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Thread: Anit-gaming bill in the works for Utah, please help stop it.

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    Anit-gaming bill in the works for Utah, please help stop it.

    I'll post something here forwarded by the IGDA. In short, there's a bill that's going through the congress of Utah that's going to make it a criminal offense to sell games that contain "innapropriate violence" to minors. Obviously this is bad because it's an indirect form of censorship.

    Please take action and support the game industry.

    ===============================================


    Dear IGDA member/user,

    ** Action required ASAP/before March 1st **

    I am writing to alert you to legislation (HB 257) that could harm the video game industry in the state of Utah and have potential negative repercussions across the entire industry. Your help is needed to stop this legislation, which passed the Utah State House and is now before the Utah State Senate.

    See GamePolitics for more general info on HB 257:
    http://gamepolitics.livejournal.com/211307.html
    http://gamepolitics.livejournal.com/215683.html


    This bill treats video games differently from other forms of media. It makes it a felony crime for anyone to give, sell or rent a video game to a minor that contains "inappropriate violence" by reclassifying such games as "harmful material" like pornography. HB 257 is a misdirected attempt at placing the government, instead of parents, in control of what games they buy for their families.

    Full details on HB 257 can be found at the Utah State Legislature web site:
    http://www.le.state.ut.us/~2006/bill.../hb0257s01.pdf


    The IGDA opposes any effort that would treat digital games differently from other forms of art and creative expression. Digital games are an expressive medium worthy of the same respect, and protections, as movies, literature and other forms of art and entertainment.


    Here is how you can help stop this legislation...

    The bill passed the House by a vote of 56-8 and has now been sent to the Senate which, if it chooses to consider this bill, must do so before March 1st. It is imperative that you email or fax your State Senator a message or letter as soon as possible to urge a vote against this legislation.

    A draft letter that you can modify and send is available online:
    http://www.igda.org/censorship/IGDA_...Utah_HB257.doc


    If you do not know who your Senator is, you can find out here as well as obtain his/her contact information:
    http://se15.utahsenate.org/perl/spage/roster2005.pl


    Please grab the letter, tweak it as you see fit and send it off to your Senator (ie, the one from the district you are in) before March 1st. Please copy me on your email or letter. Thanks for your help. If you have any questions, please let me know.


    PS: Jump online for more details on the IGDA's position and "key points" against censorship:
    http://www.igda.org/censorship/
    http://www.igda.org/censorship/points.php
    http://www.igda.org/articles/dellarocca_regulation.php


    Regards,
    Jason

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Jason Della Rocca
    Executive Director
    International Game Developers Association
    e: jason at igda dot org
    t: +1-514-426-1162
    f: +1-514-426-1201
    Montreal, Canada
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    http://www.igda.org/
    http://www.realitypanic.com/

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  3. #2
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    to sell games that contain "innapropriate violence" to minors
    That sounds ok to me. IIRC the rating system is trying to do the same but most stores just ignore it. If the law is just about enforcing that better then I don't mind (And I am far away and can't even influence it).

    Selling highly violent stuff to little children is not a good idea. So I would not mind a law that makes it illegal. But even if that law exists it oesn't matter as long as there are parents who are not serious about being parents. Because these parents then go and blame everyone lese for their own faults.

    BUt in the end I haven't read that much about that law. I am on a different continent and we already have laws like that (and have these laws for a long time). In my opinion the extension of the Patriot Act and the DMCA are worse (but that's nothing for this thread) than a law that forbids (little) kids to get their hands on some games.
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    If a kid can't buy a Playboy, why can he buy games where you shoot up cops and shit? We've got things backwards to start with. I guess that's a different arguement. I don't really know how I feel about this just having read it, but I've wondered for a long time now how they can get away with some of the games that have been coming out these past few years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavePalumbo
    If a kid can't buy a Playboy, why can he buy games where you shoot up cops and shit?
    i dunno why that kid cant buy Playboy when he can easily find much worse on that google thing!



    (and kids are smart enough to bypass that lame security lock that soccer mom's put on xxx sites)
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    What difference does it make? It's illegal to smoke, drink and watch pornographic materials when you're underage, but it doesn't stop all those minors from managing to acquire it. How do they plan to enforce this law? They can't even stop school kids from getting a gun.

    Laws like these are a joke.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavePalumbo
    If a kid can't buy a Playboy, why can he buy games where you shoot up cops and shit?
    If a kid can buy a movie, or a book, or an album about shooting cops, why shouldn't they be able to buy games based on it?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavePalumbo
    I've wondered for a long time now how they can get away with some of the games that have been coming out these past few years.
    Same way they get away with making shows like The Sopranos. They're not made for kids. Sure, kids play them, just like kids watch the Sopranos.

    The bill is designed to keep violent games away from kids, but it will likely have far more extreme consequences. It's easier for a retailer to simply not stock any games deemed "violent" (a very vague term), than to risk one of their clerks selling it to a minor, exposing them to a huge fine. So even adults will likely be forced to go to specialty shops or even out of state to get games that were made for them in the first place.

    This bill is based on an entirely unproven assumption, that violent media is harmful to children. The research on both sides of the argument is extremely spotty and inconclusive. But funding actual research doesn't get you votes so we get reactionary knee-jerk bills like this.

    The word censorship gets thrown about more often than the word Nazi and it's pretty much lost all meaning, but it actually applies to this case.



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    Hey, so what, it is already supposed to be against the rules to sell M rated games to younger than 17 people. Even though i got one. But it isnt that big a deal. It isnt like they are depriving you from getting them, and it wont change too much. Parents will still mot likely buy the games for thier kids anyways despite the new law.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emn1ty
    Hey, so what, it is already supposed to be against the rules to sell M rated games to younger than 17 people. Even though i got one. But it isnt that big a deal. It isnt like they are depriving you from getting them, and it wont change too much. Parents will still mot likely buy the games for thier kids anyways despite the new law.
    No, right now it's only against the policy of most retailers. Stores are free to sell M rated games to anyone they like.



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    I hope the bill passes. A 10 year old doesn't need to fuck a hooker and take her money in GTA.

    Besides, even if the bill does pass, it will be difficult to enforce, so emotional teens can stop their whining and get back to jerking off to Dead or Alive Volleyball or whatever it is they do.

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    Since when laws that say you can't you do this, ever work? They only give the thrill of transgression creating a reverse effect.
    Besides, kids have access to a vast array of violent or inappropriate media that is not in video games. The problem is the same as with any new media, the older generations have their heads so much up their asses that they prefer to condemn rather than understand. It has happened before it will happen again, for now it's video games.
    What we really need is a reproductive ban on idiotic people unfit for parenting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by magicgoo
    A 10 year old doesn't need to fuck a hooker and take her money in GTA.
    Since when?



    It'll be just like smokes, booze and porn.
    Any youth wanting the games bad enough will find a way to get them. Most parents probably won't give a crap and just buy the games for their kids anyways.

    Sure it sucks that another part of 'freedom' is being taken away, but really, it could be ALOT worse. It's really just spilt milk.
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    It doesn't seem that bad to me. If kids are fit for playing the games then their parents can buy them for them. I don't think it should get as crazy as porn where you have to go to specialty shops but the whole card to buy thing doesn't sound too bad.
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    my point was more how crazy it is to accept violence at the level we (as American society) do and yet condemn sex and nudity so severely. That's backwards. Sorry to sound like a hippy there. And I do think the violence in games and movies goes over the line (so many torture movies lately, anybody notice?) and I do think that, legal or not, kids will still play these games
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