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Oklahoma Game Law Permanently Enjoined 60

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-what-you-get dept.
The poorly-written game law passed in Oklahoma - and subsequently found unconstitutional by the courts - has now been permanently enjoined from existing. This has been a pet project of Governor Brad Henry, and this enjoinment will stop the law from rearing its head again. "The law sought to ban the dissemination to minors of any computer or video game that contains any depiction of "inappropriate violence," which was defined by depictions that fall into any one of nine broad categories. Violators would also have been subject to fines of up to $1,000 ...It also seems in some way that the law singled out the game industry, since according to the court decision, the law was found to be underinclusive - meaning that a minor might be prevented from buying a video game with 'inappropriate violence' but may still legally buy or rent the book or movie on which the game was based." GamePolitics has reaction to this decision.
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Oklahoma Game Law Permanently Enjoined

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  • That is one of the most poorly assembled group of words I have ever seen put together.
  • Gamers: 32 Stuck Up Lawmakers: 0
  • This law was gone before I knew it existed. I think very few people must have been following it.
    • by AmaDaden (794446)
      Well it was in Oklahoma....
      • I live here, I grew up here, that's why I think it's weird that I didn't know about this.
        • by AmaDaden (794446)
          That's different then. But I'm honestly not surprised. I don't look at mainstream news much but when I do I hardly every see any thing about what music/game/DRM laws are being passed. On the rare occasion that I do they tend to be a total joke.
  • by Umuri (897961) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @09:51AM (#20651121)
    As an okie (person who lives in oklahoma), i'm always happy to see shit like this.

    No state is perfect, and there are always morons and imbeciles, especially here in the bible belt, but oklahoma has always been a relatively common sense area of the union in this fucked up little world.

    I'd almost say part of it is because we're on the edge of the bible belt. People around here are smart enough to know not to be morons with their religions, but also old fashioned enough to realize that PARENTING is done by the PARENT. And people who bitch otherwise are usually just lazy.

    Good job OK!
    • by Blinocac (169086)
      Edge? We're the stinkin buckle.
    • You must have grown up in Oklahoma and not know any better because everything you said it wrong. Oklahoma is the buckle of the bible belt, they did not want the lottery/tattoos here because of all the bible huggers. Open your eyes, I am suprised that this law did not pass here.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Umuri (897961)
        Actually the reason i can say that is because i've seen to and talked with people in the rest of the bible belt, and have friends in some of the other states, and on the whole, oklahoma isn't quite as extreme as some of the other bible belt areas.

        Not to say we don't have our fruitcakes, we got plenty. It's just they are balanced by a higher percentage of rational educated people who care enough to use their voice and their time to make sure that the legislation does something in accordance with their wishe
        • by timster (32400)
          It's just they are balanced by a higher percentage of rational educated people

          That is true enough... us Texans do drive through Oklahoma on occasion, on our way to places north. Otherwise I'm afraid y'all would be more like South Dakota.
      • I think the law was passed by the voters, but the courts shot it down.
        • You mean legislators passed it, and the governor signed it into law. Most of the registered voters were not directly involved.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      The home of Senators Inhofe and Coburn and of Oral Roberts University is a common sense area and merely on the edge of the Bible Belt?
    • by boot1973 (809692) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @11:00AM (#20652487)
      "No state is perfect"

      I think Buddhists may disagree.
    • by ie2fleen (746200)
      Things like this are the reason why I duck questions asking where I live...
    • by T.E.D. (34228)
      As a fellow Okie, I think I can make some further educated guesses:
      1. You grew up in Oklahoma before the Regan era.
      2. You quit reading and watching local news sometime around then.
      3. You didn't read the summary either

      There was a time when everything you said would have been true. Sadly, Will Rodgers and Woody Guthrie are dead, buried, and forgotten, as are their values.

      For instance, if you'd read the summary carefully you would have seen that our popular governor and our elected legislature voted got the law passed

  • by The-Bus (138060) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @09:58AM (#20651253)
    I got the gist of it from the article, but enjoin specifically means:

    Law. to prohibit or restrain by an injunction.
    So it's not a made-up word. It's a perfectly cromulent word and now my vocabulary has been embiggened.
    • I found the the use of the word "permanent" more troubling. Nothing in law is permanent, everything can be changed. That's why it takes eternal vigilance to make sure the laws aren't rewritten to hurt you.
    • by Alsee (515537)
      Bush has en-joined Iraq to the United States.
      Permanently.

      -
    • Thank you. I have two degrees and I was starting to feel like an idiot because I had to look enjoined up to figure out if this was a good or bad thing.

      I speak English, Tech, Marketing, Gamer, SciFi, Lit, and Geek but I never learned Lawyer...

  • There are too many bad parents buying their young kids ridiculously violent games, and kids doing the same with their parents' money. This law is for the idiots who think that because something goes in a Playstation, it's fine for a kid to play. Unfortunately, the government would not have to be involved if these hillbillies would educate themselves (or even sit down and watch a kid play GTA for a few minutes).
    • by Sciros (986030)
      If these hillbillies, as you put it, are so irresponsible that they require government intervention to replace parenting, then I think giving a kid "free reign" with a Playstation shouldn't be their top priority in the first place ^_^
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You realize that the court's decision was against the law, right?
  • the law was found to be underinclusive - meaning that a minor might be prevented from buying a video game with 'inappropriate violence' but may still legally buy or rent the book or movie on which the game was based.
    Is it just me or does their reason sound like they want to extend the law to hit books and movies too?
    • They might, but books and movies are clearly under protection of the First Amendment, and I would almost guarantee that any member of the assembly that tries would get laughed out of office. Quite a few books from the official reading list in my high school would get a big fat "M" or "R" sticker as games or movies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Goobermunch (771199)
      IAALBNYL (ATINLA)*-- In civil rights cases that challenge the legitimacy of a statute, courts often apply an overinclusive/underinclusive analysis to determine whether the State's claimed reason for a statute is legitimate (whether it's legitimate and whether the reason is sufficient depends on the kind of right involved). In this case, the purpose of the law was to prevent minors from being exposed to "inappropriate violence." What the court is saying by calling the law underinclusive is "if you want to
  • by bigbigbison (104532) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @11:08AM (#20652665) Homepage
    Every time these stories about videogame laws come up someone asks what is wrong with having laws like this.

    Here are the problems:
    The first amendment guarantees freedom of expression. That freedom applies to all media. To override the First Amendment would take a lot of evidence.

    In the USA no other medium has its ratings enforced by the government. Not the music industry, not the comic book industry, not the internet, not tv, and not the film industry. The MPAA ratings are self-enforced. If someone under 17 isn't allowed into an R-rated movie without an adult it is because the movie industry is inforcing those rules, not the government.

    Therefore, if the videogame industry were to be singled out as the only medium to have its ratings enforced by the government there would have to be a mountain of evidence suggesting that violent videogames were harmful to minors. No such mountain exists. As such, these laws are misguided at best and hollow attempts on the part of politicians to appear "pro-family" at worst.
    • Here's a perfect example of a misunderstanding about rights.

      The first amendment guarantees freedom of expression. That freedom applies to all media. To override the First Amendment would take a lot of evidence.

      Yes it guarantees freedom of expression, it does NOT however guarantee access what is being expressed. It also does NOT,. guarantee that everything that is expressed will be heard,seen or accessed. Under the law that was in place, the game companies were still able to write (express) anything
      • I'm no lawyer but I"m just repeating what every court including ones in Indiana, St. Louis, California, Oklahoma, and Minesota have said regarding videogames and the first amendment.

        I'm curious why you think laws are needed. Are children really any worse than they were say 100 years ago?
        • Boy you are asking me to stick my neck out. Children are exposed to too much too early. Parents should be protecting the innocence of their children for as long as possible and teach them to respect other people. You don't even have to go back 100 years, when young children and even teenagers called adults by Mr. and Mrs., and if you told them to please get out of your yard, or to move along to keep them from loitering, they said yes sir or ma'am and got out of the yard and moved on instead of f*** you an
        • You're serious?

          While I wasn't alive 100 years ago, the kids of today have exactly zero fear of anything because parents are unwilling (or unable) to punish their kids. I know of a kid who doesn't go to school periodically because he doesn't feel like it. His parents try to punish him? How? They have to work, and so short of taking him to work, they have exactly zero control of what he does during the day. They could theoretically disconnect internet access and disconnect cable at home, but then they're
  • Opinions have no place in law, subjective terms have no place in law. Or didn't they learn from the Larry flint "obscenity" trials.

    I am just glad that the morality police aren't very intellegent. I fear the day when they are able to put 3 words together.
  • The poorly-written game law passed in Oklahoma... has now been permanently enjoined from existing .
    They invented a time machine... in Oklahoma?
    • by Shinmizu (725298)
      Yeah, we have one at OSU. We just put Sooner fans on public display to distract from the fact that there are non-Neandertals running things in the background here.
  • by mikkelm (1000451)
    What amazes me is that 47 lawmakers can unanimously pass a blatantly unconstitutional bill. When the courts have to fix what that many politicians unanimously messed up, it's obvious and undeniable proof that the current method of government just does not work.
    • No, actually it's proof that it does work, as fixing what the politicians mess up is in fact exactly what the courts are for.
      • by mikkelm (1000451)
        You're actually saying that consistently hitting the last line of defence to try to clean up the mess that the lawmakers make is proof that the method of government works?

        What this proves is that the system is completely messed up, and that the failsafes that are meant to prevent a total meltdown worked this time around. You really call that a working system?
    • by 2nd Post! (213333)
      The Founders thought it was proof the system worked.

      The politicians waste their time instead of ours; the courts exist as an oversight/check on their powers.

      Without the courts the politicians would still exist and would still be causing trouble. I mean, they would be like Jack Thompson, right?
    • by Jim Hall (2985)

      What amazes me is that 47 lawmakers can unanimously pass a blatantly unconstitutional bill. When the courts have to fix what that many politicians unanimously messed up, it's obvious and undeniable proof that the current method of government just does not work.

      On the flip side, 47 lawmakers will use this at the next election, and talk about how they vote to protect the children. It all comes down to politics.

  • "I do have a cause though. It is: obscenity. I'm for it. Unfortunately the civil liberties types who are fighting this issue have to fight it, owing to the nature of the laws, as a matter of freedom of speech and stifling of free expression and so on. But we know what's really involved: Dirty books are fun! That's all there is to it. But you can't get up in the court and say that, I suppose. It's simply a matter of freedom of pleasure. A right which is not guaranteed by the Constitution, unfortunately." -To

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