Rep. Joe Baca Rails Against Supreme Court Decision

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But ... but ... they already have warning labels ... that say "M for Mature audiences only" ... and go on to list the content that caused them to warrant such a rating ...

*facepalm*

I suppose its too much to hope that our nation's lawmakers be in touch with reality.

Sougo:
I believe 'Baca' means 'stupid' in Japanese.

Also what exactly could you possibly put down on a warning label on a videogame that would ACTUALLY discourage ppl. from buying it, short of citing a direct link with cancer. Wait.. I think I just made up Fox News' latest headline..

I believe it most closely translates into 'idiot' which is pretty appropriate for a man who champions such idiotic ideals.

All games rated at least T? Good sir, what has Tetris done to you? What is so obscene about Pong? What do you have against Bejeweled? Sometimes, people are just paranoid...

Captcha: Dexter seristyp
...What exactly are you saying to me, Captcha?

Andy Chalk:

Funny, I've never seen posters in music stores or movie theaters describing what each rating means. I've never seen detailed content descriptors on the backs of DVDs or CDs. I've never seen the heads of other rating agencies joining with state Governors to produce PSAs about their industries and classification systems. And I do very clearly recall repeated FTC surveys finding that videogame retailers have a significantly higher rate of compliance with age ratings than movie theaters and DVD and CD retailers.

So perhaps you could clarify "complete nonsense" for me.

Simple enough to do. Movies and music are not INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT. And while it may be easy to lump them all together, they are not in the same category when it comes to ratings and or monitoring. Movies have 4 ratings(6 if you count porn), with very simple explanations. If you go see an R rated movie you will see material that has been deemed inappropriate for unsupervised children, period. If you buy an album with a parental advisory sticker, guess what? There are swear words, even just ONE swear, gets the sticker.

So now lets look at game ratings.

EARLY CHILDHOOD
Titles rated EC (Early Childhood) have content that may be suitable for ages 3 and older. Contains no material that parents would find inappropriate.

EVERYONE
Titles rated E (Everyone) have content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.

EVERYONE 10+
Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.

TEEN
Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.

MATURE
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

ADULTS ONLY
Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity.

Pretty straightforward right? Except there is a big difference between "May have content suitable for X" and "Game allows you to kill hookers and steal their money". Or, "Game shows drug use" and "Player can drink alcohol to regain health or other bonuses". Game ratings are most like TV ratings, however, they are not as clear as to what the player will actually be DOING.

Bottom line, as soon as you add a controller, you have changed the nature of how a person sees a particular story. The whole point of a good game is to give the player the ability to chose. To fit themselves into the story. That interaction separates gaming from all other types of media. And ultimately I think the fear of the politicians is that this interactivity can be at the very least influential and at its worst dangerous. So while I think most politicians are talking out of their ass, the idea that this is some sort of great victory for gamers is ridiculous. If anything it should be shining the light on a real and immediate problem with the industry: How interactive is TOO interactive for children and who gets to decide...

hue

theApoc:
Snip

Ahem...
From the ESRB Website: God of War III:
Rating: Mature

Content descriptors: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content

Rating summary:

This is an action-adventure game in which players assume the role of a half-human, half-god-like Spartan (Kratos) who seeks revenge against the gods of Mount Olympus. Steeped in ancient Greek mythology, the game depicts a fantasy world on an epic scale.

It also depicts exaggerated acts of violence and frequent killing. Using double-chained blades and arrows, players hack-and-slash skeleton soldiers, rabid dogs, a centaur, a cyclops, fire-breathing creatures, and other monsters. This combat is both bloody and fantastical. Large sprays of red blood occur when enemies are hit. Blood often stains the ground, surrounding walls, and sometimes on Kratos' body. When defeated, enemies drop magical, glowing orbs that boost health and experience. The most intense depictions of violence occur during boss battles with the gods. Players engage in close-up and extended battles that are completed by pressing button sequences corresponding to on-screen prompts. One god will be thrown repeatedly into rocks and walls; another god's eyes will be gauged out by thumbs. A god may get pummeled into the ground or have its legs sliced off, its head torn off. In one sequence, blood will stain the screen after each of Kratos' blows, building up to the point of complete saturation. Immediately after 'dying,' the defeated gods often have fantastical endings such as transforming into a swarm of mitelike insects or a cascade of plummeting water.

The game contains a sex mini-game. Players will encounter a goddess and her two hand maidens, all topless, all holding and caressing each other. If players wish to, they may join the goddess (and only the goddess) in bed. Actual sex is never depicted as the camera drifts, then fixes on the two maidens, who watch from a distance. As players respond to the on-screen prompts with button presses, the topless maidens will continue to watch, and sometimes caress. Moaning sounds from the bed can be heard throughout the sequence.

The game includes some behind-the-scenes footage that contains a few instances of profanity (e.g., 'f**k' and 'sh*t').

EDIT: http://www.esrb.org/ratings/synopsis.jsp?Certificate=28666 for anyone who thinks I might have been talking out of my ass. It takes all of two minutes to go to the website and type in the name of the game, then by clicking a little "More" button you get that handy little summary.
I do applaud you for your descriptions of each individual rating level, though.

UNHchabo:

Andy Chalk:

Funny, I've never seen posters in music stores or movie theaters describing what each rating means. I've never seen detailed content descriptors on the backs of DVDs or CDs.

While the rest of your post is completely true, since 2001 the MPAA has started releasing content descriptors along with their ratings for almost all rated movies.

http://www.mpaa.org/ratings/how-to-read-a-rating

In my defense, I really have never seen detailed content descriptors on the backs of DVDs. And on a more serious note, based on that illustration I still don't see the MPAA getting as detailed and descriptive as the ESRB. But we're really just splitting hairs, the big point is that the ESRB is the most effective system available, bar none. Could it be better? Sure, but you can say that about pretty much anything. That doesn't make it completely irrational to center out videogames as the great risk of our age when every available fact clearly indicates otherwise.

Frehls:

Zelda_Lover26:
Hey, my mom just came up with a crazy idea...

if parents don't want to pay attention... have the retailers do it... all they would really have to do is ask for an ID if it is a mature rated game. or if an adult tries to buy an M rated game, and they have a ten year old or something, don't let them buy it. They may end up hating it... but hey, if they want the government to step in, their going to have to put up with the consequences. And this sound stupid (and a note, I'm not on their side, this label thing is a really stupid idea, mainly because you have no physical evidence that any of those warning are true, and to me, you have no proof, your argument is invalid) but if it will finally make them shut up, I say let them... not like its going to make any difference to me, I'm 19, I'll by whatever games I want. Besides, when has such a label ever actually worked?

Retailers already ask for ID if the customer looks like they may be under 18. They will, however, sell the game if an adult okays it. The current ESRB labels are generally complied with, too. You need to read up a bit more on all this. This site alone should suffice.
Also, if you don't care about something unless it affects you, then you are no better than, say, the people who did the California bill.

Hmm.... you right.... this doesn't only effect me.... still though, you didn't need to compare me to those people, I am just as much against all this controversy on video games as you are. I apologize if I offended you.

shrekfan246:

Ahem...
From the ESRB Website: God of War III:
Rating: Mature

Content descriptors: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content

Rating summary:

This is an action-adventure game in which players assume the role of a half-human, half-god-like Spartan (Kratos) who seeks revenge against the gods of Mount Olympus. Steeped in ancient Greek mythology, the game depicts a fantasy world on an epic scale.

It also depicts exaggerated acts of violence and frequent killing. Using double-chained blades and arrows, players hack-and-slash skeleton soldiers, rabid dogs, a centaur, a cyclops, fire-breathing creatures, and other monsters. This combat is both bloody and fantastical. Large sprays of red blood occur when enemies are hit. Blood often stains the ground, surrounding walls, and sometimes on Kratos' body. When defeated, enemies drop magical, glowing orbs that boost health and experience. The most intense depictions of violence occur during boss battles with the gods. Players engage in close-up and extended battles that are completed by pressing button sequences corresponding to on-screen prompts. One god will be thrown repeatedly into rocks and walls; another god's eyes will be gauged out by thumbs. A god may get pummeled into the ground or have its legs sliced off, its head torn off. In one sequence, blood will stain the screen after each of Kratos' blows, building up to the point of complete saturation. Immediately after 'dying,' the defeated gods often have fantastical endings such as transforming into a swarm of mitelike insects or a cascade of plummeting water.

The game contains a sex mini-game. Players will encounter a goddess and her two hand maidens, all topless, all holding and caressing each other. If players wish to, they may join the goddess (and only the goddess) in bed. Actual sex is never depicted as the camera drifts, then fixes on the two maidens, who watch from a distance. As players respond to the on-screen prompts with button presses, the topless maidens will continue to watch, and sometimes caress. Moaning sounds from the bed can be heard throughout the sequence.

The game includes some behind-the-scenes footage that contains a few instances of profanity (e.g., 'f**k' and 'sh*t').

Thanks for proving my point. Games allow you to DO all sorts of questionable things, movies and music simply allow you to see and hear them. I didn't say that it was impossible for parents to get information about a particular game or its rating. What I said was that there is a big difference between passive and interactive entertainment. That movie, music and TV ratings do a far better job at conveying what TYPE of material the person will be seeing. I don't need to know that a character says [email protected]#$! in an R rated movie to go into one expecting to hear it. Games are simply not the same. M for mature? That means something different in nearly every game out there. Should parents be more responsible in their choices of games for their children, absolutely.

But lobbying for more accountability on the part of the industry and retailers is not crazy either. I contend that passive media ratings systems are more straightforward and better tools for allowing parents to make good decisions. How much of that information about the game is on the package? In the advertisements? Maybe as games become more mainstream and more gamers have children the level of awareness will increase, but for now, it IS up to the retailers and the industry to police themselves, and short of that I don't see anything wrong with the question being raised in the courts.

This shit is why I'm not a democrat anymore. I almost wish these out of touch idiots lived in my state, so I could have the pleasure of voting against them. They do not deserve gainful employment. At least Illinois has the decency to throw them in jail every once in awhile.

Sougo:
I believe 'Baca' means 'stupid' in Japanese.

Also what exactly could you possibly put down on a warning label on a videogame that would ACTUALLY discourage ppl. from buying it, short of citing a direct link with cancer. Wait.. I think I just made up Fox News' latest headline..

Baka, but I was going there too

EDIT: They will cite your post.

I'm sorry, but can't he turn this energy towards something more worthwhile.
Like all those smoking companies? Or more parks and better drinking water for civilians?
Or better funding for veterans' programs?

There has to be something more worthwhile to spend blood, sweat, and tears on than this.

theApoc:

Thanks for proving my point. Games allow you to DO all sorts of questionable things, movies and music simply allow you to see and hear them. I didn't say that it was impossible for parents to get information about a particular game or its rating. What I said was that there is a big difference between passive and interactive entertainment. That movie, music and TV ratings do a far better job at conveying what TYPE of material the person will be seeing. I don't need to know that a character says [email protected]#$! in an R rated movie to go into one expecting to hear it. Games are simply not the same. M for mature? That means something different in nearly every game out there. Should parents be more responsible in their choices of games for their children, absolutely.

But lobbying for more accountability on the part of the industry and retailers is not crazy either. I contend that passive media ratings systems are more straightforward and better tools for allowing parents to make good decisions. How much of that information about the game is on the package? In the advertisements? Maybe as games become more mainstream and more gamers have children the level of awareness will increase, but for now, it IS up to the retailers and the industry to police themselves, and short of that I don't see anything wrong with the question being raised in the courts.

Wait...what? First of all, I was proving your
"Pretty straightforward right? Except there is a big difference between "May have content suitable for X" and "Game allows you to kill hookers and steal their money". Or, "Game shows drug use" and "Player can drink alcohol to regain health or other bonuses". Game ratings are most like TV ratings, however, they are not as clear as to what the player will actually be DOING." wrong, because it takes two minutes to find exactly what the player will actually be doing.

I will agree with you that "M" for mature can mean a wide variety of things, but if you see it and look at the
"Content descriptors: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content," you shouldn't be surprised when you see Junior ripping the heads off of Olympian gods. Yeah, you don't need to know that a character in an R rated movie swears to go into one expecting it, but the fact remains that the ESRB provides considerably more information about games than any other medium does and really, if politicians are trying to police it so hard, why don't movies provide intricate details as to what the characters will be doing or saying? You know, those things that depict real people doing unspeakable things? Watch "A Serbian Film" if you want an example of what I'm talking about.

You argue that the interactivity is what makes the biggest difference, and I just don't buy that. Just because the character is being controlled by you doesn't mean it will have any more impact than reading Stephen King's "The Shining" or watching Ian McKellen rip iron from a man's bloodstream in "X-2." Or was that X-3? Eh, doesn't matter. It's not hard to educate yourself on what the content rating means, and it's only slightly harder to look up exactly what your spawn will be experiencing if you buy them Grand Theft God Of War XXIII.

EDIT: Also, as to the "advertisements" section of your post, why would they advertise that in this paranoid world? Don't you remember how EA advertised Dead Space 2 (and Dante's Inferno) and the huge amounts of controversy it generated? And they weren't even actually advertising how truly brutal those games were. The media is doing whatever it can to slander video games, it's happened with books, movies, and comics in the past, so advertising that your game contains massive amounts of violence, swearing, and nudity? That would spark more controversy than anyone needs.

Extra EDIT: Also, personally I always was more impressionable from movies rather than video games. I never played a game and then ran outside thinking I could emulate it, but you better believe I tried it out with movies. Movies are and always have been more realistic than video games, and I've stated before: If a kid plays GTA IV and then goes out beating people up with baseball bats and trying to jack cars, that kid probably had an issue to begin with.

zelda2fanboy:
This shit is why I'm not a democrat anymore. I almost wish these out of touch idiots lived in my state, so I could have the pleasure of voting against them. They do not deserve gainful employment. At least Illinois has the decency to throw them in jail every once in awhile.

I'm almost entirely sure "Democrat" does not equal "Dumbass afraid of new technology." I'm almost entirely sure that's damn near EVERYONE in office nowadays.

To everyone claiming that the Japanese word for idiot is "baka" rather than "baca": the Japanese don't use Roman letters. We transcribe it as "baka" so that we can read it phonetically; the Japanese spell it with their own lettering system. They don't have a 'k' any more than they have a 'c'.

conflictofinterests:

I'm almost entirely sure "Democrat" does not equal "Dumbass afraid of new technology." I'm almost entirely sure that's damn near EVERYONE in office nowadays.

Maybe, but it seems like Democrats go after games more than Republicans do. Leland Yee - Democrat, Joe Baca - Democrat, Hillary Clinton - Democrat, Joe Lieberman - Democrat (back when he was going after games). Democrats pretend to be all progressive and pro rights when they're clearly not. YES WE CAN (renew the Patriot Act). YES WE CAN (bail out the banks).

zelda2fanboy:

conflictofinterests:

I'm almost entirely sure "Democrat" does not equal "Dumbass afraid of new technology." I'm almost entirely sure that's damn near EVERYONE in office nowadays.

Maybe, but it seems like Democrats go after games more than Republicans do. Leland Yee - Democrat, Joe Baca - Democrat, Hillary Clinton - Democrat, Joe Lieberman - Democrat (back when he was going after games). Democrats pretend to be all progressive and pro rights when they're clearly not. YES WE CAN (renew the Patriot Act). YES WE CAN (bail out the banks).

Still, there are a shit ton of Republicans in office fucking shit up too (NO TAX INCREASES! WE'RE NOT RUNNING OUT OF MONEY TO BORROW! WE'RE NOT!)

There just aren't any smart people in office. Whenever one side looks like it's the lesser of two evils, it goes and pulls some stupid stunt that screws that image up.

shrekfan246:

guntotingtomcat:
Well, perhaps church's and schools should carry health warnings, as children primarily partake in sedimentary activities in those places.

I assume you meant "sedentary"? Though I would be interested in seeing how church-goers and students partake in rock-related activities (Outside of science class).

Don't really have an OT for this. Just another guy spewing out personal opinions on how bad video games are.

Damn. I need to read more, or something...

While I could agree that the labeling system in the US is vagtue, but only in that there isn't as much detail as the australian labels. Australian ratings labels contain description of the kind of content that justifies that rating. I can't say that it's perfect, but it does supply extra information, as well as have the same labels across games and movies. So, as we only have one rating system to remember, it implies the anti 18+ politicians underestimate the general population quite a bit...

Apart from that attempt to draw any kind of logic from it, the mans a joke. "ability to profit from selling heinous depictions of violence and sex to minors"- Do I even need to go into what's wrong with that? Ratings, most gamers adults, sick and tired of politicians bitching....

As for health warnings... You americans are lucky you have a bill of rights... You need it to protect you from your politicans, but then again, one would be handy here.

Ah yes, the classic political response: blame the capitalists and their evil industry for social problems without any real evidence, despite said capitalists actively informing their consumers.

Personally I think that exposure to politics and a government salary has the health risk of killing off the majority of your brain cells.

conflictofinterests:

Still, there are a shit ton of Republicans in office fucking shit up too (NO TAX INCREASES! WE'RE NOT RUNNING OUT OF MONEY TO BORROW! WE'RE NOT!)

There just aren't any smart people in office. Whenever one side looks like it's the lesser of two evils, it goes and pulls some stupid stunt that screws that image up.

The lesser of two evils is still evil. I read that in a book once. We're not politicians and I don't see why we need to make compromises about our political beliefs. If a given party is attacking our lifestyle, there's no reason we should continue to support them.

May I introduce you to an alternative?
http://www.lp.org/

I'm not going to call the man an idiot. I don't think I have the right to sit here from a comfortable seat of anonymity and call him out. I will, however, point out a few things.

Video games have a regulating board like movies (both of which are self-regulated).
Mainstream retailers refuse to carry Adult Only games (if any have been submitted for ESRB rating).
Most mainstream retailers do not actually sell to anyone bellow seventeen.

I was asked both times to go find my parent when buying San Andreas and Resident Evil 4. I bought God of War, but by that time I was seventeen. For fun, a couple of friends got our youngest buddy (eighteen looked like he was fourteen) to go up and buy the games we'd picked out one evening. He was carded every time because of the store's policies.

So, Mr. Senator, what's your problem exactly?

Baca's a whore and he comes from a family of political whores who excel at milking public and donor money to enrich their own wallets. Okay, like everyone else in Sacramento, but the Bacas have been really good at it.

So he got termed out at the state level and had to move on to federal level, where he creates bogus caucuses like the 'Congressional Sex and Violence in the Media Caucus', which is probably his excuse to get involved here.

Well I would be able to tolerate his law, if he also said that films, books, television, comics, politicians, people and clouds are also bad for your health.

shrekfan246:
Wait...what? First of all, I was proving your
"Pretty straightforward right? Except there is a big difference between "May have content suitable for X" and "Game allows you to kill hookers and steal their money". Or, "Game shows drug use" and "Player can drink alcohol to regain health or other bonuses". Game ratings are most like TV ratings, however, they are not as clear as to what the player will actually be DOING." wrong, because it takes two minutes to find exactly what the player will actually be doing.

I will agree with you that "M" for mature can mean a wide variety of things, but if you see it and look at the
"Content descriptors: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content," you shouldn't be surprised when you see Junior ripping the heads off of Olympian gods. Yeah, you don't need to know that a character in an R rated movie swears to go into one expecting it, but the fact remains that the ESRB provides considerably more information about games than any other medium does and really, if politicians are trying to police it so hard, why don't movies provide intricate details as to what the characters will be doing or saying? You know, those things that depict real people doing unspeakable things? Watch "A Serbian Film" if you want an example of what I'm talking about.

You argue that the interactivity is what makes the biggest difference, and I just don't buy that. Just because the character is being controlled by you doesn't mean it will have any more impact than reading Stephen King's "The Shining" or watching Ian McKellen rip iron from a man's bloodstream in "X-2." Or was that X-3? Eh, doesn't matter. It's not hard to educate yourself on what the content rating means, and it's only slightly harder to look up exactly what your spawn will be experiencing if you buy them Grand Theft God Of War XXIII.

EDIT: Also, as to the "advertisements" section of your post, why would they advertise that in this paranoid world? Don't you remember how EA advertised Dead Space 2 (and Dante's Inferno) and the huge amounts of controversy it generated? And they weren't even actually advertising how truly brutal those games were. The media is doing whatever it can to slander video games, it's happened with books, movies, and comics in the past, so advertising that your game contains massive amounts of violence, swearing, and nudity? That would spark more controversy than anyone needs.

Extra EDIT: Also, personally I always was more impressionable from movies rather than video games. I never played a game and then ran outside thinking I could emulate it, but you better believe I tried it out with movies. Movies are and always have been more realistic than video games, and I've stated before: If a kid plays GTA IV and then goes out beating people up with baseball bats and trying to jack cars, that kid probably had an issue to begin with.

Games back then were not like they are now. And interactivity does make a difference IMO. Watching an act of violence once as the move progresses is definitely different than performing that act repeatedly and being rewarded for doing so. Am I saying this makes kids psychotic? That it makes them more likely to be bad? No. But to say that games, movies, tv shows and music do NOT influence children is ridiculous.

And my point is that interactive entertainment takes this to a whole other level. What works for one medium is not going to work in this respect. And in terms of content warnings. I could describe a lot of PG13 movies in text.

"A native strapped to a cage over a pit of lava, forced to drink blood from a skull, while hundreds of others chant off in the distance. As the blood potion takes effect, a evil looking shaman begins to chant while clutching at the mans chest, digging his fingers into the flesh until finally penetrating the skin and pulling the still beating heart from the victim, showing the heart to the captive before lowering him into the lava..."

That is tame example. A scene that last a few minutes and while memorable does not encapsulate the entirety of the movie.

In an game, that is not the case. Many actions are repeated countless times and rather than being a passing point in the game, are central to character and story advancement.

Bottom line, they aren't the same. And while the law in question was misguided, there is a definite need to address this issue.

Makes me think, what would be on these warning labels? Considering there hasn't been any proof of negative effects caused by videogames...

WARNING: This is a game.

Hey, Joe? Given all the things that are going wrong in your home state, maybe this isn't the best time to be suggesting that you ought to be telling the rest of the nation how to do it, 'k?

Seriously, could you and Yee just get together and have a drink and a good cry and then get to finding yourselves a new hobby? Please?

I love how every politician thinks that every video game designer WANTS to corrupt the youth, like they're a gang of criminals all in a room counting money and doing drugs while twirling their mustaches and going "how can we corrupt the youth further? More violence? More sex? Can we market it to 5-year-olds this time?"

It's like I laugh at the "gay agenda" claims or the "satanic messages" in rock music rumor. It makes no sense. At all. These groups don't all huddle together and decide "let's do something awful and offensive because we MUST corrupt the youth".

Seriously, though, do you think Joe Baca has played any video game since... Pong? Pac-man? Do you think for one moment he knows what Okami, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, Silent Hill 2, Limbo, or Ocarina of Time are? He's an ignorant man making claims about a subject he knows nothing about.

Alright if they put warning labels on games then politicians should wear warning labels on their face that read:

"Warning politicians may cause: Lost in overall intelligence, bad ideas, distress, vomiting and sex scandals. Politicians are not for everyone please consult your doctor before voting for one."

Andy Chalk:

Sevre:
I love how whenever there's a low-key political event like this(lets face it, outside the Games Industry this affects no one), a group of nobody congressmen and political activists latch on to it in an effort to boost their own profile.

I don't think you really grasp the implications of this case. If violent content is declared an exception to First Amendment protections, it sets a precedent that opens the door to similar efforts against other media. Maybe it's a worst-case scenario but a decision against the game industry could very well have a chilling effect upon the entire entertainment industry. The potential implications of a decision against the videogame industry are actually very wide-ranging.

I'm surprised that it even made it this far to be honest as legal positivism tells us that the law, and morality are separate. The legal system is incredibly complex and it would be just as easy to dismantle a case against video games as it is to make one. I appreciate the SCOTUS ruling as much as the next gamer, but it's easy to get swept up in the hyperbole that surrounds this case.

Law is not as romantic as it sounds, it's not a two-step method of obtaining precedent and consolidating a winning case. Of course it's not going to stop someone from trying to ban violence from the entertainment industry but they'll face numerous legal obstacles along the way, along with a horde of angry gamers/filmgoers/whatever. Then you have to discuss the impracticality of it all since the entertainment industry is a worldwide industry and operates in many different jurisdictions...

A perfect example is the Human Centipede 2, banned in the UK and all it has done is given it increased publicity.

Like I said I appreciate the ruling, but unlike you I don't consider it to be incredibly important, maybe because if anyone ever wanted to gain control of what humans do in their everyday lives they'd probably have to operate outside the law.

Sougo:
I believe 'Baca' means 'stupid' in Japanese.

It's Spelt as Baka, not Baca. Just thought i'd point that out..

shrekfan246:
You argue that the interactivity is what makes the biggest difference, and I just don't buy that. Just because the character is being controlled by you doesn't mean it will have any more impact than reading Stephen King's "The Shining" or watching Ian McKellen rip iron from a man's bloodstream in "X-2." Or was that X-3?

X-Men 2. X-1 ended with Magneto in a plastic prison and Xavier visiting.
X-2 has Mags in the prison whilst Mystique inject a large syringe of liquid iron (supposedly) in the arse of a guard who works keeping an eye on Mags. After he brings Magneto his meal, Mags detects the extra iron (?) in the guards body and uses his magnetism to draw it out into 3 small spheres (one of which turns into a platform for him) which he uses to escape.
X-3 ends up with the giant brawl at Alcatraz where Jean/Dark Phoenix is killed (finally) by Wolverine (who can only get close because of his adamantium-laced skeleton and his healing factor).

All three got a M15+ ACB/OFLC (Aus Classification Board, previously Office of Film and Literary Classification. they classify and rate all books, games (video and non-video) and movies, have an R18+ rating for movies but no R18+ for video games yet), whilst Power Rangers - a show about teens/young adults in spandex, fighting monsters of alien technological and mythological basis, and driving giant combining robots - gets a blanket-rating of PG15 as the action (rather heavy for a live-action "children"s show) is arguably more than could be passed in under a G rating (such as Thomas The Tank Engine).

wait... T rating... isn't that Zelda? "Zelda is bad for health..."?

"warning... this game may give your child TriForce, sand sent your kid in to another dimension on a dangerous journey, to defeat a great evil force... and possibly give your child a harem of girls..."

WOW, I think I'd go and buy that game!~

Never before has there been a man so absent of reason and devoid of thought, and somebody voted for him.

theApoc:

Thanks for proving my point. Games allow you to DO all sorts of questionable things, movies and music simply allow you to see and hear them.

I don't care about what media has the best or the worst information labels. I don't care that you're clearly backpedaling, shifting the issue from "moveis and CDs have as comprehensive descriptions as videogames on the box" (Which they don't. Fact.) to "games are different because they're interactive."

What I care about is that one thing NEEDS to be straigthened out here: Games allow you to press buttons on a controlloer/mouse/keyboard. That's it. They relay to you different images according to what you press. You're not actually doing anything more than that. You might identify with a character, sure, but that goes for non interactive media as well, that's why people feel emotions during movies or even just by listening to a story told in a book or a song.

So your argument that since you have "control" of the actions (Within the constraints of what the game allows you to do. Constraints which are decided by the designers and are thus completely and utterly rateable as much as the contents of a film, book or any other form of passive media) this somehow changes something is moot.

Do not forget that videogames are basically extremely complex choose your own adventure books, whatever you do, has been put there by someone else for your enjoyment, so you KNOW what gamers will be albe to do, chich is more than enough for a rating to be decided.

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