your base belong to EA (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107893)

Maybe they're weeding out the compitition for EA?

Re:Consolidating your base (1)

skadus (821655) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107767)

And the funny thing is, he's a Democrat [nga.org] . Just like the other paragon of family values, Senator Lieberman.

Which raises the question: are they still considered 'Religious Right' when they're Democrats and/or Jewish?

Re:Consolidating your base (1)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107850)

well if you cant get them to make productive legislation, things like this are bound to happen. They just are acting like they're doing something when they're really doing jack shit.

Realisticly, when you see a 'fucktard' like bush elected as president it's obvious that voters dont give a damn about politics and they just care about maintaining their ignorance.

If you don't let me have violent video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107644)

I will kill you

Ob. Terrance and Phillip Quote (1)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107812)

(During muder trial)

Phillip: So in summation: find Terrance innocent....or else he'll kill you!

(Jury gasps)

Phillip: Just kidding! Daaaahahahahaha!

Availability? (5, Interesting)

SoTuA (683507) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107649)

If I, as a parent, decide that my under-18 child is fit to play the game, buy it (since the store can't sell it or rent it to him/her) and give it to him/her, am I breaking the law?

Re:Availability? (4, Insightful)

Maul (83993) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107702)

Not yet, but I imagine that it soon will be. The Government thinks it is a better parent than you and knows what is best for your family.

Re:Availability? (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107703)

"...prohibit the distribution, sale, rental and availability of mature video games to children younger than 18..."

Sounds like it. Hey, Illinois, how do you like the government stealing your children from you?

Re:Availability? (3, Informative)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107705)

I don't know the exact wording of the law, but I doubt it. I think this would work the same way movies work (at least here in Canada). No, a 16 year old can't get into the latest R rated flick, however, if they are accompanied by a parent/guardian they can. Its the same for rentals as well.

I'll have to check, but I think the same circumstances apply to alcohol, though that is regulated provincially here. I seem to remember being told that an underage person can drink if the alcohol is supplied by a parent/guardian though it can't happen in a public establishment (bar, restaurant, etc).

Re:Availability? (1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107737)

I suppose it would work just the same way as with alcohol.

A parent can't decide that his/her under-18 child is fit to drink wine/beer at a dinner without breaking the law (at least over here).

Re:Availability? (1)

SoTuA (683507) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107864)

A parent can't decide that his/her under-18 child is fit to drink wine/beer at a dinner without breaking the law (at least over here).

What a load of bollocks... if such laws had been enforced when I was a kid, I might never gotten a taste for wine... the horror! I used to ask my father why he drank wine, so he told me he liked the taste. So I wanted to try, and he gave me a couple sips worth in my glass. Loved that, so it became almost tradition for me to ask for a little wine on weekend lunches. Those are the memories... I have the (dubious reputation creating-) claim that the word "Beaujolais" evokes childhood memories :)

Re:Availability? (1)

Zangief (461457) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107824)

No, because YOU are buying the game.

(already thinking about kids, eh?)

Re:Availability? (5, Interesting)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107872)

"If I, as a parent, decide that my under-18 child is fit to play the game, buy it (since the store can't sell it or rent it to him/her) and give it to him/her, am I breaking the law?"

Which is the only relevant question. I really have a hard time imagining WHY people could object to this. Any law that empowers parents to raise their children, within the bounds that limit abuse, is a good law. Under common law, and iirc, written law, in the States, children are classified somewhere between a slave and a citizen. They do NOT have full rights of an adult citizen, but have rights that are clearly spelled out. The "right" to do what you want without your parents permission is not one of them.

Yes, of course parents can't always watch over their kids. They are going to get access to unwanted media when they are outside the view of their parents, including video games that they aren't "allowed" to play, but at least the parent has a little more control.

Personally, I think laws like this should be extended to include ALL media (games, books) should be bought by people over an age defined by the individual state (perhaps one state wants it set at 15 and another at 18) as long as that age does NOT exceed 18 or exclude emancipated teenagers.

What about Onnline games? (2, Funny)

stecoop (759508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107652)

Who are they going to procecute if someone plays one of those *bad* games online where you don't even install it.

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107655)

Won't anyone think of the children?

call in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107657)

Officer Tempenny....he'll take care of this

Well, I think (0, Offtopic)

Soporific (595477) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107659)

It's time to vote a new moron out...

~S

Don't they have more important things to do? (5, Insightful)

supersloth (446769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107660)

... than doing the job of parents?

Re:Don't they have more important things to do? (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107722)

Unfortunately, it seems some parents aren't competant enough or involved enough take care of this stuff themselves. A law like this would force parents to buy the game for their kid. It means parents might actually take a look at it before they let little Johnny go buy The Guy Game.

Re:Don't they have more important things to do? (2, Insightful)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107895)

Bullshit. Some parents are just too busy to do their jobs. I don't know that I can blame them; sometimes the situation dictates both parents working 50+ hour weeks just to pay bills and put food on the table. Sometimes they're just lazy. But when it comes down to it and it's little Jimmy's birthday and he wants to buy a video game with his spare money, you better bet that they'll end up cajoled into buying it.

It may make a few parents take note, but it will probably just irritate other parents who have to take the time to go buy the game themselves. Do you all - or even most - parents are going to pay attention?

Re:Don't they have more important things to do? (1)

teksno (838560) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107771)

the problem does lie with the parents.....not doing their jobs. this all stems from the disolve of the "nuclear family". where one parent, typically the mother, would stay at home and be able to watch the kids. now that both parents working is common place here in america, who is left to raise our children....Tommy Vercetti

Re:Don't they have more important things to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107885)

Georgie says that pronounced "Nucular" you insensitive clod!

Re:Don't they have more important things to do? (1)

danknight (570145) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107834)

erm no... haven't you heard that it takes a village ? Parents have too much to do today (like work, so they can buy thier kids $250.00 sneakers) to actually raise thier children. That's exactly what gvt is for

Legislation like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107662)

...makes me want to punch someone in the nose.

PA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107665)

Pennsylvania already has this "law" in place. They card people who look under 18 when they buy R rated movies or "M" rated video games. Since I was always able to buy them (turned 18 before the legislation), it hasn't been a problem, but if you're underage, it's easy to get them.

hmm (1)

spanel33 (735664) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107667)

Isnt Ban and Not selling to 17and under to different things? I'm all for a 10yr old not buying/renting a Mature game, just like they shouldnt be buying/renting a R movie. Chris

IRMA: You're next! (2, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107674)

> The Illinois Retail Merchants Association blasted the governor's proposal as a way for retailers to become "the violence and sensitivity police for the state of Illinois."

"Blasted"? Poor choise of words, IRMA.

I guess we know who's next on the Governor's world-o'-peace-love-and-fluffy-bunnies-or-else hitlist.

Re:IRMA: You're next! (1)

kclittle (625128) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107911)

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association picked up the governor's proposal with a gravity gun and smashed it against a huge boulder, sayin it is a way for retailers to become "the violence and sensitivity police for the state of Illinois."

Is that better?

News Flash (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107676)

The Governor of Illinois has been the victim of a carjacking.

The Governor's car has been stopped by a young male who walked fearlessly in front of the car, flipped the governor off, pulled him out of the car, and muttered "don't blame me, blame society" as he drove away.

What's the problem? (5, Insightful)

DeDmeTe (678464) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107678)

I don;t see the problem with this legislation. It's just like the R rating at theaters, or the fact that kids can't buy tobacco until 18, or beer until 21. I certainly woulnd't want my kids to (at age 9) walk into a store and buy GTA 8: Be a Porn Star. When he's 18, or I decide to buy it for him.. fine.

Re:What's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107776)

It's odd that you say this considering your sig.

Re:What's the problem? (1)

jdunlevy (187745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107803)

There's already a game ratings system [esrb.org] ....

Re:What's the problem? (1)

Gr33nNight (679837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107807)

Yeah, lets have the video store act as the parent.

People need to take responsibility into their own hands and stop trying to force the government to be responsible for our children. I have kids too, and you can be damn sure I know what they are watching or playing at my house. Now my kid can go to a friends and play GTA, but I hope that I taught him well enough that he knows the difference between whats real and fake.

Me parenting my kids. What a novel concept.

The problem is in the punishment (5, Insightful)

Logan_Fu (534139) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107846)

I don't see a problem, per se, with limiting sales and rentals of M rated games to children under 17, as the "M" rating is equivalent to an "R" for a motion picture. But, I think that a year in jail for renting a kid a copy of the new Prince of Persia game is a bit harsh. That said, there is no way that this law, even if it passes, will get past the courts, since it's so poorly written. Here's why: In Criminal Law there are what is known as "Strict Liability Statutes". These statutes are written to basically regulate the flow of traffic, commerce, and modern issues that were introduced after most of the common law was already laid down. See, most actual crimes require an act, and a criminal state of mind. The Strict Liability Statutes are the exception - they require only an act. This law is a Strict Liability Statute. The courts have said on numerous occassions, that if a piece of legislation is going to get rid of the mens rea (criminal mind) component of a crime, that piece of legislation needs to have a very minor punishment (usually a small to moderate fine) that will attach no "stigma" to the one violating it. Well, a year in jail is a pretty major "stigma" to have to bear. Dumbass legislators have, on many occassions, tried to pass these Strict Liability Statutes with long jail sentences, and almost always, they've been overturned. This bill is doomed before it's even signed.

Re:What's the problem? (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107859)

IIRC, the R-ratings at movie theaters are a movie industry policy. There's no _law_ enforcing it per se.

I guess the issue is the link between harm and video games. There is quite a bit of scientific reason to believe that alcohol and tobacco are _harmful_ substances which poison and/or kill you when not taken in appropriate doses. The science is not really there on the video game issue - we don't _know_ whether it has harmful effects even when taken in "massive doses". That is why the age restriction is problematic.

Is it really the government's decision to ban/restrict things which _could_ be harmful? I'm not really up in arms about this restriction, but then again, I also am not quite supporting it either. A _lower_ age limit (13?) might win me over - it seems like early childhood would be the place where the most damage would occur.

-Erwos

Re:What's the problem? (4, Insightful)

GimmeFuel (589906) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107863)

It's just like the R rating at theaters, or the fact that kids can't buy tobacco until 18, or beer until 21.

How's that working out, by the way? I assume no one under 17 watches R-rated movies in theaters, no one under 18 smokes, and people under 21 have never even tasted alcohol...

Please stop!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107686)

Please stop using the word Mature.
The games are adult oriented, but they are not Mature. I see no maturity in DOA Volleyball.

Kids dont buy games (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107687)

Kids don't buy games, they warez them. This is a broken solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

Re:Kids dont buy games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107733)

Kids don't buy games, they warez them.

Quit calling me a kid!

video games are NOT physically harmful! (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107689)

"We already place limits on alcohol, tobacco, even adult movies. It's just logical that video games, which are so heavily marketed to young kids but many of which contain adult images, should not be available to young people or to minors," Ottenhoff said.

Ok, I see the connection with adult movies (and I'm talking about porn, not R rated movies) but I cannot see how they think this can cross over into alcohol and tobacco territory!

Alcohol and tobacco are PHYSICALLY HARMFUL. You can die from alcohol and tobacco. You *cannot* die from abuse of video games... Explicit or otherwise.

On a personal note: Yes, video games showing full frontal nudity or realistic depictions of death (and when I say this I mean watching actual video clips of people being tortured, decapitated, etc) should be looked into as we do with movies... But video games showing a completely unrealistic depiction of human characters (as real as video games are looking they are still not 100% on) in a fantasy world should be treated as such.

I thought that as we matured as a society that this type of conservative bullshit would cease. Perhaps we are regressing?

Re:video games are NOT physically harmful! (-1, Troll)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107810)

I thought that as we matured as a society that this type of conservative bullshit would cease. Perhaps we are regressing?

First, Blagojavic is a democrat. You should have some facts before posting.

Alcohol and tobacco are PHYSICALLY HARMFUL. You can die from alcohol and tobacco. You *cannot* die from abuse of video games... Explicit or otherwise.

Yep, you can die from video games. Games influance people just like anything else. Have enough apathy? Feeling easily irritable? Think it is cool to take a gun to school? These are the attributes to video games.

We never had people bringing guns to school before video games became popular. So I would tell you to get your facts straight.

Re:video games are NOT physically harmful! (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107915)

First, Blagojavic is a democrat. You should have some facts before posting.

I wasn't aware that I listed a political affiliation? Democrats can propose conservative bills can't they? Hmm, perhaps you should have your facts straight before you reply.

Yep, you can die from video games. Games influance people just like anything else. Have enough apathy? Feeling easily irritable? Think it is cool to take a gun to school? These are the attributes to video games.

You can attribute drinking milk to causing cancer. Doesn't mean that's what caused it. Alcohol kills as does tobacco. Direct causes. Not indirect as you list.

We never had people bringing guns to school before video games became popular. So I would tell you to get your facts straight.

Right and I'm the one without facts. You really shouldn't draw at straws when trying to find explanations for events when you are blaming someone else for not having any "facts".

Re:video games are NOT physically harmful! (1)

hamburger lady (218108) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107919)

I thought that as we matured as a society that this type of conservative bullshit would cease. Perhaps we are regressing?

First, Blagojavic is a democrat. You should have some facts before posting.


first, democrats have been known to push conservative-type bills before, when it works in their favor. Blagojavic's party has nothing to do with it.

Yep, you can die from video games. Games influance people just like anything else.

by that logic, you can die from reading the newspaper.

We never had people bringing guns to school before video games became popular.

care to prove that?

2 died in Korea from playing too much (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107839)

I think one guy logged 48 straight hours in a Net Cafe before falling dead in a bathroom. I think he forgot to eat or something.

Re:video games are NOT physically harmful! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107865)

I don't know, those discs can be pretty sharp sometimes.

communist Illinois (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107690)

In communist Illinois, Duke Nukem Forevers YOU!

Mod Parent Up! (1)

razmaspaz (568034) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107855)

Damn, and I had 'em 5 minutes ago! That'll teach me to use my mod points up so fast! :-(

this is not a BAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107692)

the poster used a very misleading title. he is not banning violent video games. he just wants to give some guys an NC-17 rating. regardless if you agree or not, don't post an inacurrate and a flametory title.

Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107693)

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association blasted the governor's proposal as a way for retailers to become "the violence and sensitivity police for the state of Illinois

Maybe it's not just the kids who are being affected...

Good! (3, Insightful)

cexshun (770970) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107697)

I don't see anything wrong with requiring a consumer to be 18 to purchase a game marked mature. I think it's a good idea to require proof of age when purchasing games marked AO or Mature by the ERSB.

If anything, this puts responsibility back onto the parents. You can't blame you're kid shooting someone on video games if the parents have to buy them for them.

Sieg Heil! (1)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107781)

So now you can work in a slaughter house at age 15 but it's illegal to buy video games depicting the killing of animals until age 18.

The mysterious AO rating... (0, Troll)

gumpish (682245) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107837)


I think it's a good idea to require proof of age when purchasing games marked AO or Mature by the ERSB.

Are there really any games rated AO? They seem to be far more scarce than NC-17 films...

Re:The mysterious AO rating... (1)

cexshun (770970) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107897)

This is because game designers avoid AO like the plague! I garauntee the new Playboy game coming out will be AO. The first version of "The Punisher" sent to the ERSB was rated as AO, and they had to somewhat censor all of the graphic cutscene deaths.

Stupid law... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107698)

Breaking of this law would be punishable by up to one year in prison or a $5,000 fine.

So, how big is the penalty for kids going to a NC-17 rated movie or buying hardcore pr0n?

Why is one so much bigger than the other?

Re:Stupid law... (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107794)

R rated or NC-17, there is no (legal) penalty at all. The MPAA rating system is not law, it's voluntary. It's merely the theater owner's policy not to let 18 year old kids or younger in. Of course, if they dont play by the MPAA rules they don't get to show/rent their movies.

Same goes with those "explicit lyric" stickers on CDs. There's no law requiring them, it's completely voluntary. Of course, if you want to distribute through Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and the rest, you need to comply.

Hardcore porn is another subject, because that's more about pedophilia - supplying indecent or explicit material to minors.

Such as it is with video games and the voluntary ESRB rating system.

But the point is, it's perfectly fine for the MPAA/RIAA to police themselves, but we need the government to step in and regulate the sale of video games.

Yeah, right.

The Governator et al are just trying to cripple the industry that's sucking so much cash and offscreen talent from Hollywood. Their motives are so fucking transparent it makes me sick.

Re:Stupid law... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107868)

Why would the governor of Illinois care about Hollywood's bottom line?

Sorry to hear you are so easily sickened by your own illogic.

Just do it .. (1)

Folmer (827037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107708)

And let the kids get out and get some fresh air.. It wont prevent psychopaths go out and kill people, but at least he wont get to kill a whole generation just by walking into a computer-cafe :)

Ridiculous (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107718)

Absolutely ridiculous the way video games are the scapegoat for this generation.

Remember Judas Priest , Ozzy, et al being sued back in the 80s because their satanic lyrics caused all of the problems with young kids today?

Remember when it was Dungeons and Dragons?

The people are idiots though, if the movie and recording industries can police themselves (MPAA ratings / "explicit lyrics" stickers), whats the problem with the (incredibly coherent) ESRB rating system?

And once again, games are created for and marketed to adults, primarily 18-40 year old males. Just go google for any statistics (Nielson, etc) on who plays/buys games if you dont believe me.

The "think about the children" argument is a red herring. This is all about appeasing Hollywood by helping eliminate the competition. Pure pork. And politicians think it's win-win because it'll get them a lot of "cranky old bitch" votes.

But (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107720)

Is there actually any conclusive proof that violent video games lead to problems in kids?

Re:But (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107854)

They actually have a few studies that do show this, however I'm pretty sure they are horribly skewed and crafted to show this.
Regardless, we don't let minors buy pronography, and they really shouldn't be let into certain films without parental permission. I don't see a problem with law that also adds video games to that list. It isn't banishing video games. It simply requires parents to be involved in the purchase. Perhaps they'll start to take a look at what their kids are playing.

This is a needed change in law (1)

John Seminal (698722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107735)

"We already place limits on alcohol, tobacco, even adult movies. It's just logical that video games, which are so heavily marketed to young kids but many of which contain adult images, should not be available to young people or to minors," Ottenhoff said.

I am suprised these laws don't already exsist. When I was young, it was damn hard to find a playboy or anything fun.

I think what they should try and eliminate is the violence in video games. There have been studies in universities which shows links between playing video games and being violent. Humans learn by watching, and do we really want young kids learning from video games?

And I expect some will say "It must be the parents who decide what their kids can do". To them I would say, check out the lower middle class where both parents work, and the kid has nothing but a tv set and playstation.

Re:This is a needed change in law (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107795)

And I expect some will say "It must be the parents who decide what their kids can do". To them I would say, check out the lower middle class where both parents work, and the kid has nothing but a tv set and playstation.

I'm sorry but it isn't up to the Government to decide how a child is raised. If the blue collar family that you so *ignorantly* described wants to babysit their children in that manner, so be it.

It isn't society's place to dictate to individuals how they should raise their children. It certainly isn't up to the whims of a single political entity to do so either.

mature game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107739)

I'd like to see a specific definition of "mature game".

Err.. talk about a biased article.. (5, Insightful)

nicpottier (29824) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107740)

The /. one that is. Ban? What?

Hello, how is this different than R-rated movies today? Mature games are intended for a mature audience and you better believe we shouldn't have 8 year olds playing GTA3 unless their parents approve of it and buy it for them.

What's the crazy backlash to this? It's absolutely sound to set up laws prohibiting sales of these games to minors (just as it prohibits sales of pr0n to minors).

If parents choose that their kids are mature enough for said games then they'll go and buy it for their kids. If not, then kids won't be playing games that they likely aren't ready for.

-Nic

and the problem is . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107742)

what's the problem with that? They do the same thing at movie theaters, restricting anyone under 17 not accompanied by parent to see R rated movies. I don't see how not selling games rated M to kids under 18 is an issue. Sure the retailers are gonna bitch, they would be losing a small amount of business. How many kids will then wait outside a gamestore and ask an 18 yo to get them cigare - um a game? It is a good idea, but don't know how well it will work . . .

Alright you primitive screw heads, listen up... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107743)

This is not banning violent video games. Repeat after me, this is not a ban on violent video games. The games are still legal, they can still be bought and sold, this is not censorship to repress violent video games. This is a prohibition on selling them to minors. This is just like having minimum age requirements on buying alchohol and tobacco products or seeing R rated movies. They're proposing a fine for merchants who sell something to minors that the minors are not supposed to have.

This is not a ban.

Wait...? (1)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107745)

Didn't some federal judge already shoot down a similar law in another state recently as unconstitutional and discriminatory?

Re:Wait...? (1)

DeathFlame (839265) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107822)

What...

Did you read the article?

Parents are the answer, Rob (3, Insightful)

zod1025 (189215) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107749)

I particularly love this quote:

"We already place limits on alcohol, tobacco, even adult movies. It's just logical that video games, which are so heavily marketed to young kids but many of which contain adult images, should not be available to young people or to minors," Ottenhoff said.

Methinks he subscribes to different logic than I.

The answer, of course, is to do nothing - allow the Invisible Hand of the Market to continue to do its work, driven by parents' enforcements of what little Johnny can and can't buy.

Treat them the same as movies I say (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107762)

Treat them the same as if the same scenes were in a similarly-themed movie for sale or rent.

If your state allows anyone to buy Clockwork Orange - Uncut, or Debbie Does Everybody, then treat games the same way. If your state has age restrictions on the movies, then do the same for similar games.

Wow, nice inflammatory blurb (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107763)

There's a link to a blog about how this guy is Satan's brother-in-law, and then the submitter accuses him of trying to "impose legislation".

At least here in the South[1], our state governor doesn't "impose" legislation on us. He tries to get it into legislature to vote on, and our legislature is composed of _elected_ officials. I've heard it's a similar story up north. I don't know why the submitter has a hard-on for disparaging his governor, but it puts his entire summary of the issue into doubt, since he's so obviously biased.

Leave out the personal attacks, guys.

-Erwos

[1] OK, we're not really culturally part of "The South", but Maryland _is_ below the Mason-Dixon line.

What's the problem? (1)

neolith (110650) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107772)

Isn't the idea behind the rating system is that minors would need parental consent to purchase and play the games? The reason that there isn't more governmental regulation of movie ticket sales and DVD sales and rentals is because the industries themselves have shown due dilligence about enforcing their rating systems.

If the gaming rating systems is perceived to be a joke, the government WILL step in.

The kids are not buying the games (1)

disco_stu00 (467108) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107778)

NY Times had an article [nytimes.com] today about how the game ratings are useless. Parents buy the games regardless of the ratings.

Micro-Rant (4, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107780)

My stock micro-rant on this topic is mostly just a quotation.

  • Federal Judge Richard Posner, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, had this to say about 'protecting our kids':
    • Now that eighteen-year-olds have the right to vote, it is obvious that they must be allowed the freedom to form their political views on the basis of uncensored speech before they turn eighteen, so that their minds are not a blank when they first exercise the franchise. And since an eighteen-year-old's right to vote is a right personal to him rather than a right to be exercised on his behalf by his parents, the right of parents to enlist the aid of the state to shield their children from ideas of which the parents disapprove cannot be plenary either. People are unlikely to become well- functioning, independent-minded adults and responsible citizens if they are raised in an intellectual bubble.

    • --American Amusement Machine Assoc. v. Kendrick No. 00-3643 (7th Cir., March 23, 2001)
    Any elected government, be it Democracy, or Representative Republic, or otherwise, owes it to their constituents to allow unfettered access to ideas and information, praiseworthy or critical. To deny a citizen the right to know their own world is to deny them identity.

Wait a minute, what do they seek? (2, Funny)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107782)

Do they seek a ban on violent video games?

Or do they seek to violently ban video games?

I hope they clear that up before issuing orders to law enforcement.

Blago (1)

BlueThunderArmy (751258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107786)

Our fair governor has done some worthwhile things since taking office, but more often than not he doesn't. He likes these safe pet causes, and everyone who's never played a video game knows they're dangerous. So Blago gets to look like he cares about youth, and those who might pitch a fit about it are too young to vote.

Ridiculous (3, Interesting)

bLindmOnkey (744643) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107790)

What these people must realize is that many violent videogames e.g. WWII games are based on the real world, even if just for entertainment's sake. GTA reflects high crimes in a fictional city that highly resembles some of the US ones. Of course, these aren't meant to be taken AS fact and never really are. One of the major misconceptions about violent videogames is that reality is based on them and they have an overwhelming influence on children over reality, but this just isn't true. The first violent game I remember playing was Doom, but that didn't make me want to go out and shoot people. Videogames are based on reality, not the other way around

Illinois (1, Offtopic)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107797)

Hey, you've got to love a state where the Republican candidate for the Senate gets in a sex scandal with his own wife! (That'd be Seven of Nine, by the way, for those unfamiliar with the story.)

Blagojevich Is Evil (2, Informative)

LegendOfLink (574790) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107801)

As a resident of the Chicago area, I have to say, it seems like Blagojevich is out to destroy business in Illinois. First raising the tolls for truck drivers, and now he's about to cripple the video game business in Illinois!

This guy has had tons of static from the Illinois Congress regarding many issues such as passing the budget and getting medicine from Canada! I hope they fight him tooth and nail on this one too.

Plus, this will hurt more than just video game retailers. What about arcades? Is he just going to put an age limit on who can get in there because of game violence? Most of the people in arcades are under the age of 18 anyways.

Ban? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107814)

Please explain to me how this is a ban. I'll still be able to go to the store and purchase GTA: San Andreas, even for my 9 year old son if I like, yes?

What are you in for? (1)

GoodNicsTken (688415) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107820)

Innmate #1: Agrevated Assult on a police officer. Lawyer says I'll be out in 9 months. You?

Innmate #2: Doin 12 straight for selling Halo to a 17 year old. Apparently, he was planning a lan party.

Somebody tell me why we would ever need to put people in prision over this?

I'm not seeing the problem here (1)

Cheirdal (776541) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107825)

Twelve year old kids should not be renting, buying or playing games like GTA or Manhunter.

Another Candidate for Sheriff in Broward County FL (1)

canesfan (607211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107835)

Anyone remember Sheriff Nick Navarro? Two Live Crew, Citizens of Florida, and The United States Supreme Court certainly remember. He reduced crime significantly by arresting record store owners who dared sell that filth as well as club owners who dared book the Two Live Crew!!! It's Your Birthday... It's Your Birthday... It's Your Birthday!!! Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois has apparently decided to run for sheriff!

Is a 3% margin of victory a "mandate" for fascism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107845)

It seems to me that this "mandate" by a 3.5 million vote victory for Bush has translated into the beginnings of Neo-fascism by the right. While this article is scary, it's no where near as bad as this one.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0, 11 710,1369643,00.html

We're on the wrong track in this country. First and foremost, no president ever recieves a "mandate" of any sorts, let alone when he wins by a fairly small margin (we're talking 3%, not 30%). A president is elected to work for the will of the people, not elected and then given carte blanche to do what he wants based on the theory that "since he won, that means the people want him to do whatever he wants".

Right now gays of today are becoming the Jews of 1930s Germany. Their rights are slowly being taken away by the government doing subtle stuff like banning gay marriage, promoting heterosexuality, denouncing homosexuality, and refusing the promote anything that has a "gay" theme to it (read the article I mentioned above).

Since people seem to not have a problem with the early steps of persecution of gays, the net is ever-widening to encompass more people the government deems "threatening". Also up on the chopping block are the 'immoral' (FCC Gestapo-esque policing of the media and legislation such as this article).

Normally, this is when I say "wake up and get active", but voting democrat for the next 10-15 years is pretty much just electing a Republican bitch. You could vote for another party, but indepenants won't work until influential (read: the rich) people start thinking that. I could say "we need to get out there and fight for OUR country", but then you'd simply be labeled as either 'unpatriotic' for not mindlessly following our leadership, or worse yet, a 'terrorist'.

So in other words, we're fucked.

Won't have the consenquences they hoped for (2, Insightful)

cold wolf (686316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107889)

[sarcasm]If someone under the age of 18 buys a violent video game, send them to jail where they'll learn to behave like angels, because those inmates will be a great influence on them.[/sarcasm] Or $5000? Yeah, make them work instead of getting an education, or take their life savings away that would've helped pay for college.

Yeah, that's a brilliant plan.

Live in Illinois? Write your representatives! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11107900)

If you want to stop the regulation of the gaming industry and you live in Illinois, then please, look up and write your representatives. Let them know who you are and what you believe.

http://www.elections.state.il.us/dls/pages/DLSAddr esscrit.asp [state.il.us]

Don't complain if you don't plan on acting.

This would, perhaps, be not such a bad idea. (1)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 9 years ago | (#11107906)

I enjoy a wide range of video games and other media. While I believe most adults are capable of consuming such without severe ill effects, I do question whether we are doing enough to prevent violent video games from falling into the hands of children, who are not necessarily able to reconcile what they see in a video game in a proper context (in other words, properly separate fantasy from reality.)

This is not a perception that many people are prepared to accept. A recent survey revealed that while eight out of ten adults could identify three or more Top 40 rap musicians by their photographs and four out of ten knew the relatively obscure fact that chopsticks were actually invented by immigrants in American mining communities in the 1800s as a way of differentiating their restaurants, only three in ten understand and properly apply the rating system for video games to their children.

If you accept the premise that video games, like other media, have some influence on the people that enjoy them it is a simple step to recognize the need to limit the access to those who are least likely to experience harm from it. Perhaps violent games need to be moved behind the counter, or only sold in adult-only forums (such as online stores that accept only checks/credit cards). Or maybe the answer is simpler -- make the games compatible with the V-Chip systems already present in our television sets.

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