ESA wins Louisiana suit

Trade group says judge ruled in its favor, permanently blocking state's game restriction law from taking effect.

An Entertainment Software Association representative has confirmed for GameSpot that the industry trade organization has chalked up another victory in court, this time in Lousiana. The representative said that a federal judge granted the ESA's request for a permanent injunction preventing the state from enacting a law designed to limit minors' access to violent games.

Signed in June, the law was built upon the framework of existing obscenity statutes. Its author--state representative Roy Burrell (D-District 2) working with the help of controversial lawyer Jack Thompson--had hoped that borrowing the language of constitutional obscenity laws would ensure that the gaming law could withstand a court challenge. The judge issued a preliminary injunction to prevent enforcement of the law in August.

According to the text of the law, it would have been illegal to sell, rent, or lease a game to a minor if it meets the following three conditions:

(1) The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the video or computer game, taken as a whole, appeals to the minor's morbid interest in violence.

(2) The game depicts violence in a manner patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable for minors.

(3) The game, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.

The ESA representative said a written judgment would follow, along with comment from the organization. As of press time, a representative for the Entertainment Merchants Association, another plaintiff in the case, had not returned request for comment.

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Discussion

109 comments
JFreezy02
JFreezy02

"(3) The game, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------What gives THEM the right to determin what is literary, artistic, political, or of scientific value?? Major colleges known for their teachings in art now offer computer graphics design, and many more gaming related classes!! Have you played "Gears of War" yet? That game is a MASTERPIECE in graphics and gameplay!!

nick3333
nick3333

Like many people have already pointed out, this proposal is ridiculously abstract and subjective at best, and idiotic at worst. There are simply too many things wrong with the prospect of even considering such a law for me to list here.

dragonsama
dragonsama

While I don't think that Minors should be allowed to rent or buy M rated games I think that laws dictating this are unnecessary. I think that retailers and parents should be self enforcing this not the government.

Decessus
Decessus

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

dn3datomiced
dn3datomiced

I totally should have used that memory trick. I have a habit of associating most of my memories with games, much like my dad does with movies.

mercenar3
mercenar3

jeez this is so funny there ignorance is pitiful videogames-thats how i passed all my classes. while studying play videogames off and on. When you remember parts of the game you remember the facts you were studying at that point! well it works forme at least oh and i got alot of a history test right for playing call of duty and medal of honor as well as brothers in arms. Literatrure also has violence and other things obscene but such works are considered " classics " like shakespeare..full of sex and violence then you get a game no blood no sex where a guy just uses his mallot to bop blobs with eyes and OMG thats so bad its corrupting society! Stop using games as a scapegoat!!!

gametime17
gametime17

This law is based entirely on an arbitrary opinion. WTF. that makes no sense. laws should be concrete. this is the most flimsy law ive ever heard. bs.

G-Legend
G-Legend

iMuffins "CANADA FTW" I agree! T.O

TheBeerinator
TheBeerinator

I think its funny how us minors can get drugs and alcohol and even porn even though its illegal, so did they think it would've stop them from getting video games?

ChucklesMginty
ChucklesMginty

I'm gonna read this when I'm awake so I understand it. right now though I think the gamers won something. From the governemt??? Ironically if I didn't play so many video games I might understand and not be so tired all the time.

quietguy
quietguy

"1) The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the video or computer game, taken as a whole, appeals to the minor's morbid interest in violence. (2) The game depicts violence in a manner patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable for minors. (3) The game, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors. " ---------------------------------------------------------------- This does not even remotely make any sense despite I know what it's saying. You might as well give kid a blank game case and tell him to try to find the area measurement of the fattest chick you can find; using the length of the case as the damn ruler.

iMuffins
iMuffins

Good thing I don't like in Louisiana. Or America, for that matter... Canada FTW =D

AzureWind213
AzureWind213

Premier-Zenith: AWESOME BOOK! chrichton's state of fear will make you realize we are all better off NOT listening to everything the media tells us. Think about it: why is it that we're ALWAYS something we're supposed to be scared of? In the 60's, there was a guy who thought the world had reached it's population limit and that mass statrvation would kill something like 50% of the world's popluation. You know how many people bought and sold that? There's been a million things in between... more recently, global warming and how video games are the devil and there's really too many too count. The next time someone tells you to head for the hills, change your ways or die, PLEASE research it yourself and find some real answers so you can make an informed decision, not the decision that they want you to make.

racing5112
racing5112

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

NZX666
NZX666

ProxiMinor, yes! RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE! "**** YOU I WON'T DO WHAT YA TELL ME!"

BatmanBegins24
BatmanBegins24

"(3) The game, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors." So i'm not allowed to play even tetris anymore? This is disgusting.

ProximaMinor
ProximaMinor

“FEAR WAS NOTHING BEFORE 1989 BUT EVER SINCE THEN WE HAVE BEEN UNDER THE MEDIA's CONTROL THROUGH LIBERAL ADVERTISING, TELEVISION SHOWS AND NEWS.” What the hell are you talking about? Fear has been a tactic to control the minds of American’s long before 1989. Did you forget about a small thing called the cold war? Black listing people who were “connected” with communism. Also the internment camps we ran for all Japanese American families back in WWII. And it’s not just liberal advertising, television, and news programs that spam us with ideas on how we should live. God, go get educated. We need another band like Rage Against the Machine.

NZX666
NZX666

It's all very good to make sweeping statements about how parent culture in America needs improving, and that exposure to violent video games doesn't seriously affect one's behaviour; but the fact remains that people will continue to retain a mindset around games, that being that the are for kids (based not on who plays the games, but what content they (the parents) actually see in them). And the people who've woken up to the fact that games DO have adult content and concepts want to ban them! Yes the world has gone mad, but things will only get worse before they get better. One other interesting thing is that most older people (middle age parents from the baby boomer generation) who have a view against games haven't actually played one. True story.

Premier-Zenith
Premier-Zenith

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

arsy130
arsy130

what is the frikin world turning into, trying to prevent use from playing video games unless it had educational stuff in it or no violence... WHAT ?!?!??!?! ..... they should be thankful they have a badass judge.

thetrashman1570
thetrashman1570

I am a counterexample to all of this and prove that this is all a load of bull. Well im half brazillian and since my visit to brazil in 2nd grade (yes it was 2nd grade) ive have been exposed to pornography and watched it as i grew older. ive also been playing extremely violent games since probably even before that. and NOTHING at all happened to me. In highschool ive gotten about 2 referalls none of which were for fighting. And I have an IQ of 136 (somewhat above average) and take mostly advanced and some AP classes. I get mostly A's and B's and live a normal life. I am pretty popular, wear preppy clothes, have a good amount of girlfriends, dont shoplift or anything, play football for my school, and live a very normal life. I plan on going into a business major and doing real estate, someday starting a clothing line, and maybe learn computer design. If you dont believe im normal, check out my myspace. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=11502119

HyuugaNeiji
HyuugaNeiji

Lord Cack, your one of the few man, one of the few. I agree wih you 100%

mexisnake
mexisnake

Just leave games alone! I bet Jack Thompson couldn't get past the first level of Pac-Man and has since vowed to destroy video games. Good thing he sucks at that too.

oboewan9999
oboewan9999

TCHBO. The ****suckers Have Been OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWNED!!!!

FatherTimex
FatherTimex

The Nazis had pieces of flair, that they made the Jews wear!

MogFromLeipzig
MogFromLeipzig

aka_hal wrote: (3) The game, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors. What does that have to do with violence in video games??? That is just out right censorship and is not constitutional. You don't block a book because it's poorly written As far as I understood the text, all three conditions have to be met to forbid the game for minors. So this would be more like a loosening. If a game has violence but also has value for minors it would not be illigal to sell it to minors. I don't think the law sounds too bad.

Sandro909
Sandro909

Jack Thompson is a Nazi Yes, I went there.

reichsmedik
reichsmedik

Jack Thompson should move on to bashing other things instead of games. Well, all I can say is here where i live, you can't sell a game to a minor and it really sucks since before i was 21 i tried to buy GTA:SA and they refused to sell it to me for the hot coffe mod. Now i know the mod was for PC but why in heck did they refuse to sell it to me for PS2? Jack Thompson is the master.....of getting PWNED!!!! P.S. You should retire old fool!

lord_cack
lord_cack

The real issue at hand here is the simple fact that Americans, as a whole, want to be told by the government, what is right and what is wrong. That is the scary truth about it. Parents don't want to have to say "NO! You can't play that game first of cause your not old enough and secondly because I said so." Parents in this country need to grow a sack and stop trying to be their childs friend and start being their parents. Make Adult only games and check some frickin' ID's.... the customer has to open there wallet anyway to get the cash and/or credit card out to pay, just take a look at the ID. Theaters do it, frickin' convinient stores do it for gods sake! People just need to see videogames as viable forms of expression and entertainment on the same level as films and literature. Then, treat it as such and this issue goes away.

D_E_E_G_S
D_E_E_G_S

This ruling can be described in but one word...PWNED!!!!

aka_hal
aka_hal

(3) The game, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors. What does that have to do with violence in video games??? That is just out right censorship and is not constitutional. You don't block a book because it's poorly written

AFK4Lifez
AFK4Lifez

I live in Louisiana so this is music to my ears or should I say eyes.

Dante2710
Dante2710

about time, they should be focusing on more important things than video games.

demondragon55
demondragon55

For the most part, I think MOST 12+ years of age kids should be able to know that a game is a game and isn't going around and killing real people cuz they liked killing in a game. Cuz games like Halo aren't bad. Some games 18+ should only play (the A rated) and the kids (3-16) shouldn't have anything to do with them. But, the parents should know that M means it has some stuff that younger kids shouldn't play. It's really dumb that they don't have a clue what their child is playing. "Oh! I didn't know that my 3 year old shouldn't play (incert random 'M' game here). This is terrible! There should be laws about this!" Yeah... some people should know what they are giving and/or know what their child is playing so they can see if it's ok for that said child.

knife_prty
knife_prty

Who the hell do those feds think they are anyway, deciding what we can and cannot look at. Welcome to the USSA...

hiryu3
hiryu3

I personally think they shouldn't pass a law to limit selling the minors. The government does not need to be involved with yet another issue that will give them more control. Just my opinion. If you let them pass this law what will let them pass another and another and then all of a sudden we wake up and realize our freedoms have been taken away.

stripeknight
stripeknight

Violence in video games! Bah humbug, most elementary movie depictions of the american civil war shown in your average classroom are more violent then most video games (excluding maybe the likes of Doom3 and Quake4 type games), and what about your average Tom and Jerry episode? In any case I'm glad the Industry Trade Organization shut this issue down.

gumoverbridge
gumoverbridge

Is the general gaming community against any law that limits the sale of video games to minors? Personally, I'm not against freedom of speech, and believe that people should be able to make any game they want and adults should buy any game they want. But what's the problem with a law that limits the sell of violent/sex/offensive material to minors? We don't let movie theatres sell tickets to minors for R rated movies, no one has a problem with that. The above law is poorly written, ambiguous, and arbitrary. I'm glad it was shot down. But it seems like every time a law to protect minors is shot down the ESA and gaming community calls it a "victory."

LexLas
LexLas

They might have won this one but there are many more to win. I can't believe how far they take this ? It will never end it seems ? I'm sure there are better things that can be looked at that are more serious ??

t3tra
t3tra

I actually read an article in Rolling Stone recently (I think the one with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on the front) that interviewed assclown Jack. He said that he's actually send his own son into stores to buy M games to prove that they will sell to minors. He also said that when his son went to camp (I think he's an early teen, 11-13 or something) that he asked his dad if it was okay that he didn't tell the other kids that his dad was THE Jack Thompson. Poor kid...

NanoElite666
NanoElite666

What the hell? Literary, political, or scientific values?! That's what you go to school for. I swear, these anti-gaming "crusaders" are getting dumber and dumber...

Trogeton
Trogeton

LOL and I live in Louisiana HAHHAH

eegotriip
eegotriip

Uh, therabidblob, youre a moron.. hopefully youre being very sarcastic because if not, youre a dip. Get off gamespot if you don't believe in video games. Otherwise, yeah.

cybrcatter
cybrcatter

I.DON'T.CARE. This is such a minor issue, no pun intended. Sure, I would have been a little P.O.-d when I was younger, but I would have just told my folks to buy the games I wanted any way, which is probably the best way to go. I have no Idea what the local laws are for DVD sales, but whatever policy that retailers have to follow for R-rated DVD sales to minors, should also be the exact same policy for M-rated games. P.S: I just want to remind everyone that ppl under 17 are not full citizens in this country, and they do not get all the rights that adults do. I am 100% for freedom of expression, consumptions, and liberties and doing whatever you wish to do with your free time that does not hurt anyone else. But all of the laws meant to protect ppls rights mostly encompass adults, as children are still second class citizens, and just a legal extension of their gardians. They can enjoy all of these freedoms, so long as their gardians permit it; that's why it is not anti-constitutional, as mojo-jojo23 was referring, to limit minors in consumptions of specific products, such as theater tickets, cigs, etc etc. I know I'll et crap for saying that, but I just wanted to remind everyone. BTW, I buy my little bro any game he wants, and Coronas for his 18th b-day party, so I'm not a minor hater or whatever you guys might call me ;P

dragkill
dragkill

"PackersRock : Also I think that it's the parents job to control what their kids buy, not the goverment" Seriously. If they were going to start taking control of that, we might as well not have our own lives sooner or later. Also, reason #3 does not make much sense at all. I know what it means, but it has really no point in being in there, and I honestly think that they pulled it off the top of their heads for that.

therabidbob
therabidbob

Personally I a vegan, wiccan and if I ever caught my child playing video games I would lop off his hand. It is written in the book of Wicca that Balroth the Inflitrator shall bring punish unto those that do that! And by that I mean allow children to play video games.