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Clinton Would Crack Down On Game Content

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the proud-of-fepa dept.

Democrats 543

thefickler sends us word that Hilary Clinton has taken a public stand in favor of shielding children from game and other animation content that she deems inappropriate. Quote: "When I am president, I will work to protect children from inappropriate video game content." Politically, this puts her in company with Republican Mitt Romney on the subject of game censorship. Her fellow Democrats are content to let the industry self-regulate.

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Socialism (0, Flamebait)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797150)

Is all about control of the people. Remember this when you go to vote.

Re:Socialism (2, Informative)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797182)

That has nothing to do with Socialism [wikipedia.org]

Re:Socialism (2, Insightful)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797188)

Wow, are you stupid.

Clinton is a corporate whore. The rest of the Dems are letting the industry deal with itself but the control is coming from the right and you yell socialism?

Retard.

Re:Socialism (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797204)

Clinton is a corporate whore.

Wow, way to make a point, dude! Keep sticking it to the man.. I mean woman, whatever..

Re:Socialism (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797726)

Clinton was a Wal-Mart board member for 6 years. [commondreams.org] She was also a partner of the Rose Law Firm. That law firm typically represents large corporations such as Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, etc. I don't have a definition for "corporate whore" to offer, but I suspect that if we had one she would qualify.

Re:Socialism (-1, Troll)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797216)

She's a socalist. You havent been paying attention apparently. One of her biggest projects : 'socialized medicine' should tip you off pretty easy with out having to dig any deeper.

Re:Socialism (4, Insightful)

Ramble (940291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797366)

How bigoted. I live in a socialist country, and I am surrounded by socialist countries (UK and Europe respectively), I can tell you this is not socialism, it is fascist control. As for socialised medicine, have you ever tried it? America has the worst healthcare system in the first world, and spends more on it than almost everyone (certainly more than the UK). Perhaps you should read more into socialism rather than commit it into the evil communism tray, your right wing Christian ideology isn't exactly first rate.

Re:Socialism (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797706)

America's system is the worst? That's interesting? Why then are many of the richer (so wicked) people from the socialist medical countries coming here? I don't know about their governments, but I know ours, and whatever party or shade of ideology you are, there is no way I would trust it to run health care!!! The key is to get rid of regulation in the insurance agencies. Let work in multiple states. Don't put so many required policy mandates on them. And Hilary Clinton is a self-stated socialist.

Re:Socialism (3, Insightful)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797382)

Socializing healthcare does not make you a socialist. Putting healthcare in line with Police, Military, Fire Departments will not make a socialized State. (but hey, lets privatize those!!!). You can still have a large and profitable private sector along side - think of it as the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. Think about that next time one of your family members needs a liver transplant and is told by the Insurance Company that its too 'experimental' and decline to pay, just cos their profits are down for the quarter and someone has a monthly target to meet.

And before someone goes into a rant about the cost, don't you think spending money on fixing your broken and wounded is better than spending billions on killing others?


I've seen people around here saying "oh but its too hard for parents to monitor games 'cos they'd have to play them".. well there are plenty of review sites (and room for new websites that rates games suitability for kids) that comment in more detail about what's in the game than the ESRB rating.

/rant. wget Coffee.

Re:Socialism (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797400)

I forgot to close a tag:

Socializing healthcare does not make you a socialist. Putting healthcare in line with Police, Military, Fire Departments will not make a socialized State. (but hey, lets privatize those!!!). You can still have a large and profitable private sector along side - think of it as the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. Think about that next time one of your family members needs a liver transplant and is told by the Insurance Company that its too 'experimental' and decline to pay, just cos their profits are down for the quarter and someone has a monthly target to meet.

And before someone goes into a rant about the cost, don't you think spending money on fixing your broken and wounded is better than spending billions on killing others?

(didn't close a tag, here's the rest: ) Oh, and the video game thing. Ridiculous. Its just to try to win over some cheap ass votes. If parents really cared about what their children were playing, they'd take interest and keep an eye on it themselves and not blame the government.

I've seen people around here saying "oh but its too hard for parents to monitor games 'cos they'd have to play them".. well there are plenty of review sites (and room for new websites that rates games suitability for kids) that comment in more detail about what's in the game than the ESRB rating.

/rant. wget Coffee.
Fixed. Now where's that coffee

Re:Socialism (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797450)

'socialized medicine'

Yep, the US-health-care system (like anything US) is so much superior to what all of the rest of the population of the world (some ~95%) can offer that it would be much wiser to enforce it there instead of giving it an overhaul.

Those who think otherwise do not have inhaled enough of patriotism and threaten the overwhelming majority of those 'in the know' with angst and terror, quote [health-care-reform.net] : "In spite of the rising health care costs that provide the illusion of improving health care, the American people do not enjoy good health, compared with their counterparts in the industrialized nations. Among thirteen countries including Japan, Sweden, France and Canada, the U.S. was ranked 12th, based on the measurement of 16 health indicators such as life expectancy, low-birth-weight averages and infant mortality. In another comparison reported by the World Health Organization that used a different set of health indicators, the U.S. also fared poorly with a ranking of 15 among 25 industrialized nations."

Not that I endorse Clinton (or any upcoming U.S-President, for the foreseeable future).

CC.

Re:Socialism (2, Informative)

glueball (232492) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797614)


In another comparison reported by the World Health Organization that used a different set of health indicators, the U.S. also fared poorly with a ranking of 15 among 25 industrialized nations

In that same report, it is noted the if accidents were removed from the statistics, the US would have the number one lifespan in the world.

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2007/11/beyond-those-health-care-numbers-us.html [blogspot.com]
http://blogs.wsj.com/numbersguy/does-the-us-lead-in-life-expectancy-223/ [wsj.com]
http://firstfriday.wordpress.com/2007/08/22/world-health-organization-rankings-distort-us-position/ [wordpress.com]

Re:Socialism (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797522)

If socialized medicine is so bad, wonder why all those senators and representatives (on both sides of the asle) made sure they are covered by a government run plan. If being run by the government is so bad, you would think they, at least the republicans, would want a private health plan.

Re:Socialism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797754)

They work for the government you nutball. It is the same as getting health care from your employer.

Re:Socialism (1)

gambolt (1146363) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797586)

It's not socialized. It's universal. Private insurance and private health care companies still provide everything.

That's why it's such a crock. It's basically expanding access to the broken system that lets you die when it's not profitable to save your life.

Re:Socialism (2, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797206)

Yet to anyone outside the US, TFA is about one candidate pandering to fear and ignorance on a trivial matter.

Re:Socialism (1)

Dakkus (567781) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797284)

Isn't it quite ignorant NOT preventing kids from seeing game content they wouldn't be allowed to see in movies?

Re:Socialism (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797334)

Bad parenting is bad for kids. Movies and video games have nothing to do with that - except in the US.

Why?

I think Idiocracy [imdb.com] explains that quite well.

Re:Socialism (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797374)

So games containing porn aren't allowed to be sold to minors... I don't see how that would be a change. No other form of restriction exists for movies, MPAA ratings are just as unenforceable as ESRB ratings (if the MPAA really had that power do you think selling unrated DVDs would even be legal?).

Re:Socialism (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797410)

Who's kids are we talking about? Mine are adults 27 & 22 and were not traumatized because Donald Duck was naked from the waist down.

Re:Socialism (1)

Dakkus (567781) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797212)

I'm sure also preventing children from buying porn films is socialism (eäääärgh! That horrible word! We are geeks, not some social creatures!), right?

Re:Socialism (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797272)

Clinton? A socialist?

(insert manic laughter)

Either you have no idea what you're talking about or just trolling. Personally, I think both.

Re:Socialism (1)

argiedot (1035754) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797388)

I've heard people call George Soros socialist, so I'm not surprised that they tried to call Hillary Clinton that. For some people, it's a McCarthyesque thing, a fear of the 'evil commies'.

Re:Socialism (0, Flamebait)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797418)

If you are an example of the voting public, we are screwed.

Re:Socialism (1)

Deaddy (1090107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797290)

Sometimes I doubt that. Here in Germany some politicians plan to forbid violent video game completely, of course in order to prevent violence. However, I can't see any (personal) advantages for these politicians by doing this, especially because violent video games belong to the "bread and circuses"-paradigm. I only can see two reasons why one would like to ban video games: they get paid from TV-stations or something like that, because games are better than their programs, or they really think that brutal video games make children violent and more important that restrictions could make anything better. Although the first may be the case, the second seems more realistic to me. Heck, my English sucks like politics.

Re:Socialism (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797398)

Option three: Pandering to the religious south and/or incompetent/ignorant parents. Maybe just ignorant politicians, too. There are politicians so ignorant on the matter they want to pass laws that already existed for years (politicians wanting to create mandatory ratings in Germany a year or two after they were introduced).

In your face parents (4, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797160)

Who's yo daddy now? Hillary Clinton, that's who.

Now parent can focus on what's most important to them... consuming propaganda.

Can we just nickname her "Mom" now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797162)

I mean seriously... she won't be cool Aunt Hilary, she's going to be "Mom."

Mom, can I play this video game?

Mom, can I go outside and play?

Mom, can I go out with this cute girl? (Hypothetical)

Re:Can we just nickname her "Mom" now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797600)

No, going out with cute girls objectifies women. You must only go out with ugly girls.

Well, Screw Democrats then (5, Funny)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797174)

This single issue is so important that I will vote for Gulianni. His policies may include 1984 type directives, but at least he will not make GTA V illegal.

Re:Well, Screw Democrats then (1)

KIAaze (1034596) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797242)

So games are more important than personal freedom and privacy? I fear for the future...

Re:Well, Screw Democrats then (3, Insightful)

CrazyDuke (529195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797406)

You know getting into what you are doing with your freedom in the privacy of your own home is still violating your freedom and privacy, whether or not is it badmouthing the president's policies or playing video games. Wanting to do it for one proclaimed reason or another does not change what it is. A camoflaged tank is still a tank.

Re:Well, Screw Democrats then (4, Funny)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797500)

No, it is just a shrubbery.

Re:Well, Screw Democrats then (2, Insightful)

Dakkus (567781) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797260)

Why on earth should all kids be allowed to go and buy GTA IV, Soldier of Fortune or any similar game? The good thing in games is that they let you in their world a lot tighter than movies. (of course this depends on the skill of the director just like in movies) Since games have this thing, their violence or sexualism is even worse for children than those of movies. And since children aren't allowed to buy even adult movies (or K-16, for that matter), then why should they be allowed to buy adult games?

Re:Well, Screw Democrats then (1)

whitespiral (941984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797282)

"Why on earth should all kids be allowed to go and buy GTA IV, Soldier of Fortune or any similar game?" To prepare them to face real life?

Re:Well, Screw Democrats then (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797306)

Makes a lot more sense to send kids to Iraq first and after they come a year later back missing a limb, *then* let them buy a violent videogame, and maybe even a beer.

Re:Well, Screw Democrats then (3, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797412)

Because the laws that exist (namely the constitution) don't permit such restrictions? Also because these politicians probably want any rating higher than E10 to mean it can't be sold to anyone, including adults?

Re:Well, Screw Democrats then (4, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797618)

Why on earth should all kids be allowed to go and buy GTA IV, Soldier of Fortune or any similar game?

Why not if the parents approve?

If your legal guardian feels that you are old enough and responsible to enjoy said entertainment then it should be their right. It should also be their right to prevent their child from playing such things if they so desire by not giving the money to their kids in the first place and/or monitoring their internet activities.

If you bring up tobacco and alcohol, those things are of course dangerous and have been scientifically proven to cause harm. That said, once you are 18 then I believe you should be able to put whatever into your body you feel like, but a parent giving his kids cigarettes is about as negligent as giving them some mercury or cyanide to play with.

Video games and even content of pornographic nature has never been conclusively shown to cause physical or mental harm to the average human. Yes, there are cases where people play a video game and flip out (like kids jumping out of windows because they thought they could fly like in Pokemon), but the same thing could be said about a psycho who reads the Bible or Koran and kills someone because he claims god told him to do it.

Again, if a parent feels their child can handle it or just don't care, they'll buy it for them anyways. Its kind of just stupid to have more laws on an issue that in reality is a moot point.

Re:Well, Screw Democrats then (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797640)

The point is that they want to criminalize either:
1) The **creation** of video games that are not appropriate for children
2) The selling of adult video games to minors

The problem with #1 is that it is blatant censorship. The problem with #2 is that any video game that is not appropriate for children will be immediately pulled from store shelves. No retailer will want to run the risk of accidentally running afowl of the law. Walmart especially will pull the things on "moral grounds." So in effect, it *will* be censorship, albiet indirectly.

R-rated movies are not criminalized. Children can't get into them without an adult, but you don't see people being hauled off to jail because some child slipped through the cracks. It's the parents' job to police this stuff. We don't need the government to say, "Parents, you can't do your job so we'll do it for you." And parents who say this is "good for them" because it "make parenting easier" shouldn't have kids in the first place. They are trying to say they don't want all of the responsibility of parenting. If they can't handle it they shouldn't have had kids. Not only that, but to think that you'll be able to 100% shield your kids from 'the real world' is a pipe dream. Even if you are able to effectively shield your kids in such a way, once they leave the nest they will be ill-prepared to deal with the world at large. (it should be noted that this causes some kids to 'go crazy' as in 'party hard' and 'sex it up' which is exactly what over-protective parents are trying to prevent in the first place. i.e. their over zealous efforts can be counter-productive)

Criminalizing the sale of violent video games to minors won't stop children from getting their hands on them anymore than it would stop children from sneaking into R-rated movies. If all other avenues of distribution are 'sealed up,' they will just play the video game (or see the movie) at their friends' house down the street (the friend whose parents bought the game or movie for them because they either don't care or don't care enough to figure out what is age-appropriate).

Re:Well, Screw Democrats then (1)

Ada_Rules (260218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797274)

This single issue is so important that I will vote for Gulianni. His policies may include 1984 type directives, but at least he will not make GTA V illegal.

I can already see this thread is going to go in a bad direction and the negative moderation points will be flying...oh well.

If one were really serious about this one particular issue that I don't see how you could support Gulianni or anyone else. You'd really need to back Ron Paul. He is the closest to being a Libertarian candidate. In general the Republicans and the Democrats both want to take away your rights -- they just differ on which of your rights they want to take away.

I have a very hard time with Ron Paul since I agree with quite a bit of what he says. I'm supporting Fred Thompson and unfortunately I really can't tell you how he would come down on this issue. I'd like to think (based on understanding his other positions) that he would come down on the side of freedom but then there is that whole Republican/Democrat just differing on which rights they want to take thing so I can't be sure.

Of course it is easy to blame the politicians for this but unfortunately, I am pretty sure that they end up accurately reflecting the anti-freedom sentiments of the public. If only the founding fathers had though about this sort of thing and had created some sort of document that enumerated the powers of the government so they would not go off and start writing laws about all sorts of silly things. Oh wait, they did -- too bad the idea of enumerated powers went out the window years ago.

Re:Well, Screw Democrats then (3, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797512)

This single issue is so important that I will vote for Gulianni. His policies may include 1984 type directives, but at least he will not make GTA V illegal.

Truth be told (which I am rather embarrassed about now), I voted for Bush in 2000 because and only because of Tipper Gore and Lieberman's stance on video games.

Of course in my defense, not in my wildest dreams would I ever think Bush would pass something like the PATRIOT Act, get us embroiled in a war, and keep the budget in check instead of giving us a 9 trillion dollar deficit.

So to be fair, given the choice between Clinton and Gulianni, I'd vote for Clinton mostly because Gulianni scares me because it appears that he believes in what he says and what he says is that he doesn't mind torture and the removal of very critical things like haebus corpus.

So given the choice of the possibility ending up being in prison for crimes I didn't commit but was forced to confess through torture or not having Grand Theft Auto V... I'll go with the choice that causes me and the rest of the citizens (who would be more likley to be in prison than I would) to suffer least.

I don't like the idea, but you have to have priorities.

Truth be told, I'd like to see Ron Paul as President just because he and congress would be fighting, vetoing, and 2/3s over ruling over everything and there wouldn't be enough free time for little things like these video game laws.

And since Ron did vote against the PATRIOT Act, I'd hope he veto such a thing. I really don't think his benefit as a libertarian As for gutting the Federal Government, he wouldn't have the power since Congress would be opposed to such a thing so at least it would result in Congress not being able to pass stuff willy nilly and we might even get a shut down like we did with Clinton and Gingrich.

Yup (5, Funny)

Pogdranaut (1103447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797190)

And when I'm president, I'll work to protect children from Hilary Clinton.

Re:Yup (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797294)

I'd go a step further and protect them from government and industry. I think they really, really need some protection from them.

Re:Yup (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797426)

So you find it hillarious, too?

Re:Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797648)

Someone is thinking of the children and it isn't Maude Flanders!

Title is incorrect... (2, Informative)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797202)

...as I read it, she wouldn't cut down on game content at all, but the availability to kids of games containing that content.

That makes some sense - just like rating movies.

Re:Title is incorrect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797236)

Game are already rated.

Re:Title is incorrect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797280)

Except... the government doesn't regulate movies (outside of the fuzzy classification of obscene pornographic movies, which is a fairly tough standard to meet). Movie ratings are provided by the industry and dealt with by the industry.

Re:Title is incorrect... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797344)

So it isn't illegal for as 12 year old to go into an MA rated movie if they can convince the person selling the ticket to let them in?

Re:Title is incorrect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797414)

Nope. Someone even setup a website about the fact [notthelaw.com] .

Re:Title is incorrect... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797438)

Huh, well thanks. That makes this issue a lot less clear. I think to start with the law shouldn't specifically target games.

Re:Title is incorrect... (1)

BarneyL (578636) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797482)

And generally the movies system does it's job whereas game ratings are completely ignored.
Normally the deal on self regulation is "if you can't work it for yourselves the government will do it for you"

Re:Title is incorrect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797320)

Actually, I think it's not quite the same (but correct me if I'm wrong): movie ratings are just advisories, and cinemas are - legally speaking - free to show any movie to anyone (as long as it's not pornography being shown to minors, I suppose). They won't do so, and in fact may not be able to do so due to contracts with distributors and the like, but they're not forbidden by law to do so.

That being said, I personally don't see the big deal about this, as long as it's just about children. It's true that parents should be parents, not the state, but on the other hand, if it's only about children, I fail to see what the real problem is; some might argue that it's a slippery slope, but given that many of the rights enjoyed by adults (free speech etc.) don't already apply to children the same way, anyway (since their parents have not just a duty but also a - legal - right to govern the way their children grow up), I think that it's neither a slippery slope nor the most pressing issue as far as children's rights are concerned.

Think of the children! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797218)

Awww. isnt that sweet. a nice empty campaign promise that doesnt mean crap but sure gets peoples feelings going about protecting the children from the evils of video games.

Sure lets her avoid all the major problems too. healthcare, social security, the wars on various stupid shit, the national debt, china, the middle east, big giant corporations raping the world for profit. And all the other problems someone in power SHOULD be doing something about.

Its all ok so long as we protect the children.

Damm. I need to move. But theres noplace left that is sane.... :(

Re:Think of the children! (5, Insightful)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797230)

Sure lets her avoid all the major problems too. healthcare, social security, the wars on various stupid shit, the national debt, china, the middle east, big giant corporations raping the world for profit. And all the other problems someone in power SHOULD be doing something about.


Didn't you pay attention to the last election? Those things don't matter. What matters is "family values."

The gaming industry is obviously young and naive (5, Insightful)

smchris (464899) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797220)

Democrats _love_ Hollywood, the RIAA, MPAA, DMCA and anything that gives media more money and control. Who's the little cheapskate when it comes to greasing politician's palms? You are, gaming industry, yes you are!

And so are their customers. (2, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797288)

Aside from the fact that the gaming business is now bigger than Hollywood ever was, the main problem here is exposure of minors to content that could be deemed corrupting.

The game industry has adopted the same solution as the film industry - they rate their product according to age group. The difference is that the ratings are circumvented far more often.

Parents think the word "Game" and their internal association is probably something like "Monopoly". Despite the obvious flaws in the idea that games are like movies, they are very similar in the level of emotionally involving content they can contain. If anything, games can involve you far more emotionally, because they cast you as a protagonist. I had serious qualms about offing little girls in BioShock, even though I knew intellectually that they were nothing but a digital asset in a game database.

I don't think the games of my youth were a contributor to violent behaviour, but who would equate knocking a few pixel squares into each other with real-world violence? Modern game media represents real-world situations with increasing fidelity, and I wouldn't be surprised if the game equivalent of a "video nasty" was responsible for at least a few wet bedsheets if not some more disturbing turns of behaviour.

But the solution is not to ban mature content in games, the solution is to assist the content provider in giving their recommended restriction levels a little more teeth ; if only by engaging in the same kind of marketing campaigns that are common enough to raise awareness of film certification.

Something of a Stretch (4, Informative)

BlabberMouth (672282) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797226)

Is "protecting children from game content" the equivalent to "game censorship"? I have no problem with game designers putting any content whatsoever into their games, but I don't necessarily want my children playing those games.

Re:Something of a Stretch (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797350)

Exactly. Although I do wonder how a kid is going to get $50 without their parent noticing.

Re:Something of a Stretch (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797652)

Uh...so don't let you children play those games.

Why cant they be treated like the movie studios? (4, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797234)

The movie studios have a clear self-regulating policy in place (through the MPAA ratings scheme) and no-one complains about minors getting into R rated movies (or buying/hiring them on home video formats).

Why cant the politicians and the industry come together and set up a system thats just like the MPAA ratings system and policed the same way? Oh wait, they did, its called the ESRB.

I guess the problem is the small number of highly publicized incidents (Hot Coffee, various games where the clothes and human body are seperate meshes and therefore you can "remove" the clothes and get a "naked body" and others) where the ESRB has been forced to change the rating given to a game.

What the video game industry needs is a lobby group as powerful as the MPAA is (they have a lobby group but it doesn't have much influence in the halls of power). They should try and get the retail stores on side (perhaps get the big retailers to push arguments like "we do everything we can to check that people are legally allowed to buy these games" or something)

Re:Why cant they be treated like the movie studios (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797690)

I guess the problem is the small number of highly publicized incidents (Hot Coffee, various games where the clothes and human body are seperate meshes and therefore you can "remove" the clothes and get a "naked body" and others) where the ESRB has been forced to change the rating given to a game.
If people are using "Hot Coffee" as an excuse for this they are verifiably stupid. The "Hot Coffee" thing was the equivalent of upgrading an R-rated movie to X-rated (or i guess NC-17 these days). Why would it be any more acceptable for a child to see a R-rated movie than an X-rated movie?

That being said, any game under the sun can be 'upgraded' to have adult content if it's on a system like a PC or a hacked console. "Seasame Street the Game" could be 'upgraded' to have a nude Big Bird by a third party. Under those criteria, 100% of video games should be rated X (NC-17) because they **could be modified** to have offending content.

Hrm! (5, Insightful)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797244)

Did anyone even bother reading the actual article? If nt, the do it now!

A few examples:

On-site store managers would be subject to a fine of $1,000 or 100 hours of community service for the first offense and $5,000 or 500 hours of community service for each subsequent offense.
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. A store selling 18+ games to twelve-year-olds should be punished.

The bill would also require an annual, independent analysis of game ratings and require the FTC to conduct an investigation to determine whether hidden sexual content like what was in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a pervasive problem and to take appropriate action
Good idea, honestly. Sorry, but I found Hot Coffee pretty stupid.

Finally, the bill would authorize the FTC to conduct an annual, random audit of retailers to monitor enforcement and report the findings to Congress.
Again, I approve of that idea, greatly.

After all, this legislation is going to affect underage people, unlike Jack Thompson's ideas of banning such games for everyone.

Sounds perfectly unconstitutional to me (NS) (2)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797300)

Nuff Said.

Re:Hrm! (2, Interesting)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797312)

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. A store selling 18+ games to twelve-year-olds should be punished.

What about a store that sells unrated or R movies to children? All media or none, otherwise the constitutional bar isn't met.

After all, this legislation is going to affect underage people, unlike Jack Thompson's ideas of banning such games for everyone.

Chilling Effect. So yes, it does effect adults.

Re:Hrm! (1)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797396)

What about a store that sells unrated or R movies to children? All media or none, otherwise the constitutional bar isn't met.

Bravo! Good idea. Honestly. Someone should propose that one to her.

Chilling Effect. So yes, it does effect adults.

You seem to have a pretty awkward point of view, here. No game developer is penalized for making 18+ games and so is no store selling 18+ stuff to 18+ people.

You see, in Germany there's this example of movie rentals. These stores got a separate 18+ section where they look at you twice before letting you inside. Following your logic, those sectiones should have closed down because of the fear of being punished for letting minors rent adult stuff. Instead they just follow the existing rules (which are pretty tight in Germany) and nobody complains. The only people who might feel a little uncertain are those leaving those sections, because everyone will think they just rented pr0n.

Re:Hrm! (1)

DMadCat (643046) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797664)

Then maybe we should just lift all laws barring kids from buying anything. Porn? Here ya go Junior! Booze? Drink up Suzy!

Why do I get the feeling most of the posts that are against any regulation here are either by kids under 18 or people who don't have kids?

While these rules they're attempting to install may inconvenience you a little, try to look past your own somewhat selfish needs and maybe understand what good this might have for the rest of the community.

Re:Hrm! (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797560)

This is just another reason why I am going to vote third party -- for all the things Democrats have going for them, they pull something like this.

Fining a video game store for selling certain games to minors? Who decides what games are appropriate for minors? When I was 12, a friend of mine and I played Doom II on his Sega Saturn, and neither of us was harmed by it, even when we decided to have fun and run around with the chainsaw, spewing blood all over the place. When I was 14, I got a hold of a copy of GTA 3, and my friends and I thought it was great fun to run around shooting cops with a rocket launcher, and again, nobody was harmed by it.

What counts as a harmful game? "Hidden sexual content?" I wasn't aware that 12 year olds were harmed by sex as depicted in the GTA games. It is a stretch to claim that after playing a game like San Andreas, teenagers were running around, joining gangs, picking up hoes, and killing cops. If a teenager has emotional problems to begin with, or has trouble distinguishing the fantasy presented in a video game from reality, then they need professional psychological help.

Just how far do we take the "harmful" label, anyway? Is it more harmful to be in a game where your character is a gang member shooting cops, or a game where your character is a pilot dropping bombs over Vietnam and Iraq? Are both games harmful? What about a game where you are a wizard, who throws bolts of lighting at your enemies and electrocutes them? What if the Ender's Game novels were made into a video game; would that be harmful to youth? For that matter, why hasn't Ender's Game been taken off the shelves, or subjected to an age requirement: Ender murders a few of his classmates, with his bare hands, and then leads an army to commit genocide. Why isn't Mrs. Clinton calling for a crack down on violent novels as well, which describe violence in quite a bit of detail, far more than a video game can (video games can only provide a visual and audio reference; a written work can describe all the senses in a single passage)?

Of course, video games are an easy target, just like music was an easy target in the 80s and 90s, or hippies were an easy target in the 60s and 70s, or Jazz singers in the 20s. A candidate who wants to say they are protecting our youth only needs to find an easy target, and they are good to go: Lieberman chose Marilyn Manson, Al Gore chose Twisted Sister, and Hillary Clinton chose San Andreas. I doubt that any of them actually care about our kids, except to try and get our votes.

Re:Hrm! (1)

F-3582 (996772) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797732)

It's something about giving parents back some ability of teaching their children what is wrong and what is right, I guess. If you were a parent trying to give your child some proper education in that aspect, the effect might be somehow negated if you kid continues playing Manhunt, afterwards. And no, parents can't control which games their children are playing if they're not looking. And yes, I doubt that these laws will be very effective in preventing children from playing such crap, if there are enough parents out there who just don't care.

You books are an interesting example, by the way. You know, those old fairy-tales by the Grimm Bros. were rather cruel, but still parents read them to their children, because they teach them something about consequences. This is something most games don't teach you, because driving over people in GTA3 is fun and the consequences are little. That's why those games are designed for peole with a solid base of morals who can realize that the world of GTA is not connected to the real world. People who can see behind the cruelty of Manhunt and get the real meaning of that game. Twelve-year-olds, on the other hand, can't do this always.

Re:Hrm! (1)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797624)

On-site store managers would be subject to a fine of $1,000 or 100 hours of community service for the first offense and $5,000 or 500 hours of community service for each subsequent offense.

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. A store selling 18+ games to twelve-year-olds should be punished.

I have a better idea. Instead of punishing the store manager (who probably makes little more than rest of the peons working there), why not punish the f'ing parents for letting their kid buy games unsupervised to begin with? Oh wait, they're not responsible for their own kids, everyone else is right?

The bill would also require an annual, independent analysis of game ratings and require the FTC to conduct an investigation to determine whether hidden sexual content like what was in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a pervasive problem and to take appropriate action

Good idea, honestly. Sorry, but I found Hot Coffee pretty stupid.

Right, a one time occurrence is suddenly a pervasive problem, and never mind the fact that to even get to "Hot Coffee" you had to mod the game (Not that this was especially hard, admittedly, a gameshark and some codes and that was it). I think that appropriate measures have already been taken. The publisher was punished, the mod was disabled, and the game has already been re-rated from MA to AO. Why is it is such a good idea to have the federal government step in to regulate the game industry?

Finally, the bill would authorize the FTC to conduct an annual, random audit of retailers to monitor enforcement and report the findings to Congress.

Again, I approve of that idea, greatly.

After all, this legislation is going to affect underage people, unlike Jack Thompson's ideas of banning such games for everyone.

This is probably the only point I would agree with you on, except for the fact that it implies that the feds would be stepping in again.

The fact of the matter is that there is already a rating system in place, and most retailers follow the rules regarding the sale of MA/AO games to minors. The big issue with GTA: San Andreas was that Hot Coffee was not discovered until after it shipped. It was irresponsible on the part of Rockstar to release the game with that kind of content under an "MA" rating, and they have since been punished for it. We don't need another bill intended to sanitize all content which is produced on the off chance that a minor might get a look at it. Rather than relying on the government to step in the parents should be more involved in their kids lives, and they should know what their kids are playing. There is simply no excuse for irresponsible parenting.

Big Brother (and Sister) (3, Insightful)

Rohan427 (521859) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797250)

Government needs to stop playing parent and stick to what their real job is (if anyone in government even knows what their job is!). I'll be damned if I'm going to let government tell me how to raise my kids.

PGA

Re:Big Brother (and Sister) (3, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797368)

If you want to get your child that MA or R game, you're more then welcome to. This is simply asking that YOU be given the opportunity to decide, not some minimum wage store clerk.

Re:Big Brother (and Sister) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797424)

The problem with your oversimplistic opinion is that it's not just you who's got rights - your children do, too. They're not your property, and that's why not everything you as a parent might do and every way you want to raise your kids are legal.

Do you think that corporeal punishment is acceptable, for instance? If yes, to which point? Unless you think that literally everything a parent might decide to do is fine (legally speaking, at least), you're drawing a line somewhere - so while there is no a priori reason why you can't be against this while also supporting the regulation of corporeal punishment (to pick up that example again), you'll have to explain just *why* you think that it's OK for the government to regulate one area when you also argue that "government needs to stop playing parent" with regard to the other.

So now Clinton's everyones mom? (2, Interesting)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797262)

Since when did parenting become the job of a president? It's ridiculous to even suggest that principality an morality of children should be governed.

And why is the debate on evil video games on again? If a poor kid is exposed to violent games, then parents are at fault, not the government. And if the parents don't give a shit about games, who's to say it stops there? Should Clinton regulate movies too? And what about televised programs? Should kids go to bed at 8pm?

Re:So now Clinton's everyones mom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797704)

Uh, television and movies are already regulated in that way. And alcohol and cigarettes and voting and driving and education and sex. Hell, a good number of politicians even want to be your parent before you're even born!

Well, that decided it for me. (3, Interesting)

jascat (602034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797286)

I've really been trying to figure out how I was going to vote for in the primaries. Since I'm registered Democrat in Florida, I can only vote to Democrats in the primary. I like Kucinich, but know he is terribly unlikely to win the primaries let alone the general election. That left Obama and Clinton as reasonable choices for me since I'm not a fan of Edwards. I've been leaning toward Obama because Clinton just seems to be too populist, almost as if her stance on issues is determined by the changing winds of public opinion. Despite his lack of experience, I think I'm going to have to vote for Obama because this sort of thing goes directly against my belief that government should be getting up into this type of thing.

*emo sigh* I'm such a tortured mix of liberal and conservative. No one gets me.

Minor correction (1)

jascat (602034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797304)

...this sort of thing goes directly against my belief that government should not be getting up into this type of thing.

Re:Well, that decided it for me. (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797392)

I've really been trying to figure out how I was going to vote for in the primaries. Since I'm registered Democrat in Florida, I can only vote to Democrats in the primary.
Your system is the most fucked up and rigged system I've ever seen. Normally I wouldn't advocate violence, but you people need to do SOMETHING to reclaim your rights! Currently you have a democracy as much as Russia or China had communism.

Re:Well, that decided it for me. (3, Insightful)

almeida (98786) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797722)

I like Kucinich, but know he is terribly unlikely to win the primaries let alone the general election.

So? Why do you have to vote for a winner? If people stopped worrying about being on the winning team and instead voted for someone they believed in, we'd probably end up with a better government.

creators cracking DOWn on corepirate nazis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797296)

hillary's just a bit player in this game.

we're intending for the deceptive murderous life0cidal corepirate nazi execrable to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather'.

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meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US;

gov. bush denies health care for the little ones

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

    (yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on/.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles;

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If you spend that much time with Tipper Gore... (1)

SierraPete (834755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797310)

...do you not think that a little bit isn't going to rub off. Song lyrics, tv, game content...it's all the same gig. Likely it's a calculated grab at the few democrats that are also evangelicals (yes, there are a few). It's getting mighty tight in the primary states so if she can sneak something a little under the radar, but do it with the right voters then maybe, just maybe, it'll be enough to push her over the top.

Not like I needed an excuse, but here's a perfect reason to vote against Senator Clinton. Gamers in Iowa and New Hampshire need to show up and make their presence known with their votes.

This pops up EVERY election (1)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797316)

And it's always the Dems doing it. (Remember Tipper Gore vs. Ministry (the band)?)

Note however, once in office it's all reduced to huffing and puffing and no real progress.

It's the Democrats equivalent of the "abortion issue" where they make a lot of noise to get that particular fascist-leaning voters to vote for them. Then claim "well the rest of congress didn't want to do that" when that same slice of fundies starts to expect action.

Its BS to get votes from soccer moms and other retards.

Once you are old enough to see a few election cycles, you start to notice this stuff.

Nothing will come of it.

Re:This pops up EVERY election (1)

CrazyDuke (529195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797386)

Tipper was the primary reason I could not vote for Al Gore back in 2000. But, with Bush Jr. as the only real alternative, I just sat on my hands and didn't vote at the time. I didn't even know about the libertarian party back then.

Re:This pops up EVERY election (1)

cbunix23 (1119459) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797464)

# Once you are old enough to see a few election cycles, you start to notice this stuff.

Exactly right. The older I get the more cynical I get about politics. Some political issues don't matter, this is one of them. Hillary is just pandering to the "protect me from the bad bad world" crowd. This is the same song applied to a different issue

Re:This pops up EVERY election (1)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797672)

And it's always the Dems doing it.

I hate to break it to you my friend, but this kind of thing goes on on both sides of the aisle [gamepolitics.com] . This really boils down to tugging on the heartstrings of parent voters, and the members of the GOP see the opportunity as clears as the Dems do.

Hillary != Bill (0, Flamebait)

VShael (62735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797318)

Even Democrats who thought Bill was a great President have to realise that Hillary is not Bill. And voting for her, won't get Bill back into the Whitehouse through a side-door. She is hungry for power, and the Bush admin have invested a LOT of unchecked power in the Oval Office.

She is Machiavellian in the truest sense of the word and makes Il Prince look like Mother Teresa.

Blonde Witch Project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797360)

This reminds me of a pseudo-story that came from rush limbaugh...

Hillary: "I'm doing this, for the children"
Reporter: "Hillary, what is your stance on... nooo! Hillary is good for the USA and everything it stands for!"
Hillary: "I'm doing this. For the children."

But seriously - this can't be good for us gamers. The ultimate responsibility lies with the parents who purchase these games for children. Why punish the mature adults because some parent won't even read the back of the game or the 'M' rating label that is on it as well?

Quick Question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21797370)

Where are all the loyal Bushies that whine all the time that slashdot is full of liberal trolls?

Well, there's always Ron Paul.... (1, Interesting)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797440)

Out of the numerous nutjobs in the race for president this upcoming election, the only one I've seen that probably wouldn't screw everything up for the rest of us in matters like these is Ron Paul. However, I have a strong feeling he may end up going the way of Ross Perot (you know... the one with the huge ears...).

Everyone else is probably just going to continue the current administrations game of limiting our domestic rights further, as a means of protecting us from ourselves, while doing next to nothing to give us a true exit strategy for the crap in the middle east.

Alright. (1, Insightful)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797462)

"Whenever I meet young parents... they tell me that they are worried about losing control over the raising of their own children and about ceding the responsibility of implicating values and behaviors to a multi-dimensional media marketplace over which they have no control..."

Really? I meet a lot of parents who rent those games because their kids explicitly ask for them, and maybe, just maybe, the content in video games just doesn't hold a candle to that in television, the internet, and perhaps even their own home lives...

Life's tough. I welcome the idea of a low-bias rating system. I do not like the idea of wasting so much time on government oversight of video games, however. With what's on our plate for the next four years, video games shouldn't even be registering -- blame the reporter for asking or blame Hillary for being so prepared, either way it irks me.

This is stupid (1)

sveard (1076275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797496)

The idea is hillaryous

It's all campaign rhetoric (2)

cygtoad (619016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797514)

These measures seem a little extreme when compared to the lack of protection offered to children from adult content on the unfiltered internet. For once I don't really disagree with her, but this seems to me to be an extreme measure which really amounts to putting one's finger in the damn.

She supports a measure that sails safely past the first ammendment and rallies concered parents who aren't looking at the big picture. If this was really implemented it would do little to protect childeren and cause a whole lot of greif for the poor schleps who manage stores that sell games.

There should probably be similar protection on adult content games as there is on printed adult content. I guess at the retail level this is easier to control. Why is it that politicians can't seem to think past brick and mortar?

Cruelity (2, Insightful)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797540)

One twelve-year-old can be much more cruel and violent to another twelve-year-old, moreso than any video game could ever hope to be.

Parenting (3, Insightful)

delvsional (745684) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797542)

_I_ have to pay higher taxes because you can't control what video games your kids are buying? Take some freaking responsibility here god dammit. And yes it's all about me, because I don't give a damn about your kids. They're not my responsibility, They're YOURS.

Subject needs fixing. (5, Insightful)

Lord of Hyphens (975895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797570)

Clinton Will Pander To Whomever Her Focus Groups Tell Her

Fixed that for you.
Honestly, I doubt that H. Clinton gives one whit about games. But her focus groups tell her it'll get her a couple points with the "Think Of The Children" voting segment, so she'll say she's "against violent video games." She'll say whatever'll get the voters off to get elected (the same can be said of many politicians).

On a somewhat related note, Ms. Clinton has always struck me as the kind of person who, if presented with a pistol and a note from that stated if she killed the people on the attached list, she'd be out the door, gun in hand, before checking that the thing was even loaded.

Not (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797596)

Not that it's any of my business (being English an' all), but I wouldn't trust a candidate who began a pledge with 'When I am President...'.

Think of the Interns! (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797606)

I wonder if she'd be opposed to a game where the President of the United States gets a bj in the oval office, since she didn't seem to be too bothered by it in REAL LIFE.

Enforcement is the real issue (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797630)

You can make whatever law you want but they are useless unless you enforce them and creating draconian laws that are selectively enforced will make a mess of the courts. It's like immigration laws. Everyone largely ignored them so illegal immigration became a serious problem. We were told for years enforcement wouldn't work and wasn't either possible or humane. Now that a few states like Arizona are enforcing the laws the situation is slowly correcting itself in those states. People are leaving because it's difficult for them to stay. Make it difficult on the store owners if they sell to minors but the far bigger issue is parents buying the games for the kids. The government can't regulate morality as much as it'd like to. If they try to protect people from themselves then we get back to the good ole days of Hayes where the raciest thing you could make were Disney cartoons. Yes people were protected from nudity, violence and bad language but eventually filmmakers kept pushing the limits until Hayes went away. There are plenty of people that feel we need a return of that kind of puritanical code for video games but it's going to be a tough sell and the only way they can do it is the way they do everything else, chip away at it until they get their way. Even back in the 70s they had rules limiting one act of violence per half hour on TV. It's why the old Barreta show went off the air when it was on top. Robert Blake, love or hate the guy, refused to abide by the rule and shut the show down rather than make the scripts conform to the TV standard. Parents don't want to say no to their kids so I think it's only a matter of time before they'll embrace rules limiting the types of violence in games since in their minds games are by definition intended for kids. The fact the vast majority of mature games are played by adults won't be considered the good of the children will be placed above individual rights. It sounds good on paper but it all comes down to people not wanting to be responsible for themselves. I can't say no to my kid so take away the temptation. The best thing the industry can do to defend themselves is to come up with as many non violent options as possible but the next magical trick is to get people to buy them. Some sell well now but the point is the sin factor. Kids want the games in part because they aren't supposed to have them. One approach might be to make the separation even more radical. Parents accept violence in the US far quicker than sex. Add extreme sexual content to the violent games instead of taking it away. Not only is it violent but it's pornographic. Most parents may buy their kid a violent video game but how many would buy them a porno tape? It's silly but if parents won't police themselves then it's a heavy handed way to force their hands. Add nudity to the covers so the store owners can't even display them and they have to be sold from behind the counter. Like I say silly but they wouldn't have any excuses then. "Gee I didn't realize the game was adult when I sold it to the kid". That argument becomes moot when the cover is two naked chicks with machine guns and has a title "Lesbian Drug Dealing Hitmen of Crack Avenue."

Where's the voteronpaul Tag? (1)

TrollMaster 9000 (957590) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797656)

Come on Ron Paul supporters, you're falling down on your job to pollute the intertubes with your candidate's name.

anyone see deja vu all over again? (1)

vanillacokehead (1149783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21797668)

smells to me like the reincarnation of Tipper Gore and her crusading about 15-20 years ago...
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