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72% of US Adults Support Violent-Game Ban For Minors 478

SpuriousLogic writes with an excerpt from GameSpot: "The US Supreme Court won't start hearing arguments over California's law banning game sales to minors until November 2. However, the ruling in the court of popular opinion is already in, according to a new poll. This week, parent watchdog group Common Sense Media released the results of a survey it commissioned on children's access to violent games. Conducted by polling firm Zogby International, the survey asked 2,100 adults whether they would support a law that 'prohibits minors from purchasing ultra-violent or sexually violent video games without parental consent.' Of those surveyed, some 72 percent said they would approve such a law. Common Sense Media CEO and founder James Steyer, whose nonprofit organization is lobbying for game-restriction legislation in many states, hailed the poll's findings. 'We hope the [state] attorneys general will take a look at these poll results and that they'll side with families over protecting the profits of the video game industry.'"
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72% of US Adults Support Violent-Game Ban For Minors

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  • by jgtg32a ( 1173373 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @08:13AM (#33585138)
    Corporate policy not an actual law.
  • by Lord Byron II ( 671689 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @08:16AM (#33585166)

    The trouble with these types of surveys is that the always ask a very specific question and then the media generalizes it. In this case, they asked about "ultraviolent or sexually violent" games and if those games should require parental consent to buy them.

    The Slashdot headline broadens the games to simply "violent" and broadens the purchasing restriction to an outright "ban".

    I suggest we give the same people a new survey, but ask about "a government ban on mature-themed video games" and see how many people are still for it.

  • by Lord Byron II ( 671689 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @08:18AM (#33585198)

    There's a difference between store policy and the law. Despite what I've been told by numerous cashiers, there are (AFAIK) no laws against selling to minors:

    -M-rated video games
    -CDs with the Parental Advisory sticker
    -tickets to R-rated movies

  • Re:The other day... (Score:3, Informative)

    by tophermeyer ( 1573841 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @08:25AM (#33585256)

    Those measures are put in place mainly by retailers.

    Like the MPAA, the ESRB encourages retailers to set aged based restrictions to games with more mature ratings. Their goal is to make sure that laws don't need to be passed, and retailers are being responsible in who they sell violent/sexual games to.

    Unfortunately it is really hard for the ESRB to get retailers to play along. They have very little power over the industry other than to withhold a content rating, they have no ability to stop distribution to any retailer that doesn't play nice. That is why some people are claiming we need laws.

  • by AltairDusk ( 1757788 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @08:31AM (#33585296)
    In my experience all of the chain stores will refuse to sell an M rated game to a minor as store policy. I was even asked for ID at one of the local GameStops (and I normally don't get carded at the bar so it's not that I look like a kid).
  • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @08:47AM (#33585426) Journal

    How about we make it illegal to show kids rated R movies first. Or even better, how about the government quits trying to tell parents what media is or is not appropriate for their children. This is just comic books all over again

    Actually, this would be government forcing parents to be responsible for what their kids see. This is making it so that the kids can't buy this stuff without an adult (hopefully a parent). No one is saying kids can't own these games. They just want to make sure the parents are aware of it.

  • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @09:21AM (#33585840)

    There's a difference between store policy and the law. Despite what I've been told by numerous cashiers, there are (AFAIK) no laws against selling to minors:

    As skeptical as I am about "industry self regulation," this is an instance where it appears to work fine. People who are concerned about availability of violent games (to minors) should be lobbying the retailers, not the government.

  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @09:36AM (#33586002) Homepage
    If I'm reading that correctly, that means that there are more de facto restrictions on minors purchasing virtual guns than there are on minors purchasing real guns.

    Minors are prohibited by federal law from purchasing or possessing guns, so not sure how you read it that way.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @09:47AM (#33586196)

    It gets even worse. Texas is part of the bible belt and as a result, many, many counties are dry. Which means its illegal to sale alcohol to the general public. That means no beer at the grocery store and no booze shops or bars.

    The solution? Many restaurants either sale or provide a "club" membership. The law allows for the sale and consumption of alcohol to private club members. Well, this means you can't purchase alcohol to drink at your own home, but you absolutely can get shit faced drunk at a restaurant where you'll then drive home.

    So out one side of Texas' mouth we have a very strong anti-drunk driving and anti-drinking community. Out the other side we have a system which all but ensures drunk driving.

    Obviously those liquor stores right over the county line, which reside in wet counties, do brisk business too; as do the bars. Which further encourages drunk driving. Needless to say drunk driving has continued to be a serious problem in much of Texas and yet no one seems to be able to figure out why.

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @09:55AM (#33586302)

    By federal law you must be 18 to own a long gun (shotgun or rifle or the like) and 21 to own a pistol. One of the very few areas, alcohol being the only other one I can think of, that being an adult isn't enough to purchase something. When you purchase, gun stores don't just check ID, they do a full background check. They take your ID and take down a good amount of additional information. Technically, you don't have to provide it, but if there isn't enough to uniquely identify you, you wont' pass the check. They then call the police who run all that info through the NCIC. This checks to make sure you are not a convicted felon, or convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, or have been in a mental institution. If the check comes back good, the store then sells you the gun.

    So no, kids are not walking in and buying a gun unless they have a really good fake ID, and that fake ID actually identifies them as a real person who is above 18 or 21, and they have all the information (like SSN) for that person correct.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:04AM (#33586412) Homepage Journal

    Minors are prohibited by federal law from purchasing or possessing guns, so not sure how you read it that way.

    Purchasing, yes (Federal), possessing, no. Some States do

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @10:28AM (#33586728) Homepage Journal

    The Gun Control Act of 1968 specifically made it illegal for minors to possess firearms. []

    [(v) , (w) Repealed. Pub. L. 103–322, title XI, 110105(2), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2000.]
    (1) It shall be unlawful for a person to sell, deliver, or otherwise transfer to a person who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe is a juvenile—
    (A) a handgun; or
    (B) ammunition that is suitable for use only in a handgun.
    (2) It shall be unlawful for any person who is a juvenile to knowingly possess—
    (A) a handgun; or
    (B) ammunition that is suitable for use only in a handgun.
    (3) This subsection does not apply to—
    (A) a temporary transfer of a handgun or ammunition to a juvenile or to the possession or use of a handgun or ammunition by a juvenile if the handgun and ammunition are possessed and used by the juvenile—

  • by cawpin ( 875453 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:12AM (#33587418)

    To buy a gun you need 2 forms of ID

    Not federally, that is a state restriction.

    in some states you need to go before the police, and get them to do a background check which can involve interviews with neighbors, friends and family and Police to determine you have a NEED to get a gun. After all that, you still might have a waiting period (even if you own guns already) and still get all the fun at gun store.

    I'm not sure where you got the "interview neighbors" bit, maybe communist New York? I've never heard of even them doing that.

  • by Eskarel ( 565631 ) on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:28AM (#33587738)

    There are indeed no laws, but game retailers have been sensible enough to know that any government regulation in this area is just going to make life more difficult(see Australia, the lack of an R rating and what that does to games everywhere). Therefor the ESRB was created and, at least when I was a kid, it was fairly difficult to buy M rated games as a minor.

    Unless retailers have gotten slack again and stopped enforcing their own rules, there's really no need to implement a law. If they have, it might be. Kids don't need M or R rated games.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:32AM (#33587814)

    While I agree that ultimately it is the parents responsibility. I also know from experience of being at an EB Games and seeing a kid who couldn't have been older then 8 take a copy of Grand Theft Auto 3 to the counter and try to have his grandmother purchase it for him. The employee didn't bat an eye at this. I was a bit shocked. I asked the grandmother if she knew what the ratings on the packages meant. I gave her a quick explanation (pissing the little kid off. he threw a tantrum),t she thanked me and told the kid too pick something else out. I then berated the employee for this kind of crap 3 other parents in the store proceeded to look at the games their kids were buying to look at the rating. None of them had any idea bout it.

    Seriously, I have no problem when guardians of children decide they can watch R rated movies and play M rated games. It is clearly their choice, and ultimately should be. However, it should be an informed choice.

    I think the real issue here is kids get allowances. They spend this money on things they want. They cannot go to a Theater and see an R rated movie without a parent buying a ticket for them. Likewise they cannot buy or rent R Rated movies from a store without a parent there or without a comment on the account specifically stating the child can. Why should games be any different. I mean seriously there are games out there that no child under 10 should play. I am talking about the snuff style games out there. Anyone who says different is delusional.

    The Problem is more about education about the games and what kind of content they contain. But even an informed parent cannot stop a child spending their allowance to go buy a game like this and hide it under the bed. So having an extra bit of protection for parents out their is a good thing.

  • Bullshit! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Athanasius ( 306480 ) <slashdot@miggy.oBOHRrg minus physicist> on Wednesday September 15, 2010 @11:39AM (#33587942) Homepage

    Anyone thinking such games have a truly adverse effect on more than a very small minority of kids (who likely already had problems) should go watch this "Penn & Teller's Bullshit!" episode: []

    Sadly there's no synopsis or the like on that URL but from memory one thing they did was have a 10 year old who loves playing something like Modern Warfare on his console go and actually shoot a rifle (AR-1 I think). The kid doesn't enjoy the experience at all. Yeah, the games sooooooo made him likely to grab a gun and go on a real killing spree....

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.