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Thread: Supreme Court to Hear Case Against Violent Video Game Ban

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    Default Supreme Court to Hear Case Against Violent Video Game Ban

    http://www.scotusblog.com/2010/04/co...iolent-videos/

    Interesting. Case law allows states to ban sales of "obscene" materials to minors, but there isn't a SCOTUS decision on whether states can ban sales of "violent" materials to minors.

    Given they overwhelmingly just overturned a law banning the sale of depictions of animal cruelty on 1st amendment grounds, another overturning seems likely.

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    i hope this passes
    And don't bring up that stupid girlie Aladdin rip off! Shantea?

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    I think they'll pretty much confirm what every state that has tried to pass this so far has done - it's unconstitutional.

    Because if you think about it, it would also effect the sale of movies and music. If not immedately, then sometime down the road. And who will decide what constitutes a game being "too violent"? Because if you think about it, Madden is violent. Yet it's usually rated e-10, or teen.

    There's no way they will side with California on this one.
    Last edited by diskoboy; 04-26-2010 at 07:23 PM.

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    I seem to remember reading a consumer study done a few years ago that showed that a majority of games owned by consumers 17 and younger, regardless of the genre, are bought initially by someone older before making their way into the younger persons hands. If that holds true, this accomplishes nothing.

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    California’s law defines a violent video game as one that depicts “killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being,” in a manner that a reasonable person would find appeals to “a deviant or morbid interest” of minors, is “patently offensive” to prevailing standards of what is suitable for minors, and causes the game — as a whole — to lack “serious, artistic, political or scientific value” for minors.
    Given these requirements, the law is essentially meaningless anyway. Very few games fit all of those criteria.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    Given these requirements, the law is essentially meaningless anyway. Very few games fit all of those criteria.
    You don't have to meet all of those criteria, you only have to meet one of them, as implied by the "or" instead of "and".

    Hell you could argue Mortal Kombat broke those rules Kano's heart rip fatality, or Sub-Zero's spine rip. Which is exactly why those fatalities were removed from the SNES version and only included in Sega.

    I'd imagine almost all of the horror / zombie games would fall into those criteria as well. More games than you'd think.
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    It all comes down to parenting, the parents are too stupid to teach there children how to handle this stuff without going apeshit. a violent video game will not trigger real life violence unless the kid is already unstable, otherwise every gamer in america under 18 would be out killing people. i do hope this passes though just to shut people the **** up for awhile.

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    its an easy scapegoat, in real life its not an issue. no major retailer sells m rated games to minors. major retailers are the vast majority of new game sales. when i worked at a game store, if a kid was trying to purchase an m rated game, he would simply get mom or dad out of the car waiting outside to complete the purchase. the parents didnt give a damn.

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    It's articles like this that make me want to throw someone out of a car and drive around town shooting people.
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    This is somewhat shocking considering most thought the SC would pass on this. Leeland Yee (the bill's author) is a fuckin' madman and AhNold is a hypocrite who made a fortune off violent media, including videogames.

    What they and other politicians fail to realize or simply ignore for their own political gain is that the industry and retailers are doing an amazing job of arming consumers with the necessary info they need to ensure the right games get into the right hands. Sure, you still have kids playing Call of Duty or GTA, but let the parents make the decision, not opportunistic legislators.

    Plus, if the SC does give this the ok it'll open a giant can of worms in other states whose bills have been defeated. Fingers crossed until October...
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    It's not like this will really affect anything anyway. Consumers are still going to find ways to get what they want when they want it and sellers are still going to find ways to push product.

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    As a fan of videogames, I don't understand why I should be against a law that prevents the sale or rental of violent games to minors.

    I wish them luck since I don't think it's a bad idea.

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    @Leo

    Government intervention from a group that clearly doesn't get games is a slippery slope. A ruling like this could also have larger implications for media as a whole. If this type of violence is lumped in with other content deemed to be obscene it could have a negative effect on books, the news, film, music, etc.

    Legislators legislate because they need to look like they're doing something for their constituents, plain and simple. Saving the children is a popular wagon to hop on, and when the mainstream media and certain policy makers and some adults hold an antiquated view of the medium, it's a win-win for them 'cause they look good. Who can argue with preserving the innocence of the children?

    Years of trying to find a direct causal link to videogame violence and real world violence has proven futile, so now opponents of the medium often cite "increased aggression" in people who play violent titles, which is murky at best. What does that increase truly mean, and more importantly, does it lead to an army of mindless killers? Youth violence has dropped while the violence and the graphic fidelity of big budget titles like GTA or God of War has inarguably risen.

    But forget all of that, preserving free speech is essential not only to us as individuals, but to innovation as a whole. But it’s the principal of the whole thing that really gets me. Bottom line: I want the government to stay the fuck out of my business, and you should too.

    Just sayin'...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Ames View Post
    As a fan of videogames, I don't understand why I should be against a law that prevents the sale or rental of violent games to minors.
    Mainly because it's a waste of time and money for something that hasn't been a problem for a number of years. Businesses are doing their level best to sell games to the correct age groups, further dick waving isn't going to make it any better or easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Ames View Post
    As a fan of videogames, I don't understand why I should be against a law that prevents the sale or rental of violent games to minors.

    I wish them luck since I don't think it's a bad idea.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonebone View Post
    You don't have to meet all of those criteria, you only have to meet one of them, as implied by the "or" instead of "and".
    California’s law defines a violent video game as one that depicts “killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being,” in a manner that a reasonable person would find appeals to “a deviant or morbid interest” of minors, is “patently offensive” to prevailing standards of what is suitable for minors, and causes the game — as a whole — to lack “serious, artistic, political or scientific value” for minors.
    Yeah that's not an "or".

    Hell you could argue Mortal Kombat broke those rules Kano's heart rip fatality, or Sub-Zero's spine rip. Which is exactly why those fatalities were removed from the SNES version and only included in Sega.
    Yeah, Mortal Kombat might be one of the few. Except technically, within the plot of the series, aren't the people in Mortal Kombat not actually "human beings"? They're a race from some fantasy world, and Shang Tsung came from another world to try to conquer it. Real people generally can't project lightning bolts and cause spontaneous freezing.

    I'd imagine almost all of the horror / zombie games would fall into those criteria as well. More games than you'd think.
    I wouldn't say so. I think Resident Evil, for example, has serious artistic value. Also is a zombie really a human being? That's arguable. Although I guess you could go by the player death scene as the relevant depiction. But a lot of these games don't show the player death in gory detail; they often fade out / cut away / etc.
    Last edited by j_factor; 04-28-2010 at 02:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by law
    California’s law defines a violent video game as one that depicts “killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being,” in a manner that a reasonable person would find appeals to “a deviant or morbid interest” of minors, is “patently offensive” to prevailing standards of what is suitable for minors, and causes the game — as a whole — to lack “serious, artistic, political or scientific value” for minors.
    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    Yeah that's not an "or".
    Your statement should have been "both of those criteria" rather than "all of those" if that was the "And" you were referring to. I was talking about the "Or" in:

    “killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being,”
    and
    to lack “serious, artistic, political or scientific value” for minors

    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    Yeah that's not an "or".
    Yeah, Mortal Kombat might be one of the few. Except technically, within the plot of the series, aren't the people in Mortal Kombat not actually "human beings"? They're a race from some fantasy world, and Shang Tsung came from another world to try to conquer it. Real people generally can't project lightning bolts and cause spontaneous freezing.
    You can't really believe this? It doesn't say anything about "human beings" it says "IMAGE OF human beings". Images of human beings are mutilated and dismembered in that game, no contest.

    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    I wouldn't say so. I think Resident Evil, for example, has serious artistic value. Also is a zombie really a human being? That's arguable. Although I guess you could go by the player death scene as the relevant depiction. But a lot of these games don't show the player death in gory detail; they often fade out / cut away / etc.
    It'll be up to lawyers to argue "artistic value" and that is beyond the scope of this discussion. But once again you fail to acknowledge the "image of a human being". A zombie is still has almost all of the characteristics of a human being and would almost certainly be considered an "image of a human being" in the court system.

    I think you are really downplaying the scope of the written law. It is going to catch many more games than you think and it'll come down to a battle of the lawyers.
    Last edited by jonebone; 04-28-2010 at 08:42 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonebone View Post
    Your statement should have been "both of those criteria" rather than "all of those" if that was the "And" you were referring to. I was talking about the "Or" in:

    “killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being,”
    and
    to lack “serious, artistic, political or scientific value” for minors
    But there's four criteria in there:

    - depicts “killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being”
    - appeals to “a deviant or morbid interest” of minors (according to "a reasonable person")
    - “patently offensive” to prevailing standards of what is suitable for minors
    - lacking “serious, artistic, political or scientific value” for minors

    You can't really believe this? It doesn't say anything about "human beings" it says "IMAGE OF human beings". Images of human beings are mutilated and dismembered in that game, no contest.
    This doesn't even make sense. Obviously it's never actually a human being in a game, because it's code. It's always an "IMAGE OF" human beings. That goes without saying. Images of human beings, arguably, are not mutilated and dismembered in that game -- images of a humanoid alien race (and one god) are. I mean two of the characters have four arms.

    It'll be up to lawyers to argue "artistic value" and that is beyond the scope of this discussion.
    I don't see how it's beyond the scope of this discussion -- it's relevant to the original post I made which you took umbrage to. And I don't expect lawyers to ever argue it. I expect that this law will get overturned as it is, and thus we will never see any as-applied challenges. I just think it would be interesting if this law were left to stand and then was later challenged in this way.

    But once again you fail to acknowledge the "image of a human being". A zombie is still has almost all of the characteristics of a human being and would almost certainly be considered an "image of a human being" in the court system.
    That remains to be seen. "Almost all of the characteristics of a human being" != a human being.

    I think you are really downplaying the scope of the written law. It is going to catch many more games than you think and it'll come down to a battle of the lawyers.
    The scope of a statute is never clear until case law has been established. Considering that the criteria in the law are ill-defined, and that the trend in California common law over the past several decades has been towards less restrictive interpretation, it's not so far-fetched to envision a strict-scrutiny application.

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    We're splitting hairs talking zombies and human figures at this point.

    A law helping to keep "violent" games out of the innocent hands of children is brilliant unless a grown-up carelessly buys it for them. No way a parent would buy a mature game for their kid right?

    Bottom line: a waste of effort and time. If these guys really want to do right by kids, then their top priority must be education. Cause a lack of education does more harm than a video game.
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    It seemed unlikely untill I saw this
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