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Violent Video Game Law Struck Down 502

Posted by michael
from the gta-still-good-to-go dept.
The Importance of writes "Washington State banned the sale of violent videogames depicting violence against 'law enforcement officers' to minors under age 17. When challenged, the law was blocked by a preliminary injunction. Yesterday, a federal district court decided that the law was unconstitutional because it failed the strict scrutiny test and was also void for vagueness. Read the 15-page decision [PDF]. A summary of the case's holdings with quotations here."
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Violent Video Game Law Struck Down

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  • by Sovern (631825) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:19PM (#9720068) Homepage
    I think they let members of society get out thier frustrations without physically acting them out.
    • Mod Parent Up (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mfh (56) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:23PM (#9720135) Journal
      This is bang on the money. Violent Video games give people stress relif; they are good for society. Would you rather someone take their frustrations out on other people, instead of fake people? Let's face it, there are plenty of injustices in the world that require more attention than any injustices proportedly caused by violence in media, be it video games or film.
      • by Rei (128717)
        Guys! .. GUYS! The widescreen edition of "The Sound of Music" is attacking Marty in sector D-29!
      • Re:Mod Parent Up (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Cat_Byte (621676) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:44PM (#9720488) Journal
        If you use it for practice you'll be soreley disappointed when you can't aim with a mouse and find that one returned bullet does more than take a little health away.
      • Re:Mod Parent Up (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pyro_dude (15885)
        This is bang on the money. Violent Video games give people stress relif; they are good for society. Would you rather someone take their frustrations out on other people, instead of fake people? Is there any evidence of this, or is it speculation? Personally I'm a fence-sitter on the issue. I don't think some mortal combat is going to make anyone a serial killer but then again we are what we consume, not just through food but through mind as well.
      • Re:Mod Parent Up (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Hatta (162192) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:54PM (#9720639) Journal
        Same thing with pornography BTW. If you can beat off to a girly mag you're less likely to have pent up frustration that will make you want to cheat on your spouse, hire a hooker, harass that cute technician, etc.
        • Re:Mod Parent Up (Score:5, Insightful)

          by NanoGator (522640) on Friday July 16, 2004 @04:39PM (#9721249) Homepage Journal
          "Same thing with pornography BTW. If you can beat off to a girly mag you're less likely to have pent up frustration that will make you want to cheat on your spouse, hire a hooker, harass that cute technician, etc."

          I wish more women understood this. Some of them out there actually get offended that the guy they're involved with looks at porn. "I should be enough for him!" *Shudder* Hint, ladies, there is no such thing as a woman on this planet that would 100% completely satisfactorally squelch a guy's curiosity about other women. We are not WIRED this way. We are not programmed to take one mate, settle down, and that's it. We were developed to run around and make everybody pregnant. Don't believe me? Look at other examples of the male's role in nature. We bend over backwards to have monogomous relationships, we should be granted at least a little bit of release.

          I think the story is similar for the violence in video games debate. It needs to be understood that there are a LOT of people out there who aren't against video game violence because they grew up on it. Despite that, they are not violent people. They don't have violent tendencies. They don't have anything wrong with them that they would desperately want to avoid spreading to other children. For this reason, very serious proof needs to come about. Unfortunately, that proof is going to have to by the truckload. One kid shooting a car and blaming GTA3 is not compelling. 100 kids, well maybe. 10,000 Okay, we can believe it.

          In both cases, a level of understanding has to be developed.
          • Re:Mod Parent Up (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Pharmboy (216950) on Friday July 16, 2004 @06:51PM (#9722530) Journal
            Its very easy, the confusion between men and women. Once women realize that men are incredibly simple creatures, and they should leave us alone, they can be happier. Its very simple:

            Women want ONE man to fulfill her EVERY need.

            Men want EVERY woman to fulfill his ONE need.

            Its almost that simple, really. You want to impress a man? Show up naked, bring food, and don't block the TV. We really don't need much, but we can't stand being bitched at, or told our constant hornyness is wrong or bad. You leave us alone about dirty movies, lighten up a little, and we will do anything for you. Anything. Fortunately, my wife already knows this, which is one reason I married her.

            To all the women here reading slashdot (both of you), please pass this on.
            • "Fortunately, my wife already knows this, which is one reason I married her."

              I've had similar luck. My gf isn't bothered by porn. It's great for me because I can live without it being some sort of big secret. One thing she knows is if I'm home looking at porn, I'm not out shopping. Heh.

              Part of this is I lucked out in the gf department. She's great and I wouldn't trade her for anybody. I think the other part of this, though, is that I don't think I'm abusing her patience. For example, I don't hav
    • by SIGALRM (784769) * on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:23PM (#9720147) Journal
      i love violent games
      On August 5th I will begin letting some serious frustration out on "personal demons"... :)
    • if i could get halo/ut style sticky nades for traffic and highway situations i think my level of violence would increase substantially

    • Study vs. Study (Score:3, Informative)

      by lakeesis (325621)
      For those following the "your study is better than my study" debate, the Seattle PI ran this article [nwsource.com] in early July giving a general run-down of several of the well known, and often quoted, studies on both sides of the fence.

      The most telling part of the article is the tagline at the end - "Media violence is only one of many factors that contribute to societal violence," Anderson has written, "and is certainly not the most important one."

  • So.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by manavendra (688020) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:19PM (#9720069) Homepage Journal
    ... if a cop is killed in a movie, then ban the movie?

    And possibly all future productions by those involved in it?
    • Re:So.. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by black mariah (654971)
      No, but it is rated R and movie theaters have the option of not allowing children to see it. In fact, if it's bad enough then it's rated NC-17 and nobody under 17 can see it at all. Learn to read.
      • Re:So.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AuMatar (183847)
        Except those are voluntary actions. There is no law banning children from theaters for R or NC-17, such a law would be unconstitutional, see the first ammendment.
      • Re:So.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by chris_mahan (256577) <chris.mahan@gmail.com> on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:28PM (#9720236) Homepage
        14 years old can pull the trigger as easily as a 22 year old.

        In this country, ([stand up straight, remove hats] our Blessed and Glorious Country), you are a child, a child you hear, with no rights, no voice, no nothing, until you turn 18 and then wham, society hits you with a ton of bricks (paperwork) and all of a sudden you're supposed to conduct yourself as an adult and a productive member of society. Well, if you don't get the training and exposure, sherlock, you ain't gonna be any good at dealing with adult stuff.

        I'm of the opinion that all the under 17 or under 18 laws can be brought to under 13 and society will be better off in the long run.

        US, wake up, the other 5.7 billion people can't all be wrong.
        • Re:So.. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by pavon (30274)
          My reservation with that is that if you are going to give them the responibilities of being an adult at age 13 you really ought to give them the freedoms as well. If you don't that is just plain contrary to liberty, and unfair.

          If you do, then they are no longer subject to their parents at 13, and I'm sorry but kids that age need parents to watch over them as much or more than any time in thier life. Preferably it will more hands off, but parents need the ability to step in when the situation merits it. Doi
        • Amen (Score:3, Insightful)

          by JJahn (657100)
          I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm 19, so I recently have experienced being a "child". Basically society treats you like shit in general. You have no rights, you are obviously an idiot who can't make any decisions, and even if your parents want you to have more rights, its next to impossible to get them.

          The convenient part of this whole setup is, you still get the honor of paying taxes under 18, even without any representation in government or any rights. I started working part time jobs at 14, so
          • Re:Amen (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jackbird (721605)
            The convenient part of this whole setup is, you still get the honor of paying taxes under 18, even without any representation in government or any rights.

            You're overlooking free public education, a massive government-supported public health/immunization initiatave, child protective services and a foster care system should you need them, government oversight of employed minors to ensure safe working conditions, the entire transportation infrastructure (along with its regulatory arm) that you gain access to

      • True. But there isn't a law banning children or pregnant mothers or people of nevous disposition.

        Agreed the content may not always be pleasurable, but such blanket laws just impose a total clampdown, and pave way for even more restrictions
    • Re:So.. (Score:5, Funny)

      by gUmbi (95629) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:29PM (#9720253)
      ... if a cop is killed in a movie, then ban the movie?

      *shrug* At least the public would no longer be tortured by Police Academy sequels
  • All that remains... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cloudkj (685320) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:19PM (#9720077)
    ...for Washington state legislators to be done is to ban all music talking about hate and violence toward law enforcement offers, ban all movies depicting anti-law enforcement scenes, and ban all TV shows that show or insinuate violence against law enforcement officers.
    • No, the new decency laws will effectively do this by making it prohibitively expensive to do anything the least bit riskee. No need for laws when you can accomplish the same through extortion;)
  • My favorite line (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hether (101201) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:20PM (#9720087)
    "Do the Roman centurions of 'Age of Empires' ... qualify as 'public law enforcement officers'?"

    Shows just how laws like that could be misinterpreted...
    • Re:My favorite line (Score:4, Interesting)

      by GPLDAN (732269) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:28PM (#9720226)
      How about the zombie police officers in resident evil? No historical obfuscation there. It IS a public law enforcement officer, no question about that. It just happens to not want to serve and protect, unless it means serving up your brains for lunch.

      What about a film noir story that depicts a corrupt cop? Is it ok to kill him, because he is corrupt? What defines his corruption? What if he just performs vigiliante actions, like killing robbers and then planting guns on them? Can he be killed?

      Would it be okay to make a game in which I could be allowed to...oh....say.... rob a hooker after doing her? Carjack innocent people? Oh....wait
      • Would it be okay to make a game in which I could be allowed to...oh....say.... rob a hooker after doing her? Carjack innocent people? Oh....wait

        LOL, good one. How many other games can you think of where you're killing cops indiscriminately? Not many.
    • What about the German guards in Medal of Honor...
      aren't they technically enforcing laws?

      What kind of world are we living in where we can't pretend to shoot Nazis anymore?!

  • by vuvewux (792756) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:20PM (#9720089)
    Drugs became illegal in the US because of these exact types of stupid legislators. Now, it's part of our culture. Walk down the street and you can find zillions of people who actually believe that pot kills. Same with video games. Once they ban them, it's easy to "educate" people with PR campaigns. Eventually, hardly anyone will remember the days when a 10 year old could play space invaders. Zillions of people will actually believe that videogames cause violence. Truth won't matter. Science won't matter. Research won't matter. They will believe it because they don't think about it, and are afraid to take a minority stand.
    • Maybe. However i don't know anyone who thinks pot kills, everyone knows that pot just makes you stupid. In fact, I would argue that most people think alcohol is far more dangerous to your health. Drinking too much can kill you, smoking too much pot can't.

      Drugs like heroin can kill. It's a good thing that heroin is illegal. So comparing video games which don't hurt anyone, to drugs, seems to be doing an injustice to video games.
      • by GigsVT (208848) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:45PM (#9720506) Journal
        everyone knows that pot just makes you stupid

        Yeah, the several Nobel Laureates that were pot smokers were pretty stupid.
      • by RatBastard (949) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:57PM (#9720681) Homepage
        You've never met kids who've gone through the D.A.R.E. program. They tell all kinds or horrific lies about drugs. Crap like pot will turn you into a heroin junkie.

        Now, I support teaching kids about the dangers of drugs. But I'm against lieing to them about it. If you want your kids to be able to deal with drugs they need to know the truth.

        The problem with lieing to kids about drugs as mostly-harmless as pot is that when the kids do try it, and none of those evil things happen to them, they doubt your word on the really dangerous stuff like cocain and heroin.

        Honesty is paramount when dealing with children if you want them to have the tools to survive.
      • ...Everyone knows that pot just makes you stupid...

        No, no... pot has three main side effects. Decreased short term memory, decreased long term memory, and... I forgot the third.

    • Walk down the street and you can find zillions of people who actually believe that pot kills. Same with video games.

      You cannot simply equate pot to violent video games. People are harmed and killed under the influence of pot, or by someone else who is under the influence. If you want to equate pot to violent video games, you have to make the argument that after playing a violent video game, your capabilities are somehow impared while you are under the influence of the video game.

      I think there is a shor
    • Just to clarify, there is quite a bit of evidence that drug laws came about because of race and class issues. Look at which drugs were originally criminalized, and what kind of penalties are currently enforced, not to mention how they are enforced. Also look at licensing issues on types of alcohol

      One of the most interesting example, at least in the U.S., was the ban on the smoking of opium. Opium was still widely and legally available, but smoking, a habit favored by chinese immigrants, was criminalize

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vuvewux (792756) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:22PM (#9720133)
    Long ago we needed a separation between Church and State. Now we need a separation between Parent and State. Parents need to take some responsiblitity in raising their children and stop blaming every form of media that doesn't fit into their package of morals.
    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by I8TheWorm (645702) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:30PM (#9720267) Journal
      I wholeheartedly agree. My fiance (a police officer) and I have three kids. GTA hasn't found its way into our collection of PS2 games, because, strangely enough, we act like parents. Neither of us is going to try to tell other people they can't play it... that's not any of our business.

      What's interesting about her job is she is now a PO with the local ISD. When she worked at the school in east county where the average income is much lower, and people are more "common" for lack of a better term, a phone call to a parent resulted in an apology and an action. Now that she works at the school in the "affluent" neighborhood, a phone call to a parent results in blamestorming, "not my child" and "you people should be doing more to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen." Those folks want the rest of the world to raise their children so they're not inconvenienced, and they're the people that think laws like this are a good idea.
  • Good to see (Score:5, Interesting)

    by XeRXeS-TCN (788834) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:23PM (#9720134)

    It's a good sign that free speech and common sense has largely won out in this circumstance; it's been some time since I've seen a legal issue on here that actually followed the principles of freedom granted by the constitution, rather than blatantly ignoring it ;P

    One thing that I did notice though, was:

    Given the nationwide, on-going dispute in this area, it is reasonable to ask whether a state may ever impose a ban on the disseminations of video games to children under 18. The answer is "probably yes" if the games contain sexually explicit images, and "maybe" if the games contain violent images, such as torture or bondages, that appeal to the prurient interest to minors.

    Which suggests that as expected, the debate over violent/explicit video games is long from over, and more restrictions may well be brought in over time.

  • Good...and bad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nebaz (453974) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:23PM (#9720156)
    It is interesting that the court appears to have said that obscenity can not be used as a justification (i.e. can't sell Playboy to minors) because obscenity deals with sexual matters, rather than violence.

    While I think that this is a great win for free speech, does it seem a bit weird that the ability to blow someone's head clean off is given a higher protection than showing someone's nipple? Which one is really worse in the long run?

    Note: I am not for censorship of any kind, though I think voluntary ratings and PARENTAL INVOLMENT I N CHOICES are the best solution, but it speaks volumes that violence seems to be celebrated but anything sexual must be covered up "for the children". It really goes to show the almost paradoxical prudist warrior culture that permeates America today.
    • Austria. When I was there in 2000. There was some advertizing compaign that had naked people in shop windows. Yes, the woman was topless and you could see her boobs (no pubic areas though ). Ya know what? After a while, I didn't notice them (boobs). Mind you - she was hot!

      So my point - other countries don't make a big deal out of nudity and nothing bad is happening to them. Is it?
      My question what's the real difference?
      Is it that we're, generally speaking, infantile or adolescent here in the U.S.? Or what?

    • > It really goes to show the almost paradoxical prudist warrior culture that permeates America today.

      Where in the world do people come up with this stuff? Ever heard of a film called "Braveheart"? You may remember some scenes of violence in that movie. And what rating did it achieve? R, for "brutal medieval warfare". That doesn't pull any punches; that doesn't say word one about the sensuality between Wallace and Murron.

      > ...does it seem a bit weird that the ability to blow someone's head clean
    • by mr_luc (413048)
      There is such a huge moral difference between a game that has, for instance, an unavoidable in-game cutscene or scripted sequence that is terribly violent, or that offers such as part of the story -- and a game that just models a world, and you can CHOOSE to pick up a gun and shoot someone.

      After a while, the GTA-esque games will have such advanced simulations for every part of the gameplay experience -- better vehicle physics, better AI, better "flocking" crowd behavior, etc -- because it becomes physicall
  • So... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Unnngh! (731758) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:23PM (#9720162)
    ...are most cops that get injured in the line of duty attacked by people under the age of 18? I'm glad the law has been stopped--this is, IMO, the duty of the parent not the gov't.
    • I think they're attacked by people under 18 who play violent video games and have some sort of addiction to gorgonzola, though I'm not sure where that fits in to the whole scheme of things...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:24PM (#9720172)
    Than I ever did playing Doom, Quake, or Half-Life.
  • BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thedogcow (694111) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:26PM (#9720208)
    This is such bullshit. There is no formidable connection between violent video games / music and a proclivity to commit violence in the long run.

    I'll tell you what the problem is with the youth of today with all the violence.... Shitty parents. Mystery solved.
  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:27PM (#9720210)
    Graphic depictions of depraved acts of violence, suc as the murder, decapitation, and robbery of women in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, fall well within the more general definition of obscenity. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has found that, when used in the context of the First Amendment, the word "obscenity" means material that deals with sex. Only "works which depict or describe sexual conduct" are considered obscene and therefore unprotected.

    Why exactly is sex deemed to be worse than violence? Why are violent portrayals protected but sexual portrayals not?
    • Because sex is needed for the furtherance of the specie, and, by extension, of any group.

      So if the poor and stupid and criminals stopped having sex (can't have babies without sex) the WASPs could eventually have their nice little world where everybody is rich, smart, and law-abiding.

      Twisted huh?

    • It has something to do with society/religion and consequences.

      Firstly, sex can have some pretty bad consequences, for instance teenage pregnancy which severely handicaps young people. I know. I was a father at 19 and while I've gone on to great things many do not, especially in poorer communities. That said, young people who are not violent can watch violent movies and just be entertained, then shrug it off later. Young people however are naturally all VERY horny and extremely curious. Growing up I can rem
      • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:54PM (#9720641)
        I never said that I thought sex was harmless, but a lot of the harm that sex causes can be avoided by educating children properly. And by properly I mean none of this "don't touch anyone until you are married" nonsense that one would have to be an idiot to think that most people will follow. For some reason (probably the same reason Americans don't like sexual portayals in the first place) we refuse to consider open, honest and frank sexual education.
    • Because parents... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Friday July 16, 2004 @04:37PM (#9721220) Homepage
      Why exactly is sex deemed to be worse than violence? Why are violent portrayals protected but sexual portrayals not?

      ...find it much easier to answer "Mommy, why did he shoot her?" than "Mommy, why did he put his thing in her bottom?" And because it is much easier to say "You should never shoot anyone" than to explain the complexities of when, where and with who it is reasonable to have sex. "Not until you're <age>" is hardly going to work...

      Kjella
  • by Eberlin (570874) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:29PM (#9720263) Homepage
    As the demographic moves from teenyboppers to more mature folks in their 20's, are they even really focusing on the right people? Yes, I understand that it's not exactly wholesome material when 47 fiber-wires the local law enforcement officials. I also understand that I'm playing a video game.

    For the younger crowd, there's a rating system in place. If mommy buys Hitman: Contracts or Vice City for little johnny (even after reading the rating for it) -- and continues to let the PS2/TV/Internet babysit the child, I believe no law can help that "family."

    It's a strange society that looks to everyone else for responsibility in raising children. When all else fails, I suppose we can always blame Canada. Until then, spend time with your children. Make sure they know the difference between reality and fantasy. Give them a sense of morality. Lead by example and for fsck's sake, let them know they matter. I bet that'll work much better than any legislation could.
  • by Eudial (590661) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:33PM (#9720313)
    The law is leaving the poor kids with no option but to illeagally acquire the games (warez). Great job!

  • Yet again, we teach our kids and everyone playing games that pretend death is fine, but pretend love is not... and they wonder why everyone's weird!
  • then, because of pacman, teenagers would gather in
    dark rooms, listen to electronic music and pop pills. Oh wait...
  • Doom III (Score:2, Funny)

    by filtur (724994)
    Well with Doom III finally coming out, I can't be held responsible if I go about blasting demons and zombies that I come across.
  • This is ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dehumanizer (31435) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:40PM (#9720415) Homepage
    First, as others have said, what makes a game (or, for instance, a cartoon or comic book, although these ones are less censored these days) different than a movie or a book?

    GTA is much more "light" than any cops movie, yet are these censored all the time? Are all of these X-rated or something?

    Second, the thing about law enforcement officials, specifically, is absurd. If that law passed, then what would come next? Shouldn't firefighters enjoy the same "protection" from violence in games? Old people? Women? They can be killed in a movie, but not in a game, because a game is different, right?

    Besides, doesn't the game have an "M" or an "18" on the box? Shouldn't be sold to minors, period. No need to create a NEW law about the killing of THESE people you PARTICULARLY don't want killed, even if it's just a game. If a parent wants to buy it for his 8-year old kid, anyway, despite the obvious sticker, then it's HIS responsibility (although in America he'll blame the games industry and/or the government anyway, if something goes wrong with the kid later).

    (BTW: the "kill the haitians" thing in Vice City was even more ridiculous. Drug dealers can sell drugs, kill people, but god forbid they make racist comments, because they are NICE people, good role models, after all...)
  • by prockcore (543967) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:43PM (#9720469)
    Am I the only one who thinks the headline to this story should be "Violent Video Game Law Fragged"
  • by John Courtland (585609) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:48PM (#9720542)
    ...and my parents took me to the local Egghead Software to get a video game for my birthday. Being a young computer nerd, this was fine by me. Well, I chose some game that I really wanted (I now forget the title) and my mom INSTANTLY asked the sales guy if it had ANY violence in it. Yep, it sure did. So I put it down. I then chose "Blades of Steel", and the sales person told my parents you could get into a fight in the game (it's hockey, for those of you who don't know). So now, frustrated as hell, I put that game down. So then I decided on Microsoft Flight Simulator 4. Seemed to go ok, until we got home and my ma opened the package and read the manual.... "WHAT?!? WORLD WAR ONE COMBAT! YOU CAN SHOOT PEOPLE! AHHAHHAHAHHH YOU AREN'T PLAYING THIS!" I was a social retard for a while because of this constant shielding from the Chicken Little that was my mother. Hitops were 'gang shoes'... Etc etc. Funny that after all that, I still got into fist fights at least once year until I was in High School, because of my lack of height and my raising (social retard). At least I learned how to fight. :-/

    Fucking stupid Tipper Gore bullshit, and my ma bought into it like a sucker.

    My point? Kids are smarter than people give them credit for, and they need to be held responsible more often. I knew what the fuck the difference between fantasy and fiction was back then (I was 8), and so do kids today. In fact, I truly believe they are smart enough to game the system for protection when it comes down to it. What really needs to be done is for children to have better education. Spend all this wasted money on effectively teaching kids and giving them a future, and shut the fuck up about violence, because we all know that it's bullshit anyway.
    • by mr_luc (413048)
      I could not agree more.

      The reaction of people like your mother is a very, very visceral one -- and it's visceral because AT THE TIME, you really WERE stupid! You were a retard.

      I was in exactly your shoes, and I agree totally. I got around it by (thanks to my voracious reading) being more informed than my mom, who was an asolutely amazing airhead-savant artist who painted naked chicks on a 16-foot canvas and hung it behind our huge living room window on the one hand, and on the other hand sent me to my roo
    • Fucking stupid Tipper Gore bullshit, and my ma bought into it like a sucker.

      Huh... My parents raised me on James Bond films and those cool 1970's martial arts flicks. I knew how to break a spine in three places or seduce a sexy Soviet double agent before I could tie my shoes.

  • My take (Score:3, Interesting)

    by KillaForTheScrilla (797314) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:51PM (#9720599)
    Banning titles is indeed a bad idea, but (as previously stated by another person) restricting them is fine by me. Parents do need to work at raising their children, but the government needs to give them the tools to do so. If a law requires people to be 18 to buy "Cop Killah" games, then it gets my vote. But, banning such games is indeed against how I interpret the constitution. Let parents choose how to raise their children while stopping children from choosing how to raise themselves. As always a happy medium shows good results. Sometimes, adults also need to vent. Requiring credentials doesn't impact freedom (if you play your cards right, you will someday be 18 too). Washington took it too far, seems it is getting on the right track again.
  • by Whyzzi (319263) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:51PM (#9720600)
    Do you realize how much tax revenue would be lost if they banned violent video games?!
  • Will it never end? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tekime (541514) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:53PM (#9720618) Homepage
    People have been griping about this forever now. It truly amazes me how misguided parents can be. Take the hundreds of hours you spend whining and moaning, and go spend them with your children. Parents need to take some responsibility for their children's upbringing, if you don't like a game, then don't let them play it. If you hate television so much, don't let them watch it. I don't think hiding your children from reality is a good choice, though. It only truly becomes an issue when it's made an issue. You rant and rave to your child for years about how evil this that and the other thing is, there is probably a much better chance of them having problems coping with the cruel reality of our world when they are eventually forced to anyway. Provide guidance, wisdom, and caring for your kids. Teach them the difference between reality and video games, teach them to treat others with kindness, and let them come to their own conclusions. Going postal from playing a violent game only proves that you are one of two things: stupid, or insane.
  • by Samari711 (521187) on Friday July 16, 2004 @03:59PM (#9720709)
    is that the courts found that video games DO qualify as protected speech. This is a very good thing because it sets a precedent that will make banning/restricting games much harder.
  • by crovira (10242) on Friday July 16, 2004 @04:17PM (#9720993) Homepage
    Seriously, if you want something banned in this country (the Good Ol' USofA,) just say it gives you a throbbin' nob.

    I'm sure that people will get up in arms (which would not get them upset in the least,) and parade against the game.
  • by Mmm coffee (679570) on Friday July 16, 2004 @04:30PM (#9721145) Journal
    Started thinking, and virtually half of all video games ever made have depicted violence against "law enforcment officers" --

    Zelda 3 - The first dungeon of the game is nothing but killing LEOs.
    Metroid 3 - You remember that corpse in a spacesuit in front of the door to Kraid? Now, that's most likely another bounty hunter like Samus, and thus could be seen as a LEO.
    Final Fantasy. Any Final Fantasy - Most notable is Final Fantasy IV, where the first half of the game is spent directly fighting the most powerful nation in the world.
    Super Mario Bros. - You spend the entire freakin' game flattening goombas and stomping koopas, who are trying to kill Mario by direct order from King Koopa.

    The list goes on and on. This is the problem with broad laws - they can be used to cover literally anything if you look at it from the right angle.

    Castlevania - The story of a proud nation ruled by the ageless Count Dracula, and it's struggle against the treasonous Simon Belmont. Hundreds - nay, thousands of Dracula's innocent followers have been mindlessly slaughtered by this heartless terrorist who is hell bent on overthrowing the great leadership.

    Etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
  • Accountability (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dgagley (468178) on Friday July 16, 2004 @04:34PM (#9721193)
    I agree with others that people need to be more involved with their children. There are games my children will not play. I have taught my 8 year old what the ratings are and to ask me.

    Have these people ever watched the news?
    The difference between the Nightly News and a violent video game is that the games are NOT REAL. My kids are smart enough to know the difference.

    Life must be lived not legislated.

  • This is awesome! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by transient (232842) on Friday July 16, 2004 @05:40PM (#9721860)
    Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson wrote this law and said, "While we may have lost this one battle in the sale of violent games against children, the war is far from over."

    What kind of idiot uses violent metaphors to describe their initiatives against violence?

  • In short, the regulation of speech at issue here is not limited to the ultra-violent or the patently offensive and is far broader than what would be necessary to keep filth like Grand Theft Auto III and Postal II out of the hands of children.

    - Judge Robert P. Lasnik, Video Software Dealers Association et. al. v. Maleng et. al. [corante.com] , Page 12

    I kind of thought GTA III was more of a parody and funny as hell than anything serious. I never thought it was "filth." Neither did the neighbor kids we allowed to play it. Most of them were too young to understand what a hooker does, anyway. My sister told one of the 9-year-olds who comes by to visit that she is not to kill anybody when a certain 6-year-old was around because his mother doesn't like the idea.
  • A child's mind is like a bank, whatever you put into it, you get it back 10 years later with interest.

    Porn and violence is tearing apart marriages and families. Anyone who can't see the moral decay and complete deterioration of society as a whole because of these two abhorations has their head up their ass.

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