California Senator Defends Anti-Videogame Law

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

California Senator Defends Anti-Videogame Law

image

Reasons for banning the sale of violent games to minors are rational and compelling, says California's Leland Yee.

Leland Yee, Californian senator and author of the videogame regulation law currently being debated in the US Supreme Court, has defended his creation in an editorial in the San Diego Union-Tribune, saying it puts the power of choosing appropriate games back into the hands of parents.

Yee - who is himself a child psychologist - said that there was significant evidence to suggest that violent videogames encouraged aggression and violence in children, both in immediately after playing them, and in the longer term. He said that over a hundred "researchers, scientists and scholars" from around the world had endorsed a statement which said that violent games led to desensitization to violence, as well as promoted anti-social behavior.

He said that there was a "direct, rational and compelling reason" to marginally restrict a minor's access to violent videogames. He made it clear, however, that parents would still have the final say on what media their children consumed, and would still be allowed to let their children play violent games, if they deemed them appropriate.

Yee noted that some of the comments from the Supreme Court Justices during the oral arguments in the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA case early last month were encouraging, such as Justice Stephen Breyer's remark that it made no sense to prevent minors from purchasing pictures of naked women, but to allow them to buy games which contain violent torture. It's worth mentioning though, that ECA lawyer Jennifer Mercurio interpreted the Supreme Court proceedings very differently, saying that California put forward a weak case, and the EMA's lawyer, Paul M. Smith, handled comments like Breyer's with confidence and aplomb.

What Yee's proposals don't take into account, however, is that retailers already do pretty good job of keeping violent videogames out of the hands of minors, with around 80% turned away at the counter - a much higher percentage than for other types of mature media.

What's more, the evidence that Yee mentions isn't rock solid. Certainly, some studies show a link between games and violence, but others show that games have very little effect on behavior, as with a recent study conducted in Texas, or suggest that it's impossible to make definitive conclusions about their effects, as was the case with a recent review in Australia.

If Yee really does want to better equip parents to make choices about media for their children, as he says he does, a better idea would seem to be a more robust and informative labeling system for games - which was actually part of the original law, but has since been removed - than banning their sale to minors. Hopefully he'll realize this - assuming his law is unsuccessful in the Supreme Court - and try working with the industry in the future, rather than against it.

Source: via Industry Gamers

Permalink

Ah, See Yee has this Reason. This Really good apropriate Reason. I mean, with this reason everything about selling games to minors becomes Reasonable. Thats how Reasonable his Reasoning with this Reasoned Reason is.

Whats the reason?

Violent videogames DUH! wait what?

Did he get his credentials out of a crackerjack box? He should realize that just because the candy says you're a psychologist and a senator doesn't really mean you are.

He made it clear, however, that parents would still have the final say on what media their children consumed, and would still be allowed to let their children play violent games, if they deemed them appropriate.

So y do i have to waste my tax dollars on enforcing a law that a parent can still circumvent? o.O

What, are they trying to replace Jack Thompson in America?

And "it puts the power of choosing appropriate games back into the hands of parents"? The parents ALWAYS had this power, they're just too LAZY or IGNORANT to use it.

If you let a rabid dog run free and it bites someone, YOU are the one to blame, not the dog.

Okay, that didn't really come out how I wanted it to come out, but SHUT UP!

SomeLameStuff:
What, are they trying to replace Jack Thompson in America?

And "it puts the power of choosing appropriate games back into the hands of parents"? The parents ALWAYS had this power, they're just too LAZY or IGNORANT to use it.

If you let a rabid dog run free and it bites someone, YOU are the one to blame, not the dog.

Okay, that didn't really come out how I wanted it to come out, but SHUT UP!

Nothing wrong with the statement from where I'm standing.
Signing away civil liberties and responsibilities to the government in order to "stay safe" seems to be all the rage in America these days; in the wake of crap like the Patriot Act, one more small stroke of the pen to enact a law such as this seems rather trivial, eh?

SomeLameStuff:
What, are they trying to replace Jack Thompson in America?

And "it puts the power of choosing appropriate games back into the hands of parents"? The parents ALWAYS had this power, they're just too LAZY or IGNORANT to use it.

If you let a rabid dog run free and it bites someone, YOU are the one to blame, not the dog.

Okay, that didn't really come out how I wanted it to come out, but SHUT UP!

I understand what your saying.

"Knowledge is power" so give more knowledge to the parents on what they are buying, but i agree most parents just dont give a bugger these days about what there kids do, most people DO still see gaming as a "kiddy thing" so if a kid is screaming for the new CoD game the parent will believe its still just a toy because its just a "kids thing". I personally believe that as the medium becomes more mainstream all this bullshit will just go out of existence.

DONT punish the industry.

Logan Westbrook:
saying it puts the power of choosing appropriate games back into the hands of parents.

Which it never left.

said that there was significant evidence

Which he never states.

to suggest

not prove

that violent videogames

and only violent ones

encouraged

not caused

aggression and violence in children,

Again, not defined

both in immediately after playing them, and in the longer term.

Because those two states are entirely different.

He said that over a hundred "researchers, scientists and scholars"

Who he doesn't name.

from around the world had endorsed a statement

Which he doesn't repeat.

which said that violent games led to desensitization to violence,

Which is not always a bad thing.

as well as promoted anti-social behavior.

Which is unprovable in studies due to extraneous factors.

He said that there was a "direct, rational and compelling reason"

Which he never states

to marginally

Which this bill crushes

restrict

not bans

a minor's

not all

access to violent videogames.

But not to other violent media or semi-violent/pornographic games

He made it clear, however,

God I hope so

that parents would still have the final say on what media their children consumed,

Consumed? As in eaten?

and would still be allowed to let their children play violent games, if they deemed them appropriate.

As they do now and crushing any reason for introducing this bill in the first place.

Sorry, putting the scissors and paste down now, but that had to be done.

I'm in the UK, so the most surprising thing about this case to me is that there isn't already a law like this in the US.

Here in the UK games have ratings, just like movies, and a store that knowingly sold 18 cert games to children would be very open to prosecution. This has not led to waves of goverment suppression of video gaming or games not being released in the UK.

I get that in an abstract sense it's a big question of 1st amendment rights and all that... but on a practical level, so far as I can tell, people are up in arms about the right of Walmart to sell GTA to 10 year olds.

The law isn't the problem here. Iresponsible retailers, and parents who don't give a damn what their kids play as long as it shuts them up - that's the problem.

I love how some of these people want to ban the sales of violent videogames, that may or may not make you aggressive, and still think its ok to sell handguns and other weapons over the counter to almost anyone...

Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

Well:

Children arn't ignorant, Parents are.

Its the parents job to ensure their children turn out okey, and the State should tell the parents what is okey and what is not.

Banning things you don't like, or don't understand is never a good solution imo, you never learn.

SomeLameStuff:
And "it puts the power of choosing appropriate games back into the hands of parents"? The parents ALWAYS had this power, they're just too LAZY or IGNORANT to use it.

I feel the same way. I think parents still have the choice and I would think that parents would be able to see the ESRB logo on the game before finally decided on whether or not to get the game. I kind of though the problem is that parents are maybe just too busy to really check the games out that their kids want or they might not care what game their children get. This doesn't apply to all parents but I get the feeling that at least a few might fall under this.

DTWolfwood:
So y do i have to waste my tax dollars on enforcing a law that a parent can still circumvent? o.O

Good point. Parents still might get mature games for their children just because they want it and might not consider looking at the ESRB and see if it is right for the children. Which again makes me think that parents should be made more aware of certain systems that are already in place that can help them decide if the game is worth picking up for their children.

Off topic, that whole 80% of children who try to buy an M rated game sounds promising and actually makes me think that some system is already in place that does regulate games for children without parental input; so I kind of wonder why you are trying to stress "Parental Choice!" when there is already a solution in place. Not the world's greatest solution, mind you, but at least it is something that prevents the majority of minors from accessing mature rated video games, which I though was the whole point of all of this anyways.

I love how his case has been disprooven a hundred times over before he even pleaded it. There has been countless studies done on people from all walks of life all around the world about agression and videogames and to say that a vast majority of them have disprooven any link between the two is an understatment.

how is trying to pass a law to prohibit the selling of age-rated material to people under that age an anti-video games law?

Myke_storm:
how is trying to pass a law to prohibit the selling of age-rated material to people under that age an anti-video games law?

Kindly take a look at germany or australia.

SomeLameStuff:
What, are they trying to replace Jack Thompson in America?

And "it puts the power of choosing appropriate games back into the hands of parents"? The parents ALWAYS had this power, they're just too LAZY or IGNORANT to use it.

If you let a rabid dog run free and it bites someone, YOU are the one to blame, not the dog.

Okay, that didn't really come out how I wanted it to come out, but SHUT UP!

This is precisely my stance on the issue. If you, as a parent, are unable to make the decision for your kids, you are unfit to be a parent. Plain and simple. The only reason this is still being debated is because people don't like being told that their stupid, or wrong.

Myke_storm:
how is trying to pass a law to prohibit the selling of age-rated material to people under that age an anti-video games law?

Because it can be used to get video games reclassified as a controlled substance, rather than a form of art, which takes away freedom of speech from the realm of video games.

9_6:

Myke_storm:
how is trying to pass a law to prohibit the selling of age-rated material to people under that age an anti-video games law?

Kindly take a look at germany or australia.

#

one is full of germans,the other has a ridiculous system that in effect bans games rather than allowing them to be sold to consenting adults

your point?

Aurgelmir:
don't kill people, people kill people.

Bullets kill people.

OT:

I suppose asking parents to...parent...their children is too much to ask. God forbid we EVER blame the parents.

Let's let the government be parents for them!

[sarcasm] Because that always works SO WELL. /sarcasm

I'll still never understand why "anti-social" apparently means "in a gang". Surely that's the most social thing you could do?

But anti-societal, sure.

Think I'll send that guy a nasty letter.

Another case of freedom being sacrificed for security, is it really so hard to look at the ESRB rating at the front that clearly states 16+, btw what is this extremely violent games I keep hearing people talk about I mean even God of War which shows brutal displays of violence is so hyperbrutal (is that a word) that it seems more laughable than gory.

Here is a plan: Do not leave decisions about the industry in the hands of people who know NOTHING about the industry.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Logan Westbrook:
saying it puts the power of choosing appropriate games back into the hands of parents.

Which it never left.

said that there was significant evidence

Which he never states.

to suggest

not prove

that violent videogames

and only violent ones

encouraged

not caused

aggression and violence in children,

Again, not defined

both in immediately after playing them, and in the longer term.

Because those two states are entirely different.

He said that over a hundred "researchers, scientists and scholars"

Who he doesn't name.

from around the world had endorsed a statement

Which he doesn't repeat.

which said that violent games led to desensitization to violence,

Which is not always a bad thing.

as well as promoted anti-social behavior.

Which is unprovable in studies due to extraneous factors.

He said that there was a "direct, rational and compelling reason"

Which he never states

to marginally

Which this bill crushes

restrict

not bans

a minor's

not all

access to violent videogames.

But not to other violent media or semi-violent/pornographic games

He made it clear, however,

God I hope so

that parents would still have the final say on what media their children consumed,

Consumed? As in eaten?

and would still be allowed to let their children play violent games, if they deemed them appropriate.

As they do now and crushing any reason for introducing this bill in the first place.

Sorry, putting the scissors and paste down now, but that had to be done.

You win the thread.
I'd hire you as a lawyer.

Yee work with the industry rather than against it if his law fails? He seems like the type of guy who would rather dine on monkey excreetment for the rest of his life than actually do something logical like, oh, say for example, teaming up with the ESRB to further educate people on the ratings.

loomis:
Think I'll send that guy a nasty letter.

If you do, could you also put my name down? I really don't like this guy.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Logan Westbrook:
saying it puts the power of choosing appropriate games back into the hands of parents.

Which it never left.

said that there was significant evidence

Which he never states.

to suggest

not prove

that violent videogames

and only violent ones

encouraged

not caused

aggression and violence in children,

Again, not defined

both in immediately after playing them, and in the longer term.

Because those two states are entirely different.

He said that over a hundred "researchers, scientists and scholars"

Who he doesn't name.

from around the world had endorsed a statement

Which he doesn't repeat.

which said that violent games led to desensitization to violence,

Which is not always a bad thing.

as well as promoted anti-social behavior.

Which is unprovable in studies due to extraneous factors.

He said that there was a "direct, rational and compelling reason"

Which he never states

to marginally

Which this bill crushes

restrict

not bans

a minor's

not all

access to violent videogames.

But not to other violent media or semi-violent/pornographic games

He made it clear, however,

God I hope so

that parents would still have the final say on what media their children consumed,

Consumed? As in eaten?

and would still be allowed to let their children play violent games, if they deemed them appropriate.

As they do now and crushing any reason for introducing this bill in the first place.

Sorry, putting the scissors and paste down now, but that had to be done.

Nicely done my friend.

Palademon:

I'd hire you as a lawyer.

There's no need to be insulting! ;)

Wasn't it one of the founding fathers or at least one of the respected previous presidents who said:

'those who would give away liberty for security deserve neither'?

Seems that's falling by the side of the road with every new law passed.

Can people really not see how dumb the governments think we are?

'We don't think you're capable of making a decision so we'll do all that for you, you just sit back and watch american idol, you'll like that, you'll get to feel like you're making a decision that matters, we'll carry on stripping away your freedoms and you keep on calling that vote line.'

Yeah, I'm channelling Bill Hicks here, but it's damned scary how much of his material makes more sense a quarter of a century later than it did even at the time he said it.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Logan Westbrook:
saying it puts the power of choosing appropriate games back into the hands of parents.

Which it never left.

said that there was significant evidence

Which he never states.

to suggest

not prove

that violent videogames

and only violent ones

encouraged

not caused

aggression and violence in children,

Again, not defined

both in immediately after playing them, and in the longer term.

Because those two states are entirely different.

He said that over a hundred "researchers, scientists and scholars"

Who he doesn't name.

from around the world had endorsed a statement

Which he doesn't repeat.

which said that violent games led to desensitization to violence,

Which is not always a bad thing.

as well as promoted anti-social behavior.

Which is unprovable in studies due to extraneous factors.

He said that there was a "direct, rational and compelling reason"

Which he never states

to marginally

Which this bill crushes

restrict

not bans

a minor's

not all

access to violent videogames.

But not to other violent media or semi-violent/pornographic games

He made it clear, however,

God I hope so

that parents would still have the final say on what media their children consumed,

Consumed? As in eaten?

and would still be allowed to let their children play violent games, if they deemed them appropriate.

As they do now and crushing any reason for introducing this bill in the first place.

Sorry, putting the scissors and paste down now, but that had to be done.

We should all e-mail this post to Yee and see what he has to say about it.

Another day, another reason to hate America. Is this guy a Republican?

Sixcess:
I'm in the UK, so the most surprising thing about this case to me is that there isn't already a law like this in the US.

Here in the UK games have ratings, just like movies, and a store that knowingly sold 18 cert games to children would be very open to prosecution. This has not led to waves of goverment suppression of video gaming or games not being released in the UK.

I get that in an abstract sense it's a big question of 1st amendment rights and all that... but on a practical level, so far as I can tell, people are up in arms about the right of Walmart to sell GTA to 10 year olds.

The law isn't the problem here. Iresponsible retailers, and parents who don't give a damn what their kids play as long as it shuts them up - that's the problem.

No, No, No. The law is the problem. It is the only problem. Our government can not censor media.

Did you even read the article? We do have a rating system. It's called the ESRB. Companies do have to submit and pay to be rated by the ESRB, but without a rating from the ESRB, no retailer will stock and/or sell a game. Further more, the ESRB has the power to fine developers who mislead them about content. In theory, they could refuse to rate a game completely denying it a market. And the BIG 3, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, will not license AO (Adults Only) rated games to play on their systems, but do require ESRB ratings to license games in the U.S. if not North America.

And retailers do restrict the sell of violent video games to minors. They refuse to sell M (Mature 17+) rated games to minors. I've heard differing success rates depending on whether it's a private organization with a stick up their butt and something to prove (generally low rates) or something actually worth listening to like an actual Federal government review (a recent FCC report actually praised the ESRB as a whole). All media are self regulated, and that is a much preferred system. I have personally been carded while buying games plenty of times. When I bought God of War 3 the cashier started to warn me about the content until I assured them that the content was why I was buying the game.

Yee wants you to believe that this law empowers the parents, but that is a lie. All it does is fine the retailers for violating some poorly defined concept of violence. The law would basically require the California government, which is already cash strapped as it is, to form a regulatory body just to help define which games were "unacceptable", because the law is so poorly defined and it would be illegal to give the force of law to the ESRB ratings (they are guidelines and nothing more). One part of the law describes torture on humans as being unacceptable content. In the Supreme Court hearing, one of the judges asked about torturing non humans, like Vulcans, which the lawyer for California stated would NOT be covered.

People are up in arms, because we don't want to see a day when our games are regulated or become nothing more than childrens' play things. We see this law making it so developers are afraid to create games like GTA, Halo, Call of Duty, or God of War at all. Also, the only media which is ILLEGAL to sell to minors or pornography. Do you think GTA is pornography? Or alcohol?

Bottom line: This law is a crock. It's poorly defined, violates the U.S. Constitution, and doesn't do what the Senator claims he wanted to do. If Yee wanted to empower parents, he failed miserably and only empowered the state while weakening the First Amendment. He should have worked with the industry, not against it. I look forward to the day that this witch hunt is over.

I hope I helped you understand exactly what the problem is with this law. I'd also recommend you watch the Extra Credits episode, too.

SomeLameStuff:
What, are they trying to replace Jack Thompson in America?

And "it puts the power of choosing appropriate games back into the hands of parents"? The parents ALWAYS had this power, they're just too LAZY or IGNORANT to use it.

If you let a rabid dog run free and it bites someone, YOU are the one to blame, not the dog.

Okay, that didn't really come out how I wanted it to come out, but SHUT UP!

i agree with the parent thing from this post. My parents are always with me when i buy rated M games (is only 14) and I'm fine with it. I still get the games I want because they know I'm mature enough for them.

But apparently, they wanna ban them completely so kids who are mature enough and parents who buy the kids games like Mass Effect, or Halo, or Gears of War can't get those games anymore. All they think about is that kids will go shooting sprees if they do get them.

3/4 of my xbox library is rated M games, my favorite being Gears of War and mass Effect. But so far, I haven't even thought once of picking up a gun. I play these games as stress relievers and because they are more interesting that most rated T and all rated E games. They actually are better and show a better story most of the time.

And yes, I did have sex with a male in mass effect, and I do chainsaw locust and I do stomp necromorphs, but none of it gives me ideas to kill people or do anything i see in these games.

We need parents who will buy they're kids these games because they know they are mature enough to handle them.

I once walked into a Gamestop, seeing a mother buy her eight year old son Modern Warfare 2 and the clerk do nothing about it. Now that, I say is wrong, and parents shouldn't be buying there kids something like that, but that's where i draw the line.

Sixcess:

I get that in an abstract sense it's a big question of 1st amendment rights and all that... but on a practical level, so far as I can tell, people are up in arms about the right of Walmart to sell GTA to 10 year olds.

It is a big deal because Walmart (and many other retailers) won't sell games that have a rating higher than M. Most game companies won't fund games that can't be sold at Walmart because stores like that are a large part of their sales. Also, the new law is so vague that it could theoretically be used to give The Sims an adults only rating.

Tel_Windzan:

Thats the problem i have with politicians, they don't look at all the facts. They work off of misconceptions that their constituents have and never bother to fine out why or if its even true. it feels like senator Leland Yee doesnt even know the ESRB even exist.

Reasons for banning the sale of violent games to minors are rational and compelling, says California's Leland Yee.

I don't suppose his reasons are cinematic? This guy is just spouting the same argument that everyone against violent games spouts. Child psychologist or not, the man is a loony.

LightPurpleLighter:
Another day, another reason to hate America. Is this guy a Republican?

Google says he's a Democrat. Don't hate all of America for the wacky antics of the Californian squirrels. No one really knows why they do these things.

another thing, what exactly is Anti Social Behavior? I remember turning to Video games because Society was Anti Me, and suddenly I had things to talk about with others, Final Fantasy, Zelda, Medal of Honor, Suddenly i had something i could enjoy with others, have a few friends over and play Super Smash Bros.

i just don't get these people, but they'll forget all bout video games when holographic entertainment comes along and suddenly children can be exposed to "holographic Violence"

honestly, this is the same drum beating that's been going on every time new media has been introduced over the last century, this Twit is far from original, and the whole "to protect the children" argument is thin, stop insulting their intelligence by using them as a scapegoat and educate both them and their parents on violence, seriously, if you sit a child down and talk to them in a rational and mature way about fantasy violence they will understand you, it's not that hard, and talking costs significantly less than some Supreme Court Clusterfuck

The_root_of_all_evil:

Logan Westbrook:
saying it puts the power of choosing appropriate games back into the hands of parents.

Which it never left.

said that there was significant evidence

Which he never states.

to suggest

not prove

that violent videogames

and only violent ones

encouraged

not caused

aggression and violence in children,

Again, not defined

both in immediately after playing them, and in the longer term.

Because those two states are entirely different.

He said that over a hundred "researchers, scientists and scholars"

Who he doesn't name.

from around the world had endorsed a statement

Which he doesn't repeat.

which said that violent games led to desensitization to violence,

Which is not always a bad thing.

as well as promoted anti-social behavior.

Which is unprovable in studies due to extraneous factors.

He said that there was a "direct, rational and compelling reason"

Which he never states

to marginally

Which this bill crushes

restrict

not bans

a minor's

not all

access to violent videogames.

But not to other violent media or semi-violent/pornographic games

He made it clear, however,

God I hope so

that parents would still have the final say on what media their children consumed,

Consumed? As in eaten?

and would still be allowed to let their children play violent games, if they deemed them appropriate.

As they do now and crushing any reason for introducing this bill in the first place.

Sorry, putting the scissors and paste down now, but that had to be done.

DAMN. STRAIGHT.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here