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Censorship The Courts United States Games

Supreme Court Hears Violent Video Game Case Tomorrow 342

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-bet-scalia-plays-quake dept.
SkinnyGuy writes that with the Supreme Court set to hear arguments tomorrow for California's controversial law aimed at keeping violent games away from minors, support for gamers and the games industry is coming from all corners. Writing for PCMag, Lance Ulanoff says the decision should rest in parents' hands: "If I have real concerns, it's up to me to argue it out with my son and take away the games or not buy them for him when he asks." Game developer Daniel Greenberg wants to know "how government bureaucrats are supposed to divine the artistic value that a video game has for a 17-year-old," adding that he's "disheartened and a little perplexed to see [his] art and passion lumped in with cigarettes and booze." The expectation within the legal community is that the statute should be found unconstitutional, and the Atlantic's Garrett Epps points out the irony of Gov. Schwarzenegger's involvement with the legislation.
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Supreme Court Hears Violent Video Game Case Tomorrow

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  • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Monday November 01, 2010 @06:27PM (#34095718)
    We are DOING IT FOR THE CHILDREN. Why can't you all just get it through your thick heads?
    • Ban Chess! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @06:14AM (#34099094)

      We are DOING IT FOR THE CHILDREN. Why can't you all just get it through your thick heads?

      Indeed, this is why we must ban the abomination that is chess. I have heard this game features uncompromising and completely unjustified, racist warfare between white and black people. Apparently players are actually encouraged to sacrifice the lives of poor people in order to murder more important, blameless enemies. There game encourages violence against women and the common soldiers main goal in life is to eventually become 'queens', which surely sends the wrong message to our youth and corrupts the heart of family values.

      Though I have never played these games, I have red the tabloid newspaper descriptions and that is more than enough! Speaking as a mother, I feel the only way forwards is to ban these horrific games thinly disguised as art before they further corrupt our youth.

      • Re:Ban Chess! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by DanTheStone (1212500) on Tuesday November 02, 2010 @10:10AM (#34100376)
        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=100-years-ago-baseballs [scientificamerican.com]

        “A pernicious excitement to learn and play chess has spread all over the country, and numerous clubs for practicing this game have been formed in cities and villages. Why should we regret this? It may be asked. We answer, chess is a mere amusement of a very inferior character, which robs the mind of valuable time that might be devoted to nobler acquirements, while it affords no benefit whatever to the body. Chess has acquired a high reputation as being a means to discipline the mind, but persons engaged in sedentary occupations should never practice this cheerless game; they require out-door exercises—not this sort of mental gladiatorship.”
  • How exactly is this any different from restricting the sale of R rated movies to minors, or is that legal in California?

    • by Shakrai (717556) * on Monday November 01, 2010 @06:32PM (#34095792) Journal

      I'm not aware of any law that restricts the sale of 'R' rated movies. I am aware of several corporate policies that restrict such sales. Wal-Mart is notorious for this -- I've watched the Wally World drones card people for 'R' rated movies while letting the next person buy beer without being carded.

      Is there an actual law on the books somewhere that restricts the sale of 'R' rated movies?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Don't shop at Wal-Mart

      • Is there an actual law on the books somewhere that restricts the sale of 'R' rated movies?

        Of course not. That would be unconstitutional. Besides the free speech issues, how can you let a private organization like the MPAA decide what is and isn't legal?

    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday November 01, 2010 @06:43PM (#34095900) Journal

      That's legal everywhere (or at least as far as I know) - there is no Law saying that your movie has to be rated, you can choose to go and have your movie unrated if you want - but certain theatrical companies may not want to air your film, or they'll give it their own rating. Basically, when someone says you can't see an R rated movie - its the company policy, not law. No body of the government is responsible for upholding that law.

      This being said - its the same way video games are right now. Places like Gamestop are not legally binded to uphold the ESRB ratings system, it's just their company policy to do so.

      Now other things, like cigarettes and alchohol, ARE bound by law. This court case is about making video games part of those groups - where distributors can be held accountable for selling video games to people younger than the rating system allows, like selling or giving cigarettes to under-aged smokers.

      Right now - if a kid wanted a video game and he did not meet the requirements he could ask his parents to buy it for him, that way they know what he's purchasing and they can check the ESRB rating and look at the box and all that nice stuff. Basically the law being proposed would take that out of the equation - as in the reseller or parent can be liable for letting them acquire that game, just like if your parents were to buy you smokes or if the 711 let you buy smokes underaged.

      Now - thats the way it is where I am - in other places of the states, perhaps no company is imposing any restrictions based on the ESRB ratings. If thats the case, I can see where the people are coming from - but they should be lobbying their distributors to impose the restrictions, not the Government.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It is legal to sell R rated movies to minors, or to allow minors to see such films in theaters. Some theaters may have internal rules disallowing it, but private policies like this have never had the force of law.

      That's the difference with the video game legislation at issue. The ESRB was originally intended to be a private ratings group like the MPAA--just an organization to give suggestions on content to conscientious parents. It was never intended to be a government watchdog. Now California wants g
  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Monday November 01, 2010 @06:29PM (#34095758) Homepage

    Somehow I can't imagine Scalia doing drug runs in GTA 4, but you never know.

    • this case has big1st amendment parts to it as if you can ban violent parts of works of art (games) then it makes it that much easier to ban parts of free speech.

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        Well, it's not really that big as some proponents of the ban claim that video games aren't art- as in there is no quantifiable speech or artistic value in them to fall under the first amendment.

        So if they get their way- the ban can stay without any transferable first amendment problems unless you consider classifying something that can be copyrighted as not being speech.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday November 01, 2010 @07:50PM (#34096564) Homepage Journal

      Somehow I can't imagine Scalia doing drug runs in GTA 4, but you never know.

      Oh how 'bout this? We'll stop playing violent video games when Clarence Thomas stops watching videos of white women having sex with donkeys? Maybe some of you are too young to remember Anita Hill's (corroborated) testimony, but this is a guy who's got a serious porn addiction, in addition to being a serial sexual harasser.

      The only reason he was confirmed by the Senate is because the Senate judiciary committee was an all-boys' club back then, and when a woman would bring sexual harassment charges, she was told "well, you must have been asking for it" (which is pretty much exactly what the Senators said to Anita Hill).

    • by codepigeon (1202896) on Monday November 01, 2010 @09:36PM (#34097252)
      I heard recent clips from the Supreme Court where they were asking questions about "texting". They didn't know if two people who texted at the same time would have their text's collide and be blocked. The people on the U.S. Supreme Court are decades behind technology.
  • by magsol (1406749) on Monday November 01, 2010 @06:33PM (#34095798) Journal
    There's a noticeable trend: as the graphics in video games have become "more realistic" over the last decade, homicide rates among 14-25 year-olds (arguably the most potent age demographic in the gaming industry) has dropped over the last decade.

    No, correlation does not imply causation, nor would that make in this particular case. Furthermore, homicides can't be construed as an end-all, be-all indicator of any culturally-induced violent behavior. But saying that kids who play Counterstrike and then leave their house with their dad's shotgun and blow holes in their neighbors' heads were inspired to do so from playing video games is ludicrous.

    Video games may nudge already-unstable mental states of individuals in a certain direction, but it's nothing that a certain environment wouldn't have done on its own anyway. They don't turn "normal" human beings into mindless rampaging murderers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      When I was in your 14 to 25 age group, (Admittedly a long time ago.) violent video games probably saved a few lives.
      Without the release of playing a game and blowing a few things up after school I have little doubt I would have snapped and tried to go on a killing rampage.
    • by Afforess (1310263) <afforess@gmail.com> on Monday November 01, 2010 @06:57PM (#34096056) Journal
      There is research that shows that when a particularly violent new movie debuts in Theaters, violent crimes have a huge downward trend for the next few days.

      Source: www.nytimes.com/2008/01/07/business/media/07violence.html
    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday November 01, 2010 @06:58PM (#34096062) Journal

      All I know is that if I didn't have an outlet for my anger at home, I would have let it out at school. Does that mean I would have brought a gun in and shot someone? Likely not, but I probably would have shouted and hit a bully or two, which means I'd get detention, which means I'd become a problem kid, and a decade down the road I could have shot someone.

      I wouldn't be surprised if this is the case for many other people here. It's not that a video game would normally make me a violent person, and it's not like I'm a violent person who needs to have some kind of murder take place just to satiate me. It's that they are a regular outlet to let off some steam, whereas without video games it tends to build up, which will only blow at the wrong times at the wrong person and get you in trouble which is where all the bad influences are anyways. Seriously, taking all your "trouble" kids, having them stick around after class, in the same room... it's a silly idea. That means when they go home from school, the only other people to talk to are other trouble kids. Does someone who yells at a teacher need to be sitting around the kid who got caught smoking?

      • All I know is that if I didn't have an outlet for my anger at home, I would have let it out at school.

        Not to say one way or another - it's really hard to prove causality in media/violence cases especially in video games - but I'd like to refer you to Albert Bandura's famous Bobo Doll study [wikipedia.org] (video [youtube.com]). The belief that an outlet for violence (particularly violent television) was good for satiating people's natural aggressive tendencies was widely believed up until this study was published in 1961. I am shocked nobody else here bothered to cite this study.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by LongearedBat (1665481)

        Seriously, taking all your "trouble" kids, having them stick around after class, in the same room... it's a silly idea. That means when they go home from school, the only other people to talk to are other trouble kids. Does someone who yells at a teacher need to be sitting around the kid who got caught smoking?

        That's exactly the problem with prisons. I think we need to come up with a better system than prisons, that is still socially palatable.

    • Oh it gets better (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday November 01, 2010 @07:21PM (#34096308)

      Violent crime as a whole has been dropping fairly steadily for about 2-3 decades. Despite the "We are less safe," hysteria from the media we are actually more safe. Violent crime levels have trended downward. Not every year, not every place, but you look at the over all trend and it has been on a decline for a good bit. Well guess what? That neatly maps with the rise in videogame popularity. In 2-3 decades they went from things only geeks played to something everyone does. As their popularity has risen, crime has fallen.

      There you go! Clear correlation! Games cause crime to go down!

      Or course Steven Levitt has some pretty compelling evidence that legalized abortion was one of the major factors, not games, but then the kind of people who say "OMG games cause crime!" aren't in to good evidence.

      • So you're saying that video games cause abortions? They are far worse than we thought!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Violent crime as a whole has been dropping fairly steadily for about 2-3 decades. Despite the "We are less safe," hysteria from the media we are actually more safe. Violent crime levels have trended downward. Not every year, not every place, but you look at the over all trend and it has been on a decline for a good bit. Well guess what? That neatly maps with the rise in videogame popularity. In 2-3 decades they went from things only geeks played to something everyone does.

        Oddly enough, firearm ownership has

  • [cosm] Look. The Supreme Court is admin. Don't **** with admin. Sign in, read the MOTD, stfu and play. LegalHacks will be permabanned. This includes you, Lawyer4Life_Blazin3.
    [server] Next map is dm_MarijaunaFields.
    [cosm] Sweet ****!
    [server] cosm (1072558) was permabanned for language.
  • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Monday November 01, 2010 @06:39PM (#34095872)

    A bunch of blah blah blah and then "...I'm glad to have you on our side, 'cause I agree with you. Leave your game alone. The people that put together these video games are artists in their own right. If you're gonna start saying that video games are raunchy, then how the hell do you leave cable television alone?"

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_102910/content/01125113.guest.html [rushlimbaugh.com]
    http://kotaku.com/5677274/rush-limbaugh-defends-video-games-free-speech-says-this-is-where-the-battle-is [kotaku.com]

    • I guess he's arguing that many liberals find violence offensive, by the same token that many conservatives find naked boobs offensive. There are enough politicians from both sides demanding unconstitutional artistic censorship of video games and other media that it doesn't really deserve to be spun as a partisan issue as Limbaugh did.

      By the same token, though, it's important to have support from free speech from across the political spectrum as well, so I hope Slashdotters won't laugh this off just because

      • by Wyatt Earp (1029)

        While I understand Rush panders to the fringe right and the scared conservative moderates, I don't think he really is that fringy himself. He is acting and spinning people up as part of his job.

        So yea, he'll hammer on the left about this, but really he is saying its an art like film, TV, writing and we can't censor it if we aren't going to go after the "untouchable" mediums. And it's extra hypocritical for California to do it when they are the center for sex and violence in film and TV in the US, at least i

        • by hedwards (940851)
          If you take enough stances on enough issues eventually you'll run out of unreasonable ones to take or otherwise end up with a reasonable one. Remember this is the same Rush that when called out about his drug abuse asserted a right to privacy. After having used however many other people's drug problems for material.
    • by Danse (1026)

      A bunch of blah blah blah and then "...I'm glad to have you on our side, 'cause I agree with you. Leave your game alone. The people that put together these video games are artists in their own right. If you're gonna start saying that video games are raunchy, then how the hell do you leave cable television alone?"

      http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_102910/content/01125113.guest.html [rushlimbaugh.com] http://kotaku.com/5677274/rush-limbaugh-defends-video-games-free-speech-says-this-is-where-the-battle-is [kotaku.com]

      While I agree when it comes to just speech, I don't agree with him when it comes to actions. By his logic, it should be fine for companies to dump tons of pollution into rivers with no legal consequence, because then the market will take care of it, right? Except that that river really only matters to the people who depend on it, and even if every one of them boycotted that company, they could still do just fine selling to the rest of the country and the world. It also implies that there's a way for peop

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday November 01, 2010 @08:00PM (#34096628)

      I've got something that's even -more- interesting than Rush Limbaugh's opinion: my cat just farted, and it sounded like "The wording of the bill is also terrible, 'appeals to a deviant or morbid interest' and has no 'serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value' can be interpreted as every single videogame or alternatively no videogames whatsoever."

      I mean, not only is my cat's asshole just as credible as Rush Limbaugh's mouth, but it also has better analysis as to why the law is a bad idea.

  • We all know how SCOTUS feels about things like "rights" and "human dignity." Oh well. We're fucked.

  • Leave it to the parents. There is no need for regulation however, being from the first gaming-gen myself... I don't think these shooters or gta that I love myself so much for the pure fun of it are actually good. If anything they do promote violence, even reward you for it. I think my own kids will have to put up with dad reviewing their games. At least in the early ages. And depending on how they develop somewhere between 12-16 I'll let them free to play what they want. Just as long daddy can kick their as
    • Re:Parenting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday November 01, 2010 @06:58PM (#34096068)
      Yes, that is the thing, governments should stay out of morality, its best for everyone. First off, think about your own morals, the Christian right really needs to look at trends in Europe and stand up against government regulation of morality, because, perhaps in 20 years they might not be the majority and another (anti)religious group will take their place.

      Free speech should be free speech. So long as it doesn't interfere with your rights and your property rights it should be perfectly allowed no matter what it is.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TubeSteak (669689)

        Yes, that is the thing, governments should stay out of morality, its best for everyone. First off, think about your own morals, the Christian right really needs to look at trends in Europe and stand up against government regulation of morality, because, perhaps in 20 years they might not be the majority and another (anti)religious group will take their place.

        As I've seen it written: Separation Of Church And State is meant to protect the Church from the State

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Yes, that is the thing, governments should stay out of morality, its best for everyone.

        So, you are saying that murder should not be illegal? Theft? All laws are about morals, it is just a question of which morals are important enough to be enforced by law.

    • Re:Parenting (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Monday November 01, 2010 @07:20PM (#34096302) Journal

      I'm sure the nanny types would have a fit but I let my boys play games like DOOM when they were 12 with NO worries. Why? Because I sat down with them and showed them how it worked instead of using the machine as a baby sitter, that's why. I showed them how to edit DOOM wads, and how the changes they made were reflected on the screen. I showed them how the characters may act like they were 'reacting" to them, but it was all a script that could be easily changed. By doing so I showed them the truth behind the magic curtain, and therefor didn't worry about them confusing anything on the screen with IRL. of course it made for some funny "cursing" by my oldest, things like "Who designed this game? Look at all the tearing! And could they rehash the textures any more? And what about the AI, DUCK YOU DUMMY!"

      Now the oldest has just started pre-med and the youngest is deciding whether to go into graphic arts or become a chef. Neither has EVER raised a hand in anger to anyone else, in fact the local pastor just recently told me "I wanted to let you know what a fine young man you have in your oldest. I went to ask him about some volunteer work and watched as he went out of his way to make sure nobody in the cafeteria had to eat alone for felt left out. He is gonna make a great doctor and probably a leader in the community" which made me feel great. In the end it comes down to simply doing the right thing and caring about your kids, instead of using tech as baby sitters. You can't baby proof the world, nor can the government be "big mommy" to the nation's kids.

      So I agree with you completely, well except for the "kicking their asses" part. I hate to break the news to ya, but after about 35 your reaction time just sucks ass compared to a teen. If you are gonna play with them you better make sure that age and treachery overcome youth and skill, because on skill alone they'll mop the floor with you.

    • by grumbel (592662)

      Leave it to the parents.

      Thats exactly what video game regulation would do, making it easier for parents to control what their children would consume, as children would have a harder time obtaining the games.

      • by santax (1541065)
        That's one way to look at it. Didn't think about it, but here we know what our children possess and buy. But I am sure that's not in every part of the world or town/city. It's a valid viewpoint, but it would really need an age on it. It would be freaking weird to let a 16 y/o with guns and a car in a heavy traffic city drive around but deny him the right to buy GTA. Then again, common sense has and will never be an issue in politics.
      • If by that you mean more pointless censorship, then yes. That is exactly what it would do. Why not just leave the decision in the hands of the player, and not parents or government? I mean, if the parents already believe that video games don't cause violence (or if they do but don't have evidence) and are willing to buy a game, why would they refuse to buy a violence one? It's simply pointless.

    • by Eskarel (565631)

      To be honest, I'm not necessarily against this sort of regulation so long as the provision exists for parents to override the decision. If they make it illegal for minors to play violent video games then that's a problem, but requiring them to have an adult present in order to purchase it isn't really a problem. It gives the parents a bit of help in dealing with these sorts of things before the money has been spent.

      That said, I wasn't aware that the ESRB rating system was really having that many problems. I

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday November 01, 2010 @06:54PM (#34096016)
    It shouldn't matter what the game is like. Free speech is free speech. I don't know where people got the illusion that the only thing free speech should be for is saying how great the government is and how great things are now.

    Free speech, so long as it doesn't interfere with anyone else and their property rights should be 100% legal.
    • There are only a few foundational rules in modern Western society. Kids having different rights than adults is certainly one very few would argue with in principle (perhaps in practice!). We censor stuff to kids all the time because we believe that every parent should have the right to restrict what their child does and sees.

      Right now we've got a system that works, and I frankly don't care whether the private economy or the public economy enforces this restriction. What does matter to me as a parent and

      • "We censor stuff to kids all the time because we believe that every parent should have the right to restrict what their child does and sees."

        Where do people get this idea? Oh, wait. This is a great opportunity for personal indoctrination! You can make your child become whatever you want them to, even a replica of yourself! Embody within them your exact beliefs and censor out everything else! What a great idea to create people with minds of their own. No, that is fiction. In reality, censorship is an obsceni

    • by hedwards (940851)
      Sure it does. The reason why we have free speech at all is to ensure that ideas are freely exchanged. Artists tend to push the boundaries of acceptable communication to get the audience to think.

      It's really the only way to separate that from inciting violence and other forms of speech which are harmful to society as a whole. Unlimited free speech is just about as dangerous to the individual as no free speech is. Certain things just don't qualify in any sane society regardless of culture.
  • Beer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Monday November 01, 2010 @07:05PM (#34096148) Homepage Journal
    In civilized conservative parts of the US, children can drink alcohol with parents perimision. This reflects the norm in the civilized world. Of course well meaning liberals and fake conservatives wants the big government that results from controlling every minutia of the citizenry. What we can read, what we eat, what we can drink.

    This does not mean there are not consequences. I don't believe in requiring helmets, but I would hate to be in the insurance pool with a person who rides a motorcycle and does not wear a helment. Such a person is stealing from me. Likewise, if a parent is not serving a child appropriate amounts of alcohol, that parent is libel for the resulting damage. This consequence based model makes much more sense than the big government telling us what games we can play in our own houses.

    So I would say if someone is offended by beer and cigs, then it is perfectly acceptable for other people to be offended by video games with gratuitous violence. If however we realize that everyone is going be be offended by something, and will tend to group all those things under one umbrella, then we can reach a point where we are confortable letting other people doing things that we find offended without getting offended by that fact that other think differently that we do.

    The damage, of course, comes when one person thinks what they do is protected speech, maybe even art, and what other people do is simply random acts of terrorism.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      Children shouldn't be drinking alcohol period. Just because civilized countries allow it does not make it a good idea. Unfortunately alcohol screws with the body's chemistry worse than pretty much anything else and it does do damage. Now in reasonable quantities the harm is negligible to overshadowed by benefits, but the body does adapt to handle it and you really don't want kids developing tolerance before they know how to handle it safely.

      And really, kids and young adults ought to be really careful abo
      • by russotto (537200)

        Children shouldn't be drinking alcohol period. Just because civilized countries allow it does not make it a good idea. Unfortunately alcohol screws with the body's chemistry worse than pretty much anything else and it does do damage.

        Tell you what; let's do an experiment. We'll take a bunch of sets of identical twins and give one of each set alcohol and and the other cyanide, and see whose body chemistry gets more screwed up. No? How about heroin instead of cyanide? Methamphetamine? Clozapine? Phencycl

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@@@lynx...bc...ca> on Monday November 01, 2010 @07:08PM (#34096170) Journal

    A parent who is capable of confiscating a game that he doesn't want his kids playing should be just as capable of going out and buying a game for his kid that the kid can't buy for himself, right?

    Not every parent wants to run their household like a freakin' gestapo camp (forgive me Godwin)... if the retailers face fines for not checking ID before selling a game with a mature or adult rating, there's at least a minimal level of assurance for parents who have problems with these sorts of things that the number of times they are going to have to bring down the banhammer on their kids' activities for stuff like this is few and far enough between that it doesn't end up creating more household conflict than what could easily already exist just because teenagers think that their parents can't possibly understand them. Meanwhile, parents who don't have a problem with this sort of thing should be perfectly free to go out and buy their kids these sorts of games as they wish. I have no problem with legislation in this department, and I would suggest that parents who might think I want to be a lazy parent simply because I don't want to fight with my kids may be guilty of being lazy themselves... for reasons I cannot even begin to imagine.

    Of course, if video console makers actually made halfway decent parental controls that allowed things like blacklisting and whitelisting, in addition to using the general guideline of the video game rating, and said parental controls were not easily bypassed by any remotely bright kid who bothered to google how to get around them, I probably wouldn't care one way or the other. If he wants to waste his money on stuff he can't play under my roof, that's his own problem.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      The problem with this legislation is that even your child has a right to free speech that may not be infringed upon by the government. Parents can infringe that right, but the government can't. If you really want this sort of law, you're going to have to amend the constitution to make it legal. (or pull one over on a gullible elderly Supreme Court, which is what they're trying to do here.)

      BTW, if you want the government to fight your battles for you, then yes you are a lazy parent.

    • The only people detached from reality are those that truly believe that people can't differentiate between reality and a video game. That is something anyone can do.

      "Leaving it up to the parent works both ways"

      I don't understand this line of thinking. Usually people such as this acknowledge that video games don't make people violent (which they don't), yet they still say a parent should be able to control what video games their children buy (I know it is their money, but it still makes no sense). Why would

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday November 01, 2010 @07:24PM (#34096348)
    It is completely legal for any child of any age to go out and buy the movie "Silence of the Lambs" and watch Hannibal lector cut the face off of someone and use it as a mask. For some reason Music and Video games are considered to have more influence with children. It's a silly distinction.
    3 Million children are treated for sports related injuries every year:
    http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site1112/mainpageS1112P0.html

    If you want to protect your children, lets start with the place they are most likely to be hurt. School sports programs.
    • by santax (1541065)
      I hope you can see the difference between a sporting-accident and the potential to create a complete generation of serial-killers. (I don't think it will, but some people do think this.)
      • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Monday November 01, 2010 @08:19PM (#34096750)

        "I don't think it will, but some people do think this."

        Where is their evidence of this? Oh, wait, they have none! They want to ban something that many, many people enjoy when they don't even have any evidence. Funny, that. The law shouldn't be made up of worthless opinions, but facts.

        The only people truly detached from reality are those that believe that people can't differentiate between reality and a video game (something anyone is able to do). As such, it doesn't need to be in the hands of parents, as this article suggests. It should be in the hands of the player. If video games don't do any harm, then why does it suggest that it be in the hands of the parent? What is the point of that beyond indoctrination and control? Nothing. If they would refuse to buy violent video games for their child yet would still buy games that aren't labeled as violent and still acknowledge that video games don't cause violence, they're idiots.

        • by santax (1541065)
          Parenting = indoctrination. If not they would call it feeding.
          • Or at least, that is what bad parents believe. There seems to be an overabundance of those.

            • by santax (1541065)
              A kid needs a certain set of rules to develop in. Those rules are set by parents, based upon their own experiences in life. If that is to hard to understand, you're probably still a teenager. In that case, no worries, you'll understand later. If that's not the case, then please do explain to everyone once and for all how to raise a kid?
              • "A kid needs a certain set of rules to develop in."

                To keep them safe from physical harm, yes. Running with sharp objects increases your chances of getting severely injured, etc.

                "Those rules are set by parents, based upon their own experiences in life."

                Yet many parents choose to indoctrinate their children with their own religion, beliefs, and as I said before, pointlessly disallowing them from consuming certain media.

                "you're probably still a teenager"

                Nope.

                "In that case, no worries, you'll understand later."

                • by santax (1541065)
                  And how do you gonna bring that in practice? Let them view porn at 4 because you don't to censor the information that is given to the child? A child cannot comprehend everything like adults can. That's what learning and teaching is all about. And parents may want to raise their kids to never use violence, while others would chose to put their kids on karate to learn to protect theirself. It's these choices that is parenting. There is no perfect recipe like: no censor. Offcourse you're gonna censor things fo
                  • "Let them view porn at 4 because you don't to censor the information that is given to the child?"

                    Let them view pornography at four? I don't see what harm that would do, but it's vastly useless to them. At most they would likely think "wow, that's gross."

                    "A child cannot comprehend everything like adults can."

                    Adults are not somehow special. They've merely lived slightly longer than a child. Depending on the rate at which a child can memorize new information, they could out perform an adult who has lived in th

                    • by santax (1541065)
                      Have you ever been in a room with a 4 year old? Alone? You have no clue how kids are, that's for sure.
                    • I know enough to know that censorship and indoctrination are both far from being education.

                    • by santax (1541065)
                      It's fucking impossible to raise kids and not indoctrinate. You indoctrinate them to not put their hands in the oven, not to put that pencil in the poweroutlet. It's all indoctrination. It's a fact of life and even raising your kids with your own values (not to indoctrinate) is indoctrination. See, there is no way around it. You want to protect your kids and raise them to be good men or women. With decent values. How do you set up those values? Well by your own. You're saying we should stop being human. But
  • Video Games are a reflection of our STRUCTURED SOCIAL SYSTEM. Same with a child's behavior. It is a reflection of our SOCIAL STRUCTURE. And it is NOT the child fault, it is our own fault as adults. Here is a video about Bullying by a gentleman who holds degrees in History and Philosphy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KxUkRdjD3k [youtube.com]
  • Arnold's success at entrancing 12-year-old boys by shooting huge guns has vaulted him to a position of power from which he will blandly urge the Court to create a new exception to the First Amendment: violent entertainment aimed at 12-year-old boys.

    The huge guns that he shot in movies which were all rated PG-13 or well above?
    PG-13: The 6th Day, Last Action Hero
    R: T1, T2, T3, Collateral Damage, End of Days, Eraser, True Lies, Total Recall (secondary rating), Red Heat, Running Man, Predator, Raw Deal, Command

    • The real irony is that despite these clear ratings that have been on the boxes since VHS and in many instances even included prior to the movie's starting, these 12-year olds and younger end up watching them anyway.

      Heaven forbid that some people mature faster than others and can easily separate reality from fiction.

  • I didn't know that they had a case to begin with! I guess I was foolish to assume that you needed some sort of evidence before you, you know, ban something that many people enjoy.

    "Lance Ulanoff says the decision should rest in parents' hands"

    No, the decision (unless the parent is the one paying, but even then, it's pointless to not buy violent video games if they would buy another game for them anyway) should be in the hands of the person who wants to play the game. If you truly believe that video games hav

  • Or is it about a bunch of people that are basically terrified over pretty much anything that might be dangerous?
    I don't mean for this to be partisan or inflamitory, so please bear with me.

    Look at say-- Gun control. Study after study has shown that gun control measures do not positively effect the rate of violent crimes involving guns. (in fact, several studies have contraindicated this assertion.) This is because gun control laws only impact law abiding citizens, who, being law abiding to begin with, do not

    • "which showed that there was a positive correlation"

      Not really. Imagine being in a room (especially at a very young age) and someone shows you an activity that appears to be fun and will damage nothing more than an inanimate object that is fine to damage. They didn't go out and shoot people with guns, they replicated an activity that appeared to be fun (or at least one that would pass the time). An activity that hurt no one.

  • Writing for PCMag, Lance Ulanoff says the decision should rest in parents' hands: "If I have real concerns, it's up to me to argue it out with my son and take away the games or not buy them for him when he asks." If you're already buying the game for your kid, then a prohibition on sale directly to minors would be irrelevant. If anything, this law supports Ulanoff's point - that the decision should rest in parents' hands, and that they can freely buy the game if they want.

    Not that there aren't other arguments, actually based on the Constitution, but that argument shoots itself in the foot from the get-go.

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