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Illinois Videogame Law Moves Forward

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the what-game-industry-are-they-talking-about? dept.

The Courts 192

The ongoing trend of legislating the sale of video games moves forward. Gamasutra has news on the Illinois law currently moving through the legislature, which apparently has "overwhelming support". From the Illinois debate: "An industry that is making so much money selling these things to your children is dealing with things like decapitation, defecation on people. There's vivid pictures of nudity. It's an industry that needs help being policed..."

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fp2 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11971940)

Ha! Eff Pee.

since when... (3, Funny)

takeya (825259) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971956)

do games have people "defecating on eachother"? are they playing porno games or something? Japanese H-games?

can anyone tell me if there are really any american games with this sort of thing, or if it's just FUD.

Re:since when... (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971979)

Well, I do remember the cutscene from the end of the first episode of Duke Nukem 3D, after Duke kills the boss, he punches a hole in the monster and (probably---we don't see the nasty bits, thank God) defecates in it.

Re:since when... (4, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972341)

You can get japanese H games in the US legally, though not at any retailers that I know of. There are cute little animal games where your cute little animal takes cute little turds, but not on anybody. There is a webgame version of Puyo Puyo where your special attack is throwing up on your opponent. There were a few games in the 80's where birds would poo on you, though those weren't very good games. There's the 7 sins [3dgamers.com], where the point is to try to have sex with as many people as possible. There is, of course a PS2 version.

There are a lot of bad [somethingawful.com] games out there. But then, there are millions of games out there. By the same token, I don't have anything morally against making parents come in and buy games for their kids if they want them to have them. I've known far too many people in the retail sector who have told kids no, and been yelled at by the parent for stopping their kid from buying, say, Manslaughter. Inevitably, the parent then comes back the following day and freaks out on the poor underpaid associate for selling such filth to their kid.

I think the generation which preceeded ours has certain expectations about cartoons and videogames which ours does not. To them, more mature cartoons or videogames is like Jack Daniels flavored breastmilk. Or black leather studded diapers. In exactly the same way that movies were seen as kid's stuff at the turn of the century, so too is videogames the realm of kids. And therefore anything that gets released in a videogame is marketed at kids, and all of that stuff that you see in videogames is people trying to mess up your children.

It's a different perspective. While I don't disagree with the idea of restricting the sale of certain videogames to minors, I do disagree with the perspective.

Re:since when... (1)

jcromartie (841990) | more than 8 years ago | (#11974111)

Exactly which turn of the century are you talking about? Initially, when film was finally taking a form that was comparable to what it is today, movies were NOT for kids. In fact, there was no regulation, and many instances of graphic sex and violence can be found in pre-decency code films. Nowadays mainstream films, no matter the subject, are dumbed down to the lowest common denominator so that they don't prove to be intellectually challenging to anybody but an 8 year old. From the perspective of intelligent people: mainstream film now is mostly for children, or people with little or no desire for emotional and intellectual development.

Here's my suggestion (4, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971963)

Let's make every game 18+ by default. Then let's set up a classification board, staffed by people who actually know how to play a game, that you have to go to if you want a game which is rated for younger audiences. Then let's change this mantra of the protectorate which I hear all the time: games are for kids. Games are not for kids. Surveys have shown that the vast majority of gamers are over 18 years of age. The fact that games contain elements which are distasteful in ordinary society is no big surprise when you stop thinking about games as entertainment for kids and start thinking about them as an escape from reality for adults.

Re:Here's my suggestion (1)

Mooga (789849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972063)

Are you out of your mind?

There are TONS of gamers under 18. Your talking about an age where kids as young as 10 (and even younger) are playing videogames. And these 10 yearolds are playing more then school games, they're fragging away at games like Halo and CS.

While young kids shouldn't be playing such FPS games, you can't simply ban games for kids under 18! Tons of teens in highschool spend their nights fragging and highschool starts at 14 and 15.

Re:Here's my suggestion (4, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972161)

Maybe you should actually read what I wrote before replying. I said, games which are rated for children should be available. Games that are not rated (at all) should also be available -- to people over the age of 18. Parents are obviously free to allow their children to play any game they see fit -- even if it is unrated -- but children cannot buy these games.

I think that's simple and straight forward, but your government (and mine even more so) do not understand that because they think of games as being solely for children. Here in Australia we don't even have an 18+ rating for games. We also don't allow unrated games on the shelves. The result is that the vast majority of people who play games (which, as I said, is mostly over the age of 18) are saddled with kiddie junk. The few companies that actually try to make games for adults have their games effectively banned from my country (as they are refused a classification and unrated games are banned from the shelves). So think yourself lucky that you have any adult rated games there at all.

Re:Here's my suggestion (5, Informative)

bmorton (170477) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972184)

The parent didn't say that people under 18 didn't play games. The parent states that survey's have shown that the vast majority of gamers are adults.

The parent also didn't say that games should be banned for people under 18. The idea is that if a company wants people under 18 to be able to play the game, they have to submit it for review.

Review boards wouldn't be necessary for most games, as they are obviously targetted to adults and could go straight to the stores with a rating of 18+. If a game is meant for a younger audience (or for all ages), it can be submitted and reviewed and then deemed appropriate. This also has the effet of stopping violent games from "slipping thru the cracks."

Seems pretty reasonable to me

-B

Re:Here's my suggestion (4, Interesting)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972193)

That'll be about as effective as banning drinking and smoking for kids...except games, being software, can't be as easily controlled as physical objects like booze or cigarettes.

And there are a lot more "underage" gamers than underage smokers or drinkers.

Games are not for kids.

Games, like most things, are for people mature enough to handle it. I can play Halo and enjoy the strategy without going trigger-happy and without looking for a game with more gore. (In fact, much as I enjoy Halo, I find games with gratuitous gore very distasteful.)

Surveys have shown that the vast majority of gamers are over 18 years of age.

Ehheh. Right. Surveys show that the vast majority of people are over 18 years of age. I mean, you're comparing what, a group from roughly 10 or 12 to 18 with a group from 19 to who-knows-where? Of course you'll get more in the latter.

Is there a survey that shows that there is a vastly greater percentage of gaming adults compared to the percentage of gaming teenagers? I'm pretty sure that a randomly-selected teenager is far more likely to play video games than a randomly-selected adult.

The fact that games contain elements which are distasteful in ordinary society is no big surprise when you stop thinking about games as entertainment for kids and start thinking about them as an escape from reality for adults.

Except for one thing: lots of developers treat games as entertainment for kids. And lots of teenagers like this kind of escape from reality, and are mature enough to handle tasteful games....

Re:Here's my suggestion (0, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972386)

Man, I can't even believe we're arguing here. The government wants to ban lude and "unacceptable" conduct in video games because they're "just for kids" and you're defending them. Games are not just for kids. Adults play video games and we should be able to get adult content in them. I don't want my choise of video games to consist of Mario and Spiro The Dragon, ok?

Re:Here's my suggestion (1)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972628)

I don't want my choise of video games to consist of Mario and Spiro The Dragon, ok?

Right right. But what if I want those games? I probably misread your comment, but it seems that you want to ban Mario and Spyro so that you can get your games. Which is no different...except that it's my games that are banned.

Games are not just for kids.

Thanks for adding the word "just". That wasn't in your original comment. That's all I was basically asking for. ;-)

Re:Here's my suggestion (4, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972760)

My original comment specifically said that game manufacturers should be able to submit their game to a review board which could hand out classifications for ratings other than 18+. I don't want to ban any games, I want all games to be 18+ and available on the shelf until such time as the manufacturer gets a lower rating.

Re:Here's my suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11973660)

You're contradicting yourself. You're saying that you want every game on the shelf to be 18+. How selfish is that?

Re:Here's my suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11974586)

You're contradicting yourself. You're saying that you want every game on the shelf to be 18+. How selfish is that?

You're demonstrating that you lack even basic reading comprehension skills. He is saying that there should be an official game rating system, and any game that has not passed through that system should be assumed NOT to be suitable for children.

You can disagree with that on the grounds that it creates more beaurocracy, on the grounds that it will raise prices for children's games, or on the grounds that it won't work any better than any other ratings system. You cannot disagree with it on the grounds that it's selfish, because it isn't, nor on the grounds that it's self-contradictory, because it isn't.

Kindly learn to read before you attempt to contribute to debates in future.

Re:Here's my suggestion (1)

jcromartie (841990) | more than 8 years ago | (#11974523)

I want all cartoons to be rated R until otherwise certified to be lower. Don't be ridiculous.

Re:Here's my suggestion (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11974604)

I want all cartoons to be rated R until otherwise certified to be lower. Don't be ridiculous.

But that's not ridiculous - it's how things ARE! Mainstream cinemas won't touch unrated movies; movies that want to be marketable to kids have to be certified to deserve a suitably low rating!

If you start from the opposite premise, and assume that all unrated cartoons are suitable for children... well, let's just say I sure hope you don't mind getting home one day and finding your nine-year-old son watching tentacle rape scenes on Cartoon Network.

Why should games be any different? Why should we NOT assume that games are unsuitable for children unless they have actually been checked and found suitable?

Re:Here's my suggestion (1)

clausiam (609879) | more than 8 years ago | (#11974567)

Did you read the suggested law? Nobody's banning anything. They will prohibit selling games marked as Mature to people under 18. What's your problem here?

Re:Here's my suggestion (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972631)

The problem here is that the complainers want Wal-Mart to carry the games. Why? Because that's where mom and dad shop.

This is an issue of tail wagging. The only people who will be bothered by this are the ones who shouldn't be playing these games to begin with.

Re:Here's my suggestion (4, Informative)

Eivind (15695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973316)

There's a problem with this, and this problem is obvious in countries that have such a law, for example Germany.

The problem is that in practice, any certification costs money. This means that any game developed by nonprofits in general will not be certified. It would be a lot of work, and quite likely costly, for a OSS developer to ensure that his game was certified according to each of dozens of different classification-boards.

And if you think large groups of countries will agree on one common standard, one common certification board, you're dreaming. That's not the case for movies and wouldn't be the case for games.

Practical upshot ? You can't legally sell a Linux-distro to a minor in Germany. In practice it's done all the time, because the law gets ignored for things which aren't mainly games, and which are obviously not very objectionable anyway.

But in principle, you'll have to strip ALL games (including solitaire, mahjong, minesweeper and tuxracer) from a Linux-distro, or jump trough expensive and time-consuming hoops if you want to legally sell your linux-distro to minors in Germany.

17 year-old linux-users aren't exactly *that* rare.

Re:Here's my suggestion (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973331)

Wow. Let the children get their parent's permission to buy a linux distribution. Who cares.

Re:Here's my suggestion (1)

jcromartie (841990) | more than 8 years ago | (#11974096)

That's the most rediculous thing I've heard lately. You would sound like an idiot if you said the same thing about cartoons (and your statistics would probably still hold true... most cartoon watchers are probably over 18).

Why don't we make all cartoons rated R by default. Then, let's set up a classification board, staffed by people who actually know how to watch a cartoon that you have to go to if you want a cartoon which is to be rated for a younger audience. Then let's change this mantra of the protectorate which I hear all the time: "cartoons are for kids." Cartoons are not for kids! Surveys have shown that the vast majority of cartoon viewers are over 18.

You're just giving in to the mass-marketed over-hyped mentality that American gamers have (I'm an American, by the way, and I choose not to give in to that mentality). In Japan games are seen as primarily a child's toy, but a medium that can also be enjoyed by adults. Outside of the Hentai type genres there are very few games coming out of Japan, with the exception of fighters and Metal Gear/survival horror games, that showcase the same braindead blood, guts, and boobies that American games do.

"M" stands for "mostly crap."

Re:Here's my suggestion (1)

Mr.Dippy (613292) | more than 8 years ago | (#11974138)

If you make games only for 18+ age then Nintendo will go out of business. Won't somebody please think about Nintendo

Errrrr (4, Interesting)

schild (713993) | more than 9 years ago | (#11971966)

Defecation on people?

I play a _lot_ of games, and I'm pretty sure there's no game out there where you can squat and take a cleveland steamer on someone.

Sure, you can pee on people in Postal 2, but that's surely what they aren't implying, or they would have used the word urinate.

No matter how you slice it, the government's (local and national) obsession with controlling what media our children see is unhealthy. Hell, I don't even know how any lawmakers got it into their head that this is somehow important.

Re:Errrrr (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972071)

Perhaps they're making stuff up to get this bill passed - or perhaps it's some fetishist game from Japan we've never heard of, but some congressperson's son has.


And, yes, government control of the media IS bad. But we knew that.

Re:Errrrr (1)

arh9623 (49521) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972424)

and the nuidity? maybe on some imports again. but come on
oh well
common sence need not apply
or speel cheeckers

Re:Errrrr (4, Interesting)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972614)

The "Bubblegum" crew on CounterStrike (mostly on the Tokyo servers) will spraypaint their balls (an actual, hi-rez, digital picture of each player's manberries) on your corpse. I've seen these guys actually sacrifice themselves to jump across a level and spray balls on me.

Another crew has a pic of poop in a urinal (WTF people) as their spray.

So, yes, people do deficate on each other.

Re:Errrrr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11973080)

Yeah, but the Japanese think piss and shit jokes are like, "TEH FUNNIEST THING EVAR" And we wonder why they have "Beware of pervert old man" signs in their subways..

Re:Errrrr (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973784)

Spraypainting (I assume you are talking about bottled paint in spraycans... right?) is not defecating, though. And even if the crews actually *did* defecate on you, that wouldn't be the fault of the game, much like it isn't the fault of the game (or, for that matter, the game manufacturer) when you *say* things to other people in a multiplayer game that might be considered offensive.

Re:Errrrr (1)

WaKall (461142) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973405)

Anyone who has played Black & White has seen their monster poop after it eats. Depending on how you trained it, it might do this on houses, people, fields, whatever. It's completely innocent in that game though - not like it's scat or anything offensive.

Re:Errrrr (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973538)

In Duke Nukem there's a cutscene where you rip off some bad alien's head and do the proverbial down his throat. Strange but true. I imagine that was they're referring to.

I wouldn't recommend Duke Nukem for kids, and I'm all for classification instead of outright censorship. If you're over 18 and you can buy any game you want to, where's the bad? If you're a kid and you want to play a game that has sex, graphic violence, nudity, whatever in it, perhaps that should be up to your parents to decide whether they want to buy the game for you.

That's a lot better than saying "Well this Superbowl game has a wardrobe malfunction in it, so we can't let anybody on earth see it. We're just going to burn down the warehouses that it's stored in now."

Re:Errrrr (1)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | more than 8 years ago | (#11974312)

I play a _lot_ of games, and I'm pretty sure there's no game out there where you can squat and take a cleveland steamer on someone.

But it would make a fun sequel to Katamari Damacy (sp?). You start as a tiny beetle, who lays tiny little turds, which you try to dump on ants. And you transfer through different stages -- you become a mouse who dumps on beetles, a bird who soils statues, a rabbit who lets people slip on tiny marbles, etc. -- until you reach the final goal: you become a huge mammoth who completely COVERS people in poo! I would play that!

Re:Errrrr (4, Insightful)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 8 years ago | (#11974701)

I think that if he's talking about stuff like that and graphic nudity, he's talking about games clearly labeled Adults Only. To see how much this plague of bad taste was corrupting the youth of America, I went to the ESRB site and compiled a list of all Adults Only games:
All Nude Glamour
All Nude Nikki
All Nude Cyber
Body Language
Cyber Photographer
Crystal Fantasy
Critical Point
Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Uncut and Uncensored
Playboy Screensaver: The Women of Playboy
Peak Entertainment Casinos
Riana Rouge
Singles
Snow Drop
The Joy of Sex (CDI)
Tokimeki Checkin!
Wet - The Sexy Empire
Water Closet: The Forbiidden Chamber
X-Change
Some of you may recognize some of those titles from various Something Awful hentai game reviews. I've noted also that the only AO title on a console is "The Joy of Sex" for the Philips CDI, which is a digital version of the classic 1979 book by the same title [amazon.com] which is considered to be both in good taste and respectable as a serious look at sex.

Also worth noting for its oddity value, there are exactly 18 games intended only for people over 18. :P Also worth noting is that most video game stores won't touch these games and that the only way to get them is online directly from the publisher.

The reason that congreess people are so up-in-arms about this is because there are 3 sides to this issue. Pro regulation: You think that video game violence is dispicable and the sexual content is deplorable, even though you've never played a video game nor have you ever seen any of this content you're so enraged at. Anti regulation: You think that the industry is doing a good job of regulating itself. You play games and if you have children, you monitor what they play and consider the ESRB ratings before making any purchase. Apathetic: They're just games... who cares?

What makes lawmakers so fervent about this is that the type of people who are for regulation call them and write them constantly to make sure it happens. People who are anti-regulation write reactionary articles and either post them online or send them to the lawmakers, but since the lawmaker doesn't want to look like a "flip flopper," they refuse to change their stance. And the vast majority of people are apathetic on the subject, so even though they really aren't calling for regulation, nobody notices because they're not saying anything at all.

No more than other media... (5, Insightful)

gimpynerd (864361) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972006)

Seems to me video games should not be regulated any more than movies or music. If children playing mature video games is a problem then it is their parents' problem not the government's.

Re:No more than other media... (1)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972140)

Common sense need not apply in America. Everyone will blame someone else for their problems before they look in the mirror. That is why it is so easy to be successful in this world. The only leg up you need is drive to succeed, the desire to keep trying until the day you die, and the ability to see your faults and improve upon them.

Lesson on how to succeed:
If you fail, try again. Repeat.

I've worked for 5-6 failed businesses before getting sick of it. I am on my 3rd company and it will succeed or fail. Either way I'm going to start another business. My 1st failed due to inexperience, 2nd is breaking even which means I don't make any money and get to work on it for free, 3rd is slowly taking off and looks like I'll recoup my investment by the end of the year.

I'd rather make $20,000 a year working for myself 80 hours a week than take shit off some dipshit manager for $70,000. Life's to short to work with assholes. At least when I'm the boss the blame is valid when it stops at my feet. Now if my employee's weren't so expensive!

Re:No more than other media... (0, Offtopic)

gimpynerd (864361) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972231)

If you want a funny take on your philosophy on how to succeed then look at my site. Kind of coincidental. But I agree with you. I plan to start my own company. It gives you much more freedom to do what you think is necessary and there is no one to hold you back.

Re:No more than other media... (3, Insightful)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972591)

Movies and music are (somewhat) regulated. And it should be so. Basicly, nothing Il does will prevent you from playing a game you want. Wal-Mart may not carry it anymore, but you shouldn't shop there anyway. You can still buy Doom3 at EB or online with no problem.

This will prevent 13yo boys from giggling each other to death while playing Vampire: Bloodlines.

And it should be that way.

People need to understand that parents cannot possible watch their kids 100% of the time. It just isn't feasable. The best we can do is to teach them well and hope they make the right choices when we aren't around.

Unfortunately, not every parent teaches their kid properly (whatever that is) and peer-pressure is very strong.

Remove cigiratte laws and kids will smoke.

Remove CD warning labels and kids will listen to fiddicent singing about shooting 2pack and fucking his mom.

Remove MPAA ratings and kids will end up watching violent movies.

Why not limit the avalibility of HL2 to prevent 13yo boys from fragging each other?

I know most people say that watching something or doing it virtually will not cause it to happen in real life. I tend to agree.

Most kids will never shoot an AWP into a crowd. But how many of them will call women "bitches" and "hos"? Kids may never do battle with the legions of hell, but how many will think of shooting a gun as "cool"?

A good quote (badly paraphrased) is: Thoughts lead to actions. Actions lead to habits. Habits build your character.

This law should prevent kids from playing violent games in the same way that it prevents them from seeing a violent movie. It won't be 100% effective, but it'll help when the parents can't be there. And this law will never prevent you from buying violent games, cigirattes, girls gone wild, or anything else that adults generally enjoy.

Re:No more than other media... (2, Informative)

macrom (537566) | more than 8 years ago | (#11974625)

I know most people say that watching something or doing it virtually will not cause it to happen in real life. I tend to agree. Most kids will never shoot an AWP into a crowd. But how many of them will call women "bitches" and "hos"? Kids may never do battle with the legions of hell, but how many will think of shooting a gun as "cool"? A good quote (badly paraphrased) is: Thoughts lead to actions. Actions lead to habits. Habits build your character.

I used to not put a whole lot of weight into the rating of games. Until I got married last summer and was suddenly tasked with making parental judgements for 2 young stepsons, 8 and 10. We played mostly Gamecube games, but eventually my wife and I bought them a PS2 and started with Jak & Daxter, Sly Cooper, etc. Then it became Ratchet and Clank, Jak II (both rated 'T', both slightly violent). Then came the phone calls from the teachers. Both kids were talking back, pushing other kids, throwing things on the playground, etc. We took away all but Mario Party and saw results almost overnight. It was then that I became a believer that video games CAN change the way children behave. I can only imagine what changes take place when kids play 'M'-rated games from the time they are 13 and younger.

And before you respond to say, "It's just your kids that have a problem", we have talked with other parents at school and in the neighborhood and they all have seen the same thing. The more the kids play games with violence (even cartoon violence), the worse their behavior.

Note: I am COMPLETELY against censorship. If you want to shoot cops, rape prostitutes and mow down aliens with rocket launchers in a video game, be my guest. But any tools that the government can provide that help us raise respectable children are welcome by me, and I'm sure many, many other American parents.

Re:No more than other media... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11974648)

Thoughts lead to actions...

So, the state should control thought to prevent bad actions from developing into bad habits?

I see your point, but I disagree with the premise.

Parents raise children. The state enables parents via governance - it does not mandate how they are to be raised. If you want to know what state-raised kids are like, check out the Illinois Department of Child and Family Serivces - a google search will give lots of news stories, virtually all terrible.

State != fit parent. And, I would even generalize to add, EVER.

Re:No more than other media... (1)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 8 years ago | (#11974881)

You have to understand that there's really only one fatal flaw in all game regulation legislation that we all rail against. The laws can be made good in theory, but in practice they're all legislative turds.

Yes, movies and music are regulated.... but the movie ratings and the parental advisory labels are all generated from within the industry, not from the government. The act of peer review allows for a quality assessment of the product and a determination on the character by a group of people who are knowledgeable enough to do so. It also allows for an ever-changing standard that matches the cultural mindest as it evolves.

Every piece of video game regulation legislation has tried to codify which content is "good" and which content is "bad," and this is where they all inevetably fail. Allowing the government to decide which content is good and bad is a quick and ugly way to invite in propoganda (which, while a worst-case-scenario, it must be considered when you have a legal system that works off precedent). A law that, while I may not get behind it, I could live with it, would ban the sale of games to minors that are judged by a peer review process to be unsuitable for children, and also have a caveat for MA17 titles and 17 year olds.

By the way,... the law does not prevent kids from seeing violent movies at all. The only legislation of age regulation in the movie industry is the prohibition of selling pornography to minors. Everything else is handled by the industry itself via the MPAA. And the next time you think it's working so well... go get a kid to go into any non-video-game store and buy an R rated movie... you'll realize quickly that they only ever check that when you go to a theater and that nobody really cares on the home video side of things. The reason nobody's up in arms about it is that movies have been around so long that something goes off in our brain when someone says "movies make you do bad things" that says "what a load of horse shit!" Those of us who have been playing games for decades now have that same alarm going off in our heads now.

peer 2 peer (2)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972021)

Sure, they can ban the sale to minors in order to prevent children buying games with questionable content..... .....but they can't stop kids getting these games from P2P, and they can't stop their parents buying it for them.

It's about time... (5, Interesting)

robw810 (819414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972033)

Yeah, it's about time the government figured out that all of us citizens are too ignorant to make our own decisions. We don't know what's best for us, and we certainly don't want any personal accountability involved. It's easier if they make all of the important decisions for us...
/sarcasm

I for one am sick and tired of living in a nanny state. Government's only legitimate function is to secure individual rights; unless someone else's rights are being infringed upon, government has no legitimate interest.

RW

Re:It's about time... (3, Insightful)

aztektum (170569) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972475)

The funniest thing is they say "they make a lot of money selling to your kids." Immediately I picture parents totally unaware of what their kids are doing. And secondly, it wasn't until I got a job in high school that I could afford them. So who is REALLY buying these games, is it really the kids or ignorant, lazy parents?

Re:It's about time... (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973568)

It's more complicated than that. You can't have 8 year old kids going out and buying alcohol, cigarettes, Playboy magazine, whatever. Sure, 90% or better of the underage population wouldn't be interested anyway, but that isn't exactly the point. 8 year old kids shouldn't go out and buy Playboy:The Mansion, either, and not just because it's an awful game.

Alcohol is a serious drug and it can cause serious problems. Likewise, some explicit material just isn't right for people under 18 to get involved in. It really isn't. So how do you ensure that people under 18 can't access this material? What's your solution?

Are you seriously advocating that explicit material should be available to young children?

The solution suggested is one I consider to be the only workable scenario. As an adult, I can get whatever computer games, alcohol, cigarettes, whatever I want to get, I'm entitled to go out and get it. People who are too young for these things just have to wait, like I had to wait before I could legally buy alcohol.

But you seem to think that this is a bad idea. Okay then, I'll throw down the gauntlet. What's your solution? How do you make these products available to people who are emotionally mature enough for them, whilst preventing their availabilty to people who aren't grown up enough for them?

The point is that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11974256)

The point is that the government can't tell who is emotionally mature enough for a product. Given just their age, no one can. Some 12 year olds have no problem with a violent or sexually explicit game, but some 80 year old people will have a problem. Some people of different cultures and religious backgrounds find different things offensive, and for the government to decide which games are BAD and which games are NOT allows them to enforce arbitrary values and biases.

Sure, any adult can buy anything, but to promote some products (often wartime violence) and discourage others (non-sexual nudity) seems to express a value that may not be in tune with most people.

Re:It's about time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11974639)

Likewise, some explicit material just isn't right for people under 18 to get involved in. It really isn't.

Why not?

Please explain. If possible, cite studies published in peer-reviewed journals which support your position. It would help if you would be kind enough justify your blanket assertion in the face of different cultural norms around the world.

The question I would like you to answer is this:

Given that the legal age of consent in most parts of the world (including many states of the USA) is below 18, meaning that many minors can quite legally participate in any sexual activity they choose, why should it be illegal for them to look at pictures of other people doing the same things?

Are you seriously advocating that explicit material should be available to young children?

No, actually. But I consider "young children" to mean under-12s, not under-18s.

Getting my goat (4, Funny)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972039)

What would you call a hybrid scapegoat/bandwagon... I like GoatWagon. Senators with too much free time on their hands will jump on any goatwagon "for the children". (This stuff practically writes itself, folks.)

Re:"for the children" (5, Insightful)

robw810 (819414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972095)

Wonderful point there...

Any time I hear "it's for the children," "the elderly," "less fortunate," "disabled," or some other emotional plea for support of some legislation, I always think:
This legislation must be pretty bad if it can't support itself without blind emotional pleas...

RW

Re:"for the children" (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973583)

There are two ways to look at it.

I won't support censorship "for the children".

I will support classification "for the children".

Censorship removes your right to choice.
Classification doesn't, although you might have to wait a little while if you're underage.

This topic is mostly about classification, not censorship. So what's the problem? RW - you're under 18, aren't ya?

Re:Getting my goat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972368)

In Soviet Russia, GoatWagons like you!

Re:Getting my goat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11973558)

I call it the american inquisition. Not many expects that one either.

defecation! (1)

\\ (118555) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972082)

Whoa, whoa.. "defecation on people"? There's a Veronica Moser of video games? Someone is going around Mosering (or Tobias Beechering, maybe) people in video games?

WHY DID NO ONE INFORM ME OF THIS EARLIER?

Re:defecation! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11973164)

I was thinking, "There's a tubgirl game?"

Nudity? (3, Funny)

Leveler of Nations (853700) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972100)

There's vivid pictures of nudity.
Where's thier evidence? I've been looking for something to pirate recently.

Re:Nudity? (1)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972133)

yeah...there's maybe like 4 games with nudity in them, and time they all clearly state "Rated M - Age 17+"

Re:Nudity? (1)

xgamer04 (248962) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972971)

Pretty much, um, nothing you can buy at Best Buy. There are some places online that sell Japanese hentai games, but they are all filled with disclaimers YOU MUST BE OF AGE and stuff...

GoatWagon sounds good. (2, Interesting)

DeanMeister (868655) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972115)

This is just getting ridiculous. If the government spent half as much time getting guns off the street and making weapons unavailable to kids then half our problems would be solved right there. And I'd really like somone to point out this "defecation" game for me. If no one in this community has heard of it it's probably a terrible game anyway. Maybe game's like Grand Theft Auto wouldn't exist if they didn't have real world models to go off of. Maybe you should focus on that instead of blaming games for bringing violence to your attention.

Re:GoatWagon sounds good. (3, Insightful)

robw810 (819414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972195)

You contradict yourself... On one hand, you don't want government punishing YOU for someone else's bad decisions, yet you DO want government to punish ME for someone else's bad decisions.

Instead of making sure that all potential crime victims are unarmed and thus unable to resist, perhaps we should punish those who commit ACTUAL crimes (you know, things which violate the rights of another human being).

A law abiding citizen carrying a concealed (or not) firearm violates nobody's rights.

RW

Nice knee-jerk, I give it a 9.5. (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972597)

Grandparent said that we should get guns off of the streets and away from children, not take them from law-abiding citizens.

Rob

Re:Nice knee-jerk, I give it a 9.5. (1)

robw810 (819414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972647)

IF you can explain how to "get guns off the streets" without taking them from law-abiding citizens, THEN you might have a point.

Since you can't, then you don't...

RW

Re:Nice knee-jerk, I give it a 9.5. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972866)

"off the street" is code for "away from the nigras"

Re:Nice knee-jerk, I give it a 9.5. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11974537)

You could take them away from criminals and let the law abiding citizens keep theirs. This is just a theory anyway.

I don't understand... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11972186)

I don't understand why people who's kids buy games they don't approve of don't just stop giving their kids $50 and letting them go to the video game store unsupervised.

No! (2, Insightful)

SoulMaster (717007) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972222)

The industry does not need to be "policed". Parents need to be policed. Can't parents in Illinois control their kids?

Damn whiny dems.

I have 10 bucks that says this crap actually passes and wastes our precious $ on its way to the Supreme Court, which of course, will over turn it.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Illinois Congress, meet Foresight.

Patheitc (5, Interesting)

HeavyK (822279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972304)

This law is so vague it would essenially ban minors from buying football games, World War 2 themed shooters or even RPGs because they contain realistic depictions of human on human violence.
If this law was extended to cover movies, music and books also it would essenically (sp?) outlaw the sale of the Bible or Star Wars films to minors. Pretty pathetic.

Re:Patheitc (1)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972365)

Do you have a link to the proposed law? I'm curious to read the text, but I can't locate it.

Re:Patheitc (5, Informative)

HeavyK (822279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972488)

Go to this website: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/default.asp [ilga.gov] Then on the left hand corner of the screen is a thing called "Search by Number". In the blank space right below it type "HB4023" without the quotes. Then in the top left hand corner click "Full Text". Sorry i couldn't find a direct link that could work.

Re:Patheitc (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973594)

I wouldn't recommend the bible to any child. Just look at what's been done in the world in the name of it.

Likewise, there are some who believe that Star Wars is becoming less appropriate for not only children, but for people in genereal.

Re:Patheitc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#11974664)

I wouldn't recommend the bible to any child. Just look at what's been done in the world in the name of it.

Just look at what's been done in the world in the name of democracy. Look at the lovely People's Democratic Republic of Korea, for example. Based on their example, I say we should abolish democracy, it's a horrible and oppressive system!

Or is that somehow different? Pray, do explain why bastardising the bible means religion is evil, but bastardising democracy does not affect the status of democracy at all. I'm panting to hear you justify your irrational prejudices...

Parents can't distribute either? (1)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972326)

From the previous Slashdot article: ...He seeks to impose legislation that will prohibit the distribution, sale, rental and availability of mature video games to children younger than 18...

It sounds as though this does not apply only to retailers, but to parents as well. I'm not going to say the obvious about how parents should be parenting their children and not the government, but this is still interesting.

And what constitutes "Mature"? I've played M rated games in my youth (pre-teen and near there), such as Goldeneye and Perfect Dark on the N64. I'm certainly not any the worse for it, I quite detest violence myself. Now if it was Postal 2 on the other hand...

Re:Parents can't distribute either? (3, Informative)

servognome (738846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973009)

Doesn't affect parents. From the Bill:
Sec. 12A-20. Affirmative defenses. In any prosecution
21 arising under this Article, it is an affirmative defense:
22 (1) that the defendant was a family member of the minor for
23 whom the game was purchased. "Family member" for the purpose of
24 this Section, includes a parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt,
25 uncle, or first cousin;

Of course the definition of "Violence" is way too vague... I guess Madden or any boxing game is "Mature" game because it allows serious physical harm to another human being
30 (e) "Violent" video games include depictions of or
31 simulations of human-on-human violence in which the player
32 kills, seriously injures, or otherwise causes serious physical
33 harm to another human, including but not limited to depictions
1 of death, dismemberment, amputation, decapitation, maiming,
2 disfigurement, mutilation of body parts, or rape.

Re:Parents can't distribute either? (1)

shadowzero313 (827228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973762)

Goldeneye was rated Teen, PD was Mature. Hell, Starcraft was originally rated Mature, but was bumped down to Teen, I'm not sure when though.

Re:Parents can't distribute either? (1)

nb caffeine (448698) | more than 8 years ago | (#11974703)

Im pretty sure goldeneye was rated Teen, im like half sure pd was as well, though i remember more blood in PD

Thank You, O Wise Legislators (4, Funny)

MemeSpitter (781288) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972473)

I've seen em! Game-tapes awarding bonus scores for defecation! Soon children everywhere will be hurling clumps of fecal matter at each other with simian-like abandon! And this mindless violence modeled for our children... I see kids in my neighborhood jumping on their pet turtles in the street every day.

These kids need to learn that if you want to commit acts of violence for no good reason whatsoever, you coerce Congress to declare war on a random middle-eastern country. That's just the way it's done, damnit!

So I'm glad some legislature finally realizes the importance of applying state-sanctioned blanket age restrictions on videogames. Because it's well-known that everyone is magically at the exact same level of maturity when they reach some arbitrary age, and I sure as hell know that my state's laws kept me from getting any R-rated movies - or beer - before my time.

Re:Thank You, O Wise Legislators (3, Funny)

Zareste (761710) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973040)

Exactly! This problem dates back to the Looney Tunes days when reckless children would stand on rooftops and drop anvils on innocent by-passers' heads, chop down trees to land on houses and roll boulders down cliffs to squash anyone in sight.
Hospitals were all occupied by people who looked like accordions! It was a real mess.

Fortunately, Illinois legislators passed the Scwewy Wabbit bill and all kids seen watching cartoons are shot on sight. They haven't had a problem since.

yet another example... (3, Insightful)

lucky130 (267588) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972562)

As someone who lives in Illinois and has had to deal with such things before, this is yet another example of people wanting the government to parent their children for them. People do crazy things, that's a given. And having played my fair share of violent games, I can say I'm pretty well desensitized to CARTOON-esque violence (actual blood still makes me squirm a bit). That isn't to say that is a bad thing and I'm sure my parents don't think so. Hell, my dad got me a copy of Wolfenstein way back in the day (and I only hope I can do the same, or at least similar, for my kids someday).
But I seem to have digressed slightly. If parents have a problem with something, then they should police their own kids; they don't need to force their beliefs on the general public.

If only logic agreed with them... (2, Insightful)

cwestpha (854579) | more than 9 years ago | (#11972706)

Lets see, Video Games are less violent then the evening news (where once in a while you can see mutilated bodies). 10th grade world history class (where they often have a unit showing the results of the Natzi concentration camps in detail... yah know the liberation video tapes). They are as graphic, though not as realistic, as many movies. Oh and they have the best content classification system in the world, as admited by groups against video games. So why are Video Games being singled out? I call it the Comic Book effect. And god forbid the parents take five secconds to look at the big lable that classifies the sugested age and content.

shock (3, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973049)

Ive said it before and I'm sure i will be saying it again
Witch hunt
This is nothing more than a simple ploy by some politicians to push ahead on the morals front .
If you don't want your children to play these games then please do so parenting and don't let everyone else suffer from increasingly restrictive laws due to your moral sence of misplaced duty.
Most of us here played games as violent as these when we were kids , The graphics may not have been as good , though kids have great imaginations. I turned out OK,
Most of the other people here turned out OK.

Violent games don't make violent people
go to a maximum security prison and asked some of the inmates about their childhood ,I am willing to place a hefty wager that it was not computer games that made them angry and violent

Re:shock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11973578)

Spot on!
Next stop american inquisition.

Admiral Ackbar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11973233)

It's a trap!

A question for Illinois legislators.... (1)

Frodo Crockett (861942) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973237)

What is this defecation game you speak of called? Where did you buy your copy?

Re:A question for Illinois legislators.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11973811)

If you find it please email it to dude4711@aol.com

me too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11973818)

somelamedude@aol.com

maybe this is good (2, Interesting)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973246)

Kids aren't going to stop playing video games because they legaly need mommy to buy the game for them. Its like pornography; its illegal for minors to buy porn, so they aren't able to purchase much...but the age range with the most pron downloads is probably 13-17 year old boys. I think these kinds of restrictions are a good thing because they teach kids how to subvert fascist authority. If we are to live in a free society, we need creative people who can get around the confinements imposed by parents, churches, governments, and corporations. If you give kids too much freedom yearly on, they won't know what to do when that freedom is taken away.

So...lets ban all violent video games, music with naughty words, and any images of the human body that show more skin then an Afghani wearing a burqua! For every prohibition, you create an underground. The more underground our economy is, they less the corporate glutons profit from it and the more average citizens learn to be rebels and freedom fighters.

Re:maybe this is good (3, Interesting)

happymedium (861907) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973466)

1. There's a deficit of incentive here. Why would POLITICIANS (let that word sink in a bit) make any effort to limit corporations' profits?

2. A society like the one you speak of would produce people as ill-informed, immature, and reactionary as you are, judging from your comment. Keep believing that all authority is "fascist." See where that gets you. Parents, churches, and governments are imperfect, sometimes painfully so, but don't tell me that "Love thy neighbor," "All men are created equal," and the like are not genuinely good ideas.

ummm... no (1)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 8 years ago | (#11974753)

You couldn't be more wrong. What this would create is not a society that fights for freedom and an economy controlled by the people, but an economy controlled by gangs. Think prohibition, it wasn't even that long ago.

Um... no. (2, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 9 years ago | (#11973547)

"It's an industry that needs help being policed..."

Enron needed to be policed. Spam needs to be policed. Telemarketers need to be policed. Any industry that relies on fraud, embezzlement or harassment to turn a profit needs to be policed. And, as the video game industry does not (yet) fall into any of these categories...

Oh, and one more industry should be policed: politics. If the state legislators in Springfield have this much free time on their hands, perhaps its time to shorten the length of the legislative session in Illinois.

Next best thing (1)

Moo Moo Cow of Death (778623) | more than 8 years ago | (#11974159)

Next thing you know, kids will be outlawed from being able to speak because some parent heard that *gasp* they sometimes say swear words!

Yes, you heard it right folks, sometimes kids SWEAR. Use evil and bad words such as "for the people" and "majority rules" and "lobying pushes the economy forward".
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