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Illinois Videogame Law Struck Down

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the chalk-one-up-for-free-speech dept.

Censorship 320

Big_Al_B writes "CNN reports that a federal judge ruled against the state of Illinois law that banned the sale of some games to minors." From the article: "The Illinois law, which also was to go into effect January 1, would have barred stores from selling or renting extremely violent or sexual games to minors, and allowed $1,000 fines for violators. Kennelly said the law would interfere with the First Amendment and there wasn't a compelling enough reason, such as preventing imminent violence, to allow that." Triumphantly, GamePolitics offers up the ESA's reaction to the decision. The Governor has vowed to appeal, so this isn't over yet.

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320 comments

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What a shame (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173038)

As a good christain parent, I am disgusted. Children need to be protected from the filth of video games.

Re:What a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173040)

But isn't it _your_ duty?

Re:What a shame (2, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173044)

But isn't it _your_ duty?

You must be new to dealing with contemporary parents.

Re:What a shame (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173068)

How much experience do you have dealing with contemporary parents? I mean, aside from living in your parent's attic. Your self-righteousness is a complete boor.

Re:What a shame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173041)

The parent post probably needs a </sarcasm> tag.... :P

Re:What a shame (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173096)

Jack [wikipedia.org] , is that you?

Re:What a shame (2, Insightful)

thinkzinc (668822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173212)

As a good christain parent, I am disgusted. Children need to be protected from the filth of video games.

As a real Christian parent you should be more involved in your child's rearing, instead of relying on lawmakers. And if you aren't being sarcastic about this, you should know that you are generalizing all video games as violent. There are many non-violent video games and some are even educational.

Slashdot Rejoices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173257)

Judge legalizes peddling porn to minors.

Film at 11... You wish!

Re:What a shame (3, Insightful)

malchus842 (741252) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173290)

As a good Christian parent I say fine - don't buy them for your kids. And teach your kids why you don't think they are appropriate. That's what *I* have done with regard to games like GTA: San Andreas. It is absolutely, positively NOT the government's job to determine what my kids can and can't see, read, etc. That's MY job. The First Amandment says they can't pass laws limiting freedom of speech. And I agree. The one exception is providing obscene material to children, and I have no problem with that restriction.

The limits you want to set for YOUR kids are between you, your kids, your church (possibly) and God. Period. I will set the limits for MY children, thank you very much.

Just so we're clear, my church is very conservative, and I'm an ordained minister. But I believe in the First Amemdment and that it's the parents' duty to monitor and control their kids - not the government's.

Uh, kinda sane (5, Insightful)

Ztream (584474) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173045)

Amidst all the cries of regulating violence and sexual content, this law seems rather moderate. Parents can still buy the stuff for their kids if they want to - nothing is banned. Too bad the more sane laws get struck down while extreme and harmful ones pass inspection.

Not really that sane. (5, Insightful)

worb (935866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173074)

If this is the same law proposal that specifically targeted video games but ignored things like movies, then the law isn't that sane after all. This was one of the big problems pointed out by the industry and its defenders - that the law was singling out video games and ignoring other forms of entertainment.

The way this law looks now it's more of a patchwork, and a kind of "let's do something so it looks like we care and are actually giving value back to the tax payers" law which should be shot down and replaced with something better. Or ignored.

Re:Uh, kinda sane (5, Insightful)

malchus842 (741252) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173225)

But this is how it always starts. The cry of We have to protect the children by politicians looking for re-election (and Gov Rod has several investigations into his administration to distract people from right now) leads to LOTS of bad law. And this one is no different. You know the next step - banning sales to kids didn't work, they are still getting their hands on them. So we have to make the law tougher. And the cycle continues.

Fundamentally, the responsibility lies with the parents, not the state, to monitor what their kids do. This goes for all manner of things, not just buying video games. My kids know the rules that we have, and I know they know them. But my rules should not limit what OTHER parents or kids do! This is just another 'nanny-state' law - the kind I'm really getting tired of.

I am reminded of the entire Tipper Gore vs. Frank Zappa music censorship battle. To quote Zappa (from the Joe's Garage liner notes:

Desperate nerds in high offices all over the world have been known to enact the most disgusting pieces of legislation in order to win votes (or in places where they don't get votes, to control unwanted forms of mass behavior).

Environmental laws were not passed to protect our air and water...they were passed to get votes. Seasonal anti-smut campaigns are not conducted to rid our communities of moral rot...they are conducted to give an aura of saintliness to the office-seekers who demand them. If a few key phrases are thrown into any speech (as the expert advisors explain to these various heads of state) votes will roll in, bucks will roll in, and, most importantly, power will be maintained by the groovy guy (or gal) who gets the most media coverage for his sleaze. Naturally, his friends in various businesses will do okay too.

All governments perpetuate themselves through the daily commission of acts which a rational person might find to be stupid or dangerous (or both). Naturally, our government is no exception.

Frank knew what he was talking about! Here's an excerpt from his congressional testimony that speaks volumes

It is my understanding that, in law, First Amendment Issues are decided with a preference for the least restrictive alternative. In this context, the PMRC's demands are the equivalent of treating dandruff by decapitation.

No one has forced Mrs. Baker or Mrs. Gore to bring Prince or Sheena Easton into their homes. Thanks to the Constitution, they are free to buy other forms of music for their children. Apparently, they insist on purchasing the works of contemporary recording artists in order to support a personal illusion of aerobic sophistication. Ladies, please be advised: The $8.98 purchase price does not entitle you to a kiss on the foot from the composer or performer in exchange for a spin on the family Victrola. Taken as a whole, the complete list of PMRC demands reads like an instruction manual for some sinister kind of "toilet training program" to house-break all composers and performers because of the lyrics of a few. Ladies, how dare you?"

To bad Zappa died of cancer in 1993.

Re:Uh, kinda sane (1)

deanj (519759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173273)

Gov Rod and Mrs. Gore are Democrats. I think that needs to be pointed out, because if they were Republicans, it would have been all over the story lead-in here. This is just another in a long line of Democrats trying create a "mommy-state" to keep us from ourselves.

Re:Uh, kinda sane (4, Insightful)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173327)

Fundamentally, the responsibility lies with the parents, not the state, to monitor what their kids do. This goes for all manner of things, not just buying video games. My kids know the rules that we have, and I know they know them. But my rules should not limit what OTHER parents or kids do! This is just another 'nanny-state' law - the kind I'm really getting tired of.

Come on, we can't have it both ways. What about the grandmother who sued everybody and their brother after purchasing an 'M' rated game (GTA San Andreas, IIRC) for her young grandson?

One way or another a precedent has to be set. Does the state protect the children, or is it the parent/guardians' responsibility?

Let's face it, the world we live in today is different than the world of yesterday. Kids don't grow up as quickly because they're not put to work to support their families at 13 years of age. Therefore it was decided by society that there should be a reasonable(?) age limit set forth to determine when children become capable, decision making adults. This determines when you're allowed to vote, purchase and consume alcohol and tobacco products, sign your name to a binding contract, purchase / consume violent and/or pornographic materials, etc.

To play devil's advocate for a minute here; the problem with abolishing all 'nanny-state laws' is a partial reflection of our current state of society. We have children with one or no living/remaining parents, children of parents who work long hours to make ends meet, and this leaves kids by and large to manage their own lives. In one circle of thought, this leaves kids to watch violence and porn while smoking, getting drunk and high while cleaning their firearms. Moral degredation of those less fortunate and all that.

On the other side of the coin, it's also believed that if you don't allow children to make their own decisions and face consequences of same they'll never learn to be responsible. It's a tough sell, though, with cigarettes generalling taking years to take their toll on health, pedophiles and other sexual deviants coming out of the woodwork around every corner, violent crime spreading like untamed wildfire, ...

Politicians, stemming largely from the rallying cries of concerned citizens' groups, have long determined that we can't take care of ourselves so the long arm of the law must step in and do it for us. Whether you agree with it or not, it seems to be a cost of our present level of society. Let's face it; technology advances faster than even the most educated lawmakers can comprehend and brings with it new methods of delivering sin that they feel must be dealt with. Naturally, if you're not satisfied with how your congresscritter is representing you send them some information and clarify it for them. There's always some sense of naive hope that it'll make a difference. ;)

Re:Uh, kinda sane (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173248)

"Parents can still buy the stuff for their kids if they want to"

Technically, yes, but realisticly they'll never find a store that carries such games (nor will adults wishing to buy the game for themselves). If you are a store that carries M or AO games, there will always be some slight chance that one game will make it into the hands of an unaccompanied minor (it's Christmas time, cashiers are too swamped to really pay attention to who is buying what), and you get slapped with a $1000 fine if you let that happen. The only way to make sure that it doesn't happen is to not carry M and AO games to begin with.

Stores stop carryin them, authors stop publishing them, and pretty soon there's nothing left but a bunch of Disneyfied crap. It's called a "chilling effect."

Re:Uh, kinda sane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173300)

always be some slight chance that one game will make it into the hands of an unaccompanied minor (it's Christmas time, cashiers are too swamped to really pay attention to who is buying what), and you get slapped with a $1000 fine if you let that happen. The only way to make sure that it doesn't happen is to not carry M and AO games to begin with.

Yeah, that explains why I can no longer buy beer, or Playboy, or condoms anywhere.
A real chilling affect, those fines.

Bozo.

Laws are no substitute for Parental Control (5, Insightful)

xoip (920266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173047)

With Freedom comes responsibilities. It is about time parents took some responsibility for what goes on in their home and not defer their parental responsibilities to the State. The sad fact is, too many parents don't take any responsibility for what their kids watch, read or play.

Re:Laws are no substitute for Parental Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173081)

With Freedom comes responsibilities.

With freedom comes not having to be responsible if you don't want to be. Some restrictions can leave some measure of freedom, e.g. you're free as long as you don't kill anyone and get caught, but a vague "unless I decide you're irresponsible" doesn't leave any real freedom at all - just doing as you're told.

Re:Laws are no substitute for Parental Control (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173094)

The sad fact is, too many parents don't take any responsibility for what their kids watch, read or play.

So, you're saying that because the kids' parents are crap then the kids should'nt be protected from scenes of "extreme violence"? Does this mean you think it's the kids' fault that the parents are irresponsible?

TWW

Re:Laws are no substitute for Parental Control (3, Interesting)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173123)

... then the kids should'nt be protected from scenes of "extreme violence"?

Protected how, and by who? You, me, the government, some political party, the army, our new children-protecting overlords...? The problem is that everything can be passed in the name of some Greater Good, in this case children's protection, but it soon turns out to be either ineffective, prone to abuse or tyrannical.
And there is nothing strange with that: we all want power, and given a certain situation we will exploit what's available to gain more/lose less of it. That's why it's quite stupid to fight these and other problems with regulation: you will certainly change the situation, but the only effect will be that people will adapt and keep doing the thing you don't like, while at the same time my freedom will be eroded more and more.
Also, on this specific topic... I guess you have no problem taking these children away from their families if the parents are irresponsible enough, right? They need to be protected, after all. First it will be because the parents beat them while doing coke, then it will be because they abuse them psycologically, then because they don't provide adequate <something> (adequate... to what?), and you see where this leads.
I don't need to remind you of soldiers drowning Chinese new-borns because their family already had one. Luckily this doesn't happen anymore, but...

Re:Laws are no substitute for Parental Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173102)

"It is about time parents took some responsibility for what goes on in their home and not defer their parental responsibilities to the State."

When I was 13, I had a pretty big paper route...I made more than enough money to buy what I wanted without having to ask my parents. Sure, they made me put my cash in the bank, but I never told them about ANY tips which around this time of year, could have easily pays for todays top gaming system.

While my parents tried to teach me right and wrong, they weren't there 24/7. The worst I'd ever seen was 8bit pixelated violence on a C64 (and a few 'adult' games...I for get the adult games that were the porn equivelent of 'track and field' button twitch / joystick breakers). These were NOTHING compared to the Hot Coffee mod...which I don't see wrong FOR ADULTS.

But kids? Why should a kid be allowed to buy this stuff? I remember what it was like being told I wasn't old enough to make my own decisions and hating it, but 15 years into my 'adult life' I see the merits of these sorts of decisions.

But there is NO legitimate reason anyone under 17 should be allowed to buy explicit content and its not defering the parents duty, its ensuring it. If I would have told my parent I wanted something like this, they would have 'had a talk with me', but I like to believe they would have anyways. I know my dad hid his Playboys just a little too easily for me to find...I think they knew that I had to think on my own and fostered my exploration in a structured way. And thats how it should be...

So, asuring that the parents are the ones that ones that buy this stuff for there children ensures that parents take the final responsibility.

Note: I do not believe in censorship for adults at all -- its just that under 18, your parents make the rules right or wrong. (and past that, if your parents want to buy you Oriental Wet Snatch Illustrated or share some whiskey while killing virtual cops, thats there decision and not the state).

Re:Laws are no substitute for Parental Control (1)

thundar2000 (459149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173107)


Yeah, but look at the xbox 360 and how it was marketed. Microsoft made sure that every kid wants that system. And when GTA Xbox 360 comes out, Take 2 will make sure every kid will want to play it.

This is just business, not freedom of speech.

This law was struck down because of the $ involved.

So don't cheer, it is just big business running things...

Re:Laws are no substitute for Parental Control (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173131)

So. I guess we should abolish freedom of speech and shut the corps up once and for all, then?

Re:Laws are no substitute for Parental Control (2, Informative)

Narcoleptic (935869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173155)

A judge with lifetime tenure could really care less about the business interests. If the business interests were so powerful, then they could have prevented the law from being passed in the first place, but clearly other interests weighed against them. The decision was based on an interpretation of the First Amendment. Read the full court opinion yourself to see. http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/RACER2/recent_opinion s.cfm?judge=Kennelly [uscourts.gov]

Re:Laws are no substitute for Parental Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173133)

You shouln't need to run your kids lives like the gistapo, my parents generation got up to, well they could go out of the house in the morning and wern't expected back until dinner... these days parents are forced to wrap there kids up in cotton wool by a state which can't control crime, and won't take any responsibility for protecting children from the nasty parts of modern society.

But I guess you can still sue people who sell your kids obscene material, since it could probably be proven to be child abuse in some form or another.

OUTGOING (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173057)

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Why is everyone so gung-ho (2, Insightful)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173060)

to ensure that children have access to violent and or filthy materials?
Do you think that it's GOOD that kids should be seeing this sort of trash?

As a parent and a grandfather, I would not want my kids partaking in this sort of degenerate filth. It's garbage.

And don't get all excited. I'm an atheist so I'm not some religious right wing zealot..

I'm an adult and I know what's bad for kids. I've raised two kids myself, they are adults now and I'm happy to say I think they turned out pretty good and I had strict rules on this sort of thing in my home. I absolutely forbid MTV and such trash under my roof and it was NOT a problem, as a matter of fact my son came home from college last year and told me that he was glad that I had forbidden MTV type trash in the home..

Forbidding what is bad (4, Insightful)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173091)

Would it not also be helpfull to expose a kid to all the things in life, but explain to the kid what is morale and what is not. Looking at extremist behaviour, it is mainly because of taboos that they get worse than necessary. No taboos, but just a good sense of what is normal and what is less normal (or plain abnormal) works a lot better.

So next time when you think of forbidding something because it is bad, maybe you should allow it and educate on it.

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (3, Insightful)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173104)

The emphasis is put back right where it should be - on the parents.

Don't like video games? Don't allow them in your house, the same way you forbid MTV.

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (1)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173185)

I didn't allow any of that sort of thing in my house. But not once was there every any sqaubbles over it. That was just the way it was. My kids knew what was acceptable and what was not and there never was a problem in my house. Never once was there any arguments, problems, fights, anything. My kids behaved well and respected my wishes and rules. I was proud of them then and I'm proud of them now. They never even asked if they could buy, play or watch this sort of filth because they simply knew it was not an going to happen under my roof.

And to the idiots that modded my OP as a troll, I suspect you are some 16year old that thinks it's a great thing to play video games that involve murdering people and raping and robbing and such..

The GTA series comes to mind.

Why do you have such a big problem with that? I can't belive that people think that an underage child that lives in his parents home has the RIGHT to do any thing he wants, that he has the RIGHT to view any materials, to play any games, to surf anywhere on the internet, that he has the right to do anything he feels like doing and that the parent should have no say so, no right to restrict or deny the activities in their own home..

Kids these days are extremely disrespectful of their elders and of the wishes of their parents. They think the parents should just shell out cash on demand for what ever deviant activity that the child feels he wants to indulge in and that the parent should just shut up and stay out of their lives.

You know, never mind.. Really, I'm talking to people that are incapable of understanding the problems of society because they know nothing but self indulgence and self gratification.

Trying to explain the values of parenthood to young people falls on deaf ears.

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (2, Informative)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173205)

I can't belive that people think that an underage child that lives in his parents home has the RIGHT to do any thing he wants, that he has the RIGHT to view any materials, to play any games, to surf anywhere on the internet, that he has the right to do anything he feels like doing and that the parent should have no say so, no right to restrict or deny the activities in their own home

Very few people have been saying that here. It is not the government's responsibility to control your child. You are free to deny any web site, TV show, game for your children, have at it. That does not allow you to prohibit others, nor does it allow you to place a chilling effect on expression.

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (2, Interesting)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173260)

They never even asked if they could buy, play or watch this sort of filth because they simply knew it was not an going to happen under my roof.

And exactly what kind of games were available to your kids when they were growing up? In your original post, you mentioned you're a grandfather now, I'd guess your children would be in their early 20s by now. I'd think the worst they would've encountered as children would've been the original Doom. So I'm not sure what sort of games you'd have been protecting them from.

Back to your original post, I also don't see what good preventing them from watching MTV did. I think they still played music videos when your children were growing up, but even if not, aside from having zero entertainment value, there's nothing particularly BAD about it. There's nothing particularly GOOD about it (especially now), but I don't see anything detrimental coming from it.

Personally, I'm glad my parents educated me on make believe vs. reality, rather than shielding me away from "objectionable" content. I don't think anyone was suggesting children should have access to this material, I think they're just suggesting parents be responsible, rather than the state. Personally, I don't see a problem with forbidding the stores from selling these things to minors - if the parents have to purchase the material, they should be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not the child is ready. However, I think too many parents would just buy it to shut the kid up.

From your posts, I get the idea you were a very strict parent - I wonder what your kids did behind your back, without you knowing.

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (5, Insightful)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173112)

As a parent and a grandfather, I would not want my kids partaking in this sort of degenerate filth. It's garbage.

So be a responsible parent and grandfather then, and restrict those things from your kids yourself. Don't take the easy, selfish route of asking the State to do your parenting for you. Your temporary convenience is not worth your freedom, nor the freedom of your neighbours.

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173114)

I wish someone had forbid me to watch MTV. I've wasted so many hours watching that stuff. Only reason I still have legs is because I would have to get up and walk over to the computer to post to slashdot...

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173122)

Christ almighty! You need to lighten up.

I watch[ed] plenty of MTV and play[ed] loads of violent video games, and guess what? That's right I have a degree, a well paid job, a decent car, a nice house.

Degenerate filth. Do me a favour. You might not be a religious right wing zealot, but you are a zealot.

Eat
my
shorts.

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (5, Insightful)

ashridah (72567) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173128)

"...to ensure that children have access to violent and or filthy materials?
Do you think that it's GOOD that kids should be seeing this sort of trash?"

Obviously, you don't believe YOUR children shouldn't. Doesn't mean everyone should automatically agree with you.

The reason this is being fought tooth and nail is because it's a stepping stone to greater losses of the so-called freedoms you americans face (note, author of this post not american)

"As a parent and a grandfather, I would not want my kids partaking in this sort of degenerate filth. It's garbage."

By your reasoning, so's most of shakespear's work.. oh. so that's written on paper, so that's okay? Right, double-standard much? May as well burn every library and start again with fresh culture.

"And don't get all excited. I'm an atheist so I'm not some religious right wing zealot.."

*blink* so that means you're just a right wing zealot? You don't have to be religious to be a moral crusader, it just seems to be common.

"I'm an adult and I know what's bad for kids. I've raised two kids myself, they are adults now and I'm happy to say I think they turned out pretty good and I had strict rules on this sort of thing in my home. I absolutely forbid MTV and such trash under my roof and it was NOT a problem, as a matter of fact my son came home from college last year and told me that he was glad that I had forbidden MTV type trash in the home.."

A sample of two is not a valid experiment. Come back and talk to me when you've raised about 30-thousand children, AND when you have a valid cross-section of lifestyles, living areas, etc. Your experiment is also loaded with bias. Read http://www.badscience.net/ [badscience.net] for examples of bias in experiments.

Millions of children grow up with video games, MTV, books, porn, the internet, and none of them turn out to be serial killers, gang members, murderers, rapists, drug users, etc.

Some kids who have no contact with any of the above media still commit crimes of these nature, hell, they were committing these crimes before the media existed at all!

Statistically speaking, the fact that there's an intersection at some point between violent crimes and these types of media is just a proof that both exist in a random selection of people!

ash

PS, I find it entertaingly co-incidental (aka, an alanis-morriset style ironicism) that i was asked to reproduce the word 'gunned' to verify my humanity.

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (1)

thinkzinc (668822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173229)

Here's another post modded as "troll" when the viewpoint didn't necessarily agree with the popular viewpoint. I think that labeling all video games as "degenerate filth. It's garbage" is more of a troll.

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173274)

And I think you're the "trollest" of all. One said A. The other said B, where A and B are opposite to each other. So far so good. Then YOU come and say that A is a troll while B is not because you too think B, and that at the same time "another post modded as 'troll' when the viewpoint didn't necessarily agree with the popular viewpoint" hurts your feeling? While you are doing exactly the same? Good troll, get a cookie. Now go back to your cage thanks.

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173166)

I would like to point you all to this weirdo's post here:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=169762&cid=141 53337>

I smell a troll. No-one could be that fucked up.

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173176)

Why is this post moderated as a troll?

Is it really inconceivable that someone could have high standards?

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (3, Interesting)

deaddrunk (443038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173183)

Japanese media is full of sex, violence and swearing and it isn't kept away from children, yet the violence rate there is far lower than the US or the UK where I live which suggests to me that there's something else wrong with our culture than media excess. I personally wouldn't want my nephews playing realistically violent video games but on the other hand I doubt it would affect them unless they have psychological problems already.

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (3, Interesting)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173286)

Very true. I live in a country where alcoholism is negligible, yet we can drink since we're 16. We can also smoke when we are 16, and we DO have a problem with smoke addiction. This goes to show how such limits are not really related to the problems being discussed.

Who decides? (4, Insightful)

Joe Random (777564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173265)

Why is everyone so gung-ho to ensure that children have access to violent and or filthy materials?
Do you think that it's GOOD that kids should be seeing this sort of trash?
What sort of trash? Is entertainment that references alcohol or drug use trash? What about promiscuity? Violence? Homosexuality? Who gets to decide what "filthy materials" are?

The answer, of course, is the parents. An outright ban on the sale of violent or "filthy" materials to children ignores the fact that different parents have differing levels of comfort with what their children are exposed to. As long as the material in question isn't going to harm the child (i.e. showing real snuff videos to kindergartners or some such) then the parents should be allowed to make that decision.

The question is, do you ban everything and require specific parental consent for exceptions, or do you permit everything and rely on the parents to keep track of what their kids are doing? Personally, I'm in favor of the latter, and for that to work, children must have access to materials that some parents find offensive.

Re:Who decides? (1)

die444die (766464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173307)

Why do you assume that "showing real snuff videos to kindrgardeners" is going to harm them?

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (2, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173267)

"to ensure that children have access to violent and or filthy materials?"

Straw man. Access by children is not the issue for me, the issue is state legislatures trying to take away my access, as a legal, tax-paying citizen who reached the age of majority a while ago, to "violent and/or filthy materials," especially in the name of "think of the children!" Any burden on selling these games "for the children" is a burden in general, one more reason for stores not to stock such games to begin with. And while this would keep the children safe from these games, it would also keep me "safe" because I'd be unable to find anybody to sell the stuff.

Why, instead of fining game stores, don't we instead fine the parents who allowed it to happen?

Re:Why is everyone so gung-ho (1)

ovapositor (79434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173332)

I completely agree. I am quite sure that the under 18 crowd cannot buy pornographic magazines or see movies rated NC-17. Oh, let us not forget they can't by cigaretts either.

Youth (teens) simply are not mature enough to be treated as adults.

I know that ultimately the parents are responsible. However, I see no reason to exclude video games. Is sex and violence good for minors or isn't it? Lets at least be consistent.

I am also an athiest by the way.

So 12 y/o kids should get playboy? (4, Interesting)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173063)

Why is it legal to sell some slasher video game to kids where they get to control the action, but not legal to sell the slasher DVD to those same kids? Why can you sell some Playboy game, or some hardcore sex game to kids, but they can't buy the magazine?

Pick a standard and stick with it - kids should either be allowed to purchase sexual images or they shouldn't. Just because one particular format sells more than others isn't a valid reason to allow it but exclude everything else.

Re:So 12 y/o kids should get playboy? (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173121)

Why is it legal to sell some slasher video game to kids where they get to control the action, but not legal to sell the slasher DVD to those same kids?

Ummm, it is perfectly legal. That's the problem with these video game laws. Apply to all media or none.

The vast majority of games (and yes, I'm including Hot Coffee in this list) do not have any sexuality over and above that in R rated movies. Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude was no different than American Pie. San Andreas (w/Hot Coffee) is no different than 8 Mile.

Re:So 12 y/o kids should get playboy? (1)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173164)

And it is acceptable to prohibit minors from entering a movie theater to see an R rated movie without and adult, right?

Oh... wait... it isn't. Why haven't the judges declared that age restrictions on R movies (or even NC-17 movies) are unconstitutional? Why can't any 10 year old go off and buy a copy of cream 'n juggz off the magazine rack? A 21 year old is allowed to visit hustler.com at a library, but a 12 year old isn't. Why are all of these age restrictions acceptable but the one involving video games is not?

Re:So 12 y/o kids should get playboy? (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173191)

And it is acceptable to prohibit minors from entering a movie theater to see an R rated movie without and adult, right?

It is not acceptable for the government to do that regulation, without regulating *ALL* media. And they do not do that regulation.

It is done entirely by the theater.

Re:So 12 y/o kids should get playboy? (1)

eddy (18759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173169)

Is it legal to sell "Slasher" the 812 page non-graphical novel to a 12y/o?

Re:So 12 y/o kids should get playboy? (1)

0see3 (537522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173222)

The problem isn't the same that you're raising. The problem with the law they proposed is that it violated the first amendment, hence the reason it was struck down. Hell, the people working with those building the law said it wouldn't make it through because it violated the first amendment.

Re:So 12 y/o kids should get playboy? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173282)

Like others, your subject line is a straw man.

I'm not saying "12 year old kids should have Playboys," I'm saying "I should be able to have Playboys." If you pass a law that says "Anybody who sells a Playboy to a 12 year old gets fined $1000," guess what magazine stores will stop carrying. If you don't carry the magazine, you can't get fined. If nobody carries the magazine, it won't get published.

Won't someone think of the children? (4, Interesting)

Loonacy (459630) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173070)

Does this mean that it's unconstitutional to ban the sale of Playboys to minors?
Honestly, I'm confused here. I'm all for freedom of speech and all that, but this was a ban on selling "extremely violent or sexual games" to minors. I'm guessing this is AO rated stuff, which could be comparable to nudie mags (Playboy Mansion?). What's the big deal?

Re:Won't someone think of the children? (1)

ApuD2 (929032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173137)

Beats me. AFAIK, there really aren't that many AO-rated games released in North America/Europe, so that wouldn't do much damage.

Of course... (2, Funny)

GQuon (643387) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173090)

This is part of the crackdown on panhandlers and street-muggers. If this law had been passed, young children would be forced to pay homeless guys to buy games for them. Less incentives for those few homeless who might commit violence or other undesireable acts against children.

Then, there's inevitable creation of a underground kindergarten black^H^H^H^H^H African-American market for adult video games. Once this distribution chain gets established, it's bound to escalate its content from slasher-games to porn, snuff, cocaine and 2nd hand ballistic missiles. And we don't want our children to get their grubby little hands on those, do we? Not without proper training. So the court has ordered that this law may be passed if it is accompanied by a raider that mandates training in the proper use of cocaine and nuclear missiles.

Re:Of course... (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173145)

Once this distribution chain gets established, it's bound to escalate its content from slasher-games to porn, snuff, cocaine and 2nd hand ballistic missiles.

Wowzer! Talk about escalating privileges...

... if it is accompanied by a raider that mandates training in the proper use of cocaine and nuclear missiles

Just what kind of school did you go to?! :)

no compelling reason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173092)

what's the compelling reason behind banning porn sales to minors then? can the porn industry use this case in their favor?

Hang On A Minute (4, Insightful)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173105)

I was under the impression (from over here in the UK) that the rating on a game means that no-one under a certain age should be sold it. The article suggests that such a thing is against the First Amendment, WTF?

Over here in the UK, games are rated in the same way that movies, alcohol, tobacco etc are in that if you are caught supplying them to anyone underage you can get prosecuted.

I'm against censorship in that an adult should not be censored from what they wish to see/do, but ratings are a good thing IMO. This kind of court decision just seems back-asswards to me. Does this ruling mean that a child can go to an adult rated film, and if they get denied entry claim it breaches their First Amendment rights?

Bob

Re:Hang On A Minute (1)

truedfx (802492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173147)

Does this ruling mean that a child can go to an adult rated film, and if they get denied entry claim it breaches their First Amendment rights?

No. The First Amendment does not prevent anyone from voluntarily restricting any form of speech on their private property, it only prevents the government from restricting this by law.

Re:Hang On A Minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173151)

Does this ruling mean that a child can go to an adult rated film, and if they get denied entry claim it breaches their First Amendment rights?

No. As long as it isn't the government that denies them entry.

Re:Hang On A Minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173181)

In the US, there is no government authority that regulates movies or other forms of entertainment. MPAA ratings for movies are completely optional. Distributers and theaters regulate themselves by not allowing children into R-rated movies or refusing to show films that opt not to participate in the rating process. However, there is no law that requires them to enact such protections and the First Ammendment is part of the reason. They do so because it's good business for them to avoid controversy.

It's illegal to sell porn to kids, but that's the extent of government control.

Re:Hang On A Minute (1)

paintswithcolour (929954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173197)

Actually the BBFC classification of video games is rather haphazard and not really that well defined. They are specifically excluded from the (infamous) Video Recording Act 1984, with a number of significant exclusions (pertianing mainly to aspects of sex and violence). However I think its commonplace for many game distributors to submit games for classification these days, although generally not required.

Interestly British Classification has a rather intense history of going over the top when it comes to censoring violence from general distribution ('video nasties' anyone?) and I'm a little suprised that we're not seeing a more involved role from them on video games. Then again I don't have any specific objection to having a classification board turning their attention to games. While I am strongly critical of the BBFCs zeal towards some aspects of content I'd rather have some attempt towards moderation on the games kids buy; much like the films kids try to buy. Undoubtly classification works much better in cinemas where there can be tighter controls than medium released at home; putting an offical (and well recognised) classification on a game may just wake parents up. Espically those who do not recognise the authority of groups such as ELSPA.

Re:Hang On A Minute (1)

thinkzinc (668822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173259)

I believe that the law was struck down because of commerce and the first amendment was used to strengthen the case.

Re:Hang On A Minute (2, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173321)

"The article suggests that such a thing is against the First Amendment, WTF?"

It "abridges the freedom of speech."

Personally, however, I think Article I, Section 4 of the Illinois Constitution better applies here:
All persons may speak, write and publish freely, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.
Penalizing stores for carrying such games infringes on a person's ability to publish such games.

"games are rated in the same way that movies, alcohol, tobacco etc are in that if you are caught supplying them to anyone underage you can get prosecuted."

Alcohol and tobacco are age-limited by most states. Alcohol and tobacco aren't speech.

Movies are voluntarily rated, but to my knowledge (IANAL) there is no criminal prosecution if you let a child see a movie rated "R" by the MPAA. The entire system is voluntary and, to my knowledge, no state has even attempted such legislation, probably because of the (IMO unjustified) esteem that motion pictures are held in because of the age of the artistic medium, and maybe because of the money the MPAA throws around. But because video games are "t3h evi1," state legislatures seem to be of the opinion that they aren't really speech, and that it's OK to abridge it.

"I'm against censorship in that an adult should not be censored from what they wish to see/do, but ratings are a good thing IMO."
  1. Stores are fined $1000 for selling AO games to minors
  2. Stores can't always be 100% sure the person they're selling to is above the age of 18 (it's Christmas, the game stores are packed, cashiers are overworked)
  3. If you carry AO games, there is always a chance a copy will find its way into the hands of a minor, and you will get fined
  4. The only way to make sure not to get fined is not to carry AO games to begin with
  5. If stores don't carry AO games, where will adults buy them?
It's not a question about ratings, it's a question about giving those ratings the weight of law.

"Does this ruling mean that a child can go to an adult rated film, and if they get denied entry claim it breaches their First Amendment rights?"

Most adult movie stores don't also stock offerings from Disney. I'd argue that it's less burdensome on the adult film industry because those movies are expressly made for spank material. With video games, however, the line isn't as clear cut, defining what a game is made for.

Instead of using adult films as a comparison, what about a movie that's simply rated R? Should I have to go to an "adult film store" to buy Saving Private Ryan?

So who decides what will be banned? (1)

Saint37 (932002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173116)

So government commitee? The MPAA? These laws open the door for corruption and lobbying by groups that want to govern what you can see. Perhaps we should let free markets and parents govern this issue instead.

Gloryhoundz has a good write up on this: http://www.gloryhoundz.com/ [gloryhoundz.com]

Movies? (1)

ntxb229 (542609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173132)

They regulate the movies so I'm a little confused about this. I suspect that it wasn't the spirit of this law that got shot down so much as some provision of it.

Re:Movies? (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173138)

No, they don't regulate the movies or DVD sales. That's entirely voluntary. Attempts to do so have gotten shot down, exactly like these laws.

Constitution! (0, Redundant)

Nichotin (794369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173139)

I am no expert, but it seems like this is why we have a constitution, so that laws cannot screw up for basic rights without a major fight. Too bad laws get passed without getting reviewed against the constitution.

Re:Constitution! (1)

Gryle (933382) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173200)

"...this is why we have a constitution, so that laws cannot screw up for basic rights without a major fight."
Agreed! Our founding fathers fought so that we could someday play GTA:Vice City without interference!

How is purchasing a video game a right? It's a luxury item, not neccesary for survival, by any stretch of the imagination.

Secondly, how is this law unconsitutional? From what I gathered the prosecutors (is that the correct term in a civil case?) argued the ban somehow violated free speech. How does this ban violate free speech, or even freedom of expression for that matter? No one is preventing the minors from speaking their mind, only from purchasing a product meant for adults. We have the same limitation on the sales of alcohol, tobacco, and porn. Are those limitations unconstitutional too?

Never confuse rights and conviences. You'll waste all your resources fighting the loss of convience and be too wiped to fight for your rights when the time comes.

Re:Constitution! (1)

Narcoleptic (935869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173287)

Read the full opinion. There's a pretty complex framework on how laws may violate the First amendment. The purchase of the game is besides the point. It's the video games themselves which are the issue. The court recognizes that video games, like books and films, also contain elements of speech protected by the First. The law is unconstitutional, in short, because: 1. Laws regulating the content of speech are presumptively invalid unless the goverment has a compelling state interest (i.e. really freakin strong and backed up by good data, without any alternatives available). Protecting kids from harmful material is indeed a compelling state interest. However, the findings of the law have no basis, as the social science evidence they used to back it up ambiguously points to raising some levels of aggression in children immediately after playing such games. But that's going to cut it - the speech has to directly incite lawless behavior imminently, and the subject has to be likely to perform such action under the First amendment. See the case Brandenberg v. Ohio. 2. Vagueness. The court deemed that the provisions regulating what constitutes violent or sexual explicit material was too ambiguous. Vague laws are unconstitutional because it's unclear what conduct is, isn't okay under it, and thus could create a chilling effect on free speech. Plaintiffs, not prosecutors, is the correct term in a civil case for the party that is bringing the legal action. Sales limiting alcohol, tobacco - well neither of those activities contain any "speech" element in them and don't fall under the First amendment analysis. As for porn and sexual material... that's a whole other can of worms. Depending on "contemporary community standards", pornography can be legally obscene, obscene materials get no protection under the First amendment, and the state can regulate it however they want. Sexual material on the margins of obscenity (like nude dancing) are also prone to allow more government regulation and protections from minors.

Re:Constitution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173294)

How is purchasing a video game a right? It's a luxury item, not neccesary for survival, by any stretch of the imagination

How is purchasing a book a right? It's a luxury item, not neccesary for survival, by any stretch of the imagination

No Limits? (3, Interesting)

Kefaa (76147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173150)

Where can anyone now draw the line? The judge ruled that there wasn't a compelling enough reason, such as preventing imminent violence The Illinois law, would have barred stores from selling or renting extremely violent or sexual games to minors.

Deeper into the ruling the judge makes an interesting statement:
"The First Amendment embodies a principle that is at the core of our political system and our national ethos: "each person should decide for himself or herself the ideas and beliefs deserving of expression, consideration, and adherence." A law that restricts speech because of its message "contravenes this essential right. For this reason, content-based regulations are presumptively invalid."

Couldn't the same argument be made for anything? Movies? Porn? If you get specific about what constitutes imminent violence even guns qualify. In essence, you cannot stop someone from selling anything to anyone because you cannot prove it creates or produces an immanent threat to anyone.

If I were the porn industry, the focus would change to video games. Why not, since I can now sell to anyone, regardless of age. They cannot do that with magazines and online.

For the posters who said - it is up to parents. I agree to a point. I watch my children, however I still expect the police to arrest drug dealers, child molesters, etc. While I can watch mine, who knows if you are watching yours. Sure, you buy them Super Mario Brothers XXVIII, but they took the birthday money from grandma and bought Leisure Suit Larry does Las Vegas. It is also a contiguous fight with game manufactures to really explain what is going on in the game. While I would have passed on GTA for the violence, I must have missed the "Contains explicit sexual acts" statement on the game - oh wait, it wasn't on the game.

Re:No Limits? (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173179)

While I would have passed on GTA for the violence, I must have missed the "Contains explicit sexual acts" statement on the game - oh wait, it wasn't on the game.

From the San Andreas (Hot Coffee, pre recall) label:
Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs

Re:No Limits? (1)

AganLex (308537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173187)

The ruling wasn't that there was eminent violence. The ruling said even if there was eminent violence it does not justify banning certain media.

The violence debate is not new, it was often attempted to be used to to silence disliked political parties that called for the downfall of government's in power.

Re:No Limits? (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173255)

The ruling wasn't that there was eminent violence. The ruling said even if there was eminent violence it does not justify banning certain media

Actually, the ruling said very much the opposite:

This quote "there wasn't a compelling enough reason, such as preventing imminent violence" is taken directly from the ruling.

Though any scenario where the sale of a video game leads to imminent violence would have to be contrived.

Re:No Limits? (1)

AganLex (308537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173288)

No, the ruling did not say the opposite.

Here is a direct quote:

"Though the Court believes that many of the measures of aggression used in violent video
game research are likely valid, we agree with Dr. Goldstein and Dr. Williams that neither Dr.
Anderson's testimony nor his research establish a solid causal link between violent video game
exposure and aggressive thinking and behavior. As Dr. Goldstein and Dr. Williams noted,
researchers in this field have not eliminated the most obvious alternative explanation: aggressive
individuals may themselves be attracted to violent video games. Goldstein Aff. 33; Tr. 133.

That is quite clear.

Re:No Limits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173214)

No, they cannot sell porn to minors in video games. Laws against porn prohibit any distribution to minors. Also, other than porn, the government does not do this to another media industry. Movies are regulated by theatres. Because they like having no moral debates, theatres restrict who can see their movies and parents are happy. The government can't tell you what you can and cannot see, for the most part (there are all sorts of exceptions, but we would like to keep those as the exceptions, not the rules).

Re:No Limits? (1)

tmortn (630092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173320)

Do not confuse the right sell to anyone with the ability to actually sell. Just because a company could be free to do so does not mean they would be succesfull in doing so. With the single exception of porn, stores and movies theaters self regulate the distribution of their content based on age.

I for one argue Porn should also fall into the category of self regulation if any. The restriction of Porn, much like the restriction of alchohol, creates a taboo atmosphere and makes it a strong target for practicing rebellion. And where Alchohol actually has very strong documentation of developmental harm on an adolescent there is no such proof pictures of naked people in any configuration do the same. Many people claim their is such evidence but there simply is not for one very simple reason. You can't legally show the stuff to kids. Therefore you cannot do a true study of the effects of exposure to porn.

I really never have understood the issue of children viewing porn being bad. You know if it were actually so damaging then a kid couldn't even look at themseleves naked without causing harm... especially those overdeveloped 13-14 year olds, not to mention the horror of them actually stimulating themselves. Nope all this effort to hide sex from kids has just created parents that are often reluctant/embarrased to actually talk to their kids about one of the single most important aspects of being human until long after they have been forced to learn and form notions about it on their own with little or no informed guidence.

We think nothing of correcting and guiding a child through just about any other subject. But Not Sex... anything but that. It is silly and it needs to stop.

Re:No Limits? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173331)

"Couldn't the same argument be made for anything? Movies? Porn? If you get specific about what constitutes imminent violence even guns qualify. In essence, you cannot stop someone from selling anything to anyone because you cannot prove it creates or produces an immanent threat to anyone."

They're talking about stuff that, for example, incites racial violence, specifically. If you start dispensing stuff that says, for example, "The Jews are responsible for 9/11!" most states will require that you attatch your name and/or address to it. However, you're still allowed to publish it, and to my knowledge (IANAL) it's still legal for a store to sell such material to minors without getting slapped with fines.

"Imminent threat" means "Kill everybody on this list of abortionists."

What?? (1)

scott_karana (841914) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173152)

Has the court ruled that snuff films and porn are legal for minors, too?! I'm confused.

Re:What?? (1)

Narcoleptic (935869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173174)

No, such material would most likely be legally obscene. Obscenity gets no protection under the First Amendment, and higher standards are used for protecting minors from obscenity. Violent material has never been classified as obscene. The mere presence of sex (usually) isn't enough to make the material obscene, either.

ESA's reasoning. (3, Insightful)

AganLex (308537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173167)

From http://www.theesa.com/archives/2005/07/video_game_ indu_1.php [theesa.com]
"It's illogical that video games would be treated more harshly than R-rated movies or music CDs with parental warning labels, both of which can be legally viewed and sold to minors. We should be treated the same way as those industries." - Douglas Lowenstein, president of the ESA

It is NOT illegal to sell rated R movies to kids. Most retailers have methods to prevent this from happening. The video game companies aren't trying to get special treatment but rather semi-equal treatment.

Now.. (2, Funny)

f8l_0e (775982) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173190)

this law will become more powerful than we possibly could have imagined.

Re:Now.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173249)

"At last we shall reveal ourselves to the minors, at last we shall have revenge!"
- Darth Shopping Mall, Sith GameLord.

Governor has vowed to appeal, so this isn't over. (1)

KarmaOverDogma (681451) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173213)

"Kennelly said the law would interfere with the First Amendment and there wasn't a compelling enough reason, such as preventing imminent violence, to allow that."

Oh, yes it is over.

The only thing that isn't "over" is a waste of taxpayer dollars fighting over what should be and is, in fact, the most effective control: Parents/Guardians actively raising their children.

The best thing you can spend on your kids is time. Grow up and set a positive example for them.

Dont like games you consider to be violent? Fine. Don't let your kids buy them, and don't buy such games for them. But *do* be prepared to explain why and don't act like a hypocrite (i.e. dont act violent yourself or watch violent programs). Instead give them something else that is fun and educational to do.

Too bad that for some this is so hard to do...

Re:Governor has vowed to appeal, so this isn't ove (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173306)

Man, you're advocating responsibility... How naive is that?

Re:Governor has vowed to appeal, so this isn't ove (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173333)

Sadly, the governor and his people are already in full reelection campaign mode which means that good sense gets mowed down like so many pedestrians in San Andreas. Too bad he can't spend his own campaign money to finance the appeal instead of wasting my tax dollars on what is clearly motivated by his desire to look good to conservative voters. The other sad fact is that Governor Blagojevich probably isn't going to have a strong challenger anyway, so this inept bunch will probably get another term. As a generally Democratic voter, it really shames me that Democrats are going out of their way *cough*Hillary*cough* to support what they think are conservative values. Being pro-video game censorship is just pure pandering. If they are true Democrats, they know this is BS and as such it is fundamentally against the historic principles of the party to play the voters this way. The Democrats should remain true to their values. If we're going to be damned, then let's be damned for what we truly are!

How would you feel if you were a teenager ? (3, Insightful)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173216)

I'm shocked to see so many people standing up to defend such a law, thinking it would be the "morally" correct thing to do.

Remember when you were a teenager & you wanted to buy Mortal Kombat for your Sega Genesis/SNES? Imagine if the guy behind the counter would tell you that you can't: "you're too young". You're 16, you're allowed to drive in some places, but you can't play Mortal Kombat... I know I have played ultra-violent games, I grew up playing them, I enjoyed them. But I also played games like Civ, Transport Tycoon, Populous etc... I graduated from high school and university with the highest honors. Yet I enjoy blood in games.

For all of you above 20 who probably did play these games just as much as me, remember, you were a teenager once too, and I don't think you would've appreciated it if a law would ban you from playing such games. It's so ironic that parents do the dumbest things when they are young (i.e smoke pot, play lame games with no educational value whatsoever) and grow up to become uptight pricks. "We don't want them to do the same mistakes we did...". I'm not condoning the "everything goes" attitude of some parents today, but focus on the things that are actually IMPORTANT, like pushing him to excel in school, grow up to be a respectable and responsible adult, not to avoid "the fruits of the devil" or whatever you feel like calling these things...

Besides, if you're THAT concerned about your child's safety, by him a Ninendo :D [yes I know, flamebait].

Re:How would you feel if you were a teenager ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173279)

I don't think I would have cared - never actually *bought* a game back then :)

Why put the law into this? (1)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173220)

The law does not need to be put into it. If the parents don't monitor the minor's activities it is their own fault. My parents were strict when I was under 18 (and still am since I live at home). I was not allowed to watch "South Park," Look at porn on the Internet, stay up after 9 PM on a school night, etc. While my parents were conservitive on this, they allowed me to do other things, such as play "Grand Theft Auto" and so on. It is the parent's job to regulate, if they choose not to do so, don't make them. If they let their minor buy an M rated game, why should they be required to go to the store to buy it with them.

Re:Why put the law into this? (1)

CottonEyedJoe (177704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173329)

Speaking as a father, a gamer and someone who has watched both South Park and Porn. I would far rather have my kids watching South Park or looking a naked people on the internet than playing excessively violent video games. When I say exessive violence I mean excessive. I've been teaching my 8 year old how to play Warcraft III.

Acronimous (1)

McPolu (932921) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173236)

Hum... for me, ESA means European Space Agency :/

Re:Acronimous (1)

AganLex (308537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173297)

or any of these:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESA_(disambiguation) [wikipedia.org]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search

ESA is a TLA that can stand for

        * European Space Agency
        * Entertainment Software Association
        * Ecological Society of America
        * electrostatic self-assembly
        * Epsilon Sigma Alpha International, a women's service organization.
        * Endangered Species Act, an important piece of US environmental legislation.
        * Environmental Site Assessment
        * EFTA Surveillance Authority
        * The "end of selected area" control code in the C1 control code set.

The law is the law (2, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173252)

And the law says that Congress can make no law preventing freedom of expression or speech. As long as the expression does not do direct physical harm to someone or their property, it isn't illegal. A video game IS a form of expression -- art.

These laws (all of them) are merely instruments of governments in order to tell people "We're doing something!" What are they doing? They're replacing parents' responsibility.

Should a 12 year old be able to buy beer? Honestly, leave it up to individual cities (or better yet, the parents) to decide. Should a 12 year old be able to buy porn? Again, it is for the cities (and individuals) to decide. A State is too all-encompassing to allow the trials and tests that a free market offers. In Europe last I went, preteens were able to pick up beer and cigarettes for their parents. Retailers weren't held responsible for carding or anything as rights-infringing as we have in the States.

I live in Illinois and I hope we continue to see these laws shut down. It is just a political ploy to increase government's power while reporting it as positive for the citizen base. Citizens today are too irresponsible and too mentally restricted to understand that we all have responsibilities, parents especially, to monitor what is used in our households. It is not government's problem.

Re:The law is the law (3, Informative)

Bazman (4849) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173299)

Not in this part of Europe! In the UK, sales of cigs and booze to under-agers is a serious offence. The police have recently been cracking down on this sort of thing with assorted sting operations in pubs and shops.

The right for kids to buy beer stops and my puke-covered pavement.

I live in Illinois... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14173271)

...and yes, I'm posting as an AC. I'm tired of being modded down for admitting I'm a Reganite.

Our Governor it a retard and will be voted out of office in the next election. Even his own party hates him. His threat to appeal means nothing.

As far as the law goes, I agree that our children should not be playing adult oriented games, but a feel-good law isn't going to do squat. The parents need to step up and raise their own kids, not just let the State do it. I agree that this law should be shot down.

Why is this even a problem? (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173277)


Its illegal to sell porn to minors. Video game content should be treated no differently.

Until you are an adult, your rights *are* limited. ( as they should be ).

Sure, the concept of 'adult' is arbitrary, but you have to draw a line somewhere, its the law of averages that is used. ( anyone remember the bell curve? )

Almost a direct link to the ruling (1)

AganLex (308537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14173318)

http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/RACER2/recent_opinion [uscourts.gov] s.cfm?judge=Kennelly
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