Zero Punctuation: Video Game Voters Network

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The only free T-shirt I got at PAX. For that they get my praise and thanks.

PoisonUnagi:

Wait, remind me why I care again?

You shouldn't care.. if you're okay with the potential of every game being as mature as Barbie Pony Adventures that is. If you, on the other hand, actually enjoy games that take on challenging story content or involve some level of blood/gore then you might want to start caring.

wait this sounds like something i would hear from Extra Credit

I definitely give them my vote. Any support is better than none! I hope things change for the better because of this.

I was all emotionally prepared for yahtzee to be announcing his retirement :(

Oh well. Yeah I'll be voting whenever possible about this issue. Censorship is ridiculously stupid.

StriderShinryu:

PoisonUnagi:

Wait, remind me why I care again?

You shouldn't care.. if you're okay with the potential of every game being as mature as Barbie Pony Adventures that is. If you, on the other hand, actually enjoy games that take on challenging story content or involve some level of blood/gore then you might want to start caring.

-_-

Look at my profile, then post again.

PoisonUnagi:

mr_rubino:

PoisonUnagi:
Aw, he sold out! What a waste, now other companies will be bribing him to get their name in special episodes. I'm legitimately pissed off at Yahtzee for one of the first times yet. Shame on you.

"Companies"? How bout you be a Radiacal Individualist (TM) and put a bullet in your brain before you waste any more resources good people could be making use of?

PoisonUnagi:

Gizen:

PoisonUnagi:
Aw, he sold out! What a waste, now other companies will be bribing him to get their name in special episodes. I'm legitimately pissed off at Yahtzee for one of the first times yet. Shame on you.

Did it ever occur to you that maybe he's doing this not because he was paid, but because it's a worthy cause that's both worth fighting for, and also one that's flying under the radar and desperately needs someone with star power to call attention to it (even if it is just internet celebrity star power)? Yahtzee doesn't seem like the type of person who'd sell out for just anyone who offered him bribes, especially considering this is a 'are games art?' issue, which Yahtzee has previously sided with the 'yes they are' camp. Furthermore, the ESA, the ones who requested Yahtzee make this video, are not a corporation, they're a trade association, which are typically non-profit organizations, so it's not like they're profiting from this. It's not like people who got to VGVN are going to make the ESA money. They're raising awareness that, hey, all those video games that you love? They could potentially end up censored and butchered if some politicians get their way, and if you don't stand up and make your voice heard, they very well may succeed. And you think you're safe just because you're in a foreign country? Yeah, no, because many games are still made in the US and will be affected by any laws it passes, regardless of whether you live there, which means you get double screwed because it affects you and there's nothing you can do about it, except draw attention to it so that lazy americans get off their asses and start actually paying attention to politics.

'Kay, that's good to know.
Wait, remind me why I care again?

Remind me who you are and what effect your existence has on the march of progress in Western civilization again?

Balthassar:
So what are us, the rest of the world supposed to do? Sit back and wait?

Ain't that what you usually do when America is busy making a decision that has potential to affect the world at large?

And thank you, Valkyrie. I'm sure at least one person read that.

Ooh, a patriot! Intimidating. Your American-ness is very scary to me. Let me continue being an insignificant little fuck in the corner while America marches forward and becomes the only country that exists. I'm sure it'll be alot better for everyone, no?

As for who I am, I'm not from America, so why would you care?

As they say: Lead, follow, or sit back in your forgotten country and babble like a pampered middle-class suburban kid trying to sound like a rebel.

PoisonUnagi:

StriderShinryu:

PoisonUnagi:

Wait, remind me why I care again?

You shouldn't care.. if you're okay with the potential of every game being as mature as Barbie Pony Adventures that is. If you, on the other hand, actually enjoy games that take on challenging story content or involve some level of blood/gore then you might want to start caring.

-_-

Look at my profile, then post again.

Figured I'd check it out.. what is it I was supposed to see that was going to change my mind? I did notice your most recent Steam game was TF2, which involves gun violence towards human like characters. That's the sort of thing that might end up tossed in the trash can should the case Yahtzee is referring to end up going against gamers.

mr_rubino:
forgotten country

See, now you're just trolling.

Sorry Yahtzee, but I'm going to have to disagree with you. I AM American and of voting age, but the elephant-in-the-room is the economy. I get the distinct impression that the rest of the world has recovered faster than we have to even be mentioning this, but, regardless, our politicians have been hitting token issues like this one for special interest groups for decades; it's time they got off their butts and did something that gets people back to work. Washington is already insulated from the rest of society and easily distracted as well; we need to stand with one voice to put the economy first (without distractions from other issues). Not all of us are in the recession-proof entertainment industry. ;)

-John

StriderShinryu:

PoisonUnagi:

StriderShinryu:

PoisonUnagi:

Wait, remind me why I care again?

You shouldn't care.. if you're okay with the potential of every game being as mature as Barbie Pony Adventures that is. If you, on the other hand, actually enjoy games that take on challenging story content or involve some level of blood/gore then you might want to start caring.

-_-

Look at my profile, then post again.

Figured I'd check it out.. what is it I was supposed to see that was going to change my mind? I did notice your most recent Steam game was TF2, which involves gun violence towards human like characters. That's the sort of thing that might end up tossed in the trash can should the case Yahtzee is referring to end up going against gamers.

Ugh, looks like I have to do this for you. Hang on a moment.

image

Has anyone really looked into all the issues in the United States?

I don't keep up on it every day, but from everything I know it's all about ratings and selling to minors. This is not unusual world wide. I honestly have not seen any bans on video games being pushed as related to adults. Many countries, including the US, regulate content available to minors. On top of all that, it's about allowing minors to rent them or buy them (it does not prohibit their use). So parents can still buy any game for their kids, and their kids can play them. It simply puts the buying decision solely on the parents, which is also true for movies. So people saying video games are singled out vs. other media, I am not sure what you are getting at, and any ruling made here would certainly pertain to other media (it's been a source of contention for movies also).

Now, I am not a person that thinks violent video games cause violence, and selling to minors can be debated. Yet too many here think there is a bunch of policies being moved forward to ban video games. I don't see it. It all deals with minors, so please stay on the actual debate. No one in the US is attempting to ban games. It's about selling to minors. I am fine with most video games being made available to minors, but I can see the other side. Parents want to be able to make buying decisions on content for their children. This puts it in their hands. It they want to buy it for their kids, they can do that. Yet they get to make the decision, and that would fall into line with many of the legal rights parents have over their children.

The main issue at stake here are First Amendment rights given to children, not video games. The Constitution nor the Bill or Rights deals directly with minors, and many of those rights are denied to minors. Yet most First Amendment rights have been extended to minors within reason. That has been a gray area in US history, and I am sure the reason the Supreme Court is looking at the California case. Everything else is just a bunch of blowhard politicians that can't do a damn thing because any ban on video games for adults would be unconstitutional. So they could talk all they want, but your votes won't matter. The Supreme Court determines Constitutionality. They will now do so concerning minors First Amendment rights, which will be far reaching, not just for video games. Which makes me think they will uphold the Federal Courts decision that it is unconstitutional.

BTW...to the people taking jabs at the US on this. There is not a single video game banned in the US. Take a look at your own country, because I am betting that is not true.

edit: I have now looked at the site for VGVN. I would want no part of that. Very sensationalistic (that video on the front page is awful). I personally don't think there should be laws based on an arbitrary ratings system, but they go way over the top on their website. Thanks, but no thanks.

Wish I could help Gentlemen, but we may need such a movement (a serious one) within the EU domain..

Till then we just may spread the word.

Wolf Hagen:
Wish I could help Gentlemen, but we may need such a movement (a serious one) within the EU domain..

Till then we just may spread the word.

We need it in every domain. But yeah, EU, Canada and Australia are probably the best places to go first.

And a side note to all the haters of my first post, the ESA is a company. And of COURSE Yahtzee just randomly decided to make this video under their name.

It seems Yahtzee is channeling Jon Stewart...and I salute him for it!

Been a member for a few years now.

PoisonUnagi:

StriderShinryu:

PoisonUnagi:

StriderShinryu:

PoisonUnagi:

Wait, remind me why I care again?

You shouldn't care.. if you're okay with the potential of every game being as mature as Barbie Pony Adventures that is. If you, on the other hand, actually enjoy games that take on challenging story content or involve some level of blood/gore then you might want to start caring.

-_-

Look at my profile, then post again.

Figured I'd check it out.. what is it I was supposed to see that was going to change my mind? I did notice your most recent Steam game was TF2, which involves gun violence towards human like characters. That's the sort of thing that might end up tossed in the trash can should the case Yahtzee is referring to end up going against gamers.

Ugh, looks like I have to do this for you. Hang on a moment.

image

Thanks for the effort, and I figured that's what you may have been referring to though I was kind of hoping you had something else up your sleeve that I was missing as what you're pointing out has already been dealt with.

I'm sure NZ is a beautiful place but I'm really not sure how many games get made there though, especially without intent to sell them in the US. As others have already said numerous times, if the case Yahtzee is talking about goes through then there will be a legal age restriction in the US, which I'm taking it you get. What you don't seem to be considering is what sort of company that puts videogames in with. Stores, especially big American ones with the type of economic placement like WalMart, will almost certainly not carry something that is legally age restricted (like, say, pornography). If stores don't carry legally age restricted games then they will not be made and, on top of that, this case would set a precedent that would allow the type of material considered restrictive to be decided upon by people who don't actually play or care about games. It would start with easy targets like Postal or Manhunt type ultra violence, but just look at how riled up non-gamers got over the "sex-scene" in Mass Effect or just the option to attack police officers in GTA and so on.

If you're still left wondering why yourself, a happy resident of NZ, should care just consider the size of your native market compared to the US. The US is the biggest market in the world for games, and it includes many of the biggest game development companies. As I stated above, if US companies can't sell their own mature games in their own country they're not going to make special versions with all the mature stuff that can be sold elsewhere, they're just going to water everything down until it can be sold. If game companies in Japan or the UK can't sell their mature games to the dominant market that is the US then they will either restrict foreign development altogether or will be forced to edit their content to match US standards. Also consider that once a ruling like this goes forward in the US, governments outside of the US will have even more ammunition to crack down further on mature games in their own backyard.

jono793:
[

ONE of which has laws banning the sale of mature (by which you presumably mean '18 rated') games. Britian has, to my knowledge, banned two games in the last five years; Manhunt 2 and Rapelay. And Unlike the United States, British supermarkets will happily stock 18 rated games on their shelves without issue.

It not about banning games, its about has exactly the same law that is purposed in California. At the point of sale for a 18 rated game you have to provided proof age, if you look under 25.

Danman1:

Nobody has said that it will automatically lead to the downfall of society. What it very well could lead to is the downfall of art. Imagine if during the Renaissance the pope just declared that paintings turned people into the devil. That's an entire section of western culture and art wiped out because a grumpy old man said so.

OK the rest of the western world ALREADY HAS THIS LAW and yet somehow games are still been sold in those countries. Might that mean that over 18s are buying the games, shock and horror.

StriderShinryu:

The US has a lot more influence on what games get both made and sold the world over than the UK or Australia do. If games with mature content face legalized sale restrictions then less places will sell them (particularly the big guns like WalMart), and if less places sell them then less games with mature content will be created. And, of course, based on the approach being used in this law, exactly what constitutes "mature content" is not likely to just stop at obvious blood gore and sex. Gamers everywhere should be watching this issue closely and offering whatever support they can.

The same law is already extant in most of the democratic world, the EU alone has 500 million people living in it. The presumption that America is bigger market that the EU, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Korea combined is just plain wrong. In the UK Asda, which is owned by walmart, sells 18 rated games. Also Amazon, steam, direct to drive and gamestop all continue to sell 18 games. Most western countries already have boards that give legally enforced age requirements to films, yet somehow manage to maintain artistic freedom, in fact French and German film is considerably more political than Hollywood. Bottom line here guys, if virtually the entire western world has this law without any threat to sales or to freedom of speech, why is America so different?

StriderShinryu:

PoisonUnagi:

StriderShinryu:

PoisonUnagi:

StriderShinryu:

PoisonUnagi:

Wait, remind me why I care again?

You shouldn't care.. if you're okay with the potential of every game being as mature as Barbie Pony Adventures that is. If you, on the other hand, actually enjoy games that take on challenging story content or involve some level of blood/gore then you might want to start caring.

-_-

Look at my profile, then post again.

Figured I'd check it out.. what is it I was supposed to see that was going to change my mind? I did notice your most recent Steam game was TF2, which involves gun violence towards human like characters. That's the sort of thing that might end up tossed in the trash can should the case Yahtzee is referring to end up going against gamers.

Ugh, looks like I have to do this for you. Hang on a moment.

image

Thanks for the effort, and I figured that's what you may have been referring to though I was kind of hoping you had something else up your sleeve that I was missing as what you're pointing out has already been dealt with.

I'm sure NZ is a beautiful place but I'm really not sure how many games get made there though, especially without intent to sell them in the US. As others have already said numerous times, if the case Yahtzee is talking about goes through then there will be a legal age restriction in the US, which I'm taking it you get. What you don't seem to be considering is what sort of company that puts videogames in with. Stores, especially big American ones with the type of economic placement like WalMart, will almost certainly not carry something that is legally age restricted (like, say, pornography). If stores don't carry legally age restricted games then they will not be made and, on top of that, this case would set a precedent that would allow the type of material considered restrictive to be decided upon by people who don't actually play or care about games. It would start with easy targets like Postal or Manhunt type ultra violence, but just look at how riled up non-gamers got over the "sex-scene" in Mass Effect or just the option to attack police officers in GTA and so on.

If you're still left wondering why yourself, a happy resident of NZ, should care just consider the size of your native market compared to the US. The US is the biggest market in the world for games, and it includes many of the biggest game development companies. As I stated above, if US companies can't sell their own mature games in their own country they're not going to make special versions with all the mature stuff that can be sold elsewhere, they're just going to water everything down until it can be sold. If game companies in Japan or the UK can't sell their mature games to the dominant market that is the US then they will either restrict foreign development altogether or will be forced to edit their content to match US standards. Also consider that once a ruling like this goes forward in the US, governments outside of the US will have even more ammunition to crack down further on mature games in their own backyard.

I get what you're saying, but you've still only knocked me up to indifferent/can't really do anything at the moment anyway.

(NZ's a shitty country...)

albino boo:

The same law is already extant in most of the democratic world, the EU alone has 500 million people living in it. The presumption that America is bigger market that the EU, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Korea combined is just plain wrong. In the UK Asda, which is owned by walmart, sells 18 rated games. Also Amazon, steam, direct to drive and gamestop all continue to sell 18 games. Most western countries already have boards that give legally enforced age requirements to films, yet somehow manage to maintain artistic freedom, in fact French and German film is considerably more political than Hollywood. Bottom line here guys, if virtually the entire western world has this law without any threat to sales or to freedom of speech, why is America so different?

For me, and I bet for the Supreme Court, this is about the First Amendment to the US Constitution. The Supreme Courts main goal is to protect the US Constitution and Amendments. Many people in the US see any attack on the First Amendment as an attack on all freedoms provided under the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the other amendments. Those issues do not exist in Europe. Many people in the US, me included, see any attack on those rights as an attack on every right provided by those documents. So from that end I hope the Supreme Court upholds the ruling (as noted before, the Federal Court ruled the California law unconstitutional). I believe any retailer has a right to sell video games to whom they want (ratings right now are just a suggestion, not government ruling). Yet almost every retailer follows the rating system, so this whole thing is not a big deal other than the question of minors rights concerning the First Amendment since now the government is actually getting involved. Movies are the same way, although I believe some places do have laws concerning sale of R rated movie to minors (probably just never been brought to trial).

Yet for everyone else here, especially those in other countries, I really don't understand the issue. Maybe the problem is they don't understand the issue at hand in the US (hence why I tried to clarify it earlier). What is happening in the US has already been done in most countries. As I stated earlier, this is not a ban on any video game. It's about sales to minors.

StriderShinryu:

PoisonUnagi:

StriderShinryu:

PoisonUnagi:

StriderShinryu:

PoisonUnagi:

Wait, remind me why I care again?

You shouldn't care.. if you're okay with the potential of every game being as mature as Barbie Pony Adventures that is. If you, on the other hand, actually enjoy games that take on challenging story content or involve some level of blood/gore then you might want to start caring.

-_-

Look at my profile, then post again.

Figured I'd check it out.. what is it I was supposed to see that was going to change my mind? I did notice your most recent Steam game was TF2, which involves gun violence towards human like characters. That's the sort of thing that might end up tossed in the trash can should the case Yahtzee is referring to end up going against gamers.

Ugh, looks like I have to do this for you. Hang on a moment.

image

Thanks for the effort, and I figured that's what you may have been referring to though I was kind of hoping you had something else up your sleeve that I was missing as what you're pointing out has already been dealt with.

I'm sure NZ is a beautiful place but I'm really not sure how many games get made there though, especially without intent to sell them in the US. As others have already said numerous times, if the case Yahtzee is talking about goes through then there will be a legal age restriction in the US, which I'm taking it you get. What you don't seem to be considering is what sort of company that puts videogames in with. Stores, especially big American ones with the type of economic placement like WalMart, will almost certainly not carry something that is legally age restricted (like, say, pornography). If stores don't carry legally age restricted games then they will not be made and, on top of that, this case would set a precedent that would allow the type of material considered restrictive to be decided upon by people who don't actually play or care about games. It would start with easy targets like Postal or Manhunt type ultra violence, but just look at how riled up non-gamers got over the "sex-scene" in Mass Effect or just the option to attack police officers in GTA and so on.

If you're still left wondering why yourself, a happy resident of NZ, should care just consider the size of your native market compared to the US. The US is the biggest market in the world for games, and it includes many of the biggest game development companies. As I stated above, if US companies can't sell their own mature games in their own country they're not going to make special versions with all the mature stuff that can be sold elsewhere, they're just going to water everything down until it can be sold. If game companies in Japan or the UK can't sell their mature games to the dominant market that is the US then they will either restrict foreign development altogether or will be forced to edit their content to match US standards. Also consider that once a ruling like this goes forward in the US, governments outside of the US will have even more ammunition to crack down further on mature games in their own backyard.

The US already has a rating system, and I believe 99% of retailers follow those rules concerning sales to minors (including Walmart). So what you are talking about is already in effect. The problem that the industry has is the fear the government will take over their rating system, which right now is not government run. That is why they are fighting it. The rest I have discussed is about First Amendment rights.

Right now M rated games are sold almost everywhere, and not sold to minors. The video game industry simply wants to control the rating system and they mask it under First Amendment rights issue. Now, for me, many people in the US, and the Supreme Court that is the issue. Yet the group being promoted here is about controlling the system, not video game or First Amendment rights (although they will certainly mask it that way to get more support).

PoisonUnagi:
'Kay, that's good to know.
Wait, remind me why I care again?

A) Why don't you care? Is it because you're not from the US? Neither am I, but this can and will still affect you if you buy or play any games made by US companies.
B) You accused Yahtzee of selling out, explain to me in what way he's done so.

I'm going to quote Game Informer to maybe instill some inspiration:

Game Informer:
[after a quote saying how great it would be to get a million votes for this] One million gamers is about a quarter of the people who read this magazine every month. It's about an eighth of the people who bought Modern Warfare 2 in the first week of it's release. It's less than a tenth of the people who own WoW subscriptions. It's not an unattainable number, so if gamers want to prove that they're more than disconnected stereotypes that never come out of their mothers' basement, it's time to step up and be counted.

Hear hear!

Gizen:

PoisonUnagi:
'Kay, that's good to know.
Wait, remind me why I care again?

A) Why don't you care? Is it because you're not from the US? Neither am I, but this can and will still affect you if you buy or play any games made by US companies.
B) You accused Yahtzee of selling out, explain to me in what way he's done so.

I don't care because there's literally nothing I can do about it for another 4-6 years. Besides, I can deal with some more shitty games coming out, there's still plenty of games in the meantime that I can play. I've got three games sitting on my desktop that I haven't even played yet, it's not like I don't have enough to keep me occupied.

As for B, the ESA have clearly paid Yahtzee to get this video shown. Think about that, why the hell would Yahtzee just randomly decide to make a video about this, let alone put THIS IS A SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE ESA right at the start of it. How obvious can it be?

Hey, this would have been great if absolutely anyone on the Escapist lived in the United States and was also of voting age.

Not that it's going to stop anyone from yammering on about themselves in the comments section.

I see the Focus on the U.S. side clearly, but the problem is that even some Goverments within Europe (my Homecountry Germany beeing the most serious thread of censorship yet. Equal to Australia) the Politicians here see Games as a potential target and vote catcher whenever something goes nut with guns. Just one Exeption yet so far.

It's not just about the Market, but the freedom of the speach / giving the Elected Ladies and Gentlemen the insight that Games as they are are not equal to expensive Fisher Price Toys but more spread over every age and therefore should be self regulated instead of censored.

OH WHAT THE 30 BILLIONS SHITS IS THAT? another nazi american site that presumes all members must have US ZIP code! fuck you 38 times in a row! Don't these organisations want to have the opinion of the whole world? No cuz they're nazis.

you lost me at "American".

unfortuneatly i can't do this becuase i suffer from the crippling disbaility of being terribly terribly british. Im not talking "ello guvna!" streotype british, im talking collection of local ales and bitters, likes brass bands and rugby british.

Pugiron:
Glad evil, stupid America has a Constitution, unlike Britain, and that our Constitution has a Bill of Rights to guarantee us those rights, unlike Australia's Constitution.

Now, you act as if a lack of a bill of rights is a bad thing. It honestly isn't. While it is true that Australia does not have one, it hardly makes daily life any different. It just means we got rid of the gun nuts after the first big massacre (Port Arthur, to those not in the know), rather than having them hide behind a scrap of paper.

...Legal Studies FTW!

Beyond the rant

To call Yahtzee a sell out is rather disingenuous to his own rights. I've spent some time in Australia and for all its loveliness their are many problems with how they censor from their citizens.

Granted the site he is promoting is rather silly idea of going against the highly successful self regulation the Video Game industry does. However this is what he felt his beliefs allied on. He isn't an idiot and knows that whatever the United States does, Australia and their Black Hat neighbors will not only parrot it, but put it on steroids.

With the United States in the middle of a Electoral Revolution it is not surprising, someone as vocal as Yahtzee would throw in his hat.

It will take decades to fix the economic mess the United States put itself in over the past ten years of poor economic policies. We are also suffering from Generational welfare, which only increases poverty, crime, and more government intervention. It will take even longer to replace the activist judges who are forcing legislation from the bench.

I am sure it is only a matter of time before President Obama has no problem to rule by Fiat which he has done dozens of times, so I am sure it is a matter of time before a Czar is created or appointed to regulate video games. Remember we are talking about a administrator who by rule by fiat has made it so that the President can at anytime shutdown the internet within the United States.

Censorship is one of the oldest problems in the world, and in a free society one of the first things dictators enact.

Ocelano:

HotFezz8:
im english, isn't this just aimed at yanks?

so? yahtzhees a british voiced aussie he's doing his bit.

Off topic did anybody think something sounded different about his voice or speech pattern I spent the whole thing thinking that he sounded wrong

ah, no you misinterpretted me. what i meant was that i tried. but being british i can't contribute. and yahtzee is a brit/auzzie anyway.

Ocelano:

HotFezz8:
im english, isn't this just aimed at yanks?

so? yahtzhees a british voiced aussie he's doing his bit.

Off topic did anybody think something sounded different about his voice or speech pattern I spent the whole thing thinking that he sounded wrong

Yeah I noticed he sounded off too.

Well, this is great and all, but why is Yahtzee doing this again? I suppose he's a logical choice, as far as coverage goes.
Anyway, as an Australian, I can merely support the idea, whilst nervously glancing at our own video game issues. So I'll do that.

EHKOS:

Ocelano:

HotFezz8:
im english, isn't this just aimed at yanks?

so? yahtzhees a british voiced aussie he's doing his bit.

Off topic did anybody think something sounded different about his voice or speech pattern I spent the whole thing thinking that he sounded wrong

Yeah I noticed he sounded off too.

He sounded more like he used to, in the old videos. Can't say why, maybe it's his serious voice?

im so gonna confuse vgvn with avgn :/

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