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Illinois Ban On Explicit Video Games Is Unconstitutional

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the let-slip-the-gods-of-war dept.

The Courts 195

An anonymous reader writes, "A federal court has struck down an Illinois law that criminalized the sale of 'sexually explicit' video games to minors. In reaching this decision, the court held that the Illinois law was too broad, because it could be read to encompass any game which displayed a female breast, even for a brief second. Interestingly, the court chose the game God of War as the model of gaming art which must be protected. As the court explained, 'Because the SEVGL potentially criminalize the sale of any game that features exposed breasts, without concern for the game considered in its entirety or for the game's social value for minors, distribution of God of War is potentially illegal, in spite of the fact that the game tracks the Homeric epics in content and theme. As we have suggested in the past, there is serious reason to believe that a statute sweeps too broadly when it prohibits a game that is essentially an interactive, digital version of the Odyssey.'"

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195 comments

Wait what? (2, Insightful)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008254)

Kratos is a spartan? Where the hell did homer come into this? Am I missing something? Did I not read one of those things right?

Re:Wait what? (-1, Offtopic)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008298)

Oh god I'm sorry.

(>.)>




I got first post!!!!!

Re:Wait what? (2, Funny)

Gemini_25_RB (997440) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008530)

Kratos is too awesome to be a spartan. Think more along the lines of god, and try again.

Re:Wait what? (2, Interesting)

include($dysmas) (729935) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008646)

and!!! .. a much better example of something explicit would be the mini/sub-game (on my UK PS2 version)... you start a level on a boat, there are 2 naked women in a bed, and if you "use" them, the camera shifts to the side so both they & your character are off screen, by waggling the analogue stick in the shown manner, you hear expected noises and the bedside unit shakes around (if memory serves)

anyway, screw the games, seen the covers on public display in any shops magazine rack recently? ...

Wait... (5, Funny)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008270)

Are we saying that Greek social values are trumping modern day ones?

I see more parades on the horizon...

Re:Wait... (5, Insightful)

sckeener (137243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008458)

It has been said before but when the public wants to censor give them graphic violence and sex in a biblical wrapper and they won't censor...

It sounds like the judge is taking the track that any historically accurate game is ok...

Of course it doesn't always work...take Oscar Wilde's Salome...banned in the UK and produced in France.

Re:Wait... (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008652)

It has been said before but when the public wants to censor give them graphic violence and sex in a biblical wrapper and they won't censor...
Sodom & Gomorrah [wikipedia.org] Only on Xbox 360! Complete with homosexuality, rape, and brutalization! Will you survive the Wrath of God? Brought to you by Religious Right Software: Games With a Higher Purpose.

Re:Wait... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17009400)

Is there going to be a secret alternate lvl when I don't offer my virgin daughters to the angry mob and instead throw my guests out to them to be sodomized? Cuz replayability is high on my list of game criteria.

Re:Wait... (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009830)

It sounds like the judge is taking the track that any historically accurate game is ok...
More likely, the judge is taking the position that the First Amendment does not allow banning material on the basis of "obscenity" unless the three prongs of the Miller test [wikipedia.org] are satisfied, particularly the third prong: "the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

Re:Wait... (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008486)

modern day social values.

hmm.

Ok, I can't think of any either. :(

Re:Wait... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17010084)

there is no need to sign your posts. this isn't usenet. your username is right there above your post. stop it.

Prove it, pinkboy.

Hugs, Roger David Carasso

Re:Wait... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008764)

Are we saying that Greek social values are trumping modern day ones? I see more parades on the horizon...

Don't forget the public vomitoriums, leading to the reclassification of bulimia from eating disorder to social disorder.

That, of course, and the widespread acceptance of NAMBLA.

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17009246)

You mean the North American Man-Boy Love Association?

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17010322)

Woooosh!

Re:Wait... (1)

jeschust (910560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009462)

Are we saying that Greek social values are trumping modern day ones?I see more parades on the horizon...

Don't forget the public vomitoriums, leading to the reclassification of bulimia from eating disorder to social disorder.

What exactly does an exitway beneath the seats of a Roman ampitheatre have to do with bulimia's classification?

Re:Wait... (2, Informative)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17010118)

A vomitorium is a feature in theatres, namely the exits located below the seating usually in a thrust or amphitheatre stage, although occasionally seen in other forms. The name comes from the fact that after the performance the audience would 'vomit' out of them. They're also quite handy for cast entrances and exits.

Re:Wait... (2, Funny)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 7 years ago | (#17010162)

Public shifts blame of problems onto society. More on this story after our special report, "The Sky: It's Blue."

Anyway, why should we be so unaccepting of the National Association of Marlon-Brando Look-Alikes? They are good people, and serve our communities well, even fending off pedophiles!

Paint me surprised (5, Interesting)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008276)

How stunningly...sane.

Every now and again, something happens to help convince me that all hope is not, in fact, lost.

Re:Paint me surprised (1)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008332)

How stunningly...sane.

Every now and again, something happens to help convince me that all hope is not, in fact, lost.


Nah, it's just an illusion to get you to let down your guard.

Re:Paint me surprised (1)

hclyff (925743) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008554)

No, it's just some people are less stupid than others.

Re:Paint me surprised (1)

Nocturnal Deviant (974688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009620)

lol how true, and were all smarter than the average bloodsucking lawyer

Re:Paint me surprised (5, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008536)

Why is this surprising? That the law was blatantly unconstitutional was clear. This was strictly a political move from the get-go.

The politicians involved said to the public "look, I'm taking a stand on the evil violent games! Vote for me!" because games are a wonderful scapegoat, and because taking such a stance is politically safe. The law didn't need to remain in effect in order to serve its purpose, it only needed to be passed. I doubt anyone who drafted the thing will care at this stage, months after the fact.

Now what will they say to the public? "Oh folks, I tried, but those damn activist judges ruled against me. So sorry." It's so easy to shift the blame when the public doesn't care whether those in power respect the constitution.

What amazes me isn't that the judges showed common sense. That's their job. What amazes me is that voters continue to fall for these simple tricks.

Re:Paint me surprised (4, Insightful)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008744)

Why is this surprising? That the law was blatantly unconstitutional was clear

That, unfortunately, is often no bar to laws being upheld by the judiciary. Retroactive copyright extensions are an obvious example. The effective federalization of the drinking age (and the speed limit) is another. More than half the laws passed under the auspices of the commerce clause also qualify.

Hence my surprise.

I have great faith in the US' judicial system in criminal matters. Less in civil matters, even less when large sums of money are involved, and least of all when political activism and "doing things for the children" or "fighting terrorism" are involved.

This case is, in the oft-cited "grand scheme of things," fairly minor. But it's still encouraging to me. But then, maybe I'm a cynic.

Re:Paint me surprised (5, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 7 years ago | (#17010116)

Why is this surprising? That the law was blatantly unconstitutional was clear
That, unfortunately, is often no bar to laws being upheld by the judiciary. Retroactive copyright extensions are an obvious example.

Well I'm sure to get some troll mods for this, but what the hell. There's a certain amount of zealotry in your statement usually only reserved for religion.

The fact that I do not agree that retroactive copyright extensions are unconstitutional should speak to the fact that it is not "blatantly unconstitutional," but if you were arguing with me about it I wouldn't be too put out if you were just sure you were right.

The problem I have is you're arguing with the people whose job it is to decide these matters. (If you want to get REALLY technical, the power to declare laws unconstitutional, which you seem to support, is nowhere to be found in the Constitution.) The case of retroactive extensions was heard and the extensions upheld. Until such time as they review the decision and overturn it, not only are retroactive copyright extensions not blatantly unconstitutional, they are not unconstituional at all. While I know nothing about you specifically, /.'ers often like to make these sort of assertions about Constitutionality without even any legal education which just makes it twice as annoying to me. We'll complain about managers who aren't technical making technical decisions, but in the very next breath we'll argue the law with judges. It really floors me.

Look, if these issues were as simple as you make them out to be, there wouldn't be a judiciary. At the very least, could we not pretend Constitutional issues are so cut and dry? Very little about the law is blatantly anything. Often including intelligible.

Re:Paint me surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17009956)

I thought this was thrown out over a year ago. In fact I could swear I read here on /. that my state of Illinois had been sued for legal and other fees, effectively making us pay for the research that went into this ban and then the court trials that followed when it was put into law, while all along everyone knew it was going to be thrown out.

I am not sure how much of a political move this was in regards to "vote for me, I am taking a stand against violent/sexual video games". I cannot think of to many politicians here in IL that lost their seats in the state legislature. Gov. Blah pushed for a video game ban. He set up the focus group to look into those games, and of course did not include a single person who may actually play the game in said group. Blah won re-election this term. I will stick with my personal viewpoint that he only won due to his votes he gets out of Chicago. If memory serves me correct, he received 49% of the vote while the rest was primarily split between a Republican and a Green candidate. His votes came out of Chicago, they always do. Chicago needs to separate from IL and become its own state. Or they need to go to a Electoral College for the Governor's race here in IL, and also the Presidential race for that matter. When Chicago is removed from the tallies the rest of the state is pretty much overwhelmingly the opposite direction. Case in point, IL went Democrat in the '04 Prez election, but if you look at the county layout only two counties outside of Chicago went Democrat. That sounds like something that an electoral college is supposed to keep from happening. Having one area decide for the rest what is to be done. Elitism at work. Or should I saw corruption of the unknowledgeable at work. Yep I went off on a rant.

Re:Paint me surprised (3, Insightful)

kilgortrout (674919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17010250)

Now what will they say to the public? "Oh folks, I tried, but those damn activist judges ruled against me. So sorry." It's so easy to shift the blame when the public doesn't care whether those in power respect the constitution.

No one even vaguely familiar with the federal judiciary will ever accuse the Seventh Circuit of being activist judges. Actually, this result is pretty well settled precedent at this point in all the federal circuits. These type of laws have been routinely struck down everywhere so the result here is hardly surprising.

I couldn't agree with you more; this was a stupid election year stunt and everyone knew the law would be struck down in the courts.

Re:Paint me surprised (4, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008942)

Well -- you have to look at the reasoning, not the result, to decide if the ruling was rational.

Laws can regulate expressive speech in various ways, but laws which regulate speech based on content (as opposed to the manner in which the speech is done) must pass what is called "strict scrutiny".

Under "Strict scrutiny", the government has a burden of proof to show that the law in question is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling public interest.

Persons of a libertarian bent might see keeping sexually explicit games out of the hands of minors as failing to rise to the level of a compelling public interest. However it sounds like the law failed because it was not "narrowly taliored".

A law which is intended to restrict access by minors to sexually explicit games may not under any conceivable circumstnaces restrict anything else. It probably helps that there is an example of how the law does more than it is supposed to, but such an example doesn't have to exist. Hypothetical future expression is important to protect too.

The religious right is against Homeric themes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17008296)

They don't want their kids going greek.

So, Greek and Roman Gods are ok? (3, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008304)

What about Hindi ones?

Or Aztec?

Or Celtic?

That said, good ruling.

Re:So, Greek and Roman Gods are ok? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17008562)

What about the allmighty playboy? Oh how us slashdotters worship thee, making our daily sacrifice upon your alter.

My ten minute workplace washroom [wikipedia.org] break with PDA is truely a religious experience. Salvation is literally at hand.

upcoming video game titles based on this ruling: (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008310)

"the catcher in the rye", a very bloody fps

"death of a salesman", the graphic language mmorpg

"to kill a mockingbird", with an orgy scene

Re:upcoming video game titles based on this ruling (4, Funny)

Bonker (243350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008404)

"to kill a mockingbird", with an orgy scene

Wait, what?

Atticus better not find out about that or Scout and Jem are going to be in TROUBLE!

Re:upcoming video game titles based on this ruling (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008452)

Ah, Holden Caulfield, the precursor to today's emo kids...that game should be a hit!

Re:upcoming video game titles based on this ruling (3, Insightful)

NTiOzymandias (753325) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008774)

I know nobody will ever read this post but I still gotta point out, we already have a weird modern rendition [wikipedia.org] of Dante's Inferno [wikipedia.org] on our hands.

Or The Bible (2, Insightful)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008894)

I sure wouldn't want my kids to get ahold of an interactive and complete version of The Bible. There's still plenty of good reasons to read about the things we don't want to act out (eh the Holocaust).


That aside I'm pretty frustrated with the Judges deciding which laws to enforce these days. Interpret.

I hope they get TKAM right in the game version (1)

kt0157 (830611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009092)

I hope there actually is some killing of mockingbirds in the game version. I, like Homer Simpson, was sorely disappointed with the original book on this matter.

K.

Re:I hope they get TKAM right in the game version (1)

FusionDragon2099 (799857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009582)

The game will have that as well as pirates, ninjas, and flying burning sharks.

Re:I hope they get TKAM right in the game version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17010312)

And lens flare, and motion blur?

And of course, the soundtrack would consist of final countdown.

Old news? (4, Informative)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008320)

I can't really figure out where the new news is in this, seeing as we're already on the "Illinois ain't paying squat" part of this saga.

Blagojevich hasn't paid for video lawsuit as judge ordered [chicagotribune.com] (Chicago Tribune, reg. required, subscription-free Sun Times here [suntimes.com] .)

...[L]awyers from Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C. say they haven't received the money or an explanation for the delay, according to court documents. So they went back to the courtroom earlier this month to ask the judge to force the administration to comply.

Chalk up another horrible idea to good ol' Rod, (illegally importing drugs from Canada, buying $2.5 million of non-FDA approved flu shots). But all's well - we voted him in another 4 years too.

Re:Old news? (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008382)

Just remember, it isn't Illinois if it isn't hopelessly political, corrupt, and inept. Once and while we can toss in illegal too.

I recently moved here, and between here, Florida and Massachuttes, I have to say I've lost all hope for the country. Though with my luck the next state I'll reach is California. At least there I'll get to watch the Terminator put the smack down on the state congress every so often.

Re:Old news? (1)

LindseyJ (983603) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009916)

I believe he called the state congress "Economic Girly Men" in a somewhat-recent speech. If nothing else, living there would be comedic gold!

LOL - no smackdown for you (1)

the arbiter (696473) | more than 7 years ago | (#17010228)

You'll be disappointed, sounds like. After the brutal asskicking our Gropenator received in 2005 from the voters (zero for 8 on his precious referenda) Governor Gangbang had to come crawling back to the Legislature and kiss Dem ass. And he'll keep doing so if he wants to get anything done; the Dems OWN this state (California governors have virtually no real power of their own save for the veto pen - the legislature calls the tune). You should come watch - watching a neutered Arnold crawling and begging for votes is great fun. I hope he stays governor for a long, long time.

Re:Old news? (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008934)

offtopic:

good, he should break those laws.
unless of course those drug companies are shipping substandard drugs to canada...
Which I kind of doubt.

Re:Old news? (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009698)

From your article:

Blagojevich spokesman Gerardo Cardenas would not discuss the fee payment beyond saying the state "will comply with any court order." He refused to explain why the administration hasn't complied with the Aug. 9 court order or when it will do so.


Sometimes I think it would be great fun to be a journalist. You could write paragraphs like this about our politicians all the time...

Re:Old news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17010060)

I once again did not vote for Mr Blah. If he would pay for his own transportation to work and for his own residence and his own staff, then I would a little less to dislike the man for. However, those in Chicago love the fact that the Governor of IL is living up there with them instead of the Governor's Mansion in the state capital of Springfield. And they keep voting for him.

Right now we have to pay for both residences and staff, and his transportation back and forth from Chicago. All the while he cuts programs due to lack of funds and also spends money on video game legislation that is known to be thrown out. I don't think he has done any good for the state of Illinois. The state of Chicago? Yes, but the state of Illinois? Nope.

The Slashdot title is misleading (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008322)

It implies that any sales of such games would be prohibited. In reality, it would prohibit minors from purchasing them, like the way they are prohibited from purchasing cigarettes.

Re:The Slashdot title is misleading (1)

smaddox (928261) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008734)

Yes, but saying these are the same implies that seeing a naked lady causes direct physical damage to the child (in the way smoking cigarettes does). This is just not the case.

Re:The Slashdot title is misleading (1)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008808)

You say that as though you are surprised!

Slashdot has had a long and honorable history of putting headlines out that provide more sound and fury [slashdot.org] than the actual article.

exposed breasts = PG rating in movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17008324)

I would expect nothing stricter for computer games.

Actual Opinion (1)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008336)

Does anyone have a link to the actual opinion and ruling?

The Ruling (4, Informative)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008516)

Here's a copy of the ruling: ESA v. Illinois [daledietrich.com]

No, you can't have censorship. (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008346)

Not yours.

Old News (0, Redundant)

BurningPi (1032288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008362)

Can't you read?
In August 2005,...
This is OVER a year old, and was posted then, too (http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/11/2 14250 [slashdot.org] ).

Re:Old News (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008496)

Can't you read? In August 2005,... This is OVER a year old, and was posted then, too (http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/11/2 14250 [slashdot.org]).


Okay, now lets see the rest of that:
In August 2005, the Illinois State Legislature enacted the Sexually Explicit Video Game Law

The point of the article is the new ruling, and not the legislation itself, so I'd say the submitter reads just fine.

Re:Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17008614)

See also 'Related Stories'.

Don't forget the game. (2, Interesting)

SSChicken (872688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008364)

I fully agree with the ruling. It's laws like this which would have prevented me from buying the game "Civilization II" because there's an exposed breast in the background of the games 'desktop' (behind the windows if you move them)

Two comments (4, Insightful)

n0mad6 (668307) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008370)

1) I'm assuming the members of the court have either not played God of War, not read the Odyssey, or both
2) I find the idea of considering one brief scene of polygonal breasts to be the most damaging aspect of God of War with regards to children... shocking, quite frankly.

Re:Two comments (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17008682)

If they don't rule in favor of gaming, they're idiots.

If they do rule in favor, they way they do it is stupid.

Take your fucking victory and be happy for once.

Re:Two comments (1)

Hamilton Lovecraft (993413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008684)

You're shocked to learn that American culture is fine with violence and totally timid about sex? Have you seen a Hollywood film in the last 30 years?

If it was just that (1)

hclyff (925743) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008804)

If I understand it correctly, this isn't even about sex, it's about a part of body (a breast in this case). I believe that children should know how human body looks like. Don't you have biology classes in the US? Do you use textbooks with pictures?

Re:If it was just that (1)

topham (32406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009558)


Come on, biology has nothing to do with creationism, why would they teach it?

Re:Two comments (5, Insightful)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008726)

People can't have it both ways.. women want to breast feed in public. Women like to wear practically nothing at the beach. Sears likes to send underwear ads in the sunday newspaper. Then video games are immoral for showing the same thing in an often ANIMATED way.

If society choses to be modest in every other way then they can regulate video games. Many video games are played by adults... so much in fact that Nintendo released a console targeted toward them! Just as the simpsons isn't meant for a 5 year old, not all video games are for little tikes. I think my cousin could handle most of the games in my collection (he's a minor) but I wouldn't let him play doom 3. However, his parents let me play doom at 15 (just a little older) at their home when he was almost 2. Its up to them to sensor him and not the government, the PTA, or anyone else.

1. Parents should be responsible for their children. That includes their behavior and what they view/see.
2. Parents should monitor what their children do online and offline. They should teach them what they expect and how to be safe.
3. When someone tries to solicit a child online, its not just that persons fault. Its also the parents fault for not watching their child, letting them use myspace or ET or whatever.
4. Parents need to learn their kid doesn't get a cut in line or special favors. Nothing is that much greater about your kid than every other kid on the planet and if there was it would be on CNN right now.

I could have handled most if not all video games in my teens. Hell i was playing doom and leisure suit larry at 16. I didn't blow up anything, threaten anyone or have 8 children with a bunch of child support. I guess video games aren't the only motivating factor in society! Heaven forbid I might have learned something from my parents and others.

Re:Two comments (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009614)

Keep in mind that the people who want our society to loosen up when it comes to the human body and the people who decry the loosening of our standards of modesty are not actually the same people.

Re:Two comments (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008732)

Well, for 1), I'd point out that in cases like this the judges involved would be shown the game (as in, watch somebody else play it), or read summaries about it. I haven't played GoW, but I know enough about it to think that a passing look, or a general summary, would tell a judge that it's borrowed (loosely) from Greek mythology.

Moreover, the gist of the argument from TFS seems to be that actual Greek mythology is plenty bloody already. Ergo it is inconsistent to limit the expression of a game borrowing from that mythology while treating the original stories as high art, or protected speech. This is akin to the argument brought up on /. whenever stories like this emerge that if you want to shield children from violent or sexual themes, the first thing you should ban from their lives is the bible. Yet it's invariably the fundies who push hardest for censorship in the name of "decency".

As for 2), this is the US we're talking about. There's this pervasive puritanical notion that sex is an evil corrupting thing, whereas violence is not. I happen to agree with the second part (I don't think exposing children to fake violence is going to do any harm), but I'll freely admit the first part isn't at all rational.

Re:Two comments (1)

DorkusMasterus (931246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008790)

Maybe he thought God of War was a game he used to play on his Magnavox Odyssey [betuwe.net] ? ;)

Re:Two comments (1)

DM9290 (797337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009372)

"1) I'm assuming the members of the court have either not played God of War, not read the Odyssey, or both
"

This is what witnesses are used for. Both sides need full opportunity to challenge any evidence, which would be impossible if the judge went off and performed an independant investigation. The question of whether or not GOW is similar to Odyssey or whether Odyssey has any educational value is up to expert witnesses to testify to. Judges are not capable of knowing what has educational value or not. They do not decide the curriculum and are experts on the law, nothing more. They are expected to remain unbiased by their own prejudice (i.e. personal opinion as to whether or not Odyssey is educational). If a Judge read Oddyssey and said "personally I think Oddyssey is crap, therefore I rule it is not educational" would anyone in the public feel like justice is served? Judges opinions are reserved to issues of the meaning of LAW.. not literature.

polygonal breasts damaging to children (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 7 years ago | (#17010168)

I'm sorry, but you're underestimating the impact this filth will have on our youth. Imagine the impact of polygons on children too young to handle geometry! Imagine further that these demonic planar paths are imposed on the image of the first source of sustenance that the child can remember!! We should be promoting video games with round breasts only; polygonal breasts should never be viewed by children under the age of 18 (or 16 if they've taken an AP geometry class).

In other news... (-1, Troll)

cain (14472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008438)

Sales of "God of War" go through the roof. Film at 11.

WMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17008446)

A breast is weapon of mass destruction...and must be stopped.

Re:WMD (2, Funny)

popeye44 (929152) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008854)

No.. Breasts are weapons of MASS DISTRACTION.. get it right..

Seriously guys (2, Insightful)

Garret_Duran (1032634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009112)

Did anyone read this?

It was a law that outlawed the sale of sexually explicit video games to _MINORS_.

Now if the law was really extremely vague and open to abuse then it was rightly struck down. The premise of the law, I think, was in the right direction.

Think about it, little 8 year old Timmy should not be able to by a copy of Leisure Suit Larry. This is not censorship.

Seriously, come on everyone.

Re:Seriously guys (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009474)

> Think about it, little 8 year old Timmy should not be able to by a copy of Leisure Suit Larry. This is not censorship

True. So make it illegal for 8 year old Timmy to buy such a game--and hold the parents responsible. These laws, more and more, do nothing but criminalize people who are just doing their jobs. In many ways the person selling the video games has a thousand other things on their mind other than carding every kid who comes in to buy/trade video games. Why should s/he be responsible for parenting every person who walks through the door?

Take things like this and think about them in a different society. A good way is to consider the same (or one as comparable as possible) one thousand years ago. Is there any excuse for allowing the supposedly precious, innocent, vulnerable children loose in the marketplace? In today's society the excuse is often similar to,"But the parents are so busy--with work, with social responsibilities, with groceries, with cooking and cleaning and on and on and on." This usually boils down to,"The parents are overtaxed, overworked, and too enamoured with their personal social position and and drama filled lives to look after their own kids."

So why are parents overtaxed? Could it be a bloated and corrupt political system which wastes millions debating useless crap like this? Just might be. So why are parents overworked? Could it be they're overtaxed, in combination being underpaid due to overly greedy upper-upper management siphoning off corporate profits, in combination with a stock market which simplifies to little more than an elaborate casino style pyramid scheme? Just might be. Why are parents so caught up with their own social position and drama filled lives? Could it be because, considering they're overworked and overtaxed, they, as human beings, are suffering from multiple stress related disorders and, as any overstressed biological system will do, are simply beginning to break down and fall apart at the seams and improperly set priorities? Just might be.

It's all very cyclical and one set of bad circumstances inevitably feeds the others which influence circumstances which exascerbate the first set of bad circumstances. If the entire system is analyzed I think it would be found that the corruption in government and the enormous graft between the state and federal levels of government to Wall Street and big business are the primary contributing factors to the majority of ills in our society.

I don't have all the answers but, when all is said and done, I've got a much better handle on this situation than anyone else I've met--in corporate America, in the communities, in the Church, or on the street.

Total Bullshit (4, Insightful)

vivin (671928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008448)

You know, what ever happened to Parenting? I hate all these "Oh will someone think of all the poor children!" laws. I understand that we need these laws to a certain extent, but come on. Seriously, if I was concerned that my children would be exposed to extremely violent games, or overtly sexual games, then I would monitor what I got them. Isn't that also why have ESRB ratings?

Increasingly, people are looking for scapegoats for violent or antisocial behaviour in children. Honestly, you can either chalk it up to bad parenting, or just the innate propensity of our species to violence.

So like I said, it's all bullshit. I'm glad this was struck down.

Re:Total Bullshit (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008698)

Yeah, but has any politician lost their job over this crap? If not, then we're still encouraging them to do this stuff.

Re:Total Bullshit (1)

DesertEagleMan (835040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009156)

In a simple world this would work. Unfortunately, kids will play with other kids that have bad parents. Simply being a good parent in no ways will prevent a child from gaining access to things that are inappropriate. Its sad though that we live in a world that even requires us contemplating these ridiculous laws.

Re:Total Bullshit (2, Interesting)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009490)

Which means that it's your job to teach your kid to distinguish right from your in your stead. It's hard, and it takes commitment, being consistent, and paying attention to who your kid's friends are, what they're doing, what they think, and so on, but that's called "parenting". We contemplate these laws because parents think it's too much work to worry about what their kids are doing, and we live in a society where responsibility is routinely laid on inanimate objects (alcohol, guns, video games, drugs, etc.) to deflect it from the real perpetrators (the lazy, amoral, immoral, criminal, etc.)

Re:Total Bullshit (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009946)

Seriously, if I was concerned that my children would be exposed to extremely violent games, or overtly sexual games, then I would monitor what I got them.

That's very admirable, but how exactly would you go about monitoring what you get them?

Without some kind of censorship how do you know that Blues Clues Holiday Special DVD you just bought for your kids doesn't come with a bonus episode of "Joe Goes Apeshit In A Brothel And Shoots Kittens"?

The simple truth is that you can't watch everything your kids are exposed to 24/7. Today it's video games, what about billboards tomorrow? Will a "responsible parent" just have to keep their kids indoors?

There are some very, very sick people out there and I'm damned if I'm going to let them poison my kids minds.

What's next?? (3, Insightful)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008460)

So what's next after games that show a brief shot of a breast?? Pornographic literature?? It should be really interesting watching the fallout from that... The Song of Solomon is fairly explicit, and there's all kinds of violence in the other books of the Old Testament. But wait, the government can't get involved in religion, so they can't ban the Bible. But wait, it's pornographic and violent!! Arggh...:)

Anyway, does the game show a shot of a *real* breast, or one drawn by an artist?? If drawn breasts are as bad as the real thing, a lot of famous artworks are going to be banned too...

Re:What's next?? (4, Interesting)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008596)

But remember, its videogames! They don't go by the same rule as "real" art, duh!

It is rediculous how people forget history and let it happen over and over. Anyone take a modern history book, and read about north american culture in 50-60 years ago. People DID talk about books the way they talk about videogames today. I'm not sure about protestant-land, but in catholic areas, fort the longest time books like The Three Musketeers were -BANNED- because of their content. A few centuries before, paintings and such were often shunned down or banned because of similar things

Now its video games.

Anyone wants to make a long term bet with me? 10$ that within 50-60 years, you'll hear conservatives go "OMG! All these Virtual Reality Systems are teaching our kids the worse things! They should play console videogames so their brains don't rot away, like we did in the good old days!"

Anything thats new is automaticaly a scapegoat for everything bad in society. For now, its videogames and movies.

Re:What's next?? (4, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009612)

There's a quote by Douglas Adams along those same lines:
"Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things."

Slightly off topic, but still apt. The people who get snookered into thinking these laws are a good thing are very much in the last category.

Re:What's next?? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008842)

There's all kinds of violence and sex in the bible, besides your examples there's lots of other good ones. The bible teaches some amazingly fucked up lessons anyway, though. Lot's daughters get him drunk and rape him in order to carry on their genetic line, and are praised for this in the bible. I mean, it's an incredibly twisted book.

Good grief... (3, Insightful)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008692)

How exactly did Americans get so completely uptight about boobs and yet graphic violence and games about killing cops are just fine. It's completely insane.

Must be a fundamentalist involved in there somewhere, the quesiton is only which religion?

.

Re:Good grief... (1)

_Ludwig (86077) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008928)

Violence isn't "just fine" with everyone. [cbsnews.com] Say what you will about him, but at least the guy's consistent, unlike the fundies.

Re:Good grief... (4, Interesting)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008998)

How exactly did Americans get so completely uptight about boobs and yet graphic violence and games about killing cops are just fine. It's completely insane.

Take care here. Calling something 'insane' or 'evil' or 'nuts' explains nothing, but it kills your own motivation to seek further understanding. Whereas almost all human behavior is actually understandable.

In this case, America is sexually repressed. That is why sex appeal can sell practically anything, and why an unclothed breast gets all the Normals so excited. The clamor for censorship is their way of quieting the ensuing cognitive dissonance [wikipedia.org] .

A possible secondary element is the approach that American women have taken towards nudity. In order to maximize the emotional impact (and hence the indirect financial value) of exposing their own breasts, American women demand a ban on all public sensual exposures of female breasts. They're just maximizing profit by shrinking the supply, you see. Contrast this situation to Europe, in which sensual breast exposures are ubiquitous and so European men get no thrill out of getting the same from their mates.

Re:Good grief... (1)

Five Bucks! (769277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009380)

I'm interested in the second part of your comment: "In order to maximize the emotional impact (and hence the indirect financial value) of exposing their own breasts, American women demand a ban on all public sensual exposures of female breasts."


Is this speculation or is it an actual sociological theory?

Re:Good grief... (1)

Rufty (37223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009628)

Is this speculation or is it an actual sociological theory?
Yes.

Re:Good grief... (1)

Five Bucks! (769277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009746)

Thanks for the useful reply... I was hoping for some insight into where the idea came from, not your inane comment.

Seriously though, I'm not a sociologist, point me in a direction so that I can hope to understand.

Re:Good grief... (1)

flynns (639641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17010112)

Actually, the comment was less inane than it initially appears. He has indicated to you that it is both speculation and sociological theory. If you seriously want to do more research on this thought, google 'human sexuality'.

Re:Good grief... (1)

Five Bucks! (769277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17010252)

I understand that the inherent difficulty in testing sociological theory dictates that it will forever remain speculation.

Since the parent of this sub-thread gave the air of a learned sociologist, I was hoping the poster could tell me the name of the theory's author.

Surely you understand the absurdity in googling 'Human Sexuality'. I seriously would like to do more research, but, being a lay-person in sociology I need more help than Google. Were the topic in an area I am more accustomed to researching, I would not have posted a reply in the first place.

Re:Good grief... (1)

flynns (639641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17010316)

Oh, yeah, well, there's that. Google's a start, though, and limiting your search to sites that end in .edu can filter some of the more worthless dreck (and introduce new, different worthless dreck! :D ) Good luck anyway. :)

Re:Good grief... (1)

DJCouchyCouch (622482) | more than 7 years ago | (#17010214)

"and why an unclothed breast gets all the Normals so excited" You know you're a big geek when the first thing you think is of a 3d model with arrow vectors sticking out from each face going "Wheeeee Boobies!!!!" DJCC

I'll never figure out... (1)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008780)

...why the sight of a bare female breast is forbidden while depictions of horrific violence are fine.

One word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17008900)

Christianity.

Re:I'll never figure out... (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009116)

Neither will I. And when I asked my mother, who feels exactly that way, she couldn't give anything close to a satisfactory answer. Or even a logical one, for that matter. Something about "do you want to see breasts?" (yes :p but I responded "I'm not bothered by it") and something so illogical or off-topic about why violence is better that I can't even remember what she said.

Safety (2, Funny)

cybereal (621599) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008810)

I gazed above
as often I do
the clouds had parted
the light shone through
I thought to myself
as often I do
"Teh boobies r safe!"
I cried. "Woohoo!"

Governor Rod (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008888)

I live in Illinois. We just re-elected Rod Blagojevich, the governor who endorsed this crappy law. The guy's a schmuck.

Excellent news (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17008910)

It's no surprise that this has been struck down as unconstitutional. Unconstitutional anti-video games bills seem to have become a hobby for legislators recently. But it works for us.

We now have an argument backing games as freedom of speech from a respected independent organisation, and not only that, it uses a highly respected literary work to make its point. I'd say the Illionois legislature did the games industry a serious favour here.

Now the cons are going to yell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17009172)

Now the cons are going to yell about the "liberal courts" when in reality the courts did exactly what the cons wanted, found on the side of big business.

nss (2, Informative)

erbbysam (964606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17009444)

From the no shit serlock department: you can't censor in the US! I smell a constitutional amendment to prohibit boobies from being seen! It doesn't matter how many "enemies" spew virtual blood on your screen, boobies are 100% worse!

Chill out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17009772)

Why can't all these people just chill out? If you don't want to see the game, then don't buy it. If you don't want your kids to see it, tell them not to buy it. Simple as that.
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