Congress Follows States' Lead In Trying To Ban Stores From Selling Violent Video Games To Kids

from the let's-see-how-far-this-one-gets dept

At least 10 states have tried to ban the sale of violent video games to kids, and in each and every case, the laws have been found to be unconstitutional. Yet that doesn't stop state governments from trying... and apparently the politicians at the federal level (election year!) want in on the action too. They're proposing a bill that doesn't exactly ban the sale (which is probably how they hope to get around the Constitution questions) but which requires stores to ask for an ID as well as to post details about the ESRB ratings. This seems like yet another "protect the children" political move by politicians up for re-election. But, it's becoming increasingly clear that these types of laws aren't necessary, no matter what constitutional questions they may raise. Beyond the absolute lack of evidence concerning problems from kids playing violent video games, it appears that the industry has taken care of the problem by itself. Self-regulation by stores has resulted in a significant decrease in underage kids being able to buy mature video games. But don't let facts get in the way of those pushing for these types of laws. They're applauding the new bill, just as they demonstrate that they don't even understand what they're campaigning against.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Corncob, May 9th, 2008 @ 11:09am

    GP

    I don't want to look like spam, but Gamepolitics has a good article up about an interview they did with one of the congressman trying to pass the new legislation, even correcting some of his inaccurate figures for him.
    http://gamepolitics.com/2008/05/09/exclusive-gp-interview-congressman-talks-ratings-rape-the-d aily-show/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Ajax 4Hire, May 9th, 2008 @ 11:51am

    If Politicians really believed Violent Games

    caused violence then playing non-violent Games should make you non-violent.

    Politicians should pass laws mandating that all children are required to play a minimum amount of non-violent games...
    oh wait that is called school recess, never mind.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Jake, May 9th, 2008 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Parenting

    I assume that logic behind giving video games film-style ratings is to make sure the kids can't take matters into their own hands if their parents decide -maybe rightly, maybe not- that their children aren't mature enough for a particular game. Of course, we all know how well that works with films, don't we?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    DS, May 9th, 2008 @ 12:56pm

    Here we go again...

    First I'd like to say that this is kind of redundant. The industry already has game ratings that it set forth voluntarily.

    Second, this will be just like kids buying cigarettes. There'll be a law saying check ID and it will make it illegal, but it will still happen. You're making that clerk that makes minimum wage do one more thing at the counter, that will probably be the least important to them, thus it doesn't get done.

    Third, where are these kids parents? Seriously...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    KEYBORED, May 9th, 2008 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Parenting

    There is whole new generation of kids, a large % of which, who are not fit to be parents. So I hate to acknowledge this but yes, we just might need gov't intervention.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2008 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Here we go again...

    "Third, where are these kids parents? Seriously..."

    They are obviously at hard at work, making lots of cash to foolishly give their kids. In turn, the kids will spend $59.99 of it on violent video games - which the parents will never see the kids playing.

    Or the parents could just purchase their kids a MOD-CHIP or MODDED-CONSOLE for little johnny, so he can download his own games without having to bother with all these 'wonderful' new laws.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2008 @ 2:16pm

    Re: If Politicians really believed Violent Games

    Who says recess doesn't have violent games? ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2008 @ 2:26pm

    Maybey wee need a law on this

    hmmm im gonna start this out with the fact that certain material may just be inappropriate for kids. Lets start with porn, porn is considered to be inappropriate for kids and therefore a law was made that prevents the sale of sexualy explicit material to children. Guns are considered to be anappropriate for kids and therefore a law was made that prevented children from being able to purchase them. Video games that have been deemed by the esrb as M should have the same rules. Im old enough to buy my own liquor, ciggarettes, porn and guns so why would a law ment to protect "CHILDREN" have any effect on me? Simple answer is it wont. It makes sense to me to place a law on this type of material, it would provent children under the legal age from PURCHASING this material. Im not saying children shouldnt be allowed to play theese games, my first games were Wolfenstien 3D and DOOM 95 and I obtained theese games by asking my parents when I was 10, my first gun was bought for me when I was 13. Both the games and the gun was purschaed for me because my parents thought i was mature enough at the time to handle them. Now I know that this was all spurred up because of GTA IV, I own this game because im old enough to buy it and after 3 days worth of playing, if i had children under the age of 14 i wouldnt let them play it end of story. There needs to be a law on this that prevents minors from buying this type of games simply because they are filled with smut. (no offence Take-Two, I

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2008 @ 2:28pm

    Maybey wee need a law on this

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2008 @ 2:30pm

    love ur smut) But it shouldnt be that hard for a kid parent to go out and buy the game for them if they think that the kid is mature enough to play it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2008 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Maybey wee need a law on this

    "There needs to be a law on this that prevents minors from buying this type of games simply because they are filled with smut."

    I think you missed the point. RTFA - "They're proposing a bill that doesn't exactly ban the sale [...] but which requires stores to ask for an ID as well as to post details about the ESRB ratings." ... "Beyond the absolute lack of evidence concerning problems from kids playing violent video games, it appears that the industry has taken care of the problem by itself." http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080418/005355882.shtml

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    BRADLEY STEWART, May 9th, 2008 @ 6:31pm

    TOO MANY COOKS IN THE KITCHEN

    WHEN KENT CONRAD ONE OF THE TWO SENATORS FROM NORTH DAKOTA DECRIBDED THE SENATE AS CONSTRUCTIVE AMBUGITY HE GOT IT EXACTLY RIGHT. CONGRESS JUST CAN'T HELP THEMSELVES. PANDERING IS JUST A HUGE PART OF THEIR STOCK AND TRADE. THEY REALLY DON'T CARE IF WHAT THEY ARGUE ABOUT MAKES ANY SENSE AT ALL AS LONG AS THEIR CONSTITUTANTS THINKS ITS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. SORRY TO DUMP ALL OF THEM IN THE SAME BOX. SOME OF THESE PEOPLE ARE REALLY GOOD AND THEY REALLY TRY TO DO THE RIGHT THINGS. ITS JUST SO MANY OF THEM ARE JUST A BUNCH OF SELF IMPORTANT MORALISTIC PANDERING WINDBAGS.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    John, May 9th, 2008 @ 7:44pm

    Good Idea

    I don't see the problem. I think stores should ask for ID for children buying mature or AO rated games.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Celes, May 9th, 2008 @ 11:39pm

    Re: Good Idea

    But one of the points Mike makes is that many (if not most) stores already DO, and if the industry is regulating itself satisfactorily, does the government really need to step in? Especially if the law isn't likely to (read: certainly will not) keep any children from playing inappropriate games?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2008 @ 12:11am

    If they card to buy X-rated mags ans such, there should be no problem with carding for violent video games - Its the same for alcohol as well. The only reason store don't want to do this is because they know they will lose the business of the minors they currently sell too. If game makers don't like this, they shouldn't make R-X rated games - personally, I have no problem being carded to buy R-X rated games as I wouldn't want them sold to children either and as far as blaming parents, yeah, but still they cant stop minors from trying - They should card for games like GTA, I'll just make sure I have my ID on me when I go to pick up my copy of GTAIV when it comes out for PC

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2008 @ 9:11am

    Re:

    No, game makers don't like this because it is another step at ghettoizing and control the artform--one more step down the slippery slope.

    We have porn that even adults cant buy or look at. We have guns that even adults cant use. We have movies that are illegal to watch. We have alcohol that is illegal to possess. We have an entire class of substances (recreational drugs) which are outright banned.

    Whats to make you think they wont ban some kinds of video games too? Theres nothing to stop them.

    So we fight them every step of the way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Buzz, May 11th, 2008 @ 6:37pm

    HAHAHA

    "So why does anyone believe that if you can just keep children from reading about sex, they will never perform their own disastrous experiments? Long before there was such a thing as a novel, Europe was heavily populated with people whose coats of arms bore the bar sinister-illegitimate births and illicit sex are as old as mankind, and we writers of fiction are not the cause of them.

    "Why does anyone believe that if you can just keep writers from depicting acts of violence, acts of violence will disappear from our society? There were mass murders among the illiterate nobility of medieval Europe as rapacious knights pillaged their own people when they couldn't find any enemies to pillage. Ivan the Terrible needed no novelist to tell him how to be a butcher. Rape was not invented in the penny dreadful."

    -- Orson Scott Card
    http://www.nauvoo.com/library/card-talk.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Joe Blow, May 11th, 2008 @ 8:49pm

    Maybe we need laws dictating every action

    so no one needs to think for themselves at all. While we're at it, why not make books illegal also. I mean if we have the government to take care of us and raise our children then why would we need books? Big brother is watching you!! How wonderful it would be if the 900 billion laws written into law after the founding of this country were burned and the new generation could begin anew. Has anyone ever looked into what congress and senete do all day long? They pass non-binding resolutions to acknowledge that Dan Marino was a good football player etc...Grrrr. I hate the polititians of today. Old, slimy, corrupt, gay and at the same time gay bashing rejects!(i'm sorry if I offended any gay people, that was not my intention.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Joe, May 13th, 2008 @ 12:05pm

    No Issue

    I have no issue with this, violent video games are having a major impact on our society...Check out any of the scientific studies that have been done to discover

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.