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National Review Defends Gaming

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the never-thought-i'd-see-the-day dept.

67

The National Review has a piece up entitled National Born Regulators, in which they lay out the problems with legislator decision-making processes when discussing videogames, and lay to rest some of the most common misconceptions around gaming. From the article: "Those games are the exception to the rule. The vast majority of video games sold each year do not contain intense violence or sexual themes. The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB), the video-game industry's self-regulatory labeling body, places ratings and numerous content descriptors on almost every game sold in America today. These ratings and descriptors are remarkably detailed and displayed prominently on all game cartons, making them easy for parents to evaluate."

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67 comments

Huh (0, Offtopic)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067706)

I submitted this link a few days ago and it got declined. Bummer. Glad Zonk found it, though! It's a good article.

But...that means it's our job? (1)

AntiDragon (930097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067712)

Gosh! You mean...read the labels? On the games our children play? ..But...but...that sounds scarily like Parental Responsibility! Nonono...we need laws to deal with this. The government should be looking after our children!

Ok, ok...couldn't resist. But is is refeshing to see a little common sense and objectivity for a change. Politicians are just far to eager to legislate and jump on the latest turbo-charged bandwagon these days. On both sides of the Atlantic...

Re:But...that means it's our job? (1)

spirality (188417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068087)

Demagoguery gets votes. Sadly there is WAY too much of it.

Re:But...that means it's our job? (2)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068267)

Parental responsibility... what's that? I once had a roommate's mom chew me out for working on children sport games at Atari (Backyard Football GC, Backyard Baseball GC, and Backyard Hockey AGB) because the kids were staying inside playing video games instead of going outside. She got mad when I pointed out that it was the parent's responsibility for how their kids spend their time and it's not society's fault if the parents screw up. When I was growing up in the 1970s, all the kids in the neighborhood got tossed outside to play.

Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (3, Insightful)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067759)

National Review is basically a conservative think-tank. It's amazing what people steeped in theory come up with when there's no voters to satisfy. Only readers. And people who read think tanks are (typically) more interested in ideas and debate than demagoguery (although, admittedly, not always). Look at what a conservative publication says - "family values, shmamly values, no more government interference, it's not necessary." How do you think Republicans in Congress would vote on this, though? 100% pro-Family Values pro-regulation, 100% voter pandering.

It gets harder and harder to defend these people every year as they shift away from free market economics and individual self-determination and towards more big-government nanny-state big brotherism. If only the Democrats had the guts to step in and fill the void instead of likewise pandering to its base...

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068108)

Isn't this "ban games" talk mostly on the Republicans-under-another-name (Democrats) agenda?

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (3, Informative)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068159)

Most conservative think tanks tilt toward the libertarian end of the conservative specturm, which is very different than conservative politicans.

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15068725)

Naw, even the conservative think tanks thought promoting the Terri Shiavo thing was good politics.

They're only libertarians in the corporate sense. That is, corporations ought to be able to plunder natural resources without paying, dump toxic waste without cleanup, etc.

When it comes to the liberties of the individual, they always take a back seat to profit.

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (1)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068908)

Naw, even the conservative think tanks thought promoting the Terri Shiavo thing was good politics

I don't know about good politics, but I do know about common decency. On the one hand you've got a "husband" who's already living with another woman and stands to get a 6-figure sum if they pull the plug. On the other hand you've got mom, dad, brothers and sisters willing to accept the financial burden of caring for their loved one.

Instead of just divorcing the comatose woman (if she's brain dead - then killing her isn't mercy, if she's not brain dead then killing her isn't right) her "husband" decides he'd rather cash in on the money. So he installs a couple of body guards to be sure no one can see her, pulls the plug, waits for her to croak, and then walks away with several hundred large ones.

This wasn't a family issue - it was basically medical murder for greed.

-stormin

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15072022)

The lady was dead. The autopsy confirmed everything the medical experts said, and refuted everything your politicians said. Her husband had a right to do what he did, based on her wishes and the best medical information available.

You call it murder. Some people think that killing animals for food is murder. Some people even think that killing stem cells is murder. None of that has any bearing on this case, and you would do well to drop that line if you want to be taken seriously.

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15073549)

The 6 figure sum had been reduced down to less than 30,000 dollars by the time Terri died.

Also, her parents were part of the care of Terri in the years right after her incapcitation and it became very apparent that her parents alone could not care for her. The burden was too great. This would have ended up being a burden to society in very short time.

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15074296)

The woman was in a state of living death. Keeping her "alive" was an abomination against nature.

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15084827)

"if she's brain dead - then killing her isn't mercy, if she's not brain dead then killing her isn't right"
Worse argument ever. Come on, that line is less valid than, "If she's brain dead, then I'm right, if she's not brain dead, then I'm right." because at least in my version, I'm not trying to disguise the fact that I am not giving any logic or reason to back up my opinion. Both are just restatements of the opinion.

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15089416)

It was her request to die, retard. Do you think she wanted her family to go broke keeping her a vegetable? If so, you didn't know her.

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (4, Informative)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068293)

I think this is maybe missing the point of publications such as National Review (and its equivalents from across the political spectrum) a bit. Before I go any further, I should probably put my own cards on the table. I'm a conservative and a subscriber to National Review's digital edition, so I can't claim to be free from bias.

Assuming we accept that the publication's role is, effectively, a Republican think-tank (which is disputable, but perhaps not worth disputing here), you have to bear in mind what a think tank does. The most successful think tanks aren't the ones that try to shape policy in the present, on a scale of weeks and months, but rather the ones that try shape political movements over a matter of years. If you want an example from the other end of the political spectrum, look at the UK's Labour Party in the late 80s and early 90s, where a few think tanks, with Tony Blair as their figurehead (although decidedly not the leading intellectual light), formulated what was to become New Labour. This took place at time when most of the party was still wedded to programmes of nationalisation, punitive taxes for high earners and a ban on private schools. Although much of what the think tanks were saying was heresy to much of the party at the time, it formed the basis for a successful political movement that has already dominated the UK for over a decade.

If you look at the history of National Review, a similar pattern can be seen. It played a central role in the formation of the modern conservative movement back in the 50s and 60s, when the conventional wisdom was that conservatism was dead. It identified Reagan as somebody to watch and support in the days when the idea of him as President would still have provoked gales of laughter from across the political spectrum. More recently, it predicted much of the present brand of conservatism, with a strong emphasis on moral values, that we see under Bush, back in the days when Clinton was in office. Rather than criticising the divide between what the think tanks are saying and the party is doing, it's more useful to look to the think tanks to discern the possible future directions the Republican party can take. It's interesting to note that there's a near-uniform consensus in such think-tanks now that while they are glad Bush won the last 2 elections, US conservatives would not tolerate another big-spender of the same ilk.

The exercise is made a bit more difficult by the very nature of a think tank. There is no one consistent strand to its thinking. Indeed, if you read the articles and the associated blogs regularly, you can see some persistent and often heated areas of dispute. "Intelligent" Design is one area that keeps coming back up, although fortunately the editorial view seems to have shifted largely against it. However, you'll also find disputes on social and education policy, immigration and relations with the Islamic world. We've seen both sides of the videogame debate put forward on NR, although I think the more libertarian line seems to be winning out. Does this indicate the future direction the Republicans will take post Bush? Not necessarily, but don't rule it out.

As a closing note, don't underestimate the power of these publications, which is growing all the time. A decade ago, they were read only by the more academic of the party-faithful. Today, they've got a much wider reach. National Review in particular has been extremely successful in establishing a widely-read online presence and its blogs in particular have become extremely well known. As these publications gain a wider base, their power to influence the base as well as the elites starts to grow.

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15074006)

wow, no response to a very interesting, well thought out mini article. well i dont have modpoints, but you deserve +10.

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (0, Flamebait)

G)-(ostly (960826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068319)

National Review is basically a conservative think-tank.

Contrast: National Review with National Review Online, the latter being a den of ultra-racist, mysognistic, violent and depraved lunatics (see also: Little Green Footballs, FreeRepublic).

If only the Democrats had the guts to step in and fill the void instead of likewise pandering to its base...

To clarify, the Democrats are pandering to the same base. Rather than refocus on some core concepts, they've apparently decided that if they pretend to be George Bush and Friends they can get elected. Except, nobody who would vote for them would be stupid enough to vote for a Bushite, and nobody who's stupid enough to vote for Bush would ever vote Democrat anyway, just because they're Democrats.

American voters for the fail.

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (0, Offtopic)

JDAustin (468180) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068667)

To clarify, the Democrats are pandering to the same base. Rather than refocus on some core concepts, they've apparently decided that if they pretend to be George Bush and Friends they can get elected. Except, nobody who would vote for them would be stupid enough to vote for a Bushite, and nobody who's stupid enough to vote for Bush would ever vote Democrat anyway, just because they're Democrats.

Democrats pandering to the same base? How are they doing this when they talk of impeaching Bush and have made there stand as being Anti-anything proposed by republicans?

The Dems can't refocus on core concepts because the core concepts of liberalism is rejected by the vast majority of Americans. Just witness why Dem presidential candidates have to move to the center to win while Rep candidates can run as conservatives.

Even today, when Republicans are most vulnerable, Democrats cannot take advantage of it. Why? Because they do not offer there own vision, they only offer themselves as anti-republican. They offer the public not a vision, but the prospect of the shrillness of Nancy Pelosi become speaker of the House...

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (1)

G)-(ostly (960826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068982)

I like how nothing you said is supported by anything that's actually happening.

While we're trying to reshape reality with our thoughts, do you think maybe I can make my coffee cup turn into a bar of solid gold if I pretend it already is one hard enough?

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (2, Insightful)

QuantumPion (805098) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068716)

Contrast: National Review with National Review Online, the latter being a den of ultra-racist, mysognistic, violent and depraved lunatics (see also: Little Green Footballs, FreeRepublic).

You mean like Cynthia McKinney, who punched a security officer (who politely tried to stop her from walking through a security checkpoint without identification) because he was a white male? She's pretty racist, mysoginistic, violent, and a crazy-go-nuts. Oh wait, she's a liberal democrat. Nevermind.

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (1)

G)-(ostly (960826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15069048)

Yes, I mean like one liberal democrat versus all the people at those three sites

Well, I'm winning this argument about 300,000 to 1. Would you like to continue? Or would you like me to go highlight some examples of where, for example, Freepers had wet dreams over the idea of a journalist doing his job being murdered in Iraq by American soldiers (note that, apparently, the soldiers are much smarter than freepers, which doesn't take much, since they didn't actually kill him for exercising his first amendment rights like the freepers wanted)?

Or maybe you'd like to compare something even better like, say, liberal eco "terrorists" who have never once, in all of recorded history, killed a single person in an act of "terrorism" versus, for example, conservative "right-to-lifers" who have murdered numerous people in their quest to "protect the sanctity of life". Or maybe we could talk about the good, god-fearing righties who called for the murder of each member of the supreme court? Or maybe the right-wing terrorist Timothy McVeigh?

I like how everything about conservatism is defined in cutesy terms to disguise the fact that it's really just hate-mongering and murderous violence whereas the worst liberals, who are "terrorists", seem to ever do is burn up an empty truck dealership or spray paint something.

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 8 years ago | (#15069942)

You mean like Cynthia McKinney, who punched a security officer (who politely tried to stop her from walking through a security checkpoint without identification) because he was a white male? She's pretty racist, mysoginistic, violent, and a crazy-go-nuts.
Brilliant! I stand awed in the presence of your inciteful analysis...

Yes, I am making fun of you. Although, to be fair, I'm probably making fun of your teachers and parents really...

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15070704)

STFU, )-( O ]V[ O

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (0, Offtopic)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068733)

Yep. All the Republicans are going to go "family values".

And yet, who tries to regulate gaming ??

Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman, notorious conservative Republicans [gamespot.com]

And where did they try to limit games ? Michigan. As I recall, a Democrat signed that into law.

Heck, let's fire up the Wayback Machine. Remember the Communications Decency Act ??? [wikipedia.org] ???. Sponsored by Senator James Exon, D-Nebraska. . .

Yep, look to the GOP to censor games and the Net. . . You keep forgetting the real rule of politics: When something sensational comes up, a politician will say "We need to DO something about this!!!"

And immediately, another politician pulls out a vaguely topical bill and says " THIS is something. . . ."

Followed immediately by a crowd of pols chorusing "Let's do it!!"

Which is why we get such heinous things as the CDA and the Patriot Act . . .

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (0, Offtopic)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15069034)

And where did they try to limit games ? Michigan. As I recall, a Democrat signed that into law.

In all fairness, while it was signed by Granholm, it was passed by a Republican House & Republican Senate. Let's face it, Democrats & Republicans are co-conspirators in this matter. Keep voting for control-freaks, and you'll keep getting control-freak legislation. Maybe it's time gamers think about voting for Libertarians [lp.org] .

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15070380)

Hmmm, I must have a secret enemy. I've had a bunch of my on-topic posts modded either overrated or offtopic...

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15071082)

You forgot the most important one:

"WON'T ANYBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!?!?!!"

And btw, Tipper Gore vs. Body Count. I think I just dated myself.

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (2, Insightful)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 8 years ago | (#15071151)

If only the Democrats had the guts to step in and fill the void instead of likewise pandering to its base...

Never happen.

At least the Republican party has Giuliani, Bloomberg, McCain, Schwarzenegger, Specter, Colin Powell.. Folks who are just as happy as Democrats (and me, frankly) to see DeLay get DeFrocked.. Who do the Democrats have that isn't a complete tool of the left, besides possibly Ron Wyden? Where are the principled, moderate Democrats? (answer: retired or Republicans, or dead like the late great Pat Moynihan...)

Re:Compare: Conservative Theory vs Practice (1)

LearningHard (612455) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072459)

This is a problem for me. I agree with conservative theory and am fed up with the Republican pandering for votes. However I don't neccessarily agree with what the Democrats do which leave me voting for third-party candidates with a slim chance to do anything. I still vote for them though because they stand for what I stand for.

omg!!! republicans!!! (2, Insightful)

iocat (572367) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067772)

So does the lack of comments to this story indicate that the average slashdotter's head am explode by conservatives defending videogames, while Hillary Clinton bags on them?

Re:omg!!! republicans!!! (2, Insightful)

Chuckaluphagus (111487) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067877)

I just have to step in here. I'm pretty liberal, but I have a lot of respect for real conservatives. That means people who believe in smaller government, lower taxes, and less governmental interference in the private lives of citizens. The real conservatives I know are decent, intelligent people who just want to live quietly, work hard and build good lives for themselves.

The "social conservative" and "religious conservative" groups that have co-opted the term are practically anathema to the real meaning of the word and are destroying the Republican party, a party that used to garner some respect and due consideration. Nowadays the party is a bloated, corrupt sham of its former self that seems determined to drive itself into the ditch. Sadly, the Democratic Party isn't really any better, leaving a sour taste in my mouth whenever I vote. I realize it's currently hopeless, but we could really use some more major political parties in this country (Bull Moose Party!)

Re:omg!!! republicans!!! (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068451)

You actually sound fairly libertarian if you're socially liberal but want smaller government. Even if you don't support the whole platform, you still should consider voting Libertarian. [lp.org] Libertarians believe in individual freedom & personal responsibility, which is at the core of most issues, including this one. Our kids are now in their mid teens. Up until this past year, they were only allowed to watch PG-13 movies and Rated "T" games. Unless we had a chance to preview them first, rated "R" movies and rated "M" games were verboten. They still don't get to play most rated "M" games or see rated "R" games. I still don't understand why on Earth parents don't spend more time paying attention to what their kids are exposed to.

Re:omg!!! republicans!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15067965)

Maybe they both think it's a relatively harmless way to increase their appeal on the other side of the fence.

Parents should admit when they make a mistake (4, Insightful)

mstahl (701501) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067908)

A common theme in politics today seems to be that a loud minority of people want the US Government to act as a safety net for poor parenting. Honestly, if you bought your 12-year-old a copy of GTA San Andreas, it's not Rockstar's fault, it's not the US Government's fault, it's not the store's fault, it's yours, because you made a conscious decision to buy your kid that game when the title and the carton art tell the whole story. It's not as if the violent and sexually themed games are hiding among more "wholesome" games and trying to fool parents. They're clearly labelled and it's no one's responsibility but the parents' to take a proactive role in choosing the material to which their children are exposed.

Re:Parents should admit when they make a mistake (2, Interesting)

itscolduphere (933449) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068282)

Honestly, if you bought your 12-year-old a copy of GTA San Andreas, it's not Rockstar's fault, it's not the US Government's fault, it's not the store's fault, it's yours, because you made a conscious decision to buy your kid that game when the title and the carton art tell the whole story.

Very true. However, there are plenty of cases where the child buys the game outside of the parent's presence. What do you suggest then? Following your kid 24/7, never letting them out of your sight? Weekly room searches?

Yeah, parents need to take an active role. But we don't allow the sale of pornography to minors. I don't see any fundamental difference between that and many of these adult-themed games, such as GTA. What is wrong with not allowing stores to sell games that even the publishers themselves claim (falsely, in my opinion) are not meant for the underage market?

If the parent wants to buy adult-themed games for their 11-year-old, I could care less. That's their problem. What most people who are for regulation suggest is simply to make it harder for the kids to get these things on their own.

Re:Parents should admit when they make a mistake (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068546)

So your kid might be able to get a hold of GTA? Big fucking deal. Your kid can probably get a hold of illegal drugs just as easy as a video game if he really wanted to, and look at all the insane stuff governments do to restrict that. Your kid can probably have sex just as easy as he can get ahold of the Hot Coffee Mod for GTA, so is the government supposed to require kids to wear chastity belts? Do you think your kid wouldn't be able to get a hold of some beer, or ciggarettes, or porn magazines, if that is what he wanted.

The video game industry and the retailers are already doing a reasonable job in making sure video games stay out of the hands of minors. We don't need a police state to make it difficult for grown adults to purchase video games, or more expensive, which is what you want to happen.

Re:Parents should admit when they make a mistake (3, Insightful)

itscolduphere (933449) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068766)

The video game industry and the retailers are already doing a reasonable job in making sure video games stay out of the hands of minors. We don't need a police state to make it difficult for grown adults to purchase video games, or more expensive, which is what you want to happen.

Of course, because enforcing age restrictions with legal penalties on retailers have made alcohol and tobacco so insanely expensive. Oh...wait. It's mostly taxes doing that, not age restrictions. Never mind.

And the only added difficulty you would see in getting games with legally-enforced age restrictions is having to have an ID handy to buy them. Big freakin' deal.

Also, I'd say retailers have done a pitiful job keeping adult-themed games out of the hands of minors. What, they're running about 50%? About 35% for big-name national chains, who supposedly actually give a crap? Good job.

If a store sold alcohol to minors 35% of the time they'd be fined, lose their license, and have to shut down. It does not represent a "good faith effort" on their part. Not even close. And publishers claim that their games aren't marketed to minors, or meant for minors, but complain when somebody mentions restricting their sales to minors. Smells like industrial-grade BS to me.

PA pretty much summed up my opinion on the right of minors to buy any given game here, [penny-arcade.com]

Re:Parents should admit when they make a mistake (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068960)

Guess what. Games are doing about a 3x better job than movie sales. Why no uproar about that?

Re:Parents should admit when they make a mistake (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15069026)

And the only added difficulty you would see in getting games with legally-enforced age restrictions is having to have an ID handy to buy them. Big freakin' deal.
This is not a small thing:

1. By giving them personal identification, like a licence, they now can send me all kinds of marketing crap, track my purchases to create a marketing profile on me, etc.

2. There is an increased chance of identity theft, because now I got minimum wage clerks looking over my ID.

3. Now there is a way to link my purchases to my identity. Hillary Clinton is claiming that video games cause violence. What happens when they start looking up to see if you purchased GTA if you want to get a pilots licence, or a licence to own a gun, or go to get your passport renewed?

If you say that they don't nessicarily have to record your ID information... there might not be that requirement directly in the law, but all game stores are going to do it so that they can prove to regulators that they only sell to adults.

If a store sold alcohol to minors 35% of the time they'd be fined, lose their license, and have to shut down. It does not represent a "good faith effort" on their part.

Your analogy doesn't work. Alcohol is not a form of expression, and not protected by the First Amendment. But that being said, there are many countries were minors are allowed to purchase alcohol and they have a lot less problem with it than in the U.S.

But a more accurate analogy would be if you had to be 18, and show a licence, in order to purchase a bible or religious material. Athiests, Muslims, Jews, etc., wouldn't want their kids purchasing Bibles, now would they? Don't they have as much right to protect their kids from that, as they do GTA? Surely, the Bible is much more likely to inspire someone to convert to Christianity, than GTA would be to inspire someone to kill cops? Would you support restricting the Bible from minors, and giving big fines and even criminal penalties to those who distribute the Bible?

And don't tell me that the Bible isn't full of sex and violence!!!

Re:Parents should admit when they make a mistake (1)

itscolduphere (933449) | more than 8 years ago | (#15069542)

3. Now there is a way to link my purchases to my identity. Hillary Clinton is claiming that video games cause violence. What happens when they start looking up to see if you purchased GTA if you want to get a pilots licence, or a licence to own a gun, or go to get your passport renewed?

Tinfoil_hat++
also, Slippery_slope++
Your other two points had some merit, however...though again, you don't see anybody complaining that ID checks for alcohol or tobacco are leading to identity theft, and calling for an end to them. For clarity, once again no comparison is meant here between tobacco/alcohol and videogames...commenting solely on ID checks in general.

Your analogy doesn't work. Alcohol is not a form of expression, and not protected by the First Amendment. But that being said, there are many countries were minors are allowed to purchase alcohol and they have a lot less problem with it than in the U.S.

Wasn't necessarily meant as an analogy...at least not concerning videogames. I wasn't intending to bring up the social issues of alcohol, or even compare alcohol to video games. You stated that the VG industry and retailers were doing a "reasonable job" of keeping adult-themed videogames out of the hands of minors (without parental permission). I was attempting to demonstrate that, statistically, based on the success rate of unaccompanied minors in attempts to purchase such games, they were not. Nothing more.

If you want to say that they shouldn't bother preventing the sale of such games to minors, I'd merely disagree. If you want to say that they are actually doing a reasonable job of such, then I'm going to argue. You can argue that a 12-year-old has a fundamental right to a copy of GTA without a parent present, or you can argue that stores are doing a reasonable job keeping 12-year-olds from buying copies of GTA without a parent present...but not both. I have a feeling you'd choose the former, and that's fair. But assuming that the restriction of such sales on a voluntary basis is a "good thing," the industry is NOT doing a good job of it on their own. Anytime somebody who shouldn't be able to buy something manages to a third to half the time, that's pitiful.

Granted, it has gotten better. But they've had the better part of a decade to make it happen, and considering that the results are crap.


As for your Bible (or Talmud, or Quran, etc.) analogy, I'd say that would be a little different. In restricting the sale of various religious books to minors, you'd not only run into freedom of expression problems, but also freedom of religion (specifically the "free excercise thereof") problems. There are many more exceptions to freedom of expression, especially as it relates to minors, than freedom of religion. You probably don't think that should be the case...regardless, it is.

So no, the restriction of the sale of Grand Theft Auto to a minor is in no way analogous to the restriction of the sale of a Bible...unless there exists somewhere a Church of the Holy M-Rating.

Re:Parents should admit when they make a mistake (1)

dmatos (232892) | more than 8 years ago | (#15069905)

...unless there exists somewhere a Church of the Holy M-Rating.

Damn, I might go to church if there was...

Re:Parents should admit when they make a mistake (1)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15098929)

So no, the restriction of the sale of Grand Theft Auto to a minor is in no way analogous to the restriction of the sale of a Bible...unless there exists somewhere a Church of the Holy M-Rating.

Are you kidding? The Bible, had it been published today (in game form), would have been rated AO, never mind M. We could play Gut the Canaanite and then pin the phallus on King Solomon's concubines.... I think that the proper way to consider the analogy is not "OMG teh Bible might convert my heathen childs!!!11!" as parent suggested, but rather simply compare by content, or by medium for that matter, in order to see just how arbitrary the lines our culture draws really are. We care about depictions of murder, rape, and other anti-social behavior most when they are in games, less so when in movies, least in books. And if they happen to appear in famous books (e.g Bible, Qur'an, anything by Shakespeare) then we encourage children to be exposed. Now, I'll be the first to admit that there are probably qualitative differences in the way different media impact behavior, but still, content is content and if what people are really objecting to is violence and sex, then they need to look more closely that the holy corpus of their own society.

Re:Parents should admit when they make a mistake (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15070619)

The parents still make the rules, and likely pay for the consoles and video equipment - make sure the game consoles are in a common area of the house. That way, you can always see what your kids are playing.

If the child is old enough where thy buy their own console and TV and stick it in their room, then they're likely old enough to be playing Mature games anyway.

Re:Parents should admit when they make a mistake (1)

Asterisk (16357) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068584)

...it's not the store's fault, it's yours, because you made a conscious decision to buy your kid that game when the title and the carton art tell the whole story.
More to the point, if a parent decides to consciously purchase such a game for his 12-year old, it isn't anyone's "fault", because by making the purchase, the parent has at least implicity decided that the game content is not inappropriate for his child; there is no problem.

One would think that someone truly devoted to "family values" would not give any weight to opinions of strangers - especially cranks and busibodies - and would keep the scope of these issues within their actual family.

Re:Parents should admit when they make a mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15068642)

Honestly, if you bought your 12-year-old a copy of GTA San Andreas, it's not Rockstar's fault, it's not the US Government's fault, it's not the store's fault, it's yours

And when your twelve-year-old buys it himself? The point of the recent legislation that got struck down was that it required adults to purchase these types of games so that kids couldn't buy them themselves. That's not trying to absolve parents of blame, that's recognising that parents can't look over their kids' shoulders 24 hours a day.

I don't see many Slashdotters getting outraged at minors being restricted from buying other things, like alcohol, pornography, violent movies, etc. Why aren't those restrictions considered attempts at absolving parents from responsibility?

Re:Parents should admit when they make a mistake (1)

crbowman (7970) | more than 8 years ago | (#15071781)

Where did your 12 year old get money from? If you gave your 12 money and don't supervise how he or she spends it why are you blaming others? You know this content is out there and that given money your child is able to purchase these games. So I have to ask why you are giving your child money or why you aren't supervising him or her when they spend it.

I have no problem if you want to have children, and I am delight to act as part of a village to help you raise them, but that is my choice not my responsibility. If you decide to have children then their supervision is nobodies responsibility but your own.

Either you trust your child not to purchase content that is inapropriate or you don't allow your children to do so. It is not acceptable to complain or try and make other people take on your responsibility

Passing the buck... (2, Interesting)

Onuma (947856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067919)

It's not unusual for people to want to pass of their responsibilities to others. Parents are no different.

Just because someone has responsibilities, does not make them responsible in any fashion.

Sad but true :(

Shock! (0, Flamebait)

Rydia (556444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15067943)

This just in! Anti-regulatory group against regulation! Film at 11!

OMG I'm actually being held responsible... (2, Insightful)

Brothernone (928252) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068171)

It is indeed truly astounding to see the number of parents that want to blame their shitty parenting on someone else. That is today's fad, Pass the buck. I'm glad a publication of ANY type is saying it too. Parents are the fault in the rating system, not the ratings. Parents are how kids are getting violent games. Here's a hint, if you wnat to avoid ultra violent games... buy a gamecube and shut up. A big "w00t" out to the mag, Let the people know they have to be responsible for thier parenting actions.

Re:OMG I'm actually being held responsible... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15068347)

Unfortunately, your plan is not 100% fool-proof. You'll find extremely violent, gory games on the Cube just like any other console (RE4, Killer7, Eternal Darkness, etc).

Safety Nets (2, Interesting)

Puhase (911920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068264)

Some days you just have to sit back and dream because reality is far too confusing. Conservatives actually espousing their correct value set concerning government regulation? Democrats (Hillary and cohorts) trying to "save the children" with mindless studies that egrediously waste tax payer money that could go to something like education?

Some days you just wish for a party that would be the proponents of a moderate and fiscally responsible social safety net and completely disregard this moral safety net idiocy. A long shot, I know. But since when did the government have the right or even the ability to make subjective judgements about morality? Religious people should be up in arms that the government is interfering with their baliwack (instead of just muddying up religion with politics). Church groups should be pounding the street protesting the latest GTA, not trying to get politicians to deal with it. I can ignore street protests...laws are a little harder.

Thierier is not a real NRO type (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068297)

The NRO is shamelessly **republican** and Thierier is more of a libertarian than a republican or conservative. Among old-style conservatives and libertarians, they are largely considered to be the whores of the national right wing media.

For those interested, the author of this piece is also an occassional contributor to the Tech Liberation Front (www.techliberation.com). He's one of the few associated with the PFF who shows a tendency toward common sense.

Re:Thierier is not a real NRO type (2, Insightful)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068741)

I don't know about that. Poking around on NRO, it's not especially married to the Republican party. More than a few of their editors show strong libertarian leanings, and there's always Rod Dreher.

Re:Thierier is not a real NRO type (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15069405)

don't know about that. Poking around on NRO, it's not especially married to the Republican party. More than a few of their editors show strong libertarian leanings, and there's always Rod Dreher.

And let's not forget William F. Buckley [amazon.com] .

Re:Thierier is not a real NRO type (2, Insightful)

Bob Uhl (30977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15069733)

Ummm...NRO is its own creature. It's anti-drug-war, which is hardly the Republican party line. Although the vast majority of its writers oppose infanticide, a few regulars do not. There are those who are religious Christians, irreligious vaguely-Christians, Jews and atheists. On the whole, its perspective is right-libertarian.

Republicans (-1, Troll)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068414)

If only Republicans actually cared about their own supposed values anymore, then maybe we could have some fucking balance in American politics. But, no, both parties want to ban/censor everything, sell out to special interest groups, etc.

And don't get me started on how the Democrats are completely throwing away their opportunity to bring some sanity back to the U.S. I really think the country would applaud if some key Dems stood up for personal responsibility and freedom in the face of terror. But what do we get? A bunch of tools vying to make the people feel safer from the big bad terrorists and saving the children.

What a fucking wankfest American politics is, and what a bunch of pussies the citizenry has become. It's like a fucking kindergarden.

Re:Republicans (1)

p_conrad (118670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15068490)

If you think our government is a "wankfest," it's probably none of your business.

Re:Republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15068605)

The Raw Story: After Democrats and Republicans sparred over the amount of time allotted to debate and scheduled for the vote, Senator Russ Feingold introduced a resolution to censure President George W. Bush for violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
http://rawstory.com/news/2006/Feingold_introduces_ resolution_to_censure_President_0313.html [rawstory.com]

Do you need a bigger brush or flame thrower? (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 8 years ago | (#15069481)

Okay, karma be damed for this particular instance!

Traditionally, Republicans (in the modern sense) who have nothing to worry about with respect to being elected (aka. the general populous) generally believe in less government and more personal responsibility. That's why anti-gaming laws are generally considered to be an afront to what the standard, non-politician Republican believes. Such laws are nothing more than bigger government usurping parental responsibility.

I really wish that people like you would stop with the mentality that the clueless politicians inside of the Washington beltway are 100% representative of the people who put them into office. They're not. American politics has degraded to the election of the lesser of the available evils, and very few people fully agree 100% with the people that they elect. More often than not, people are not voting for their candidate but instead voting against the other candidate. Very sad, but true.

What's more, if you really think that Washington Democrats will bring "sanity" to the U.S. government, that shows how completely f**king clueless you really are about modern, American politics. Washington Democrats (notice how I'm focusing on those inside the Beltway by not generally speaking about the populous) have traditionally attempted to usurp personal responsibility in the way of "the government knows what's better for you than you do" mentality on issues that are centered in bleeding-heart compassion as opposed to theologoical morality. (See various socialist/entitlement laws that have been signed or at least submitted into the House and Senate in the past few decades.) But whether it's bleeding-heart compassion (typically left-wing) or theological morality (typically right-wing), any law based on such is done so in order to appease constituents, not to enhance the betterment of the country, and should be opposed.

That being said, you are correct in the sense that anti-gaming laws are also pounced upon by the various moralists in the Republican fringe who are putting their personal morals ahead of the traditional Republican values of smaller government. Sadly, better morals and/or protecting the children has become a pathetic excuse for both parties to pass whatever law they want, because it's easy to vilify opponents as being against children for no reason except that you can -- just as easily as it is to vilify an opposing party about not bringing "fucking balance" for no reason except that you can.

Re:Do you need a bigger brush or flame thrower? (1)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15069589)

Way to completely miss my point.

Re:Do you need a bigger brush or flame thrower? (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 8 years ago | (#15072037)

You're the one who decided to throw politics into it for the sole purpose of Republican bashing, not me.

Re:Do you need a bigger brush or flame thrower? (1)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15074744)

You douchebag, how was that just Republican bashing? It was American politics, in its entirety, bashing. Your pathetic devotion to your party is apparent now, as well as the sad fact that you can't see past it. I was not endorsing the Democratic party, on the contrary, quite the contrary.

And while you pretend it's just politicans who have become completely twisted and lost sight of their values, look around. I live in a "red" county. I know a lot of Republicans. They support the current administration, the encroachment of the government our on civil liberties, the overspending, the ridiculous military actions, the jingoistic rhetoric, etc.

The fact is, we are more in agreement than you realize, or even want to accept. I want smaller government. I want the government to butt out of matters of personal responsibility. I want spending to be curbed. It's time for you to realize that there's nothing of value left in the mainstream Republican party, in and out of Washington, and go independent.

*sigh* I know, I'm such an asshole. But I'm right, regardless. I was right about "Dubya" 6 years ago when I argued with my Republican friends. On what he would do to their party, and the country as a whole, I was right. Some of them even admit it. Not that it matters, they still don't vote outside their pathetic party.

From the article... (3, Funny)

elhaf (755704) | more than 8 years ago | (#15069320)

Indeed, market surveys have shown that the average age of a video-game purchaser is 37, and that parents are present 92 percent of the time when games are purchased or rented.

Yeah, the parents of the 37-year-old want to make sure nothing untoward happens in their basement.

101st Fighting Keyboardists (0, Troll)

wintermute42 (710554) | more than 8 years ago | (#15069935)

Of course National Review writers support gaming. Especially those war games. Playing War games allows the National Review writers to feel like real warriors and patriots. Then they write their articles about supporting a war that they would never think of serving in themselves. That's why they're called the 101st Fighting Keyboardists by some and chickenhawks by others. War: its on the computer or in the imaginary land of neo-con theory. No blood, no fear, no death. Just democracy in the Middle East. While some members of the old guard at the National Review, like William F. Buckley, Jr. have finally been forced to admit that Iraq has been a disaster for American and its interests, the Fighting Keyboardists soldier on in their brave battle. Thank God that there are some true patriots left who are willing to risk carpal tunnel syndrome in the service of their country.

Re:101st Fighting Keyboardists -- Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15072733)

Since I don't have any mod points to give you the troll smackdown that you deserve, I'll just tell you what an idiot you look like with useless rants like that.

Well said (0, Offtopic)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15073188)

That was one of the few PERFECT and error-free posts I've seen on here :)

Re:Well said (1)

FeetOfStinky (669511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15077531)

Yeah, except for the part where he spent so much time lovingly crafting his strawman just to knock it over again.

Raise your standards. Grandparent is completely off-topic.
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