What About Aliens That Pretend to be Legislators?

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Last week a U.S. District Court struck down an Illinois law banning the sale of violent video games to minors. In an editorial applauding the law's death, the Chicago Tribune relates a choice bit of legislative reasoning that went down in the state legislature while the bill was being debated:

Noting that the measure barred images of human-on-human violence, one lawmaker asked if human-on-space-creature mayhem was OK.

"Killing an alien wouldn't fall under the bill," Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) replied. But on further questioning, she said, "If it was an alien that pretended to be a human, I guess then it's human. Then it would fall under the bill because, it's human against human."

As Reason Intern Dan Koffler noted here, the bill passed 106 to 6.

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  1. The Illinois state legislature went on to debate whether it really made sense for there to have been a Klingon in the first episode of Enterprise and who’d kick who’s butt if the Predator had to fight a bunch of those nasty Klendathu bug-aliens from Starship Troopers.

  2. The Illinois state legislature then voted on who would win in a fight: the monolith from “2001” or the orb from “The Adventues of Brisco County Jr.”

  3. Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) went on to say that it was government’s job to make games safe for Suxx0r n00bs

  4. If they’re worried about minors being exposed to violence, why not just ban ‘law and order’ or some of the other prime time scheisser that passes for entertainment these days?

    You’d think that in our hyper-military state they’d all be gung-ho about having our kiddies get desensitzed to killing…

  5. Following the vote, the entire legislature did the Gary Brolsma version of the Numa Numa Dance.

  6. andy – I read an article recently which claimed that, culturally, violence in games was just fine and dandy when it was the Lawfully Anointed Heroes of the State, the police or military, doing it, and that the violence only became a real problem when games emerged in which you were a free agent. I don’t totally buy that thesis, but there’s something to consider there.

  7. BTW, off topic, but why hasn’t Hit & Run had any coverage of the FBI running a phony candidate in a West Virginia election?

    http://www.slate.com/id/2131134/

    Or was there coverage and I missed it?

  8. hmmm… Do you have a link, JD?

    I’m not sure I remember a time when it was primarily cops and the military killing people in games (and I’ve played video games for most of my life). Double Dragon… Rambo… Archaic Bond games… etc.

    I would say one of the precipitating factors for feel-good legislation like this is the fact that games’ graphics have improved and are subsequently more… graphic. (Pun not really intended)

    Also, it seems to me that the proportion of games out now where you go around capping people is quite a bit higher than in the past… and also the number of gamers.

  9. Why is it that Democrats feel the need to attack things like video-games, rock/rap music, or pop-culture in order to appear moral and end up shooting themselves in the foot because the people who enjoy these things the most just happen to be members of their demographic base?

  10. “Then it would fall under the bill because, it’s human against human.”

    That’s one of the more adventurous places I’ve seen a major newspaper opt to put a comma.

  11. Why is it that Democrats feel the need to attack things like video-games, rock/rap music, or pop-culture in order to appear moral and end up shooting themselves in the foot because the people who enjoy these things the most just happen to be members of their demographic base?

    Lately the Democrats of Illinois are just full of brilliant ideas.

  12. Why is it that Democrats feel the need to attack things like video-games, rock/rap music, or pop-culture in order to appear moral and end up shooting themselves in the foot because the people who enjoy these things the most just happen to be members of their demographic base?

    Lately the Democrats of Illinois are just full of brilliant ideas.

  13. What about mutated humans? Do they have to be pure human? Do they have to look human? Man lawyers can have some fun with this one!

  14. “Let’s do the time-warp again…”

    Hmmmm. They’re arguing about the effects of fictional characters on culture, right? Didn’t we already go through this about 15 years ago when Dan Quayle whined about Murphy Brown?

    What if the alien was pregnant out of wedlock? — but here’s the twist: in their species it’s the male that carries the fetus. Then, is that like killing two aliens, and is it OK? Do you get to upgrade one of your weapons?

  15. “If it was an alien that pretended to be a human, I guess then it’s human. Then it would fall under the bill because, it’s human against human.”

    What about this guy

  16. Non-human politicians judging the humanity of non-beings who exist solely in an imaginary world. My tax dollars aren’t being invested as wisely as I would like.

  17. Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos.

  18. Randy, I suggest you take solace in the fact that the whole exercise was ineffective. Can you imagine if that money had been spent on some bit of oppression that was not nullified, like preventing people from buying effective cough medicine late at night or voting in a new tax?

  19. You guys are missing the bigger picture:

    The Dems want our children to join the military. You see, they want to ban the SALE of violent video games to minors, while the Army is giving away America’s Army (one of the best first person shooters around) for FREE to any one who downloads it.

    http://www.americasarmy.com/downloads/

  20. The most disgusting part was that the entire legislature pretty much knew the bill would be struck down as unconsitutional but only 6 people out of 112 made any consideration for not wasting everyone’s time and money about it. The other 106 seem perfectly fine with hateful compassion, which sadly seems to be the norm in every American law-making body.

  21. Most importantly, what about zombies?! Are they human, or…NOT…?

  22. More human than human!

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