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New York Bill Aims To Restrict Games Containing Profanity 133

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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  • phew (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:26AM (#26479287)

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

      Oh wait..

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

    by troll8901 ( 1397145 ) <> on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:28AM (#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

  • by Merls the Sneaky ( 1031058 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:47AM (#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.

  • Their job? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:51AM (#26479369)

    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 @04:21AM (#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 DreamsAreOkToo ( 1414963 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:35AM (#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!"

  • by DrEldarion ( 114072 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [0791uhcsm]> on Friday January 16, 2009 @05:38AM (#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?

  • Re:Monkey (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Eerikki ( 1045026 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @06:14AM (#26479983)
    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:3, Insightful)

    by oji-sama ( 1151023 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @07:57AM (#26480427)
  • Re:Monkey (Score:4, Insightful)

    by steelcaress ( 1389111 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @09:01AM (#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?"

  • Re:Monkey (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Friday January 16, 2009 @11:45AM (#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.

  • Same Rules (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PMuse ( 320639 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @12:42PM (#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.

  • by CrashPoint ( 564165 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @12:45PM (#26483217)
    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.
  • Re:Monkey (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jimbolauski ( 882977 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @01:46PM (#26484107) Journal
    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.

Garbage In -- Gospel Out.