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New York Bill Aims To Restrict Games Containing Profanity 133

Posted by Soulskill
from the legislation-versus-parenting dept.
GamePolitics notes a new bill out of New York which seeks to prohibit "the sale to minors of certain rated video games containing a rating that reflects content of various degrees of profanity, racist stereotypes or derogatory language, and/or actions toward a specific group of persons." It goes on to say: "These games, containing adult images such as morbid violence, rape, alcohol and illegal drug use, as well as other malicious acts, are not appropriate for children under 18. This legislation will regulate the sale of such games." The full text of the bill is available. It also suggests that children who are exposed to in-game crimes are more likely to participate in real-life crime.
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New York Bill Aims To Restrict Games Containing Profanity

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  • Monkey (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Merls the Sneaky (1031058) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:12AM (#26479215)

    "It also suggests that children who are exposed to in-game crimes are more likely to participate in real-life crime. "

    So they think it's monkey see monkey do? They give children far less credit than I thought.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by routerl (976394)

      "It also suggests that children who are exposed to in-game crimes are more likely to participate in real-life crime. "

      I'm fairly certain there are studies directly contradicting this conclusion. Alas, I'm so bored of hearing this B.S. that I won't even go through the trouble of looking up the reference.

      • Correlation ... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by troll8901 (1397145) <troll8901@gmail.com> on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:28AM (#26479299) Journal

        Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson:

        CALVIN: [as he's watching a TV show] Graphic violence in the media.
        Does it glamorize violence? Sure.
        Does it desensitize us to violence? Of course.
        Does it help us tolerate violence? You bet.
        Does it stunt out empathy for our fellow beings? Heck yes.

        Does it CAUSE violence? ... Well, that's hard to prove.

        The trick is to ask the right question.

        (Credit: Written by a "GR" user on forum message 1008906 in websitetoolbox.com)

        • Re:Correlation ... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:33AM (#26479803)

          Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson:

          CALVIN: [as he's watching a TV show] Graphic violence in the media.

          Does it glamorize violence? Sure.

          Does it desensitize us to violence? Of course.

          Does it help us tolerate violence? You bet.

          Does it stunt out empathy for our fellow beings? Heck yes.

          Does it CAUSE violence? ... Well, that's hard to prove.

          The trick is to ask the right question.

          I wouldn't say it does all the things you said. Glamorizing yes as it is something the media does but the rest is how it affects our personalities.

          I am 19 years old, played DOOM etc. as a very small kid, began playing a LOT when Operation Flashpoint (a shooter aiming for as much realism as possible) was published when I was 11 or so. I played that game practically daily for three years. Afterwards I have played violent games such as Max Payne, DOOM 3, CS (both 1.6 and source), Battlefield 2, Painkiller, Manhunt, the Punisher... The list goes on. I also watch my fair share of violent movies.

          How have I ended up? I am a pacifist, physically disgusted to see any real violence.

          Why? Well, I think that my father (a software engineer and a gamer to some extent who also happens to be a pacifist) likely had something to do with how my morals ended up. Much more than any videogame of which I know "THIS ISN'T REAL".

          So while my single case is not enough evidence for or against anything, I am sure I am not alone in my situation. So until I see some real evidence that graphic violence in media desensitizes us, stunts our empathy or helps us tolerate violence, I really don't believe it one bit. I guess could believe statistics showing that violent people look for violent media to project themselves into but not the other way around.

          Unless you were talking about news of course. I admit that after seeing starving children so many times in the news it might get easier to push it to bury the feelings to some part of your brain and try to not care. I just assumed you referred to video games, movies, etc. when speaking of media.

          • Parent made a very good point from real life experience. Anyone got mod points to spare?

            I am 19 years old... How have I ended up? I am a pacifist, physically disgusted to see any real violence.

            Relax. I was merely referring to an old Calvin and Hobbes comic. That comic was good for highlighting Correlation does not imply causation [wikipedia.org], i.e. some people are over-reacting when they say that violent shows/games cause kids to be violent.

            ... played DOOM etc. ... Operation Flashpoint ... three years ... Max Payne, DOOM 3, CS (both 1.6 and source), Battlefield 2, Painkiller, Manhunt, the Punisher ... fair share of violent movies ...

            Rats! You've out-beat me by at least 10 times! It's only DOOM and CS for me, not even violent movies.

            I think you're very sensible, and you have very good family values. If you're

          • by StikyPad (445176)

            I don't know if I'm a pacifist.. (ok, I'm not, and I'll punch you in the mouth if you say anything about it), but I'm also revolted by real world gore despite decades of "violent" games. (As if there were anything violent about collision detection). I can play the most gory of games, watch the most gory of movies (though they don't particularly appeal to me, and are often incredibly stupid), but seeing a Youtube of a real guy getting beheaded or shot just makes me queasy and wonder what the fuck is wrong

    • Re:Monkey (Score:5, Funny)

      by Thanshin (1188877) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:32AM (#26479305)

      Yes. I did become a street fighter, after all.

      No, wait, I didn't.

      I wonder what game of my youth was about going to an office and working for hours and hours until my soul died.

    • Re:Monkey (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:47AM (#26479353) Journal

      So they think it's monkey see monkey do? They give children far less credit than I thought.

      You obviously don't recall the mid to low level hysteria of the 90's.
      Beavis & Butthead setting things on fire
      Children playing at being Power Rangers
      Kids emulating WWF in their backyards
      Mortal Kombat
      Rap music (2 Live Crew and Jack Thompson is just one example)
      etc, etc, etc

      And the thing is, there was always a kernel of truth embedded in the media and parental fear mongering. Eventually a few kids did get hurt, a house or two did get set on fire, but it was never nearly as many as the 'omg think of the children' types made it out to seem.

      The new millennium has had its share of hysteria too. GTA & Bully are the only two that I can think of off the top of my head, but I'm sure /.ers can give other examples. The 2000s have been less about suppressing depictions of violence and more about repressing sexuality.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Eerikki (1045026)
        And if there was no Internet or TV some kids would still get hurt, and a house or two would still get set on fire. Children play, accidents happen, but does any modern media really increase the amount of mishaps at all? Somehow I doubt it.
        • Re:Monkey (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday January 16, 2009 @10:45AM (#26482405) Homepage Journal

          Lots of cars were stolen and lots of hookers were murdered long before GTA's programmers were born.

          Has the incidence of car theift risen faster than the increase in population? If not there's not even no causation, there isn't even correlation.

          • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

            by Alsee (515537)

            Has the incidence of car theift risen faster than the increase in population? If not there's not even no causation, there isn't even correlation.

            Lack of correlation does not imply lack of causation.

            It is possible that Pac Man and other computer games do cause children to turn into violent homosexual flag-burning atheist rapist crackheads, but that there is some other correlated effect independently reducing (by about the same amount) the rate of violent homosexual flag-burning atheist rapist crackheadism am

        • by harl (84412)

          That's a lie. No one was ever hurt before TV was invented.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by jimbolauski (882977)
          Modern media has played a role, when mom and dad are too busy watching Jerry Springer to notice little Cletus setting the neighbor's trailer on fire.
      • Re:Monkey (Score:5, Funny)

        by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday January 16, 2009 @06:16AM (#26480249) Homepage Journal

        Kids emulating WWF in their backyards

        WWF? Isn't that panda wrestling?

      • Re:Monkey (Score:4, Insightful)

        by steelcaress (1389111) on Friday January 16, 2009 @08:01AM (#26480765)

        I dunno if it's so much "Kids are going to become violent" as "Kids might not understand the violence." I know people have points of contention with "The A-Team" and "Tom & Jerry" -- those are two shows where very dangerous things have been played with (dynamite, guns), very real things. And what happens? Does anyone die? No. They fly through the air, or get their fur blackened, but nothing shows the viewer what really happens when people get shot, or a grenade explodes underneath them. Did I enjoy watching those shows? Well, I like the A-Team. Do I go out in a black van and shoot up people and blow them up? Only in video games, and mostly I prefer the "carve them up with a sword" variety. I dunno. There is a case, too, where some kid beats his friend's brains out with a baseball bat, because the both of them wanted to know what it was like to be dead. And when they died, they'd come back to life and kill the other one, and each of 'em would know the experience of being dead.

        What do they live with? What do they know? One person gets raised a pacifist, the other kid gets taught how to hunt animals for sport. Is either of them likely to be more or less violent? I know my 4 and a half year old is not allowed to play or watch some of the games I play (like GTA). He is not allowed to watch Robot Chicken, Family Guy, South Park, Appleseed, or any of the more mature content cartoons (certainly no violent movies like the Transporter or Bloodrayne). He watches Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles, but I sometimes have to ask myself is it any different from what I don't let him watch? Are the things I let him watch by their very nature sanitizing real violence? I guess that's my question...what determines whether someone turns out one way or another? Whether someone accepts punishment, or grabs a gun and says "close your eyes dad, I have a surprise?"

        • This brings up a great question. What if showing real violence the way it actually happens is actually better for kids than cartoon violence? Because when you toss an explosive at someone in real life (or one of those naughty, violent games) they tend to have very bad things happen to them. But in cartoons and lots of TV like you said they just fly harmlessly across the room, singe their eyebrows, whatever.

          For me, I have more respect for the impact of real violence seeing it played out realistically i
      • by torkus (1133985)

        Actually, B&B got some heat after some kid set his house on fire emulating them. After that they didn't run around saying 'fire fire uhhh...fire FIRE FFFFIRE' so much. In one episode butthead even yells at beavis 'you're going to get us in trouble again dumbass' as beavis is toying with another fire rant/whatever.

        Granted it was some kid left home alone with matches or a lighter available (I still entirely blame the parents) but there was still some hysteria back then, even if it was less than today.

      • by harl (84412)

        Don't forget the mid to low level hysteria of the 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s, 40s, 30s.

        It's a combination of factors.

        Old people are scared of new things.
        A small number of kids do bad things and make the news.
        Media sensationalizing the effectively zero cases that happen.

        Stop and think about how many people have been killed by people emulating wresting? I can only recall one or two, ever. How many video game deaths? Orders of magnitude more die from lighting each year. Then let's step it up a notch and look at ho

      • by amuro98 (461673)

        It goes back further than that, actually. Rap music in the 80s caused people to put those "Explicit Lyrics" stickers on tapes and CDs. This had the unintended benefit of boosting the sales of those tapes/CDs because now the kids knew what stuff they weren't supposed to be listening too!

        Then there was the Dungeons&Dragons controversy, that it either made you more violent, a satan worshipper, or a gambler.

        Rock music - including the stuff from 50 years ago(!) - was said to induce licentious behavior and,

    • Re:Monkey (Score:4, Funny)

      by internerdj (1319281) on Friday January 16, 2009 @08:47AM (#26481069)
      I'm getting rock band for my son tomorrow... Daddy's got a new retirement plan. If that fails, I can always get the next one GTA.
    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      "It also suggests that children who are exposed to in-game crimes are more likely to participate in real-life crime. "

      Conversely, children who never see what crime looks like are less likely to report it.

      Would you like your child's first exposure to crime be in a game or in real life?

    • by amuro98 (461673)

      Name a "think of the children!" type bill that actually gives children credit for not being as moronic as the people supporting the bill are.

      Didn't we already go through this? In fact, didn't New York specifically go through several aborted video game bills? How many times does the judge need to say "no, you morons, get out of my court!" before they get a clue? Oh, and I'm sure the loss of several more million dollars in taxpayer money will make everyone happy-happy.

    • They give children far less credit than I thought.

      I think that's giving children MORE credit than they're due. Kids today are all fat, they wouldn't be able to pull off 1% of the stuff they see in videogames! Stupid too, the guy who shot his parents and blamed halo 3? He couldn't come up with a better defense than "I played a lot of halo?" At least blame a twinkie and the devil!

  • How many of these laws have to get struck down, with court fees awarded to the plaintiffs challenging them, before legislatures will decide that it's just not worth it to pass them?

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by pijokela (462279)

      I guess you didn't read even the blurb about the bill? Now, I guess the real bill could contain anything, but the blurb made it seem like it would make it illegal to sell games rated for adults to kids.

      This is a good thing. This allows parents to better control what games their children play. Then it's up to the parents to actually do that.

      • by Merls the Sneaky (1031058) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:47AM (#26479355)

        Another way would be if parents actually played the game first. Then decided based on their own childs maturity level.

        I just bought Guitar Hero: Aerosmith it had a M rating (15 +) due to maybe a couple of cursae words in the lyrics. Would I let my six year old son play it. You damn right I would. My son has made it out of the house and has heard these words. He knows better than to repeat them. There is no way I can prevent him from hearing curse words, its not even remotely imaginable. The rating system is a farce, and poeple who practice parenting know this. People who don't practice parenting shouldn't be parents, sadly this isn't the case.

        • I agree that the rating system does put some sort of (increasingly arbitrary) rating on games today. It's good for parents who are interested in what their children are playing without requiring them to know a lot about the upcoming games. (Mild violence, that's fine. Comic mischief? He sees that watching Nickelodeon.

          For parents who couldn't care less about raising their children, the ratings system is to blame for all their incompetence.
      • by Kamots (321174)

        I'm guessing that you're unaware that the bills that Raul654 is referring to attempted to do... the exact same thing? Bills attempting to do exactly this have been struck down multiple times now, with court costs awarded. Why do you feel that this situation is any different?

        Are you also in favor of making the sale of R-rated movies to minors illegal? How about books that deal with violence? Batman comics?

        Parents can already control what thier kids play, it's called be a parent.

        • by torkus (1133985)

          How about books that deal with violence?

          A very good point. Classic literature is filled with violence and worse. Heck, we read Cantebury Tales in high school and that's filled with Bad Things. Should we ban or burn books while we're at it?

          Besides, making cigarette sales to minors illegal certainly hasn't eliminated that issue...and they're a physical consumable. A video game otoh is a much less frequent purchase, can be shared among people (not legally but...) and p2p entirely bypasses the restrictions

        • by pijokela (462279)

          Hmm... you're right that I wasn't aware of the bills. Well, now I am.

          And yes, I am in favor of some laws that limit what minors can do. But it should be the selling that is illegal, not the buying. If my child gets booze, I'd like to be the one giving it to him. If my child plays GTA4 I'd like to be the one that bought it. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't let my children play games that are rated for older kids then they are.

          The idea that a parent can really control what their children are doing when in th

          • by Kamots (321174)

            The idea that a parent can really control what their children are doing when in their teens is pure fantasy.

            And the idea that the government is going to do any better isn't pure fantasy either?

            As for parenting... lets just say that I have some strong opinions on what good parenting is, that it doesn't involve knowing what they're doing all the time, that it doesn't involve being a tyrant, and that it doesn't involve treating them like a prisoner. It involves trust, respect, and guidance. (Hint, the fact that, as a kid, most of my friends were amazed that my parents would talk to them like they were actual peopl

      • This allows parents to better control what games their children play.

        No it doesn't. That's impossible, because parents already have that control. These ill-conceived laws provide them with nothing but a convenience to which they are not entitled.

    • I dunno--how many legislators are there willing to champion a loser bill in order to score points with nervous parents on election day?

      It's a win-win scenario for legislatures. They draft the bill, fully aware that numerous courts have already struck it down, and probably expecting New York courts to do the same. Once the challenge to the bill succeeds in court, the proponents of the bill can wring their hands, bemoan "activist" courts, demonize retailers, and come out looking like men of the people. Y
      • Um, for the most part it's dems creating and voting for the bills, and they are the people who think they want activist courts. Your snark fails, and does so miserably.
  • phew (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Well, I'm reassured to see that they are really working on solving the major problems of the world.

      Oh wait..

  • Experts? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 4D6963 (933028) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:39AM (#26479333)
    Do they even ask the opinion of experts like paedopsychatrists or anything before writing such laws?
    • They will only end up saying that playing violent games is a sign of oppressed memories of abuse.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by pieisgood (841871)
      Ridiculous, why would they ask a bear about video games?
    • These are the people who want anyone with anything to do with the prefix "paedo" executed... they don't even realise it has another connotation, so I guess not.
      • by 4D6963 (933028)
        lol, right, more like it didn't even cross their mind to ask the opinion of an expert. If they did you wouldn't have so many senseless and useless laws. It seems more like they thought process is "Hey, let's put a curfew/CCTV there, assuming it'll do anything to reduce crime". I truly think that people who write laws just assume a bunch of shit just because it seems to make sense to them, i.e. "if we teach kids about abstinence then they won't have sex, makes sense to me".
        • by torkus (1133985)

          Granted the 'experts' often have their own axe to grind. You become an expert when you're capable of making arbitrary data say whatever you want it to :)

          • by 4D6963 (933028)

            Sadly true, but I'd rather have these justice guys take their chances with experts (although I'd say the bias of the expert depends on the person who required their assistance's bias) than never go with an expert (or panel of expert)'s opinion, or even ignoring any sort of consensus among experts.

            Maybe it's a sign of the current culture that doesn't value experts as much as it should.

      • Related story that i thought was hilarious:
        http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_49785.html

    • by Alsee (515537)

      Do they even ask the opinion of experts like paedopsychatrists or anything before writing such laws?

      Of course they did. They just made sure to ask the right ones.

      -

  • Their job? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Legislators can't fix real problems, so, isn't this a distraction? Doesn't it make them look like they're doing something, rather than sitting around?

  • by crazybit (918023) on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:21AM (#26479485)
    but outlawing a game you obtain:

    1. for kids the game will instantaneously become 10x cooler to be played, just because it will be harder for them to get their hands on it.

    2. if you have never played the game you'll be treated like a dork.

    3. the game will be sold in the "black market".

    Outlaw next GTA and RockStar will sell even more copies. It's just human nature to desire what we can't easily get.
    • by fastest fascist (1086001) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:01AM (#26479663)
      Why would a minor worry about being unable to buy a game in a store anyway? I'm pretty sure The Pirate Bay doesn't check for age. Legally binding age restrictions on games will increase piracy.
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by dainichi (1181931)
        Since when did outlawing anything stop anybody? In my state it is illegal for those under the age of 18 to purchase/use tobacco, or to purchase/use alcohol if under 21. Yet, explain to me how a buddy of mine has been getting cigarettes and booze since he was 12 (without parental permission or approval)? Let's not even talk about the pot. The laws did nothing to stop him from getting that which he wanted. Except for maybe provide a trivial puzzle for him to solve. Ditto for games. All you need to circumven
        • by torkus (1133985)

          Actually, one could make the argument that all these laws are actually teaching children to be criminals. And potentially worse: teaching them to disregard laws, disrespect decision makers, and that they're being forced to live by rules they disagree with (perhaps even rightly so).

          I don't blame violent video games for making children into criminals - I blame crap like this that desensitizes them to breaking other laws.

          • Why do you say "and potentially worse"? I consider it a good thing that people are learning not to assume that lawmakers, and others in authority, always know best. Not having one's own criteria by which to measure such things is, to me, clear evidence of an absence of moral development.

    • by Dunbal (464142)

      3. the game will be sold in the "black market".

            Sold? No, the game will be "downloaded" on the black market :)

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Darundal (891860)
      RTFA, he isn't trying to have them outlawed, he is trying to make sure that M rated games are sold only to people over 18, which I don't necessarily see as a bad thing.
      • by amuro98 (461673)

        In theory...

        However, why only video games?

        With the exception of outright porno, this bill means a kid could go into a store and buy the unrated (with extra gore, blood and profanity) version of, say, Doom3, but couldn't purchase the game. Does that make sense?

        If this bill pushed to have ALL forms of media rated, and withheld from minors, then it MIGHT have a chance in passing. That is until you start talking about the part about deciding what books or newspapers can be sold to minors. Then you're going t

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      No kidding. Let us not forget what happened a few years back with that damned "Asses of Fire" movie. I don't want to end up at war with Canada again just because we get all touchy about kids hearing some profanity. You just know the Spears and Lohan families would be the first to die if that mess started up again.
    • It's true. I can't count how many people I've killed and robbed in the persuit of the Sasquach.
  • by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:31AM (#26479521)

    This story would be more interesting if it was about a man named William from New York who aimed to put an end to all the game-playing by cursing at people.

  • by DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:35AM (#26479539)

    So, let's pretend they have a point... why target games? You could remove every instance of the word "Game" with any other media (Books, Television, Movies, Music, Theater) and it would be the same thing. But no, if they tried to target "Theater" with a bill like this, they'd get laughed out of politics (and rightfully so.)

    "Don't trust anyone over 25!"

    • So, let's pretend they have a point... why target games? You could remove every instance of the word "Game" with any other media (Books, Television, Movies, Music, Theater)

      They already do this with movies, rated R (where the parent needs to be in the movie with the child for them to watch) and NC-17 (no one under 17 period).

      • No, they don't. There is no law anywhere in the US that prevents children from seeing R or NC-17 movies. It is a voluntary restriction enforced by the theaters that show rated movies.

        • Correct, there's no law against a child seeing NC-17 or R movies, but there is a law prohibiting sale of those movies to minors. This proposed law will simply apply the same rules to the sale of games.
          • by amuro98 (461673)

            If you're thinking of porno, that's a different case.

            It's perfectly legal for a kid to go buy or rent an R or NC-17 rated movie, or even the book based on that movie. Heck, you now have "Unrated" versions of movies, which go from an R to borderline porno being sold in mainstream stores.

    • because video games are one of devil's little tricks to control children minds!

      after, it's all about the children right?
  • Ambiguity (Score:3, Funny)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:42AM (#26479569) Journal
    When I first read the headline, I thought it meant that New York would use profanity to ban games. That could work.

    Don't you dare buy that ****ing game, you ****, or I'll ****ing kill you!
  • by DrEldarion (114072) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:38AM (#26479821)

    I'll accept this restriction as long as the same restrictions are placed upon any books and movies that contain "various degrees of profanity, racist stereotypes or derogatory language, and/or actions toward a specific group of persons."

    Oh, what, you can't actually do that for other media? What makes you think you can do it for games, then?

    • I'll accept this restriction as long as the same restrictions are placed upon any books and movies that contain "various degrees of profanity, racist stereotypes or derogatory language, and/or actions toward a specific group of persons."

      Quick, ban the lord of the rings, it portrays all hobbits as short of stature!

      Oh, what, you can't actually do that for other media? What makes you think you can do it for games, then?

      Because there's a large constituency that don't "care about them new video game things". There's a large constituency of parents who have to work their ass off to put food on the table that they don't have time to parent as well or much as they'd want, and so the kids are often left alone in front of the TV (with or without video games). I can see that they might want someone else to "make the same decisions they would" regardin

      • by HBI (604924)

        Not that I support this form of censorship, but those of us a bit older realize that 18 is an arbitrary number picked to avoid the majority of mortalities associated with childhood stupidity, and probably chosen in an age when 35 or 40 was the average lifespan.

        People remain stupid kids for far longer than 18, usually. In my case, into my 30s!

      • by torkus (1133985)

        Or how about just saying 'anyone under 18 can't do jack-squat about these laws that only impact them anyhow' so they get passed.

        I really do find it interesting how our government can pass laws specifically for a portion of the population with no legal representation or ability to directly bring a lawsuit and fight. Yes, their PARENTS could do so, but their parents aren't the ones targeted by the law.

        I'm not saying which side is right, but our 'protect the children' theme mimics other trends where a portion

  • The gaming industry is getting pretty massive in terms of the money that goes through their doors. I've sat in on state lobbying meetings and heard spiels about tax dollars and jobs crossing state lines of such and such subsidy isn't maintained.

    I've also heard that if such subsidies and favorable laws are maintained, sweetness and buttercream will come, with jobs for constituents and parades for congressmen.

    Once the video game industry figures out that this is a pay to play system like telecom, the RIAA, an

  • by VinylRecords (1292374) on Friday January 16, 2009 @07:27AM (#26480571)

    There isn't a day where I play Metal Gear Online 2.0 or Gears of War 2 online where I do not hear someone say 'fuck' or 'shit' or 'dicklicker' using their headset or bluetooth mic or typing those same words into the in-game chat box.

    Shouldn't New York State ban all multi-player games that have in-game forms of communication?

    But what if they disabled communication in games? What if in Starcraft or any other RTS, the opposing player arranged his buildings to form the word 'cock' ? Shouldn't we ban Starcraft as there is the potential to communicate bad words?

    What constitutes profanity? Swear words? Bad words? What is a bad word? Is taking the (fictitious) Lord's name in vain using profanity? I guess that means GOD of War is a DISGUSTING AND INAPPROPRIATE GAME!!!

    These lawmakers will not stop until ALL games are banned.

    • by torkus (1133985)

      Lawmakers just try to appear to be doing something "good" so they'll get re-elected or can expand their political career.

      You're not so likely to see a seasoned politician stand up and propose legalizing crack and prostitution because a significant portion of society deems those as "bad" and that same group feels it necessary to impose their beliefs on the rest of us.

      What's really funny is the separation of church and state thing. Religion is a set of beliefs that people live by and belief in some higher be

  • I don't mind violence and profanity in games, I just want a software switch the bleeps or turns the profanity off. I just don't see a point in hearing curse words. Yes, as an ex-marine I do realize that real marines curse, however having it in a video game doesn't add realism. Real Marines scratch their junk constantly and talk about girls, sex, and racial sterotypes. Unless you are going all the way with the profanity I don't see the point. Call of Duty WaW comes to mind here, there's an inordinate amo
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CrashPoint (564165)
      That "stupid, stupid reason" would be that the game doesn't know what other people are saying, on account of it not containing neither a sentient AI nor magical fairy dust.
  • I think Nico would be best to express my thoughts on this project.

    "Is everything you say total bullshit?"

  • by ZekoMal (1404259)
    Government poking its' nose in our fun...now that is amusing. "Stop where you are! We think we know how you should have fun!"

    Nevermind glorifying war, 24 hour news networks showing us at least a murder a day, TV shows frequently having 'action' scenes and/or rape/sex scenes, movies doing every kind of horrifying thing to people (Hostel, eh?), and, my favorite of all, when they felt the need to take a picture of Saddam's dead sons and slap it on TV for all to see, with a swift 3 second warning that it woul

    • by torkus (1133985)

      I really love it when there's some kind of teenage sex scandal that includes video (or any other questionable news)...and the news shows run the clips over and over blurring out things but clearly showing what's going on.

      OH MY GOD - CAN YOU SEE THIS? SEE IT? LOOK AGAIN, AND AGAIN AND OMG AGAIN!!! IT"S FILTHY, SEE? DON'T YOU SEE RIGHT THERE HOW IT"S TERRIBLE?

      No, they don't sensationalize this stuff nearly as much as video games or 'racy' TV...and we won't mention that they're in prime-time TV slots inste

  • Film carry certs to try to protect kids, why shouldn't games? Well there's the rub, you see the very word games I'm afraid is the problem.

    Soccer Mommy down the local games store, Johnny wants "Shitfaced-Psycho Killer IV" game and mommy knows it's only a computer game so what's the harm? Average Joe thinks games are for kids, they are not. Entertainment comes in many levels, including kiddies, average Wii and DS game and psycho 18/Mature rated, see GTA, Fallout 3, Manhunt, etc.

    You want to make a differ
    • You want to make a difference? Employ more people like I met in local game store about 6 months ago, when I went to buy a second hand copy of Quake IV. "You know this game is rated 18. Do you have any proof of age, driving license or name and address on a utility bill?". Very well done son. However I am 38 years old and due to fun career in IT support, I look about 5 years older than that!

      Do you think they should do the same for printed books?

      I hope you have ID for 'Catcher in the Rye'.

  • Back in my day, games didn't have talking characters with digitized voices.

    All the profanity and cursing came from the player. And oh boy, did it.

  • I just found out yesterday that there's a Gordon Ramsay <a href="http://www.crispyontheoutside.com/2008/09/15/kitchen-nightmares-the-game/">video game</a>. It's rated T for teen in the US, yet apparently it still has Ramsay's trademark cussing. WTF?

    Oh well. The game also includes SCARY CRIME KNIVES so it's probably banned in the UK by default.
  • How stupid of me!

    Of course they learn to curse from games! What a fool I was to think that they were learning from their friends!
  • Ok, there are crimes that occur from time to time that are apparently patterned after something that happened in a game. This is pretty solid- it only takes a single verified instance for this to be proven, and it's happened.

    So we know that video games can influence crime. The question becomes "In what ways do video games influence crime?"

    Are these crimes that would have happened anyways, and the game just influenced how they were commited?

    Or do the games inspire commision of the crimes in the first place

    • Oh, I should point out another thing that is relevant. Video games influence crime. that much is proven. Assume they figure out the bit I discussed above, there is still another important question.

      In what manner do video games cause someone to criminally behave in a certain manner? Does it alter their personality directly? Does it trigger underlying mental problems? Were they simply the victim of horrible parenting?

      It's not as simple an issue as either sides hardcore defenders seem to think.

      • by retchdog (1319261)

        You take it as a foregone conclusion that video games influence crime, but then ask "Were they simply the victim of horrible parenting?"

        So, which one is it? It's good to doubt both sides as long as reasonable, but as long as we do that, let's not come to any conclusions.

    • by Dotren (1449427)

      I'm not convince games influence crime any more than any other media does.

      Depending on a person's personality and imagination, they can get just as "involved" in a book, movie, or even a song. Really can we say with any certainty that, for the majority of people, games have any more lasting effect on personality and character traits then any of these other forms of media?

      Really, crime and violence have been around long before even books were widely available. I think we may discover one day that increases

  • Same Rules (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PMuse (320639) on Friday January 16, 2009 @11:42AM (#26483157)

    It is increasingly clear that the censorship crowd is using new media formats as an excuse. These new formats don't present a new problem. They should be censored exactly as much as the old formats, neither more nor less.

    Physical objects sold--video games, CDs, DVDs, magazines, and books--need only one rule because possession of the object controls access.

    Transmitted media--radio, over-the-air-television, cable television, the Internet (including games, music, and video)--need only one rule because possession of the device/account controls access.

    We can debate what those rules should be, but this business of slapping stricter rules on new media than we had for old ones is just a sham.

  • After scanning over the article, it seems to me they aren't attempting to ban the games or prohibit them from being made or sold.

    This is more about appropriate content for children. In my mind at least, its similar to how DVD movies with a certain rating aren't supposed to be sold to anyone under the age of 18. Everyone else can still purchase copies though.

    I'm not saying I agree with the idea that the government has a right to tell us whether each individual child is mature enough or not to handle the

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