When Games are Sold Like Guns: An Interview with the ECA's Hal Halpin

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I have already started importing uncensored games from Europe. Mortal Kombat for the PS3 and more will follow.

Russ Pitts:

Frankly, I can't imagine the State of California - if it goes all the way to the Supreme Court and is rejected - would permit him to waste the state's time and money further.

I though they were bankrupt.

Why not move bid game game even geek related events out if California(E3 can come to Buffalo we got the space). Enough is enough if someone is hitting you in the arm over and over again you1 don't just stay there and let it continue you move away.

Irridium:

But it doesn't need any more incentive. If a worker sells a violent game to a kid, he gets fired. No ifs, ands, or buts. This law is a pointless waste of time and money.

And what if a store simply decides that they don't give a shit about the regulations? Recall back to what you said in the first place:

Which is why almost every gaming establishment already doesn't sell to minors.

Note the bolded text. That's why it needs more incentive. To pick up the slack where self regulation fails.

The only way kids can really play a violent game is to either A)go over to a friends house to play it, or B) have their parent buy it for them.

See above. That's not the only way, because even you've admitted that not all retailers play by the rules. There's also the issue of friends or adults who aren't parents or guardians buying games for kids. If this law was passed I would assume it would allow them to be charged. Much as an adult can be charged here for willfully providing a minor with alcohol.

The_root_of_all_evil:

No. That's Fascism.

The Government's job is to set restrictions, not enforce. That's the Police's job. Once you get a Government enforcing, that is past the slippery slope into freefall.

Fair enough. Its the government's job to set restrictions and then allocate funding to the police who then enforce them. Thanks for the tip.

As for your other responses, I feel I must apologise. I've been discussing this under the assumption that your ID cards would not work any differently to the ones we have where I live. We don't have card readers for ID. We do for credit and debit cards obviously and datamining almost definitely occurs, but personal ID is in no way recorded from an ID card.
What confuses me is this. Disregarding the fear of being pick pocketed (an irrational fear from my POV, but then again that could be another difference between where we each live) how do you justify the fear of companies datamining your ID card, when they can assumedly do the same with your credit and debit card which I gather you use for your purchases. Or at least some of them.

I think the real issue here is not this law, but rather the lack of respect for your personal information. If your purchase information was prohibited from being recorded/released alongside your name. If companies can see that 20 males under age 30 bought women's lingerie last month, they still have the information they need for marketing reasons, whilst they (and anyone else trying to use the info) can't link said information to an individual.
Nonetheless, I suppose the current state of things is justification enough to dislike what's being suggested. It works here in Australia however and when we do get an R rating, which I'm pretty confident we will (eventually) I'll be happy in the knowledge that providing a minor with an R rated game will be a chargeable offense, and as an adult I won't have to fear my ID card being used to gather information about me, though I'll likely use my debit card, good thing I don't care who knows that I'm buying Killslaughter or Sexfornicator...

Ok so the second one I'd probably rather be kept from my family friends and employer... I may pay cash for that.

DTWolfwood:
2) (THE POINT) If the case wins, Videogames will not be protected by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, press, and freedom of religion) Since it isn't covered, it CAN be restricted for content, censored, banned, and games will have creative limitations placed on to them by the GOVERNMENT

That sounds like the UK's games regulations to me.

No, seriously. It's illegal to sell 16+/18+ games to children under said ages, and the government has the powers to censor, restrict and ban games (which, AFAIK, they've used twice: Carmageddon and Manhunt 2. Both eventually got released).

And yet I don't hear people asking for the restrictions to be lifted.

Ultimately, I can't help but feel the lot of you is making a mountain out of a molehill.

fletch_talon:

Irridium:

But it doesn't need any more incentive. If a worker sells a violent game to a kid, he gets fired. No ifs, ands, or buts. This law is a pointless waste of time and money.

And what if a store simply decides that they don't give a shit about the regulations? Recall back to what you said in the first place:

Which is why almost every gaming establishment already doesn't sell to minors.

Note the bolded text. That's why it needs more incentive. To pick up the slack where self regulation fails.

The only way kids can really play a violent game is to either A)go over to a friends house to play it, or B) have their parent buy it for them.

See above. That's not the only way, because even you've admitted that not all retailers play by the rules. There's also the issue of friends or adults who aren't parents or guardians buying games for kids. If this law was passed I would assume it would allow them to be charged. Much as an adult can be charged here for willfully providing a minor with alcohol.

Yes, there are areas where kids sometimes get a hold of games on their own. But these areas and times are few. Very few. So few it may as well be negligible. Most of those few times may simply have be mistakes.

Plus, stores won't just stop checking for ID or stuff like that. Because if it doesn't, it will have a lot of angry consumers on their hands. Plus, movies, books, and music are protected by the first amendment. They don't have to follow any rules when selling them, yet they do. Because its common sense. Because A) they will have a lot of angry consumers on their hands, which would lead to bad press and less profit, and B) no one wants to give kids violent stuff.

And besides, do you really think someone should be fined, or possibly jailed for selling a violent game to a kid? Especially when it would have been a simple mistake?

Irridium:

Yes, there are areas where kids sometimes get a hold of games on their own. But these areas and times are few. Very few. So few it may as well be negligible. Most of those few times may simply have be mistakes.

Plus, stores won't just stop checking for ID or stuff like that. Because if it doesn't, it will have a lot of angry consumers on their hands. Plus, movies, books, and music are protected by the first amendment. They don't have to follow any rules when selling them, yet they do. Because its common sense. Because A) they will have a lot of angry consumers on their hands, which would lead to bad press and less profit, and B) no one wants to give kids violent stuff.

And besides, do you really think someone should be fined, or possibly jailed for selling a violent game to a kid? Especially when it would have been a simple mistake?

Well as far as I know, it would only incur a fine. I 've never heard of someone getting jail time for providing minors with alcohol, let alone R rated media. And I'd see no problem if they were fined.

I think, like I was implying in my message to Root_of_all_Evil, that there's a big issue of cultural difference here. We already have laws like this in place here in Australia and things work fine, some would disagree, but I'm quite happy with things.

Delusibeta:

DTWolfwood:
2) (THE POINT) If the case wins, Videogames will not be protected by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, press, and freedom of religion) Since it isn't covered, it CAN be restricted for content, censored, banned, and games will have creative limitations placed on to them by the GOVERNMENT

That sounds like the UK's games regulations to me.

No, seriously. It's illegal to sell 16+/18+ games to children under said ages, and the government has the powers to censor, restrict and ban games (which, AFAIK, they've used twice: Carmageddon and Manhunt 2. Both eventually got released).

And yet I don't hear people asking for the restrictions to be lifted.

Ultimately, I can't help but feel the lot of you is making a mountain out of a molehill.

i wish i was articulate enough to explain to you y this case has so much significance to us AMERICANS and to GAMERS in general.

see we have laws that the GOVERNMENT MUST FOLLOW, and we have laws the CITIZENS MUST FOLLOW, when the GOVERNMENT tries to break one of the laws it is suppose to follow, we the CITIZENS have to the right to call them out on it. THIS IS ONE OF THOSE CASES WHERE THEY ARE TRYING TO CIRCUMVENT A LAW THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO FOLLOW, to make an EXCEPTION. when you allow ONE exception, what's stopping them from making more EXCEPTIONS?

y is it so hard for yall to grasp? I mean seriously do you not have a set of laws written down that protect your civil rights?

have yall gotten so use to getting bent over by your government that you can't see the implications? THIS LAW IS IRRELEVANT short term. but it becomes a stepping stone for future infringements of our rights, *added*should it pass. We CANNOT make an exception no matter how right the law may sound

JJMUG:

Russ Pitts:

Frankly, I can't imagine the State of California - if it goes all the way to the Supreme Court and is rejected - would permit him to waste the state's time and money further.

I though they were bankrupt.

Why not move bid game game even geek related events out if California(E3 can come to Buffalo we got the space). Enough is enough if someone is hitting you in the arm over and over again you1 don't just stay there and let it continue you move away.

I live in California and this state is run by freaking moon logic. They most certainly will allow Leland Yee to reintroduce this bill as many times as he wants. Much in the same way they let Gil Cedillo constantly reintroduce illegal alien amnesty bills that continually get shot down. Hence why they call him "One-Bill Gil". I would most certainly sign this petition. This is a trampling of our first amendment rights by the State of California and it needs to be put down permanently.

Oh and you can be damn well sure if this bill does pass, the games industry will move out of California, en masse. And E3 and other conventions and shows will probably be relocated to Seattle.

Delusibeta:

DTWolfwood:
2) (THE POINT) If the case wins, Videogames will not be protected by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, press, and freedom of religion) Since it isn't covered, it CAN be restricted for content, censored, banned, and games will have creative limitations placed on to them by the GOVERNMENT

That sounds like the UK's games regulations to me.

No, seriously. It's illegal to sell 16+/18+ games to children under said ages, and the government has the powers to censor, restrict and ban games (which, AFAIK, they've used twice: Carmageddon and Manhunt 2. Both eventually got released).

And yet I don't hear people asking for the restrictions to be lifted.

Ultimately, I can't help but feel the lot of you is making a mountain out of a molehill.

Pretty much. As someone in the UK, who's lived with the BBFC/PEGI system for many years, I don't see the problem with a legally enforceable ratings system, like the one that was discussed for the US not long ago (does that tie into this? I forget).

The whole point of a legally enforced system, in my opinion, is not to restrict sales or to force censorship, it's to put the power in the hands of the right people - the adult consumer or the parent of the consumer. As I'm currently 20, I can go into a store and buy any game I want or any film I want, bring it home and my mum is none the wiser, but go back 3-4 years and if I wanted an 18 rated game or film she would have to buy it for me, therefore she would control what goes in and out of the house.

As for censorship, it's not often that big of a deal in the UK. North America had a censored version of The Witcher, but the UK didn't, as an example. We do censor some games over here, but no where near as many as Germany or Australia.

This is ridiculous. Let's take another form of media, things like undergarment ads and the like. The media portrays men and women as people with sexy, toned bodies and are often times shown in an unrealistic light, much like video games. The whole modeling industry has had a profound effect on society, much of which I find to be negative. You don't see me trying to legislate modeling because it causes people to have self esteem issues.

coldalarm:

Delusibeta:

DTWolfwood:
2) (THE POINT) If the case wins, Videogames will not be protected by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, press, and freedom of religion) Since it isn't covered, it CAN be restricted for content, censored, banned, and games will have creative limitations placed on to them by the GOVERNMENT

That sounds like the UK's games regulations to me.

No, seriously. It's illegal to sell 16+/18+ games to children under said ages, and the government has the powers to censor, restrict and ban games (which, AFAIK, they've used twice: Carmageddon and Manhunt 2. Both eventually got released).

And yet I don't hear people asking for the restrictions to be lifted.

Ultimately, I can't help but feel the lot of you is making a mountain out of a molehill.

Pretty much. As someone in the UK, who's lived with the BBFC/PEGI system for many years, I don't see the problem with a legally enforceable ratings system, like the one that was discussed for the US not long ago (does that tie into this? I forget).

The whole point of a legally enforced system, in my opinion, is not to restrict sales or to force censorship, it's to put the power in the hands of the right people - the adult consumer or the parent of the consumer. As I'm currently 20, I can go into a store and buy any game I want or any film I want, bring it home and my mum is none the wiser, but go back 3-4 years and if I wanted an 18 rated game or film she would have to buy it for me, therefore she would control what goes in and out of the house.

As for censorship, it's not often that big of a deal in the UK. North America had a censored version of The Witcher, but the UK didn't, as an example. We do censor some games over here, but no where near as many as Germany or Australia.

Power to the right people? I hate to say it, I really don't feel comfortable giving that kind of power to the Federal Government. Oh and you don't know what the effects will be. To me I always assume worst case scenario, because if I don't, then I could end up regretting it later on.

The UK might handle their games in a decent way, but that doesn't mean The US will...

fletch_talon:

Irridium:

Yes, there are areas where kids sometimes get a hold of games on their own. But these areas and times are few. Very few. So few it may as well be negligible. Most of those few times may simply have be mistakes.

Plus, stores won't just stop checking for ID or stuff like that. Because if it doesn't, it will have a lot of angry consumers on their hands. Plus, movies, books, and music are protected by the first amendment. They don't have to follow any rules when selling them, yet they do. Because its common sense. Because A) they will have a lot of angry consumers on their hands, which would lead to bad press and less profit, and B) no one wants to give kids violent stuff.

And besides, do you really think someone should be fined, or possibly jailed for selling a violent game to a kid? Especially when it would have been a simple mistake?

Well as far as I know, it would only incur a fine. I 've never heard of someone getting jail time for providing minors with alcohol, let alone R rated media. And I'd see no problem if they were fined.

I think, like I was implying in my message to Root_of_all_Evil, that there's a big issue of cultural difference here. We already have laws like this in place here in Australia and things work fine, some would disagree, but I'm quite happy with things.

Indeed. Culturally it is a big clash, since the general "freedom" of everything we have in the U.S. compared to, well from my perspective, a lot of control and censorship in Australia.

From the way the bill is advertised, it seems that selling violent games to kids would possibly be a jailable offence. And what would be considered "so violent its jailable" is a whole other can of worms.

This whole thing is a mess really. Twelve other courts voted for games on laws just like this. Hell, according to a recent news post on this site, everyone knows these laws are unconstitutional. This is why I'm so against them. Well, that and the fact that they would cause many restrictions on my favorite hobby, but mainly it infringes on the rights guaranteed by our constitution.

Much like EIC Russ Pitts I am also a gamer and a shooter. In today's world it really sucks to be me. Seems like all the things I enjoy are coming under attack.

I don't get it. I'm just minding my own business, either trying to play single player PC games or shooting zombie targets and trying to core out the 10 ring at the range. Who did I piss off just trying to enjoy myself?

Delusibeta:

DTWolfwood:
2) (THE POINT) If the case wins, Videogames will not be protected by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, press, and freedom of religion) Since it isn't covered, it CAN be restricted for content, censored, banned, and games will have creative limitations placed on to them by the GOVERNMENT

That sounds like the UK's games regulations to me.

No, seriously. It's illegal to sell 16+/18+ games to children under said ages, and the government has the powers to censor, restrict and ban games (which, AFAIK, they've used twice: Carmageddon and Manhunt 2. Both eventually got released).

And yet I don't hear people asking for the restrictions to be lifted.

Ultimately, I can't help but feel the lot of you is making a mountain out of a molehill.

Thats fine and dandy for the UK, but the US is a different beast.

The only way for this regulation to be legal in the US is if videogames were not covered under the First Amendment (The one that prevents the government from restricting free speech, etc). This (obviously) has one of two situations.

One, videogames are covered under the First Amendment. If they are covered, the regulation would be against the Constitution of the United States and should be opposed on that alone.

Two, videogames are not covered under the First Amendment. If they are not covered then the government is free to restrict them however the hell they please, with no (Or very, very, little.) legal recourse to prevent it. So if some politician in america decides to propose a bill saying violent video games are banned and anyone found possessing one, gets fined/imprisoned, and gets it passed then there jackshit that can be done about it. Given that people are great at justifying things if they have a "Think of the children." mentality, theres a decent chance of it happening to some degree or another. In this case, it should still be opposed because of all the unpleasant places it can and likely will lead.

If anything, this thread proves that arguing against the merits of this law is a fool's game. All it does is let those that want the law passed keep the debate in the realm of opinion(i.e. government regulation vs. industry regulation). There is only one thing that matters where this law is concerned. Whatever California's opinion on the effects of games, whatever their feelings on the effectiveness of current industry regulation(and the industry isn't the weak link here), the government does not have the authority to restrict free speech in America. That right is, and should continue to be beyond their reach.

Forget what the legislators want you to hear. This is what the law is about.

I have yet to hear anyone mention that, legal matters aside, the passing of this bill simply damages the reputation of video games as a whole, and considering how bitchy and greedy game companies are acting right now, another huge hit to their ability to sell games could risk crushing the whole industry, at some point gaming is going to get so heavily repressed that companies will give up on it altogether.

This thing passing at the very least is going to further reduce the amount of games and the quality of said games being made. There is just going to be a certain point when being a game company just doesn't pay the bills anymore.

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