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Author Topic: Violence in Video Games & the Law  (Read 4965 times)

Renegade

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Violence in Video Games & the Law
« on: November 03, 2010, 02:54:40 AM »
From:

http://news.cnet.com...html?tag=topStories1

Quote
The California law slaps anyone who sells or rents a "violent video game" to a minor with a $1,000 fine. That's defined as a game in which the player has the option of "killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being" in offensive ways. Parents or guardians are still permitted to buy those games for minors.

...


The pro-regulation states also cite Postal 2, saying that the game encourages players to "burn people alive with gasoline or napalm," "decapitate people with shovels and have dogs fetch their severed heads," and "kill bald, unshaven men wearing pink dresses."

California attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has said the state should be able to place "reasonable restrictions on the distribution of extremely violent material to children."

...

Which is why groups as diverse as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and the Future of Music Coalition are siding with the video game industry. The coalition warns that if the California law is upheld, it "would lead inexorably to the enactment of new statutes prohibiting violent depictions or descriptions in other artistic media" as well.

...

And it was Justice Sonia Sotomayor who seemed to be the most conversant with video games, asking whether a video game showing a Vulcan "being maimed and tortured" would be covered by the act (answer: no) and whether an "android computer simulated person" would be covered by the act (answer: no). Justice Antonin Scalia was sharply critical of the law, but on more traditional grounds: saying that "it has never been understood that the freedom of speech did not include portrayals of violence."


No matter how you look at it, this is a real political mess. There's no winning here.

Still, it will be interesting... whether or not it's a bloodbath~! :D

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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

app103

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2010, 04:47:32 AM »
The gaming industry could suffer hard if California wins this one, and the public of any age would as well. If California wins, it would place a whole bunch of games in the same category as pornography, which could effectively remove them from most store shelves, making them unavailable to anyone of any age, not just children. And if that were to occur, it is most definitely government sanctioned censorship.

How comfortable would the average consumer be with having to go to an adult book & video store, walking past racks and racks of porn, to buy a copy of Mortal Combat? Most people I know don't want to be seen walking into such a place for any reason, not even to get change for a dollar, so they certainly won't do it to buy a game.

mahesh2k

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2010, 05:01:26 AM »
Aussies took objection on AVP-multiplayer this spring season. On games like GTA i can understand any objection like violence etc. But AVP is worthy of ban ? I mean seriously, kids can easily differentiate between killing aliens to provoked violence in GTA.

Deozaan

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2010, 01:27:24 PM »
I hope they also fine vendors for selling R-rated movies and music albums with "Explicit Content" warnings to minors as well, for consistency's sake.

The worst things in (most) commercial video games would probably get a PG-13 rating in cinema, yet time after time legislators try to ban/restrict/censor games while leaving other industries alone. >:(


4wd

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2010, 05:28:03 PM »
It's always been cheaper, (and easier), to create a law than to educate people.

How comfortable would the average consumer be with having to go to an adult book & video store, walking past racks and racks of porn, to buy a copy of Mortal Combat?

I would!  Mind you it wouldn't be for Mortal Kombat but I would for Delta Force: Angel Falls.......and I'd probably stop to look at the pictures on the way :P

rxantos

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2010, 10:36:59 AM »
A step forward in the direction of the tought police.

If violence is the mater. Then do the same laws for movies and also ban the army and marines comercials. And while you are doing this,also eliminate violent news and freedom of speech.

Is a violent world we live in. Sweet coating it will not help the children. Instead,foment cooperation instead of competition. All games and school are about competition instead of cooperation. Heck the whole system is abut competitiom. And that is what keeps a few controlling a rat race.


Stoic Joker

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2010, 11:17:32 AM »
Is a violent world we live in. Sweet coating it will not help the children. Instead,foment cooperation instead of competition. All games and school are about competition instead of cooperation. Heck the whole system is abut competitiom. And that is what keeps a few controlling a rat race.
He's got a point there...and a damn good one me thinks.

Stephen66515

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2010, 02:32:24 PM »
Quote
and "kill bald, unshaven men wearing pink dresses."

wtf game is that?

Stoic Joker

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2010, 02:55:01 PM »
Quote
and "kill bald, unshaven men wearing pink dresses."

wtf game is that?

*Shrug* Perhaps the San Francisco chapter of the KKK created their own video game?

Possible Game Titles:
Heil Sodomy
It's all white to nail me
Drag Nazis in heat

...There's really no low limit to this one folks...It's just flat wrong to start with.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 03:05:36 PM by Stoic Joker »

Stephen66515

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2010, 04:16:47 PM »
I still dont understand how people can say video games and movies cause children to be violent...no...CHILDREN CHOOSE to be violent, either through their own choice, or because of bad parenting.

Very very few ever murder and said "Oh, I killed a few hookers on GTA and went to buy some soda, kinda forgot i was in the real world...my bad"

I will however say, that I have twice been caught out by playing on GTA and another driving game, and going to the car forgetting that we dont drive on the right hand side of the road...this was mearly for a few seconds before i got into the vehicle.  Thats ONLY ever happened when really tired...but not once have I left the house thinking "hmm, if i sneak up on that cop, i can steal his car and theres generally shotguns in the boot so i can go raid a liquer store and slap around some hookers while playing pool and watching porn on the TV"... :onfire:

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2010, 04:36:09 PM »
I still dont understand how people can say video games and movies cause children to be violent...no...CHILDREN CHOOSE to be violent, either through their own choice, or because of bad parenting.
...

This is a might inconsistent, "...CHILDREN CHOOSE to be violent, either through their own choice, or because of bad parenting...."  How does bad parenting make children choose to be violent?

Hear hear!  It is all about "parenting," but let's be kind... Believe it or not there are parents out there that don't have a clue about what is going on with their children between catching the downtown bus at 06:45 when it is still dark and over an hour when the school bus shows up.  The same is the case at the end of the day.  Mom (many times a single) gets off the bus after the sun goes down (keep in mind the kids have been out of school for three hours) and she has to concentrate on making dinner, cleaning up getting the kids to take baths and go to bed.  THEN she has about 15 minutes to herself before she collapses into bed just to get up and do it all over again.  

I'm not making excuses, but when does she get to gain enough real knowledge to offer her children better, if not wholesome alternatives?  Answer: [Deleted due to possibility of provoking severe depression].


CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2010, 05:08:11 PM »
Is a violent world we live in. Sweet coating it will not help the children.

"Sweet coating" carries a connotation of preventing the child from knowing the truth of a reality.  It is a "violent world we live in...," but it also a beautiful one too, if the child is taught where to look.  To suggest that preventing the teen-age populace from unfettered access to graphically and audibly modeled violence is in some way "Sweet coating" is somewhat narrow and could be construed to be manipulative.  I ask you, does a constant diet of "Mortal Kombat," "GTA," etc. *really* represent the real world for everyone all the time?

As I have stated elsewhere, even the FBI has understood the best way to educate is to provide a constant contact with the authentic for a specified period of time, then when the counterfeit appears it sticks out like a sour note in a symphony.  The aberration is easily recognizable.  This legislation (like the vast majority of laws) was provoked because of a vacuum of responsibility.  Don't blame the Legislature, except where said body created circumstances which prevented parents from doing what would come natural... parenting.  Yet, as has been noted, a vicious cycle is produced because...

Laws are enacted to fill the void of bad parenting = Bad parenting is provoked by inappropriate laws.
Quote
Instead, foment cooperation instead of competition. All games and school are about competition instead of cooperation. Heck the whole system is about competition.

I, for one, am very intrigued by how you would suggest you/we/they "foment cooperation?" 

Quote
And that is what keeps a few controlling a rat race.

No argument from me on this one.  Ever heard of a Central Bank?  (Pssst - take the "Goals" part with a grain of salt. ;))


40hz

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2010, 06:45:56 PM »
This is a might inconsistent, "...CHILDREN CHOOSE to be violent, either through their own choice, or because of bad parenting...."  How does bad parenting make children choose to be violent?

Comic Rita Rudner summed it up best when she said she found the whole debate between Nature versus Nurture in child development to be very comforting. Because either way (intrinsic nature or upbringing) she still got to blame her parents for everything.
 ;D



Stoic Joker

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2010, 07:02:52 PM »
Instead, foment cooperation instead of competition. All games and school are about competition instead of cooperation. Heck the whole system is about competition.

I, for one, am very intrigued by how you would suggest you/we/they "foment cooperation?"  

Second place is the first loser is a common mantra these days; win, win, win at all cost. I've always thought Donald Trumps show the apprentice sums up perfectly just what is wrong with the corporate world of today...$5,000 for an inedible cupcake, nice.

I'm guessing rxantos is driving at a more team building synergistic type of game play where cooperation is a mandatory part of success, or everyone fails together. I rather enjoy that sort of thing. You have 20min, a pile of seemingly random objects, and a task to perform... Now what?

It's also interesting to see how many of the folks that do the most (If-they'd-just-listen-to-me...) bitching in the "break room" actually will step up and volunteer a solution to the task put before the group. The team has to gel quickly, work out a game plan, and make it happen. Or fail as one.

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2010, 07:49:47 PM »
...
I'm guessing rxantos is driving at a more team building synergistic type of game play where cooperation is a mandatory part of success, or everyone fails together.

That's the trick, isn't it?  I agree in theory with what you are saying, but this is all just a lot of fun unless a real paradigm can be brought to birth.  So, my question remains... "how?"

Eóin

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2010, 09:07:14 PM »
The gaming industry could suffer hard if California wins this one, and the public of any age would as well. If California wins, it would place a whole bunch of games in the same category as pornography, which could effectively remove them from most store shelves, making them unavailable to anyone of any age, not just children. And if that were to occur, it is most definitely government sanctioned censorship.

I agree it could happen, and cost the industry financially. However that wouldn't make it government sanctioned, just an unfortunate consequence which any individual retailer would be free to buck the trend on.

On the matter at hand; If we believe that violent films can corrupt the minds of youths, such that we need to protect them through censorship, then not extending that censorship to games and other media would be stupidity of the highest order.

Now personally, I'm not so convinced that exposer to violence automatically leads to acting violence, but clearly the lawmakers, politicians and media do believe in that link. And since those are the folks that get to make these decisions, the logic of extending censorship is perfectly legitimate, again if you accept the link as real.

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2010, 11:11:31 PM »
...
Now personally, I'm not so convinced that exposure to violence automatically leads to acting violence, but clearly the lawmakers, politicians and media do believe in that link. And since those are the folks that get to make these decisions, the logic of extending censorship is perfectly legitimate, again if you accept the link as real.

May I suggest the lawmakers, etc. do not necessarily "believe" in that "link."  That would indicate the legislature really cares about the lives of the children (who do not vote).  I am not condemning every person in government as cold-blooded.  I am identifying the system, the "machine" these people have to work within foments a disconnected and impersonal culture.     

The real motivating factor is money.  Tax dollars that are spent to enforce, imprison and execute the segment of the population which chooses to act without regard to others eats into the tax revenues.  Insurance claims (property and medical) that have to come out of the insurance company's coffers.  The risk factor has gone up for the insurers and they can not extract additional premiums from the children, so they seek their remedies, which is to lower the risk factor, via Congress and senators.  What the lawmakers, etc. see are "trends" mostly from insurance company actuarial tables which spells out the risk factors.

Given the above, it is no big chore for insurance company lobbyists to contrast previous "risk factors" to the present ones to lawmakers, etc. to make them see the need to take some kind of action. Once this information is intelligently placed in front of the lawmakers then the "factors," the data that shows the statistics and the culprits, speak for themselves.  It is obvious to me that the actuarial tables and other data have shown the "violent video games" to be a substantial factor.  It is not that the legislature believes in the "link," it is the games have simply been present in a far too many instances related to crime to be ignored.   

Eóin

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2010, 10:48:25 AM »
I not so sure amount the money motivation. Bad and all as the financial sector are, actuaries perhaps more than any of the rest rely on being right. So if it is the actuarial sector lobbying for these changes it's because the link is very real.

An insurance company doesn't make money by reducing risk factors which weren't actually a factor.

wraith808

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2010, 11:45:17 AM »
Instead, foment cooperation instead of competition. All games and school are about competition instead of cooperation. Heck the whole system is about competition.

I, for one, am very intrigued by how you would suggest you/we/they "foment cooperation?" 

You can reward success without the intense competition that it creates if you stop punishing those who perform, but just aren't in first.

An example.  I work for a company that pays a base salary, and a bonus depending on performance every six months.  You work on a team, and the final goal is to get the tasks through the system, and make quality software... but the scale that they judge you on is a bell curve.  It's a scale from 1-4, and among all of your peers (meaning everyone with the same title as you), there has to be a certain number of 1s, 2s, 3s, and 4s.  It's based on your performance but relative to the others.  And you can't always make a relative choice.  So in a collaborative environment, you compete against others, while trying to help each other reach the goal.  That's pretty counter-intuitive.  If the scale was based purely on your performance, that would be something different, but the fact that for me to succeed, someone else has to fail makes it more competitive than cooperative.

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2010, 12:38:08 PM »
... if it is the actuarial sector lobbying for these changes it's because the link is very real.

An insurance company doesn't make money by reducing risk factors which weren't actually a factor.

That is my point, exactly. :)
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 10:02:09 AM by CodeTRUCKER »

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Violence in Video Games & the Law
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2010, 12:44:38 PM »
... If the scale was based purely on your performance, that would be something different, but the fact that for me to succeed, someone else has to fail makes it more competitive than cooperative.

I agree.  The status quo that is pervasive in business does nurture a less-than-perfect environment.  The focus *is* on the competition and sometimes I feel it is the executive's opportunity to visit Mount Olympus, complete with toga and golden laurel.  The fact of the present paradigm is well established.  My interest is in "how" can we on our grass-roots level cause a peaceful shift in the established paradigm?