Author Topic: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)  (Read 14464 times)

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Offline RemSaverem

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Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« on: November 02, 2010, 03:05:29 pm »
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101102/ap_on_en_ot/us_supreme_court_violent_video_games

Personally I do believe there should be limits. How, set by whom, whether age restrictions or overall bans or industry guidelines, I don't know enough to have an opinion.
I do side with the justice who differentiates between watching portrayals of violence and directly being the instrument of fascimiles thereof.
I do believe we become inured to violence through massive exposure to it.

Opinions, anyone?

And Brownie points to Justice Sotomayor for asking about Vulcans....
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Offline fleur_fraise

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2010, 03:54:55 pm »
I only skimmed the article, but not allowing children to buy violent video games without a parent seems totally reasonable to me. They might be a bit strict about what is considered "too violent for children," but honestly, as long as they aren't completely banning violent video games, I don't see the problem.

Although... Isn't this why we have game ratings? You have to be 18 to buy M rated games, and you have to be 13 to be T rated games. (tell me if I'm wrong) Aren't those just the set rules?
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Offline reppy

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2010, 04:08:52 pm »
I seem to recall states instituting such restrictions, getting sued by the games industry, and subsequently losing. Allegedly it is a "freedom of speech" thing, which I find to be a crock. What, should adult (you know what I'm talking about) films be available to those under the age of 18?

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Offline DancingTofu

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2010, 05:03:16 pm »
While the effects of violent games and violent behavior are correlary, it's not exactly rational to deduce that the former is causal of the latter.  I play lots of violent video games, and I'm anything but a violent person.  Like any other young adult male though, I suffer from the aggression caused by having more testosterone in my system than I will at any other point in my life, and violent video games and exercise are my means of venting that out so that I can continue to be a soft-spoken pacifist in real life.  That's no new argument.  Violent people tend to play violent video games, but violent video games don't make people violent.

That said, I think it's really important that young children aren't exposed to significant amounts of violence, including violent punishment or aggressive music.
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Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2010, 05:22:47 pm »
Vulcans....



While the effects of violent games and violent behavior are correlary, it's not exactly rational to deduce that the former is causal of the latter.  I play lots of violent video games, and I'm anything but a violent person.  Like any other young adult male though, I suffer from the aggression caused by having more testosterone in my system than I will at any other point in my life, and violent video games and exercise are my means of venting that out so that I can continue to be a soft-spoken pacifist in real life.  That's no new argument.  Violent people tend to play violent video games, but violent video games don't make people violent.

That said, I think it's really important that young children aren't exposed to significant amounts of violence, including violent punishment or aggressive music.



My opinion on the matter:

GAMES HAVE RATINGS ALREADY!!!  BE A PARENT AND PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU BUY YOUR KIDS!!!





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Offline Maiku

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2010, 09:31:40 pm »
I just finished an essay for my writing class about this case.  Where I feel that it is important to be careful what our youth are exposed to, it is not right to censor and put legal restrictions on what content can be sold to minors.  For example, it is not illegal to see a R rated movie under the age of 18 (many parents and theaters won't allow it, but it is not a crime and you don't read news stories about it when underage kids do see these movies).  There is no scientific evidence to support violent games lead to violent behavior either, they may desensitize or even bring out latent tenancies - but they are not the cause.  Games are deserved of the same rights given to jazz music, rock-and-roll, writing, painting, etc.  All of these things have gone to court in the last 100 years, for the same reasons, and time has shown us that their non-restriction has been a benefit not a bane.  Finally, my greedy reason - if they become illegal to sell, more companies will focus on making games that are not illegal to sell thus effecting the market for adults greatly as well.
Censorship of expression should not be tolerated, the ESRB is enough!
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2010, 09:39:21 pm »
What is the ESRB? Is that the Tipper Gore movement that led to the  the "warning explicit lyrics" labels on rap records?
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Offline Maiku

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2010, 09:45:46 pm »
Entertainment Softward Rating Board
I.E. The self-governing body that rates video games, very similar to the way movies/television have ratings, to show what age they are suggested for - as well as let consumers know of any content that the purchaser might not be agreeable to.
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Offline NARUNIK

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2010, 10:39:51 pm »
I believe that ofcourse, games need ratings and restrictions, first of all for us gamers, I hate it when I see a 7 year old on Modern Warfare, He said "pwnedge" even when I killed him.

Second, believe some ratings can be kind of dumb, Modern Warfare 2 was like a halfway point of 13+ and 18+, barely cussed and wasn't that gorry or bloody. (Mainly the Treyarch team for Call of Duty makes it like that) I wished they did it just by a sensible age. Modern Warfare  felt like a 15  or 16 to me.

Something like God Of War or GTA DEFINETLY NEEDS 18+ ratings. Kids shouldnt be exposed to that stuff because honestly, Iv'e seen a few kids that played that stuff and they cuss like a crazy gangster....

Offline Maiku

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2010, 11:50:12 pm »
Ratings aren't what is being discussed by the Supreme Court.  What is being discussed is weather or not it should be legal for kids to play/purchase 18+ games.  The ratings system in place is fine and I think that all video game stores (like theaters with movies) should enforce those ratings when chosing to sell a game.  I am, however, way against making it illegal.  This is the same arguements (being used to make violent games illegal to sell to minors) that were used against the Beattles' music, used against James Joyce's writing, used against seeing movies.  In all these cases the First Amendment won out.  It should here as well.  Parents, Retailer's, etc should be enforcing and making sure that inappropriate content isn't distributed, not a law.

You also don't acknowledge that if violent game sales were made illegal to minors, then it says the first amendment does not apply to video games.  This opens the floodgates to more laws restricting what can and cannot be in the medium.  Games can be art and should be protected like every other form of expression is in this country - it shouldn't be freedom for everything but games.
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Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2010, 12:52:36 am »
There is no scientific evidence to support violent games lead to violent behavior either

This reminds me of one of my favorite rants by Ron White.  He talked about how some people were wanting arcades to get rid of the shooter games because kids were getting so good at them they'd go out and kill their classmates with incredible aim; one example being a kid who shot 8 bullets & killed 9 people.

He argued that, not only should parents be held responsible for thier kids instead of these video games, but to give a lot of quarters to California cops so that they can play these games, because their aims are TERRIBLE!!!  (That's not a bad idea...)
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Offline DancingTofu

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2010, 01:03:06 am »
They used to have an M15+ rating for video games.  I'm not sure why they got rid of that, since there's a pretty wide maturity difference between Middle School and High School aged kids.  I remember being really unhappy when I was 15 and went to buy Diablo II, only to find out that the re-released Diablo Battle Chest had been changed to the normal 18+ "M" rating.  Granted, I wound up buying it when I was 16 anyway, but it was still annoying.

The problem with the ratings is that most parents simply don't care, and those that do tend to care more than they probably ought to.  If you look like you're at least 13 or 14, a game shop won't refuse to sell you any game.  It's money, and they aren't legally required to ID you, so why would they?
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Offline Maiku

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2010, 01:24:59 am »
That is a really good questions, I know most movie theaters are very strict on carding people.  I think that if retailers became as strict about following the ratings as theaters are, then things would work out pretty well.  It isn't that I am for some twelve year old playing kill, blood, gore part 6 - I just don't like the concept of legal censorship stating the bill of rights doesn't apply to games.  Something similiar happened not to far back, about a decade, with music and ratings / in the end stores became much more strict on who got to buy certain cds (in addition to parents being more aware). 
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Offline somanyturtles

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2010, 04:02:15 am »

 If you look like you're at least 13 or 14, a game shop won't refuse to sell you any game.  It's money, and they aren't legally required to ID you, so why would they?

Actually Gamestop has a policy NOT to sell M rated games to people under the age of 17, it comes down to the employee enforcing it at the time of sale.

Like Maiku said, every major entertainment movement has come under fire like this over the past 100 years, video games are just whats next in line. You all remember a few years ago when Maralyn Manson and Eminem where taking heat for the same thing. 

The ESRB was created to warn parents about the content of video games just like the MPAA was created to warn parents about the content of movies. You know when you see a movie trailer and the first thing that pops up on screen is that "It's rated this and here's reasons why" thing is at the bottom of the screen, the same thing is on the back of the video game box. If a parent doesn't read that or even watch the first 10mins of game play, it's no fault but their own if there kid plays a violent game. On top of that, game developers don't make super confusing titles for their game to boot. I'm more than pretty sure that anyone can figure out that Assassins Creed, Gears of War, God of War, or Left 4 Dead are probably violent games.

I can agree that little kids shouldn't be playing M rated games, but by no means should it be illegal for people to develop violent games.

If you all wanna be kept up to date on this stuff and find some fun ways to protest these laws (Like sending the Senator who's spearheading this campaign thousands of broken video game controllers) check out this site and sign up.

http://videogamevoters.org/

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2010, 10:41:08 am »
IMHO, there are a few separate issues.
(1) The extent to which *viewing* simulated violence may cause an increase in likelihood of responding violently to real-life situations and/or of initiating violence.
(2) The extent to which *being the causative agent of* simulated violence may cause an increase in likelihood of responding violently to real-life situations and/or of initiating violence.
(3) The extent to which either (1) or (2) varies with either (a) the age at which one is exposed or participates, (b) the frequency of exposure/participation, and/or (c) the graphicness of the violence.
Obviously longitudinal studies of a mammoth number of players vs. viewers would have to be performed, which would be quite spendy.
(4) Whether or not even in the face of irrefutable evidence that would constitute sufficient justification, in the eyes of the Supreme Court, for additional restrictions on access.
(5) What those restrictions would look like.

Personally I think it's disgusting that society is so squeamish about something innocent like two men holding hands or kissing and so inured to incredible amounts of simulated gore and myriad ways of committing massacres that kids are enacting in games. Disgusting and ultimately likely to be dangerous. I favor stricter age restrictions, for sure. I also think there are some forms of speech that it is okay to 100% outlaw Snuff films and crush films are the most obvious.
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Offline Cyprus

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2010, 02:41:34 pm »
I agree with what has already been stated...the ESRB should be enough. It tells you what kind of content will be in each game & it should be up to the parents whether or not their kids play it. I have been to a lot of stores that card for buying mature games...in-fact, a lot of stores have their registers programmed to ask for ID just as if someone was purchasing alcohol.

Offline reppy

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2010, 03:16:19 pm »
To me, the problem in not enforcing age checks is you take the power away from parents.  Will plenty of parents buy games for their kids without reading the labels?  Sure.  But that's their choice.

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Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2010, 03:19:10 pm »
^ Which means those that protest the games should be protesting these parents instead.
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Offline NARUNIK

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2010, 03:23:58 pm »
I don't really like ESRB ratings style. PEGI or CERO I think are much better.

They have more age categorys.

Lol, at Gamestop there were about to let me get Fallout 3, then they were like "ID please."


I think it should be perfectly fine for kids to play rated M+ games, as long as they have some common sense and they don't go out there saying " IM GONNA BE JUST LIKE NICO BELLIC WHEN I GROW UP."


Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2010, 03:27:23 pm »
I don't think I've ever seen those.  I'm gonna research them real quick...
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Offline Cyprus

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2010, 03:28:58 pm »
If stores enforced the age restriction, then it would force parents to get involved...I think that should be enough.

Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2010, 03:34:28 pm »
^ I agree.

Okay, what I found about PEGI & CERO...

PEGI = Pan European Game Information

PEGI 3
The content of games given this rating is considered suitable for all age groups. Some violence in a comical context (typically Bugs Bunny or Tom & Jerry cartoon-like forms of violence) is acceptable. The child should not be able to associate the character on the screen with real life characters, they should be totally fantasy. The game should not contain any sounds or pictures that are likely to scare or frighten young children. No bad language should be heard and there should be no scenes containing nudity nor any reference to sexual activity.

PEGI 7
Any game that would normally be rated at 3 but contains some possibly frightening scenes or sounds may be considered suitable in this category. Some scenes of partial nudity may be permitted but never in a sexual context.

PEGI 12
Videogames that show violence of a slightly more graphic nature towards fantasy character and/or non graphic violence towards human-looking characters or recognisable animals, as well as videogames that show nudity of a slightly more graphic nature would fall in this age category. Any bad language in this category must be mild and fall short of sexual expletives.

PEGI 16
This rating is applied once the depiction of violence (or sexual activity) reaches a stage that looks the same as would be expected in real life. More extreme bad language, the concept of the use of tobacco and drugs and the depiction of criminal activities can be content of games that are rated 16.

PEGI 18
The adult classification is applied when the level of violence reaches a stage where it becomes a depiction of gross violence and/or includes elements of specific types of violence. Gross violence is the most difficult to define since it can be very subjective in many cases, but in general terms it can be classed as the depictions of violence that would make the viewer feel a sense of revulsion.


CERO = Computer Entertainment Rating Organization

A (all ages) equivalent to ESRB's E and E10+ (low end) ratings, PEGI's 3, 7 and 12 ratings, USK's 0 and 6 ratings, and ACB's G and PG (low end) ratings. Games rated A include Pokemon series, Dance Dance Revolution series, Disgaea series, Armored Core series, Ace Combat series, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Sonic Unleashed, Dragon Ball: Raging Blast, Need for Speed: Shift, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Split Second: Velocity.

B (ages 12 and up) equivalent to ESRB´s E10+ (high end) and T (low end) ratings, PEGI's 12 rating, USK's 12 rating, and ACB's PG (high end) and M (low end) rating. Games rated B include Sengoku Basara series, Tekken series, Burnout series, Trauma Center series, Street Fighter IV, Halo Wars, Tales of Vesperia, Valkyria Chronicles, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Alan Wake, and Metroid: Other M.

C (ages 15 and up) equivalent to ESRB's T (high end) and M (low end) ratings, PEGI's 16 (low end) rating, USK's 16 rating, and ACB's M (high end) rating. Games rated C include Devil May Cry series, WWE SmackDown vs. Raw series, Lost Planet series, Perfect Dark Zero, Soulcalibur IV, Dissidia: Final Fantasy, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, and Front Mission Evolved.

D (ages 17 and up) equivalent to ESRB's M (high end) rating, PEGI's 16 (high end) and 18 (low end) ratings, USK's 18 rating, and ACB's MA15+ (low end) rating. Games rated D include Yakuza series, Ninja Gaiden, Bully, Resistance 2, Bayonetta, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, Dante's Inferno, Nier, Dead to Rights: Retribution, Halo: Reach, and Vanquish. This is the strongest unrestricted CERO rating.

Z (ages 18 and up only) equivalent to ESRB's M (AO level) and AO ratings, PEGI's 18 (high end) rating, and ACB's MA15+ (high end) rating. Games rated Z include Grand Theft Auto series, Assassin's Creed series, Gears of War series, Infamous, Left 4 Dead 2, MadWorld, God of War III, Dead Rising 2, Fallout: New Vegas, and BioShock 2. The content is extreme in the CERO impact levels and therefore off-limits to persons under 18.
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Offline Maiku

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2010, 04:55:55 pm »
I agree with stores enforcing age restrictions and it forcing parents to get involved.  Its the same with movies, my parents let me see a lot of R rated movies when I was 16 because they felt I was mature enough to see them.  However, they had to go with me to the movie or at least be present when purchasing the ticket.  So, they knew exactly what I was seeing and why is was age restricted.  Same thing can be said of music and games, if a parent/guardian is okay with their teen playing Fallout 3 - then what right is there for a law to say they can't.  Reliance on government to decide what is appropriate or not for teens is just silly. 
Parents should be a little more hands on with their children, know what they are exposed to and if their child can handle that exposure.  It seems to me that a lot of parents for the regulations would rather the world be made *safe* for their kids instead of raising their kids to be safe and mature in their own right.
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Offline Cyprus

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2010, 07:09:34 am »
I agree with stores enforcing age restrictions and it forcing parents to get involved.  Its the same with movies, my parents let me see a lot of R rated movies when I was 16 because they felt I was mature enough to see them.  However, they had to go with me to the movie or at least be present when purchasing the ticket.  So, they knew exactly what I was seeing and why is was age restricted.  Same thing can be said of music and games, if a parent/guardian is okay with their teen playing Fallout 3 - then what right is there for a law to say they can't.  Reliance on government to decide what is appropriate or not for teens is just silly. 
Parents should be a little more hands on with their children, know what they are exposed to and if their child can handle that exposure.  It seems to me that a lot of parents for the regulations would rather the world be made *safe* for their kids instead of raising their kids to be safe and mature in their own right.
Very well said! It seems like there are a lot of parents out there these days that want the "parenting" to be done for them, rather than learn to raise their kid.

@Washougal_Otaku: Thanks for the info! I personally don't see such a tremendous difference between those rating systems & the ESRB. Not enough to want a change anyway. They all seem to do what they are supposed to...let the buyer know what content to expect when considering the purchase of a game.

Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2010, 09:51:07 am »
Aaron, thanks for looking those up. Are they only in use outside the US--either only on games made outside the US, or on games sold outside to people outside the US, or games sold by distributors located outside the US? Or would a parent, going to a store in the US, have the ability to see those ratings on games, as well?

I agree parents should scrutinize more closely, but (a) we now have the 1st and 2nd generation of parents who themselves grew up playing video games as kids (assuming we can count going all the way back to Pong and arcade games and Atari, albeit I don't recall anything resembling realistic violence from what I played), which could make for different choices <--would be interesting to study; and (b) a lot of times parents are using tv and console games as babysitters and are deliberately absent while those are in use by their young kids. Thus they likely aren't paying any attention whatsoever to content.
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Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2010, 12:46:58 pm »
Well, I know that PEGI is used just for the European-distributed games.  As for CERO, I didn't catch where that system applies to.
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2010, 02:13:03 pm »
Thanks. Anyone?
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Offline Darknight2433

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2010, 04:04:59 pm »
Haha, I always thought this was already a law. My parents have always been my buyers if the game was rated any more then E for Everyone. All those times I could have walked up to the cash register myself!

Honestly I don't see what the big deal is. If courts are blaming video games for extremely minor fights at schools, then go ahead, they'll still be there. If the courts are blaming school shootings and homicide on video games, they need to look more deeply into the psychological factors of the people. I'm pretty sure constant bullying at the school will fuel my rage more then Fable's sword slashing at my fellow villagers. Video games may heighten the violence, but does it start it?

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2010, 04:22:03 pm »
I was listening to Thom Hartmann today and he had an interesting discussion about this.  I only caught the back end of it, though.

I'll keep an eye on the Thom Hartmann YouTube Chanel and see if it's posted.

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Offline Washougal_Otaku

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2010, 04:28:42 pm »
If the courts are blaming school shootings and homicide on video games, they need to look more deeply into the psychological factors of the people.

These kinds of studies have been done since the 80's.  There's no psychological link between the two.  Some of the studies do hint at the possibility that some personality traits crave those kind of games already, and that it's those traits that can lead to violent actions, video games or not.
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Offline RemSaverem

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2010, 04:48:25 pm »
@ Reppy, thanks.
@ DK, I grew up knowing kids, 14-year-old kids, who were gangbangers and street corner hookers. Whether the violence they participated in or the violence they suffered through had anything to do with video games or not, I don't know. But I do know there are a ton of kids whose lives are dominated by it, and it sucks.
@ W_O: Um. Seriously. The 1980s video games were a completely different ball of wax. There were no games yet that had realistic depictions, live actor videos, nothing that felt like immersion, nothing that genuinely looked like genuine sexual and/or other bodily violence was being enacted on genuine human beings such as some realistic games now actually portray. There is no way you can tell me that spinning a triangle to make a dot move toward a simulated rock (Asteroids) is in any way psychologically comparable to Grand Theft Auto.
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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2010, 05:05:21 pm »
I'm not saying that those tests in the 80's were the only ones done.  There have been many since, especially over the past decade.  With more and more games being made with more and more blood, sex, and other adult content available, there's been more and more studies done.  The results have been very similar.  Some have hinted that there may have been the need for concern, but that they'd need to look into things more.  Plus, some of those studies from the 80's are still occurring; they're looking at how games affected these kids as adults and how they relate to their own kids and video gaming experiences.

Bottom line, video games do NOT cause violence, so says over 20 years of studies.
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Offline VampireFangs103

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2010, 10:10:08 pm »
Someone in court once tried to pass that Mario bros was a violent game. XP Damn those goombas.

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2010, 11:29:59 pm »
Well, you stomp on and throw fireballs at turtles and walking mushrooms, so, yeah, it is pretty "violent."  (Some people are so silly, aren't they?)
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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2010, 08:18:09 am »
Well, you stomp on and throw fireballs at turtles and walking mushrooms, so, yeah, it is pretty "violent."  (Some people are so silly, aren't they?)

Yea, but I do that in real life. XP It's all a matter of opinion. lol.

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2010, 01:02:03 pm »
Can you teach me how to throw fireballs?  I think it'll make my Lina cosplay more believable. ;D

As for the main topic, I think the system needs to have just three levels:

AA - Aaron Approves.  I think the game is acceptable for anyone.  The logo would be a cute chibi penguin with "AA" on its belly.

AAT - Aaron Approves Teens.  Kids, no; 13+, yes.  (Most games would go here).  The logo would be a tough-looking panther with "AAT" on its belly.

AAA - Aaron Approves Adults.  There's things in here that you have th be 18+ for.  The logo would be a sultry-looking human female with "AAA" on her belly.

 :D
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Offline JeffT

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #36 on: November 06, 2010, 05:57:10 am »
I seem to recall states instituting such restrictions, getting sued by the games industry, and subsequently losing. Allegedly it is a "freedom of speech" thing, which I find to be a crock. What, should adult (you know what I'm talking about) films be available to those under the age of 18?

Pornography (if this is what you mean by "adult" and "you know what I'm talking about") is not the same as the content that gets the vast majority of R-rated movies their R rating, or M-rated games their M rating. Movie and game rating systems consider pornography to be in a dedicated adults-only rating (NC-17 or AO).

How can you say that it being considered "freedom of speech" is a crock? If freedom of speech doesn't apply to this, then what does it apply to? Where is the exception you see?

Haha, I always thought this was already a law. My parents have always been my buyers if the game was rated any more then E for Everyone. All those times I could have walked up to the cash register myself!

Just because it wasn't the law doesn't mean the store wouldn't have carded you on their own decision. ESRB compliance is voluntary (both for game makers and retailers).

They used to have an M15+ rating for video games.  I'm not sure why they got rid of that, since there's a pretty wide maturity difference between Middle School and High School aged kids.  I remember being really unhappy when I was 15 and went to buy Diablo II, only to find out that the re-released Diablo Battle Chest had been changed to the normal 18+ "M" rating.  Granted, I wound up buying it when I was 16 anyway, but it was still annoying.

I don't think that was ever an ESRB rating. Before the industry standardized on ESRB, there were a few different competing rating systems, only in use for a short time; was it from one of those?

One flaw, in my opinion, for ESRB ratings is that they are not fine enough. Compared to movies, there is one less rating.

On one end, E is the parallel to G. On the other end, AO is the parallel to NC-17 and M is the parallel to R. But is T the parallel to PG or PG-13?

I think there's a definite difference between PG, PG-13, and R. But the ESRB only has T and M. So the result is that there is an enormous spread within games having the M rating. The mildest are comparable to a PG-13 movie, but the strongest have content very strongly inappropriate for children, the equivalent of nearly the worst R movies, and the rating doesn't convey the difference. There should be a rating in between T and M, and M should begin at a stronger level of content than it currently does.

Actually, I think both movie and game ratings would benefit from even more fine levels than even the MPAA system currently has. I think this would also discourage movie and game makers from artificially targeting a certain rating for marketing reasons.
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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2010, 07:38:15 am »
I seem to recall states instituting such restrictions, getting sued by the games industry, and subsequently losing. Allegedly it is a "freedom of speech" thing, which I find to be a crock. What, should adult (you know what I'm talking about) films be available to those under the age of 18?

Pornography (if this is what you mean by "adult" and "you know what I'm talking about") is not the same as the content that gets the vast majority of R-rated movies their R rating, or M-rated games their M rating. Movie and game rating systems consider pornography to be in a dedicated adults-only rating (NC-17 or AO).

How can you say that it being considered "freedom of speech" is a crock? If freedom of speech doesn't apply to this, then what does it apply to? Where is the exception you see?

I consider the argument that denying a child the "right" to buy an extremely violent video game is "denying" freedom of speech to be an absolute crock.  No one is saying the game cannot exist.  We're saying we want some restrictions on who can buy it.  Just as is the case with pornography.

Why should a 13-year-old be able to buy Grand Theft Auto but not a porno?   If this is purely a "freedom of speech" thing, where do you draw the line?

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2010, 01:34:35 pm »
Yup.
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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2010, 07:02:30 pm »
I consider the argument that denying a child the "right" to buy an extremely violent video game is "denying" freedom of speech to be an absolute crock.  No one is saying the game cannot exist.  We're saying we want some restrictions on who can buy it.  Just as is the case with pornography.

Why should a 13-year-old be able to buy Grand Theft Auto but not a porno?   If this is purely a "freedom of speech" thing, where do you draw the line?

Porn can be demonstrated to be immediately harmful to a children in a much more direct way than the level of violence in something like Grand Theft Auto. I would draw the line at explicit sexual images, and possibly also a certain level of extreme graphic violence. I did not pick this arbitrarily; the criteria would be whether exposure of the content once, or a small number of times, would be psychologically harmful.

The difference in lesser levels of violence is that the message may be deemed to be harmful rather than the inherent nature of the depicted act itself. Government should not determine whether the message is harmful or not. That's why I consider it a freedom of speech issue.

Also, the issue, in my view, is not that a child necessarily has the right to do anything an adult can do. The issue is that the government should not be making judgments about the content. That is the responsibility of the parent. (Saying the store has to do it, means, in practice, that the government creates or shapes the standards.)

There's another issue here: Creating a government standard for content means that every game on the shelf needs to be re-reviewed by a ratings body so that a retailer can know what they can sell to be in compliance. This preemptively places a large burden on either content retailers or content publishers, or both; who must either subscribe to the findings of a private ratings body, pay to have their content rated by law, or the ratings body must be government-run. That's the consequence when you say that you are against "a 13-year-old be[ing] able to buy Grand Theft Auto". That's what freedom of speech doesn't allow.

I said that it is valid for the government to prevent selling porn, and possibly content with extreme graphic violence, to minors, so one might ask: doesn't this still create a government ratings body? No. A valid restriction, like any valid criminal law, depends on intent and knowledge. A porn store is assumed to have prima facie knowledge that its content contains porn, and thus, would be expected to comply with a requirement not to sell to minors. But if a general game retailer like GameStop turns out to have a few games in its library, rated M, that have the level of violence that might qualify as extreme graphic violence and sold to minors, it would only be a crime if GameStop was aware of that fact under what I would see to be a valid restriction. That means there doesn't need to be a government-enforced ratings body.
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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #40 on: November 07, 2010, 07:44:39 pm »
Coinsidently I just got GTA4 today.

It's super fun!

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #41 on: November 07, 2010, 08:55:41 pm »
@JeffT

I think we're generally in agreement, but we seem to disagree on what is "extreme."  You don't consider a game where you can kill cops and beat women to be extreme? 

I also wonder the effect current games could have on children.  There's a big difference between the violent video games I played as a kid (Doom, Mortal Kombat) versus the stuff that's out now (Grand Theft Auto 4, God of War).

Also as far as I know, I don't think anyone is suggesting a government ratings group.  I'd be perfectly happy with enforcing ESRB ratings.

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #42 on: November 07, 2010, 09:21:10 pm »
I think we're generally in agreement, but we seem to disagree on what is "extreme."  You don't consider a game where you can kill cops and beat women to be extreme?

For purposes of legal restrictions, the fact that the people killed are cops isn't relevant to determining whether it's "extreme", as that has to do with the message, not the depiction of the act.

What if it's a "bad" cop? What about mutated, alien cops like in Duke Nukem 3D? What if it's a cop who is an agent of a totalitarian state? I believe all of these change the message, though not necessarily the degree of violence depicted.

Quote
Also as far as I know, I don't think anyone is suggesting a government ratings group.  I'd be perfectly happy with enforcing ESRB ratings.

The law as worded implies that (though not necessarily that the ratings group be government run; but its purpose is to evaluate regarding a government-set standard). Games need to be reviewed to see whether they contain the prohibited content. Note that games having a T rating could also have the prohibited content, so stores can't just enforce carding for M games and know they'll be safe. Furthermore, how are unrated games to be treated, like selling used games prior to the ESRB?

Justice Scalia, following Justice Ginsburg's lead, illustrated how this law necessitates a government ratings group in this line of questioning:

Quote
JUSTICE GINSBURG: Is there -- you've been asked questions about the vagueness of this and the problem for the seller to know what's good and what's bad. California -- does California have any kind of an advisory opinion, an office that will view these videos and say, yes, this belongs in this, what did you call it, deviant violence, and this one is just violent but not deviant? Is there -- is there any kind of opinion that the -- that the seller can get to know which games can be sold to minors and which ones can't?
MR. MORAZZINI: Not that I'm aware of, Justice Ginsburg.
JUSTICE SCALIA: You should consider creating such a one. You might call it the California office of censorship. It would judge each of these videos one by one. That would be very nice.
MR. MORAZZINI: Your Honor, we -- we ask juries to judge sexual material and its appropriateness for minors as well. I believe that if -- if we can view the -JUSTICE
SCALIA: Do we let the government do that? Juries are not controllable. That's the wonderful thing about juries, also the worst thing about juries.
(Laughter.)
JUSTICE SCALIA: But -- but do we let government pass upon, you know, a board of censors? don't think so.
MR. MORAZZINI: Justice Scalia, California's not doing that here. The standard is quite similar to that in the sexual material realm. California is not acting as a censor. It is telling manufacturers and distributors to look at your material and to judge for yourselves whether or not the level of violent content meets the prongs of this definition.

(source: http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/08-1448.pdf, pages 23-24)

If you enforce ESRB ratings, you've turned the ESRB into a de facto government rating group.

In any case, you're clearly giving up freedom of speech if you simply declare that anything in an M-rated game is prohibited to sell to minors.
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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #43 on: November 07, 2010, 11:58:36 pm »
Quote
MR. MORAZZINI: ... California is not acting as a censor. It is telling manufacturers and distributors to look at your material and to judge for yourselves whether or not the level of violent content meets the prongs of this definition.

I'm not a fan of either "realistically-violent" video games or Justice Scalia, but I love seeing anyone (particularly a lawyer) twisted into logical knots that circle back on themselves. Morazzini's leaving off the understood "or we'll do it for you" doesn't make it any less amusing.

It reminds me of the Daily Show bit where Rob Corddry was playing a sympathetic listener to the guy who was creating a blacklist (a la HUAC) of un-American movies. By the end, he got him to nod and agree to "You're not creating a blacklist, you're just creating a list of people who should be censored for their un-American views!"
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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #44 on: November 08, 2010, 04:08:02 pm »
Heh. If I ever can afford cable, I'd be watching Daily Show & Colbert Report, as well as Doctor Who, Torchwood & Leverage.
I love when Justices have a sense of humor & aren't afraid to show it.
I still say there are things that are so obscenely violent they should be limited to 18+ and think violence-porn is way more damaging to psyches than sexual porn.
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Offline Prinz Eugen

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2010, 11:33:19 am »
Quote from: RemSaverem
Personally I think it's disgusting that society is so squeamish about something innocent like two men holding hands or kissing
Large sections of least two major religions on the planet do not consider this act innocent under any circumstances. One should also note that these moral codes generally do not accept a person of either sex holding hands or kissing some other person (of either sex) who happens to be married to a third person - under any circumstances either.** (It's about illicit attractions, which include but are much wider in scope than what the religions say about same-sex attractions.)

OTOH, while these same religions proscribe gratuitous violence, they may construe justifiable circumstances where lethal violence, indiscriminate area-effect destruction, and also suicidal acts such as immolation, splodey-dopery, or fatally steering a vehicle into some sort of target are not inherently sinful at all times (within the religion.) Often within the religions, self defense and soldiering - the defense of one's county and one's people** - are allowed. Sidelight: An interesting example of where a strict compulsion for non-violence may still be useful in war is the Quaker Gun.

In any case, the will to regulate is probably strongly intertwined with the debate about how far government gets to butt-in (or has to butt-out) when it comes to parents' rights to perpetuate their religious culture by controlling what their kids get to do. The ratings are supposed to help parents achieve this control, but this requires more active parenting than most parents in this age may be used to - look at how easy daycare makes it to outsource a parent's personal responsibilities. This same bunch then expects the state to step in to censor games, I guess...

** OT: Combine these two asterisk sets and wonder whether a person can practice one of the religions of the above, yet as a spy, licitly seduce the spouse or paramour of an enemy with the, um, higher aim of collecting secrets which have military use against that enemy nation ... Would that be an 'OK' scene in a game? It's, er, for a good cause, you know ... Maybe it's part of the game strategy - get your enemy's high ranking officers to date only hotties, so you can hit on them later for useful plot points? Even if you have to be gay about it - for your country eh? Don't ask, don't tell! (and try not to catch any diseases while you're at it...)

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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2010, 11:58:10 am »
Thanks for the link, the Quaker gun seems a savvy tactic for those strict pacifists.
(A side of my family converted to Quaker specifically as pacifist conscientious objectors, btw.)
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Re: Supreme Court re: Violent Games (& a Justice mentions Vulcans!)
« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2010, 12:43:09 pm »
This reminds me.  Yesterday, one of my friends told me that when he was in daycare, the place he went to had Tomb Raider.  It surprised him, a guy who thinks children shouldn't be punished for swearing, that a daycare center would have Tomb Raider, a game where a big-boobed woman shoots guys and endangered species.
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