The assault on video games


Missy
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I'm honestly debating whether or not to go see Kick Ass because of the age of the female protagonist. Why? Because my little sister is that age right now. And I'll probably be thinking of her when I see that stuff on screen, and then I will probably have to leave the theatre to throw up. I mean, maybe in a few years, when she's not anywhere near that age, but what I'm hearing about the protagonist, and at that age? I'm sorry, rail on me all you want, but I just do not want to see that.

Also, video games can be an art form in some cases (SotC, Okami), but nine times out of ten, that's not what's being aimed for.

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Well, Venneh said in the Kick-Ass thread that she found the idea of an eleven year old killing people to be unsettling.

And honestly Venneh, if the mere thought of watching an eleven year old slaughter a bunch of bad guys sounds awful, then yeah, avoid the film. I will say that the action scenes are way over the top, and it’s not as violent as the comic (graphic stuff does happen, but I don’t think it ever lingered on a shot like Watchmen did). But I’d still recommend holding off from seeing it, at least for now.

I have to say though;

Also, video games can be an art form in some cases (SotC, Okami), but nine times out of ten, that's not what's being aimed for.

I don't think anyone here would argue otherwise. I think that's kind of true for most forms of entertainment though.

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At the end of the day, gambling, tobacco, alcohol and drugs, hell even cars cause a gazabillion times more harm to society than anything that video games do, but the government doesn't make much (if any) taxes/income from video games, so they can attack at will and also pluck at the heart strings of the "won't someone think of the children" crowd.

It fucking sickens me to death that governments act this way. Just a disgrace.

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Also, video games can be an art form in some cases (SotC, Okami), but nine times out of ten, that's not what's being aimed for.

Again, we have to lump it all together. We can't just say that the pretty stuff is art and ignore everything else.

The people that make straight-to-DVD National Lampoons movies aren't trying to aim for artistic excellence but no one would ever deny film as an art form.

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The Supreme Court, wading into a thicket of free-speech and children's rights issues, agreed Monday to decide whether California can ban the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.

The court will review a federal court's decision to throw out California's ban. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the law violated minors' constitutional rights under the First and Fourteenth amendments.

California's law would have prohibited the sale or rental of violent games to anyone under 18. It also would have created strict labeling requirements for video game manufacturers. Retailers who violated the act would have been fined up to $1,000 for each violation.

The law never took effect, and was challenged shortly after it was signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. A U.S. District Court blocked it after the industry sued the state, citing constitutional concerns.

Opponents of the law note that video games already are labeled with a rating system that lets parents decide what games their children can purchase and play. They also argue that the video games - which the Entertainment Software Association says were played in 68 percent of American households - are protected forms of expression under the First Amendment.

The decision to hear this case comes only a week after the high court voted overwhelmingly to strike down a federal law banning videos showing animal cruelty. The California case poses similar free speech concerns, although the state law is aimed at protecting children, raising an additional issue that could affect the high court's consideration.

Michael D. Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association, said video games should get the same First Amendment protections as the court reaffirmed last week for videos.

Given last week's ruling, "we are hopeful that the court will reject California's invitation to break from these settled principles by treating depictions of violence, especially those in creative works, as unprotected by the First Amendment," he said.

California lawmakers approved the law, in part, by relying on several studies suggesting violent games can be linked to aggression, anti-social behavior and desensitization to violence in children. But federal judges have dismissed that research.

"None of the research establishes or suggests a causal link between minors playing violent video games and actual psychological or neurological harm, and inferences to that effect would not be reasonable," Judge Consuelo Callahan said in the 9th Circuit ruling.

Callahan also said there were less restrictive ways to protect children from "unquestionably violent" video games.

The supporters of the law say the same legal justifications for banning minors from accessing pornography can be applied to violent video games. They point to recent Federal Trade Commission studies suggesting that the video game industry's rating system was not effective in blocking minors from purchasing M-rated, or mature-rated games designed for adults.

But courts in other states have struck down similar laws.

The video game industry also argues that approval of California's video game restrictions could open the door for states to limit minors' access to other material under the guise of protecting children. "The state, in essence, asks us to create a new category of nonprotected material based on its depiction of violence," Callahan wrote in the 30-page ruling.

The court will hear arguments in this case in the fall.

The case is Schwarzenegger v. Video Software Dealers Association, 08-1448.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/26/AR2010042601762.html?hpid=topnews

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How is it any different to not selling tickets to a movie that is adults only rated? If we want video games to be treated as a serious media, it will come under the same standards as them.

I'm fine with an adults only rating for video games and for kids not be allowed to buy those games. As long as it doesn't lead to every game being rated adults only, I don't see the big deal.

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How is it any different to not selling tickets to a movie that is adults only rated? If we want video games to be treated as a serious media, it will come under the same standards as them.

There's no federal or state law prohibiting the sale of R-rated movie tickets to minors, either. That's just a policy that movie theaters have. It's actually unfair to apply prohibitive laws to games that don't apply to other mediums.

Furthermore, this would just set a bad precedent. This could potentially lead the way to more laws dealing with minors and the media that no one wants. Will it one day be illegal to show your twelve-year-old son The Matrix?

This is putting mature-rated games on a similar level to cigarettes and alcohol. It's ridiculous.

Every major games retailer already has a policy in place for this.

And hey, if this becomes a law, how will the sale of games over the internet work? Online retailers could be penalized for selling games to minors when they didn't even know it.

EDIT:

The ESRB rating system is actually better than the MPAA system; it's more precise and has more information for the consumer. This whole controversy just shows that politicians aren't yet from the "gaming generation," and don't understand that games will not turn your children into axe murderers.

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  • 2 months later...

You can go through that whole level without killing any unarmed civilians. You never hear that from the people pissed at that scene. They also don't tell you that you are not a terrorist, but an undercover agent posing as one to stop them. This stuff is in movies all the time, but you put a controller in your hand and all the sudden it's immoral?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Another day, and another set of shameless lies by the mainstream media. A British "newspaper" reported that Rockstar Games was going to make a "Grand Theft Auto" sequel about the infamous crimes in Rothbury. The problem is there was no such game. It was made up out of whole cloth. The "newspaper" didn't even bother to contact Rockstar Games to confirm the rumor - because facts would get in the way of a despicable smear.

This wasn't even a mistake. This is a fabrication meant to smear a company to increase readership for the so-called "newspaper" - something that should not surprise anyone who has followed the mainstream media's coverage of the video game industry for any length of time. This is truly shameful.

When it comes to video games, you simply cannot trust the mainstream news media. This has been obvious for nearly two decades now, and the MSM has made no effort to reform itself despite repeated humiliations caused either by laziness or outright dishonesty. Unless you're reading a source specifically dedicated to covering the video game industry, you have to take what you're reading with a 50 pound block of salt.

Because you will need a lot more than a grain.

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I've just gotten to the point where I expect society to end up like V for Vendetta so things like this don't surprise me anymore.

I don't think we'll end up like that. I think we'll end up like in Demolition Man, where everything that the government deems "bad for you" is outlawed, and the only songs on the radio are horrible old commercial jingles.

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