#201 Posted by Bollard (6614 posts) -
@DivineCC said:

@Twazuk said:

How are violent video games regulated in the United States? Are there no laws against selling mature rated games to minors? That's all I can imagine when these sort of cases come up. Do the people selling these games not care how old the people actually buying them actually are? Are there not age ratings on your boxes?

Theres no criminal law against it. Stores just adopt a policy of not selling to minors but theres no legal consequences for doing so.

This is why I don't understand why everyone thinks this is such a big issue! As far as I can tell this case will just actually make it illegal to sell 18 games to minors - which it already is in most other countries (AFAIK). 
In England if a game is rated by the BBC (And probably PEGI as well) it's illegal to sell to under 18's. So what? It's been like that for ages and nothing has changed. If this is really all the law is about, then it totally should be passed! It's ridiculous to rate games and then not even enforce that by law. 
America is so weird >.>
#202 Posted by edgefusion (95 posts) -

@zudthespud: If by "works great" you mean "is entirely ignored by everyone involved" then yeah it works great.

#203 Posted by PHARAOH (152 posts) -
 I never let my little sisters play my M rated games no matter how much they begged when i was 17. I even made the little brats leave the room while i played. So if a kid can do this why can't these idiot parents do it?
#204 Posted by Doctorchimp (4175 posts) -
@MattyFTM said:

@OppressiveStink: I don't see why it would have an impact on game sales. Plenty of other countries have legally enforceable age ratings on games, and it doesn't affect anything. They sit on store shelves just like every other game. The only difference is that it has an "18" age rating on the bottom corner of the box, and it's illegal to sell it to anyone under the age of 18. That age rating doesn't affect sales any more than an M rating will affect sales in the US, and I don't see why that would change under a law making it illegal to sell violent games to minors. I think people are making a mountain out of a molehill with this whole thing, reading into how it will effect the industry when it'll have little effect at all. It is stupid to single out video games and ignore other types of media, but having legally enforceable age ratings on media is a good thing.

But what you are describing is already happening with the ESRB, the bill is not looking for that sort of safeguard. They want to take it further.
What is happening if this thing gets past is videogames with violence in them being regulated to obscene materials. 
Most sales come from major store chains, please keep in mind you aren't the average shopper. You're a moderator on a videogame site, not everyone has your knowledge. People just go in and buy games.
That will be gone and a huge portion of sales along with it. Companies won't allow that to happen, so they'll just make games to keep them on shelves. 
Remember the US is where the majority of sales come from, our market is way bigger than yours.
#205 Posted by fontainefellow (194 posts) -

Wait, why not just make a law that forbids retailers from selling games to people that aren't age appropriate and call it a day?

#206 Posted by MacEG (277 posts) -

No amount of government intervention will stop bad parenting. 

#207 Posted by JoeH (213 posts) -

@fontainefellow: That's far too sensible for the government to do.

#208 Edited by Sooty (8195 posts) -

So if this is passed all it means is kids can no longer purchase adult/MA games themselves?
Wow. Big deal, this makes no difference to anything and is hardly even news.
Edit: Until you're of age you get parents/random people in stores to pretend to be your parent when you buy games above your age level. That's what I did.

#209 Posted by JoeH (213 posts) -

@Ygg: No it means shops won't be able to stock them.

#210 Posted by Sooty (8195 posts) -
@JoeH said:

@Ygg: No it means shops won't be able to stock them.

Well that's the last time I form an opinion based off previous comments again...
Hope that doesn't include online stores too
#211 Posted by JoeH (213 posts) -

@Ygg: No it just means major retailers won't stock them. Hopefully sensibleness will prevail.... hopefully...

#212 Posted by Sooty (8195 posts) -

This could really push the next gen of consoles into digital distribution if it goes southcock. (but I do think they might go that way regardless)

#213 Posted by Tebbit (4577 posts) -

The US Constitution: Making the creation and operation of laws a pain in the ass since 1787.

Why doesn't America just act like most other countries and let the legal system operate outside the bounds of a 300 year old document?

#214 Edited by sketch (196 posts) -

@Doctorchimp: But couldn't this also be the catalyst that causes retailers to start stocking the so called obscene materials.

Something tells me walmart wouldn't want to miss out on their yearly Call of Duty cut, whether it's classed as obscene or not

#215 Posted by zacharai (95 posts) -

@Tebbit said:

Why doesn't America just act like most other countries and let the legal system operate outside the bounds of a 300 year old document?

Common law legal systems developed in the Middle Ages, far predating the U.S. Constitution. Most of your law is based on documents over 300 years old.

Also, 300? Math.

#216 Posted by Capt_Ventris (635 posts) -

Awesome. So potentialy the entire worldwide industry could be effected by a US supreme court ruling. Yay for everyone

#217 Posted by Tebbit (4577 posts) -

@zacharai said:

@Tebbit said:

Why doesn't America just act like most other countries and let the legal system operate outside the bounds of a 300 year old document?

Common law legal systems developed in the Middle Ages, far predating the U.S. Constitution. Most of your law is based on documents over 300 years old.

Also, 300? Math.

I rounded up. Way up, Mother fucker.

#218 Posted by capthavic (164 posts) -
@Cribba said:
Why can't all of these OLD PEOPLE just die?
Unfortunately stupidity can't die...
#219 Edited by darkdragonsoul99 (128 posts) -
@MattyFTM: Having another law is never a good thing  Any time someone says there ought to be a law there really ought not be.  There is no reason to make a law about something that works just fine without a law. More minors get a hold of alcohol  or weed then M rated games purchased by them selves.  In fact the best example of how laws tend to backfire it is easier as a underage person to get any illegal drug then get into a R rated movie or buy a M rated games.   The self regulation in the market now works it works better then any law the threat of a fine is not going to change a thing other then there being another government organization and  government having more power.  
Personally I want the government to have less power not more.  
@Chavtheworld: yes we are so weird because we don't want a totalitarian government. We like not having our government deciding everything for us .
#220 Posted by yogetoutdaway (132 posts) -

the real issue here is why the hell porn is so heavily regulated, lol.

#221 Posted by Zol (64 posts) -

What  a horrible system in which few clueless illiterate people(Supreme Court) decide what other people can and can't have.
You need to change this horrible system.

#222 Edited by darkdragonsoul99 (128 posts) -

 I swear no one seems to understand what being classed as obscene really means. 
Let me break this down for everyone this classifications would be the same as hardcore porn. Have you ever seen any porn in a normal store let alone hardcore porn? If so what country do you live in I wanna live there.  
This is not setting up a rating system and enforcing it this is classifying violent video games obscene and a special case that is not protected by the first amendment. This is one very slippery slop once you give the government the power to ignore the first amendment for one thing it's only a matter of time til they try and do it for others.  
It's what we did with the 4th amendment and look where we are now the 4th amendment is almost non existent. 

#223 Posted by Rhedd (3 posts) -
@OppressiveStink said:

@norenewalfee: @TJUK:

Please don't take this as an insult to your respective countries but the USA is quite a bit more of a significant market than your individual countries. Most video game companies make the majority of their dollars from our purchases. To think there wouldn't be any impact after the largest market for video games is stymied is kind of silly.

I think the US accounts for some 36%(?) of all video game sales. So yes, they do need to take that market into account.
But I guess, being from the UK I don't fully see the problem either, or why it would affect sales. People are saying the ESRB works great on it's own. If that's correct then I don't see why Devs would need to change what they're doing now; they must already need to take into account that the higher the classification the lower the potential market they're reaching. If the voluntary system doesn't work, then yes, sales might drop slightly for 18+ games, but it'll only drop by the number of minors who currently buy mature games, and isn't that kinda the point? 
The main places that will be affected won’t be the big chains which already have strict policies, but the small shops that sell anything to anyone who has the money. And again, I think introducing a system that brings the ethical practices of those shops in line with the larger chains is exactly why classification is a good thing.
As a manager of a chain supermarket I'm looking at it from the retailer's perspective: I can't see companies like Walmart suddenly turning their back on all the hundreds of millions of dollars a year they must make on mature games by simply not stocking them. If they're worried about fines they'll introduce a policy similar to what we have here, 'Think 25' which basically means we ask any customer who looks under 25 to show ID when buying an 18+ product, it has almost completely removed the human mistake element and customers almost never protest.
And the police and officers understand that the clerks are only human, I was caught selling an 18+ movie to a minor a long time ago, before the Think 25 came into affect; the police and the managers had a sit down chat with me explaining the problem, made me undergo some training and then let me go back to work; no fine and no disciplinary action for me or the store. It was a first mistake and the kid had looked quite old, it won’t just be an instant $1000 fine.
Anyway, I guess my only problem with this law (and it's a big problem) is that it singles out games as if they're worse than films (or, as others have said, just for children). Enforced classification in my mind is a good thing, but it should be applied to all mediums, not single one out. Just my 2 sterling pennies worth.

#224 Posted by buft (3409 posts) -

will it really be the end of the world if kids need to get a parent to buy the latest M rated game? nope

#225 Posted by Nasar7 (3041 posts) -
@Zol said:
" few clueless illiterate people(Supreme Court)"
Wow, really? Supreme court justices are some of the most intelligent, well-read, tuned-in, and fair-minded people in the country. Why don't you go read the transcript of the case before spewing such childish nonsense. 
#226 Posted by Gonmog (652 posts) -

people are just not getting it.

Please don't knock our piece of paper that gives us the right to burn flags, hate others, hold massive protests for things we dont agree with, get rid of our head of state when they fubar, view all web sites out there with our restrictions, more or less do what ever the fuck we want as long as we dont hurt others. Few places in the world have that freedom. And laws like this take away from our freedom bit by bit.

As much as i love games like LA Noir, MK, GTA, Red Ded, GoW, Assassins Creed, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect, and what not, this is not about games only. Yes everyone in the world could be effected by this law if it passes because game makers will try there hardest to make sure there games make it into as many hands as they can. Game makers are worried about this. I mean look above at the quote.

This is more about more of the US freedoms being taken away. If you live in a other country i respect your views, and what ever laws your country has in place is there. NOT FUCKING HERE!!! We have our freedoms. And they are the biggest thing we have in the States. It is why people are proud to be a American even knowing that a lot of the world hates us for some of the dumb shit our gov does.

But guess fucking what, we get to protest and bug our congress men with phone calls, and stand out side buildings with picket signs and say this fucking sucks! Cant do that in a lot of places with out getting shot at.

So please, if you live in a other country do not come in here and say "Well our country has this and that law its not a big deal". Because to be blunt that is a dumb ass fucking thing to say. First cause that law here in the States, can change how games are made, second, because we dont want to lose our freedoms like you have. And we won't stand around and let it happen, like you have. It is a big deal. A big enough deal people fought for that freedom and died to write that 200 year old piece of paper that gives us the rights to make our own choices. We owe it to ourselves and other country's out there that are trying to follow our path and gain the same freedoms we have, to fight laws like this and understand they are a big deal!!!

#227 Posted by Gonmog (652 posts) -

@Nasar7 said:

@Zol said:
" few clueless illiterate people(Supreme Court)"
Wow, really? Supreme court justices are some of the most intelligent, well-read, tuned-in, and fair-minded people in the country. Why don't you go read the transcript of the case before spewing such childish nonsense.

Yeah calling them illiterate and clueless is really dumb....they did ask some very good questions in that transcript if you read it.

#228 Posted by s10129107 (1365 posts) -

While it totally make sense to not allow violent media (games, movies or whatever else) to be sold to children, this could be the first step in becoming the new Australia.  How slippery is this slope??

#229 Posted by pueblonative (2 posts) -

@OwlPen0r  In America, technically the ERSB is a private entity, as is the movie ratings board.  There is no requirement to actually use the ratings (most do largely because newspapers refuse ads for unrated movies, but that's a private decision).  But on another topic, I'd love to see some developers put together a graphically violent game based on the Bible (wouldn't be that hard) and see how that would fly in California.

#230 Posted by Gonmog (652 posts) -

@pueblonative: The bible really does not have any place is this topic. As it has nothing to do with the case on hand. the bible is not brought up at all. This is about a state that thinks they know better then the rest of the world, i mean really they have signs around here that say this item contains items that is know in California to cause cancer. ...only in California? :o lol

#231 Posted by Beforet (3007 posts) -

@Zol said:

What a horrible system in which few clueless illiterate people(Supreme Court) decide what other people can and can't have. You need to change this horrible system.

The hell are you talking about? The Supreme Court justices are who keep striking down these sorts of laws. And I imagine all of them are far more intelligent than you'll ever be.

#232 Posted by DG991 (1435 posts) -

@Tebbit: All joking aside that is how the founding fathers set it up so our country wouldn't end up like others. It is supposed to be a pain in the ass to prevent tyranny. It is very safe from change normally.

And also I can't imagine a ruling against video games seeing as how they are so popular now.

#233 Posted by dudeglove (9646 posts) -

Well I'm just glad I live in Russia.

#234 Posted by TotalEklypse (982 posts) -

This won't pass. 

#235 Posted by NorthSarge (275 posts) -

@capthavic said:

@Cribba said:
Why can't all of these OLD PEOPLE just die?
Unfortunately stupidity can't die...

nailed it.

#236 Posted by left4doof (318 posts) -

I'm afraid . Have you seen the shit Germans and Australians have to put up with ?

#237 Posted by SwiprNOSEwipng (26 posts) -

Everyone needs a political agenda I guess. I don't actually think these people bringing this to court are really against video games. I just think they don't play them and need something to further their career in law.  
Why not video games? It's a huge case with plenty of press. Perfect for attempting to make themselves look good. Too bad for them I think this is really as far as it goes. 

#238 Posted by Gonmog (652 posts) -
@vdortizo How? Take away our freedom of speech? That don't seem like a good idea seeing as that's sorta important.
#239 Posted by Dookysharpgun (622 posts) -
@ATTILAtheFUN: They're fighting against this because, much like movies, TV and books, no government has a right to suppress any form of media. Kids shouldn't play these games, and that's why we have ratings on the box. Crap parenting is the only reason this situation arose. But, let me put it to you like this: what happens if, and that's a relatively small if, this law goes through? I'll give you a quick outline: bigoted ignorant fucks think they've gained momentum, and begin an assault against the industry thinking they can get away with this crap. Ratings boards are forced to adapt or die, and the global market dries up because game developers no longer have the freedom to make what they want to make. Violence in videogames disappears, the industry is taken over by all manner of shit games, and we, the older, more mature gamers, end up being pushed out because we no longer get any enjoyment out of our medium. 
What I'm trying to say is...well that the people behind this are idiots, they have no clue about videogames, ratings or, for that matter, parenting. Now giving these people a win would inevitably lead to them pushing harder and harder to stomp out any form of creativity and freedom in the games industry, because they're far too close-minded to understand that developers, publishers and distributors aren't the problem. They are. And let's face it, there are worse things for kids than violent videogames. Being bred by two individuals who, just through luck, discovered which parts to put where, creating another wretched life that they'll breed into  the world of ignorance and zealous beliefs, for example, is much worse. 
You aren't wrong, and yes, the intentions of this idea are pure, but much like religion, or even government, there are people behind it, and people, unfortunately, are a blight on pure ideas, especially when they're as thick as two short planks, tied either side of a fucking elephant.
#240 Posted by Gonmog (652 posts) -

Btw, the freedom of speech Is in the bill of rights. And that is what they are trying to get by.
Everything wrote on them both are very blanketed. I want you to read them and tell me what should be changed that has not already. If you don't know then maybe your thoughts on changing it are flat out wrong.

#241 Posted by OppressiveStink (366 posts) -


Well, taking a look at the ESA's site it seems in 2010 only 33% of the video game industry's total profit comes from the sale of M rated video games(i'm willing to bet most of the "M" rated games sold were sold in specialty stores like Gamestop.). The vast majority of the profit comes from T or lower video games. http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2011.pdf

As a financial risk analyst, I suggest ways that businesses cut profit gaps and avoid financial liability scenarios. If I was the manager of a big-box and knew that there would be more than the average once or twice that someone would get away with buying a rated M game, I'd certainly play with the idea with removing the margin of error. ONE 1000USD fine erases the profits of roughly 100 video games (10% profit margin is pretty damn generous). This would DEFINITELY impact the decision to carry M rated games by anyone with half a brain.

Not being in those retailers cuts down on available sales, product visibility, access to certain titles (depending on geographic location, some places here just have big-box places like Walmart). This will impact profitability by the big companies that take chances on games like Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noir. This makes "M" rated games harder to Justify to stock holders and investors (who, by law in the US, you have to make the right decisions for).

#242 Posted by Hoz (4 posts) -

It seems like ruling to allow restrictions on video games would be a legal precedent that allows restrictions for all forms of media and, thus, all speech.

#243 Posted by HitmanAgent47 (8553 posts) -

I don't think this will pass because it goes against the 1st ammendment, if it does, you should all protest. All gamers unite.

#244 Edited by ninjalegend (476 posts) -

To me, the "feel good" laws are the most dangerous type that can be presented. They do great harm with the majority of people thinking it is for the greater good. Take the patriot act. It protects us from terrorists, right? Did you also know of our countries right to a speedy trial? Throw that out the window. The law may now hold you indefinitely without a reason exept for the broad suspected terrorist. Say or do something the government doesn't like? Search and seizure without a warrant is now possible. Along with other terrors for a free society, but I digress.
As for people from other countries saying "It hasn't harmed us" let me tell you of an experiment pertaining to political science. (Don't try this at home. It is cruel, and just a lesson) Teacher takes a frog. Drops it in hot water. It immediately jumps out. If you put the same frog in warm water and very slowly warm it up, the frog will die from the heat before it knows to jump out. The frog's ignorance of the temperature change is not the frogs fault. It is the malice of the person turning up the heat, ever so slowly. Lessons like this pertaining to people in power can also be learned from great books like , Animal Farm, 1984, Ferinheight 451, and so many others. Not if the books are considered obscene, though. Simple extrapolation based on history will show you the correlation of the proposed law and this possibility.
As a side note, I suggested my nephew should read Animal Farm now that he is in the fifth  grade, as I had read it by grade three. His teacher sent home a note that it would not be "appropriate reading material".

#245 Posted by fuddles (88 posts) -

Wouldn't this just increase piracy? 

#246 Posted by sickVisionz (1299 posts) -

Meh, I still don't get this.  You can't sell M-rated games to kids is what this law says.  Developers and publishers all stand by this ideal and bring it up.  When it comes down actually getting a ruling that enforces this, they all say this will be the end of the world and not being able to sell violent games to kids = Nazi Germany. 
I scratch my head when a developer says not being able to sell M-rated content to children is akin to " our right to express ourselves is hanging in the balance."   I don't see any connection unless said developer is in the business of creating and selling M-rated content to children, something they all swear they aren't doing.

#247 Posted by Jayross (2647 posts) -

Great article, p-dog.

#248 Posted by OppressiveStink (366 posts) -


If you want an answer to your post, feel free to read my posts in this thread. If you make it a law and fine infractions to the law (with big-box retailers, there will undoubtedly be some that slip through the cracks) the big box retailers(the places that sell the most video games,) would stop carrying M rated games. This leads to less profit overall which means different choices will be made when developing video games. This whole argument is about logical causality, it's a pretty easy chain of events to understand.

#249 Posted by beej (1675 posts) -

@vdortizo said:

Mmm... Edit: As I always say; the constitution of the United States is just too old for the world we live in right now... it needs to be reviewed with a critical eye for today's society...

Really? Man that constitution is so totally lame and stuff. We can already engage in incremental revisions of the constitution. There's no need to make drastic shifts.

The Congress shall have Power - To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

#250 Posted by Gonmog (652 posts) -
Wouldn't this just increase piracy? 
Of what? M rated games just won't be made.