Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Two great tastes... (6/14)

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Two great tastes... (6/14)

    I know you guys are already discussing the issue, but this "joke" sprang to mind after not having a joke idea last night. So, I ran with it. And since I'm subjecting you to old news... I might as well do it ALL the way right?

    ---

    As of June 10th, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry has signed House Bill #3004 into law. The bill updates existing laws pertaining to media that is considered harmful to minors. More specifically the bill lumps "inappropriate violence" in video games with pornographic material. It also requires that retailers present such games behind "blinder racks" that cover the lower two-thirds of the game box. The law will go into effect November 1st.
    Source: GameSpot [ more info ]

    Now, I'm probably going to say some things here that annoy some folks. But, hey, I'm okay with that. If it gets you guys riled up enough to act... SWEET! But, don't argue with me, don't agree with me, don't quote me. Just post your own opinion of the situation.

    I don't completely disagree with a law that keeps violent video games out of the hands of minors. And if it just so happens to be the same law that keeps porn out of the hands of children because they are both considered "harmful to minors", so be it.

    The problem I have here, prepare thyselves, is that I consider most games to be, on some level, violent. Whacking a turtle with a hammer in real life is violent, should it not be considered so if it's cartoony or animated? And that's the lowest end of the violence perspective. It only intensifies after that.

    So, that leaves me with an intense issue with the idea of hiding video games behind blinder racks. It's a little ignorant. Just because a game has violent content doesn't mean the box cover needs to be hidden. So, in my mind all but a handful of games would be covered. The legislature needs to drag their heads out of their asses long enough to let the ESRB's rating system be useful. Don't hide the game, just use the freakin' rating to make sure the games only leave the building with the appropriate people.

    I mean, I don't exactly agree that rating should be based on age, it should be based on maturity levels. But, how the hell is the ESRB supposed to guage that?

    Now, if you look closely at the two politicians, you'll notice they both have brown eyes. From now own... consider that to be the norm. Why? Because quite frankly, I think all politicians are so full of shit their eyes are brown.

    ---

    [Sorry about the color flats. The full color comic will be posted shortly.]

  • #2
    I play video games because they are violent. Who wants to play video games about smelling flowers and petting puppies?

    Violence in video games is akin to violence in cartoons. It's there because it appeals to the audience, young as they are.

    Remember the Smurfs? A nice little village of 3 apple tall blue people who lived an peaceful (and boring) life until A) Gargamel showed up to eat them, or B) one of their own would blow up a "present" in their face. And my favorite: Brainy Smurf was always booted from the village, literally, when he got on people's nerves.

    Does this encourage violence in childern? I doubt it. Beating up a nerd was fashionable long before the Smurfs aired. It's funny on the Smurfs because it happens in real life.

    It's fun in video games because it happens in real life, or it can't possibly happen, but if it did...way cool. I'd rather the budding serial killer next door vent his anger on his Nintendo rather than on my dog. Or me, for that matter.

    Comment


    • #3
      In my opinion, the ESRB ratings are all that should be necessary, increased legislation isn't really going to help much. Of course making sure the individual purchasing the game is of age will keep children from purchasing mature games, it doesn't stop an adult from buying a game for a minor. It seems obvious that if a person is shopping for a certain age group (say 12-15) then a M rated game is not what they should purchase. I don't know if it's ignorance on the part of parents, or just apathy, but I know personally at least two people who bought games for their children, and were then appalled at the content even though it says very clearly something to the effect of "M: violence and sexual content"

      To sum it up, legislation past this point is mostly useless in my opinion. Like most things, education is the key to keeping inappropriate material out of the hands of children.

      Comment


      • #4
        As someone who has interfaced with state legislature, I can say that not all politicians are full of shit... just most of them.

        Back on topic, I want to know how they plan on dealing with music and movies. Most movies are violent (as are many TV shows). Do they plan on blocking the lower 2/3 of violent movies with "blinder racks"? The idea of blinder racks is pretty ridiculous to me and if they are going to target violence in video games, they might as well put the same restrictions on music, movies, and TV shows - which are more accessible and sometimes more violent than a video game.

        My initial impression of this legislation is that its an example of overreacting on an issue in order to gain more votes. It also puts an extra burden on stores and has some ridiculous consequences.

        To Oklahoma I say "Here's your sign."

        EDIT:
        I just wanted to add that a lot of times the real culprit (in this case: parents) is untargeted by politicians for political reasons. Unfortunately, we live in a country where we vote for our representatives. This means candidates tell us what we want to hear in order to get elected (and continue to tell us what we want to hear in order to get reelected). The mass public is often ignorant on an issue (in this case GU readers seem to be part of the exception) and any candidate or current politician would be making a bad political move if he or she blamed the video game problem on the parents.

        If you don't agree, look at education. We have had an education problem in this country for years. We keep throwing money at the schools, blaming the teachers, and blaming social conditions for a problem that is at least affected by parents. Have you ever heard a candidate/politician say (or even consider saying) the parents are the problem?

        Comment


        • #5
          I think there should be some sort of test every gamer must take every year befor they can buy a game to see what games they can and cant buy in stead of using age a indicator of maturity(sp?)

          P.S. sorry about any miss spelled words
          Procrastinators, UNITE! tomarow.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ron white said it best "Ohhhhhhhhhh no its not a parenting issues its a video game issue. Doesn't it piss you off when there is a genuie solution to the problem and they wanna tack it on something else." I think thats how it goes. The parents cannot be totally oblivious to what there kids are doing? I mean come on how hard is it lil kids don't play gta, they play rayman.

            Comment


            • #7
              The question is: What's the intent?

              If it's legitimately protecting children, that's one thing (which they're doing a pretty half assed job of).

              On the other hand, if it's to do their absolute best to do harm to the videogame industry right up to but desperately trying not to overstep the point of the law getting overturned, in order to gain the same votes the anti music, anti dungeons and dragons, anti movies, anti TV, anti anything new and scary the young folks might be in to, crusades have pandered to in the past, it's likely doing a great job.

              As they say, actions speak louder than words. Covering non-violent, non-sexually explicit boxes does nothing to protect children but is a great way of trying to make sales more difficult whilst using the flimsy pretense of "Wouldn't you think about the poor little children!"

              The problem is, those for gaming keep trying to engage in meaningful debate about how best to protect children and whether given acts do or don't protect them. This ends up totally futile because that's not what the politicians are really acting on anyway - they see votes to be won by being "anti-whateverisnewandscary". You can't swing someone's opinion by arguing with them over something they're not even debating - whether they claim to be or not.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Clovice
                I play video games because they are violent. Who wants to play video games about smelling flowers and petting puppies?

                Violence in video games is akin to violence in cartoons. It's there because it appeals to the audience, young as they are.

                Remember the Smurfs? A nice little village of 3 apple tall blue people who lived an peaceful (and boring) life until A) Gargamel showed up to eat them, or B) one of their own would blow up a "present" in their face. And my favorite: Brainy Smurf was always booted from the village, literally, when he got on people's nerves.

                Does this encourage violence in childern? I doubt it. Beating up a nerd was fashionable long before the Smurfs aired. It's funny on the Smurfs because it happens in real life.

                It's fun in video games because it happens in real life, or it can't possibly happen, but if it did...way cool. I'd rather the budding serial killer next door vent his anger on his Nintendo rather than on my dog. Or me, for that matter.

                The people who bought Nintendogs?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have no problem with them enforcing the ratings. Heck, card kids for the rated M titles just like Wal-Mart does with any rated R movie. If a parent wants to overrule the rating, then they have to buy the game for the kids. Clearly, there are parents out there who take no responsibility about their kids and then are horrified when their little child brings home a copy of GTA. I think carding the rated M games would allow the government to shut parents like that up. They card for rated R movies because of violence, I see no problem with the same standard applying to games.

                  But covering them up like a porn magazine? That is a bit pointless. The box cover and screenshots are usually appropriate for all ages. Even the infamous GTA games have nothing inappropriate on the cover. The old Mortal Kombat games just featured the games symbol and title. There really is no reason to cover them up. People aren't complaining about the covers of the games, they are complaining about the games getting into the hands of little kids. If they start doing that with rated M video games, shouldn't the same standard apply to rated R movies with violence? Clearly just viewing the box of a movie like Terminator or a game like GTA aren't going to corrupt anyone.

                  Just my thoughts.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Honestly, I believe bills like this are passed mainly to appease the parents of highly impressionable children. The use of blinder racks is just... odd. The imagery shown on the cover of video game boxes is no worse than those found within your local comic shop.
                    I do find it depressing though, that whenever something becomes popular it has to become the target of negative criticism from the government. Honestly, I think the issue of excessively violent video games and other inappropriate content ending up in the hands of children is a parenting issue, not a political one. I'm glad the ESA is already on the road to contesting this one.
                    The truth is not something to be feared nor cherished, but expected.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Okay, so a list of games that WON'T be covered up... Pretty much anything by the Benoit Sokal or Adventure Company: Syberia, Keepsake, Agatha Christi's "And Then There Were None," Oh wait, that's about a murder, gotta cover it up too. Never mind that the book was required reading in the sixth grade. I swear, it's like the people in this state (I'm from Oklahoma) are paid to be ignorant. At least they're a good source for comedic material.

                      Edit: It just occurred to me. Though the state legislature may have brought about this bill, just how do they expect to enforce it? Major corporations like Walmart might not take kindly to having to block their item display. I wonder if they, and many others, will simply ignore it. I know if I were running an electronics section, I would want to give the product as much exposure as I could. Blinds over the box art won't discourage those looking for a particular game, but they will hamper the casual shopper, "Ooh, this elf babe is wearing a scant top... maybe I SHOULD try Everquest..."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ok, my opinion (and I have a boatload of research to back me up on this, I did a 490-level college independent project on it).

                        This is all overkill.

                        The game industry has a self-regulating organization, the ESRB, which rates games. Ratings applied by the ESRB are found to be acceptable more than 80% of the time, and when they aren't agreed on, it is almost always said that it is because they are higher than necessary.

                        After the "Hot Coffee" incident more than a year ago, the ESRB was under a lot of pressure from the government. They formed a retail council representing many major retailers that created individual store policies regarding video games. Most stores you go into these days have protocol requiring them to keep certain rated games out of the hands of people that fall outside those ratings. This is a change; before people could complain that the retail outlets for games did not care what games got into the hands of kids, now it is part of store policy.

                        Also, over 90% of game purchases are made by adults or with an adult present. Many store protocol's insist that employees make clear to the adult the content of a game, particularly if it looks like the game might be being purchased for a younger individual.

                        The ESRB rating system is among the more well known, or at least more understood ratings systems in use. Most parents make use of it to determine the appropriate games for their children, even if it's outside the normal ratings category for them. This is a good thing. Most parents are aware generally of the games their kids are playing.

                        Violent games are not making kids kill or even be more aggressive. Collected psychological research doesn't point in any direction, the correlation between video games and aggression in youth is small, less than that of violent movies or television. Columbine historically is the case where people point to video games as violence-inducing, but do not realize that of the 16 other school shooters of the 1990s, not a single one was a gamer.

                        The games as pornography approach is perhaps so successful because it is untested. Other bills that try to limit or fine the sale of violent video games have fallen through because of First Amendment rights, but the newest legislation attempts to bypass that by lumping it together with things that most people would agree are harmful to minors, porn. The appeals made by the ESA have not reached the courts as of yet, it may go into effect before that can happen. However, the "violence = pornography" debate has precedent in the judicial system, and has been struck down before.

                        And finally, in terms of the politics, and this is mostly my political opinion: No one should blame this on one party or another, both major parties are perfectly happy placing limits like this because they would like to look like they are protecting children. What is really happening is that they are harming small business, retailers and certain developers. There's a system in place, and there's evidence that it works, but the government ignores it entirely. There is no system out there that will be effective 100% of the time, and we'll probably hear about it when it doesn't work, but I don't have a problem with that.

                        I know it's a lot to digest, but I've been meaning to put up my opinion clearly here for a while.
                        "Thoughtful quote related to humanity that will make someone rethink some modern issue." -Instantly recognizable historical figure

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dont forget that OKlahoma is not using the ESRB or whatever to determine what games will be deemed pornographic, but will be using a new set of rules to decide.

                          And its pretty Vague.

                          Pretty much the say that any game that cannot provide social value will be considered pornographic.

                          But how will they determine if a game has "Social value"? That is a matter of opinion!

                          Oh well... Dont hate me because I live in Oklahoma. I dont want to be here...
                          PSN ID - Kikaro

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here’s half of the problem:

                            Parents vote. Therefore, the government wants to pander to their desires (thus sustaining their large number of votes).

                            Here is the other half of the problem:

                            Ignorant and intolerant parents scream the loudest.

                            Sound like an MMORPG forum? Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

                            Parents don’t want to hear that they are wrong, ignorant, intolerant, or being a bad parent. They want lawmakers to nod their heads and say, “Why you’re absolutely right! This is terrible and we must ban it!” Sadly, it is usually the ignorant, intolerant, and bad parents that spend a majority of their time blaming everything but themselves for the evils their kids do.

                            People who are responsible, intelligent, and have a firm grip on reality are the ones that usually just sit back and do the right thing. They look at the nut-jobs screaming their heads off about how the world is coming to an end because of <insert popular media type here> and just shake their heads sadly and comment about how they’re glad people like that don’t make policy.

                            The problem is it’s the wackos that scream outside city hall and burn video game boxes and stage protest marches really DO make policy - because they’re the ones that get the publicity. What the lawmakers see is a large grassroots organization that is protesting against something that is “Obviously corrupting our sweet, innocent, impressionable children!” They think that their public is speaking out. The rational people aren’t out there in force staging an anti-protest protest. They have better things to do with their lives. So the voice of reason is lost.

                            In my personal opinion, a real parent would not buy GTA for their 12 year old in the first place. If they did find that their kid had a copy, they’d throw it out and have a long talk with their child about how that sort of violence is wrong and why they don’t want them playing that kind of game. Sure the kid will be resentful and be sulky, but they will LEARN right from wrong because their parent did their job and taught them.
                            "Sir, we're trapped in the moon's gravitational pull!
                            What do we do?!"
                            The commander stoically met his lieutenant's
                            frightened gaze and replied, "We die."
                            Proud member of The Older Gamers

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hmm.. so the only game that you will be legally able to display in Oklahoma is Tetris?
                              XBL Handle: Sir Razorback

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X