The Needles: Master Chief Goes to Washington

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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The Needles: Master Chief Goes to Washington

California's controversial videogame law is on its way to the Supreme Court of the United States, which means it's time for gamers to quit playing around.

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Flauros

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Mar 2, 2010
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How is it even their RIGHT to "outlaw" a videogame? Is it hurting anyone? Does it get you addicted to heroin? Its really none of their business.
 

Bobkat1252

The Psychotic Psyker
Mar 18, 2008
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Wow Andy, that was a spectacular article. I had heard something about this topic but not enough to really form an opinion on it, but this got me fired up. I'm going to follow this story intently.
 

Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
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It feels like stupid witch hunts are starting up again and are taking pages from Atkinson books...of how to really, really alienate alot of people
 

SavingPrincess

Bringin' Text-y Back
Feb 17, 2010
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Andy Chalk said:
-TopicSnip-
This is why the two-party system fails. All you have to do to change a Liberal Democrat into a died-in-the-wool Constitutional Libertarian Republican is try and pass a law against something they like.

That being said, I'm anti-censorship and pro-parenting. That also being said, parents of my generation are retarded and apathetic for the most part. Government should be mandating parenting classes, not censorship legislation.
 

Hurr Durr Derp

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Apr 8, 2009
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For the record, I agree.

However, playing Devil's advocate for a moment, I'd say that comparing game laws to movie laws doesn't make a whole lot of sense. After all, games by definition contain a strong interactive element. It could easily be argued that watching a violent act being carried out on TV is something very different from playing a simulation of acting out that violent act yourself. In that light, it's not so strange that people think it's more important to keep small children from playing violent games than it is to keep them from listening to abusive lyrics or watching violent movies.

Also, this isn't such a straight-cut freedom of speech case as you make it out to be. They aren't trying to ban those games entirely. They aren't restricting anyone's speech, they simply want to keep potentially harmful products out of the hands of children. While it could (and should) be argued that this is the parents' job and not the government's, this has nothing to do with being free to express yourself. Whether violent games are harmful to children or not is another matter, but if you believe that they are (and the people pushing this law obviously do), then wouldn't it be a good thing to prevent children from getting their hands on them? There are laws against underage drinking as well, and I don't see anyone protesting that (at least, anyone sane).
 

RobfromtheGulag

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May 18, 2010
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I tend to agree with Derp ^.

I don't see this as much of a 1st amendment killer in the way that many other laws are [such as the hazy pornography regulations].

I'm not going to condone this bill, but the conservative side of me sees the logic to it. And I'll have to look up that bit about R-rated movies, because growing up we always thought our best shot was standing on each others' shoulders and putting on the overcoat -- theatres hold to that regulation as if it were law even if it's not.
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

Better Red than Dead
Aug 5, 2009
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Don't mess around with Video Game laws America; it may spread north! I really don't want to see any restrictions on video gaming as I think our current system is adequate.
 

Dogstile

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Jan 17, 2009
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Eh, this'll always get the same response from me?

"So, you want to tell me I can't do something that only affects me? Oh right. Well then, fuck off".

Edit: Can we swear on these forums? I've never really got an answer.
 

Luke Cartner

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May 6, 2010
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If you want to see the true impact of laws like this simply look what is currently happening here in australia...
 

Crunchy English

Victim of a Savage Neck-bearding
Aug 20, 2008
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Video Games absolutely SHOULD be protected, but unfortunately in the American legal system the final say doesn't rest within the wording of their Constitution or the spirit of the law. It rests within the political leanings of the majority of members of their Supreme Court.

I'd say "Glad I live in Canada", except that if it passes in the South, we'll likely only be a few years behind.
 

Ken Sapp

Cat Herder
Apr 1, 2010
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It would definitely be another ***** cut into the armor of true liberty and freedom for a law such as these to pass. Even sociologists haven't been able to concretely link video game violence to violent behavior and any laws passed restricting freedoms based upon assumptions should be overturned until such time as we can be shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a legitimate need for them. As stated in the column the MPAA and ESRB have both done very good jobs of regulating themselves up until now and should be allowed to continue unimpeded by federal or state regulations until such time as they fail to continue adequately self-regulating.

Any time someone says "There ought to be a law against ______" there most probably shouldn't.
 

tsu-money

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Jul 27, 2009
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Look at the bright side: if this law goes into effect, there will probably be less homophobic racist screaming 13 year olds playing your favorite FPS game.
 

likalaruku

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Nov 29, 2008
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I really wish people would stop calling Washing DC "Washington" & just call it DC or District County. I met a foreigner who insisted, absolutely insisted, that Seattle was in Washington DC. He thought I was bullshitting him when I told him Washington was on the West Coast.
 

MrPatience

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Mar 25, 2009
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Wait, so in America, minors can buy any game and see any movie they like? I had no idea.
I live in Australia (cue chuckling) and usually need to produce I.D to be allowed in to an MA movie. I'm 18 and grow a fair beard, as well. And you need to be over 18 to even be able to trade in games.
Don't I feel like an idiot.

Also, great article, Andy.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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RobfromtheGulag said:
And I'll have to look up that bit about R-rated movies, because growing up we always thought our best shot was standing on each others' shoulders and putting on the overcoat -- theatres hold to that regulation as if it were law even if it's not.
Sure they do - but they have no legal compulsion to do so. And the FTC has found repeatedly that ESRB ratings have a much higher rate of compliance ("refusal rate," I believe it's called) than MPAA ratings.

So why do we want to legislate games?
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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MrPatience said:
Wait, so in America, minors can buy any game and see any movie they like?
Not really. There's no legal restriction against it, but industries maintain voluntary rating systems and enforcement to keep the kiddies out. That's why your average movie theater won't let a kid in to watch an R-rated movie, but nobody's going to end up in jail if a few kids manage to sneak in.

Which, again, is what we're already doing with the ESRB - and better than any other medium on the market.
 

BrotherRool

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Oct 31, 2008
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It's the opposite in the UK, for a long time videogames were the unenforced medium and laws enforcing it is seen as part of a growing up process, recognising that it's now a mainstream industry (at least I think that's how it goes)
 

NotMePleaseIgnore

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Jul 20, 2009
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Living in the UK the ratings on films and games ARE law, it's actually illegal to buy a ticket for or purchase one respectively if you're under the age limit and I think that there's nothing wrong with that system. I honestly don't think a 10 year old should be allowed to play some of the 18+ games that I've played and same with some of the 18+ movies I've seen.
 

twistedmic

Elite Member
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Apr 5, 2020
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I don't see a law preventing kids from buying M and, if they exist, AO rated games as an infringement of the First Amendment. It's not preventing people from making such games, or stores from selling those games, it's just making sure that only people of the appropriate age can purchase those games. I don't even know if the law will prevent kids from actually playing them (with parental supervision or approval), it just keeps them from buying the games.

And I, for one, think the law is a good idea. Some of the M-rated games I've played over the years were really disturbing or graphically violent. Modern Warfare 2 immediately comes to mind, especially if you've shot a character in the gut and they're feebly trying to crawl away, leaving a trail of blood behind them or being able to clearly see the open eyes of dead characters. I just don't think that kids have the emotional or mental maturity to deal with stuff like that, and almost certainly they won't accept that those games are inappropriate from them (just look at how man under-aged kids get started with booze and cigarettes).