EMA Writes to US Vice President About Violent Media

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

EMA Writes to US Vice President About Violent Media

image

The Entertainment Merchants Association says retailers are making "proactive efforts to keep violent entertainment out of the hands of children."

In the wake of the massacre of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School last December, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden took the helm of a task force aimed at drafting new gun control legislation that would, among other things, reinstate the expired ban on "assault weapons." Biden is consulting with various agencies and groups as part of that process, a chorus to which Entertainment Merchants Association Interim President Mark Fisher recently added his voice.

Fisher explained the ESRB rating system, noting that while age restrictions can't be "given the force of law," they are nonetheless enforced by the "vast majority of computer and videogame retailers." The FTC, he added, has found that game retailers enforce age ratings more "vigorously" than those of any other entertainment medium, with a "ratings enforcement" rate of 87 percent, while R-rated DVD compliance rates are at 62 percent.

He also pointed out that the EMA is not opposed to further researcher into the impact of violent media on children as called for by Senator Jay Rockefeller. "We believe in the benefits of the accretion of knowledge and we are confident that additional studies will reach the same conclusions as the multitude of previous studies - that depictions of violence have a de minimis impact on real-world violence," Fisher wrote.

"As noted above, since the Columbine tragedy, the Federal Trade Commission has done numerous studies of the marketing of violent entertainment to children - seven in twelve years, plus additional undercover shopper surveys of ratings enforcement," he continued, pointing to studies published by the Department of Education, the Secret Service, the Surgeon General and the FBI, none of which found the consumption of violent videogames to be a causative factor in youth violence. "In light of these and other reports, we would recommend that, prior to recommending another review of this topic, the federal government take stock of its existing studies and determine what new knowledge could be generated."

The letter also spends considerable space attempting to head off potential discussions of restriction game sales by reminding the VP of the "Constitutional impediments to legal restrictions on violent entertainment," and ends with an invitation to further conversation "if it would be beneficial." The EMA's letter to Vice President Biden can be read in full on Google Docs.

via: GamePolitics

Permalink

Meanwhile pro-gun people make their point by having a gun appreciation day!

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/gun-appreciation-day-before-inauguration-85844.html

Andy Chalk:
He also pointed out that the EMA is not opposed to further researcher into the impact of violent media on children as called for by Senator Jay Rockefeller.

(Emphasis mine.) Er, "research" perhaps?

Let's just hope Joe take this about as seriously as he takes everything else .

Meanwhile the pro-gun crowd are preparing a modern day book-burning. Thanks again for a reminder of who the good guys and bad guys are, EMA...

Morons; those guys are morons. The ESRB is a guide to help people get an idea what is in a particular game that may not be suitable for all ages. It is in no way just a label on the box.

Andy Chalk:
[...]Fisher explained the ESRB rating system, noting that while age restrictions can't be "given the force of law,"[...]

Is there any part of the American legal system that prevents such a thing?

I'm asking because in my country not enforcing the age restrictions for any kind of media would get a retailer into a lot of legal trouble.

bimon_1234567:

Andy Chalk:
[...]Fisher explained the ESRB rating system, noting that while age restrictions can't be "given the force of law,"[...]

Is there any part of the American legal system that prevents such a thing?

I'm asking because in my country not enforcing the age restrictions for any kind of media would get a retailer into a lot of legal trouble.

Not in the states. Almost all media, books, movies, music, and videogames are protect under freedom of speech. So it is not within our laws to keep children from media unintended for them, that is the responsibility of the parent or guardian. The only thing excluded is pornography.

BUT a majority, if not all, movie theaters, rental and retail stores adhere to the ratings on movies and videogames so they at least TRY to not allow underage children to consume content inappropriate for their age...though with varying success. I worked at a movie and videogame rental store and policy was that if I let a child and teen rent an R rated movie and my boss found out, I would be fired, no exceptions.

Joe Biden can read?! That's news to me!

In all seriousness I'd really like for the EMA to not ask the government to waste more money on pointless research >.>

I just don't understand what's a ban on violent media gonna do? kids will just find ways around it if it's an age restriction and ban on violent media isn't gonna work at all so what's the point? And also fun fact: I'm pretty sure the shooter was an adult so point is what exactly? to make us back down and say we won't make any more violent stuff you can play watch hear or read? All the money could be easily going to something more useful instead of this

William Dickbringer:
I just don't understand what's a ban on violent media gonna do?

Distract the attention away from gun control.

bimon_1234567:

Andy Chalk:
[...]Fisher explained the ESRB rating system, noting that while age restrictions can't be "given the force of law,"[...]

Is there any part of the American legal system that prevents such a thing?

I'm asking because in my country not enforcing the age restrictions for any kind of media would get a retailer into a lot of legal trouble.

There was an issue about this 2 years ago, when California was planning to make the sale of violent video games to children without their parent's consent as a felony. That didn't go through due to several reasons, among which there was the issue that, with the exception of pornography, no other medium had this sort of restriction. Books, movies, and music, even if they featured warning labels or explicit advisories, could be sold to minors without the consent of their parents. Retailers could choose not to if they felt it was inappropriate, but if they did sell the product without legal repercussions. The exception again is with pornography, since it falls under the category of obscenity and therefore is not given the same rights and freedoms that other pieces of speech have, which is why giving the same treatment for games was feared to have essentially solidified games as non-protected speech.

Interestingly, here in Canada we sort of have the same thing, where retailers who sell rated M games (as opposed to simply violent games) to anyone under 17 can face legal trouble. However, the same rule does not necessarily apply to other media, such as music or books. Movies are supposed to face similar issues as games, but often retailers don't care.

I smell... Corporate interest.

Of course the HOME VIDEO ASSOCIATION is in favour of researching VIOLENT media. Because this VIOLENT media is their direct competitor. Who wants to watch a home video when they can play videogames and hanglide on top of an angry tiger and flame grill it?

No I think we need the Bullshit translator for this here.

"The EMA promised to donate a substantial amount of money to Mr. Biden's campaign fund should he consider passing legislation that would impede the sale of videogames to prevent a continued decline of the Home video market."

There.

I wouldn't be half as pissed as I am now if they would just be honest about their greed. It's nothing to be ashamed of, we all love money. Some of us just love it more than their principles.

*Sigh* It will never end will it? Shouldn't it fall to parents to keep an eye on what their children are into (at least not to an extreme degree)?

And speaking of which...

1337mokro:
I smell... Corporate interest.

Of course the HOME VIDEO ASSOCIATION is in favour of researching VIOLENT media. Because this VIOLENT media is their direct competitor. Who wants to watch a home video when they can play videogames and hanglide on top of an angry tiger and flame grill it?

No I think we need the Bullshit translator for this here.

"The EMA promised to donate a substantial amount of money to Mr. Biden's campaign fund should he consider passing legislation that would impede the sale of videogames to prevent a continued decline of the Home video market."

There.

I wouldn't be half as pissed as I am now if they would just be honest about their greed. It's nothing to be ashamed of, we all love money. Some of us just love it more than their principles.

Um, the EMA's membership includes quite a few game publishers. Just sayin'.

DataSnake:

1337mokro:
I smell... Corporate interest.

Of course the HOME VIDEO ASSOCIATION is in favour of researching VIOLENT media. Because this VIOLENT media is their direct competitor. Who wants to watch a home video when they can play videogames and hanglide on top of an angry tiger and flame grill it?

No I think we need the Bullshit translator for this here.

"The EMA promised to donate a substantial amount of money to Mr. Biden's campaign fund should he consider passing legislation that would impede the sale of videogames to prevent a continued decline of the Home video market."

There.

I wouldn't be half as pissed as I am now if they would just be honest about their greed. It's nothing to be ashamed of, we all love money. Some of us just love it more than their principles.

Um, the EMA's membership includes quite a few game publishers. Just sayin'.

It will end :).

They used to say this about television, then radio before it, and even BOOKS of all things before that.

Sure you still find people blaming those things, but Video games is the current "new thing" and so old people are scared.

Either a new form of entertainment will appear to take its place OR the old people will die.

Either way someday Video Games will be as "Safe" as Books.

And yes, I'm fully aware there are exceptions to the rule where some books are banned in some schools or whatever.

Blablahb:

William Dickbringer:
I just don't understand what's a ban on violent media gonna do?

Distract the attention away from gun control.

You know since the shooting I have seen like 5 youtube videos all claiming that the Sandy hook shooting was a fraud and that the CIA had planted the guy they interviewed on CNN about it in order to bring about stricter gun control regulations?!

Yeah

I honestly thought they were trolling, but some people ACTUALLY believe that stuff, one guy even explained to me that I am brainwashed and should be put down by the government for it...

Anyway, yeah, good on the EMA for showing who are the decent levelheaded people in this debate, while the extreme right are off their heads screaming about "liberal conspiracies" and hosting modern day book burnings, we have people actually taking reasonable political action.

Now if you all could just get together and repeal citizens united then that would be just dandy

kajinking:
Meanwhile pro-gun people make their point by having a gun appreciation day!

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/gun-appreciation-day-before-inauguration-85844.html

I'm just saying, if teachers were armed it would be a deterent...

Mimsofthedawg:

kajinking:
Meanwhile pro-gun people make their point by having a gun appreciation day!

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/gun-appreciation-day-before-inauguration-85844.html

I'm just saying, if teachers were armed it would be a deterent...

I doubt it. Many of my teachers would have had a very difficult time bringing themselves to actually use them. I imagine that even if they did use them, and used them successfully, they would be absolutely horrified at what they'd done.

In any case, I've seen enough band-aid quick-fixes applied to social problems in my time to know that it wouldn't make anything better in the end, and this is one of the quickest, most reckless, most poorly thought-out fixes I've seen in a while. Treating symptoms does not work well. Gun control and media control are only attempts to treat the symptoms. It is the same with arming teachers. Figuring out what the real problem is takes time, honesty, and introspection. As a result, the likelihood of finding the problem, or its solution, is quite low. It will likely remain so until people stop looking for quick fixes and find the patience to seek solutions that require a length of time greater than a congressional term.

Andy Chalk:
Fisher explained the ESRB rating system, noting that while age restrictions can't be "given the force of law," they are nonetheless enforced by the "vast majority of computer and videogame retailers."

Whaa?... Not given the force of law? Retailers already get fined and sometimes have some inventory denied in the future for selling M rated games to those under 17. Methinks they're a tad confused...

Mimsofthedawg:

kajinking:
Meanwhile pro-gun people make their point by having a gun appreciation day!

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/gun-appreciation-day-before-inauguration-85844.html

I'm just saying, if teachers were armed it would be a deterent...

...And all it takes is one inattentive teacher and the gun is potentially in the hands of a 15 year old looking to take a few people with him.

bimon_1234567:

Is there any part of the American legal system that prevents such a thing?

I'm asking because in my country not enforcing the age restrictions for any kind of media would get a retailer into a lot of legal trouble.

same here, sadly. we need ti find what prevents this law and institute it here, age ratings should never ever under any circumstances be enforced, it should be as a guide only.

I continue to find it hilarious that people point at video games and film for being horrible and violent yet there's a book in about 80% of people's homes in the US that people use as justification for hate and is filled with not just rape, incest, murder, and outright genocide of the entire planet, but that is never called into question because it's their religion and they can't blame it because it's all about how to be a good person.

Yeah, ends justify the means in holy books but games or film? Nope, gotta burn 'em and try to ban 'em. Why be a good parent when you can just shift the blame?

Vausch:
I continue to find it hilarious that people point at video games and film for being horrible and violent yet there's a book in about 80% of people's homes in the US that people use as justification for hate and is filled with not just rape, incest, murder, and outright genocide of the entire planet, but that is never called into question because it's their religion and they can't blame it because it's all about how to be a good person.

Yeah, ends justify the means in holy books but games or film? Nope, gotta burn 'em and try to ban 'em. Why be a good parent when you can just shift the blame?

HEY!!!

Genocide... minus Noah and his family. Who I assume were inbreeding after that point.

OT: Why take logical action when knee jerk reactions sell better?

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Vausch:
I continue to find it hilarious that people point at video games and film for being horrible and violent yet there's a book in about 80% of people's homes in the US that people use as justification for hate and is filled with not just rape, incest, murder, and outright genocide of the entire planet, but that is never called into question because it's their religion and they can't blame it because it's all about how to be a good person.

Yeah, ends justify the means in holy books but games or film? Nope, gotta burn 'em and try to ban 'em. Why be a good parent when you can just shift the blame?

HEY!!!

Genocide... minus Noah and his family. Who I assume were inbreeding after that point.

OT: Why take logical action when knee jerk reactions sell better?

Meh, apparently been happening since after Adam and Eve... wait, technically Eve was made of Adam's rib so... does that mean she's a clone with an extra X?

Vausch:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Vausch:
I continue to find it hilarious that people point at video games and film for being horrible and violent yet there's a book in about 80% of people's homes in the US that people use as justification for hate and is filled with not just rape, incest, murder, and outright genocide of the entire planet, but that is never called into question because it's their religion and they can't blame it because it's all about how to be a good person.

Yeah, ends justify the means in holy books but games or film? Nope, gotta burn 'em and try to ban 'em. Why be a good parent when you can just shift the blame?

HEY!!!

Genocide... minus Noah and his family. Who I assume were inbreeding after that point.

OT: Why take logical action when knee jerk reactions sell better?

Meh, apparently been happening since after Adam and Eve... wait, technically Eve was made of Adam's rib so... does that mean she's a clone with an extra X?

"Oh sure Woman, you're nothing but a mutation from superior men. However, homosexuality is a choice."

Makes PERFECT sense...

DVS BSTrD:
Let's just hope Joe take this about as seriously as he takes everything else .

What do you mean? Are you referring to his claim that violent media does not have neglible effects on youths or his stance on gun control?

gigastar:

Mimsofthedawg:

kajinking:
Meanwhile pro-gun people make their point by having a gun appreciation day!

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/gun-appreciation-day-before-inauguration-85844.html

I'm just saying, if teachers were armed it would be a deterent...

...And all it takes is one inattentive teacher and the gun is potentially in the hands of a 15 year old looking to take a few people with him.

Or a 5 year old looking into the barrel and wondering what this trigger does.

The letter is a well-written response to the current media climate of "blame the violent video games". It neatly addresses both the legal precedent and constitutional implications of any kind of legislation that would limit the consumption of "violent media". Assuming anyone in power reads it and doesn't dismiss it out of hand, this should generate some interesting discussion over on The Hill.

That being said, I doubt that this will have much impact. This debate has never been about improving the lives of citizens or about fixing any kind of problems that may be present, it is about a body of politicians who see an opportunity to court voters by decrying the evils of a media without much in the way of organized corporate and legal defenses (read: lobbyists (read: legalized bribery specialists)).

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir-crime-murders-with-firearms (stats from 2002)

Oh look at that most countries that game have an almost non existent (even considering population) murder with firearms total. One would almost think it was a gun control issue and has nothing whatever to do with violent video games.

:|

Why are people so fucking stupid.

Those crazy Colombians just can't stop playing Call of Duty /sarcasm.

Also, something has to be done about mental health and further, serious bullying. Hell, when I was bullied badly at school the only thing keeping me close to sane was video games...

gigastar:

Mimsofthedawg:

kajinking:
Meanwhile pro-gun people make their point by having a gun appreciation day!

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/gun-appreciation-day-before-inauguration-85844.html

I'm just saying, if teachers were armed it would be a deterent...

...And all it takes is one inattentive teacher and the gun is potentially in the hands of a 15 year old looking to take a few people with him.

You know, there's a lot of arguments you could make against arming teachers. This is one of the poorer ones.

McMullen:

Mimsofthedawg:

kajinking:
Meanwhile pro-gun people make their point by having a gun appreciation day!

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/gun-appreciation-day-before-inauguration-85844.html

I'm just saying, if teachers were armed it would be a deterent...

I doubt it. Many of my teachers would have had a very difficult time bringing themselves to actually use them. I imagine that even if they did use them, and used them successfully, they would be absolutely horrified at what they'd done.

In any case, I've seen enough band-aid quick-fixes applied to social problems in my time to know that it wouldn't make anything better in the end, and this is one of the quickest, most reckless, most poorly thought-out fixes I've seen in a while. Treating symptoms does not work well. Gun control and media control are only attempts to treat the symptoms. It is the same with arming teachers. Figuring out what the real problem is takes time, honesty, and introspection. As a result, the likelihood of finding the problem, or its solution, is quite low. It will likely remain so until people stop looking for quick fixes and find the patience to seek solutions that require a length of time greater than a congressional term.

Every teacher i know wouldn't hesitate pulling the trigger if it meant saving the lives of the children (I think this is one of those "glass half full" type of things. You're looking at it from the teacher taking a life. I'm looking at it as the teacher saving lives).

BUT, I also agree with you. There's a lot more that needs to be discussed here besides "quick fixes". Though I disagree about the "recklessness" about it, there are lots of solutions... one of the best ones would probs be creating a mental health system that actually works.

Vausch:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Vausch:
I continue to find it hilarious that people point at video games and film for being horrible and violent yet there's a book in about 80% of people's homes in the US that people use as justification for hate and is filled with not just rape, incest, murder, and outright genocide of the entire planet, but that is never called into question because it's their religion and they can't blame it because it's all about how to be a good person.

Yeah, ends justify the means in holy books but games or film? Nope, gotta burn 'em and try to ban 'em. Why be a good parent when you can just shift the blame?

HEY!!!

Genocide... minus Noah and his family. Who I assume were inbreeding after that point.

OT: Why take logical action when knee jerk reactions sell better?

Meh, apparently been happening since after Adam and Eve... wait, technically Eve was made of Adam's rib so... does that mean she's a clone with an extra X?

Pretty much, yes. At least, that's how I always thought of it.

Mimsofthedawg:

Vausch:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

HEY!!!

Genocide... minus Noah and his family. Who I assume were inbreeding after that point.

OT: Why take logical action when knee jerk reactions sell better?

Meh, apparently been happening since after Adam and Eve... wait, technically Eve was made of Adam's rib so... does that mean she's a clone with an extra X?

Pretty much, yes. At least, that's how I always thought of it.

Wow, it gets even more disturbing when you attempt to apply science.

DataSnake:

1337mokro:
I smell... Corporate interest.

Of course the HOME VIDEO ASSOCIATION is in favour of researching VIOLENT media. Because this VIOLENT media is their direct competitor. Who wants to watch a home video when they can play videogames and hanglide on top of an angry tiger and flame grill it?

No I think we need the Bullshit translator for this here.

"The EMA promised to donate a substantial amount of money to Mr. Biden's campaign fund should he consider passing legislation that would impede the sale of videogames to prevent a continued decline of the Home video market."

There.

I wouldn't be half as pissed as I am now if they would just be honest about their greed. It's nothing to be ashamed of, we all love money. Some of us just love it more than their principles.

Um, the EMA's membership includes quite a few game publishers. Just sayin'.

That would be the IEMA, Interactive bal bla association.

The EMA (without the I) is quite squarely centered on nothing but movies, DVD's and other things you watch on something they used to call a T. V. back in the past.

bimon_1234567:

Andy Chalk:
[...]Fisher explained the ESRB rating system, noting that while age restrictions can't be "given the force of law,"[...]

Is there any part of the American legal system that prevents such a thing?

I'm asking because in my country not enforcing the age restrictions for any kind of media would get a retailer into a lot of legal trouble.

It varrys state by state
(California it's a $1000 fine)

It became a bit of a non-issue all major retailers have rules in place. M rated games require you to swipe an ID for the sale to proceed.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here