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NY Governor to Target Violent Video Games 306

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the answer-to-all-the-worlds-evil-obviously dept.
NoMoreGuns writes to tell us that Governor Eliot Spitzer is planning to target violent movies and video games in a new bill. "Spitzer said he wants to restrict access to these videos and games by children, similar to motion picture regulations which prohibit youths under 17 from being admitted to R-rated movies without a parent or adult guardian. Under Spitzer's proposal, retailers who sell violent or degrading videos or video games to children contrary to the rating would be sanctioned."
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NY Governor to Target Violent Video Games

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  • by TomRC (231027) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @12:46PM (#18784119)
    Back to focusing on trivial things, while important problems go un-addressed.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by pilgrim23 (716938)
      TRIVIAL? have you TRIED Solitare under Vista? Something MUST be done!
    • by omeomi (675045)
      Back to focusing on trivial things, while important problems go un-addressed.

      I, for one, have been wondering how long it will be before some thinkofthechildren person starts blaming violent video games or Marilyn Manson for the shooting at Virginia Tech. I haven't seen it yet, but there was a mention in the paper this morning about his handle in some game being 'Ismael', which was written on his arm. Only a matter of time, I suppose.
  • Bad headline! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @12:46PM (#18784121) Homepage Journal
    Unless I'm really misreading this, he isn't targeting the violent games at all. What he's targeting is the sale of violent games to minors, in the manner of R-rated movies.

    I expect that sort of misleading headline from the mainstream press, but Slashdot should really have fixed it.
    • Re:Bad headline! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sqlrob (173498) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @12:50PM (#18784185)
      *NOT* in the manner of movies. That's the problem.

      Movies do not have this regulation. All media or none.

      • ???

        What? So I, hypothetically assuming I was 12 for example, could go out and buy Blood-Murder-Death-Sex 3 from my local Blockbuster? I could go ask the nice mister at the counter to take my allowance for Death-Death-Death-And-Blood 7 and he'd do it?

        There are already restrictions on buying R rated movies, at least where I live, and the same goes for video games (Already). This is really a non-issue if he means M rated by violent.
        • Re:Bad headline! (Score:4, Informative)

          by AndersOSU (873247) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @01:05PM (#18784453)
          There are legal restrictions preventing sale of porn to minors, but no legal restrictions for violence. If your blockbuster won't let twelve year olds rent "Death-Death-Death-And-Blood 7" it is due to store (or corporate) policy, not due to regulation.
          • by Fred_A (10934) <fred@noSpAM.fredshome.org> on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @01:08PM (#18784529) Homepage
            It really went downhill after "Death-Death-Death-And-Blood 5" anyway...
          • Re:Bad headline! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @01:20PM (#18784749) Homepage Journal

            There are legal restrictions preventing sale of porn to minors, but no legal restrictions for violence. If your blockbuster won't let twelve year olds rent "Death-Death-Death-And-Blood 7" it is due to store (or corporate) policy, not due to regulation.


            It's a matter of local and state laws, not federal laws. There are no federal laws banning the sale of any movies to minors, AFAIK. However, most states have laws regarding the sale of pornography or movies with strong sexual content. Surprisingly, most states do NOT have laws concerning violence.

            So what we as a society are saying is that it's okay for kids to see people shooting, stabbing, kick boxing, or whatever else to each other in a violent rage, but HEAVEN FORBID if any minors see NAKED PEOPLE or, worse, two people engaged in a perfectly normal act that is part of our biological survival process as a species. Hmmm, I wonder which would inhibit the development of a child more...?
            • Re:Bad headline! (Score:5, Interesting)

              by RedHat Rocky (94208) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @01:30PM (#18784915)
              "So what we as a society are saying is that it's okay for kids to see people..."

              Incorrect. The body of law may seem to imply that, but certainly I as a parent don't. And I'm sure most of my fellow parents feel the same way.

              Parents should be responsible for their children, not the government.
              • Oh, I agree, but laws in this country, at least in theory, represent the collective will of the people. Or, maybe they don't -- in which case isn't it our obligation as a society to change them?
                • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                  by Phyvo (876321)
                  Perhaps the sale of such movies to minors isn't as much of an issue anyways. Movies aren't new and the whole nasty movie fiasco already happened. Parents now have a clearer idea of what to do with movies. If a parent doesn't want their kid to see the movie, they don't let them buy or see the movie.

                  But video games are newer, so parents are less comfortable with them. They don't know quite as well what to do with them. At least in my house, us kids bought the video games while my parents bought the movies. So
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by omeomi (675045)
                  laws in this country, at least in theory, represent the collective will of the people.

                  A fair amount of them represent the collective will of the small percentage of the people who speak the loudest and most often...
            • So what we as a society are saying is that it's okay for kids to see people shooting, stabbing, kick boxing, or whatever else to each other in a violent rage, but HEAVEN FORBID if any minors see NAKED PEOPLE or, worse, two people engaged in a perfectly normal act that is part of our biological survival process as a species. Hmmm, I wonder which would inhibit the development of a child more...?

              I would posit that the media presents an unhealthy view of both violence and sexuality.

              In the first case, the messag

            • by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @02:57PM (#18786365) Journal
              "but HEAVEN FORBID if any minors see NAKED PEOPLE"

              I survived seeing lots of bare breasts in German TV ads when I went to Iceland (they show some German channels). I came back unscathed but I did buy a lot of German shampoo for some reason.
          • Re:Bad headline! (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Mister Whirly (964219) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @02:58PM (#18786395) Homepage
            Yeah, we better fill that hole with a useless law. My God, for a second there parents were almost responsible for their own children's actions. I will feel much more relieved when the government is raising children again!

            On a side note, does anyone else recall that in the 80s a 14 year old kid had no problems renting R rated movies? I would do it all the time. Only one place I rented at actually required parental permission for kids to rent R rated movies. If mom and dad said it was okay, they would rent them to you.

            But then again myself and all my age related peers ARE all psychopathic serial rapists and murderers now due to this very fact.... Damn you Jack Thompson you were right!
        • Re:Bad headline! (Score:5, Informative)

          by SEE (7681) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @01:15PM (#18784653) Homepage
          There are no laws enforcing the movie ratings system. It is perfectly legal to allow a six-year-old to rent or buy a film rated R or NC-17. It is merely social custom and private policies of vendors which restrict such activities.

          Laws prohibiting the sale of indecent materials to minors do exist, but they exist independent of the ratings system, and already fully apply to video games.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            It depends where you are. Every Canadian province has laws regarding film and video classification, with penalties for non-compliance (including exhibition, sale or rental of "unclassified" materials.)
            • Wouldn't fly here. (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Kadin2048 (468275)
              It depends where you are. Every Canadian province has laws regarding film and video classification, with penalties for non-compliance (including exhibition, sale or rental of "unclassified" materials.)

              I think we were talking about the U.S. here. On the whole, Canadians seem to accept a much higher degree of government interference than I think would be acceptable in the U.S. (This may or may not be due to a greater degree of trust in their government, but I'd argue anyone who trusts any government is a fool
        • by bockelboy (824282)

          There are already restrictions on buying R rated movies, at least where I live, and the same goes for video games (Already).

          Not in the US. I know this is not the same for several European countries.
      • The Book Test! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PCM2 (4486)

        Movies do not have this regulation. All media or none.

        Here's a simple test. Would you have this regulation apply to books? Are there some books -- and I'm talking about the kind with just words in them, now, no pictures -- that are not only inappropriate for anyone under the age of 17, but that should be illegal to sell to those under 17?

        Here's me, the pimple-faced kid with the cracking voice from The Simpsons, and I'm behind the counter at a bookstore. Lisa walks up with a copy of Tropic of Cancer and

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jez9999 (618189)
      I expect that sort of misleading headline from the mainstream press, but Slashdot should really have fixed it.

      You must be new here.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by oblivionboy (181090)
      I think we can call this the digg effect. .o.
    • Re:Bad headline! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Ngarrang (1023425) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @01:33PM (#18784975) Journal
      And here I thought it was the parent's job to monitor the video game habits of their children. Silly me. Thank goodness the government is here to save me.
    • What he's targeting is the sale of violent games to minors, in the manner of R-rated movies.

      Except movie theaters, from what I understand, are self regulated.

      The MPAA ratings and their adherence came about specifically to stop this kind of legislation. By creating their own voluntary code and then getting theaters to agree to uphold it, they maintained control of what movies got what ratings (thus no NC-17 rating for documentaries the government doesn't like, etc.)

      Fortunately for the MPAA, theater owners were smart enough to get that they didn't want government control and smart enough to realize

  • by SilentChris (452960) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @12:49PM (#18784167) Homepage
    Maybe I'm missing the big picture, but what's the problem with preventing minors from buying games specifically market for adults? I know legally there's been no teeth in it up until now (and parents should really be watching out for their kids) but what's the objection to this? The only group I would think could possibly object is minors.
    • by sqlrob (173498)
      There is no equivalent for movies. There is also a potential chilling effect.

      Kids should not get their hands on these games, but that's the responsibility of the parents. They have the tools.
      • Correction... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Belial6 (794905)
        "Kids should not get their hands on these games, but that's the responsibility of the parents. They have the tools."

        Correction... it should read "My Kids should not get their hands on these games, but that's the responsibility of the parents. They have the tools."

        When you state that universally "kids" should not get their hands on the games, you validate the idea of creating a law. After all, if it is an absolute truth that "kids" should not get their hands on the games, then the only time the law wo
        • by sqlrob (173498)
          "I feel that" and "Law should say" are completely different things. Are some kids capable of handling violent games? Sure, and I can't say which ones a priori, nor am I attempting to, unlike the law.
    • by Khaed (544779) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @12:55PM (#18784269)
      I'm an adult, and I have a problem with it.

      If the law just targets video games, then that is unfair. Other than pornography, there are no laws about content being sold to minors.

      Video games, like movies, are voluntarily rated. There is no law to enforce the movie ratings, as far as I am aware, and so there shouldn't be one for video games.

      Another poster here said, "All media, or none." And I agree.
    • by Hatta (162192)
      The only group I would think could possibly object is minors.

      And they don't vote so who cares! It's not like kids are humans with rights or anything.
    • by garcia (6573)
      The simple fact of the matter is that the government isn't there to parent our children for us.
    • I think it usually comes down to the definition of the content that they want to restrict to minors. In the case of sexual material, the courts have accepted the governments evidence that exposure to sexual material is bad for kids, and thus the government has a legitimate compelling interest in restricting access to that material. They do not have the same convincing studies to show that violent content, in general, is harmful to children, and so they try to come up with definitions that pass muster as "
    • by Itchyeyes (908311)
      For starters there's this pesky thing called the Constitution. Which is why laws such as this have been struck down by courts in every single state that they've been introduced. In several of those cases, judges have gone so far as to award the game industry millions of dollars in compensation. In the most recent case to be struck down, a Louisiana judge harshly criticized legislators for letting the law pass in the first place.

      The court is dumbfounded that the attorney general and the state are in the position of having to pay taxpayer money as attorneys fees and costs in this lawsuit. The act which this court found unconstitutional passed through committees in both the State House and Senate, and to be promptly signed by the Governor.

      There are lawyers at each stage of this process. Some of the members of these committees are themselves lawyers. Presumably, they have staff members who are attorneys as well. The State House and Senate certainly have staff members who are attorneys. The governor has additional attorneys - the executive counsel.

      Prior to the passage of the Act there were a number of reported cases from a number of jurisdictions which held similar statutes to be unconstitutional (and in which the defendant was ordered to pay substantial attorney's fees). The Court wonders why nobody objected to the enactment of this statute. In this court's view the taxpayers deserve more from their elected officials.

      So not only are these laws patently illegal, but they're a complete waste of

    • by Atzanteol (99067)

      but what's the objection to this?

      Your thinking is completely backwards. Those proposing the law should try to prove to *me* why it is necessary, not the other way around. The requirements for passing a law should not be "I don't see a problem with it" but rather "I believe this law is necessary for society."

      Thinking "I don't think children should see violence" is a far cry from "children seeing violence is destroying society."

  • While we're at it... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by KenshoDude (1001993) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @12:51PM (#18784199)

    Lets ban children from watching, listening to, or reading the news. There are all kinds of accounts of anti-social behaviors contained in the news. Shouldn't we be "protecting the children" from that too?

    Besides, are social problems like school related shootings really being encouraged by video games, or is it possible that massive news coverage plays a larger role? I mean, I take what I see on TV to be a lot more "real" and "possible" than anything I see on a video game.

    • by s20451 (410424)
      The news doesn't generally show you the really graphic stuff.

      The main problem is that the anti-game lobby has a compelling story to tell: "Participating in simulated violence predisposes you to commit violent acts." It's intuitive and easy to understand, which is why it has currency -- even if it's incorrect.

      Meanwhile, the gamers' story is: "If a nine-year-old wants to blow somebody's simulated head off, and see the blood run everywhere, over and over, hundreds of times a night, there's nothing wrong with
    • Lets ban children from watching, listening to, or reading the news. There are all kinds of accounts of anti-social behaviors contained in the news. Shouldn't we be "protecting the children" from that too?

      Or from reading the bible.

      Violence:

      "And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel." (Judges 19:29)

      "Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David's hand. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it." (1 Samuel 17:50-51)

      "And I will set My jealousy against you, that they may deal with you in wrath. They will remove your nose and your ears; and your survivors will fall by the sword. They will take your sons and your daughters; and your survivors will be consumed by the fire." (Ezekiel 23:25)

      "And when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its environs, from two years old and under...." (Matthew 2:16)

      Suicide:

      "Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

      "And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him." (I Samuel 31:4-5)

      Sex:

      "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, as a long hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times." (Proverbs 5:18-19)

      "Your stature is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters. I said, 'I will climb the palm tree. I will take hold of its fruit stalks.' Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine and the fragrance of your breath like apples." (Song of Solomon 7:7-8)

      "Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king's house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, 'Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?' And David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, and said, 'I am pregnant.'" (2 Samuel 11:1-5)

      Incest:

      "And Lot went up to Zo'ar, and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zo'ar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.

      "And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth:

      "Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

      "And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

      "And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

      "And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.

      "Thus were both daughters of Lot with child by their father." (Genesis 19:30-36)

      Sources:
      Ban the Bible? [loompanics.com]
      Saving our children from the bible [elroy.net]

      Please keep in mind I'm not actually suggesting that the bible should be baned or anything like that.

    • by bagsc (254194)
      Also, we'll need to 'fix' all our history and social science textbooks, so that no mentions of crime, war, sex, or immoral actions are mentioned.
      Added bonus: when the giant books are purged down to a couple pages, they'll be cheaper and easier to read!
  • Here we go again. (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrShaggy (683273) <chris DOT anderson AT hush DOT com> on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @12:53PM (#18784237) Journal
    Interesting that the supreme court(?) has just struck down this very same bill, in Louisiana. The Judge berated the state for trying to undermine the constitution, as well as not seeing what has happened to very similar bills in other states. They also made the state pay out the 94,000$ in lawyer fees that the gaming industry had to pay in order to fight this.

    Apparently there was a quote from the group responsible for the bill saying that they would try again. Millions of dollars wasted in 'thinking of the children', when most stores do that anyway.
    • I"m pretty sure it was the Louisiana supreme court and not the US supreme court. However, courts from Indiana, Oaklahoma, the 9th circuit of appeals, and numerous other courts have ruled such laws unconstitutional.
      • Those were entirly different.
        This one just implements the same rules regarding buying a ticket to an R movie.
        Big fucking deal.
        A parent isn't , and can not be, around there teenagers 24/7. It isn't possible and would be unhealthy for the child.

        Theya re not banning the games, or even banning minor from playing them, only purchasing them, and if a Teenagers needs toi sneak off to buy a game, then they are most likly violating there parents whishes. A lot of people say it's up to the parents, and they are right
  • by Jarjarthejedi (996957) <christianpinch AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @12:54PM (#18784249) Journal
    So he wants to make sure that certain violent games, let's presume for the moment he means M rated for the sake of argument and then deal with T, cannot be bought by people younger than 17...does New York not already have this law? I know for a fact that in Arizona selling an M rated game to a minor is illegal and actually punishable by some law, I had to show my driver's license to buy Counter Strike.

    The only thing I can see about this bill that might concern people is the definition of violent. If, by that, the bill means M rated then who cares. M rated is supposed to be sold to 17 year olds or older, so now it'll be enforced by law, that's nice. Now then, if by violent the bill intends for all games with violence, with no care to the rating, to be sold to 17 or older then we have a problem, especially since every game has violence except the most absolutely boring arcade games.

    That's all I'm concerned about, how is a violent video game defined? I'd presume by the movie part as well that it means M rated but hey, it's politics, they could very well mean to ban all games in one fell swoop.
    • by oneiron (716313) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @01:11PM (#18784567)
      I know for a fact that in Arizona selling an M rated game to a minor is illegal and actually punishable by some law, I had to show my driver's license to buy Counter Strike.

      So, you don't think it could just be a store policy that prompted them to ask for your driver's license? Not all store policies are based on laws, you know. You really should be a bit more sure before you use a phrase like, "I know for a fact..."
    • by bockelboy (824282) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @01:25PM (#18784827)

      I know for a fact that in Arizona selling an M rated game to a minor is illegal and actually punishable by some law

      I know for a fact this is not true. For a writeup of this, see:
      http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070223-8915 .html [arstechnica.com]
      Video game restrictions, unless if it has something to do with pornography, are voluntary, just like movie restrictions are. Now, mind you, you have to look hard to find someone willing to violate these restrictions, which is why many people mistake this for a law.
  • I'm all for it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Russ1642 (1087959)
    I'm all for a law like the one mentioned but it won't work at all anyway since Grandma will buy Junior any game wants for Christmas. They need to teach clerks at stores to ask people who the game is intended for so they know what they're buying.

    I know a ten year old who was playing GTA San Andreas and thought that the dildo he found in the police station was a purple balloon. He's running around beating people up with it when I walk in and ask him where he found that weapon. Well, I'm still laughing. His mu
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @12:56PM (#18784309) Homepage
    Parents have been basically regulated into the ground by governments like this one. They can't punish their kids without social services show up, can't buy their kid a handgun and let them carry it in their own car to a range, even if the kid is a 100% balanced eagle scout, can't let them drink, can't let them do that. All the while the parents shoulder most of the blame if their kid does anything wrong.

    That's why I say fuck the "community." The only person raised by a village was a feral, tribalist, not a civilized human being.
    • No, I think parents have down in quality. Because they can't help but blame other people for their problems. A kid carrying a gun for you seems like a accident waiting to happen. If you let your kid do this you need to remove both of you from the gene pool asap before you hurt someone. You may not hit your kid so hard that they need medical attention but generally corpral punishment is still legal. I can spank my kid or rap his knuckles but punching him in the face is a bit much.

      Parents are too caught up wi
  • gamestop (Score:3, Insightful)

    by otacon (445694) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @12:58PM (#18784337)
    Gamestop's new policy seems to be working, I'm 23, about 6'2'' 210lbs...and definatley look older than 16...and I got IDed at gamestop buying F.E.A.R. and I don't carded for cigarettes or alcohol.
  • by bigbigbison (104532) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @12:59PM (#18784353) Homepage
    So when "Spitzer said he wants to restrict access to these videos and games by children, similar to motion picture regulations which prohibit youths under 17 from being admitted to R-rated movies without a parent or adult guardian." Either Spitzer is ignorant about the law, he is lying just to get headlines, or just possibly he knows there aren't any such laws and so it would be technically correct to say that there will be regulations "similar" to film regulations.

    Either way he is an ass.

    There are no laws in the USA regulating the sale of any entertainment medium. There are regulations on things like porn, but those are a genre and they are notoriously vague in that at least once a year a comic book store gets busted for selling comic books with drawings of boobs.

    If videogames were to be singled out there would have to be a mountain of evidence that shows that they are dangerous to children. No such mountain exists. Therefore, it is just singling out videogames because it is an easy way to look like you are "looking out for families."
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by SighKoPath (956085)
      In New York, it is illegal for movie theaters to admit children under 17 to R-rated films without a parent present (I know, I grew up there, and every time I'm there, I still get ID'd for R-rated films). Spitzer simply wants to extend this regulation to the retail sale of BOTH video games and movies. Also, the article mentions that it is according to the RATINGS of the media.

      I know it's too much to expect those here on /. to RTFA, but all of the above is mentioned in TFA, though in far fewer words.
      • This is one of the most common misconceptions and quite likely the one that Spitzer also holds. The theater may check ids but that is not because of a law. It is because of the MPAA - an organization made by the film industry itself and not run by the government. I am under the impression that the MPAA will fine or withhold films from theaters if they get caught admiting unaccompanied minors to R-rated films. This is the industry regulating itself and not the government regulating it.

        There is no law req
    • They are refering to the fact that you can't go to a movie theatre to see an R rated movie if you are under 17 without a parent or guardian. I don't know if that's law or if it's just a very very very common practice done by movie theatres, but all they were doing is making a comparison to make us understand what he is trying to accomplish.
    • by jez9999 (618189)
      Films have ratings in the US, right? So you're seriously telling me it's totally legal for a movie theater to knowingly let a minor into an adult-rated movie over there? I'm quite surprised, if so.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by chaidawg (170956)
        To everyone who questioned the "there is no law" statement, it is correct. There is no law in the US prohibiting access of minors to the movies. It is industry regulation by the MPAA that they enforce by threatening to pull movies from theaters that violate the policy. The MPAA created these regulations precisely so Congress would not legislate on the matter.
      • Yes it is. The films are rated by the MPAA which is an organization created by the movie industry. It is not a government organization. It is an organization that was created by the movie industry to prevent the creation of a government ratings board. I beleive, but may be wrong, that the theaters could be fined by the MPAA if they get caught letting minors into an R-rated film.

        There is also nothing preventing a kid from buying an R-Rated film from Wal-Mart or what is much more common, the special "unra
    • Interestingly the article also says that he wants to extend the death penalty to people who kill cops or those labeled as "Terrorists". No specific context is given to explain a) why such measures are needed as killing cops and terrorism can already get the death penalty in many ways (e.g. capitol murder or federal executions) or b) how "terrorists" would be defined according to the law.

      As vague as the definition of "porn" is "terrorism" is just as loose, and far more telegenic.

  • On of the producers of Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] quipped, "I am willing to allow that gamers are more prone to violence so long as we agree that this violence is largely directed against peripherals." I haven't seen any real evidence that violent video games have any detrimental effects on kids in general, and in my personal experience I've seen the opposite [slashdot.org].

    But frankly, I'd be perfectly happy to have things be a bit more European around here, with less tolerance for violence in the media and also less prudish reserve

  • Wouldn't it be novel if, instead of telling us how the poor children need to be protected from violent video games or movies or comic books or sinful negro music, a politician who claims to be concerned about our children's welfare has a major campaign to get them better medical care and education?
  • Let me preface this post by first saying that I have played plenty of games of many different kinds, whether they be FPSs, RTSs, or RPGs. Some were not violent while others were.

    I don't see this issue as a matter of whether video games are bad for children. This issue has more to do with society and how it relates to family and more generally accountability. Fifty years ago, a matter like this wouldn't really be a question since parents either wouldn't give children money to buy such things. If this wou
  • by prakslash (681585) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @01:25PM (#18784831)
    First of all, Spitzer is not an ass.

    Like many slashdotters, I have an extremely low view of politcians but Spitzer is a good man.

    When he was in New York District Attorney's office, he single-handedly ended the Gambino crime family. When he became New York's Attorney General, he showed a great zeal in going after biggest Wall Street firms like Goldman Scahs, JP Morgan that were inflating stock prices and giving biased investment advice to customers. He did it inspite of a great deal of pressure. Then, he went after music companies practising "payola" schemes to get their songs played on radio. He didnt even spare huge insurance companies like AIG and chip manufacturers practicing price-fixing and other fraud.

    Even in the current case, he is NOT against violent video games. He is just against the SALE of mature-rated video games to minors. This is no different than preventing minors from purchasing tickets to R-rated movies

    • by faloi (738831)
      This is no different than preventing minors from purchasing tickets to R-rated movies

      Except that no law prohibits minors from purchasing tickets to R-rated movies. And the only thing preventing poor little Johnny from turning the TV on in his room to watch some R-rated flick on TV is the same thing that would prevent him from playing M-rated games...good parenting.
    • by Krater76 (810350)
      This is no different than preventing minors from purchasing tickets to R-rated movies.

      And that's not illegal either. A guideline set forth by an independent ratings board isn't a law.

      If I worked at a movie theater I could sell a ticket to a minor, and honestly, when I worked at one way back in high school I did it all the time. I never let someone grossly underage in, but I didn't give a second thought to those who looked close enough.

      It's very difficult for a 17-year-old to ask some who 'could be
  • If at first you don't succeed [slashdot.org], just keep trying, right? Hey, it's not their money these scumbag politicians are wasting each time they get their state(s) sued over these idiotic laws, right?

  • by Biff Stu (654099) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @01:29PM (#18784887)
    I'm sick of getting my butt kicked by teenage punks in Unreal Tournament.
  • I grew up reading things like Robert E Howard novels. The hero would be slipping on the decks of ships from all the blood while a man that was just gutted by a sword grabbed at his own entrails. Shakespear is full of violence and if the Colubine kids had read The Art of War they might have done a lot more damage and it's thousands of years old. I've got no problem restricting the sale to minors I'm concerned about over reactions and the witch hunts that follow. Like all good witch hunts they rarely burn the
  • He only gets re-elected because he passes such laws, which inherently appeal to parents of children and old people or he passes other laws which are good for certain business. In the mean time small business (like mine) and young professionals do get undermined by a lot of fees to get anything done in NYS.

    Another thing is the harsher laws on DWI (and DWAI) only account for more 'poor' people that get caught to lose their jobs and life. I know a guy, that has been re-applying for his license for years. The D
  • New Jersey would like to take this momment to thank the Governor of New York for sending even more tax revenue their way. They invite NYC residents to their malls, now with an even bigger video game selection.
  • http://www.ridiculopathy.com/news_detail.php?id=1 8 12 [ridiculopathy.com]

    The piece is clearly satire. There are notices to that effect all over the site, but all the same it's become sadly prophetic:

    In what can only be described as a massive fraud, the American news media is trying to convince viewers and readers that the villain behind the VT massacre was 23-year-old student Cho Seung-Hui just because he was the one who happened to be holding the gun that happened to pump hundreds of rounds of ammunition into his unwitting cl

  • What happens to the law. He knows just as well as everyone else that this law will get struck down as unconstitutional. What he is seeking is to establish himself as the politician who did something to protect the children.

    However, elections are coming up for the Republican party, and he needs to show the people that the Republicans are thinking of the children. It doesn't matter what the ultimate fate of the bill is, this is just political posturing for himself and the Republican party.

    The Republic

    • Spitzer is a _Democrat_, and a newly elected one at that.
    • by LinuxWhore (90833)
      Once again, the question I have is: Why is it every time a Slashdot story is posted negatively portraying a Republican, the (R) is prominently displayed as if it were the scarlet letter "A"? However, it seems any time a story is negatively portraying a Democrat, the (D) is strangely absent.

      Next thing you know you've got people blindly blaming the Republican party for idiotic actions of a Democrat governor.

      Back to the point, the real issue is that here yet another Democrat sees government as the solution to
  • ...but, as a supporter of the death penalty [gothamgazette.com], pro Real Death. Good luck with that.
  • by bagsc (254194) on Wednesday April 18, 2007 @02:19PM (#18785777) Journal
    Let's develop a game that shows the world that violence isn't the problem.

    In this game, you should get points for:
      humiliating and ostracizing people who are different from you,
      evading taxes by exploiting questionable tax breaks,
      using barely legal accounting practices,
      manipulating other people's emotions for political objectives,
      taking campaign contributions that create conflicts of interest,
      and suing people under immoral circumstances for profit.

    Personally, I'd rather kids pretend to shoot people.
  • Seriously, I know its the parent's responsibility to raise their children right (ask 100 parents to define "right", and you will get 100 different answers), but parents can't be there all the time, and once kids get mobile, whats to stop them from doing stupid stuff? I know I did...

    Are you for removing the restrictions on alcohol, tobacco, firearms & movies (including porn)?
    How about restrictions on driving?
    How about the age of consentual sex or entering into binding contracts?
    Whats the difference?
    Why d

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