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'Over 30' Section For Games Stores? 220

Posted by Zonk
from the early-20s-soldiers-not-old-enough-to-play-violent-games dept.
A New York law introduced by Representative Keith Wright seeks just that, a section for gaming stores that keeps 'violent games' under lock and key, and is accessible only to people over 30. The law is one of two poorly-thought pieces of legislation being considered by New York state's legal system. From the 1up article: "The history of the courts striking down such legislation goes just about as far back as politicians who attempt to bolster their own image by capitalizing on the public fear and hysteria over the bogeyman of video gaming. It's interesting to note that recently, courts have begun penalizing entities who purposely waste their time with attempts at passing frivolous and unconstitutional anti-videogame legislation. You'd think might deter motions like [these] somewhat, wouldn't you?" Update: 01/19 04:10 GMT by Z : As ahecht points out in the comments 1up has things wrong here. There is only one bill, and it restricts violent games from being sold to those under 18 only. Line 5 of the bill's text is the section in question.
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'Over 30' Section For Games Stores?

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  • by The Real Toad King (981874) <toadking@toadking.com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:09PM (#17671798) Homepage
    "Yes, you're allowed to get drunk off your ass and purchase hardcore porno flicks, but you can't buy these video games."
    • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:11PM (#17671840) Journal
      Or: "You can be sent overseas and kill people, but you can't play Quake 4!"
    • The reason for 30 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:25PM (#17672096)
      I suspect the main reason they choose 30 is to ban violent videogames without actually banning violent videogames ...

      Even though there are lots of gamers over 30, and the average age of gamers is quite high, the quantity of games played by a gamer decreases with age; as a guess I would say you probably buy/rent twice as many games at 15 as you do at 25, and you buy/rent twice as many games at 25 as you do at 35. If you could successfully prevent 66% of game sales from occuring in the age of the $20 Million game you will successfully prevent any company from attempting to make one of these games (because you simply can not be profitable).

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Baldrake (776287)

        ...the quantity of games played by a gamer decreases with age

        But aren't the over-30's more likely to pay for said games?

        According to the ESA [theesa.com], parents of children under 18 are present 89% of the time when games are purchased or rented. Presumably most of these parents have dinged 30.

        But this law is silly for all sorts of other reasons.

      • by tverbeek (457094) *

        I suspect the main reason they choose 30 is to ban violent videogames without actually banning violent videogames ...

        When I saw the headline of this article, I thought it was talking about creating a section in stores featuring games that over-30s might want to play: not the adolescent splatterfests. The games they want to make over-30-only are precisely the games that appeal mostly to under-30s. Which is, of course, the point: to restrict these games from reaching their market.

    • it won't pass (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 6ame633k (921453)
      Hooking their little red wagon to the ridiculous and ARBITRARY "30 years of age" rating will kill this piece legislation for sure. It makes me think it's a ploy for attention, and not a serious bill.
      • by arth1 (260657)
        Oh, it may very well pass. While the lawmakers have never played this games and probably gives a fat rat's ass what the games are about and like, they do care about voters and lobbyists. If the Bible Belt calls for witch burning, there will be plenty of elected politicians who will support it, and the price of firewood will go up.
        Don't make the mistake of thinking the representatives will oppose this because it doesn't make sense, cause there's an awful lot of Christians who don't vote and contribute base
    • by Purity Of Essence (1007601) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:33PM (#17672260)
      It's not 30, it's 18. The law is to prevent access to violent games by minors and would require clerks to check the ID of anyone who looks under 30, just like a lot of liquor stores do.
      • Umm, no? I can't really tell from the article, but they are discussing two such laws in it.

        FTA, the first law mandates the creation of an "Adults Only" section in your local game store, where any game containing the above is kept under lock and key, accessible only to people over 30. I haven't read the actual law, but that is how the article descirbes it, and only 30-year-olds would be allowed in the section. The other law is about banning the sale of violent games to minors (under 18). The summary of
        • by ahecht (567934) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:28PM (#17673196) Homepage
          I have read the two bills. The first, the supposed "under 30" bill, is located at:
          http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A00547&sh=t [state.ny.us]

          This bill reads:
          3. Sale or rental of any video game that contains any contents listed in subdivision one of this section, shall be made only to an individual who demonstrates, through (a) a valid driver's license or non-driver`s identification and issued by the commissioner of motor vehicles, the federal government, any united states territory, commonwealth or possession, the District of Columbia, a state government within the United States or a provincial government of the dominion of Canada; or (b) a valid passport issued by the united states government or any other country; or (c) an identification card issued by the united states,indicating that the individual is at least eighteen years of age. Such identification need not be required of any individual who reasonably appears to be at least thirty years of age, provided, however, that such appearance shall not constitute a defense in any proceeding involving sale or rental of any video game, to an individual under eighteen years of age.


          The second bill is located at: http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A02024&sh=t [state.ny.us] This bill, surprisingly, also reads:
          3. Sale or rental of any video game that contains any contents listed in subdivision one of this section, shall be made only to an individual who demonstrates, through (a) a valid driver's license or non-driver`s identification and issued by the commissioner of motor vehicles, the federal government, any united states territory, commonwealth or possession, the District of Columbia, a state government within the United States or a provincial government of the dominion of Canada; or (b) a valid passport issued by the united states government or any other country; or (c) an identification card issued by the united states,indicating that the individual is at least eighteen years of age. Such identification need not be required of any individual who reasonably appears to be at least thirty years of age, provided, however, that such appearance shall not constitute a defense in any proceeding involving sale or rental of any video game, to an individual under eighteen years of age.


          In fact, there aren't two separate bills putting video games under "concentrated fire", it's the same bill, but one was the prefiling of the bill on the 3rd, and the second is the actual filing on the 11th.

          This is just sloppy reporting.
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by iminplaya (723125)
            I think they should make 'em wait until they're 65. And only sell them by perscription, covered by medicare of course.
          • thanks for the clarification and references
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by bbill78 (1053338)
            Sorry ahect, but these are two separate bills. Note the two differing sponsors, the fact that one of the is scheduled to become law 120 days after being passed, and only one spells the word remainder wrong. They may seem identical, but oftentimes in Albany there are dozens of bills that are even more similar than this.
          • Amazingly, that looks just like what bars and restaurants are supposed to do to when someone who looks under 30 asks for a drink. Nothing new.
        • Does that mean that someone 30 or older has to sell you the game? Just like a 15 year old can't sell cigarettes or booze.
      • Wow, this summary is probably the worst I have ever seen. Blatantly untrue.

        Please, tag this article 'falsearticle' .
    • by Colin Smith (2679)

      "Yes, you're allowed to get drunk off your ass and purchase hardcore porno flicks, but you can't buy these video games"

      Why do people continue to conflate sex and violence? One is about having fun and procreating, the other is about hurting people.

       
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        Which was which again?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Atomic6 (1011895)
        We're talking about virtual violence, which has nothing to do with hurting people. The two are very different and while real violence is a very bad thing, virtual violence is not. People should only be concerned about whether the player is mature enough to understand the difference between real and virtual violence, which many people associate with understanding sex.
    • And here I was hoping that it would be a section for games with enough of an intellectual component to be of interest to someone over 30. I'm only 29, but I'd head straight for that section...
      • No no no. In media, mature means "appealing to high-school or college-aged males". Specifically it refers to gore, sex, and bathroom humor.

        This is mature because we don't let kids have it. Our society apparently feels that frat boys are mature.

        Thoughtful? Intellectual? We poke fun at those things. (Because we're mature.)
    • What's worse, we've all been warned not to trust anyone over 30, haven't we learned ANYTHING from the 1960's? This is exactly the wrong class of people to be given access to this evil soul-corrupting software!
    • by donaldm (919619)
      In many countries once you reach the age of 18 you are legally an adult and entitled to vote at least in countries where voting is allowed. For a politician to support banning violent video games, this is political suicide because people aged between 18 and 30 make up a huge voting population and would be more likely to vote against supporters of this stupidity than voters who are over 30 and are normally more conservative. As a politician you may be able to get away with banning people under 21 from violen
  • honestly (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PunkOfLinux (870955) <mewshi@mewshi.com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:10PM (#17671818) Homepage
    People mature differently. I know a couple teenagers that are more mature than my 32-year old cousin. Leave it up to parents and oneself to make this decision.
    • Leave it up to parents and oneself to make this decision.

      Shouldn't booze too then be left to parents? And porn? If my 16 year old by wants a playboy I wouldn't stand in his way. Really, with the internet nowadays porn is readily available anyway.

      The reason we have these controls in place is because some parents are truly incompetent and don't parent when they should, and the rest of society pays a price for these parents incompetance.

      A parent can still go into an adults only section in a video game store
  • by darth_MALL (657218) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:11PM (#17671826)
    GTHOML2007 (Get The Hell Off My Lawn)
  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:11PM (#17671828) Homepage
    As in, if a law is passed and rejected by the courts, all the people that voted for it should be forced to watch a one hour video on the constition of the United States, before they are allowed to vote for any other law.
    • by Teese (89081)
      They should also not be allowed to vote on any legislation until they have retaken the oath of office ("defend the constitution..."), as public demonstration that they have violated it all ready, and are no longer fit to serve until that new oath is in effect. or something.
    • Personally, I think that the punishment should be worse if they do it again. Say, do it three times and get thrown out of office. do not pass go, do not collect your salary.

      Legislators serve the people. So many of them forget that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dagowolf (646208)

      The bigger issue here hasn't really been addressed by anyone in the general media or the gaming specific media. The issue is that most of the people in office haven't played many of the modern video games they are demonizing and seeking to legislate. Should laws like this (the correctly cited version that is) pass? I don't see why not, there is no added burden beyond having to look at someone's ID. Besides, the kids will just get their parents to buy the games for them, therefore circumventing the law.

      T

      • by RexRhino (769423)
        The larger issue of uneducated (or undereducated) lawmakers is where the gaming public needs to focus its energy.

        Or perhaps, instead of trying to win over an appease the lawmakers, to be pleasant masters... we could remove their extra constitution censoring powers?
    • If you vote in three bills that are overturned, you lost your job and are forever barred from government service.
  • Remember... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lord_Slepnir (585350)
    It's ok to actively recruit 18 year olds and send them to real violence in Iraq, but it's not ok for a 29 year old to play fake violence.

    Also, why 30? Why not 21? 18? It's one thing if the government regulates what can be sold to minors without their parent's permission, but what exactly gives them the right to arbitrarily block adults from something?

    Damn hypocrites. Keith Wright, feel free to exercise your right to bite me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by PFI_Optix (936301)
      I'm 28, have two kids and a mortgage, and apparently some of our elected officials think that I lack the maturity to purchase my own games. I guess I'll have to find other ways to get my games.

      Yo ho, yo ho...
      • I'm 28, have two kids and a mortgage, and apparently some of our elected officials think that I lack the maturity to purchase my own games. I guess I'll have to find other ways to get my games.

        No, just 1up thinks that. If you read the actual bill, it's restricting mature games from those under 18 (same as those laws in those other states that got overturned). Someone misread the part about carding people who look under 30 (like they card for alcohol and cigarettes). So don't worry, even if it passes (whi

    • Re:Remember... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:23PM (#17672060)
      The de facto right that was granted when we decided to let them stamp 18 and 21 as the line for adulthood. Would you not agree that prohibition for 19-20 year olds is also arbitrarily blocking adults from something?
  • Given that a substantial percentage of game developers and testers are under 30, this would definitely put the kibosh on game development there...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:15PM (#17671898)
    Featuring adult-themed games like:

    Prostate Kong
    Ligament Hunter
    Early Bird Buffet 2142
    Need For Slow: Cataract
  • JUST when I get to the point where I can conveniently buy my favorite violent games, *BAM*, I get arthritis!

    Related jokes:

    Oh, violent games? I thought you were talking about Brain Age, Sudoku, etc.

    Or

    A PC game shelf with over 30 games on it in stores these days - that's quite an improvement!

    Or

    Yes! Finally! I can discover that the immature jerks playing games are NOT actually just angsty teens, and can be further disappointed by humanity! It's like a whole new flavor of misanthropy!

    Thanks! Good night - I
  • "Over 30"? Uhh, no. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:18PM (#17671966)
    Far be it from me to criticize a kneejerk headline on Slashdot (on Slashdot? You jest!), but the bill in question would require stores to CARD people to ensure that they are over EIGHTEEN if they LOOK under the age of 30. If you're between the age of 18 and 29 inclusive, you can still buy the game, just expect to be carded when you do so. This headline has about the same accuracy as a headline that says "You must be over 45 to buy beer."
    • Half the fricken' comments in this story wouldn't have been posted if people had happened to notice this point: You have to be over 18, not 30. They will only card you if you look under 30. Very inaccurate summary and headline.
      • "I'm 31. *cough*"
        "Okay then. After tax, that'll be $52.74"

        Yeah, TFS sucked, but I still hate how the concept is worded, even if I can understand what they're getting at. A lot of stores already enforce this policy, at least to some extent, even if it's not law. I was once carded for buying a video game, although mind you I only look about fourteen or fifteen at age nineteen. I do think it's a bit annoying, but on the other hand, I support anything that means parents have to act as *gasp* parents and sho
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Brianech (791070)
      FTFA:

      That's a pretty all-encompassing list -- especially the first and last entries. Rep. Wright's law also mandates the creation of an "Adults Only" section in your local game store, where any game containing the above is kept under lock and key, accessible only to people over 30.

      Now if you read into the links in the article you find

      Rep. Wright's bill also calls for the equivalent of an "adults only" section for such games. Retailers would be required to check I.D. for buyers who appear to be 30 or under. The bill has been referred to the Assembly's Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection.

      So its not that the summary of the article is incorrect, the writers of the article can't even cite their sources correctly... You can't just read an article these days, you have to read their sources...

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)
      Which means violent and pornographic games get treated like pornographic and violent films. I still don't understand why that's not just the default and requires special legislation.
  • it can come close, maybe even approximate for some groups, but pulling a random number out of your ass representing the number of spins around the sun it takes to become a responsible adult is silly. In particular setting 30 as the age that someone can access violent video games is pretty silly, the kind of thing I expect from a person that would rather make a decision based on bias and lack of understanding. In this case someone long past 30. If this law is even to approach reason it should operate more l
  • 30- America's Army (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RichMan (8097) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:21PM (#17672024)
    So does this senator want to personally pay for all the then wasted resources the army has put into its whizz bang recruitment game:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America's_Army [wikipedia.org]

    Or are they going to have to modify the game so nobody gets killed?

  • ...a whole aisle stocked with checkerboards. /over 30
  • All right! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Megane (129182) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:32PM (#17672246) Homepage

    Now I can look for those Sega Genesis games in one convienent place!

    I was expecting the "over 30" section to have the intelligent games, not the violent ones. Sheesh, what a let-down.

    And get off of my yard, you punk kids!

  • by The Cheez-Czar (4124) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:36PM (#17672322) Homepage
    The bill only bans those sales to rate M game to those under 18, and requires if someone looks under 30, that they show proper id to prove they are over 18
    1UP misread the article when they summarized it from the original article [gamepolitics.com]

    From the text [state.ny.us] of bill:

    S 391-Q. SALE OF CERTAIN VIDEO GAMES TO MINORS PROHIBITED. 1. NO PERSON, PARTNERSHIP OR CORPORATION SHALL SELL OR RENT OR OFFER TO SELL OR RENT TO ANY PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS ANY VIDEO GAME THAT HAS A MATURE OR VIOLENT RATING.... SALE OR RENTAL OF ANY VIDEO GAME ... [as described] TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHO DEMONSTRATES, THROUGH [some sort of ID ]... AT LEAST EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE. SUCH IDENTIFICATION NEED NOT BE REQUIRED OF ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO REASONABLY APPEARS TO BE AT LEAST THIRTY YEARS OF AGE,...

  • Incorrect article (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TravisW (594642)

    According to this link [gamepolitics.com] cited in the article, it's not that "violent" games would only be "accessible" to customers over 30, it's that retailers would be required "to check I.D. for buyers" who wanted to browse that section and "who appear to be 30 or under." It's more like the policy of checking IDs when serving alcohol than the nonsense the article and summary suggest.

    Incidentally, if they were accurate, it would (comically) mean that someone could run for and win a seat in the House of Representatives

  • by mad_psych0 (991712) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @06:56PM (#17672684)
    At least the violent online games wouldn't be full of 12-year-old griefers =)
  • by snookums (48954) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:12PM (#17672962)
    I thought some game store was introducing an "over 30" section so that grumpy old men like me could go buy our copies of Brain Age and refurb wood-grain Atari 2600s without having to deal with all those pesky kids. I clicked to find the location this trigenarian utopia but alas it was not to be.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:23PM (#17673126) Homepage Journal
    ID to buy Ultra Porn. -Professor Hubert Farnsworth
  • I think it's a good idea. I'm over 30, and quite honestly, I hate pouring over 10,000 kiddie or Japanime games to find the few good ones. I want my games to be good, but with extra graphic realism, or good acting/scripts. That Mario shit is about as interesting to me as Barney the dinosaur is. So I say, great idea. I'll be able to shop a lot easier.
    • Then I read the article and was disappointed and confused. Damn Xbox tapes.
    • by dangitman (862676)

      I hate pouring over 10,000 kiddie or Japanime games to find the few good ones.

      What are your pouring on those games? I think most stores would kick you out if you started pouring any substance on their games.

    • When I first saw the headline, I guessed that it would be about special sections in video game stores geared towards games that aren't either cartoon-spinoff games for 8-year-olds, or same-shooter-game-but-with-more-entrails games that appeal to teenagers. I'd love to have a store where they seperate the interesting games from the kiddie or flashy ones.

      Instead, I find that it's really about seperating all of the blood and guts games out. Lame.

    • That Mario shit is about as interesting to me as Barney the dinosaur is.

      I would like to encourage as many people as possible to follow this line of thinking. That way, on March 30, my chances of getting hold of a copy of Super Mario Galaxy will be maximised. I'll put it alongside Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart, Super Mario 64 and New Super Mario Bros. on my shelf of 'Games That Will Be Relinquished Over My Cold Dead Hands'.

  • by ArcherB (796902) * on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:32PM (#17673250) Journal
    If "violent" games can be purchased by anyone of any age, then these do-gooder politicians have an excuse to ban them completely. However, limit these games to 18+ only, and you can make the argument of, "I'm an adult and only adults can purchase these games. Stay the Hell out of my business."

    (assuming that the law is 18+, not 30+ as the summary says.)

    • by RexRhino (769423)
      I think you miss the big picture:

      In politics, you never take the most extreme position possible, you constantly push the moderate position in a certain direction.

      So, at first, you support carding video game buyers. Then you support a government oversight board to regulate game ratings. Then you attack the companies, claiming that their advertising is aimed at kids (like Joe Camel, you need to show ID to buy smokes too). You attack on a number of fronts, slowing increasing and increasing the restrictions unt
      • by ArcherB (796902) *
        Excellent point, and you are right. Hot Coffee all the time! So what if a game has a hooker blowing a hired killer, it's only adults playing the game! If that's the game that adults want to play, then why shouldn't they be able to play it? Parental groups have no case when they try to say what adults can and can't do. What would movies be like without a rating system? Do you think porn would be legal if there were absolutely no age restrictions on who could buy it?

      • by ArcherB (796902) *
        Excellent point, and you are right. (Something rarely, if ever heard on Slashdot!)

        Yes, you are correct, things get banned little by little until the ban is complete. I'm sure that some of the people supporting this law have the intention of banning violent video games completely. I agree with the law, but for different reasons.

        Tighter controls can actually lead to more liberty. A bar can hang a poster of a topless chick, use naked lady coasters on the counter and even have a cigarette vending machine!
  • by porttikivi (93246) * on Thursday January 18, 2007 @07:52PM (#17673584)
    I would love the "Over thirty department", if it would have games, that handle relevant modern day psychological and social problems and challenges. That have novel, deep insights into relationships with friends, bosses, parents, spouses, children. I would love games that handle realistic social and political problems in a non-trivial, perhaps thought-provoking ways. Games aware of academic philosohical tradition and debating the limits of our knowledge and the true nature of the world around us without worn-out clichés of pop culture. Games rooted in modern academic understanding of psychology, economics and science.

    I would love a single game that is worth playing even if you need to choose between a) working more hours with good extra money, b) spending more time with your beloved kids/spouse, c) exercising/sports d) any other entertainment or e) playing games.

    I would love just one game that is not a glorified, graphically decorated 3-D board game/puzzle/Pac-Man with almost non-existent emotional impact, except "I found the secret way/key/lever" or "I was fast/clever enough to manouver my opponent".
  • As someone who recently turned 30, I say good! I want to be able shop for games without all of those 20-somethings fussing over everything with their damn iPods and text-messaging and tattos. Damn whippersnappers!
  • This is a common political ploy, for the "other side" (in this case, politicians who do not believe in banning games), they amend the bill so that it includes something utterly rediculous, like this age restriction, simply so that it cannot possibly pass. So, in actuality, the 30-year age restriction was probably put on by an opponent of the original bill.
  • Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by davmoo (63521) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @09:17PM (#17674694)
    You mean to tell me that some 18 year old guy or girl can sign up in the military to be sent off to fight and die in a war for Darth Bush, but they can't buy a game? I can believe there is a law proposing that, because only a legislator could come up with something that fucking stupid.
  • Seriously, I'm a grown man. I can decide what I can put in my body and what I put in my mind. I don't need the damn government telling me what I can eat, watch, play, or think.

    It's getting positively ridiculous. I'm so flustered that this is about the most coherent response I can come up with now. (Or maybe all the trans fats I ingested at dinner are just interfering with my brain chemistry).

    Remember when conservatives where for small government?

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren

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