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Crackdown on M-Rated Videogames?

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the surprise,-surprise dept.

Games 268

Inigima writes "According to this article at the dying GameCenter, the IDSA is preparing to make a proposal to Congress about the marketing of games rated "M" by the ESRB. According to Gamecenter's analysis, not only would this neuter the game marketing industry, but might even prevent games like Quake and Half-Life from being produced."

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Katz (4)

demaria (122790) | more than 13 years ago | (#441607)

I see a Jon Katz article in the making out of this. :) Wait a week, let's see.

The world of toys dies a slow death... (2)

11thangel (103409) | more than 13 years ago | (#441610)

First they can't make toys that look like guns, now this! Watch, by 2003 it'll be illegal to sell little micromachine fighter airplaines.

Constitutional Law (2)

Mike Hicks (244) | more than 13 years ago | (#441612)

IIRC, Congress can't make laws preventing stuff like this from being made or published in the first place (that First Amendment thing). However, there are things that can be done once it has been published. I'm not exactly sure which one they're trying to go for here..
--

And so they should! (1)

sharkticon (312992) | more than 13 years ago | (#441614)

Computer games as a genre are neutral, but it seems as though game companies are rushing to produce the most bloody and violent games that they possibly can without any concern for the young lives that they are polluting. And I for one would be glad to see these games toned back down to levels at which they are not so brutal, because children sure as hell don't need to see that kind of thing.

It all started with Mortal Kombat, but today that is tame compared to some of the blood and death games out there, where children are desensitised to death in the same way that soldiers are trained to be. How can this be right? Children are innocent, and that time in their lives is unique and should be cherished, not thrown away watching people having their entrails ripped out.

There's enough violence in the world without bringing it into the front room. All I can say is thank God for Nintendo, who realise that you can have a great game without blood and guts.

Not As Horrible As It Sounds (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#441684)

From the article on Slashdot:

...but might even prevent games like Quake and Half-Life from being produced."

From the article on GameCenter:

Games that can't be marketed won't be produced, and that means we could soon see the end of the likes of Quake, Doom, Half-Life, Unreal Tournament, and much more.

Keep in mind that there is no law saying "you can't produce these games", just restricted advertising wouldn't make it worth the company's while to create them.

Thanks, Joe (5)

GenChalupa (150051) | more than 13 years ago | (#441686)

It's always nice when *facts* humiliate the long-winded rants of Jon Katz.

Since Bush won, all we've heard from him is "Evil Bush! He will only let you read books on baseball!! He's evil I tell you!"

All of this was speculation, since Bush's record on any type of censorship is virtually non-existant. (That's good!)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Joe Lieberman's *record* indicates a strong eagerness to censor based on "protecting the children." (Games, TV, movies, magazines...)

Now, you may not like Bush, but let's be honest: when put side-by-side with Joe Lieberman, he's our *friend!*

Add that to the fact that John Ashcroft is a die-hard privacy proponent, and arch-nemesis of Carnivore, etc.... hey, things are pretty good.

GenChalupa

Omnipresent state (4)

LordAlpha (247426) | more than 13 years ago | (#441691)

What about freedom of choice?. Is the government the one who should say what is correct and what is not regarding computer games?. Is their responsibility?. I think not. Are people that stupid that they cannot choose or tell their children what they can buy and what they cannot?. Isn't the rating enough? One more time, the responsibility is placed where it shouldn't be.

Re:The world of toys dies a slow death... (2)

demaria (122790) | more than 13 years ago | (#441693)

Toy guns are different issue.

There are stories about how a teenager (youngish teen) pointed a very realistic toy gun at a cop at night. Cop couldn't tell that it was a toy, it looked real, and so the cop shot the kid. Wrong thing to do? No. Unfortunate? Yes. After all, the police officer needs to protect his own life.

The toy guns is understandable. This is a different can of worms.

Write IDSA and Congress *NOW* (3)

OverCode@work (196386) | more than 13 years ago | (#441697)

Knowing Congress, they'll probably comply with IDSA's request, in the interest of "protecting the children". As an avid gamer, I believe this is a crock of $#!+, but Congress is known to be unclueful about such things.

It might happen anyway, but perhaps a few hundred thousand letters from gamers might demonstrate that there's another side to this issue.

Some possible arguments (brainstorming for my own letter):
-Multiplayer games are essentially competitive sports, not much different from physical sports like football. They promote teamwork, cooperation, and perseverence.
-There is no evidence that violent games lead to real-world violence. In fact, many theorize that it does exactly the opposite, providing a channel for stressed people to let out their aggression in a safe way.
-Existing rating systems make it easy for parents to distinguish between violent and nonviolent games. For instance, the game _Soldier of Fortune_ bears a large red stop sign on the front of its box, containing a clear warning to parents. There is no possible way a parent could mistake this game for a harmless Disney adventure. SoF and other games also carry easy to read ESRB content ratings.

-John

Typical corporate fearmongering. (4)

Urban Existentialist (307726) | more than 13 years ago | (#441701)

Their claims that games such as QIII and Half Life will not continue to be produced are totally baseless. The simple fact is that the majority of these titles are aimed at the adult market of over 18's. I am not sure I would feel comfortable if my son, who is just 13, were playin Quake III all the time, just as I would not like him to watch 18 rated films. Ratings in the cinema have not meant the death of the film industry, nor have they meant the death of violent films with adult content. The same will be true of the games industry.

Does the games industry want to be tarred with the same reputation as the cigarette industry? They will get it if they continue saying that they have to market violent QIII type games at children, right or wrong (rightly, in my view).

You know exactly what to do-
Your kiss, your fingers on my thigh-

But video games probably don't cause violence! (3)

MrP- (45616) | more than 13 years ago | (#441705)

See this article [ign.com] on IGN.com...

"A recent meta-analysis of these studies found that the overall effect size for both randomized and correlational studies was small for physical aggression... and moderate for aggressive thinking. (Anderson & Bushman, in press). In separate analyses, the effect sizes for both randomized and cross-sectional studies was small. The impact of video games on violent behavior remains to be determined."

So I guess "Science cannot prove that videogames forcibly take control of any child's mind and deny them the reasonability of free will against thoughts of emulating acts as violent as ripping another's heart our with only bare hands and attacking nubile undressed females with their mutated mandible claws", hopefully congress realizes this.

-----

Isn't word of mouth darn good? (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 13 years ago | (#441708)

Word of mouth isn't prohibited, and it can't be -- without both serious constitutional revisions and reinterpretations... and besides, IDSA doesn't speak gamers, just the publishers.

Also, reviewer sites aren't providing paid ads -- well, the reputable ones that aren't *just* annoying excuses for sleazy banner ads; they're providing editorial content. I don't see them being covered by this, either. This also goes for many fan sites.

Both of these media are VERY useful for getting out a message. Read the comp.sys.ibm.pc.games hierarchy on USENET, for instance, and you'll see a LOT of traffic discussing games, even games that haven't come out yet (Black & White, for instance) and ancient games (SPWaW), and games that don't have huge marketing machines behind them (King of Dragon Pass, Space Empires IV for two examples).

It may hurt Gamecenter.com's business model, if they rely heavily on publishing company ads -- but it won't necessarily hurt gamers or game publishing.

What a bunch of sheep. (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#441716)

Once again, the actions of two teenagers with a mammoth arsenal happen to motivate the government to spoil it for all of us. The Columbine effect has not ceased.

I think the ultimate goal of the IDSA is to prevent a new DOOM from being produced. We as FPS gamers should take a stand against this form of censorship.

Here's a better idea (1)

tyrann98 (161653) | more than 13 years ago | (#441718)

A much better and realistic idea is to restrict the advertising to media (print and TV, not Internet) to times when a certain percentage of children under 12 are watching the shows. The rest of the population is subjected to incredible amounts of fake violence and sexuality on TV and movies. It makes no sense to allow teenagers to watch these movies and to also restrict games that portray the same levels of violence and gore. We need controls, but realistic ones. I wouldn't want young children watching pornographic videos, and yet that is a form of "advertizing" control.

Re:Constitutional Law (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 13 years ago | (#441719)

IDSA probably wants to avoid a Lieberman- or Tipper- style regulatory scheme. As long as they enter into this agreement *voluntarily*, 'tho, and it's not codified into law, their shouldn't be any constitutional issues.

Easy work around (1)

PoitNarf (160194) | more than 13 years ago | (#441722)

They'll just have to start making FPS games where you run around trying to pet fluffy bunnies. Then some guys will come along and create a mod where the bunnies become that rabbit from the holy grail, and you'll be given a holy hand grenade. Thank god for mods. I love counter-strike!

How can this truly be regulated? (2)

Calle Ballz (238584) | more than 13 years ago | (#441724)

In stores like wal mart, you have to be at least 17 to buy rated M games. They even card you. They are already regulating who these games go to. What is wrong with these games? They don't promote violence. I mean, sometimes I really want a railgun in some situations. But how can they really control this without taking another chunk of our freedome away?

Ratings have NEVER been enforced (4)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#441727)

I don't agree with the majority of this article, but I do believe the current rating systems on games is an absolute joke.

I recall going to purchase Unreal Tournament, a game with fanciful violence but a ton of blood just the same. Some kids simply took the game up to the cash register and bought it (the employee completely ignoring the M (17+) rating). When there was a parent involved, they simply plopped down their credit card at the cash register.

I even pointed out that the game had a good deal of blood and violence to one parent, who was buying it for a kid who looked around 10. "There's blood in this game?" she said. They don't show blood on the front of the box. I pointed out the M rating that was clearly stamped on the front. "Oh. I didn't even know what that meant".

More education has to be given to parents and even kids that M rated games should only be viewed by adults. Hell, can you imagine if 10-year olds across the nation were all watching Hannibal without their parents knowing its contents? Nightmare city.

--------
Carmack is an elitist, pseudonerd bastard.

Re:The world of toys dies a slow death... (1)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 13 years ago | (#441731)

Some guy at a school near me got expelled for pointing a chicken-finger at a teacher and saying "pow-pow" or somehting.

Violent videogames dont kill kids... (4)

doormat (63648) | more than 13 years ago | (#441732)

Kids without proper parental support and guidance kill kids, and since its not politically correct to teach morals to kids in school nowadays, the only people to teach kids right from wrong is their parents. Parents who drop the ball, or just "dont have time" to talk to their kids about this stuff are fucking it up for the rest of us... or maybe the parents dont know because they were not taught this stuff when they were kids (not too long ago).

Absolutely Stupid (1)

maccroz (126399) | more than 13 years ago | (#441734)

Also in news today: Congress decideds that R and NC-17 rated movies are "not nice". George W. Bush has passed a bill banning them so that it won't corrupt the youth of tomorrow.

Reading way too much into it... (2)

Masem (1171) | more than 13 years ago | (#441737)

The article and implications do not say that you won't be able to purchase these games. But, it will force stores that carry these games to make sure that only adults or supervisied children can browse and purchase M titles. If the implication that you couldn't even purchase these games was in there, then tons of established free speech issues are in play, and last I check, the porn industry is still thriving.

However, I do think that limiting advertizing is questionable. I think that the industry needs to work with game magazines and the gov't to set self-regulating standards for print and internet ads that, while advertizing an M-rated game, don't cross a PG line, when these ads are in 'family' settings. For example, printing Q3A will full-gore on screenshots, or showing the heroine in the skimpy bathsuit is questionable. Of course, I could demand that they don't publish beer ads in sports magazines, since I'm sure kids read those too...

Free speech will win out in the end, and fortunately the game industry has the porn industry which has fought with congress alot on these established fronts to make their point.

Re:Thanks, Joe (1)

Loudergood (313870) | more than 13 years ago | (#441741)

I used to have quite the unfavorable opinion of Joe for just these same reasons, until I read this interview, his position on gaming and children really makes a lot of sense. Games should be regulated like movies. [dailyradar.com]

Oh, Yea, THAT's gonna happen (1)

MythoBeast (54294) | more than 13 years ago | (#441742)

And while we're at it, let's ban all of those rated X movies. We should keep anyone from mentioning the existence of Porn, and take all commercials for those icky 1-900 lines off the air.

Somebody is fearmongering. "Oh, no, we better do something about this." The entire scenario is utterly unrealistic. The "pack our children in cotton" brigade still hasn't gotten any further than to get ratings on anything, including music, movies, and video games. The whole "freedom of speech" thing still holds on art items like video games, just as much as it does for movies.

Mythological Beast

Re:How can this truly be regulated? (1)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 13 years ago | (#441743)

I'm 15, I carry no ID, about 2 months ago I bought Q3 from Walmart, no problemo!

Re:The world of toys dies a slow death... (1)

demaria (122790) | more than 13 years ago | (#441744)

That's different than producing realistic looking guns.

That's just stoopid.

But realistic looking toy guns have caused problems.

Re:Typical corporate fearmongering. (1)

Compenguin (175952) | more than 13 years ago | (#441748)

Their claims that games such as QIII and Half Life will not continue to be produced are totally baseless. The simple fact is that the majority of these titles are aimed at the adult market of over 18's. I am not sure I would feel comfortable if my son, who is just 13, were playin Quake III all the time, just as I would not like him to watch 18 rated films. Ratings in the cinema have not meant the death of the film industry, nor have they meant the death of violent films with adult content. The same will be true of the games industry.
The thing is alot of teens in junior high and highschool do play these games. I'm in highschool and most of my friends play Half-Life, Tribes, and/or QuakeII/III.

-Compenguin

Re:And so they should! (1)

bludstone (103539) | more than 13 years ago | (#441749)

It all started with Mortal Kombat, but today that is tame compared to some of the blood and death games out there, where children are desensitised to death in the same way that soldiers are trained to be. How can this be right? Children are innocent, and that time in their lives is unique and should be cherished, not thrown away watching people having their entrails ripped out.

This is totally unwarrented. I used to be a very hardcore gamer and if it has taught me something it is fear and respect for weapons. I know the damage they can do, and frankly.. it scares the crap out of me. Would you rather have a society familiar with the horrors of warfare? or one who lives in ignorance of the situation?

war, HUH! good god ya'll, what is it good for? Absolutly nuthin!

Re:Games should be regulated like movies. (1)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 13 years ago | (#441751)

In the example you cite, it's the computer store's fault, not the publisher's; IIRC, id Software has been good about rating its products at least since Doom, if not Wolfenstein and before. I don't know about Maxis, but if they do, the blame again lies with the sales clerks, and also with the kids.

Re:Typical corporate fearmongering. (2)

SlashGeek (192010) | more than 13 years ago | (#441752)

The problem is, many people associate video games with kids, not realizing that there are adult oriented video games, and that adults are actually serious gamers. I think some different marketing would go a long way, perhaps even organizing the games in stores according to age level. And bright yellow stickers on the boxes blatently advertising that the game is not for children may also help to inform the rest of the world that all games are not childrens games. Yes, I don't like it either, but if it shuts up the whiners, so be it. Then parents/polititions/whoever would have no one to blame but themselves if their children are playing Q3. Somewhere along the line, these people need to actually do some parenting. I think that the suggestions I have made would make it easy enough for them to do so. Besides, a bright yellow sticker on the box would make it easier to find the games I like *grin*


"Everything that can be invented has been invented."

Re:How can this truly be regulated? (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#441756)

Add to that the fact that Id Software has NEVER marketed any of its first-person shooter games to anyone under 17 (with the exception of Wolfenstein, which was voluntarily rated "PC-13: Profound Carnage"), right up to this day (before Q3 got an ESRB rating, the demotest said right on it: "For Mature Audiences").

I believe that Id is doing a good job of controlling this (after all, that's the most they can do; the stores control who buys the game), and the IDSA really needs to open their eyes. In my opinion, companies like Epic, SquareSoft, Capcom, and Midway are all doing a really bad job at audience control, and they're the ones who should be penalized.

Re:Katz (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 13 years ago | (#441759)

My /. reading experience improved so much when I disabled all articles from the great Jon Katz.

YMMV

Re:But video games probably don't cause violence! (1)

SlashGeek (192010) | more than 13 years ago | (#441763)

Yes, and if you are like any other online gaming addict, you don't have time to commit violence.


"Everything that can be invented has been invented."

Re:And so they should! (1)

MwtrV (311470) | more than 13 years ago | (#441764)

What kind of a conservative (read:mindless) anal bloke are you, anyway? This reads too serious to be considered a troll, though it probably should be considered one, as are most mindless "In Christ" responses here.

I don't recall a video/computer game displaying someone having their entrails ripped out, ever; the gore in most video games isn't photorealistic, nor is it detailed. I also don't recall a home that is forever free of a TV show, movie, or even news segment that won't expose a child to violence present in our society. Furthermore, how is a childs "life" thrown anyway by watching violence? I fail to see a correlation between a child becoming less "naive" and their life changed for the worse.

While you are entitled to your opinion, it certainly sounds like you are the type of person who lets "principle" override "logic," albeit feeble-minded belief to begin with.

Simple answer (3)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 13 years ago | (#441765)

Are you a parent? If so then you shouldn't be allowing them to play violent games in much the same way as you shouldn't allow them to watch the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Ever hear of parental responsibility? Why should I as a 30 year old be deprived of something I consider fun because parents are too bone-idle to do their jobs?

Magazine readership (print ads) (1)

WinPimp2K (301497) | more than 13 years ago | (#441768)

From the fine article:
Print (including game publications): Ads for Mature-rated games may not be placed in magazines where 45 percent or more of the readers are under 17.

And what do they suppose would happen to the readership demographics of those magazines that had a sufficiently "mature" readership to run the ads? Would more of the younger crowd start reading the otherwise boring magazines?
Hmm.. I can see it now. 13 yr old kid trying to convince his mom that he only reads Ultra-Violent Gamer for the articles and not the advertisements.
(trolling for Katz) Maybe the nice folks at Wave America could add posession of "those magazines" to their list of potentially dangerous behaviors that will earn their snitches free sweatshirts or those nifty red armbands with white circles containing that ancient Indian (subcontinent) symbol for good luck and protection from evil spirits

Re:Games should be regulated like movies. (1)

Compenguin (175952) | more than 13 years ago | (#441770)

I've seen kids under 12 walk out of the computer store with ultraviolent games like Quake III, Diablo, and The Sims and the sales clerks did nothing to stop them from getting their hands on this kind of filth. If game manufacturers are going to sit on their hands about voluntary ratings, the only other option is for the government to step in and make the sale or use of all video games by anyone under 21 a criminal offense, because the way it stands now, video game manufacturers are the criminals for belching out their bile and filth to young, impressionable children. This has to be stopped right now!

When I was 7 I played wolfenstine, Doom when I was nine, and and Doom II when I was eleven and I'm fine. I know more people that have violent tendencies who didn't play these video games at young ages, than those who did.

-Compenguin

Re:Not As Horrible As It Sounds (1)

barzok (26681) | more than 13 years ago | (#441773)

Which is exactly the plan. You won't have any success killing the games themselves by passing legislation specifically against them. So instead, you trick people into thinking you're "only" restricting the advertising. It becomes a waste of time and money for companies to make the games, thus acheiving the desired end result - no more Quake.

Re:Omnipresent state (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 13 years ago | (#441774)

Of course not, because Billy-Bob would have to shift his 350 pound carcass from the pro-wrestling to see what his son is up to on the computer. Protect the kids, no film harder than Mary Poppins is allowed.

(Say What?) Re:And so they should! (2)

Conrad_Bombora (225559) | more than 13 years ago | (#441775)

Call me crazy... but I thought it was the parents responsibility to decide what is appropriate for a child to play with, not the government...
the last time I checked the parent was bringing home the money to pay for these games no one forces Mortal Kombat or Half Life on you.
and if the kid down loads an ISO of the game from that evil internet it's still the parents responsibility to know what there kid is doing on line. Parental ignorance is not an excuses to censer every thing in the world.

Praise Causey...

Wrongo... (1)

BigumD (219816) | more than 13 years ago | (#441776)

I've seen kids under 12 walk out of the computer store with ultraviolent games like Quake III, Diablo, and The Sims and the sales clerks did nothing to stop them from getting their hands on this kind of filth.

Most stores have changed their policy on such things and now require you to present ID when buying games. For example, I'm a pretty young looking 22 year old, picked up Q3-Team Arena in a Target a few weeks back, and was carded for it at the counter. It's a great idea that is now in use by many stores, like K-Mart and Electronics Boutique.

video game manufacturers are the criminals for belching out their bile and filth to young, impressionable children

Sorry buddy, but this is where your wrong. You're going to tell me that it's the software manufacturer's fault for making a game that's violent. Nope, it's the ignorant parent that allows thier kids to borrow $50 to go buy a video game at the store without caring enough to supervise their discresion. That's the real problem.

Re:Thanks, Joe (4)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 13 years ago | (#441777)

All of this was speculation, since Bush's record on any type of censorship is virtually non-existant. (That's good!)

"There ought to be limits to freedom" GW Bush

Re:The world of toys dies a slow death... (1)

GMontag451 (230904) | more than 13 years ago | (#441778)

The guns didn't cause the problems. The people that stupidly pointed toy guns at cops caused the problems. I know that sounds cliche, and I'm usually for gun control, but restricting production of toy guns is just going overboard.

Affecting purchases? (2)

TheFlu (213162) | more than 13 years ago | (#441779)

Well this will certainly affect the advertising budgets of gaming magazines, but I question how well advertising works for games in general. The vast majority of games I buy, I purchase for the following reasons: 1) Good review from gaming websites 2)I played the demo and liked it or 3)I played it at my friends house and want to join in for some multiplayer action.

I don't think I've ever bought a game just because it had some hot babe or something in an ad I saw for it. Games are like movies, they sell by word of mouth.

100% Ad free. The Linux Pimp [thelinuxpimp.com]

Marketing's questionable reach (1)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 13 years ago | (#441780)

When was the last time you learned of a game's existence for the first time through TV or print? Maybe this is generalizing, but it seems to me that there already exists a nice word-of-mouth network among the people who play these sorts of games (Quake, Unreal, etc). This makes me that this kind of regulation would have much of an impact on the spread of the game. (The marketing-production connection is another thing, of course.)

That is SO not true. (1)

karandago (174156) | more than 13 years ago | (#441781)

Look maybe some companies are adding blood to their games because it sells but no more than other companies are adding 'boobies'. But if you think about it it's no different than the motion picture industry and last time I checked you can advertize a rated R movie on TV. But that's not even my main point. Look at games like HalfLife, Quake, MetalGear Solid, and a tremendous number of others. These are fun games, and they are not marketed to seven year olds their target audience is 18-21. And they aren't even exceedingly bloody. I remember a time right after your well mentioned Mortal Kombat came out that games were made bloodier just for the sake of being bloodier and they didn't sell. Even look at today's top selling fighting games. They are not based on Fatalities or the intricate ways that people rip eachother appart. For example look at Bushido Blade (a great game in my opinion). Its main selling point was the fact that there were huge interactive levels and tons of different weapon combinations to choose from. My final point is a rating of M is an umbrella rating, just like an R rating for a movie. A movie can be rated R for swearing, drug use, nudity, violence, or something called adult themes (which really means complex plot). Video games can be rated M for many of the same reasons. Why should we stop the marketing of a game like Ultima Online, Everquest, or Asherton's call because it was rated M (I was going to say Final Fantasy 9 but apparant that got a T). Or how about Fallout or Myth, the list of great games goes on and on. (oh and as a PS Nintendo rapidly discovered that they really couldn't make cutsey games... look at the failure of the N64.)

Ah, the joy of one-sided articles (2)

osgeek (239988) | more than 13 years ago | (#441782)

We will, however, leave you with this thought: we're chilled to the bone by the lengths to which the IDSA seems to be prepared to go to appease the U.S. Congress and the Federal Trade Commission.

The article in its chilled indignation completely ignores whether or not limiting minors' exposure to violence is a good thing.

I hate to admit it, since I enjoy a bit of violence in my movies and videogames: I'd like to believe that we can all handle any type of stimulus at any age, but it seems that study after study shows that kids exposed to violent media absorb that violence like sponges - acting it out in a myriad of ways against their peers.

It seems a bit journalistically irresponsible to automatically take the side of the videogame industry's profits when there are other issues involved here.

Re:The world of toys dies a slow death... (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 13 years ago | (#441783)

There are stories about how a teenager (youngish teen) pointed a very realistic toy gun at a cop at night. Cop couldn't tell that it was a toy, it looked real, and so the cop shot the kid

This happens a few more times, and kids won't do this anymore.

The world is full of idiots. Soon, we'll stop making lollipops because kids can stick them up their noses and damage their brains.

Gamecenter is looking for attention. (1)

Xenopax (238094) | more than 13 years ago | (#441784)

From the article it looks like gamecenter is trying to make this look worse than it is. They are saying that games won't be produced because they can't be advertised; however, nothing that is being proposed prevents advertising, it just limits it.

This doesn't mean I agree with the IDSA. I think they're idea to limit game advertising is very un-American. Gamecenter should report on what is actually happening, not try to make things look worse than they really are.

Re:Games should be regulated like movies. (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 13 years ago | (#441785)

In the words of Eminem, 'Where were the parents at'? The clerk may be to blame, but the responsibility ultimately lies with the parents. At the age of 12 my parents didn't watch me 24 hours a day but weren't stupid. After all you just have to look at the packaging on Quake to see that it isn't really suitable for young children. Mine would have been straight back to the shop shouting the odds about selling products clearly marked as not for children to me. But then my parents aren't irresponsible and bone-idle, expecting everyone else do the parenting for them.

Re:And so they should! (2)

mrlefty (19480) | more than 13 years ago | (#441786)

sharkticon said ,"It all started with Mortal Kombat."

Actually, there has been violence in video games about as long as there has been video games. The first interactive video game was "Spacewar" in 1961.

In the mid 70s, I remember watching the older kids play a gunfighter game at a local pizza place.

The first 3D shoot'em'up was battlezone. I stuck many a quarter in that machine.

The 3D shoot'em'up that got the most quarters out of me was Star Wars. I got to blow up the death star and all the people on it! Pretty violent.

Meanwhile, on the PC I remember some text games that described some pretty graphic detail when you died or killed a monster.

Mortal Kombat got Joe Lieberman's attention, and next thing you know we have ratings on video games (not unlike Tipper Gore and her warning labels on music, another can of worms). Gore/Lieberman, the censorship ticket - and I thought dems were into free speech.

My point is that video games haven't gotten more violent, graphics quality has just improved. Blood splattered on "Gunfight" too, it was just with 8 bit graphics.

mrlefty

Re:Thanks, Joe (1)

MwtrV (311470) | more than 13 years ago | (#441787)

> Add that to the fact that John Ashcroft is a die-hard privacy proponent, and arch-nemesis of Carnivore, etc.... hey, things are pretty good. >

Yes, things are great. Now, with the help of Bush cutting funds for public abortion, we'll have even MORE [underfed, unkept, unnecessary] children in the country who will never have to witness the evils of censorship! It's great in America.

Re:How can this truly be regulated? (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 13 years ago | (#441788)

It's the job of the parents to enforce what their children do, not the job of Walmart or JOhn Carmack.

Attacking the symptoms not the problems. (1)

karandago (174156) | more than 13 years ago | (#441789)

Amazing how you can restrict the showing of violent video games and violent movies to children but you can't stop them from getting the guns to actually kill people.

No one out there can prove that video games lead to violent actions. But I'm pretty sure I can prove that there are a lot of deaths that never would have happened if kids couldn't get a hold of guns. (Not really things like Columbine but more of things like kids shooting themselves and their friends because they find daddy's gun stored in his dresser drawer, or someone who gets angry and kills another person in a heat of the moment thing [note speed and effectiveness of guns])

Why this is happening (1)

fleener (140714) | more than 13 years ago | (#441790)

Is it possible all these people wanting to regulate our games just have never experienced a bout of good old fashioned blood lust? Perhaps they are like virgins who extoll the virtues of a pious life until their 37th birthday when then explode in a weekend marathon of sex with prostitutes, catching an array of sexually transmitted diseases. Maybe it's safer to buy Billy a box of condoms, a copy of Unreal Tournament, and sit him down for a heart-to-heart before letting him explore his nature in a safe and controlled environment.

Unrated games? (1)

Compenguin (175952) | more than 13 years ago | (#441791)

What about games that haven't been rated by the ESRB? As i recall they charge quite a bit of money. What are the restrictions on them.

-Compenguin

Re:But video games probably don't cause violence! (2)

bugg (65930) | more than 13 years ago | (#441792)

No, but the Bandura study (bobo doll) seems to be pretty relevant here. A child watching a character kill and be rewarded, not punished, is more likely to exhibit that behavior.

I trust the Bandura study more than I trust any recent meta-analysis study.

For those of you who aren't familiar with behavioral pyschology/the Bandura study: http://www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/bandura.html [ship.edu] look for "bobo doll studies"

Re:Thanks, Joe (1)

DaveUIUC (95479) | more than 13 years ago | (#441793)

"There ought to be limits to freedom," - GW Bush That Bushism wasn't taken from a normal speech about criminals. It's in reference to him filing a lawsuit against a parody website (www.gwbush.com). You can get the mp3 of his speech from there, I believe. Dave

Re:Games should be regulated like movies. (1)

Seeka (258435) | more than 13 years ago | (#441794)

Uh, No. Making the sale of video games to anyone under 21 a criminal offense? Maybe youth are impressionable, but we're definately not stupid. I'm probably a lot more mature about some of this stuff than some of my "peers", but if you really consider what is happening, it has nothing to do with the sale of the games AT ALL. In fact, we live in a damned society. You want to protect your kids from everything? Lock them up in a chamber 24/7 and hire a catholic teacher -- Hell, even the Bible could be considered "filth" if used in the wrong context.


Seeka

The key word (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 13 years ago | (#441795)

I think the key word here is realistic.
Nobody can tell the difference between a realistic toy gun and a real gun when it's pointed at them. This can cause some unwanted side-effects, like kids getting shot, and it is a logical step to restrict realistic-looking toy guns. AFAIK, all toy guns have those bright-orange caps on the end so that anyone can see that it isn't a real gun. They're not restricting the production of all toy guns, just requiring them to not be as realistic.
That's not to say that I like the idea of kids playing with guns (even toy ones), but that's another story.

----

Re:Thanks, Joe (1)

tentac1e (62936) | more than 13 years ago | (#441796)

By cutting funds to abortion, do you refer to Bush no longer funding abortion related counseling in _other coutries_? I don't know about you, but I like the money that my government takes from me to go toward things that at least involve my own country. The greatest string of words any American can hear is "President cuts funding of foreign...".

Incidentally, I do think the government should have no role in abortion. Whether or not you agree it is a right given in the constution, the government is not obligated to hand it out. Since we have a first ammendment, should the government give everyone a free printing press? Since we have a second ammendment, should the goverment hand out free shotguns?

But does it really matter?? (1)

maunleon (172815) | more than 13 years ago | (#441797)

Games are one of those things that get sold based on word of mouth, reviews, etc. I never bought a game because of an ad on tv or in a magazine. I either buy it when I browse the video store, or because I heard it is good. Also, if they indeed manage to somehow stop kids from buying these games, the internet traffic in pirated games will increase.

Re:Violent videogames dont kill kids... (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 13 years ago | (#441798)

I understand your point, but ratings systems do help greatly in parental decisions. Nowadays, it cannot be expected that the parent will be there for their kids 24/7, though I do agree that greater responsibility should be on the parents. Ratings systems (whether they be movies, music, or games) do make things easier and I think that most parents will welcome them. However, complete restrictions are unconstitutional and I don't think many people (except the most morally arrogant) would agree with such a measure.

----

We check games already (2)

panum (161455) | more than 13 years ago | (#441799)

In Finland we already have had a law for that. It has been enfrorced since 1/1/2001.

There is some infromation (English too) in the web page of Finnish Board of Film Classification (www.vet.fi for Goatsex paranoids). The system is based on idea that the importers have the responsibility of setting the age limits.

There are five categories: Everyone, 7+ years, 11+, 15+ and 18. Now, only 18 is an *absolute* limit (BTW: it is as well the drinking/driving/voting limit here too). The 18 marking means that no-one under 18 is allowed to *buy* such a game and stores are not allowed to sell them for minors. The other limits are only recommendations.

The BoFC will not supervise activly the age limits, but can call a game for checking and enforce a limit. If the Board sets a limit, it will become absolute too. E.g. If the Board sets a limit of 15 years, the shops can not sell the ame for persons under 15.

Some recent age limits are: Mechwarrior 4: 11, 1/2-life 15, Q3: 15 years. Not too bad, IMHO.

-P

Censorship (2)

stigmatic (310472) | more than 13 years ago | (#441800)


The US is on a role to censor all that it can nowadays presenting the notion that things which are not under direct control of government are somehow threatening to the well being of the US.

The CIA [cia.gov] posted a speech by Louis Tenet, their director about one of the threates facing the US' superpower status, which went like this:

Mr. Chairman, we are in a race with technology itself. We are creating relations with the private sector and academia to help us keep pace with ever-changing technology. Last year I established the Information Operations Center within CIA to bring together our best and brightest to ensure that we had a strategy for dealing with the cyber threat.

This is part of the same government the is getting its servers defaced every other month, and not because their clueless, but rather because they use these istances to push for more power and funding.

Along with partners in the Departments of Justice, Energy, and Defense we will work diligently to protect critical US information assets. Let me also say that we must view our space systems and capabilities as part of the same critical infrastructure that needs protection.

Speech can be found here [cia.gov]

Here's a solution for this threat, DON'T POST CLASSIFIED MATERIALS ONLINE, which they don't so what exactly is this threat? Someone DDoS'ing a webserver? 15 years ago when they only had the SIPRNET amongst themselves this wasn't an issue, they still use SIPRNET but now its an issue?

Violence will always be violence and will always exist and whether video games, movies, music promotes it is never truly known, all we hear about are studies, and polls which claim this is the case, violence is fueled by games, music, etc. I never took any polls asking me questions, have you? Where are they getting their information from? has anyone took a quick look to think about this, who exactly is it thats answering these questions, and who gave them the right to decide for the majority of the people?

Lacking the control they would love to have, the government will attempt to control as much as they can while they'll turn around and their explanation will be "Its for your own good", well to be honest I'm more concerned about getting better funding for schools, building housing for those in need, drug rehabilitation vs. incarceration. Not for my tax dollars to be spent by political bigwigs chasing the people at Bonsai Kitten [bonsaikitten.com] because they think its immoral. Why haven't they done anything to sites like Defacation Vacation [defvac.com] which posts pictures of women getting raped, killed, etc? Surely a life of a human would supercede a kitten?

The same government is claiming that Cuba is our worse enemy, are you serious? Cuba? Give me a break Uncle Scam, Cuba is so crippled the only threat they could pose is if they stopped smuggling Cigars to those in Politics under the table.

We can't forget the Osama Bin Laden incident where he's using crypto and stenography. Whats next are they going to go after Spam Mimmic [spammimmic.com] for jumbling up words?

anyways enough rambling I have better things to do [antioffline.com]

Parents need to take more responsibility (1)

imadoofus (233751) | more than 13 years ago | (#441801)

I think its about time that parents became more responsible for the content their child sees. Parents get what they deserve when they set their child down in front of the TV and put a controller in their hands. The government or any other regulatory body has the right to determine what is appropriate for my kids.

Re:Hey Moderator (1)

McChump (218559) | more than 13 years ago | (#441802)

Uh, it *is* off-topic.

Sick and tired about reading crap like this. (1)

BasharTeg (71923) | more than 13 years ago | (#441803)

I'm sick of reading about what rights the government will take away next. When was the last time the government protected someone's right to do something (besides protecting an African-American's "right" to go to a university with a 2.0 GPA and an 1100 SAT while protecting a white person's "right" to go to community college with a 3.8 GPA and a 1310 SAT). I swear to god, we just need to wait for this current generation of congress to frickin die off. We'll feel the difference when we get some of the Nintendo generation in office. Then we can start to clean up some of the damage being done by these hypocrites in office right now. By hypocrite, I mean people who say "It was okay for my peers and I to do it when we were your age, but now we're going to make sure none of you ever do it, because now it's different." We have a bunch of old men who didn't even grow up with calculators in office telling us what is right and what is wrong with their Christian value system and a complete ignorance of the things they are regulating.

This is not the problem (4)

bwalling (195998) | more than 13 years ago | (#441804)

Look, I played Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake, etc starting when I was 13. The games have had no effect on me. I am scared to death of guns. If I ever see one in real life, I will not even be able to pick it up.

There will always be people in the world who are weakminded enough to try to solve their problems with violence. This has very little to do with video games, movies, or television. Do you think that people somehow get confused about the danger of guns when they kill someone in a video game? No, they don't. Do you think they get desensitized? Not in real life. Yes, I am less sensitive to video game and movie violence, profanity, and sex than I used to be. That, however, has nothing to do with real life. I am very much opposed to violence in real life. I am not a proponent of using profanity in public, especially in the presence of children. I am opposed to having a society that is too sexual.

So, you tell me what has happened to me as a result of playing video games.

No matter what you do, there will always be seedy people who seek violence or graphic pornography or whatever else. Please don't take things away from me because you are looking for something to point your finger at. Perhaps you should point to the fact that there are no restrictions on procreation. We have some of the worst members of our society producing offspring. They grow up with alcoholic, violent parents. Often, they grow up with one parent and grow enraged at a parent who abused or left them. Perhaps we should look at why our society does not frown upon things like adultery and divorce.

Re:Not As Horrible As It Sounds (1)

bobu (59712) | more than 13 years ago | (#441805)

Thanks for the almost word for world summary.

MPAA Ratings System (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 13 years ago | (#441806)

This is one of the problems that I've found with the America (MPAA) movie ratings system. I live in Canada, and most American commercials I see are rated 'R'. In Canada, we have an 'AA' (Adult Accompanyment) rating, which restricts people under 14. Movies rated 'R' in Canada are rated 'R' for good reason, whereas many 'AA' movies are rated 'R' in the U.S. This additional step between PG and R is, I think, a much better system that allows for a bit more freedom for our adolescents.

----

"Fscking" Republicans (2)

Shelrem (34273) | more than 13 years ago | (#441807)

What the hell are you talking about?! Joe Lieberman is one of the biggest censorship advocates around. He would've been your vice-president. Yes, technically he's a democrat, but he was fairly right-wing at that.

This same BS would be happening if Gore were in the white house. Maybe not some of the other stuff, but this would. The problem here is the misinformation of the current media. I think we all know about the false connections in all these school murders (well, at least the ones where white kids got killed) between the killers and video games and film and music that later were found to be completely made up. The news is reporting what people want to hear, and people want a scape goat, so they're blaming "unsavory" items of entertainment and killing their first ammendment rights.

It's really, really sad, but it's not caused by republicans.

You know what? (3)

X-Dopple (213116) | more than 13 years ago | (#441808)

I worked at a video game store for a bit as a cashier, and whenever a kid bought up Unreal Tournament or Q3A, I just let the kid buy it. If the kid was with a parent, it'd be just the same.

Why? First off:

- It's not MY job to be enforcing morality on your kid. YOU should take the responsibility to get off your lazy ass and download a demo of the game and determine if it meets your moral criteria.

Second:

- The ESRB's ratings are whacked. CHRONO CROSS was given a "T" for "Mild animated violence" and "Suggestive behavior". I can't find any "suggestive" behavior other than Harle's "Oh la la Serge, you look sexy!" behavior.

In contrast, Lunar 2 (for the SEGA CD, not the PSX, which was corrected) was given a "K-A" rating, despite the fact that it had some nudity, blood, and swearing. In the PSX version, it was given a "Teen" rating, which is all good, but

THIRD:

- I've played Doom, Quake, Quake 2, Half-Life, Unreal, and Wolfenstein 3D since I was 10. Now, does this make me a psychopathic killer? Did it encourage aggressive behavior?

Absolutement pas. I'm a calm individual who tends to shy away from the crowd. Yes, I'm desensitized to violence, but is that necessarily a Bad Thing?(tm)

remember your history (2)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 13 years ago | (#441809)

Ummm the republicans had nothing to do with it. Remember the name Tipper Gore? She started the whole music censorship movement, and guess what party she was for?

Re:Fucking Republicans (1)

rampant poodle (258173) | more than 13 years ago | (#441810)

Uh, the PMRC was an organization invented by Tipper Gore and some of her cronies in DC. (Probably about the same time that Al was inventing the internet)

Why? (5)

defile (1059) | more than 13 years ago | (#441811)

What are they hoping to accomplish?

If they're looking to keep dangerous content away from minors, they have plenty of other targets before they get to video games. For example:

  • The Evening News!
  • History
  • Art
  • The Rest of Television
  • Religion
  • Abusive Parents

If someone reads "Happy shall he be, he who taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones" (Deuteronomy) and bashes their babies into rocks, they're considered crazy. If someone who plays Doom and listens to Metal shoots up their high school, it's the entertainment industry's fault.

If you want to talk about protecting your children, you put an NC-17 rating on the Bible and prevent children from buying it or you're going to shut up.

Germany (3)

Hanno (11981) | more than 13 years ago | (#441812)

There is a similar rating system in Germany, so you Americans might want to turn over here and see about our experiences with it. Games like Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein are rated "18+" and cannot be advertised or sold to minors.

i-d software knows about this and makes some sick fun of it. When Quake came on the shelves, they made advertisements about it months in advance, featuring "happy family" scenarios of a cute family all playing Quake on their computer, a typical 60's advertisement idyll, all smiling, all wearing sweatshirts with the Quake logo. Of course they knew that Quake would be labeled 18+, but they also knew that the rating would come only a few weeks before the actual launch. And until then, they made this faux ad campaign.

Anyway, I doubt that the German rating system has worked. Nonetheless, it exists and it might be helpful to look at it to compare.

------------------

Re:Parents need to take more responsibility (1)

imadoofus (233751) | more than 13 years ago | (#441813)

Whoops! I meant the gov't has NO right.

Quake III, bah (1)

rajinikanth (235707) | more than 13 years ago | (#441814)

why do we need to play quake III anyway? my fav game solitaire is enough for the world:-)))) And it even comes bundled with my favorite OS, Windoze!

Re:What a bunch of sheep. (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 13 years ago | (#441815)

> I think the ultimate goal of the IDSA is to prevent a new DOOM from being produced.

Are you using DOOM as the FPS genre's scapegoat, or are you actually saying that that the IDSA is trying to prevent the DOOM remake from being released?
DOOM pales in comparison to newer games like Soldier of Fortune, whose violence made even me squeamish. Games will become more and more realistic, depicting people who look real crawling for an exit with their intestines trailing behind after you blow their legs off, and I don't think people want such ore. Gibs like in Quake or UT don't really give the death personality, but if a character is pleading for you to stop your rampage, this really makes the simulation a bit too disturbing. Games like this cannot be stopped from being made, but a real ratings system should really be necessary to direct these games to their intended audiences.

----

Re:Ratings have NEVER been enforced (1)

spiro_killglance (121572) | more than 13 years ago | (#441816)

Whats the problem with blood? The same game with stickly darts, Neuf arena-blast gets an ok for kids rating. Kids are a lot more able to cope with things than most people think. After all we'll Evolved in a time when kids would have to deal with having parents killed by Sabertooth tigers in front of there eyes.

Re:Fucking Republicans (1)

Seeka (258435) | more than 13 years ago | (#441817)

I agree... This is all a bunch of conservatist bullshit... It's like the damn abortion arguement: Republicans are both for and against death.. That is, They're against abortion, but have no problem throwing a murderer into the poison chamber.


Seeka

Not as bad as it sounds? Think about this.... (1)

InvalidOp (314840) | more than 13 years ago | (#441818)

Making laws of this sort are unconstitutional, i.e., they prohibit interstate commerce. That's aside from the First Amendment issues (though everything, it seems, can and is being classified as a 1st Amendment issue).

However, I prefer to look at it this way: the government, in this case the IDSA, is attempting to be parents to our children. In my mind, all the parents out there should be up in arms; the idea that someone would try to TAKE AWAY some of your God-given influence on your child's life should trip every alarm in a parent's body. I'm engaged, and I'm looking forward to the time when I'll have kids . . . and this infuriates me. The government is ASSUMING THAT I'M AN IDIOT AND CAN'T TAKE CARE OF MY OWN FLESH AND BLOOD.

And for all the Anynomous Cowards out there who are saying that this "Isn't as Horrible As It Sounds," listen up: since when have you seen a movie, play or other work of art that was profound, spoke to the human condition, was deeply moving and carried a rating of PG or less?

THAT'S RIGHT, YOU HAVEN'T.

The human condition is bloody, full of sex, violence, betrayal and other horrible things. GET OVER IT. Even Disney movies contain these (though they're not usually depicted onscreen). I'm not saying that children should be exposed to these things at an early age. In fact, I'm forcefully opposed to this. HOWEVER, you cannot function as an adult without being able to handle these things.

I do want to note that I'm not placing video games up there with Milton, Homer and Shakespeare. However, I am saying that video games are treading a path toward becoming a medium for telling stories, not just releasing emotional stress. In this, there is a great, as of yet undiscovered tool for passing on values and teaching lessons: why? 'Cause kids love to play video games. If the plot's good and the game is well designed, then the lesson will be learned and passed on. But by placing blatant restrictions on games rated M by the ERSB, the creativity and imagination that could lead video games in this direction will go somewhere else.

InvalidOp

Re:Fucking Republicans (1)

Killio (102774) | more than 13 years ago | (#441819)

This is all a bunch of conservatist bullshit.

This is being pushed by *Lieberman* - he's a Democrat, bucko.

It's like the damn abortion arguement: Republicans are both for and against death.. That is, They're against abortion, but have no problem throwing a murderer into the poison chamber. Uh, yes. There's a difference. Murderers KILL people. ugh. (I am 'pro-choice' though, because I think the gov. should get their noses out of other people's business. This goes for Dems and Republicans.)

Re:Oh, Yea, THAT's gonna happen (2)

bugg (65930) | more than 13 years ago | (#441820)

Perhaps we should read the article?

Lieberman is a great guy (he's my Senator) and he's not for censorship. He merely wants companies to not advertise to young kids.

Nobody has talked about limiting the sale of these games. Only limiting the advertisements. Don't fall victim to knee-jerk, folks.

Re:Thanks, Joe (3)

Valar (167606) | more than 13 years ago | (#441821)

Anything taken out of context can be made to support your point. What that meant, if listened to the whole speech is that we should have stricter penalties for criminals. He was saying that even though america is free, one still shouldn't be able to harm others.

Re:And so they should! (2)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 13 years ago | (#441822)

All I can say is thank God for Nintendo, who realise that you can have a great game without blood and guts.

A ruling like this, if it went through, would do a lot to take nearly all of the First-Person perspective games into a much narrower market. Personally, though, I'm getting a little tired of those. How long since we had a really good non-FPP action game on the PC? Or a console other than Nintendo's, for that matter.

Re:Thanks, Joe (1)

SirGeek (120712) | more than 13 years ago | (#441823)

And should the regulation be by the kids PARENTS ? Not the government ?

Re:Why? (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | more than 13 years ago | (#441824)

But violent games are DESIGNED to be fun.
How many kids do you know who read the bible [willingly]?
And how many kids watch the evening news?
Or appreciate art?
Games are interactive killing, and it makes sense that kids raised on being rewarded for killing will influence their thought patterns. Abusive parents are a completely different problem, however. I think the majority of problems like these come from neglect by parents, and ratings systems just help parents decide what their kids can consume.

----

Re:The world of toys dies a slow death... (1)

Spazholio (314843) | more than 13 years ago | (#441825)

Does anyone else here remember Transformers? Not the molded plastic crap we have now, but the *real* ones from the eighties? The ones that were made from cast iron and could take your friggin' eye out? Matter of fact, I think that's what actually happened, and now they don't make them anymore. We're making everything too PC and too safe. Our kids are going to grow up in such a censored and sheltered environment, that when it's finally time for them to take the reins and DO something, they're not going to be able to do ANYthing. We're going to be put into nursing homes by wussies, and that scares the hell outta me.

Clockwork Orange... (1)

mother_superius (227373) | more than 13 years ago | (#441826)

Alex:
I don't care about the dangers, father. I just want to be good. I want for the rest of my life to be one act of goodness.

Chaplain:
Question is, weather or not this technique really makes a man good. Goodness comes from within. Goodness is chosen, when a man cannot chose, he ceases to be a man.

Alex:
I don't understand about the whys and wherefores, I only know I want to be good.

Chaplain:
Be patient, my son. Put your trust in the lord.

Alex:
Instruct thy son and he shall refresh thee and shall give delight to thy soul.

Chaplain:
Amen.

Minister:
How many to a cell?

Governor:
Four, in this block, sir.

Minister...
Cram criminals together and what do you get? Concentrated criminality. Crime in the midst of punishment.

Governor:
I agree, sir. What we need are larger prisons and more money.

Minister:
Not a chance, my dear sir. The government can't be concerned any longer with out-moded penalogical theories. Soon we may be needing all of out prison space for political offenders. Common criminals like these are best dealt with on a purely curative basis. Kill the criminal reflex, that's all. Full implementation in a years time. Punishment means nothing to them, you can see that. They enjoy their so-called punishment.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA (1)

InvalidOp (314840) | more than 13 years ago | (#441827)

"Video game manufacturers are the criminals for belching out their bile and filth to young, impressionable children. This has to be stopped right now!"

Excuse me.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Ah.......okay, I think I can talk coherently now.

Hmm. Since when do impressionable children have the money to buy a computer, much less a gaming machine AND Quake 3/Diablo/The Sims? Quake 3 itself costs $60. The gaming system could cost upwards of $2000. What? Oh, the parents bought it for them. Oh, I see. So the parents aren't paying attention or taking responsibility for what their kids are doing? They sound like the criminals to me.

But as far as having games regulated like movies...raise your hand if you have ever skipped past the idiot running the ticket at a movie theater because you wanted to see T2 or something worse (rating-wise)? Come on...raise 'em high...that's right...so I guess that regulating movies doesn't work after all. HMMM. So your suggestion that we regulate games like movies (what you actually meant was regulate them like cigarettes and liquor...but wait...that doesn't work, either...there are always ways around this sort of thing) won't work either.

Anyway, I hope that your post was in jest. Because it sure made me laugh.

InvalidOp

Absurd standards (2)

RandomPeon (230002) | more than 13 years ago | (#441831)

The IDSA truly is evil. No other entertainment industry has ever been this chicken. They're going overboard to avoid shadow regulations which would most definitely be unconstitutional.

You can find R-rated movies advertised on TV and in publications outside the demographics thresholds they've set. You can find Eminem songs on MTV. This is taking "protection of children" to an absurd extreme, especially in light of the total lack of objective connection between video games and violence.

The gaming industry will end up like Hollywood. If your masterpiece is likely to get an NC-17 rating you can't make it unless you're willing to gut it because no one will touch NC-17 films. Eyes Wide Shut, Natural Born Killers, and many other films get hacked to death to get an R rating. Our film industry has lost the ability to make anything controversial because no distributor will touch NC-17 material. Now gaming, after a youthful period of great creativity, is headed down the same path, only even faster. Hope you like Mario, because he's all you're ever gonna see again.

Re:Thanks, Joe (1)

kwo (122720) | more than 13 years ago | (#441834)

Additionally, do not forget that Tipper Gore was influential, if not responsible, for the idiotic "explicit lyrics" stickers on music sold in stores. However, it was funny watching the likes of Dee Schneider (Twister Sister), Judas Priest, and ACDC make appearences in Congress.

Re:Ratings have NEVER been enforced (1)

ddstreet (49825) | more than 13 years ago | (#441835)

Hell, can you imagine if 10-year olds across the nation were all watching Hannibal without their parents knowing its contents? Nightmare city.

And what's wrong with that? I watched The Exorcist when I was 10 and it scared the shit out of me, but I certainly don't see what's wrong with that?

Dealing with being scared is a part of life. If you try to hide the world from a child, they'll be unable to deal with reality when they grow up. "Protecting he children" is complete bullshit, and children who are "protected" wind up more screwed up than the people "protecting" them.

Yes, ban the Bible! (5)

ddstreet (49825) | more than 13 years ago | (#441838)

If you want to talk about protecting your children, you put an NC-17 rating on the Bible and prevent children from buying it or you're going to shut up.

Damn right. More people have been killed and tortured in the name of Organized Religion than any other cause. And the Bible is filled with very negative messages; anti-gay, anti-female, anti-other religion, etc. Quake, Doom, Unreal, etc. show a little blood and guts, while the Bible tells you that everyone unlike you is evil and should be punished. Hmmm....

Oh look... (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 13 years ago | (#441839)

....the government is trying to play mommy again, how cute. Will they never learn? I'm sure the ACLU will be on top of this soon.

http://www.aclu.org

Jaysyn

I donít think we have any thing to worry about..? (1)

Conrad_Bombora (225559) | more than 13 years ago | (#441842)

I think most of this legislation was drafted during the Clinton administration. And would have most certainly have passed with a Gore / Libramin Presidency remember these 2 were very into the idea of big government censoring things for the children.
Bush on the other hand seems to be hands off on this whole censoring issue...
Bush is more interested in fucking up the environment...
Yes I know he called the internet "dark and evil" or something like that.
But actions speak louder then words. Bush's has appointed Michael Powell to head the FCC, and Powell has publicly stated that the government should not tell parents how to raise their kids and the FCC will not be in the business of deciding what is appropriate to broadcast. To further illustrate this point the FCC has now dropped it's obscenity case against Howard Stern.
I know the FCC is not the FTC. I just think what's happening in FCC shows how Bush seems to have a hands off approach on the censoring issue.

Praise Causey.... www.thecauseyway.com

Re:What a bunch of sheep. (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#441843)

In SoF, after a kill, I usually take out the shotgun and shoot away at the body, hacking off limbs and spilling out the intestines. It's fun!

Re:The world of toys dies a slow death... (2)

Betcour (50623) | more than 13 years ago | (#441844)

But toys are dangerous ! That's why Bush and it's right-wing fanatics will put more restrictions on toys, and less restrictions on gun sale/ownership. Guns don't kill people, video-games kill peoples !!!
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