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

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  1. #1
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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
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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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.

    Last edited by skullsquid; February 24th, 2006 at 11:14 PM.
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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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    Dave, I see exactly where you are coming from. I agree perfectly. One commercial for Hostel I saw said ONLY THIS:
    "Caution; This movie contains scenes of brutal violence and torture."

    And that's IT. They use THAT to attract people. How sick is that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by magicgoo
    I hope the bill passes. A 10 year old doesn't need to fuck a hooker and take her money in GTA.
    I totally agree. I wouldn't want my hypothetical 10 year old fucking and killing hookers in games either. But as a parent, I would be more than capable of handling that myself. There were plenty of movies my parents didn't want me to watch as a kid, and they got by without the government deciding what those movies were for them. To me, it seems to be an ineffective solution to a nonexistant problem.

    (And on a side note, this bill doesn't seem to apply at all to fucking hookers. As far as I can see it only applies to "inappropriate violence".)

    I can see your point of view. It seems fairly black and white when you're talking about senseless violence like murdering hookers. But what about a game that, for example, illustrated the atrocities of war? It would be very violent, and would very likely be restricted under this bill, but it's not senseless. Saving Private Ryan was not pornography.

    I know I'm being overly serious about this, which isn't like me at all, but I know a lot of passionate artists in the game industry seriously trying to advance the art, and I hate to see them being equated with pornographers.



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    Quote Originally Posted by 0kelvin
    I can see your point of view. It seems fairly black and white when you're talking about senseless violence like murdering hookers. But what about a game that, for example, illustrated the atrocities of war? It would be very violent, and would very likely be restricted under this bill, but it's not senseless. Saving Private Ryan was not pornography.
    Then why are so many games since SPR that have used its gritty realism to add more fun to kill virtual people?
    Bullets in 5.1 sorround, shake camera moves, screams, dust and better wounds and crispier blood. That's the legacy of Saving Private Ryan.

    I also don´t like censorship, but I think that the videogame industry would think a bit more about what they throw sometimes into the colective psyche, more that just in make big $$$$.

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    Personally I would be MUCH happier to see less 12 year olds on the Counter Strike servers

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    Is simpler than they think it is....you wont get anything by banning some games for the entire state. As some people said, yes, violence is games is not always the factor for violence between children, in not a proven fact, but there are exceptions ( GTA series).

    Why are the GTA games so bad for children....? ......Well a simple person would tell you because is violent, becuase they won't thing beyond a simple and general aswer. But the real reason is becuase the context is that you are in an actual city, with normal people you might relate to your own city.....you have a lot of guns to kill who ever you want....if you get wounded you go to the hospital and come out cfompleatly healthy,if you get arrested they will take your guns away.....

    So basically we are dealing with a potencially violent game world to similar to the real one, with no mayor concecuences or punishment for really violent crimes of all kind.

    But the thing "DOES" say 18+, so we take the problem donw to the obvios rounte, the retailers who dont really care about what games are they selling, or to whom. They will sell games to anyone becuase for that particular area, they won't sell much in a year, and most of the sells will be in Xmas time.

    If they folow the rules they will make much less money out of it, but is the same with any other thing, you will get much more if you dont really care about the concecuenses of your actions, but how come a kid of 12 or less goes to a video game store and buys the game they want? where is the money coming from?

    Then the problem goes to the real reason, "parents" , is irresponsable to give their kids to much moeny every month or week, becuase let's be honest, kids dont know what to do with money, they will go and buy either the most popular game or the goriest( or porn magazines, cigarrets and other crap they wont be to hard to get). Just to be cool, and to be more "grown up".

    The problem with kids is that new research proves that they are actually psicopaths untill they are at least 14 years old, they will do things for completely senseless reasons becuase their brain is still "under construction"....tho is idiotic to think violence makes them violent, the context and consecuences of violence is what might, in any particular case, make them violent.

    Is up to partens to teach their own kids about the consecuenses, and to not give them money to do what ever they want becuase they dont know what the hell they want and they will try everything untill they find out. Also it would be nice that some parents could have at least half a brain to see the back of box to check if the game they are buying is proper for their kids.

    So this bill wont solve anything, now if you get the game you will be even cooler and it doesnt solve the fact that this generation of parents are moslty irresplonsable to the point of wantering about getting an actual degree on parenting before you actually get a kid. Is simple, you have kids and you teach them about what you think is right and wrong, you protect them against the world untill they are ready for it and then you let them go with your inconditional support. Now is like " yea i have this piece of midget dumbass folowing me for 17 to 20 years, but im to bussy for it so i'll just spend money to keep him away from me, im sure they will teach him all the stuff at school"


    Well sorry for the long post, please forgive me if there are any typos .

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    haha this is great,another rule to obey to stop beeing human. humans are born to fuck and kick ass so why whould we want to go against our nature by something called censorship?

    well anyways its better that the kids are shooting guys in a game then on the street.

    but i dont live in the us.... best of luck thou.

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    legislated morality....


    I love America

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    I took a trip to visit family in poland. I flipped on the TV and two topless women were selling handcream.

    Tell me, why is this not allowed in the US, but tv shows which show people fighting and killing are? Somehow showing the beauty of the human body is frowned on, but presenting the attrocities of violence are acceptable. This is solely in relation to what CHILDREN see. Personally, i would be happy to have my 10 year old (if i had kids) reading playboy or seeing nudity then becoming slowly numb to violence and gore.

    Everyone is so scared about our kids getting each other pregnant that we forgot about the harmful repercussions of exposing children to violence so early. Reproduction and sexuality have their place in a peaceful society, where violence does not.

    If you're kid goes on a shooting spree, or gets pregnant, guess what its noone's fault but your own. You should be exposing your kid to things which benefit them in the long run, and TEACH them what to do with such information.

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  23. #22
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    a friend of mine once told me it's got something to do with puritanical foundations in our country. I don't know, everyone's nuts. The same thinking that says war is ok but abortion and gay marriage are atrocities

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    Dur, sadly the big majority of the first settlers in the Americas were none other than Puritans running away from England because they were persecuted as being too hardliners in the matters of life and religion.
    If those damn boats had never made it across the atlantic, things would be VERY different in this country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JERI
    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.

    indeed...the government is wasting their time and money...

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    Geez, whatever happened to parenting? I've lived in Utah, and it sucks. The state is so oppresive. If you don't want your kids to view violent video games, then don't let them. If you don't care, then you deserve your kids, however they turn out.

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    Why do people not want their children to be able to watch porn or play violent video games?
    That's ridiculous and basicly nonnatural.
    In the old day people would bind their childrens hands on their back when these went to sleep, so they couldn't... well, rubb their genetals at night. Cuz it was considered EVIL.
    And in the old day people would try to bann radio because it was too liberal and violent.
    I've killed thousands of poeple virtually and never would harm an ant in real life never the less. I'm the nicest guy I know.
    We are all murderers in our thoughts. Same concerning Videogames. It's all ibou imagination and fantasy.

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    It's all ibou imagination and fantasy
    I think these laws are concerned with those who can't tell the difference from fantasy and reality. I feel like an old curmudgeon actually agreeing, at least in part, with something like this, but I do understand their point

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xpose
    If kids are fit for playing the games then their parents can buy them for them.

    This seems to be the general train of thought for those who are agreeing with this legislation, however, if you read more carefully:

    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.
    If I'm reading that correctly, if a parent is caught giving a game like this to their kid, then they would be subject to felony charges... so, it wouldn't just be up to the parents to decide what's best for their kids. The government would be telling the parents what their own kids can and can't see. That in itself is pretty significant, but the other problem is how the term "inappropriate violence" is so vague. Who determines what's innapropriate? Most people would expect something like GTA to be considered innapropriate for minors, but what about something like, say Splinter Cell? Or maybe a Star Wars game? Where is the line drawn? What's innapropriate to one person may not be to another, and it should not be the government that gets to decide, it should be the parents. Is GTA innapropriate for a 17 year old, but ok for an 18 year old? Or what about a 14 year old? Some may think a 14 year old shouldn't be playing GTA, but every kid is different, and what's inappropriate for one 14 year old may be perfectly appropriate for another. Parents know their own kids better than the government ever can. A law like this is basically taking the parent's rights away to decide what is appropriate for their child. Would you really want some goverment representative deciding for you what kind of videogames your child can play?

    I think people need to set aside their own personal feelings about what they feel is appropriate or not for minors and really think about what a law like this could mean to both parental and first amendment rights.

    Last edited by CruShTinbOX; February 27th, 2006 at 07:38 PM.
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    What we really need is a reproductive ban on idiotic people unfit for parenting.
    Says it all. If parents are afraid that videogames or any other media would be harmful for their children, then its time to get more involved rather than blame everyone else for their own failings.

    I'm usually pretty harsh on parents because I've seen kids do things kids do and all their parents did was stand aside and quietly tell them "children, how many times have I told you not to do that?" I don't know whether to smack the kid or to smack the parent.

    Simply put, a lot of parents need instruction manuals when they have children. That or they need sterilization.

    I'm not against the legislation....I just feel people have to take responsibilities instead of relying on the government to ban this or restrict that.

    ********************************
    There are 3 sides to every story. Yours, mine and THE TRUTH.
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