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Louisiana Passes Violent Games Bill

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the down-with-fun-down-with-fun dept.

157

GameDaily is reporting that the Louisiana House has passed a violent games bill, aping similar legislation from across the country. From the article: "The bill would allow a judge to determine if a video game is 'patently offensive to prevailing standards' and if it's appealing 'to the minor's morbid interest in violence.' If the title meets these "criteria" the game could be ordered to be pulled from store shelves. Furthermore, someone found guilty of selling one of these games would face fines of between $100 and $2,000, and a prison term of up to one year. According to the Associated Press, even though several members of the House questioned whether the bill would be in violation of the First Amendment, none felt they should vote against the measure."

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157 comments

Gratz. (4, Insightful)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357551)

You just made a big chunk of the population criminals, let me know how that turns out.

Re:Gratz. (3, Insightful)

mythandros (973986) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357717)

They'll only be criminals if stores don't start carding minors like they do for cigarettes and booze and guns and... I mean, if parents are complaining that games make their children violent what's wrong with forcing parents to take responsibility for what their children watch?

Re:Gratz. (2, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358093)

There's nothing wrong with forcing parents to take responsiblitly in screening what their children watch. There is something wrong with forcing the stores and game companies to do the parents job.

Re:Gratz. (2, Insightful)

mythandros (973986) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358179)

This doesn't burden the game companies at all. It's only an irritation to the stores that sell the games because now they have to card anyone who looks younger than 30. It's a small irritation, but an irritation none the less. To be honest, I'd rather see parents that aren't interested in actually parenting, forced to parent.

Re:Gratz. (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358878)

"They'll only be criminals if stores don't start carding minors like they do for cigarettes and booze and guns and..."

C'mon, remember, this is LA we're talking about here. At least in New Orleans, they don't really make that big a deal out of carding anyone for booze or smokes....every once in awhile sure, the ABC acts tough, but, that's not normally the case. Hell, we were the last state to raise the drinking age to 21. Till the 'oil crunch' in the 80's, we figured we'd lose more revenue from liquor sales than the Fed Hwy funds.

Alas, however, after the crunch, $$'s were short, and we succumbed to the Fed. method of blackmailing us with our own tax dollars.

Why the hell do the states give money to the Feds in order to empower them to blackmail us into 'national' policies?

All those arguments aside...Geez....don't we have enough problems down here post Katrina and Rita without passing stupid shit like this? Hell, if they wanted to keep kids from seeing violence, they should have banned the fucking "projects".

Re:Gratz. (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 7 years ago | (#15359113)

Hell, if they wanted to keep kids from seeing violence, they should have banned the fucking "projects".
Then what would they have used as an excuse to tear down the historic remnants of Storyville?

Obsolutly fantastic (2, Funny)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357728)

Since criminals can't vote this means that anybody affected by this law can't vote against it come next election because they are convicted criminals. Brilliant isn't it?

Now if only we could outlaw thinking then the next elections should be a steal for the republicans.

Re:Obsolutly fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15358021)

Unlike the last one?

Re:Obsolutly fantastic (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15358047)

That's just like you Bush-haters, trying to claim a right to think.

If you actually read the Constitution, you'll see that nowhere does it give you the right to think. Like the "right" to privacy, and the "right" not to be tortured, this is an imaginary creation of activist judges. Real Americans won't be fooled by your obvious liberal bias.

This is especially true in times of indefinite and permanent war against invisible enemies. I suggest you leave your thinking to the government, which is the only thing protecting your weakling, whining, have-to-be-able-to-think self from the terrorists who are trying to eat our unborn babies.

Re:Obsolutly fantastic (1)

lneely42 (935712) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358484)

I hope this doesn't reflect the attitude of all Bush supporters.

(If this was intended as a joke, disregard this message. It's hard to tell over text. But do specify next time. This scares the shit out of me.) -LN

Re:Obsolutly fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15359078)

It was intended as a joke, but it scares me too that it's so close to the truth.

Re:Obsolutly fantastic (3, Insightful)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358078)

Haha! Stupid Republicans.

Except the Louisiana state legislature is 64% Democrats in the state House and 61% Democrats in the state Senate and a Democratic governer. Whoops. Oh well. The important thing is to always blame Republicans for restricting people's personal and economic freedom, no matter whose fault it really is. Holding the guilty accountable isn't the point. The point is blasting people we find politically distasteful.

Crusade onward, my good man! Get those Republicans!

Re:Obsolutly fantastic (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358831)

Get those Republicans!

Isn't it great that so many follow a party line so hard that they are blind to their own "ideals" falling pray to the same people they'd elect into office? The stereotypes of political parties MUST fail if there is to be progress in government. As long as people keep pulling that one party lever we're going to have problems.

Too bad these people don't show their discontent with the system by voting outside of party lines and forcing the parties to compete for the vote, not just be handed it by people who are too lazy to realize that their party is no the party it was 20+ years ago.

Agreed (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358952)

The problem here is not party lines, the problem here is that it is an election year and this is an easy way to look good to the public. The whole 'Look at me! I voted to keep your children safe from smut!' advertisment. They know darn well that the law will be overturned before it gets applied and that there is no real down side other than spending a couple hundred thousand tax dollars on litigation.

-Rick

Re:Obsolutly fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15359094)

Congratulations (seriously) - - you've shown a clear appreciation of subtleties that's apparently inaccessible to most people. Bravo.

Re:Obsolutly fantastic (1)

Steel_viper (462121) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358092)

Only if the crime "prohibited sale of video or computer games to minors" is a felony (as generally only felonies cause the loss of voting/firearm/etc. rights, and then only in some states). Since the max punishment appears to be a year, it is likely classed a misdemeanor (felonies generally start at greater than a year).

Re:Gratz. (2, Insightful)

Lave (958216) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358091)

Hang on, I'm confused:

"to the minor's morbid interest in violence." If the title meets these "criteria" the game could be ordered to be pulled from store shelves.

So they've incriminated most of the game playing populace and pulling games completely instead of just rating games inappropriate for minors? They may as well have mass burningd of the games in the street.

This is a perfect example of generation X. Like Rap, Rock and Roll, Cinema those who were born before it, don't understand it and fear it - so try and ban it. It's only when those people die off that the medium can be excepted as an art form.

Just give the game an 18 certificate (or a restricted or whatever you use in the US for movies) and move on. It's so simple it's untrue.

Re:Gratz. (4, Funny)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 7 years ago | (#15359183)

There's GenXrs who were born before CINEMA?? Where?

I don't fear rap, I just think it's pathetic. Bad poetry accented with a drum. The same drum over and over. Fucking boring.

I *BOOM* GONNA FUCK YOU UP *BOOM BOOoM.*
WITH MY *BOOM* GUN *BOOM BOoOM.*
*BOOM* *BOOM BoOOM.*
*BOOM* *BOOM BOOoM.*
*BOOM* *BOOM BOoOM.*
I *BOOM* GONNA FUCK YOU UP *BOOM BOOoM*

What if you changed the drum to a gong, or a triangle, or an AOOGAH horn? Could you imagine listening to:

(Gong)
I *BURRRUUURRRRRURRRRURRRRRRRr* GONNA FUCK YOU UP *BURRRUUURRRRRURRRRURRRRRrRR BURRRUUURRRRRURRRRURRRRrRRR.*
WITH MY *BURRRUUURRRRRURrRRRURRRRRRR* GUN *BURRRUUURRRRRURRRRURRrRRRRR BURRRUUURRRRRURRRRURRRrRRRR.*
*BURRRUUURRRRRURRRRURRRRRrRR* *BURRRUUURRRRRURRRrRURRRRRRR BURRRUUURRRRRURRRrRURRRRRRR.*
*BURRRUUURRRRRURRRRURRRRrRRR* *BURRRUUURRRRRURRRRURRRrRRRR BURRRUUURRRRRURRRRURRRRrRRR.*
*BURRRUUURRRRRURRRRURrRRRRRR* *BURRRUUURRRRRURRRRUrRRRRRRR BURRRUUURRRRRURRRRURRRRRrRR*
I *BURRRUUURRRRRURRRRUrRRRRRRR* GONNA FUCK YOU UP *BURRRUUURRRRRURRRRURRRrRRRR BURRRUUURRrRRRURRRRURRRRRRR.*

(Triangle)
I *ting* GONNA FUCK YOU UP *ting ting.*
WITH MY *ting* GUN *ting ting.*
*ting* *ting ting.*
*ting* *ting ting.*
*ting* *ting ting.*
I *ting* GONNA FUCK YOU UP *ting ting.*

(A-oogah horn)
I *AOOGAH* GONNA FUCK YOU UP *AOOGAH AOOGAH.*
WITH MY *AOOGAH* GUN *AOOGAH AOOGAH.*
*AOOGAH* *AOOGAH AOOGAH.*
*AOOGAH* *AOOGAH AOOGAH.*
*AOOGAH* *AOOGAH AOOGAH.*
I *AOOGAH* GONNA FUCK YOU UP *AOOGAH AOOGAH.*

Music for idiots with small brains.

I can see the legislative arguments now... (2, Interesting)

flyweight_of_fury (972871) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357560)

Video games = Bad! Cockfighting [2theadvocate.com] = Good!

Re:I can see the legislative arguments now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15357733)

For those unfamiliar with Louisiana, that's the place with a large tourism stake in drunken public nudity^H^H^H is just thinking of the children...

so... (2, Insightful)

Abstract_Me (799786) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357563)

so you can have a real gun... just not a virtual one.. at least they have their constitutional priorities in line.

mod me down Im use to it.

Re:so... (1)

mythandros (973986) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357738)

"so you can have a real gun... just not a virtual one.. at least they have their constitutional priorities in line." Minors can own guns? If that's the case, i'm glad I live in illinois.

Re:so... (1)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358053)

Isn't that the case in most of the US? You have to be of a certain age, no doubt, but my brother got a 22 rifle when he was twelve. And that in New York.

Re:so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15358088)

That can't possibly be legal. A 12 year old with a .22. If he killed someone, you're parents would have gone away for life.

Re:so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15358115)

Which is why the parents probably took the time to teach him how to handle the .22 appropriately.

What an odd concept, isn't it?

Re:so... (2, Informative)

hab136 (30884) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358248)

That can't possibly be legal. A 12 year old with a .22. If he killed someone, you're parents would have gone away for life.

Handgun purchases and posession are severely restricted and even outright banned in some states. Rifles are not.
As far as I know, a rifle is legal to purchase by anyone 18 and up in all states. Posession is not restricted, so if a 12 year old receives a rifle for his birthday, no problem. A rifle on a farm is a valid and necessary tool, and I've known 12 year olds that could handle them responsibly.
(above assumes you're not a convicted felon, mentally incompetant, etc)

Re:so... (2, Funny)

Palshife (60519) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358736)

A rifle on a farm is a valid and necessary tool

You know, for when that...corn...gets out of line.

Re:so... (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358748)

so you can have a real gun... just not a virtual one..

The difference is context. I can legally own a gun, there are places and times where it is legal to discharge my gun but if I go out shooting people in the head that is when we have the problem.

It's illogical to blame the gun for the murder. Not that pinning the blame of murder on games is any better but most people have the ability to see the valid and legal reasons for gun ownership and usage.

By your arguement it actually makes the banning of games valid in the face of the firearms restrictions in place today. It's not a very good arguement at all.

Daughter-rape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15357566)

The state with the most amount of daughter-rape has outlawed GTA III! OH TEH PONIES!!!!!11

Re:Daughter-rape (0, Troll)

KingBraden (959219) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357651)

Obviously, they are just upset about the sweet mod that lets you have a daughter and then rape her.

So the seller can't know it's 'illegal' beforehand (3, Insightful)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357601)

Bah, TFA not wanting to load for me. What I get from this, though, is that a retailer can be taken to court AFTER a sale for selling a game to a minor and then if the judge decides that the game is indecent and trying to appeal to minors, the store will be punished and the game pulled from shelves? How is the store to know this before selling the game to be able to be taken to court for it? Is the lousiana state government going to review all games themselves before allowing them to be sold in the state? I've got to figure out how to get in on this. You guys do something, after you do it I'll tell you if it was legal or not and sue you and throw you in jail if it wasn't. Sound like a good deal?

Re:So the seller can't know it's 'illegal' beforeh (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357648)

Ok, got it to load. Is the rating on the packaging going to be taken into account in the same way other similar laws that have been attempted were or is this based purely on the judges discretion of if the game is violent or not, meaning that (careful, slippery slope, watch your step) potentially a store could be fined, people thrown in jail, etc for selling an E game to a minor if the judge felt it was violent (obviously not likely)?

Re:So the seller can't know it's 'illegal' beforeh (1)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 7 years ago | (#15359084)

The law will eventually get tossed out as being unconstitutional, if it ever gets enforced against a major chain, and possibly a small chain if they stand up for themselves.

The main thing here is that the law will have a chilling effect on all mature games being sold in LA. The problem is that it will be about impossible to repeal the law through the courts without being tried under the law, and noone really wants to be the martyr. I expect that stores just over the state border in TX, MS, and AR will do a healthy buisness.

What we really need is a constitutional admendment that says that any legislator or executive that passes a bill that is found to be unconstitutional gets an automatic fine and can be tried as a traitor tot he constitution. When you get sworn into office, you pledge to uphold the Constitution. If you knowingly allow an unconstitutional bill to pass, then you have committed a traitorous act.

Bravery (2, Insightful)

benjjj (949782) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357603)

"Even though several members of the House questioned whether the bill would be in violation of the First Amendment, none felt they should vote against the measure."

"These decisions should be left to the legislature, the representatives of the people, not the courts."
Legislators: "I'm not touching that. Let the courts decide."

Re:Bravery (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357797)

Which leaves us in the wonderful situation where the most draconian laws are passed because no one is willing to stand up and so "Enough".

What was that quote?

"Evil is what happens when good men do nothing." ... Of course that assumes that at least some of the Supremes and Congress qualify as "good", instead of just "good for themselves".

Re:Bravery (2, Insightful)

timon (46050) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357911)

On the plus side, when the courts throw out the law as unconstitutional, the politicians get to blame "activist judges" for thwarting the "will of the people." Win-win!

Re:Bravery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15357929)

oh, and let us not forget, we don't want them activist judges making laws from the bench!

Re:Bravery (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358108)

Legislators: "I'm not touching that. Let the courts decide."

Well, in all fairness to the Legislators, I think they've been abundantly clear that they would like to pass such legislation, without any real equivocation. It's just that they are aware that it is not really within their power to do so.

Just plain stupid (4, Interesting)

KingBraden (959219) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357625)

Another useless videogame bill that will be overturned by the courts.

We all know why no one voted against this bill. They have seen the bans in other states thrown out on first ammendment grounds. They understand this will have no real effect (aside from forcing the game industry to pay some legal bills). They do this because they do not want to be the guy in November with ads running against him saying "John Smith wants kids to kill hookers like they do in the game he supports Grand Theft Auto."

I am sick of legislatures playing lip service to what the lattest fad is. I wish Americans (and I am sure it happens in the rest of the world too) would grow a brain and quit letting rhetoric dictacte their life.

Re:Just plain stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15357880)

They understand this will have no real effect
Oh there's an effect alright. Tax money is spent producing, passing and then defending these laws in court. When these laws get overturned by the courts, the IDSA usually asks that their court costs be paid by whatever entity passed the law. So, in effect, these laws are worse than having no effect, they throw away an alarming amount of tax money and waste court time. All this just to add a bullent point to every incumbent that votes for it.

Re:Just plain stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15357987)

I wish Americans (and I am sure it happens in the rest of the world too) would grow a brain and quit letting rhetoric dictacte their life.

Er, Europe doesn't seem to be affected by hypocritical politicians (in regard to videogames)...
But hey, if you feel better imagining they are, you go ahead.

Re:Just plain stupid (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358125)

I wish Americans...would grow a brain and quit letting rhetoric dictacte their life

It's easy to listen to rhetoric. It takes effort to actually learn about something.

Sadly, the vast majority of humans lack the interest (or even the capacity) to
really understand the issues. Therefore, rhetoric remains effective.

I just want an accountability law (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#15359125)

One where if you vote for too many bills that are unconstutional, you lose your seat in government and are forever barred from running again. Perhaps that would lead politicians to think more and pander less. Unfortunately, that is the kind of thing that the legslature has to pass and the chances of them passing a law restricting themselves is almost nil.

not morbid! (2, Interesting)

Nesetril (969734) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357662)

how is the interest morbid? if anything, it should be called 'natural', in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word. i think that it is much better to be a "hardcore" "pro" halo gamer (with all the negative connotations that it entails) rather than a typical mellowed-out PC loser. I guess, the Man still can't give up His dreams to fully "Baden-Powell all the boys and Betty Crocker all the girls"... Anyway, long live violent videogames - the new underground.

Re:not morbid! (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357902)

The language is an attempt to parallel the "offensive to prevailing community standards, devoid of artistic, scientific, etc., value, and appealing to a prurient interest in sex" legal standard for pornography as closely as possible, in hopes of (when it is challenged) getting a court to agree that a giant unwritten (in the text of the Constitution) exception to the First Amendment exists regarding violent material that is parallel to the one courts have previously found with regard to pornography.

Re:not morbid! (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358784)

Along the same lines:

the next time some kid fries an ant with a magnifying glass, will K-Mart get taken to court for selling it?

They don't need to vote against it (1)

Handpaper (566373) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357665)

The first time someone tries to enforce it, it will (eventually) be ruled unconstitutional. At enormous cost to somebody, but hey, that's not their problem.

Meanwhile, these legislators get to shout about how they've 'taken a stand' and are 'protecting your kids'.

Re:They don't need to vote against it (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357922)

Yah, and then when it gets knocked down by the courts, all of the people who supported it will scream "activist judges!" and demand more hardline socially conservative judges be put on the bench, which makes it more likely that a bill like this will actually stand up in court in the future.

Re:They don't need to vote against it (1)

jafuser (112236) | more than 7 years ago | (#15359031)

I thought the whole point of a representatitive democracy is that the representatitives would make rational decisions instead of the knee-jerk reactions that are problematic with a direct democracy?

Re:They don't need to vote against it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15359057)

I thought the whole point of a representatitive democracy is that the representatitives would make rational decisions instead of the knee-jerk reactions that are problematic with a direct democracy?
That is the point of it. It doesn't work.

To Louisiana politicians (4, Insightful)

zephc (225327) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357672)

Don't you asshats have a city to rebuild? Why the fuck are you wasting your constituent's money on this?

Re:To Louisiana politicians (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357774)

Actually, they have a coastline to rebuild, doing so would make a much bigger difference in minimizing the future destruction (the forecast is that that part of the country is going to get owned by ma nature again) than anything else they could do. That's not happening either, of course.

Re:To Louisiana politicians (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357831)

It's important that their politicians do everything they can to spew as much hot air as possible, as only the resulting high pressure zone can hope to keep further hurricanes at bay.

Re:To Louisiana politicians (2, Funny)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358090)

Because rich Soccer Moms whose kids have Xboxs vote, wheras poor people with no house, don't. Its called democracy.

Re:To Louisiana politicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15359104)

No, it's called idioicy.
In democracy everybody votes.

If you are thinking about money, then it's called corruption

just making sure there are no missunderstandings

Re:To Louisiana politicians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15358650)

Don't you asshats have a city to rebuild? Why the fuck are you wasting your constituent's money on this?
What the citizens don't know is that the state government has erected an SEP (somebody else's problem) field around themselves so that they can't see past the state capital...

Re:To Louisiana politicians (1)

zephc (225327) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358818)

no no, its OPP - Other People's Problems. Do you not know of the lyrical jubilee that is Naught By Nature?

Re:To Louisiana politicians (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 7 years ago | (#15359255)

Hmmm. Let me see...

Let's see how many people here have read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series (Where SEP comes from) compared to the number of people who know of "the lyrical jubilee that is Naught By Nature"...

Oh, I think HHGG winds by a couple orders of magnitude.

Re:To Louisiana politicians (1)

ehiris (214677) | more than 7 years ago | (#15359053)

They hope they'll get the money from the fines and law enforcement budget increases which will be necessary to enforce such a stupid law. Obviously the politicians now assume that if the hurricane didn't get people to move, taking rights away from them won't get them to move either.

It's the new American way of doing things. Instead of making honest money by taxing the sale of the games they try to make money by making them illegal so that they can demand money for unnecessary work.

The Netherlands is on the opposite side of mentality. They let themselves be more liberal to raise money that keeps their country from being under the Atlantic!

In 50 years we'll probably have so few right left that when we try to run away, we won't be able to because there's a military controlled fence around US.

Re:To Louisiana politicians (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 7 years ago | (#15359397)

In 50 years we'll probably have so few right left that when we try to run away, we won't be able to because there's a military controlled fence around US.
I love your optimism, but the Southern Fence will be built long before that. Unlike the levies, watch how fast that is built! I'm not sure how long it will take to build the Northern Fence, but it's coming, all the wrong people are going to make money from the Southern Fence.

I'm not too concerned about this (2, Insightful)

mythandros (973986) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357691)

It just means that if you don't have a drivers license that states you're over 18, you don't get to buy the game. If you're a minor and you have the game, it's because mommy and daddy bought the game for you. What's wrong with making parent's take more of an interest in what their children experience?

What's that? Your kid brought a gun to school and executed his classmates? You say that his violent video games made him do it*? Well then, who bought him the video game?

* - I find this notion laughable, by the way

Re:I'm not too concerned about this (2, Funny)

KingBraden (959219) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357723)

I can't believe you would laugh at a very serious problem. Video games not only cause school shootings, but often times commit them themselves and simply blame regular children. It is not just violence, Mario has created a booming industry in psychadelic mushrooms, and the lemmings created the great slavery epidemic of 1995.

The minors... (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357704)

if it's appealing 'to the minor's morbid interest in violence.'

So, then, anything rated Mature should be exempt from this part. Right? Oh wait, I forgot, only children play video games so any game made with any violence or sex must be marketed entirely at ten-year-olds.

Re:The minors... (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357815)

Not that this is actually going to be able to be upheld in court anyway, but your comment hints at what worries me most. At least in the article, there was no mention of basing this on the ratings system of the game, only on the feelings of the judge, which means that the game has to be sold and then the store taken to court, so the "illegal" deed already done, before it can be determined if it was illegal or not. But, as has been said and proven time and again now, this is going to be taken to court, deemed unconstitutional, and thrown out anyway. It's just that now it's going to cost tax payers and several innocent (at least in terms of this law/case directly) companies a ton of money.

Re:The minors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15357826)

A lot of the most violent and sexual games are marketed towards younger teens, and they have been for a very long time. Whether you like to admit it or not, legislators are going to continue to try to limit exposure to violent games until the industry wakes up and starts being more responsible with their content.

Seriously look at the situation from a bit of an outside perspective; a couple of days after someone releases a Columbine Game which either exploits or glorifies school shootings we have people arguing that there is no problem with violent videogames. Until the industry matures and no one is willing to deal with the gimicky volent or sexual crap that is targeted towards 14 year old immature boys (and 14 year old immature boys at heart) we are going to have very powerful lobby groups trying to control our content.

I am against legislation like this, but there is a lack of control on the industry side; when there is a vaccume it gets filled by something.

Re:The minors... (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358030)

So why aren't the RIAA and MPAA held accountable for their content? There is no law enforcing ratings on other media.

Re:The minors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15359120)

You're not familiar with Jack Tompson are you?

He lobbied against Horror movies in the 70's and 80's, Rap Music in the 80's and 90's and is currently lobbying against violent videogames; his (and other people's) effort led to many states attempting similar laws against the Music Industry and the Movie industry. It was only after the Movie industry agreed to enforce movie ratings, and the many music store chains agreed to prevent enforce parental warnings (and boredom from the public) that the legislative action was stopped. Until EB games refuses to sell "Mature" games to people under 17, the lobbying will continue.

Its already unconstitutional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15357767)

I thought laws just like this one, passed in other states, has already been deemed entirely unconstitutional.

Just what the hell are these people doing, anyways?

Re:Its already unconstitutional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15357829)

If you lived in here, you'd realize it's the status quo.

I want out of this state!

Re:Its already unconstitutional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15357903)

Answer: It's Lousiana. Ass-backwards in every way. And yes, I lived there for over a year.

We have them now (3, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357865)

even though several members of the House questioned whether the bill would be in violation of the First Amendment, none felt they should vote against the measure

In summation:

-they know a law already prohibits this
-they decided to approve it anyway

Therefore, every member of the legislature that voted for this bill has committed a crime. I assume the courts will be as swift in getting the wheels of justice spinning as they are for the local meth dealer or pot farmer.

Re:We have them now (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358046)

It would have been interesting to follow the ethical course of action, yes, but the south's grand tradition states that appeasing the conservative voters is probably the safer bet for their careers than voting with the laws of the nation. Make the judges look like hippes instead.

Re:We have them now (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358385)


Therefore, every member of the legislature that voted for this bill has committed a crime. I assume the courts will be as swift in getting the wheels of justice spinning as they are for the local meth dealer or pot farmer.


I know that was intended to be humor...

However, Canada's political system can require to vote along party lines or receive retribution (i.e. be kicked out of the party, effectivly ending the political career.) I'm not sure if the American system is different, but you get the idea.

The only real option? Contact the taxpayers association, and treat any funds spent on enforcing that junk law as a great way to cut unnecessary costs (therefore keeping the population happy because of reduced income tax.)

Re:We have them now (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358729)

However, Canada's political system can require to vote along party lines or receive retribution (i.e. be kicked out of the party, effectivly ending the political career.)

I beleive the excuse "I was only following my orders" went out of fashion at Nuremburg. These are elected officials. They have a duty to righteousness.

Party Lines (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358874)

However, Canada's political system can require to vote along party lines or receive retribution (i.e. be kicked out of the party, effectivly ending the political career.) I'm not sure if the American system is different, but you get the idea.

Nothing institutionalized -- if you don't toe the party line, they won't throw you out, and politicians do occasionally switch parties -- but a lot of politics runs on the "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" principle. If you don't go along with the party when someone else proposes legislation, you'll find it harder to get support for your own proposals.

That, I think, is one of the main reasons the big two parties dominate politics everywhere but the most local levels, and why so many politicians go along with the latest bandwagon.

In this case, I think it's important to remember that it's a mid-term election year. I don't know what Louisiana's election schedule is, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that a significant portion of their legislature is up for re-election in November. Anyone who voted against the bill could be easily portrayed by their opponent as being soft on violence, obscenity, etc. And anyone who raised constitutional concerns could be counting on the law being struck down, allowing them to avoid giving their opponents ammunition without actually helping put the law into force.

Re:We have them now (2, Insightful)

orgelspieler (865795) | more than 7 years ago | (#15359044)

I love how Rep. Martiny (R) says "that's for the courts to decide." He's probably one of the same guys complaining about "activist judges." What a prick. Maybe the LA state congress doesn't have to swear an oath to uphold the state and federal constitutions, but if they do, this guy must not have been paying attention. Generally upholding the Constitution doesn't mean specifically writing laws that he suspects are unconstitutional but decides "that ain't my job; let them thar judges figger it out." This is infuriating. I'm sure there're similar laws in the works for all the other states, too.

Sony Sucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15357901)

They ripped off Nintendo! The PS3 is overpriced! Remember the rootkit! Bluray is Betamax!

...oops - sorry, wrong stationery. Wait - this Slashdot games, right?

Once Again... (3, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357924)

A state legislature passes a bill, knowing full well that it won't survive a court challenge. They wasted your tax dollars coming up with the thing. They wasted your tax dollars getting it passed. And they'll waste your tax dollars defending it in court. If I lived in Louisana I'd be pretty pissed off about that. Maybe you guys should get a voter referendum going to take all the money wasted on such laws out of the salaries of the legislators instead of out of the general funds of the state. Isn't Louisana pretty cash-strapped anyway? I seem to recall some whining about them not having enough money recently...

Vague (3, Insightful)

Doomstalk (629173) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357926)

The bill would allow a judge to determine if a video game is 'patently offensive to prevailing standards' and if it's appealing 'to the minor's morbid interest in violence.'

I'm not sure if they could be any more vague. I mean, given the right conditions, you could argue this about just about any game. I recall many an hour in wholesome puzzle games like Lemmings and The Incredible Machine inventing horrible things to do to the creatures under my control. Does that count as morbid violence?

Hold your reps accountable for bad voting! (1)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 7 years ago | (#15357966)

To those of you in Louisiana I stringly suggest you started writing/calling/emailing/confronting in public your representatives about this. Even if you agree with the legislation in question what you need to be calling them on is why they voted FOR a bill they had reservations about. Particularly since those reservations were related to first amendment issues.

One would hope that their representatives are not only representing their constituents' views but also strongly protecting their guaranteed constitutional rights! It shouldn't matter if the bill is 100% aligned with how your constituents feel, if that bill infringes upon their rights then it is the rep's JOB to vote against it and protect the people's rights even if it's against their will. Too often the government tries to save us from ourselves but in the wrong way. In this case I think voting against a bill that infringes/removes rights is the proper thing to do even if people are requesting otherwise. If they really want the bill passed then pen it in such a way as it does NOT conflict with constitutional rights!

Re:Hold your reps accountable for bad voting! (1)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358022)

Damnit. I strongly suggest you confront them. 'Stringly' not being so much a word. ;P

This is GOOD stuff (2, Insightful)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358010)

We need states to enact this kind of thing. The states, not the federal government. When one state does this, consumers on the borders will flee to adjoining states to buy video games. If it's a truly horrible piece of legislation, the market will bear this out and the retail outlets will raise hell. The feedback loop between a free market and a democracy will show itself one way or another. It could be that the residents of Louisiana overall want exactly this kind of thing, they should have it. This is not a clear violation of free speech, but it's a worthy law to challenge it. What we want now, is a legal challenge to this law. A case will be decided using this law by the lower courts, and we'll get an appelate court decision. At this point, we'll know what this law really means. Don't worry, gamers and liberterians. The passage of these kinds of laws is vital to ensuring that rights are preserved in a common law judisdiction.

Bill based on disinformation (1)

illspirit (957034) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358270)

If anyone's interested in the "logic" behind this bill, you should read the coverage at GamePolitics [livejournal.com] or watch the entire hearing linked therein.

In summary, Jack Thompson was the star witness for the hearing, so one could imagine the mountain of crap he spewed about games. Perhaps even more fantastic than Thompson's testimony was the list of "racist games" Representative Burrell used to terrify the House with (a list no doubt provided by Thompson). Burrell spent about five minutes naming off a bunch of racist Flash games one can find on the internets. However, instead of telling the House these "games" are only available online and wouldn't be affected by the bill, he made it sound like the game industry was making millions from selling them in stores directly to kids.

Worst of all (or best, if you can appreciate the irony), he told the House about how the suspect in the rape/murder of a ten year old in Oklahoma "trained" on a "video game" called Kingdom of Loathing [kingdomofloathing.com] . Yep, that's right, a non-sensical, browser-based RPG, where stick figures with classes like "Pastamancer" and "Accordian Thief" do battle with saber-tooted limes, somehow trained a 26 year old to rape and murder. And a law about carding minors in retail stores would have somehow stopped an adult from playing a browser game? Oooookay.

Normally, it would be a silly idea to tell anyone to vote based soley on a candidate's position on video games. But if anyone from Louisiana is reading this, please, vote these bastards out of office for their stupidity alone!

Abusive legislation (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358279)

From a different article
http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?S=4888522 [wafb.com]

Thompson tells 9 News he hopes retailers do end up in court so often, they will choose to stop selling violent games altogether.

Great idea, lets just harass people until they do what we want.

The interesting thing is that the use the excuse of protecting minors to push these laws, while the real goal is to prevent the games from existing at all.

Human Nature (1)

lneely42 (935712) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358602)

Humans are innately violent. Video games provides a civilized environment in which everyone can please their intrinsic desire to kill, rape, mutilate, maim, torture, and destroy things. Hide it as you will, you know in that virtual world you want to take that spiked baseball bat to your nextdoor neighbor's skull, ravish his underage daughter, and blow them all away with the twelve gauge, burning all the evidence down in a convenient house fire.

Okay, that was a little extreme...

Point is, what they think will happen is this -- in the virtual world, you think, "This makes my pants tight." Then some idiot goes out and does it in the real world. If the accused has ever watched a movie or played a videogame, guess where the finger gets pointed?

Instead, we need to examine our lifestyles. Our empty, worthless existence. -LN

Re:Human Nature (1)

lneely42 (935712) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358936)

Okay, so I realize I successfully evaded the whole "kids getting their hands on this stuff" issue. My opinion...

Parenting, please!
When did parenting become so hard?
Is it really that difficult to take five minutes out of your day to talk to your kid and say, "Hey. You know, you can do that in video games, but in the real world, you get in trouble for it. And it hurts people. So, don't."

-LN

good grief (1)

ShaneThePain (929627) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358667)

GREAT! I am a louisiana resident (unfortunatly). I guess I am going to have to order my games off of amazon now. =( (or I could FIREBOMB the state gov't, right? oh that would be terrorism, nevermind,)

It's nice to know... (1)

meridiangod (940552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358741)

...that violent video games can be used as a scapegoat for bad parenting

"You know I don't have enough time to talk to my kids the difference between a violent video game and reality, so I'll just preasure congress to remove all violent video games from our stores."

I'm against this bill (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 7 years ago | (#15358944)

but isn't it kinda true that most games are just around to satisfy the morbid curiosity for violence? If you look at any other entertainment medium - books, television, film - video games would come out on top for violent content. The games where your objective isn't going around and killing something are pretty few and far between. Why is this? Is it just the easy road to take? "How do we make this level harder? Oh, just add a couple of monsters to kill." While I don't like the passing of this bill, I wish game developers would take more of a high road and actually make games where violence isn't the main point of the game.

I went to E3 this year and got pretty tired of going from booth to booth and seeing FMV videos of guys shooting other guys or guys running other guys through with a sword - even if the bad guys were cave trolls or other monsters.

This appears to be based on our obscenity laws (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#15359159)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller_test [wikipedia.org]

Adding violence to this definition of obscenity wouldn't be a bad idea, really. Of course, they forgot to add the most important part:

"Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

Most of the violent games I can think of at least have serious artistic value.

Rob
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