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US Supreme Court: Video Games Qualify For First Amendment

#1 User is offline   Rukariou 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 01:54 PM

http://yro.slashdot....First-Amendment


Thoughts? Personally I hope someday retailers will still treat M Rated games like they treat Explicit Content CDs. I still don't get why I can walk up to the check out with say Call of Duty and the newest Rap artist's CD (sorry, I don't really care for either, but it's the easiest example I can give) and not get carded for the CD anymore but the registers don't even let the cashier continue until they look at my ID for CoD.
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#2 User is offline   EndlessKey 

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 08:34 PM

View PostRukariou, on 27 June 2011 - 01:54 PM, said:

http://yro.slashdot....First-Amendment


Thoughts? Personally I hope someday retailers will still treat M Rated games like they treat Explicit Content CDs. I still don't get why I can walk up to the check out with say Call of Duty and the newest Rap artist's CD (sorry, I don't really care for either, but it's the easiest example I can give) and not get carded for the CD anymore but the registers don't even let the cashier continue until they look at my ID for CoD.



Ehh, I can understand it. While words can be persuasive at times, watching people's dead bodies fall to the floor, or actualy trying to shoot someone in the head are completely different experiences. Thats just how I see it anyway.

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 11:09 PM

I agree endless ......

#4 User is offline   wrexness 

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 05:52 AM

View PostRukariou, on 27 June 2011 - 01:54 PM, said:

http://yro.slashdot....First-Amendment


Thoughts? Personally I hope someday retailers will still treat M Rated games like they treat Explicit Content CDs. I still don't get why I can walk up to the check out with say Call of Duty and the newest Rap artist's CD (sorry, I don't really care for either, but it's the easiest example I can give) and not get carded for the CD anymore but the registers don't even let the cashier continue until they look at my ID for CoD.

If you can get through with CoD without getting carded, you either look very obviously over 18 or you're in the minority because far and away games are the best at enforcing their rating system at retailers. http://www.pcworld.c...ideo_games.html

Anyway, with the conservative lean of the court I'm a little surprised that it went this way, but it's certainly a pleasant surprise. There's really no justification to exclude games from the same category as books, music, plays, etc. And kudos to Scalia for saying so explicitly in his court opinion.

This post has been edited by wrexness: 28 June 2011 - 05:54 AM

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#5 User is offline   Shinamura 

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 05:56 AM

I'm still in the middle of reading the Syllabus from the supreme court its 92 pages and small print but some of the quotes i enjoy from it are.

California's argument would fare better if there were a long lasting tradition in this country of specially restriction children's access to depictions of violence, but there is none.

Justice Alito accuses us of pronoucing that playing video games "is not different in 'kind" from reading violent literature.
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#6 User is offline   wrexness 

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 06:07 AM

Quote

JUSTICE ALITO accuses us of pronouncing that playing violent video games “is not different in ‘kind’ ” from reading violent literature. Post, at 2. Well of course it is different in kind, but not in a way that causes the provision and viewing of violent video games, unlike the provision and reading of books, not to be expressive activity and hence not toenjoy First Amendment protection. Reading Dante is unquestionably more cultured and intellectually edifying than playing Mortal Kombat. But these cultural and intellectual differences are not constitutional ones. Crudely violent video games, tawdry TV shows, and cheap novels and magazines are no less forms of speech than The Divine Comedy,and restrictions upon them must survive strict scrutiny—a question to which we devote our attention in Part III, infra. Even if we can see in them “nothing of any possible value to society . . . , they are as much entitled to the protection of free speech as the best of literature.”

The quote in question, and yes I love it.
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#7 User is offline   Shinamura 

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 06:15 AM

View Postwrexness, on 28 June 2011 - 06:07 AM, said:

The quote in question, and yes I love it.

California’s legislation straddles the fence between (1)
addressing a serious social problem and (2) helping concerned parents control their children. Both ends are
legitimate, but when they affect First Amendment rights
they must be pursued by means that are neither seriously
underinclusive nor seriously overinclusive.

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This post has been edited by Shinamura: 28 June 2011 - 06:21 AM

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#8 User is offline   wrexness 

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 06:41 AM

I don't even believe that #2 is all that valid. It's not the government's role to be parents; it's the job of the parents to be parents. Government is vastly overreaching, and I'm glad the SCOTUS stepped up not only for the First Amendment but also for parents. As a (hypothetical) parent, it's my job to determine what my kids should and shouldn't play, not the government's.

This post has been edited by wrexness: 28 June 2011 - 06:41 AM

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#9 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 11:54 AM

I always had issues with this.

I used to play video games that were M rated since I was a kid and some of the claims that people, moms and conservatives, gave were weak. Like all video games did was corrupt people and we should ban them and blah blah blah.

I agreed with the ruling but I do think that their should be some kind of control to video games to minors in the part of the parents. They have control on how much money they give them as well as being involved with what they play as much as the tv. Lay down some ground rules so that the stores don't do all the work. Even if they did pass that law the kids would find another way to get the game through their friends if they want it enough, just like drugs and beer.

Although the article comparing cigarettes and alcohol to video games wasn't the best thing, considering that they are on two different levels.
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#10 User is offline   Shinamura 

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 02:16 PM

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 28 June 2011 - 11:54 AM, said:

I always had issues with this.

I used to play video games that were M rated since I was a kid and some of the claims that people, moms and conservatives, gave were weak. Like all video games did was corrupt people and we should ban them and blah blah blah.

I agreed with the ruling but I do think that their should be some kind of control to video games to minors in the part of the parents. They have control on how much money they give them as well as being involved with what they play as much as the tv. Lay down some ground rules so that the stores don't do all the work. Even if they did pass that law the kids would find another way to get the game through their friends if they want it enough, just like drugs and beer.

Although the article comparing cigarettes and alcohol to video games wasn't the best thing, considering that they are on two different levels.



This law doesn't effect the ESRB system. So you still need to be of a certain age to purchase M rated games. just like you need to be a certain age you buy a playboy or go see a horror movie.
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#11 User is offline   wrexness 

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 02:56 PM

View PostShinamura, on 28 June 2011 - 02:16 PM, said:

This law doesn't effect the ESRB system. So you still need to be of a certain age to purchase M rated games. just like you need to be a certain age you buy a playboy or go see a horror movie.

Correct. This applies to the government only; stores can still enforce the ESRB ratings system. It's just that the government can't fine / arrest stores or employees for not enforcing it.
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#12 User is offline   tatterpillar 

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 10:36 AM

View PostRukariou, on 27 June 2011 - 01:54 PM, said:

http://yro.slashdot....First-Amendment


Thoughts? Personally I hope someday retailers will still treat M Rated games like they treat Explicit Content CDs. I still don't get why I can walk up to the check out with say Call of Duty and the newest Rap artist's CD (sorry, I don't really care for either, but it's the easiest example I can give) and not get carded for the CD anymore but the registers don't even let the cashier continue until they look at my ID for CoD.

This was my exact first reaction. Exactly what is the difference? Of course, in a perfect world, we could rely on parents to do what they can to prevent children from playing/watching/listening to certain things.

#13 User is offline   wrexness 

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 08:02 PM

View Posttatterpillar, on 29 June 2011 - 10:36 AM, said:

This was my exact first reaction. Exactly what is the difference? Of course, in a perfect world, we could rely on parents to do what they can to prevent children from playing/watching/listening to certain things.

Hmm, it's kinda hard to tell on which side of the issue you're falling right now... owo

The difference is that the government was going to make it a crime to sell M rated games to teens, punishable by prison time or a fine. There is no such law on the books for music, books (that aren't porn), or movies (also not porn). As for why the government was doing that, it was an "everyone please think of the children" piece o' crap law attempt.

And as I posted earlier, retailers already treat games more seriously than any other form of media with FTC secret shopper attempt for kids to get a hold of M rated games failing more than 80% of the time, waaaaaay more than any other media. And I have no problem with this.

It's one thing for a store to consciously make the choice, "Hey, we're not selling this material to kids." It's a completely different issue when the government steps in. It's not that hard to see how games would be negatively affected by that. First time a retailer gets rocked for selling an M game to a minor, they turn around and decide it's not worth the risk and stop carrying M games entirely. Before long, it becomes standard practice, and all of a sudden M rated games are no longer a profitable medium because they can't get the games in stores, then they stop making those games altogether and expression is limited in the name of complying with the law.

This post has been edited by wrexness: 29 June 2011 - 08:07 PM

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 02:22 AM

lol. Anyone else find it funny that this got passed while Duke Nukem just came out. The man was part of the argument back in the 90's and now he's back and its finally over. GO Duke! lol.
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Posted 30 June 2011 - 04:51 PM

Part of the issue is this: the definition of "violent."

Now, when most people think of that in terms of video games, they think along the more explicit lines of Mortal Kombat, Duke Nukem, Call of Duty, etc. BUT, the problem is, interpretation of the term "violent" really lies within the eye of the beholder. (Some of us may remember the uproar that occurred after a certain "unclean material" ban passed in Tokyo.) After all, a game doesn't have to have the M rating if it contains violence; there are plenty with lower ratings than that that contain violence to various degrees. Pokemon is one of them. Oh, it's not as explicit as some of the more mature ones, but with a ban like this, all it would take is someone deciding that Pokemon is too violent because it encourages fighting. LittleBigPlanet could also be interpreted the same way - you can throw your own Sackboy (and drag others with you) into hazards, you can pimp-slap your playmates, etc.

So really, this ban not only goes up against the First Amendment, it also leaves a huge opening for interpretation. Which, in this day and age of everyone getting analytical and politically correct, means our game market would end up getting screwed.
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Posted 30 June 2011 - 06:14 PM

I don't think it'll affect game making. I mean if we can still burn flags and have the KKK around, then I'm sure a game with blood and nudity will still be around since they are now under the same banner.
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Posted 30 June 2011 - 10:14 PM

View PostValkyrie, on 30 June 2011 - 04:51 PM, said:

\LittleBigPlanet could also be interpreted the same way - you can throw your own Sackboy (and drag others with you) into hazards, you can pimp-slap your playmates, etc.



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Posted 30 June 2011 - 10:20 PM

rated M games should be purchased by an adult, although there is the Adults Only games, which dont actually exist, giving a child an M rated game is like giving them an R rated movie and in some cases porn
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#19 User is offline   wrexness 

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 10:40 PM

View PostValkyrie, on 30 June 2011 - 04:51 PM, said:

Part of the issue is this: the definition of "violent."

Now, when most people think of that in terms of video games, they think along the more explicit lines of Mortal Kombat, Duke Nukem, Call of Duty, etc. BUT, the problem is, interpretation of the term "violent" really lies within the eye of the beholder. (Some of us may remember the uproar that occurred after a certain "unclean material" ban passed in Tokyo.) After all, a game doesn't have to have the M rating if it contains violence; there are plenty with lower ratings than that that contain violence to various degrees. Pokemon is one of them. Oh, it's not as explicit as some of the more mature ones, but with a ban like this, all it would take is someone deciding that Pokemon is too violent because it encourages fighting. LittleBigPlanet could also be interpreted the same way - you can throw your own Sackboy (and drag others with you) into hazards, you can pimp-slap your playmates, etc.

So really, this ban not only goes up against the First Amendment, it also leaves a huge opening for interpretation. Which, in this day and age of everyone getting analytical and politically correct, means our game market would end up getting screwed.

Very easily football games like Madden could fall into that category too. It's a slippery slope, and it's one the SCOTUS rightfully stopped.

View PostTiamat97, on 30 June 2011 - 10:20 PM, said:

rated M games should be purchased by an adult, although there is the Adults Only games, which dont actually exist, giving a child an M rated game is like giving them an R rated movie and in some cases porn

I don't think anyone disagrees with you - at least no one over the age of 18 really does. And that includes the game developers themselves. The issue comes with government involvement which would be unnecessary and apparently unconstitutional.
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Posted 01 July 2011 - 06:16 AM

The Supreme Court made the right decision on this case. The government should have no say in this. If you're dumb enough to get your child "Grand Theft Auto" then shame on you for not being a parent. Why does congress think violent video games lead to violent children. I played a lot of Mortal Kombat, and DOOM and you dont see me going on a shooting spree. Plus statistics show that violent games don't lead to violent children, if anything its the opposite. I remember the CTA refused to put video game ads on their buses because of the graphic nature of the game. The courts came in and told them that it was unconstitutional because while it was ok to ban video game ads on their buses, it was ok for them to post violent movie ads and tv shows. Talk about a double standard. Im so glad that congress is focused on crap rather than fixing the economy, debt...you know stuff that matters to actual americans (SMH).
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#21 User is offline   wrexness 

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 02:06 PM

View Postexcel excel, on 01 July 2011 - 06:16 AM, said:

Im so glad that congress is focused on crap rather than fixing the economy, debt...you know stuff that matters to actual americans (SMH).

While I'm certainly not going to be one to endorse the job that Congress does, this colossal waste of time is purely California's. It was a state law passed like 5 or 6 years ago that's been challenged in the courts ever since.
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