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  • Arjunas
  • Member Since Jun 25th, 2010

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The Lawbringer: Schwarzenegger v. EMA {WoW}

Nov 12th 2010 3:47PM @Stephen

Kevin in post 31493753 summed it up really well.

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"How is a state government system set up to define a game as obscene not restricting freedom of speech?"

This is the problem: people do not understand what freedom of speech means. When the Constitution says Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, it's saying that you as an individual (and corporations as an extension of their shareholders) have a right to say any darn thing you please in a public forum without prior restraint.

Is selling a video game speech? Maybe, maybe not, but hey I'll agree with you, it's at least as much speech as pornography. So is the government preventing you from speaking? No, it isn't. It's allowing you to speak but requiring you to speak only to adults, directly.

This is an established allowable restriction (see pornography).
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Congress would not be banning the sale of video games, only barring it from being directly sold to children.

Taken further, is your Pharmacist barring you from your rights by not selling you a bottle of Hydrocodone without a doctors prescription? Or by enforcing a minimum age of 18 to purchase Sudafed? Sudafed is a medicine, is doesn't hurt you, it helps you.

Your argument fails on those facts. Regulation exists and simply barring someone from purchasing something due to them being a minor has been shown, by Congress, to be acceptable. Minors do not have the same rights as adults.

Now, if they change this law and make it an offense to give an M rated game to a minor (Thus preventing a parent from buying their child a M rated game) I will rage against it completely. But until that happens this law is helping parents, and ensuring that mature material is not directly sold to children.

The Lawbringer: Schwarzenegger v. EMA {WoW}

Nov 12th 2010 3:36PM I am with Amaxe, people need to calm down and think. Just because the government is looking into regulating something doesn't mean "OH GOD COMMUNISM, WE ARE CHINA NOW!"

Mature video games should be treated exactly like mature videos and mature magazines. They cannot be sold to minors, only to adults. This is not censorship by the government. It is not an infringement of your 1st amendment rights. It is not the government doing the parenting for you. Kevin, in post 31493753, said it well.

"Is selling a video game speech? Maybe, maybe not, but hey I'll agree with you, it's at least as much speech as pornography. So is the government preventing you from speaking? No, it isn't. It's allowing you to speak but requiring you to speak only to adults, directly."

The government is not saying that you or your child cannot play rated M games. They are only ensuring that rated M games are not sold directly to your child so that you, as the parent, can make the decision as to whether your child should play that game. That is it.

The government is punishing the retailers who are profiting by undermining your parental control.

The Lawbringer: Schwarzenegger v. EMA {WoW}

Nov 12th 2010 3:15PM @Daedalus

I, like Kevin, see your point but disagree.

When I go to the store to buy a game I know what I am there to buy. I want Gears of War II, or I want Deadspace. If GameCrazy decides not to stock rated M games then I will go next door and buy it from WalMart.

And that is the biggest problem with your argument: WalMart. WalMart has NO problem stocking regulated material. I can walk into my local WalMart right now, with the proper licenses and age, and walk out with a pack of cigarettes, a 6 pack of beer, and a shotgun (Yes, my local Texas WalMart sells shotguns). WalMart is everywhere, even the middle of podunkadunk Texas nowhere everywhere. (I thankfully live in Houston, but I have seen WalMarts in town with a population of 300). And since they are everywhere the "I don't want to go across town to buy this M rated game" is moot. Wherever you are on this earth, a WalMart is nearby...

In the end WalMart is going to sell that rated M game, irregardless of if it is regulated, and WalMart is everywhere. So GameCrazy will have to sell M rated games as well or it will go out of business. (Would you go to a store that only stocked half of what you need or a store that had everything you need?)

The Lawbringer: Schwarzenegger v. EMA {WoW}

Nov 12th 2010 1:46PM @Daedalus

The penalty for selling cigarettes to a minor is far steeper than a $1000 fine. This doesn't stop stores from stocking cigarettes.

But, if you are right and some stores do stop selling M rated games then capitalism will fix them quick. Game developers always say that the demographic they are selling games to is 18-32 year old adults. So if Gamestop *really* wants to cut off sales to the core demographic of gamers then so be it... they can lose all their sales to WalMart.

I don't really see it as a problem.

The Lawbringer: Schwarzenegger v. EMA {WoW}

Nov 12th 2010 1:38PM @Icepyro

Hey again, happy to see some more discussion on this topic.

I don't quite agree with California's take on this law. The state should not decide on an individual basis. Instead the ESRB should be given the ability to fine stores who sell M rated games to minors. While that is empowering a private entity, it is the easiest way. Game companies already have to check their games past the ESRB and have a good idea of how their game will rate. (They don't walk in expecting an E rating and end up with an M)

So the "slippery slope" idea that State regulation would spiral out of control is kinda false. If the ESRB (Or a national government entity like the ESRB) is enacted then there wouldn't be any problems, the standards for each rating would be known, and game companies would be fine. I don't like Californias *vague* description so I am against it there, but the idea of regulating games based on a central entity is a good idea to me.

As for the inability for children to sneak a game past diligent and *good* parents. Ha! Children are sneaky, hell I was sneaky. I played GTA for 2 years without my parents knowing. They trusted me, and since the XBox was in my room I could play it during the day and when they walked in I would pause it. They checked my games and I just hid the GTA box so they never saw a game with M on it. They were good parents who got suckered by a good liar.

As I said, I am pretty sure that you have hidden things from your parents. I don't know how old you are but be it 2 years or 20 years since you were 14 you DID sneak something.

Thanks for discussing, look forward to hearing your rebuttal.

The Lawbringer: Schwarzenegger v. EMA {WoW}

Nov 12th 2010 1:27PM @Icepyro

Thanks for responding, first point of clarification I am 22 and do not have a 12 year old son named Timmy. I forgot that by defending this law I would most likely be identified as a concerned parent. I am not. Hopefully that changes your views on my perspective. I am not a "Protect the Children ARGHH!" parent that many gamers are used to butting heads with. Figured I'd clarify that.

And I agree, a 12 year old really shouldn't be buying games from a store by themselves. But the sad truth is, it happens. This law will not affect responsible parents and obedient children. When I do have children you can bet I will be checking every single game that comes into my house. But that is because I will be a responsible parent.

The problem is actually the irresponsible parents who like to point the blame at everyone else. (And the game stores like Bestbuy who only refuse to sell M rated games to children when they feel like it) An irresponsible parent will not care if their child is playing Postal II or Grand Theft Auto. But you can bet that when called out on it that irresponsible parent will point their finger at the game studios and scream "They are the ones who created and sold this filth to my child!" and will not take any of the blame. For a good example go type "Jack Thompson" into Google and look up his response to the Virginia Tech shootings... that man is horrible.

As for the second part, yes my *future* child should not be sneaking games past me. But the truth is, it happens. I personally bought GTA and played it in my room without my parents knowledge. My parents trusted me, were very strict with censuring what I played, and yet they never found out I had GTA. I am sure you hid things from your parents, it really is not that hard.

In the end your points really don't address this law. Since your saying that a 12 year old should never be in a game store alone how does this law (Mandating that an adult be present to buy the game) change that? It actually supports your point, ensuring that a parent is available with the child. Second, you said that children really can't sneak games past their parents. How does the law (Mandating that an adult be present to buy the game) change that? Instead of being caught with the game when the child comes home they are just barred from purchasing the game at the store.

Both of your points do not affect this law passing because neither of your scenarios will be adversely affected by its passage.

The Lawbringer: Schwarzenegger v. EMA {WoW}

Nov 12th 2010 1:01PM @Lipstick

The problem isn't the Bill of Rights per say, it is the notion that *any* form of governmental regulation makes the American masses scream "COMMUNISM EVIL BULLSHIT OMG WE ARE LIKE CHINA!"

The truth is, the government already censures a lot of products. Pornography, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Drivers Licenses, Pilots Licenses, Speed Limits, etc... All of these are dangerous if not regulated. But, the knee jerk "OMG COMMUNISM" is pulled out whenever something new is possibly added to the list. If people actually stopped, sat down, and thought about it for a second before joining the "OMG COMMUNISM" crowd then this country would be a better place...

I am against large government, I want the government to stay the &^&$ out of my wallet and the &^&S out of my life unless necessary. But I see the merits of passing a law like this. Right now the ESRB ratings have no teeth. Bestbuy can sell my 12 year old child Postal II and the best I can do is send them a strongly worded letter and flip them off from the parking lot. With this law I can report Bestbuy and they will be fined. Yay for the ESRB ratings finally having teeth!

The other reason people are against it is because Movies and Music don't have similar laws. Hell, music doesn't even have a rating system. I think they need one as well. Go watch a 10 year old girl sing along to Lil' Wayne's Lollipop and let me know if you still disagree.

Regulation for minors isn't bad. It ensures that a parent's efforts at home actually work. How happy would the masses be if stores weren't penalized for selling guns to people without licenses, or even worse, selling them to children? No, I am not comparing guns to video games merely the idea that not all regulation is "OMG COMMUNISM"

Stop America, think it over before jumping on the "OMG COMMUNISM" train. I know it is a familiar place to go, you enjoy your time screaming there, but just this once - PLEASE - stop and think about it.

The Lawbringer: Schwarzenegger v. EMA {WoW}

Nov 12th 2010 12:40PM @Kevin

I couldn't agree with you more. When I heard California was passing this law a year ago I was ecstatic. No more Jack Thompson blaming the Columbine shootings on violent video games. No more parental activist groups claiming that playing Halo turns you into a murderer. No more parents blaming their child's antisocial or violent behavior on video games. NO MORE BULLSHIT. No more Jack Thompson!

This law takes the blame off of the video game companies and puts it squarely in the face of irresponsible parents. Read the law, your child can still play Postal II, the only difference is that you must buy it for them! There, simple enough. Why does the gaming industry hate this? It takes most of the negative media attention away from gamers. No more knee jerk "Protect the Children" reactions from politicians and parents over a new game like Postal II.

The problem is, the gaming industry has been whipped into a frenzy by game studios who are challenging this NOT because it infringes on our rights, but because it infringes on their sell games like Postal II to children directly. No sane parent is going to pick up Postal II and hand it to their 12 year old.

So, to everyone ranting about this please stop for a minute and think. Wouldn't it be better for gaming if we had the ability to tell the "Video games are horrible, we must protect the children" douchebags to shut up? I think it is. Think about it...

- If you are right and WalMart and BestBuy already don't sell M rated games to children then nothing is changing with this law.

- If you are a sane and responsible parent who already censures the games your children play then nothing is changing with this law.

However...

- If you are a child who buys M rated games without their parents permission then this law will ensure you can no longer do that.

- If you are a parent who doesn't pay attention to the games your children play yet blames the video game industry for selling your children M rated games, then this law will ensure you can no longer do that.

I don't see the 'Sky is falling" scenario that everyone else is. Give the ESRB some teeth to fine infringers *up to* $1000 and call it a day. That is all.

The Lawbringer: Schwarzenegger v. EMA {WoW}

Nov 12th 2010 11:04AM When I first read this new law I though the video game industry would be rejoicing and was confused when they challenged it...

Think about it, how much flak do these game studios take from irresponsible parents who yell "My 12 year old son Timmy was playing GTA; a game with hookers and gang violence. Video games are evil. Protect the children!" With this law the game studios can say "Wait, excuse me, who bought little Timmy the rated M game? You did. Now shut up." And then give said parent the middle finger.

The blame would be passed from the game studios to the parents. Making the parent ACTUALLY have to parent because they can't just push the blame onto the game studios. Because, this law doesn't say that children can't play rated M video games. Only that a parent MUST buy the game for the child. It only empowers the parents more because little Timmy can't secretly buy GTA and play it, because selling little Timmy GTA would be illegal.

Truthfully, I wish that this extended to all forms of media. Games, videos, music. A system where I as a parent can buy my child whatever *I* deem is appropriate for them but my child cannot sneak out and buy rated M games, rated R movies, or mature music. (I think music should have ratings too, if you don't agree with me then go listen to a 10 year old girl sing along to Lil' Wayne's Lollipop. *Shudders*)

And why do the video game industry care so much, they've constantly said their demographic for M games isn't 12 year Tommy, but 18-30 year old adults? If that is true then it wouldn't affect them.

This law in no way limits children from playing rated M games. It only requires that the parent BUY the game for the child, thus ensuring the parents are the suppliers of the game. Thus, it would push the blame onto the parents. This law wouldn't affect responsible parents who already censure the games their children play, it would affect irresponsible parents who ignore their children and blame the game studios.

The Lawbringer: Schwarzenegger v. EMA {WoW}

Nov 12th 2010 11:01AM When I first read this new law I though the video game industry would be rejoicing and was confused when they challenged it...

Think about it, how much flak do these game studios take from irresponsible parents who yell "My 12 year old son Timmy was playing GTA; a game with hookers and gang violence. Video games are evil. Protect the children!" With this law the game studios can say "Wait, excuse me, who bought little Timmy the rated M game? You did. Now shut up." And then give said parent the middle finger.

The blame would be passed from the game studios to the parents. Making the parent ACTUALLY have to parent because they can't just push the blame onto the game studios. Because, this law doesn't say that children can't play rated M video games. Only that a parent MUST buy the game for the child. It only empowers the parents more because little Timmy can't secretly buy GTA and play it, because selling little Timmy GTA would be illegal.

Truthfully, I wish that this extended to all forms of media. Games, videos, music. A system where I as a parent can buy my child whatever *I* deem is appropriate for them but my child cannot sneak out and buy rated M games, rated R movies, or mature music. (I think music should have ratings too, if you don't agree with me then go listen to a 10 year old girl sing along to Lil' Wayne's Lollipop. *Shudders*)

And why do the video game industry care so much, they've constantly said their demographic for M games isn't 12 year Tommy, but 18-30 year old adults? If that is true then it wouldn't affect them.

This law in no way limits children from playing rated M games. It only requires that the parent BUY the game for the child, thus ensuring the parents are the suppliers of the game. Thus, it would push the blame onto the parents. This law wouldn't affect responsible parents who already censure the games their children play, it would affect irresponsible parents who ignore their children and blame the game studios.