Schwarzenegger vs. Interactivity

Archon

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Schwarzenegger vs. Interactivity

How the Supreme Court could kill the future by leaving interactive speech unprotected.

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Loonerinoes

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Nice article. I found this bit particularly on-point.

"The California law could be found unconstitutional simply because it could lead to "chilling effects" on free speech. In legal terms, a "chilling effect" occurs when speech or conduct is suppressed by fear of penalization. For instance, traditional "brick and mortar" businesses, such as GameStop and Wal-mart will have to restructure their entire business model to ensure minors are not sold games to avoid liability of $1,000 per sale. Additionally, those in best control of the point-of-sale (sales clerks) are specifically exempt from liability, shifting a burden of increased training, supervision, and thus higher costs. These businesses may decide that it is more cost effective to not stock and sell these games all together, effectively chilling speech to all members of the community."

This is precisely why from the moment I read that it's "Schwarzenegger vs. anything" I had a gut feeling that the real drive behind this is not so much around freedom of speech, but rather the movie industry versus the videogame industry. Granted this is merely conjecture but...that's my feeling about all of this. More corporate influence over the law disguising itself as waxing philosophical on "protecting our youth from violence" tbh.
 

PurpleSky

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It's nice to see that in the US freedom of speech is such a big deal,I just hope it isn't used as an excuse by others to protect stupid laws.
 

Formica Archonis

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Sad, but doesn't surprise me one bit. I know someone who's got a legitimate business (non-gaming) in California and he's being put through the legal wringer because a lobbyist group has pushed for laws that hurt everyone in the industry (except them) under the guise of stopping shady fly-by-night operations. You know, the ones that don't care about the laws they're already breaking.

The more I hear about California politics the more I decide the state's entire legal and lawmaking structure is screwed up.
 

Jared

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California has always been known as the crazy state...I suppose they have to live up to the name somehow...but, really. They need to take a step back at times to look at issues larger than just the state
 

SenseOfTumour

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I can't help but think it's a reasonable idea to prevent sales to minors of M rated games, and as for training, surely 'Hey guys, you know how you card people for Mature rated movies? do the same for video games please'. That's not $1000s of training to me.

I just think because people are crazy about the idea the kids playing violent games, if we don't as an industry keep them away from kids, the world will just go nuts and try to get them banned altogether.

Again tho, I think the main problem is parental responsibility, you buy GTA for your wailing 8 year old to shut him up, despite the clerk's desperate attempts to educate you about the games content, then you don't get to run off to FOX news because it taught him to call the family pet a ************, and reply to 'tidy your room' with 'what up, *****?'
 

InsanityRequiem

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SenseOfTumour said:
I can't help but think it's a reasonable idea to prevent sales to minors of M rated games, and as for training, surely 'Hey guys, you know how you card people for Mature rated movies? do the same for video games please'. That's not $1000s of training to me.

I just think because people are crazy about the idea the kids playing violent games, if we don't as an industry keep them away from kids, the world will just go nuts and try to get them banned altogether.

Again tho, I think the main problem is parental responsibility, you buy GTA for your wailing 8 year old to shut him up, despite the clerk's desperate attempts to educate you about the games content, then you don't get to run off to FOX news because it taught him to call the family pet a ************, and reply to 'tidy your room' with 'what up, *****?'
The thing is, every game store that sells video games already cards people if they wish to buy M games. I know I've been carded multiple times after I turned 18 for buying an M game. Putting a law on it is a kick to the balls of all video gamers with a heavy, steel-toed boot with spikes on it.

This also opens the door for government to put laws on movies and stores. And it gets worse. What's to stop them from banning violence in all video games? What about political ideals? Heck, they could ban swear words from games.

That's why I like what the ECA/EMA is doing by fighting this. Our rights as citizens (Of the States since this is where it's happening), are being shot by a law like this.
 

Archon

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Once again that "Free Speech" is just some kind of utopia. It is never 100% and some people from the U.S. cannot handle me pointing it out. Seems Europe has it's benefits too, huh? We didn't suffered at all. Nor have we a channel like Fox News inspiring terror into parents who cannot parrent.

Either way, GOOD LUCK out there!
 

HT_Black

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Sorry Mister, but you're a tad bit late to the party-- they already have this where I live, and frankly I'm just fine with it. It means we don't get squeakers on Modern Warfare, and we don't have kids running about and screaming about how they're going to blow you away with the BFG9K or whatever. I'm hardly supporting censorship as a whole, but I know I wouldn't want my kid playing Criminal Origins; and that brings us to the heart of the matter: at the end of the day, it's the parents--not the retailers, developers, or publishers-- that are responsible for what their kids see. Many of them want to pin the blame on someone else, and that's why this bill is clogging up the California legal system.
It's a lot like Jack Thompson-- the end goal (making sure minors don't get their mitts on overly violent video games)is just fine, but the methods are questionable.
 

DTWolfwood

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I have faith the Justices know the letter of the law (amendments) that this case will be ruled as unconstitutional. its struck out 9 times already, this time should be for good :D
 

RowdyRodimus

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Actually the politicians of California aren't regressive as they are Progressive. By Progressives I mean they are actively wanting to control every aspect of our lives, telling us what we can and can't watch, what kind of vehicles we can drive, where we can work, where we should live and how much money we should have. They are wanting to implement Socialism in small doses so that you don't notice it until you wake up one day to find us all calling each other comrade and waiting in the bread line.

Before people start blaming Fox News (which always happens here), look at the people behind these laws and find the ones that Fox News agrees with, then look at which ones are in lockstep with Obama, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC. You'll find that 95% of these things are brought to you courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Democrat or RINO (Such as Schwarzanegger who claims to be a Republican but has never done anything more than be a Kennedy Democrat since becoming govenor), but for some reason it's FOx's fault.

Maybe if more people spent a little less time playing games and spent a bit more time actually following issues that concern how the country is going down the shitter instead of just saying "Yeah, I like John Johnson so whatever he says is right" , we wouldn't be in the shape we are.
 

Evil the White

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Really? There are already enough procedures in place to make sure that minors don't get their hands on games their not supposed to. The 18+ and 15+ ratings, for example, make it very clear that these games are not indended for those below that age. Also, people on the tills are supposed to ask for ID for these games anyway, so introducing this penalty theroretically shouldn't make that much difference.
 

SpamNEggs

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HT_Black said:
It means we don't get squeakers on Modern Warfare
It does NOT mean no squeakers. The bad parents that let there kids play violent video games for 15 hours a day are buying the for them any ways. The stores are already not selling to children. The law won't stop underage use, just remove products from the shelf for fear of liability. Look at pot. Have really harsh laws reduced teenage pot use?
 

Therumancer

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This is the problem I have had with fence walkers. I agree with Arnie on a lot of things but he's been a social liberal and hypocrit on subjects like this for a long time. Very quick to jump on the "protect the children" bandwagon and attack free speech, and one of the Repblicans that seems to go consistantly cross party for this kind of thing. This makes him a hypocrit because he obtained his fame and fortune through very violent action movies, and many of those action movies had video game tie ins (albiet usually bad ones). I seriously doubt he ever turned down his share of a video game's sales based on one of his movies because it included violent content.

That said we've been here before. There is always a scapegoat for society's ills and right now it's the turn of video games. In previous generations people have argued that comic books needed special treatment (leading to the comics code authority) due to the visual nature of the medium as opposed to simply reading something. The argument being that while say "Tales From The Crypt" might tread the same material as text based media, you actually SAW the monsters and people dying. Then of couse we had attacks on movies which were considered worse because they involved actual people acting things out and special effects that made the violence look real. "Interactivity" is simply the latest in a series of excuses for censorship taking the same role as the other reasons, and being backed by the same basic arguements by what amounts to the same (or very similar) people.


That said I am a big believer in state rights, to be honest for something like this I more or less support California being able to set it's own policies even if I don't agree with them. Given the extreme leftward leanings of that state (and it's the left who pushes more for the 'protect the children' censorship which is why this has this kind of intertia there) I figure if anyone is likely to pass this kind of a law it's California despite the political label worn by it's Governor.

For me it's a touchy subject because I really don't like censorship, and while I understand federal principles, I also believe strongly in people's right to set policies (within reason) in their back yard. Arguements can be made about the letter vs. the spirit of the laws in cases like this (and which you prefer depends on what you personally want). I am a supporter of things like a town being able to decide to use the local tax money to put up Christmas decorations, or have a tree lighting ceremony on the town green if the majority of people living there want it and agree to have their money used for that. Every year we see attacks on various places trying to keep traditions like this due to "seperation of church and state" and the arguement that religious/christmas decorations and things like a star or angel on top of a tree violate this and the rights of perhaps a couple of families in a region who don't like it for religious reasons. Ironically I can't defend an east coast tree lighting ceremony that might have been going on in a town since before the US was officially it's own country, and seriously oppose California's right to dig their own grave here... as much as I really wish I could.

That said I do sort of hope the Supreme Court strikes this down, but at the same time a lot of my other principles want to see State rights upheld.

Personally I'm a bit irritated that Arnie is creating such a mess of an issue to begin with. If there is anyone who doesn't have the right to make this case, it's him. As I've said before, he's been the protaganist/hero of a number of violent video games, and the inspiration for many more. As far as I'm concerned when he cashed the check for his image being used to sell games like the tie ins for "Predator", "Eraser", and others he lost the right to champion a cause like this and be taken seriously. Oh sure, now that he's ridiculously rich from this kind of stuff and a governor he can say "well I've changed my mind, I was obviously wrong" for political capitol.... as much as I want to respect him, I can't respect a position like this.

What's more with this "The Expendables" movie coming out where he has a bit part, I can't help but wonder if there will be a tie in video game. Even if his image/character isn't in it, I will find it the height of irony for him to be associated with it (the movie being promoted by showing him in the pre-views and the success of the video game if there is one being dependant on that movie).

All of this aside, I will mention that on the law itself (all high and mighty principles aside) they do manage to still sell Cigarettes and Alcohol with age limitations on them. Kids still get these things anyway, but not in the numbers they would without the laws. Messed up things are always going to happen. In neither case have those industries been forced to not sell their product outright due tot he law and the fines that most people carrying that stuff are eventually going to get slapped with as a cost of doing business.

It's not good, but well... it can be livable.

I do want to see Arnie claiming none of the games with him involved were aimed at children though (given that a lot of them were like SNES level and seemed to be designed and marketed that way... which was less of an issue at the time, but still a factor). I think that would be comedy gold if my points occur to anyone else and he's ever forced to address it.
 

HT_Black

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SpamNEggs said:
HT_Black said:
It means we don't get squeakers on Modern Warfare
It does NOT mean no squeakers. The bad parents that let there kids play violent video games for 15 hours a day are buying the for them any ways. The stores are already not selling to children. The law won't stop underage use, just remove products from the shelf for fear of liability. Look at pot. Have really harsh laws reduced teenage pot use?
I said "we don't get squakers around here". To this very day, I've met a grand total of maybe two squeakers on the XBLA reigonals. I know this probably won't be the case everywhere, but that's definitely how it works around here...
 

Migratingchimp

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I must say I completely agree with Senseofthumour. The key to killing these laws is to have more parental responsibilty. I truly believe there is nothing wrong with telling a clerk hey don't sell this to kids. You do, you're fired! Hey that training was so difficult. But also if the games industry wants to prove a point to California about trying to pass laws like this then they should leave CA for more hospitable climes. Let Californians Bleat like the Goats they are about how they are gonna save the world from itself. Screw them and there over inflated egos come to Colorado we'll take better care of you industry workers and your rights.
 

Something Amyss

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SenseOfTumour said:
I can't help but think it's a reasonable idea to prevent sales to minors of M rated games, and as for training, surely 'Hey guys, you know how you card people for Mature rated movies? do the same for video games please'. That's not $1000s of training to me.
Except there's no law on R rated movies.

So they already are doing the same for video games. Voluntarily refusing to sell to minors.

Making it a law is worrisome, especially when sales to minors are down according to the FTC. I'd rather regulation go to some place where self regulation isn't working.
 

GodKlown

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I can understand the point trying to be made here, but I think the spokesman was the wrong choice from the start. Someone who made their living from depicting violence probably isn't the role model you want to keep kids from wanting to reenact that violence in a virtual format.

So let me play devil's advocate here. Suppose we say we kept all kids out of video game stores and aisles. Just wall it off, make it so you have to show a legal ID before you can even enter that part of a store. Great. No kids getting in, and they can't get access to the games. So what? Advertising and online videos will still show anyone the violence in the game, so kids will still be exposed, regardless of whether they control it or not. But advertising and video formats are protected. So if the kid wants to play the games bad enough, they will just hound their parent(s) to go out and buy the game for some holiday or birthday, and they will have access to it anyway.

I am on-board with this being a parenting issue, not a marketing issue. There is no concrete answer to solve this problem, short of just not making violent video games. Then that punishes everyone, regardless of the effect that the games have on them. Parents will ***** and moan day in and day out about how the world just isn't safe for their kids, and they can't listen to violent music or play violent video games or watch violent movies because it influences them to repeat all that IRL. And? This shit was going on way before we had such media formats, because people were actually doing this stuff to each other in person. So why don't we just keep kids away from television and movies and music as well? This bullshit excuse of saying "all other types of media aren't interactive" is a thin line that can't carry the weight in my book. If you say that your child watched the original Predator, then crafted some goofy costume and hid in the tree in the front yard and captured the neighbor's cat and skinned it and hung it upside down in the tree, that it's ok because the movie has freedom of speech? If your child can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality, and you aren't there to hold their hand about the issues to tell them the difference, then take the personal responsibility instead of passing the burden on to the rest of us. I don't have kids because I enjoy the freedoms I have as an adult, and I don't need my entertainment handicapped because someone has a problem with telling their spoiled kid "no".

S.O.T.: So how many parents are getting arrested for allowing their kids to play these "adult themed" video games anyway? If you give a kid alcohol, you get arrested. If you give a kid cigarettes, you get arrested. So why aren't parents who buy GTA for their 8 year old kid under the same punishment? This should really be something that CPS should be responsible for.
 

KruxxortheMighty

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Just a quick point it is already against the law in the UK to sell games to underage people. Maximum punishment is £5000 fine, 6 month prison sentence and a criminal record to the person selling the title. Everywhere still sells them, to me this seems like making a mountain out of a molehill.
 

snow

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RowdyRodimus said:
Maybe if more people spent a little less time playing games and spent a bit more time...
Just gotta point out that that's a very bold statement to say on a gaming site, just because we're all gamers doesn't mean we're so stuck in our hobby that we don't know what's going on. The only time Fox news was brought up was some one saying that they're glad they didn't have that where they lived. If anything, if some one did try to throw blame to Fox news on this one, they obviously didn't read the OP correctly.

The rest of your post is fine, that last bit just seemed like an unnecessary stab at the community.
 

Archon

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rembrandtqeinstein said:
On the bright side, California doesn't have enough money to pay anyone to enforce this law.
If Meg Whitman becomes governor there will be. She is now stated to cut 40,000 state jobs across the board and legislate to stop the construction of high speed rail in california. Also she is for more deregulation of manufacturing industry, support private industry jobs(which is odd because should she become governor her business should be the state and not private businesses) and for tougher boarder control. Honestly right now it seems that on both the state and national level we are having the GOP follow Hoover for a recovery and the Democrats follow FDR for a recovery.
 

fundayz

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Oh please, how about a little less fear mongering? In effect, all the Cali law is trying to do is add a fine to the selling of "M" and "violent" games to minors; calling that a chilling effect is plain and simple exaggeration.

Stores like Wall-mart "will have to restructure their entire business model" to abide this law? give me a break, all they will have to do is actually make sure their employees ask for IDs before selling any M games, like they are already supposed to do in many places.
Also, do you think games stores are actually going to stop selling M rated games instead of just asking for IDs? Seriously?

I agree that interactive media should be protected like all other kinds of media, but to claim that a law trying to uphold game ratings and their purpose is censoring is ridiculous.
What's next? Claiming that not selling porn to children is unconstitutional and that it uses a 'chilling effect' to oppress the people?

Therumancer said:
Paraphrase: Arny is a hypocrite
Just because someone is a hypocrite doesn't make their points invalid. In fact, Arnold might be doing this BECAUSE he's portrayed the violent role many times before and now wants to make sure children aren't the target of such films/videogames (or that's what he would say if pressed on the matter).

Zachary Amaranth said:
Except there's no law on R rated movies.
If there is no law against R rated movies being sold/rented then they should be pushing for that as well as there is little difference between a violent videogame and a violent movie. Again, I am in full support of treating all media equally, regardless of their nature(interactive or not).
 

rembrandtqeinstein

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Tenmar said:
rembrandtqeinstein said:
On the bright side, California doesn't have enough money to pay anyone to enforce this law.
If Meg Whitman becomes governor there will be. She is now stated to cut 40,000 state jobs across the board and legislate to stop the construction of high speed rail in california. Also she is for more deregulation of manufacturing industry, support private industry jobs(which is odd because should she become governor her business should be the state and not private businesses) and for tougher boarder control. Honestly right now it seems that on both the state and national level we are having the GOP follow Hoover for a recovery and the Democrats follow FDR for a recovery.
I don't know which one of those you think is good but food for thought: FDR
Prolonged the depression
Had fore-knowledge of Pearl Harbor and did nothing to stop it because he WANTED to go to war
Attemted to dictatorially pack the supreme court who previously declared unconstitutional almost all "new deal" legislation
 

SenseOfTumour

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LordOfInsanity said:
SenseOfTumour said:
I can't help but think it's a reasonable idea to prevent sales to minors of M rated games, and as for training, surely 'Hey guys, you know how you card people for Mature rated movies? do the same for video games please'. That's not $1000s of training to me.

I just think because people are crazy about the idea the kids playing violent games, if we don't as an industry keep them away from kids, the world will just go nuts and try to get them banned altogether.

Again tho, I think the main problem is parental responsibility, you buy GTA for your wailing 8 year old to shut him up, despite the clerk's desperate attempts to educate you about the games content, then you don't get to run off to FOX news because it taught him to call the family pet a ************, and reply to 'tidy your room' with 'what up, *****?'
The thing is, every game store that sells video games already cards people if they wish to buy M games. I know I've been carded multiple times after I turned 18 for buying an M game. Putting a law on it is a kick to the balls of all video gamers with a heavy, steel-toed boot with spikes on it.

This also opens the door for government to put laws on movies and stores. And it gets worse. What's to stop them from banning violence in all video games? What about political ideals? Heck, they could ban swear words from games.

That's why I like what the ECA/EMA is doing by fighting this. Our rights as citizens (Of the States since this is where it's happening), are being shot by a law like this.
I would suggest that simply making the guidelines about age restricted games a law would not in fact be a step down a terrible road, but a simple case of saying 'look, we're doing our part, we're being responsible, we're labelling and rating our entertainment products, we're restricting the sale to minors, we're done all we can'. If parent then go on to ignore all that and still buy mature rated games for their kids, the industry has legally covered its own back, instead of leaving it open to blame.
'My son played Modern Warfare and shot the pet cat, I demand compensation!'
'How did he get the game when it's illegal for him to buy it?'
'Um, I bought it for him because he was whining in walmart and he shuts up when I buy him things he isn't allowed'
'Well, I fail to see how it's entirely the video game industry's fault, ma'am.'

*case dismissed*
 

fundayz

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LordOfInsanity said:
This also opens the door for government to put laws on movies and stores. And it gets worse. What's to stop them from banning violence in all video games? What about political ideals? Heck, they could ban swear words from games.
Slippery slope fallacy bub. Just because someone takes action in a certain direction doesn't meant you can extend and exaggerate to prove a point.
There would have some serious changes to both state and federal law before any state could even begin to THINK of banning all violence from any media and even more to actually implement changes like that. Banning political ideas or certain words is the same thing.

People just love to live in fear eh?
 

geizr

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The way this article is written, I find it to ring of propaganda . The way the article is written, it sounds like the author is trying to say that excessively violent games SHOULD be allowed to be sold to minors(so the game development community can make more money). I don't think that is the exact sentiment the author "wishes" to convey, but that's how it comes across to me. It is not unreasonable to restrict minors' access to extreme media, in much the same way as with R-rated movies, and it is not unreasonable to have some enforcement of that restriction as long as it is being applied universally to all media. But the way the article is written, it comes across to me as "mean ol' California/Schwarzanegger wants keep us from selling violent games to anyone, and so we can't make a lot of money."

Probably more what the author "wants" to say(or perhaps the way the author should have made the case) is that such additional laws as California are proposing are really unnecessary because a sufficient system and set of laws already exists to inform people of the content of games and restrict minors' access to the more extreme productions. The information exists both online and on the game box itself, if people would take the 2 seconds required to turn the box over and see the very prominent rating and content label. For many games, a big age-appropriateness label is already also printed on the front of the box. There is no need to encumber businesses with further restrictions beyond what would normally be done for any other media, such as movies, nor is there a need to apply further labeling(if people aren't going to pay attention to the big labels on games now, adding more is not going to do anything).

Also, restricting sales is not the same as restricting production, and this idea of a "chilling" effect on free speech is bogus because the only "chilling" effect there will be is on the sales figures each quarter(instead of being able to sell Hyper-Violent Head Rippers to everyone age 5+, Hyper-Violent Head Rippers can only be sold to those 17+ in age, in accordance with the already existent MC-17 or AO rating such a game would be given).
 

Worgen

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Therumancer said:
This is the problem I have had with fence walkers. I agree with Arnie on a lot of things but he's been a social liberal and hypocrit on subjects like this for a long time. Very quick to jump on the "protect the children" bandwagon and attack free speech, and one of the Repblicans that seems to go consistantly cross party for this kind of thing. This makes him a hypocrit because he obtained his fame and fortune through very violent action movies, and many of those action movies had video game tie ins (albiet usually bad ones). I seriously doubt he ever turned down his share of a video game's sales based on one of his movies because it included violent content.
the protect the children bs is a socially conservative ideology not a liberal one
 

wadark

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Definitely a good read. Well thought out and very to-the-point.

You are preaching to the choir a bit, but its a good read all the same.

Well said.
 

InsanityRequiem

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fundayz said:
LordOfInsanity said:
This also opens the door for government to put laws on movies and stores. And it gets worse. What's to stop them from banning violence in all video games? What about political ideals? Heck, they could ban swear words from games.
Slippery slope fallacy bub. Just because someone takes action in a certain direction doesn't meant you can extend and exaggerate to prove a point.
There would have some serious changes to both state and federal law before any state could even begin to THINK of banning all violence from any media and even more to actually implement changes like that. Banning political ideas or certain words is the same thing.

People just love to live in fear eh?
How I live in fear when I expect such stupidity of the government? History class has taught me how our government can do horrible things. Just look to the McCarthy Era that sprung up after WW2. That was against mostly the movie industry, in which if you liked a movie of some sorts, or even did something that was labelled 'Pro-Commi' you'd be blacklisted, interrogated, etc.

As of now, video games really aren't considered protected under the First Amendment and until we have the higher tiers of the Supreme Court specifically say (And it gets recorded) that video games are protected, it gives officials in office the ability to bring in laws and such that can do to us like what happened in the McCarthy Era.

I for one do not want to lose my job because I enjoy playing video games.

Here's the link to McCarthyism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism
 

Archon

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Forgive me for not quoting people, but there's so much to get to here and quoting would make this very messy.

It's popular to blame Fox News for the problem of the poor image of gaming in this country, and they well deserve a fair share of that blame. But seriously, when have you heard any media outlet approach the subject of gaming when it didn't involve clock-tower shootings or childhood obesity? The entire news media goes apeshit painting a disturbing image of gaming because those kind of stories generate RATINGS! It's a big lookit' me ploy, which is common in every aspect of television. No intention of excusing Fox News for their bullshit, I'm just saying the rest of the media is guilty of this too.

Now, I live in California. And I can say with all honesty, and I have, that this state does not run on any sort of logistical model. IMHO, you can tell how poorly run a state is by taking a look at the state of repair of it's highways. Every now and then I travel from California to Nevada. When I'm in Nevada, I notice that the highway upkeep there is top notch. Roads are clean, sturdy, almost manicured. But as soon as you pass through Primm and get to California, the roads are crumbling and full of potholes.

The point I'm trying to get to is that California takes in huge amounts of money in taxes from it's constituents and businesses and the pisses it away on stupid things. It's not a state that runs on common sense. The almond farming industry in this state was killed off in order to protect a small inland minnow from supposed extinction. The egg farm industry was also recently run out of state, by a poorly written law that forced all farms to have free-range chickens. These may seem like unrelated examples, but this is the kind of stupidity you're dealing with when you deal with the government of California.

And that brings me to Schwarzenegger. What a fuckin' asshole... When he came in to this state, he told everyone here that he was going to govern intelligently. That he would listen to the people and not pull the kind of bullshit that I alluded previously. He lied... He's a Kennedy progressive, married to a Kennedy for christ's sake. We probably should have foreseen the endless fuck-ups that occured out here, but then I remember all the other candidates he ran against were publicly declared uber-liberal progressives who would have probably fucked things up just as bad.

This is why I hate Obama so much. Everything that Obama is doing nationally has already been done here, and failed miserably. So how does this all relate to the topic at hand? Because this is what people like Obama and Schwarzenegger do. They ignore the real problems and focus on pointless crap at the behest of people who donate campaign dollars. More than likely, there's probably a very high desire in Hollywood that the Supreme Court of the U.S. upholds the anti-gaming law. It would knock the gaming industry out of the box in this state. It would also set a precedent which would hold back interactive media, which is mostly sent to your home or personal devices.

But most importantly, it strangles Hollywood's competition. And would allow them to produce a lower quality product, which is funneled through outdated, brick-and-mortar theaters. Theaters that charge $10 for a bag of popcorn, $6 for a soda(Extra ice, of course) and $7 for a bag of Raisinets. That's after you pay $15 for the privilege to enter the door. And yes, this is a strangling of our first amendment rights. But do any research on modern progressive politics and you'll find out that your rights are the last thing any of these assholes give a shit about.
 

Canid117

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If the state of California really wanted to keep violent games out of the hands of children they would do a damn PSA campaign explaining the ESRB rating system to retarded parents who somehow don't seem to understand what this means

and buy the game for their 7 year old son in the first place.
 

Skratt

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The thing I hate most about any censorship argument is the duplicitous and often subjective nature of censorship. The tenets of law provide us with the freedom to choose what media we enjoy and yet there are those that actively seek to subvert that freedom based on their personal moral views.

Reducing or preventing crime is a very noble cause but to actively attempt linking media (in any form) to actual real-world crime is not only heinously ignorant, but seems to actually run counter to the progress of finding the root cause. Correlation does not imply causation, and yet there are (undereducated?) people who fail to grasp this concept.
 

wickershadow

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Well I live in Canada and the law here is minors are not allowed to buy M games without a parent or gaurdian, and its been this way for quite a while now and I'm fairly ceetain our government isn't trying to ban all violence or curse words on video games. What I don't understand is how everyone seems to be against restricting the sale of games that were designed to be played by adults to kids under 18. I can understand that a full out ban wouldn't be right, given the diversity of the M rating (ie: Modern Warfare 2 to God of War 3)as for the online business you use a credit card or similar forms of payment so that is dependent on the parent. Telling people to check ID doesn't seem like 1000's of dollars in training to me does it?
 

Breaker deGodot

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I try not to pay attention to California politics. There's some wierd, fucked up shit over there, and I prefer to save myself the headaches of trying to understand it all.
 

Skratt

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Canid117 said:
If the state of California really wanted to keep violent games out of the hands of children they would do a damn PSA campaign explaining the ESRB rating system to retarded parents who somehow don't seem to understand what this means
I often wonder if it is not a problem with the parents, but only a problem with people who object to the content. I have yet to see a survey or some other data collection that says parents are overwhelmingly ignorant of the things they give to their children as far as video games, movies or music are concerned.
 

theultimateend

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There is no credible evidence that violent video games make people violent. Nearly all the evidence available in what I like to call "The real world" suggests that it has no effect or an inverse one.

Violent Crime amongst teens has continually dropped as violent video games have become more and more violent.

One would assume that if they DID cause you to be violent, with millions of people playing games centered around combat and murder daily we'd have an entire planet engulfed in skirmishes.

But we don't, one could easily exaggerate and say "We got wars all over the place." but then you'd be forgetting that many of the places with wars running on endlessly don't have access to video games. They have harsh censorship laws OR economically cannot support the activity.

If you are a parent and you are so misguided as to believe that violent games will hurt your kids it is your decision. I'm not going to stop anyone from putting superstition ahead of actual reasoning, it never works anyways.

What bothers me, is people writing laws or enacting sticker systems that are literally based in the "Feel good" dimension. Where we take a bunch of evidence absent beliefs from a certain ideology and use them to support actual real world changes. It's a troubling prospect and one that does little more than stifle actual cognitive and cultural development.
 

carpathic

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This strikes me as a curious choice for California. It does however epitomize the love-hate-fear relationship that the US has maintained for the better part of 100 years with its entertainment industry.
 

Jamous

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Wait... Arnold Schwarzeneggar, the star of the first three TERMINATOR FILMS, amongst other HIDEOUSLY VIOLENT MOVIES is trying to prevent the publishing of violent media, simply because it's interactive? WTF?
 

Owyn_Merrilin

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fundayz said:
Slippery slope fallacy bub. Just because someone takes action in a certain direction doesn't meant you can extend and exaggerate to prove a point.
There would have some serious changes to both state and federal law before any state could even begin to THINK of banning all violence from any media and even more to actually implement changes like that. Banning political ideas or certain words is the same thing.

People just love to live in fear eh?
The slippery slope "fallacy" is only a fallacy in the realm of academic logic; if I were do draw a truth chart, there would be one possible outcome for which the statement is false, specifically "P happens but Q does not happen." Every other possible outcome comes up true, but that one possibility makes it a fallacy. In the real world -- and especially in the world of laws and politics -- slippery slopes are very real things, and an argument based on one is almost never fallacious. As you yourself put it, there would have to be some very serious changes for an outright ban on violence to be possible. This law -- and, more importantly, the ruling that we're all hoping does not come down -- would be a big part of those changes. Your very argument showed why slippery slope arguments hold up in politics; every major change is a gradual process, it starts small and it builds up.



OT:
As I alluded in the earlier part of the post, this law is a serious danger to free speech. To all of the Brits who think it's no big deal, or that free speech is overrated by people in the U.S.: no offense, but that's one of the big reasons we fought a revolution against you guys. Freedom of speech is integral to the political structure of the United States. Any infringement upon it is in direct violation of our most sacred principles. Once one type of speech is no longer protected, it becomes easier for other types of speech to become unprotected, until one day we look back and find that America is no longer the land of the free -- or the home of the brave. Because it takes bravery to stand up for freedom -- whether on the battlefields of our forefathers, or the courtroom in the here and now.
 

Virgil

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Owyn_Merrilin said:
In the real world -- and especially in the world of laws and politics -- slippery slopes are very real things, and an argument based on one is almost never fallacious.
To be more specific, because our legal system is heavily based on the concept of "precedent", slippery slope decisions are very easily triggered by a single critical decision. For example, if the Supreme Court should rule that video games are not constitutionally protected speech, this doesn't simply mean that selling M-rated games to minors can now be fined. It also means that a law that bans all M-rated games completely is no longer prevented, because that law is prevented by the First Amendment as well. There isn't a "partially protected speech" section in our Constitution.

Removing free speech protections opens the door to government-sanctioned censorship on a scale that our country has never seen or permitted. Maybe that's the accepted standard for European nations, but it's not over here. None of our content rating systems are run or enforced by the government, whether it be for movies, music, or anything else.
 

Canid117

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Skratt said:
Canid117 said:
If the state of California really wanted to keep violent games out of the hands of children they would do a damn PSA campaign explaining the ESRB rating system to retarded parents who somehow don't seem to understand what this means
I often wonder if it is not a problem with the parents, but only a problem with people who object to the content. I have yet to see a survey or some other data collection that says parents are overwhelmingly ignorant of the things they give to their children as far as video games, movies or music are concerned.
True but a vast majority of children getting their hands on M rated games is the parents buying the games for their kids. All the stores that I know of have a policy where they card their customers when buying M rated games to make sure that you are 17 or older. This means that the very people who are testifying that their children are murdering prostitutes are the ones who bought the game for their little mouth breathers.
 

nadesico33

It's tragically delicious!
Mar 10, 2010
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Virgil said:
Owyn_Merrilin said:
In the real world -- and especially in the world of laws and politics -- slippery slopes are very real things, and an argument based on one is almost never fallacious.
To be more specific, because our legal system is heavily based on the concept of "precedent", slippery slope decisions are very easily triggered by a single critical decision. For example, if the Supreme Court should rule that video games are not constitutionally protected speech, this doesn't simply mean that selling M-rated games to minors can now be fined. It also means that a law that bans all M-rated games completely is no longer prevented, because that law is prevented by the First Amendment as well. There isn't a "partially protected speech" section in our Constitution.

Removing free speech protections opens the door to government-sanctioned censorship on a scale that our country has never seen or permitted. Maybe that's the accepted standard for European nations, but it's not over here. None of our content rating systems are run or enforced by the government, whether it be for movies, music, or anything else.
One other thing people seem to be forgetting about this legislation is that it does not specifically target Mature Rated games. The "spirit" of the law is to restrict the sale of violent games such as GTA, Gears of War, God of War, CoD, and others where excessive violence is the norm, rather than the exception (and even on games where harsh violence is the exception), regardless of the ESRB rating. The "letter" of the law, as I personally interpreted it, is restricting the sale of ANY games that include violence against humans and/or images/representations of humans and/or facsimiles that can be (potentially very broadly) interpreted as being human, again, regardless of the ESRB rating. And near to my (admittedly limited) reading of the definitions of violent games that are used, it does not state that all requirements have to be met to be termed a violent game. The broadest portion of the requirement is simply that the player is able to kill a human or image/representaion/facsimile thereof. And just how many non-M Rated games allow that?
 

cerebus23

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i am a big states rights guy, but even then the constitution and the bill of rights applies to states not just the federal government, which makes it a regular habit to violate one or the other or both on a semi regular basis, but thats a whole other discussion.

but either way it is a first amendment thing they want to restrict the speech of video game makers period.

and the fact the law only applies to the employers and not the retail clerks that maybe underage to play some of these games themselves, so we going to fine a employer if their 16 17 year old clerk sells copies of grand theft auto to his entire high school to score some popularity points?

then let us look at walmart that has already censored music, sells cigarettes well above the state minimums, and does not carry stuff they find objectional like porn etc, but does carry video games and r rated movies and most certainly encourages their cashiers to card people for everything.
 

The Random One

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Yeah, it's pretty much the movies industry trying to hate on new media.

I don't think it's going to fly. If the First Ammendment managed to survive McCarthysm, it'll survive this. Plus, federal judges have been judging these law inconstitutional for years, and the way I see the Supreme Court is more likely to corroborate their choices than not.

Plus, interactive media can also cover traditional stuff, like plays. If someone brings up that plays where the audience can interact wouldn't be protected under this new law the whole thing will come apart.

At any rate, if the law does pass, then at least anti-gaming people will cherish on their victory and leave us alone for a while. And then our own argument of 'it's parents who should keep things away from their children' will carry more weight. So it's not all that bad, it's a worse blow for the phylosophy than for the industry.
 

ReverseEngineered

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wickershadow said:
Well I live in Canada and the law here is minors are not allowed to buy M games without a parent or gaurdian, and its been this way for quite a while now and I'm fairly ceetain our government isn't trying to ban all violence or curse words on video games. What I don't understand is how everyone seems to be against restricting the sale of games that were designed to be played by adults to kids under 18. I can understand that a full out ban wouldn't be right, given the diversity of the M rating (ie: Modern Warfare 2 to God of War 3)as for the online business you use a credit card or similar forms of payment so that is dependent on the parent. Telling people to check ID doesn't seem like 1000's of dollars in training to me does it?
Do you have a source for this? I ask because, as a Canadian, I was under the impression that this was not required by law, but rather, it's a policy amongst stores to enforce this.
 

ReverseEngineered

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The really crazy part about the distinction between interactivity and not is that life is interactive. Tell me, if I stand on a soapbox and profess the end of time, am I not within my rights of free speech? And is it not interactive? Bystanders can certainly shout back at me just as easily as in any online forum. Non-interactive speech is actually the strange exception in life; we invented the written and recorded word, but there has always been interactive communication.

One way or another, the "interactive" distinction is being used as an excuse to exclude games from freedom of speech. To what end? The threat to Hollywood seems as good as any theory, but there are plenty of interested parties with differ motives who would like to see video games die.
 

AvsJoe

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Chilling news indeed. Thanks Arnie. Way to make me regret liking a couple of your movies.
 

Nmil-ek

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Meh I'm on the legislations side, sorry but kids dont have freedom of speech not really you dont really have any rights until your an adult. Yeah you should not let kids play violent games not these days, know what violent was when I was growing up? Splatterhouse and freaking Mortal Kombat we were limited to 64 bit graphics and our imagination, now we can zoom in and replay in full HD every brain particle flying or detail every incision on a mutilated corpse.

And look what not regulating games sales has got us a generation of self important, desensatized, antisocial little shits splouting plattitudes over x-box live.
 

RowdyRodimus

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snowfox said:
RowdyRodimus said:
Maybe if more people spent a little less time playing games and spent a bit more time...
Just gotta point out that that's a very bold statement to say on a gaming site, just because we're all gamers doesn't mean we're so stuck in our hobby that we don't know what's going on. The only time Fox news was brought up was some one saying that they're glad they didn't have that where they lived. If anything, if some one did try to throw blame to Fox news on this one, they obviously didn't read the OP correctly.

The rest of your post is fine, that last bit just seemed like an unnecessary stab at the community.
I apologize if that's the way it came out, as that wasn't my intention. When I said "more people spent a little less time playing games" I meant the politicians and their political games, not the members here playing video games- I see where it can seem like I was being degrading to my fellow gamers and Escapists and again I apologize for that (the reason I'm not editing it is because I wrote it and if someone sees it the same way you did, I deserve the derision I get from it)

Also, I didn't even see the previous post where Fox News was mentioned, I just know fro,m my limited time here anytime something comes up involving politics, the anti-Fox News brigade shows up lol.

So again, I'm sorry if I didn't express myself correctly and hope you can understand what happened.
 

Callate

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If a store like Best Buy or Wal-Mart faces fines of $1,000 because a clerk made a mistake, there is a very real possibility that they'll stop selling the games altogether. And without the retail power of the major merchants behind a game, a lot of AAA games simply won't get made. Or they'll be bowdlerized (look it up) before they ever make it to market.

Before you get to sneering that such a thing could never happen, be a good chap and realize that similar things have happened in the past. Blood had a special version released at Wal-Mart with the blood removed. Thrill Kill's getting saddled with an AO played a part in it never receiving an official release. Nintendo nerfed Mortal Kombat, took a gander at how Sega's version beat the pants off of theirs in the marketplace, and had a change of heart- because when you come down to it, it's the pocketbook that makes the decisions.

That's not even bringing into consideration the potential far-reaching effects of deciding that video games don't deserve the rights and protections of free speech. Have you considered the possibility of being fined for playing a violent game in public? Or in front of a minor? Such are the potential reprecussions.

There is no soundly-considered potential good that could come of the courts deciding in Schwarzanegger's favor that isn't completely and resoundingly trumped by the potential ill. This isn't about "just training your sales clerks", not by a long shot.
 

jad4400

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I'm following this case closely and hoping for a victory, which chances are, is very likely. All you have to do is look at the courts composition. The liberals on the court are the "let people do what they like and not interfere" kind of liberals, so they usually won't try to regulate free speech. The conservatives on the court are the kind that seek to protect the Constitution, so they probably won't rule against a free speech case (Heck, Scallia thinks flag burners should be thrown in jail, but he still sided with them in a case that came to the court over a states decision to make flag burning a crime.) So I think if the ESA has all its ducks in a row, they should probably pull a win (knock on wood)
 

snow

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RowdyRodimus said:
snowfox said:
RowdyRodimus said:
Maybe if more people spent a little less time playing games and spent a bit more time...
Just gotta point out that that's a very bold statement to say on a gaming site, just because we're all gamers doesn't mean we're so stuck in our hobby that we don't know what's going on. The only time Fox news was brought up was some one saying that they're glad they didn't have that where they lived. If anything, if some one did try to throw blame to Fox news on this one, they obviously didn't read the OP correctly.

The rest of your post is fine, that last bit just seemed like an unnecessary stab at the community.
I apologize if that's the way it came out, as that wasn't my intention. When I said "more people spent a little less time playing games" I meant the politicians and their political games, not the members here playing video games- I see where it can seem like I was being degrading to my fellow gamers and Escapists and again I apologize for that (the reason I'm not editing it is because I wrote it and if someone sees it the same way you did, I deserve the derision I get from it)

Also, I didn't even see the previous post where Fox News was mentioned, I just know fro,m my limited time here anytime something comes up involving politics, the anti-Fox News brigade shows up lol.

So again, I'm sorry if I didn't express myself correctly and hope you can understand what happened.
Haha, it's all cool. Heck since it seems I'm the only one who read it like that, it may have even be me reading it wrong. It was something about the post that I just connected 1 thing to another and went "Uh Oh!" xD
 

cpsusie

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Nmil-ek said:
Meh I'm on the legislations side, sorry but kids dont have freedom of speech not really you dont really have any rights until your an adult.
Ummm . . . you couldn't possibly be more wrong. Children have the right to free speech. Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 393 U.S. 503 (1969).

Second, the legislation does not restrict the freedom of speech of children, it restricts the freedom of speech of video game developers.

I think the chance that the Supreme Court will rule that video games aren't protected speech is almost non-existent. Almost every reported Court of Appeals decision has ruled that they are protected speech. A particularly well reasoned example is
American Amusement Machine Association v. Kendrick, 244 F.3d 572 (7th Cir. 2001).
 

cmstewart87

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Feb 18, 2010
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Blah Blah Blah I've heard it all.

I moved to California a year ago. It sucks and everyone should leave the state, I know I am as soon as possible. The government wants all your money to pay for their "Expensive" work, and if they don't come up with crazy laws and such, then they have nothing to prove why they should get paid what they get paid. So if everyone leaves California they can all pay for each other.
 

Therumancer

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Nov 28, 2007
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Worgen said:
Therumancer said:
This is the problem I have had with fence walkers. I agree with Arnie on a lot of things but he's been a social liberal and hypocrit on subjects like this for a long time. Very quick to jump on the "protect the children" bandwagon and attack free speech, and one of the Repblicans that seems to go consistantly cross party for this kind of thing. This makes him a hypocrit because he obtained his fame and fortune through very violent action movies, and many of those action movies had video game tie ins (albiet usually bad ones). I seriously doubt he ever turned down his share of a video game's sales based on one of his movies because it included violent content.
the protect the children bs is a socially conservative ideology not a liberal one
Incorrect, though to be fair most liberals buy into a lot of party hype and don't know most of what their party stands for, represents, or has done.

Though to be entirely fair, with the way how politics are mixed up and the fact that no one side stays "pure" to it's ideology you have people from both parties supporting any issue you can think of, someone is always crossing the fence somewhere.

The "protect the children" bit is largely a device intended to try and convince people into giving the federal goverment more power, pretty much "please take away our rights to protect us". Most recently the big proponents of this arguement have been people like Hillary Clinton who spearheaded attacks on video games over things like the San Andreas "Hot Coffee" incident.

Likewise it plays heavily into the persecution of hate speech and other contreversial forms of free expression, the basic idea being that the goverment needs to be given increased censorship powers to prevent hate speech and prevent children from hearing it and somehow being tainted.

This is not to say that conservatives have not used that basic logic and similar arguements themselves on various issues. It is fairly easy to confuse the "protect the children" BS with Conservative "family values" BS, and the rhetoric can be pretty similar, though there are substantial differances if you look at it.

Arnie runs on a Conservative platform but is a well known "social liberal" as he's said himself. That doesn't quite mean that he supports minority rights and so on quite the way a lot of people like to try and interpet such things. What it means is that he believes in using big goverment to try and remove or limit people's rights to "protect" those groups. This includes doing things like trying to make it actually illegal to say or express racist or derrogatory things. Leading into the entire idea of the goverment effectively becoming the moral guardian of the people and having the right to take action against people for what amounts to subjective reasons. Meaning that part of this is not just to protect social groups as many people think, but also to morally govern society by doing things like going after video games and other similar things.

Both partys are out for power grabs and cover a lot of the same ground, Conservatives in many cases can be just as bad, albiet Republicans as a general rule tend to support this kind of thing on a state or local level more than anything, rather than supporting the idea of sweeping legislation throughout the entire nation.

Conservatives get the uninformed reputation of both supporting social bigotry, and somehow at the same time oppressing free speech and the abillity to engage in said social bigotry, largely because of how a lot of media networks (run by guys like Ted Turner) report things. Like everything there are exceptions, but for the most part Republicans support the idea of states to set their own policies on things like gay rights, and people's right to say more or less what they want to in public without fear of censure or legal action. This of course means that a lot of people with those "offensive" messages of course gravitate to this party, and in an overall sense Republicans can be seen as obstructing things like gay rights because they stand in the way of sweeping policies dictated overall and believe it should be up to the states to decide what they want their own policies to be (especially seeing as money gets involved in this due to tax breaks for married couples).

No party is a carbon copy of an idea, and exceptions can always be found. The "problem" with Arnie is that a Republican by principle should not be supporting goverment control of speech and expression for something like this. The same principles that have had the party in the past defending the rights of religious expression (ranging from fire and brimstone rants and passing pamphlets by private citizens in public parks and such, to the aforementioned christmas decorations) and even in the past supporting the right of groups like the KKK and Aryan Nation to assemble and speak (and of course leading to the unfortunate patronage of a lot of those people as a result), also apply to things like video games and the expectation for people to police themselves rather than the goverment doing it. The fact that Arnie is the kind of guy who supports goverment action against free speech whether it's thoughts on gays, ethnic minorities, video games, or anything else is what makes him a social liberal. Free speech means taking the good with the bad, and the hate speech with people spreading messages of love and compassion, that is what freedom is about. Of course given some of the whack jobs out there it can be hard to seperate their actual message from the principle, especially when some of those guys have lots of money and go directly into politics themselves.

While it DOES go cross party, stop and consider that what Arnie is doing is very similar to what Hillary did with the "Hot Coffee" incident. In fact the involvement of people like him in issues like this what what MAKES these issues cross party. For the most part you'll see a lot of Republicans badmouthing immorality, and talking about values, but it's pretty bloody rare when you see them trying to take actual action, especially on a federal level. I'm not saying that it hasn't happened (it has), but especially nowadays attacks on media and video games come almost exclusively from left wing leaders, and it's people like Hillary who have been using the "protect the children" battle cry.

A lot of people who are dedicated to the left wing, and have been raised to think of the right wing as satanic evil don't see this because they don't want to see it, but it's there. You'd be surprised at how many people don't even realize that Hillary was one of the major forces on point during the screaming about moral censorship over "Hot Coffee". She wasn't an aberration either, she had a massive following (and arguably still does).
 

Fensfield

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The worst part in all this, is America is effectively the chokepoint for the Western gaming world. If it's not indie - heck in many ways even if it Is indie - videogames we play route through America. If the changes California want pass, the entire Western gaming world'll be effected, even if not as badly as America itself.

Developers limiting their games' content to pander to American censors, American censorship on translated videogames, the simple fact that those American-localised games almost always go through America's censors before foreign localisers get the content, thus meaning a double helping of censorship for foreign consumers..

The only good thing could come of this mess is our localisers might stop buying and adapting American localisations in favour of making their own, but that's only assuming restriction really outweighs convenience.
 

SL33TBL1ND

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I hope they lose, then we can use the fact that the standard principle of "correlation does not imply causation" is true and stop all the video game slamming all over the world.
 

InsanityRequiem

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SirBryghtside said:
I honestly didn't understand the article. You seemed to be saying that a bill was trying to be passed saying that videogames couldn't be sold to younger people, correct?

Isn't that already the law? What makes this different?
It isn't a law. Just like how movie theaters do not have a law against selling tickets to minors for R movies.

Imagine it as a giant snow covered mountain. This law (And the supreme court case) is a snow ledge falling from too much weight. Now, if the Supreme Court rules against the law, it ends there. But if the Supreme Court goes the other way, it has a major chance to create a massive avalanche of censorship against the video gaming world.
 

GammaZord

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Where I live (Maryland) kids under 17 can't buy M-rated games without a parent or guardian to approve the purchase. I would imagine it's like this in some (maybe all) other states. So what exactly does this proposed law do?

Does it unconditionally restrict the sale of M-rated games to minors (even w/ a parent's consent)? Or does it specifically target "violent" games? Or what?

I'm confused.
 

polarizebeta

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Having lived in Charlotte for ten years, I find it amusing and appalling that North Carolina, a staunch area of Republican and Christian-Right values is more progressive on this issue than California. This goes to the heart of an issue that has plagued the US for the last 30 years. The slow and general degredation of personal liberties. Read the following books for reference as to how we as citizens are being regulated from making our own decisions on life. By the by, I live in Boston now and have voted pure democrat since I turned 18.

Acton, John D. (1907). The History of Freedom and Other Essays.
Milton Friedman, The New Liberal's Creed: Individual Freedom, Preserving Dissent Are Ultimate Goals
 

Archon

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I just want to say what a pleasure it is to visit the Escapist and read intelligent political discourse. It's just...gratifying...that our level of discourse is better than what you get on HuffPo or NYTimes. Cheers to you all, whether you agreed or disagreed with my article.
 

Erick.S

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This was a very interesting read.
Though I agree that minors should not be exposed to violent media in the same way that adults are, there has to be a better way to do so.
Historically, though, fighting against progress didn't work so well (which is why we don't ride horses to the local chapel while chuckling at the ragged look of our smelly serfs), so I expect this restrictive move to fail at the courts - hopefully sooner, rather than later.
 

Worgen

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Therumancer said:
Worgen said:
Therumancer said:
This is the problem I have had with fence walkers. I agree with Arnie on a lot of things but he's been a social liberal and hypocrit on subjects like this for a long time. Very quick to jump on the "protect the children" bandwagon and attack free speech, and one of the Repblicans that seems to go consistantly cross party for this kind of thing. This makes him a hypocrit because he obtained his fame and fortune through very violent action movies, and many of those action movies had video game tie ins (albiet usually bad ones). I seriously doubt he ever turned down his share of a video game's sales based on one of his movies because it included violent content.
the protect the children bs is a socially conservative ideology not a liberal one
Incorrect, though to be fair most liberals buy into a lot of party hype and don't know most of what their party stands for, represents, or has done.

Though to be entirely fair, with the way how politics are mixed up and the fact that no one side stays "pure" to it's ideology you have people from both parties supporting any issue you can think of, someone is always crossing the fence somewhere.

The "protect the children" bit is largely a device intended to try and convince people into giving the federal goverment more power, pretty much "please take away our rights to protect us". Most recently the big proponents of this arguement have been people like Hillary Clinton who spearheaded attacks on video games over things like the San Andreas "Hot Coffee" incident.

Likewise it plays heavily into the persecution of hate speech and other contreversial forms of free expression, the basic idea being that the goverment needs to be given increased censorship powers to prevent hate speech and prevent children from hearing it and somehow being tainted.

This is not to say that conservatives have not used that basic logic and similar arguements themselves on various issues. It is fairly easy to confuse the "protect the children" BS with Conservative "family values" BS, and the rhetoric can be pretty similar, though there are substantial differances if you look at it.

Arnie runs on a Conservative platform but is a well known "social liberal" as he's said himself. That doesn't quite mean that he supports minority rights and so on quite the way a lot of people like to try and interpet such things. What it means is that he believes in using big goverment to try and remove or limit people's rights to "protect" those groups. This includes doing things like trying to make it actually illegal to say or express racist or derrogatory things. Leading into the entire idea of the goverment effectively becoming the moral guardian of the people and having the right to take action against people for what amounts to subjective reasons. Meaning that part of this is not just to protect social groups as many people think, but also to morally govern society by doing things like going after video games and other similar things.

Both partys are out for power grabs and cover a lot of the same ground, Conservatives in many cases can be just as bad, albiet Republicans as a general rule tend to support this kind of thing on a state or local level more than anything, rather than supporting the idea of sweeping legislation throughout the entire nation.

Conservatives get the uninformed reputation of both supporting social bigotry, and somehow at the same time oppressing free speech and the abillity to engage in said social bigotry, largely because of how a lot of media networks (run by guys like Ted Turner) report things. Like everything there are exceptions, but for the most part Republicans support the idea of states to set their own policies on things like gay rights, and people's right to say more or less what they want to in public without fear of censure or legal action. This of course means that a lot of people with those "offensive" messages of course gravitate to this party, and in an overall sense Republicans can be seen as obstructing things like gay rights because they stand in the way of sweeping policies dictated overall and believe it should be up to the states to decide what they want their own policies to be (especially seeing as money gets involved in this due to tax breaks for married couples).

No party is a carbon copy of an idea, and exceptions can always be found. The "problem" with Arnie is that a Republican by principle should not be supporting goverment control of speech and expression for something like this. The same principles that have had the party in the past defending the rights of religious expression (ranging from fire and brimstone rants and passing pamphlets by private citizens in public parks and such, to the aforementioned christmas decorations) and even in the past supporting the right of groups like the KKK and Aryan Nation to assemble and speak (and of course leading to the unfortunate patronage of a lot of those people as a result), also apply to things like video games and the expectation for people to police themselves rather than the goverment doing it. The fact that Arnie is the kind of guy who supports goverment action against free speech whether it's thoughts on gays, ethnic minorities, video games, or anything else is what makes him a social liberal. Free speech means taking the good with the bad, and the hate speech with people spreading messages of love and compassion, that is what freedom is about. Of course given some of the whack jobs out there it can be hard to seperate their actual message from the principle, especially when some of those guys have lots of money and go directly into politics themselves.

While it DOES go cross party, stop and consider that what Arnie is doing is very similar to what Hillary did with the "Hot Coffee" incident. In fact the involvement of people like him in issues like this what what MAKES these issues cross party. For the most part you'll see a lot of Republicans badmouthing immorality, and talking about values, but it's pretty bloody rare when you see them trying to take actual action, especially on a federal level. I'm not saying that it hasn't happened (it has), but especially nowadays attacks on media and video games come almost exclusively from left wing leaders, and it's people like Hillary who have been using the "protect the children" battle cry.

A lot of people who are dedicated to the left wing, and have been raised to think of the right wing as satanic evil don't see this because they don't want to see it, but it's there. You'd be surprised at how many people don't even realize that Hillary was one of the major forces on point during the screaming about moral censorship over "Hot Coffee". She wasn't an aberration either, she had a massive following (and arguably still does).
your wrong, both sides use it but the conservatives tend to mean it and have historicly been much more set in it, oh and if you look at the states supporting the whole bull shit of cali's ban you will see more then a few conservative idiot states, the whole small govt thing only goes for small govt when it comes to telling states who they cant discriminate against
 

Therumancer

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Worgen said:
[your wrong, both sides use it but the conservatives tend to mean it and have historicly been much more set in it, oh and if you look at the states supporting the whole bull shit of cali's ban you will see more then a few conservative idiot states, the whole small govt thing only goes for small govt when it comes to telling states who they cant discriminate against
No I'm not, as you might notice I myself said that both sides use it. Simply that it's far more of a liberal position.

I do however understand the perception that "Republicans only care about small goverment when it comes to telling them who they can't discriminate against". It's not correct of course, but since it's the biggest issues involving the most vocal people that get national attention, along with the bias in how most media reports on these things (and who they allow to go on the air to represent the Republican viewpoint) it's fairly understandable. Media control is a powerful thing.

While it gets away from the main subject, you have to understand that the very issue of "discrimination" is a lot more touchy than a lot of people make it out to be. While our country is a representitive republic, it's based on the idea of democracy and intregrates a lot of those ideas. The idea of democracy simply being that everyone votes, and whatever gets the most votes is what winds up happening.

The thing is that a lot of minority rights issues revolve around an interpetation of certain laws and principles that can be argued to say that democracy is non-existant, and that a small group of people cannot be forced to conform to the will of the majority (or move out of their area and go someplace else). It's one of those things that starts with the constitution, goes into how our founding fathers interpeted it, metric tons of precedent in all kinds of directions, and arguements at pretty much all levels about the letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law by both sides.

The Republican side of things tends to argue that equality means that minorities get the right to have an opinion and vote like anyone else, they however are not entitled to any specific weight to their votes simply by being a minority. Indeed by definition in a country based on an ideal of democracy minority groups, which are by their definition small, are supposed to lose. The idea being that the greater good is served by having more people in agreement with what happens.

To use a favorite example, look at conflicts about things like Christmas decorations and town tree lighting ceremonies and such. When you get past the religious aspects of the entire thing, a big part of the arguement comes from religious minorities like Jews and Hindus claiming that a star on top of a tree in the middle of the town square is offensive, and that it's not right that they can lose on an issue like this despite the fact that they got to vote and lost to the other 99.9% of the community. Democrats in most cases argue it's the job of the big bad Federal Goverment to come in and stomp on the people of Hooville (or whatever) on the behalf of a handfull of butthurt minorities. Republicans in most cases argue that the minorities were given equal rights, they got to vote, they simply lost, and this is how things are supposed to work. Every single year, people throw down about this kind of thing somewhere with mixed results.

Agree or disagree, the bottom line is that it's a fairly sensible conflict with a decent amount of logic on both sides, even though I agree with the Republican point of view more than the Democratic one. However on the rare occasions when this kind of thing gets national coverage the majority of news networks like CNN traditionally pick the biggest whack job to represent the case of the town. You wind up with like some professional political activist argueing the democratic point of view, against the head of the town's church (who was probably quite vocal) as opposed to say a Mayor, Selectman, or other such person. The networks getting to choose whom they give a platform to (and this is incidently a big part
of claims of media bias, it's not quite what a lot of people think those complaints are). People get to see a well informed activist argue about the law, while the preacher talks about god, and in the end you wind up with a lot of people assuming that this is some case
of religious fundementalists oppressing minorities, where if say the Mayor or someone similar was allowed to make the case for what happened it would seem somewhat less insane.

I don't mindlessly follow a Republican point of view, I just tend to agree with that side more than I disagree with it. In general I tend to be critical with liberals because they tend to accuse people of ignorance, while themselves being ignorant and typically not knowing much of anything about the other side and what the actual issues involved in something are. Of course I'm one of the people who also blames a media bias for this, but I do so not because other people have told me that this is the case, but because I've actually sat there and watched discussions on issues I'm familiar with, with the Republican side being represented by someone who does not belong argueing a case on a national platform, or taking entirely the wrong track of debate. A favorite technique seems to be to call up religious leaders to represent the right wing, giving the impression that the right wing is based a lot more on religious fundementalism than it is, instead of the people who have actually been involved in the legal conflicts themselves. When you later hear that a news program didn't want the guy that should have been making the case to begin with, well let's just say that is how hard set opinions are formed.

As far as the actual issue we're discussing goes, this (like anything) goes cross party. It should be noted however that despite general tendencies in the past, you'd have to look at who is calling the shots in, and representing the various states involved, and how much conflict is going on within those states.

Understand that right now you see a lot of things happening because the left wing didn't just take The Presidency, it managed to get control of pretty much the entire federal goverment. Most states right now are being represented by liberals. One of the big liberal battle cries right now is to make things happen while they have control, to more or less avoid the pitfall that the Republicans fell into when they had control and were able to get little done. The typical liberal problem of various left wingers fighting each other endlessly over specifics is somewhat dealt with for the moment, that is what the whole Obama/Clinton alliance was about where she was convinced to support her with her followers in exchange for a cabinet position instead of dividing the party and turning it into a grudge match. The outnumbered Republicans are also forced into a position of compromise and fencewalking and deciding what is the lesser of evils by their position to get things done, trading support on one issue, for lack of opposition on another.

The bottom line being that if they want to make a major push for video game regulation and start the moral censorship snowball rolling, they are in a better position now than ever before. Having a socially liberal Republican (with connections to the Kennedies no less) lead the charge makes it appear there is more solidarity and demand than there is as part of the show, as does being able to bring in what are commonly thought of as Republican states. You'll doubtlessly see a lot of high profile Republicans that went cross party for this being heavily flaunted as part of the entire performance. The intention being to sell The Supreme Court on "this is what the overwhelming number of people want".

I'm not going to tell you that there are whacked Republican censors out there and such, because there are. However this paticular issue, and this paticular battle, comes from the left wing. As things stand now if your anti-censorship, it's the democrats that are after your rights. Tomorrow it could very well be the other way around, but today the enemy are people like Mrs. Clinton even if they aren't currently acting as "faces" as much as they usually would.
 

Worgen

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Therumancer said:
Worgen said:
[your wrong, both sides use it but the conservatives tend to mean it and have historicly been much more set in it, oh and if you look at the states supporting the whole bull shit of cali's ban you will see more then a few conservative idiot states, the whole small govt thing only goes for small govt when it comes to telling states who they cant discriminate against
No I'm not, as you might notice I myself said that both sides use it. Simply that it's far more of a liberal position.

I do however understand the perception that "Republicans only care about small goverment when it comes to telling them who they can't discriminate against". It's not correct of course, but since it's the biggest issues involving the most vocal people that get national attention, along with the bias in how most media reports on these things (and who they allow to go on the air to represent the Republican viewpoint) it's fairly understandable. Media control is a powerful thing.

While it gets away from the main subject, you have to understand that the very issue of "discrimination" is a lot more touchy than a lot of people make it out to be. While our country is a representitive republic, it's based on the idea of democracy and intregrates a lot of those ideas. The idea of democracy simply being that everyone votes, and whatever gets the most votes is what winds up happening.

The thing is that a lot of minority rights issues revolve around an interpetation of certain laws and principles that can be argued to say that democracy is non-existant, and that a small group of people cannot be forced to conform to the will of the majority (or move out of their area and go someplace else). It's one of those things that starts with the constitution, goes into how our founding fathers interpeted it, metric tons of precedent in all kinds of directions, and arguements at pretty much all levels about the letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law by both sides.

The Republican side of things tends to argue that equality means that minorities get the right to have an opinion and vote like anyone else, they however are not entitled to any specific weight to their votes simply by being a minority. Indeed by definition in a country based on an ideal of democracy minority groups, which are by their definition small, are supposed to lose. The idea being that the greater good is served by having more people in agreement with what happens.

To use a favorite example, look at conflicts about things like Christmas decorations and town tree lighting ceremonies and such. When you get past the religious aspects of the entire thing, a big part of the arguement comes from religious minorities like Jews and Hindus claiming that a star on top of a tree in the middle of the town square is offensive, and that it's not right that they can lose on an issue like this despite the fact that they got to vote and lost to the other 99.9% of the community. Democrats in most cases argue it's the job of the big bad Federal Goverment to come in and stomp on the people of Hooville (or whatever) on the behalf of a handfull of butthurt minorities. Republicans in most cases argue that the minorities were given equal rights, they got to vote, they simply lost, and this is how things are supposed to work. Every single year, people throw down about this kind of thing somewhere with mixed results.

Agree or disagree, the bottom line is that it's a fairly sensible conflict with a decent amount of logic on both sides, even though I agree with the Republican point of view more than the Democratic one. However on the rare occasions when this kind of thing gets national coverage the majority of news networks like CNN traditionally pick the biggest whack job to represent the case of the town. You wind up with like some professional political activist argueing the democratic point of view, against the head of the town's church (who was probably quite vocal) as opposed to say a Mayor, Selectman, or other such person. The networks getting to choose whom they give a platform to (and this is incidently a big part
of claims of media bias, it's not quite what a lot of people think those complaints are). People get to see a well informed activist argue about the law, while the preacher talks about god, and in the end you wind up with a lot of people assuming that this is some case
of religious fundementalists oppressing minorities, where if say the Mayor or someone similar was allowed to make the case for what happened it would seem somewhat less insane.

I don't mindlessly follow a Republican point of view, I just tend to agree with that side more than I disagree with it. In general I tend to be critical with liberals because they tend to accuse people of ignorance, while themselves being ignorant and typically not knowing much of anything about the other side and what the actual issues involved in something are. Of course I'm one of the people who also blames a media bias for this, but I do so not because other people have told me that this is the case, but because I've actually sat there and watched discussions on issues I'm familiar with, with the Republican side being represented by someone who does not belong argueing a case on a national platform, or taking entirely the wrong track of debate. A favorite technique seems to be to call up religious leaders to represent the right wing, giving the impression that the right wing is based a lot more on religious fundementalism than it is, instead of the people who have actually been involved in the legal conflicts themselves. When you later hear that a news program didn't want the guy that should have been making the case to begin with, well let's just say that is how hard set opinions are formed.

As far as the actual issue we're discussing goes, this (like anything) goes cross party. It should be noted however that despite general tendencies in the past, you'd have to look at who is calling the shots in, and representing the various states involved, and how much conflict is going on within those states.

Understand that right now you see a lot of things happening because the left wing didn't just take The Presidency, it managed to get control of pretty much the entire federal goverment. Most states right now are being represented by liberals. One of the big liberal battle cries right now is to make things happen while they have control, to more or less avoid the pitfall that the Republicans fell into when they had control and were able to get little done. The typical liberal problem of various left wingers fighting each other endlessly over specifics is somewhat dealt with for the moment, that is what the whole Obama/Clinton alliance was about where she was convinced to support her with her followers in exchange for a cabinet position instead of dividing the party and turning it into a grudge match. The outnumbered Republicans are also forced into a position of compromise and fencewalking and deciding what is the lesser of evils by their position to get things done, trading support on one issue, for lack of opposition on another.

The bottom line being that if they want to make a major push for video game regulation and start the moral censorship snowball rolling, they are in a better position now than ever before. Having a socially liberal Republican (with connections to the Kennedies no less) lead the charge makes it appear there is more solidarity and demand than there is as part of the show, as does being able to bring in what are commonly thought of as Republican states. You'll doubtlessly see a lot of high profile Republicans that went cross party for this being heavily flaunted as part of the entire performance. The intention being to sell The Supreme Court on "this is what the overwhelming number of people want".

I'm not going to tell you that there are whacked Republican censors out there and such, because there are. However this paticular issue, and this paticular battle, comes from the left wing. As things stand now if your anti-censorship, it's the democrats that are after your rights. Tomorrow it could very well be the other way around, but today the enemy are people like Mrs. Clinton even if they aren't currently acting as "faces" as much as they usually would.
your still wrong, there is a difference between democrates and liberals, right now dems are more moderate then anything, annoyingly, and republicans are stupid conservative since they are insane, oh and if you havent figured it out yet Im just skimming your argument because its way too wordy, I should probably read more since it looks like its at least well thought out from your end even tho Im fairly sure I disagree with it but I just cant get up the urge to read that much right now unless its written by terry pratchett
 

The Rogue Wolf

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To put it bluntly: The issue here is not "making it illegal for kids to buy adult games". The issue is "removing freedom-of-speech protections from games". Were this to pass, any state could very likely make any game marginalizing, or even criminalizing, "mature" video games. Imagine having to register in a government database if you want to buy the next Grand Theft Auto, or the next Gears of War simply being illegal to sell (or even own) in your state. Don't like it? Too bad, it's not like you have a right to buy them.

And, although they would never admit it, a number of parent groups want this. They don't want more stringent laws preventing Johnny from getting Axe Murderer 6- they want laws preventing Axe Murderer 6 from being MADE, so that they don't have to hear Johnny whine for it. How many children are getting their hands on these games because harried parents who don't want to pay attention are buying them? It's less "protect the children from filth" and more "protect me from having to parent".

Hyperbole? Sure. But I'm positive there's more than a few grains of truth in this.
 

Chunko

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I would actually be in support of this bill if it applied to all media.
 

Owyn_Merrilin

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Therumancer said:

You couldn't be more wrong. I'm not going to go point by point on this, because the post is way too long for me to do that, but a few things stand out.

First of all, Hilary Clinton is about as conservative as a Democrat can get without being a DINO. Joe Lieberman, the other "Democrat" behind the save the children nonsense isn't even a Dem in name anymore; he's as conservative as they come, but he changes his party affiliation depending on which party he thinks will be most likely to get elected. Currently, he's independent but claims to caucus with the Democrats; his voting record says otherwise.

As for your claims about America following the patterns of a democracy, and allowing the majority of the nation to decide on matters that could negatively impact a minority; you're wrong there, too. When the will of the majority violates the Constitution, what's written in the Constitution takes precedence -- unless it's the will of the majority to make some kind of discriminatory amendment to the constitution. Protecting minority rights is not a power grab by the Democrats; it's the Dems reaffirming the foundation of the U.S. constitution. The entire reason we have many of the rights we do is to protect against the "tyranny of the majority," as one of the authors of the Federalist papers put it. We have a republic for a reason, and following the bill of rights and the 14th amendment does not a power grab make. If anything, it's a power grab when the majority tries to take those rights away from underrepresented minorities.

Edit: Fixed major typo in quote.
 

Worgen

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Owyn_Merrilin said:
Worgen said:
You couldn't be more wrong. I'm not going to go point by point on this, because the post is way too long for me to do that, but a few things stand out.

First of all, Hilary Clinton is about as conservative as a Democrat can get without being a DINO. Joe Lieberman, the other "Democrat" behind the save the children nonsense isn't even a Dem in name anymore; he's as conservative as they come, but he changes his party affiliation depending on which party he thinks will be most likely to get elected. Currently, he's independent but claims to caucus with the Democrats; his voting record says otherwise.

As for your claims about America following the patterns of a democracy, and allowing the majority of the nation to decide on matters that could negatively impact a minority; you're wrong there, too. When the will of the majority violates the Constitution, what's written in the Constitution takes precedence -- unless it's the will of the majority to make some kind of discriminatory amendment to the constitution. Protecting minority rights is not a power grab by the Democrats; it's the Dems reaffirming the foundation of the U.S. constitution. The entire reason we have many of the rights we do is to protect against the "tyranny of the majority," as one of the authors of the Federalist papers put it. We have a republic for a reason, and following the bill of rights and the 14th amendment does not a power grab make. If anything, it's a power grab when the majority tries to take those rights away from underrepresented minorities.
so you felt I was totaly wrong about something but you felt the need to snip off whatever the hell I said, classy, anyway, I dont recall saying anything about hilary or really anything else in your post so Im just confused at this point, I get the feeling you ment to link someone else
 

Owyn_Merrilin

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Worgen said:
so you felt I was totaly wrong about something but you felt the need to snip off whatever the hell I said, classy, anyway, I dont recall saying anything about hilary or really anything else in your post so Im just confused at this point, I get the feeling you ment to link someone else
Ah shoot, I'm sorry -- I meant to quote Therumancer. I was actually agreeing with you and adding some more points. Initially I meant to quote the last post that you quoted Therumancer on, but it would have taken up way too much space to quote the whole thing, and it was pretty much entirely aimed at him anyway -- so I did a snipped quote in order for him to get a notification. Apparently, I snipped off the wrong quote tag in the process.
Therumancer said:
snip again
The above snipped quote is just so you get a notification; my last post was aimed at you, not Worgen. I'm going to edit it accordingly, but that alone won't give you notice about it.
 

Worgen

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Owyn_Merrilin said:
Worgen said:
so you felt I was totaly wrong about something but you felt the need to snip off whatever the hell I said, classy, anyway, I dont recall saying anything about hilary or really anything else in your post so Im just confused at this point, I get the feeling you ment to link someone else
Ah shoot, I'm sorry -- I meant to quote Therumancer. I was actually agreeing with you and adding some more points. Initially I meant to quote the last post that you quoted Therumancer on, but it would have taken up way too much space to quote the whole thing, and it was pretty much entirely aimed at him anyway -- so I did a snipped quote in order for him to get a notification. Apparently, I snipped off the wrong quote tag in the process.
Therumancer said:
snip again
The above snipped quote is just so you get a notification; my last post was aimed at you, not Worgen. I'm going to edit it accordingly, but that alone won't give you notice about it.
no worries, soon as I posted that one I figured you had seen his and accidentally responded to mine, good to know when Im too lazy to make an argument someone else will
 

Sikachu

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LordOfInsanity said:
SenseOfTumour said:
I can't help but think it's a reasonable idea to prevent sales to minors of M rated games, and as for training, surely 'Hey guys, you know how you card people for Mature rated movies? do the same for video games please'. That's not $1000s of training to me.

I just think because people are crazy about the idea the kids playing violent games, if we don't as an industry keep them away from kids, the world will just go nuts and try to get them banned altogether.

Again tho, I think the main problem is parental responsibility, you buy GTA for your wailing 8 year old to shut him up, despite the clerk's desperate attempts to educate you about the games content, then you don't get to run off to FOX news because it taught him to call the family pet a ************, and reply to 'tidy your room' with 'what up, *****?'
The thing is, every game store that sells video games already cards people if they wish to buy M games. I know I've been carded multiple times after I turned 18 for buying an M game. Putting a law on it is a kick to the balls of all video gamers with a heavy, steel-toed boot with spikes on it.

This also opens the door for government to put laws on movies and stores. And it gets worse. What's to stop them from banning violence in all video games? What about political ideals? Heck, they could ban swear words from games.

That's why I like what the ECA/EMA is doing by fighting this. Our rights as citizens (Of the States since this is where it's happening), are being shot by a law like this.
What, your right to not be able to buy an 'M' rated game as a minor because no shop will sell it to you without ID? I think you Americans are just a bit too scared of laws. Comments like 'What's to stop them from banning violence in all video games?' are about as helpful as asking 'what's to stop them starting up a Battle Royale-style tv show?' - not very.

Archon said:
But California is taking a new tact to defend its Bill
I think you mean 'tack'.
 

Therumancer

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Owyn_Merrilin said:
Therumancer said:

You couldn't be more wrong. I'm not going to go point by point on this, because the post is way too long for me to do that, but a few things stand out.

First of all, Hilary Clinton is about as conservative as a Democrat can get without being a DINO. Joe Lieberman, the other "Democrat" behind the save the children nonsense isn't even a Dem in name anymore; he's as conservative as they come, but he changes his party affiliation depending on which party he thinks will be most likely to get elected. Currently, he's independent but claims to caucus with the Democrats; his voting record says otherwise.

As for your claims about America following the patterns of a democracy, and allowing the majority of the nation to decide on matters that could negatively impact a minority; you're wrong there, too. When the will of the majority violates the Constitution, what's written in the Constitution takes precedence -- unless it's the will of the majority to make some kind of discriminatory amendment to the constitution. Protecting minority rights is not a power grab by the Democrats; it's the Dems reaffirming the foundation of the U.S. constitution. The entire reason we have many of the rights we do is to protect against the "tyranny of the majority," as one of the authors of the Federalist papers put it. We have a republic for a reason, and following the bill of rights and the 14th amendment does not a power grab make. If anything, it's a power grab when the majority tries to take those rights away from underrepresented minorities.

Edit: Fixed major typo in quote.
You might want to actually do some research on the Constitution. That's not meant to be snippy, but simply due to the fact that you have some strong misconceptions about it and the intent, ones that are unfortunatly not uncommon.

See, one of the things that many people who argue about The Constitution rapidly forget is that not only is it a living document, but when it comes to intent and the spirit of what was written the guys who created it left behind numerous examples of how they interpeted it, and how it was intended to be understood. What's more the constitution itself becomes altered through this thing called "precedent", which is to say that when there has been question about the constitution and how it was intended to be interpeted, and a desician was reached, that desician effectively becomes the new interpetation. Then of course this mutates further as people establish precedents based on other precedents. This is why lawyers are in business (and arguably why they are hated by many), it's also why it's important when people refer to other cases in court to prove a precedent that supports an interpetation that they are going to argue.

Now, if you read what I said, you will notice that I myself talked about the letter of the law vs. the spirit of the law, and how both sides of any major issue will argue whichever one happens to support what they want. In this case you can make arguements about what The Constitution itself says, but when it comes to how it was meant to be interpeted in the case of minorities against the majority precedents have been established very early on.

I'm not an expert in this area, as it was only covered in brief (as I was a criminal justice major many years ago) but the point I'm making is that your simply put wrong, as are many people who make arguements based on what The Constitution, Bill Of Rights, or any other ancient document that provides a foundation for our legal system goes because simply put nothing is that simple.

Another point to consider when looking at how things were interpeted, is that a big principle our country was founded on was the idea of not having small minorities of people who could overrule or control the majority and it's will. The idea of majority rule was integral to the entire foundation of The United States and arguably a big part of what lead to the American Revolution. The major point of contention was that we didn't want something akin to a "noble class" being able to set policy which "the mob" would be forced to abide by despite it's wishes, castrating the idea of democracy. However it was also realized that this same logic could apply in reverse with any small group of people having the abillity, even from a humble status, to effectively derail or castrate voting or democratic process. The American ideal of equality is that everyone gets a vote (so to speak) and nobody's vote counts any more than anyone else's. In general a person is not being discriminated against as long as he has his basic rights intact, and got a chance to vote against a policy he winds up having to follow.

If it was straightforward it wouldn't be an ongoing battle, and the country wouldn't be divided pretty much 50-50 along political lines when it comes to the issues that get to the root of this. Our elections being resolved on a razor's edge. Obama himself is one of the more popular preseidents of recent years and at his best when he was elected he only had a 7% lead.


The bottom line is that The Democrats and Republicans *BOTH* claim to be interpeting things properly in a general sense, and both can prove it. That's what creates the mess. When you get down to it though both sides are arguably wrong because the guys who founded the country subscribed to nothing like modern ethics. They supporting things like slavery, and had this tendency to find truely horrible ways for people they didn't like to be disposed of. These are guys that used terms like "protection against unreasonable search and seizure" or "protection from cruel and unusual punishment". Then when you look at the way they interpeted this in the street when they were disposing of British crown loyalists... well, let's just say neither side thinks like they did. To put things into perspective our founding fathers would have dealt with some of the minority vs. majority issues that we deal with today with flogging, stocks, and tar and feathering. Today scholors like to try and argue that these guys must have been against the institution of slavery and things like that, at least in secret, but really they weren't against that either.


At any rate you probably didn't read this far, but that's the problem with discussing complicated issues online. There is no easy way to cover some of these things in enough detail where it matters. See, a lot of people hear a couple of quotes from things like "The Federalist Papers" take it out of context, and don't even bother to look at what the people at the time were actually doing and how they obviously interpeted their own words. Consider especially that when talking about the "tyranny of the majority" which was mostly intended in the context of preventing mob justice through a legal system by most interpetation, that it doesn't have any bearing on the current situation where most of what we consider to be minorities today (and the cultures of which fuel a lot of the central issues) were not even considered to be human.

Ask yourself seriously what would have happened if a couple of hindus happened to be in America decided to try and make an issue out of a town wanting to have a Christmas tree in the town square and a tree lighting party, or paying for it (by agreement) with local tax money. We've progressed since then, since today they would just be voted down (which is a fair way of doing things in a case like this, a vote is fair) back then you'd probably have found their mutilated corpses hanging by the roadside covered with dried tar and white feathers... and guys like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, or Ben Franklin? None of them would have batted an eye. The moral lesson? You can't invoke the the Constitution in cases totally out of context to it's creation, in cases like this it's the precedents that allow us to hold to modern morality, because if we enforced it according to the way the creators intended it would be brutal.


On a final and doubtlessly unread note, I can understand a desire by liberals who don't want to face the reality of what their party is doing today want to seperate themselves from Mrs. Clinton, consider however though that she is one of the most powerful and influential liberal democrats out there, connected directly to one of the most popular presidents that the party has ever put into office (despite my personal problems with Mr. Clinton).

In general I think one of the big reasons why there is a problem is because people who have been raised to think of the Democrats as good guys, and Republicans as insane are reluctant to change. It's one of those things where the label and what people want to believe about the respective sides (as they are today) supercedes the reality of what is going on.

I tend to see things more clearly than most in a lot of cases like this because in absolute terms I'm not really a follower of either party. I'm registered Republican because I tend to agree with them more as they are for the moment, and I want to be able to vote in their primary. I however DO go very left wing when it comes to things like unions and workers rights (which rarely come up). I unapologetically back "big goverment" when it comes to protecting employees from being too heavily exploited by their employers, the creation and enforcement of safety guidelines, and the protection of people engaging in collective bargaining... many of these things which typically put me at odds with many of those in the Republican Party. In cases of free speech and such, I am not attacking the Democrats (who I do generally support on some issues) because of some political act to grind, but because they really are the bad guys here. The situation when it comes to censorship and media control can easily be reversed, and Republicans have made similar attempts in the past, but as things are right now The Republicans are by and large not on that kind of a push, but the Democrats are so it's the Democrats the need to be dealt with. Should the situation reverse itself, then that is how it will need to be dealt with. I call it as I see it. Trying to deny Mrs. Clinton who is a presidential appointee right now (ie she is acts with the support of her party and The White House) is pretty ridiculous.
 

Ken Sapp

Cat Herder
Apr 1, 2010
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The edifice of Free Speech (the right to speak unfetttered by government regulation and oppression) is only as strong as those who are willing to stand up and fight to defend it.
 

Archon

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Nov 12, 2002
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Sikachu - Doh. You are right. I will now go commit ritual seppuku in shame over my error.
 

Djinni

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This is an answer for those who believe there is such a thing as too much video game violence for children. Those who do not will of course think that there is no reason for a law. I don't understand why they are responding to this article at all.

For everyone who says its a parenting issue: then isn't everything a parenting issue? Shouldn't we remove all laws specific to minors and let their parents protect them from whatever the laws are currently protecting them from?

If your answer is "no", why not? Either you can control everything they interact with or not.
 

ryukage_sama

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Mar 12, 2009
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So a store employee can knowingly sell an M rated game to a minor against all training and instruction by his/her employer and face no legal consequences, but the employer would be held liable for the employee's willful disregard for the law and be fined by the state? Sure, the employee would lose his/her job, but that sucks for the store. I can see stores in CA severely limiting their sale of M rated games in general, like small stores requiring manager approval to complete a sale or a central pick up window for M-rated games like Toys R Us used to use for all of their games.

This law is inconsistent both in its application and its enforcement: 1) Employees can be charged with a crime for selling minors alcohol and 2) This same standard doesn't apply to music CDs or movies.
 

senataur

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Aug 21, 2008
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I searched for the word Irony on google.

This page came up, then a fist extended through the screen and repeatedly punched me in the face until I clicked the link and read every single word.
 

bakonslayer

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Apr 15, 2009
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Jeez, how much does that needle you when video games are picked on over other forms of media as the 'interactive media'? Hopefully, if you are on the Escapist, it should needle you tremendously. We're talking, a brisk root canalling level of needling. Would movies, books, and music be subjugated to this kind of frivolous campaigning - getting state governments involved? No, because it would be ridiculous, and they shouldn't! This is bad because it singles out video games. Our hobby and their industry is, according to California's state government, DIFFERENT than that of film or music.

We are now different. And now that we have been ostracized from our brethren media forms we are susceptible to many different kinds of government controls. That needling feeling? That's the pen of the California lawyers pushing around words to bend what they can and can't do with this new found power that this bill gives them. And California LOVES power.

Hopefully, this is a lot of hyperbole, hopefully we're just making a mountain out of a molehill, but the chilling effect is very possible. I am needled.


Also, as far as all the political discourse on these comment pages goes - it is BEAUTIFUL. This is why I come here every week; every day. Thank you for being a broad and sensible community that not only loves video games passionately, but is also very aware of the bigger picture and can construct not only strong opinions, but strong counter-opinions as well. Always classy, Escapist.
 

Altorin

Jack of No Trades
May 16, 2008
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parents and reasonably responsible salespeople (which they are, generally, already).

It's all that really needs to be said. If the parents pass on it, then it's not the government's job to swoop in and parent for the parent. and parents should be offended by that connotation, but that's EXACTLY what's happening.
 

Jachwe

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I do not comprehend your problem. The way the article presents it is as follows as far as I understand: Violent video games are not to be made accesible to children. Means explicit content harmful to the development of the child to a reponsible und healthy member of the community. That is brillant and anyone can agree with this. That is that often laughed at "Think about the children" wagon. You are talking about censorship here but how is simply making explicit games not avaiable to anybody censorship? Yeah Gamestop won´t sell es many copies because those 13year olds cannot buy it any longer, but how does that factor into censorship?
It is good not to expose children to explicit content like porno, but so is violence. They are not the same but both have negativ effects on the development of children. I am not talking about cartoon violence but grim and gritty violence, the disturbing kind.
What is needed is a law that disables children to buy explicit media but adult still can. You do not have to prohibit advertisment or displaying this media but simply prohibit selling them to minors. And by no means do you have to forbid reporting on and reviewing said media. I say all media. That includes books, television, games and even the internet. You might think it impossible to do so but it is. There are other countries that have done so... kind of. All media must be classified according to its content. Classified into adults only and for everyone to buy. This does not mean 13year old will not be able to play the game per default because if the parents buy it and give it to him/her it is stil aokay. Remember the law is only supposed to prohibit to let them buy it not prohibiting to consume it with the parents approval. Would such a law touch the right of free speech? I don´t think so. Of course new problems will be coming if such a step is taken because every blessing has its curses. There would have to be an office testing the media with the approval of the gouverment. It will cost money I won´t lie to you.
But think of the children :p No seriously
 

LordVyreth

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Sikachu said:
LordOfInsanity said:
SenseOfTumour said:
I can't help but think it's a reasonable idea to prevent sales to minors of M rated games, and as for training, surely 'Hey guys, you know how you card people for Mature rated movies? do the same for video games please'. That's not $1000s of training to me.

I just think because people are crazy about the idea the kids playing violent games, if we don't as an industry keep them away from kids, the world will just go nuts and try to get them banned altogether.

Again tho, I think the main problem is parental responsibility, you buy GTA for your wailing 8 year old to shut him up, despite the clerk's desperate attempts to educate you about the games content, then you don't get to run off to FOX news because it taught him to call the family pet a ************, and reply to 'tidy your room' with 'what up, *****?'
The thing is, every game store that sells video games already cards people if they wish to buy M games. I know I've been carded multiple times after I turned 18 for buying an M game. Putting a law on it is a kick to the balls of all video gamers with a heavy, steel-toed boot with spikes on it.

This also opens the door for government to put laws on movies and stores. And it gets worse. What's to stop them from banning violence in all video games? What about political ideals? Heck, they could ban swear words from games.

That's why I like what the ECA/EMA is doing by fighting this. Our rights as citizens (Of the States since this is where it's happening), are being shot by a law like this.
What, your right to not be able to buy an 'M' rated game as a minor because no shop will sell it to you without ID? I think you Americans are just a bit too scared of laws. Comments like 'What's to stop them from banning violence in all video games?' are about as helpful as asking 'what's to stop them starting up a Battle Royale-style tv show?' - not very.
Considering the state of video games in Germany, Australia, and what happened only a few years ago in Greece, Americans are more than right the be scared of laws regarding free speech. And don't forget the Manhunt debacle in England. And that's just the video game industry. Don't forget what happened to similarly vilified artistic mediums, like the Comic Code. That stunted an entire industry, one that's still trying to recover and mature. So yes, the possibility of games being legally banned is a plausible one based on other countries and historical analysis. Is it likely? Hard to say. But there are other ways it can ruin the industry. It could mean major stores won't cover M-rated games for fear of lawsuits should a single employee screw up. It could mean M-rated games can't sell ads anywhere with a significant percentage of children who read or watch it. And most importantly, it means video games are no longer legally recognized as art, period. The closest thing we could use to compare to games, whether they're Grand Theft Auto or Dora's Pony Adventure, are pornography and other materials considered too obscene to be protected by the first amendment. If we complain about the lack of mature stories in games now, imagine the state of games after that.
 

Sikachu

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LordVyreth said:
It could mean major stores won't cover M-rated games for fear of lawsuits should a single employee screw up.
Similar to how pubs in the UK have stopped serving alcohol since employees and the pub could get a massive fine for selling to under-age drinkers? Oh wait.

LordVyreth said:
It could mean M-rated games can't sell ads anywhere with a significant percentage of children who read or watch it.
Where the hell's the harm in that? The tobacco industry seems to have survived having its opportunities to advertised slashed...

LordVyreth said:
And most importantly, it means video games are no longer legally recognized as art, period... [redacted for brevity] ...If we complain about the lack of mature stories in games now, imagine the state of games after that.
Way to go for a non-sequitur. Videogames won't be protected in the USA by the First Amendment and suddenly the storylines will get worse because you can't do Manhunt style violence? Get a grip on yourself. Porn storylines aren't bad because it isn't protected, they're bad because they don't need to be good. Similar to videogames.

LordVyreth said:
So yes, the possibility of games being legally banned is a plausible one based on other countries and historical analysis. Is it likely?
It is a plausible one with or without passing legislation regulating what you can and can't sell to children. As for comparing it to other countries, Germany bans more or less anything to do with the Nazis, and you can still legally buy any game of any type there, just so long as you get it off the internet. The UK has overturned the bans on both games it has ever banned. Australia is a shit-hole for games. But then Americans got sanitised versions of games like Indigo Prophecy because of worries about not getting a licence. Perhaps if you had laws delineating who can buy what, adult American gamers could finally have games made for them that didn't cut bits out because the industry would be confident enough in its standing, rather than having the threat of uncertain legislation always hanging over it like the sword of Damocles.
 

CRoone

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Jul 1, 2010
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*sigh*
[insert three-page-long rant about Nanny State Alarmists, California, the separation of Church and State, the Moral Myopia of Senators and Ministers alike, the unfeasibility of the law, the true Currency of Society, my ever-growing and nigh-unto-complete-pessimism about the country I no longer even want to *identify* with, and how the Industry will live on, no matter if the movement is passed or not]

Let's just say this, and leave it at that.
I agree with Sir John the Net Knight on every aspect, and anything else I say about the issue will - and, indeed, already has (elsewhere) - come off as either a rehash of the same material, or my own pessimistic, at times overly-dramatic, musings about the state of society and what will *really* cause its collapse (hint: it's not 2012, Jesus returning for His people, or a Communist Invasion).

I'll leave it at that...or else, I'll be sitting here all night, ranting behind my computer screen, but not wanting my post to dominate the page (not that there's anything wrong with that, so long as you've got a good enough arguement and point).
 

paragon1

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Dec 8, 2008
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fundayz said:
Oh please, how about a little less fear mongering? In effect, all the Cali law is trying to do is add a fine to the selling of "M" and "violent" games to minors; calling that a chilling effect is plain and simple exaggeration.

Stores like Wall-mart "will have to restructure their entire business model" to abide this law? give me a break, all they will have to do is actually make sure their employees ask for IDs before selling any M games, like they are already supposed to do in many places.
Also, do you think games stores are actually going to stop selling M rated games instead of just asking for IDs? Seriously?

I agree that interactive media should be protected like all other kinds of media, but to claim that a law trying to uphold game ratings and their purpose is censoring is ridiculous.
What's next? Claiming that not selling porn to children is unconstitutional and that it uses a 'chilling effect' to oppress the people?
I've got a question for you. You almost make it sound like this law won't have any effect on the games industry. If that's the case, then why is the law necessary in the first place, and why has it been repeatedly struck down?
Whether or not this article exaggerates the effects such a law will have on the games industry is beside the point. Such a law would still remove from games the same First Amendment protection that other media have, and would that would establish a precedent that will allow further restriction and censorship in the future.
 

paragon1

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Therumancer said:
Owyn_Merrilin said:
Therumancer said:
snip, because, damn dude
I'm a little confused by several things in your post.
First, could you state whether or not you support the California law that is at the source of this thread please? For clarity's sake.
Second, Governor Schwarzenegger is a Republican and the sponsor of this law, isn't he? And similar laws have been proposed by members of both parties, so really, why are you talking like it's just one group that makes this kind of legislation?
Third, first you say that the constitution is a living document, then you argue that people shouldn't quote it or other documents without considering the context in which it was written. Aren't you contradicting yourself there? How can we call it living if we can only consider it in the context of men long dead? Wouldn't that quickly make it irrelevant? How would that context affect laws regarding things that simply didn't exist when the Constitution was written?
 

Arrogancy

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I agree that the United States has the power to regulate certain speech. This is a valid power that has been exercised in our nation's history, but the cases in which it has been exercised have been national emergencies. To envoke this emergency power when no threat or immediate danger can be found is not just illegal it is a slap in the face of democracy. Our founders built for us a nation where the people enjoy a series of freedoms that few in the world at the time had. To censor speech without rhyme or reason save "Well, it COULD be dangerous" is not just stupid and pointless, it's threatening to the pillars that support the United States.
 

King Toasty

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*insane grin*
Big days are ahead, aye? Finally. I live in Canada, so it's safe up here for now. But I still want to fight, or at least petition, for my southernly gamer neighbors. Good luck, Californians. What happens there will affect us, too.
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
9,909
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paragon1 said:
Therumancer said:
Owyn_Merrilin said:
Therumancer said:
snip, because, damn dude
I'm a little confused by several things in your post.
First, could you state whether or not you support the California law that is at the source of this thread please? For clarity's sake.
Second, Governor Schwarzenegger is a Republican and the sponsor of this law, isn't he? And similar laws have been proposed by members of both parties, so really, why are you talking like it's just one group that makes this kind of legislation?
Third, first you say that the constitution is a living document, then you argue that people shouldn't quote it or other documents without considering the context in which it was written. Aren't you contradicting yourself there? How can we call it living if we can only consider it in the context of men long dead? Wouldn't that quickly make it irrelevant? How would that context affect laws regarding things that simply didn't exist when the Constitution was written?

I'm not a great writer, and perhaps I was not clear due to covering this in a number of threads.

I am against the law.

When it comes to my political statements, I have always pointed out that this is an issue that goes cross party. It is however a pet issue of the democratic party, and specifically of people like Hillary Clinton and her/her husband's supporters (referred to by many as Clintonistas), as well as our current president Barack Obama who uses the issue as a scapegoat for health issues and the like as opposed to Hillary's more "protect the children" type message.

The thing is that during the last sets of elections the Democratic party took a "who cares if we're right or not, let's do anything to win" approach to a whole new level. Believing that it was dissent due to differant ideas in the party, the leadership pretty much decreed that the Democrats are all going to rally behind specific issues and promote specific people irregardless of what they might personally believe, or they are out of the party.

There is a lot more that can be said about this, but the whole thing where Hillary was given a position in Obama's administration was a big deal because it ended a divide within the party and pretty much brought the only divisive faction that could have bucked this proclaimation into the fold.

Unfortunatly for us, video games are the scapegoat of choice for both Hillary AND Obama and when push comes to shove very few people within the democratic party are going to oppose them (though it does happen) out of concern for their careers.

There are indeed Republicans who support these issues, however right now what your dealing with is the entire democratic party with any dissent quashed, and the Republicans going cross party that are the force behind this. That level of support is why a bill like this (giving the goverment censorship powers, irregardless of why) which should by rights be shot down instantly has become such a big deal.

Right now the opposition includes the Republicans in the "against it" camp, and a relatively scant handfull of democrats who are willing to buck their own leadership.

Arnie himself is a Republican, but also consider who he's married to, and whom that marriage connects him to (The Kennedies, and if you think his marriage and so on didn't influance his political career I think your naive). Arnie himself does have a lot of right wing ideals but has also claimed as I recall to be a social liberal.

Having one of the best known Republicans out there pull the trigger to start this is also a calculated move, because on a lot of levels it shows both parties moving for the same thing, in hopes that it's going to influance people, and even The Supreme Court, when they see this. The image they want to present is one of everyone coming forward to beg the Supreme Court to give them the power to save all of us poor pathetic peasants from the burden of our own freedom, since we obviously can't handle parenting and deciding what media we want to consume on our own.


This is an old discussion so I'm not going to say more on it, and apologies for the length. Whether you agree with me or not, this hopefully clarifies what I think and why I say the things I do.
 

paragon1

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Therumancer said:
paragon1 said:
Therumancer said:
Owyn_Merrilin said:
Therumancer said:
snip, because, damn dude
I'm a little confused by several things in your post.
First, could you state whether or not you support the California law that is at the source of this thread please? For clarity's sake.
Second, Governor Schwarzenegger is a Republican and the sponsor of this law, isn't he? And similar laws have been proposed by members of both parties, so really, why are you talking like it's just one group that makes this kind of legislation?
Third, first you say that the constitution is a living document, then you argue that people shouldn't quote it or other documents without considering the context in which it was written. Aren't you contradicting yourself there? How can we call it living if we can only consider it in the context of men long dead? Wouldn't that quickly make it irrelevant? How would that context affect laws regarding things that simply didn't exist when the Constitution was written?

I'm not a great writer, and perhaps I was not clear due to covering this in a number of threads.

I am against the law.

When it comes to my political statements, I have always pointed out that this is an issue that goes cross party. It is however a pet issue of the democratic party, and specifically of people like Hillary Clinton and her/her husband's supporters (referred to by many as Clintonistas), as well as our current president Barack Obama who uses the issue as a scapegoat for health issues and the like as opposed to Hillary's more "protect the children" type message.

The thing is that during the last sets of elections the Democratic party took a "who cares if we're right or not, let's do anything to win" approach to a whole new level. Believing that it was dissent due to differant ideas in the party, the leadership pretty much decreed that the Democrats are all going to rally behind specific issues and promote specific people irregardless of what they might personally believe, or they are out of the party.

There is a lot more that can be said about this, but the whole thing where Hillary was given a position in Obama's administration was a big deal because it ended a divide within the party and pretty much brought the only divisive faction that could have bucked this proclaimation into the fold.

Unfortunatly for us, video games are the scapegoat of choice for both Hillary AND Obama and when push comes to shove very few people within the democratic party are going to oppose them (though it does happen) out of concern for their careers.

There are indeed Republicans who support these issues, however right now what your dealing with is the entire democratic party with any dissent quashed, and the Republicans going cross party that are the force behind this. That level of support is why a bill like this (giving the goverment censorship powers, irregardless of why) which should by rights be shot down instantly has become such a big deal.

Right now the opposition includes the Republicans in the "against it" camp, and a relatively scant handfull of democrats who are willing to buck their own leadership.

Arnie himself is a Republican, but also consider who he's married to, and whom that marriage connects him to (The Kennedies, and if you think his marriage and so on didn't influance his political career I think your naive). Arnie himself does have a lot of right wing ideals but has also claimed as I recall to be a social liberal.

Having one of the best known Republicans out there pull the trigger to start this is also a calculated move, because on a lot of levels it shows both parties moving for the same thing, in hopes that it's going to influance people, and even The Supreme Court, when they see this. The image they want to present is one of everyone coming forward to beg the Supreme Court to give them the power to save all of us poor pathetic peasants from the burden of our own freedom, since we obviously can't handle parenting and deciding what media we want to consume on our own.


This is an old discussion so I'm not going to say more on it, and apologies for the length. Whether you agree with me or not, this hopefully clarifies what I think and why I say the things I do.
Yes, it does, and I thank you for taking the time to clarify and explain.
I basically agree with most of your points, though I think you may be seeing too much in Mrs. Clinton's appointment. It'd be interesting to see the Democrats try to rally behind certain issues in the manner you describe, since they'd be doing the exact same thing the Republicans did during Bush's first term.

Wish I could say that seeing parts of the government try to gain censorship powers surprised me, but I guess that's just the nature of the beast, isn't it?