Check Out Video of Last Night's Violent Videogames Debate

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I couldn't even make it past the first guy's opening statement. What a load of PR BS. The industry standards already prevent the sale to kids who are underage. If he really believed in "Sanity, not censorship" then he would be against this law, because the law is censorship and the current system works just fine.

Matt_LRR:
I am hardcore on the side of the games industry in this debate, but I'm not sure the fellow from activision was a wise choice to represent the industry. He's being a little more arrogant and dismissive than I like, and not nearly as well organized and clear in what he's saying as the guy from CSM.

Patrick_and_the_ricks:
Wait don't you need an ID or parent to buy an M rated game? Whats the problem?

the problem is that it's not LAW that you need an ID or parent to do so, it's merely industry policy, and opponents of videogames seem to think that's not good enough.

-m

Sometimes I wish some of the laws in America were implemented over here in New Zealand. It's illegal to provide, sell restricted games (oh boohoo there's violence) to minors and if you're caught playing them it's a fine and jail time.
Emphasis on if

Also this is pointless as well. It's doing fine as it is. It doesn't need to be a law. It's a waste of time and judicial funds worrying about it. It's a bloody snipe hunt.

The issue is and always was poor parenting. The state does not make a good parent. It's too cold and calculating. People make good parents. Unfortunately they also make really lazy, stupid, close minded, blame shifting ones.

Being a parent is a privilege and a responsibility. Perhaps a duty. Most people ignore that part. They want the privilege but they don't want to have deal with the duty or the responsibility.

Besides it's a slippery slope. You want the state to do the hard part of parenting. How would you like it if they took away the parts you like about it?

There are no free rides people. You want the good, be prepared for the bad as well.

Nothing is ever free.

Matt_LRR:

Digital_Hero:

Matt_LRR:

Edit: To anyone who's not up to speed on american constitutional law, this fight isn't going to make sense - but it's a very important fight in terms of the recognition of games as a legitimate form of expression.

Ah damn, that just killed my entire post.

But one thing still doesn't make sense to me, why not take this up with the guys who sell the games, and not make them? But something has to be wrong with that idea, these guys would have jumped to that if it were the case..

The law would effect the retailers and the developers equally, and honestly, the result is the same either way.

Currently, the industry (game retailers and the ESRB) prevents minors from buying M rated games about 90% of the time.

If the law goes through, there will be a 1000$ fine associated with sales to minors.

So, in the instance of say, Call of duty, which sold 5 Million in the US, that's about 500,000 getting into the hands of minors. The financial risk associated with those sales is, under the proposed law, 5,000,000,000$. Yeah, five billion dollars in fines.

If you apply that fine to the game maker, then they stop making those games, because the financial risk is sufficiently high as to destroy any chance of those games meeting project approval during the design stage (why make an M game and risk 5,000,000,000$ in fines, when you could make a T game, and risk nothing?)

If you apply the fines to retailers, then the retailers refuse to carry the games, because there's too much risk of accidental sale to minors. (why sell M rated games, when T rated games carry no risk?", the net result of this is that game developers... stop making these games, because the marketplace, in which they might sell them, is gone.

Basically, such a law has a pronounced chilling effect on games that fall under the law's purview.

-m

Even setting that aside, who rates the games if that law gets passed? It won't be the ESRB. Some government entity would be appointed. And since we then lose the relative impartiality of the ESRB, we run into a big problem. What happens when the California Games Rating Committee (CGRC) finds a game particularly offensive? Does the game just not get rated (and thus never released in the US)? The government can do that sort of thing if it isn't protected as free speech. What about indie games? If I make "Generica Fantasy 3" with Flash, do I have to submit it to the CGRC? Does all of Newgrounds go under review?

I mentioned this in an earlier thread, but if the law were to somehow pass, I would propose that someone make a simple game and then distribute it to others to make minute variations on. We then collectively send all of them in to whatever committee gets the job of censoring rating new games for a physical DDoS attack. Drown them in mediocre throw away games that'll keep them swamped from here to Futurama.

Just to clarify The Supreme Court hasn't approved or denied yet.... Right?

Harbinger_:
Just to clarify The Supreme Court hasn't approved or denied yet.... Right?

Correct. Justice is not swift unless Batman is involved.

What a douche that Activision guy is... He's even laughing at everyone.

Thanks for the upload

Matt_LRR:
I am hardcore on the side of the games industry in this debate, but I'm not sure the fellow from activision was a wise choice to represent the industry. He's being a little more arrogant and dismissive than I like, and not nearly as well organized and clear in what he's saying as the guy from CSM.

Patrick_and_the_ricks:
Wait don't you need an ID or parent to buy an M rated game? Whats the problem?

the problem is that it's not LAW that you need an ID or parent to do so, it's merely industry policy, and opponents of videogames seem to think that's not good enough.

-m

Really? Over here in the UK, Shops Can and Will get in trouble if they sell to someone under aged, is this not the case in the US aswell? If so then why the Hell do we have Certificates on games if no one abides by them?

Did anybody else completely misinterpret the title and think this was about a video game debate that turned violent? Needless to say, I'm disappointed :(

I like the fact he(George) points out the main theme. He's a head honcho at Acti-Blizz, and he said it hard in the 30 minute area. 'I would not sell a game with the 18+ sticker.' He, one of the big-wig people, at Acti-Blizz said that.

He even points out the fact that NC-17, the movie form of the AO rating for video games, are not sold in stores and not played in theaters.

Thedek:
Also this is pointless as well. It's doing fine as it is. It doesn't need to be a law. It's a waste of time and judicial funds worrying about it. It's a bloody snipe hunt.

The issue is and always was poor parenting. The state does not make a good parent. It's too cold and calculating. People make good parents. Unfortunately they also make really lazy, stupid, close minded, blame shifting ones.

Being a parent is a privilege and a responsibility. Perhaps a duty. Most people ignore that part. They want the privilege but they don't want to have deal with the duty or the responsibility.

Besides it's a slippery slope. You want the state to do the hard part of parenting. How would you like it if they took away the parts you like about it?

There are no free rides people. You want the good, be prepared for the bad as well.

Nothing is ever free.

some very good points there my friend.

Patrick_and_the_ricks:
Wait don't you need an ID or parent to buy an M rated game? Whats the problem?

The problem is we need one more trivial, pointless thing to waste our time and money on these days. Seriously, I swear I must be missing something, because this all just seems ridiculous to me. *shakes head*

I started playing games when I was about 10 years old. I played violent games when I was 14+ years old and I never had any kind of violent problem arise from this other than normal teenage male hormomal development. I think there must be some kind of under lying psychological problem for the few people who act out after playing these games. I also think that the games have become the scape goat for other areas of entertainment media.

Nouw:
Sometimes I wish some of the laws in America were implemented over here in New Zealand. It's illegal to provide, sell restricted games (oh boohoo there's violence) to minors and if you're caught playing them it's a fine and jail time.
Emphasis on if

Wait, playing them is illegal? Playing them? Oh god.

SC is still deciding the case. Bit odd they are taking so long but maybe other cases merited more attention, or they are having a long drawn out debate over the merits and a split court.

Either way it is the law that would fine 1000 dollars per infringement, and require the store to fire said employee, but the store would be fined that 1000 bucks. Which would be very chilling in and of itself, why would walmart or target put themselves out to risk getting fines in the 1000s of dollars for a 40-60 dollar sale.

Added to the fact that the anti gamers are claiming that these games make people violent. A claim that has been struck down in every lower court as the "research" has been shoddy at best.

But still of by some odd and dumbfounded chance that the SC would uphold the law, a 1000 dollar fine plus a product that makes people do violent acts. What major chain would carry that sort of product?

Bottom line the case boils down to are game protected speech or not. And an underlying argument are games "art" like music, books, movies and poetry etc. Of late there does seem to be a movement in some quarters to recognize games as art with the smithsonian creating a video games exhibit.

Either way the ESRB was created to avoid this exact thing, a voluntary act of good faith to give retailers and parents a guideline over who should be buying what, not unlike the movie rating system, or the warnings on cds.

We need better education of parents period, exactly what the esrb means, what parental controls are built into game consoles and tvs and software for pcs that can lock kids out of playing games on them that their parents do not want them playing.

There are plenty of tools out there for people to regulate what their children are playing, people should use those tools plus the esrb ratings to restrict games from their children and not put the burden on government to decide what is decent and proper for people to purchase and play, because nothing good will come of it.

Aww yeah, they totally got their talking points on. Like a boss.

Rooster Cogburn:

Nouw:
Sometimes I wish some of the laws in America were implemented over here in New Zealand. It's illegal to provide, sell restricted games (oh boohoo there's violence) to minors and if you're caught playing them it's a fine and jail time.
Emphasis on if

Wait, playing them is illegal? Playing them? Oh god.

I may be a bit confused with the punishments for playing them but I'm damn sure it's illegal.
I had a blast playing Left 4 Dead 2 last night though

Call of duty turns you into a crazed gunman just like guitar hero turns you into a guitar player.

Well, the first guy spent about 6 minutes repeating 2 minutes worth of information.

This wouldn't be quite so boring if they wouldn't spend so long saying one thing.

Oh, well, I'm going to enjoy being 19 and go play a violent and bloody game.

Okay, how's this? I play violent games, I've played games since I was a kid.

I have never had a run in with the law or been a violent killer. And I hate guns.

Nouw:
I may be a bit confused with the punishments for playing them but I'm damn sure it's illegal.
I had a blast playing Left 4 Dead 2 last night though

As seriously as I take this First Amendment issue over here, that is several orders of magnitude worse.

But this issue is important in America. We don't want to set a precedent that judges can pick and choose what kind of speech deserves protections. When this kind of legislation appears again, and it will, what the Justices say now will impact decisions then. That is what makes this case important even if we feel confident of the outcome.

Rooster Cogburn:
He called him a communist and told him to go back to Russia. Man after my own heart... *tear*

The Commie lost all credibility with me when he (more or less) said that video games are not 'speech' of the type that is usually protected. I was at least sympathetic up to that point.

The Random One:

DazBurger:
Oh my... They talk so slowly... So monotone... Can't keep... Awake.. Eyes closing...

ghbyhihiulhiukhiukj

*zzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzz*

See? This is what videogames have done to you!

Won't anyone think of the children?

I blame TV.

But seriously, this was quite boring until it got into the meat and potatoes(ie the questions and their varrying opinions).

There have been made enough great points, both in the video and in the comments. I am not well versed in American law, so I can't add or scrutinize.

I will, however off-point, add what I think about video games causing violence.
It is not the product that makes anyone anything, it's always the subjects. I have, at first hand, seen boys swap between different hobbies and go all-in. It ranged everything from mini-golf and skateboarding, to DotA and World of Warcraft. Why they chose or stopped depended on the accessibility and 'quality'. So the main issue is addiction, which is always a problem, unless you are addicted to being totally awesome in every way possible.

There are currently no games I can name that adequately serve as simulations for any physical activity. No soccer game can make you a soccer player and no shooting can make you a shot. Not even in the times of motion control. Even a game where you pointed a motion controller as a weapon wouldn't give you anything besides actually knowing which direction to hold the weapon. The point that some school shooters 'trained' with video games is absolutely ridiculous.

__
Whatever. I didn't convey my opinion as good as I had hoped, but I'm going to bed now. I just felt like I had to post something, after watching the video and reading all the interesting comments. The outcome will be interesting. I don't live in the United States, but I'm certain the 'States have a crucial impact on the rest of the gaming industry.

I think people need to start pushing a lot harder for proof and all these very concrete studies people keep talking about.
Mr. Activision wasn't the best spokesperson for "our side", for lack of a better wording, but, he was actually pretty decent.
Mr. Hair on the left kept mentioning studies and very important studies and I don't think he was very good at defending his side.
Mr. monotone on the right was my favorite. He made sense from a perfectly objective view(ignoring that he plays civilization) and he was really clear and good with his ideas.

I don't think the law will pass, but I think we need to be careful in new up and coming laws trying to do the same thing all over again.

Matt_LRR:
the problem is that it's not LAW that you need an ID or parent to do so, it's merely industry policy, and opponents of videogames seem to think that's not good enough.

-m

I'm pretty much a proponent of gaming and I think I played some Terminator game back on the ZX Spectrum when I was like 5 or 6 for the first time and I also think that's not good enough.
As the others have mentioned about the UK and Australia, here in Germany it also is law (also for movies) and works fine... what I have a problem with though is if they try to dictate what adults are and aren't allowed to play. Why would you want adolescents to be able to buy games clearly not meant for them without their parents approval? Only thing this does is create controversy whenever a game with slight sexual undertones or a lot of violence is released. If this was law you'd be able to point at it and say that they're clearly not intended for consumption by children so "bugger off media"... not much unlike porn, or alcohol, or cigarettes etc.

If you apply the fines to retailers, then the retailers refuse to carry the games, because there's too much risk of accidental sale to minors. (why sell M rated games, when T rated games carry no risk?", the net result of this is that game developers... stop making these games, because the marketplace, in which they might sell them, is gone.

Basically, such a law has a pronounced chilling effect on games that fall under the law's purview.

-m

That's bs, it works perfectly fine in mentioned other countries to ask for an ID if someone looks too young... it's not really that hard of a thing to do and said games haven't "disappeared". It also works fine inside the US with things like alcohol or porn, bars and sex shops haven't disappeared because of the age restrictions and fines...

Here are my impressions:

The addiction case is more interesting, that could lead to more scientific studies compared to cause-and-effect of children committing actual crimes from playing games, which are unethical as Michael mentioned. I think many gamers would have more to agree on that matter.

George had a good defense on why videogames are no different just because they're interactive, comparing to the Bible and the influence of Beatles on Charles Manson. Pressing a button translating to real life pulling a trigger, has already been argued against:

The $1000 fine idea is hard to argue for. As George said, that could be similar to NC-17 where retailers will be scared to sell those M-rated (or whatever special rating they might introduce) games because they don't want to be fined on the chance of human error. People are already being asked for ID for M-rated games, especially if you look under-age.

It's not quite fair to compare the games industry to banks, since one's for entertainment of a wide audience and the other is self-serving.

And I'm glad James Steyner isn't a crazy person. Although Will Wright, Warren Spector, and Shigeru Miyamoto would disagree that the best game designers make the most violent games ;)

I find this interesting (yet extremely boring.....seriously, these guys suck at speaking).

I don't see the problem in the US supreme court making the age rating on the game's packaging to become officially recognized under law - as long as (as Dexter111 just stated) it does not impose on the current rights of adults.

But the parents of a child should know what their kid is playing anyway and act accordingly (in the perfect world this should be enough....but sadly not every parent is capable of intelligent parenting).

What the fuck is going on with that camera man?

Did he have a little too much to drink?

If only Adam Sessler had been there!

IrishBerserker:

Actually, unless I misheard Mr. Rose, the ESRB already does fine $1,000 if the retailer sells to a minor, in addition to having the employee fired.

Not entirely true. There is no fine, but, at least where I worked, if your caught selling M rated games to minors, you get fired. I'd guess its the same elsewhere as well. But I may be wrong.

When I go to the store, I can't buy M rated games unless one of my parents is with me. I seriously don't see what their problem is.

Why do the courts have to get involved?
Can't they just leave us to our violent and degenerate ways? :P

Dexter111:
That's bs, it works perfectly fine in mentioned other countries to ask for an ID if someone looks too young... it's not really that hard of a thing to do and said games haven't "disappeared". It also works fine inside the US with things like alcohol or porn, bars and sex shops haven't disappeared because of the age restrictions and fines...

So Video Games are the equivalent to pornography, alcohol, and drugs, and should not be given the same first amendment privilege of movies, books, and music? I realize that's a strawman, but that's what this law says, and if it comes to pass it means that video games are somehow exempt from first amendment rights. Not to mention that the industry already has policies in place regarding children getting their hands on M rated games, and they do so much more effectively than any other industry.

Moeez:

Ah yes, I remember that episode. I went "awww..." at the end when I saw the poor kid crying.

Irridium:

IrishBerserker:

Actually, unless I misheard Mr. Rose, the ESRB already does fine $1,000 if the retailer sells to a minor, in addition to having the employee fired.

Not entirely true. There is no fine, but, at least where I worked, if your caught selling M rated games to minors, you get fired. I'd guess its the same elsewhere as well. But I may be wrong.

When I did a research paper on the subject (Self insert!) I believe the ESRB can fine a company if they do not disclose all pertinent content, like what happened with Rockstar and the Hot Coffee mod.

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