GameStop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!

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Via Julian Sanchez, GamePolitics reports on an anti-video game bill that blasted Duke Nukem-like through the New York legislature.

A08696 has already been approved by the Assembly. Last week the New York Senate passed its own video game bill, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Lanza (R). Legislators in both houses are moving quickly because the current session ends on June 21st.

What's in the bill?

1.) selling or renting to a minor a game which includes "depraved violence and indecent images" would be a class E felony under the state penal code

"Depraved" violence is defined in the bill as "rape, dismemberment, physical torture, mutilation or evisceration of a human being." In other words, Trauma Center: Second Opinion.

Luckily it's never a bad day to link to this GameRevolution list.

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  1. Thank goodness Grand Theft Auto San Andreas was spared this carnage . . . or was it?

  2. Where the Hell did I put that BFG9000?

  3. It’s too bad that the game industry couldn’t police itself, but since society certainly has a moral duty to protect children from harmful media the government is probably right to step in here.

    Doesn’t quite seem like it should be a felony, though.

  4. Yeah, Dan’s right.

    Good thing the state is around to be the guardian and protector of children. Not like there’s anybody else around who should be doing that…

  5. Trauma Center looks like an awesome game.
    The law? Well, of course, it sucks.

  6. Everyone, remember that if a poster (e.g. Dan T.) keeps eliciting the “OMG! Did he really just say that?!?!” response, it’s probably not a good idea to respond.

  7. Good point, Equality. Without the government, children would become obese super-criminals.

  8. Please, please tell me that’s not actually Dan T., but rather someone making fun of him by masquerading as him.

    Assuming that it’s not a joke:

    “Society… has a moral duty” — It does? I thought parents had a responsibility. Where’d this moral duty come from?

    “harmful media” — Which harm are you talking about here? The harm that’s been repeatedly debunked by serious studies? Or some imaginary harm that sounds good in a press release?

  9. Don’t politicians realize that when games are rated, they are merely shown as a demo video and the raters don’t play the whole game through? There may be eastern eggs or hidden code that reveals those things that were banned, its impossible for the ratings boards (or the retailers) to know it.

    Thats what led to the infamous “hot coffee” incident in GTA: SA.

  10. I’m assuming that the bill does not punish parents if they buy the game for their kid. So what if the kid has a note from his parents to rent the game?

  11. Everyone, remember that if a poster (e.g. Dan T.) keeps eliciting the “OMG! Did he really just say that?!?!” response, it’s probably not a good idea to respond.

    Translation: engaging with somebody who presents the opposing view ruins the echo chamber/preach to the choir effect.

    No dissent allowed here in the home of Free Minds.

  12. Cesar- No, it isn’t. Hot Coffee was a downloadable plug-in, not part of the original game.

  13. Number 60

    I realize that, but the programming code for the scene was already in the game, the downloadable plug-in just activated it.

    So, in one sense, it was in the original game. Of course it was impossible for some people on a ratings board to know about program coding.

  14. After reading the bill, I’ve come to the conclusion that it will be lucky to see the light of day. NYS thinks they can have “special” state demanded elements to a video game that’s sold across the country.

    A08696 meet the commerce clause.

  15. “Translation: engaging with somebody who presents the opposing view ruins the echo chamber/preach to the choir effect.”

    YES! that’s exactly it!

    thank god someone else is saying what i’m thinking. we fear opposing views something terribly.

    i mean, fuck, i was sitting here thinking about libertarian hegemony and how hit and run never has any acrimony whatsoever. everyone’s polite, treats each other with respect and never runs into disagreement of any subject. and so i thought “but where will we find our golden apple? without discord there is no examination, and contentment is the womb of contempt.”

    and then you emerged like venus upon the shell, bathed in the golden glow of enlightenment.

    HAIL ERIS!


  16. “Society… has a moral duty” — It does? I thought parents had a responsibility. Where’d this moral duty come from?

    A duty is the inverse of a right, and they come from the same place. Can’t have one without the other.

    This is not to say that it isn’t first and foremost parent’s responsibility to monitor what kind of media their kids consume. But, they do deserve a little help since it’s in everybody’s best interests for kids to be brought up properly.

  17. Err… Dan, the ESRB is an industry association that rates games… so, in fact, the game industry does police itself.

    Dumbass.

  18. Cesar and #6,

    You bring up a good point about plug-ins in general. Many plug-ins do not activate but add something to the game that didn’t exist prior to release, and are available on the Internet. I know nothing about hot coffee. I imagine it would be extremely difficult for NYS to regulate those.

  19. “”” 2. EVERY NEW VIDEO GAME CONSOLE SOLD AT RETAIL IN THIS STATE SHALL INCLUDE A MECHANISM, DEVICE OR CONTROL SYSTEM THAT ALLOWS AN OWNER, THROUGH THE USE OF A PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER, PASSWORD OR SIMILAR TECHNOLOGY, TO PREVENT THE DISPLAY OF VIDEO GAMES, OR PORTIONS THEREOF, CONTAINING CERTAIN CONTENT ON SUCH VIDEO GAME CONSOLE.”””

    Does the on/off button count?

  20. I would think that outlawing the sale of video game consoles (under the clause quoted by TrickyVic) would be the surest possible way to commit political suicide.

  21. RC-

    Even if God forbid the government was dumb enough to ban the actual consoles, every gamer would know just to import one from Japan.

    Its the same even now with games that are never released in the United States (mainly out of fear they are too “mature” for an American audience). Region locking is a problem, but there are ways around that.

  22. Dan T. said:

    It’s too bad that the game industry couldn’t police itself…

    Actually, they’re doing a decent job. The FTC reported that it’s about as hard for a kid to buy an M rated game as it is for a kid to buy an R rated movie ticket and much harder than it is for them to buy an R rated DVD or Explicit-Content Labeled Music Recording. The game retailers are also showing improved self policing year after year (much more so than other forms of media content).

  23. “”I would think that outlawing the sale of video game consoles (under the clause quoted by TrickyVic) would be the surest possible way to commit political suicide.”””

    As if passing unconstitutional law has ever been political suicide. Maybe Frist and “Terry’s law”

    But hey, today’s young gamers are tomorrow’s voters so you might be on to something.

  24. Can’t you guys read the sign?!?

    “PLEASE DON’T FEED THE TROLLS”

  25. Translation: engaging with somebody who presents the opposing view ruins the echo chamber/preach to the choir effect.

    No dissent allowed here in the home of Free Minds.

    Dan T.,

    You are a libertarian that is pretending to be statist… but unlike joe who actually does his act well, and provides some interesting points sometimes… you are just a bad parody. You do not actually have an opposing viewpoint, you are simply some libertarian’s misguided attempt to make non-libertarians look bad. You are such a stereotype and parody, that we have lost any suspension of disbelief.

  26. Dumbass.

    I come correct – the will sapping power of a trisomy ape to deflect even extreme reason.

  27. I don’t think Dan T is a libertarian.

  28. I wonder what the rationale behind such laws is. I mean, how did an increased rate of short term aggression in kids exposed violent media evolve into the type of permanent psychological damage that would the threat of a felony conviction necessary to prevent it?

    Beyond that, how many sales that take place now would actually be prevented by the law? The last time I bought an “M” rated game, the store’s policy required an ID. I’m 32. The only cases they’ll get from these are where the 16 year kid who works at the store sells a game to his buddies.

  29. No dissent allowed here in the home of Free Minds.

    Dissent is allowed. Ignoring mindless contrarianism posing as dissent is also allowed (and encouraged).

  30. Good point David. I avoid GameStop because the little twits there always want to card me even though I’m 35, with salt and pepper hair, and am paying with a credit card. It seems like they should apply the convenience store standard of carding if you appear under 30, but I guess you can’t be too careful. GTA will apparently rot little minds more effectively than MD 20/20.

  31. I don’t know if this applies to GameStop but some places will ask for your ID if you’re paying by credit card to prevent theft.

  32. Finally! A “decency” bill that will have an effect on all video games that play like an episode of “24”. And I’m so glad that crap like “Saving Private Ryan” will now be banned from being shown in New York. Thank goodness all that crazy news footage of stuff like the Abu Ghraib “situation” will be forever banned from the airwaves.

    Whew! It will soon be safe to wander the subway system, again.

    If only they’d ban the use of curse words by anyone under 21, we’d be on our way to a morally acceptable way of life … in New York, anyway … but probably not down around Times Square …

  33. What do you expect from the state that produced Rudy Giuliani and attracted Hilary Clinton? I’d better hurry up and sell all my graphically violent and indecent video games to minors before Spitzer signs this excretion into law.

  34. No dissent allowed here in the home of Free Minds.

    TRUE, TRUE. URKOBOLD COMES HERE ONLY FOR THE HOT BABES, BECAUSE ALL HIT & RUN COMMENTERS DO IS AGREE WITH ONE ANOTHER, WHICH BORES URKOBOLD.

  35. Is it just me, or does it seem like there has been a rash of rubbish statutes and lawsuits being proposed in New York just as Rudy’n’Hill git out on the campaign trail … ?

  36. Vic, true, but in this case they were just trying to make sure I was 18. I had left my ID in the car so I gave the twerp my “I’m going to bitchslap you” look and he sold me my GTA fix.
    I’m just a mindless slave to that formulaic sand-box game in all of its iterations.

  37. crimethink,

    You mean Eliot Spitzer (which is German for sharpener), the future president of the United States? And noted bibertarian?

  38. You mean Eliot Spitzer

    THE SAME!

  39. rape, dismemberment, physical torture, mutilation or evisceration of a human being

    Does that include enhanced interrogation techniques?

  40. “If only they’d ban the use of curse words by anyone under 21, we’d be on our way to a morally acceptable way of life … in New York, anyway … but probably not down around Times Square …”

    you haven’t been here in a while eh?

    times square is like, uh, well – the high point is the lost tribe of israel dudes.

  41. This is not to say that it isn’t first and foremost parent’s responsibility to monitor what kind of media their kids consume. But, they do deserve a little help since it’s in everybody’s best interests for kids to be brought up properly.

    Dan T., please don’t tell me what’s in my best interest, you don’t have epistemic access.

  42. you haven’t been here in a while eh?

    True … about 15 years …
    but even with Gulliani at the helm, surely it couldn’t have cleaned up that much?

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