GDC panel takes "hot coffee" break

Developer, academic, and legislator go head-to-head in panel designed to offer solutions to the "us" versus "them" debate on states' right to regulate game sales.

SAN JOSE, Calif.--Thursday afternoon saw an odd juxtaposition, rarely seen in the debate over violence in video games. Instead of a lone video game developer being questioned by an irate congressman, the panel instead turned into a lone California assemblyman being questioned by irate developers. Titled "Murder, Sex, and Censorship: The Morals of Creative Freedom," the panel was moderated by game designer turned professor Brenda Brathwaite and orchestrated to include multiple viewpoints.

Speaking for the academics was professor James Paul Gee, who has written multiple books on the effects of video games on learning, while program director of the International Game Developers Association Jason Della Roca represented developers.

But the focus of the panel was California state assemblyman Dr. Leland Yee, who represents the 12th district in that state and is currently Speaker pro Tem of the assembly.

Yee is perhaps best known for his introduction of California Assembly Bills 1792 and 1793, which restricted the sale of "ultraviolent" video games to minors.

Brathwaite started the talk off by discussing her intention in bringing this panel together and giving some of the history of legislation created to address "video game violence."

"In the last year, over a dozen bills targeting video games were put before state assemblies and senates throughout America. This panel brings together a developer, a politician, and an academic to try to represent the different viewpoints on the issue."

Each member then gave a short introductory speech, covering the issues that he found relevant to violence in video games. Professor Gee focused on the versatility of games, often overlooked in the debate over violence. "In public discussion, we ask when, where, and how games can be bad for you, but never whether they could be good for you. How can they can be used to improve our schools and what good can this technology do for our kids?"

Gee gave examples throughout history when new forms of media were viewed as a threat, reading a quote comparing The Hardy Boys series to "blowing your brains out."

Instead of criticizing an entire type of media, he said, people should realize that "video games are neither good nor bad for you, but [their value instead] depends on what you do with it, just like TV. The real issue is how do we teach parents what's in these games so they select good games for their children and select the right games."

Assemblyman Yee gave a much shorter introduction, focusing on the bills he sponsored banning "ultraviolent" video games. While the courts blocked the laws on First Amendment grounds, he said he was still confident that the injunctions would be overruled on appeal.

Finally, Della Roca was the last to give an introduction, asking if the legislation under consideration was misdirected. "[These efforts] abdicate the responsibility even further from the parents, since they rely on politicians to figure out which games are appropriate or not. Defending lawsuits and injunctions are costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars."

He also criticized politicians for their lack of understanding of the game industry. "Politicians don't play games. They don't consider the possibility that video games are art, that they should be considered the same way as movies. Politicians would watch movies before passing judgment but treat video games as entertainment for the kids."

These laws have consequences beyond children, said Della Roca. "[People] feel ashamed to be video game developers, since they've been blacklisted by the media at large. It devalues the creative power of the workforce, the passion that goes into creating these games."

After these initial statements, Brathwaite opened the panel up for questions from the audience. Not surprisingly, without exception every question was directed toward Dr. Yee, although all the panelists contributed their views.

The first question was whether legislation prohibiting the sale of video games to minors was even necessary. Dr. Yee responded, "We as a society have a responsibility to protect our children. When we have inappropriate material with harmful effects to children, then the state has a responsibility to protect them. Video games teach the piecemeal behavior of how to hurt individuals and mastering those behaviors. This is what that technology does, similar to how the military and police use it for training."

Della Roca immediately disagreed, saying, "The military uses games for teamwork, strategy. It has nothing to do with desensitizing people to killing." In addition, he argued that "singling out games doesn't make any sense. Media is so pervasive that trying to block any single one is futile in many ways."

Another question involved the impartiality of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, given that it's funded by the game companies whose software it rates. Dr. Yee explained how he felt that the practice of game companies funding the ESRB was similar to constituents funding his campaign and expecting him to do them favors.

At times, the questioning became heated. Arguing about whether studies have shown that video games cause violence segued into a discussion on a similar link between smoking and cancer. Dr. Yee argued that these studies are similar to ones done on smoking, in that there's no scientific data showing that smoking causes cancer. Instead, all they "have is correlational data where if you find people who smoke, you find people who get cancer."

While various audience members shouted Yee down, Gee responded, "The amount of research we have for video games is dwarfed by smoking. The smoking issue has been settled, the video game one hasn't been."

Della Roca also expressed his incredulity about these studies, at which point Dr. Yee lost his temper as well, responding, "Jesus, those studies are why we banned smoking!"

Yet even though the audience had sharp questions for the assemblyman, many also had words of praise, thanking him for coming out to the conference to face developers. Brathwaite also thanked Dr. Yee, saying that out of all the politicians she invited, including Senator Lieberman, he was the only one that accepted.

In the end, perhaps the best summation of the panel was a quote from Brathwaite in the beginning. "We all want age appropriate content. We just disagree on whether legislation is necessary."

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64 comments
Kitsu_Kurasei
Kitsu_Kurasei

I have a few things to say. First, I love Canada, I love this place SO MUCH. We appear to actually have a degree of maturity up here, I haven't been hearing much about ridiculous blame the game agendas here (Though sometimes I stop listening for a little bit. If someone's gone nutso up here, please tell me.) for one. I've read a lot of articles and alot of comments and all that I have to say is this: I am sane, I am not some puppet that is so easily influenced that I will kill people because something on a godforsaken TV SCREEN said to. Anyone who is needs serious help, and deserves alot of pity. I am a teenager who takes responsibility for her actions, has known the difference between right and wrong and fake and real for a very long time, and uses her judgement when deciding what she wants to play, listen to, watch and read. My mom is always there when deciding what to buy (though renting because of the resources of walking distance and five bucks has quite a bit of freedom) and we always look at ratings. Besides, since we're sticklers for quality, it's hard for me and my big brother at least not to know about all the questionable stuff since we're always checking Gamespot ratings and reviews to pick which game is the good game. (We're looking into Tales of Legendia or Dark Cloud 2 or Guild Wars Factions right now (third for his birthday, others one of them for me because I didn't get a proper birthday present in February.) I only wish other parents were so open about all the important subjects. (not just this, me and mom talk about all the important stuff like sex and drugs quite a bit as well as what happens at school.) Seriously, we don't need as much protection as everyone thinks. I can tell personally that the study people in some cases are purposefully trying to get bad stuff. You see, a survey was launched to middle and high-schoolers in an Ontario school, asking about whether children knew about a bunch of STDs that they didn't even say were STDs and even my mom, who has gone to medical school and worked as a nurse before she had me and worked at a resident home now-She didn't even know what they were saying! Not a single mention of AIDS or herpes or teenage pregnancy or condoms and pills. I'm surprised 10% of the kids even knew, they certainly didn't teach about whatever it was in sex class (Mom surmises that they might have used REALLY fancy names for stuff like herpes, she thinks one of them probably was it but who'd have gotten THAT?) They tried to make it sound like kids didn't know a thing about sex and it infuriated me because at least at Hadley (where I am, right on the Quebec side of the border) the need-to-knows are stuffed down your throat every year in moral class and everyone knows this stuff even without the classes. Ok, I dragged on, but do people get the point? We are not necessarily sheltered brats that know nothing and to quote (maybe paraphrase, bad memory) 2 the Ranting Gryphon: "Kids today are being treated like some sub-human slime found on the bottom of some plumber's boot on a daily basis!" I know that not all kids are necessarily lucky enough to have at least one parent that tells you about the world (quoting 2 again: Kids listen to me because I don't LIE to them! Please, have some respect for your children and tell them these things so that I don't HAVE to!) but that isn't their fault and honestly, I'm starting to wonder-why doesn't every school have sex ed a required course in moral class? Why don't we teach them about this stuff in SCHOOL if we can't use parents? Hadley does, you didn't even have to ask them. There are posters all over the school about the effects of drugs, anti-homophobia, Kids Help Phone, Date Rape, and pretty much all the other stuff parents should be talking to their kids about (Kids Help Phone being the back-up to tight-lipped parents), and if they haven't already, they start talking either to them, or to Kids Help Phone (mentioned earlier) or the many councilers in the school. We can't necessarily trust everyone that decides to get married or knocked up, but we can have a back-up plan ready that isn't necessarily government regulation. Get what I'm saying? Hot Coffee was bad because they didn't warn us, but you warn yourself by looking for the code for hot coffee anyway, and now they want it gone warning or no? That is not morally correct, politically correct, honorable, ethical, or anything right no matter what ANYONE says. Everyone knows why this is being done (It's like the thirty-man code in Contra, I don't need to say it even but everyone knows it-PARENT VOTE.) and it downright disgusts anyone with common sense (which is the most uncommon sense in the universe :P) that this is allowed to go on. Where is the sense in this drivel, where? Ok, I'll stop myself before I start ranting. Best to ya, Kitsu. (P.S. I know that was long, sometimes I do essays. I'll be happy to hear what you thought of it though if you've got the time.)

tonyrayo
tonyrayo

I don't know what you've read or didn't read kalkhaja, but the whole problem with "hot coffee" came because the content seen was included in the game, it just took a piece of code to point to it. That doesn't mean it was created by another group. You can even get Gameshark/Action Replay codes to unlock the scenes on older copies of the PS2 copy (which means the content exists in game). I'm not going to say much else, just wanted to help inform kal. Whatever I could say has already been said before, but regardless I think we (the gaming community as a whole) won't have much trouble continuing on in the future. I don't even consider this a roadbump, just a distraction, but time will tell.

tyloidme
tyloidme

I think the problem lies in the parents of said "violent teenagers". The ratings are there, and slightly enforced, so follow them. If they're under the age given, monitor what's going on. The way a kid acts reflects on how they're raised, if violence is a bad thing growing up, it'll be more or less bad when you're older. If you haven't raised them well enough, they'll crumble. If you think kids are the problem, raise them right. As mentioned before by Jugulator62, movies, and songs do not constitute reality. If anyone has watched the movie Thumbsucker, you may remember the debate they had about violence on Television. What it came down to is that it is all art, violence in art has gone back for thousands of years, what we need to teach people, is to be skeptical. Know what's false, know that images are not reality. Though these images may be based on something that's happened, they aren't reality anymore. Anywhom, I'm done. Finally. If you want to get rid of video games due to violent content, first, be a good parent, second, you better start screening movies, books, artwork (both old and new) and what happens on a regular basis in school with criticism, racism, prejudice and bullies, the latter is what I think causes the most teen violence. You do your job as parents and teachers in their personal lives before you get rid of what they do for entertainment, who knows, maybe their entertainment is what's keeping them alive today...

kalkhaja
kalkhaja

you are wrong Tolwan. Hot coffee was a mod that had nothing to do with Rockstar. it was created by another group and was available online

Jugulator62
Jugulator62

Just let me say,I've read some interesting views and some valid pionts have been made. I am 43 and a father of a ten year old girl.I am an FPS fan and my daughter HAS been exposed to these games by watching me play a few levels or as she's gotten older actually playing some of these games for a period of time.We have spent extensive time talking about game developement and how these games are made and rendered and the process of creating them. In other words,I have made certain the she understands thats games are a creation just like any movie or song and do NOT constitue reality ! I am fortunate for she has understood these concepts since she was very young .My daughter already knows that the true atrocities in this world have nothing to do with video games,ie; terrorism, starvation,child abuse etc.My point is that I decide what my child can and can't see by knowing the material content beforehand and always gauging her reaction to any given media(by the way I do draw the line at anything sexually excplicit.)BOTTOM LINE!! PARENTS- DO YOUR JOB AND RAISE YOUR CHILDREN!! TALK TO THEM! LISTEN TO THEM!! Oh and the funny part is when she is choosing a game for herself,she likes BRATZ or Barbie games-go figure. P.S. Remember first it was Elvis and rock-n-roll,then the hippies and free love, then heavy metal,then slasher flics,then rap and now video games.....Its a miracle we're not all serial killers.

Tolwan
Tolwan

The Problem with San Andreas was it was rated M, and had that Hot Coffee thing in it. Personally i dont think there is anything wrong with it, if you want porn in your game put it in your game, its no different than putting it in a movie. However the problem was M is for 17 and up, and only 18+ can view nudity, thus the argument started that GTA:SA was misrated, but eventuallyt his grew into a whole new thing that it shouldnt even be in the game no matter the rating, and things just went to hell.I say, rate it AO and be done with it. Our American Bill of rights allows us to put this stuff in games, videos, etc. It is our freedom of expression, freedom of speech. It's not like they're FORCING you to play the games, or FORCING you to watch the movie. You just have to grow some balls as parents and tell your kids, NO you're not seeing that movie, or, NO you're not getting that game! That's your job, if you dont do it, i guess we can create a "American Academy" where all kids are raised by the government. And yes, the ratings have plenty of details, on the back of games itl have the letter lets say M, under it, it says 17+ or whatever age that letter represents. Under that, it says what's in the game that made it that rating, itl say Sexual Content if it has that, Nudity if it has that, Sci-Fi violence, Modern Violence, Extreme Gore, etc. etc. so parents, stop thinking it's the governments job to raise your kids. If you dont like our BASIC FREEDOM's, well, you can just get the hell out of america then.

YEPEE00
YEPEE00

i think they need to rate difficulty, otherwise bad things tend to happen. "percepts of action & realty of action: a study." i think that was the name...

jaefrmbk2k
jaefrmbk2k

my mom let's me do whatever i want so i like when the government takes control. I NEED BAOUNDERIES!

399M4N
399M4N

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

DaemonRacer
DaemonRacer

The Parents are the responsible parties in this. That being said, kids will play what they want (just like sneaking away for a smoke or getting a beer at a highschool party). The goverment should not get involved in this. All the studies on video violence have shown no link at all between the two, be it movies, televison, or games as it relates to real world. At a certain point, people must take responsibility for themselves and their actions. A twelve year old knows right from wrong. If he doesn't know by then, he will probably never get it. And to note this comment from Dr. Yee: Dr. Yee argued that these studies are similar to ones done on smoking, in that there's no scientific data showing that smoking causes cancer. Instead, all they "have is correlational data where if you find people who smoke, you find people who get cancer. You could say, "If you drive a car, you will die" or "Have a coffee, end up in a coffin". Broad comments like his while supported in the general view, do not work in limits of his discussion.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

what happens if i just respond in an extremely long manner and I heavily overuse the return button ?

MarcoSnow06
MarcoSnow06

Censorship isn't the answer here. Parents need to take responsibility and monitor what their kids are playing.

PossibleGamer
PossibleGamer

"I agree that parents should monitor what their kids watch. But here's the thing: they don't. If they don't, someone's got to. Educating parents would be the best, but the bottom line is it ain't happening. Just like other forms of media, there should be at least SOME input from the government, since some parents aren't doing their job. Can't fix the world, but ya gotta do what you can." -Glorman I agree with that. I the parents don't raise their kids right it'll end up affecting many people negatively. Maybe this wouldn't be a problem if parents were doing their jobs better. I'm not saying that there are no good parents out there, but there are becoming less and less. Such a high divorce rate doesn't help either. It takes 2 I believe

rctyke
rctyke

These polictics should know that violence is happening all around them since man had created the first weapon, the spear and the club , then fire, then knives, then arrows , and so forth. And these polictitians should realise that people like Hitler, osama and so many others didn't learn violence from video games. polictics should stay away from making the gaming industry look like the devil, or something like that.

bunty_007
bunty_007

I am agree with the user above me

thefjk
thefjk

I dont get this censorship thing...!

bamf03
bamf03

When I was a kid, every movie that I watched which was usually action or martial arts, I used to imitate the moves with my younger brother. When the cartoon Ghostbusters was popular back then, me and my mates would get fairy dish washing liquid and squirt it on passers-by pretending it was Slimer. I do not remember ever imitating a video game when I was younger. How can a video game be responsible for someone to blow some other person away? These politicians make out that gun crime and other violence only came around since the first violent video game came out. I have to let you politicians in on a little secret, gun crime and violence was around before video games. What did they blame their crimes on back then? Or maybe I'm wrong; video games have been around for thousands of years! Let's see, Caesar probably played Rome: Total War which gave him the idea to take over the world. Hitler played on the Medal of Honor series and Call of Duty games, was sick that it was always about these allied forces picking on Germany. It was not until he played on the Command & Conquer games that gave him the idea to get his Germany citizenship, be the President and try to take over the world and fight these Bully allied forces. Billy the Kid first played on Gun and Red Dead Revolver. If it wasn't for The Godfather the game we would never have the Mafia. When a Gangland boss is up for trial, he blames all his smuggling, laundering and murder on the Godfather game and gets off scott free, lol. Anyone think off anymore?

Glorman
Glorman

I agree that parents should monitor what their kids watch. But here's the thing: they don't. If they don't, someone's got to. Educating parents would be the best, but the bottom line is it ain't happening. Just like other forms of media, there should be at least SOME input from the government, since some parents aren't doing their job. Can't fix the world, but ya gotta do what you can.

Penguin_dragon
Penguin_dragon

Remember the good 'ol days when they blamed rap for violence and what nots and now it aint so popular so now there picking on the next popular thing, games. I think someone just wants a little attention.

PiMacleod_basic
PiMacleod_basic

Fallout_red, said... "GTA, Halo and DOA BAD Games? Land of the Dead RTFG is the best game of all time then. Now I've heard everything. Without MGS, GTA, Halo and God of War gaming is dead. " I beg to differ....heck, I don't beg -- I KNOW that's wrong!! Gaming existed way before those, and they just SUPPORT gaming itself. Halo 2 is good, GTA is good, and DOA....well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder....but they never brought a system 'back to life', or pulled the industry out of trouble. In fact, GTA has brought more heat upon the industry than anything!! I'm all for creative works, but be sensible about it. Don't jeapordize the entire industry!! Before those games, Mario, Doom, Street Fighter, Metroid, Resident Evil, and more, all existed. And guess what -- they still do. If those games were to be banned from screens as of NOW, would you just 'quit' gaming right now? Or would you pick up Call of Duty 2, Quake 4, Doom 3, The Outfit, Tekken 5, Street Fighter: Anniversary Collection, ....should I continue? No, I think I already know the answer.

Angel_Belial
Angel_Belial

I think the best thing would be to find a way to educate parents. Often the parents will go with their child when they're buying a game, and a rating of 'M' doesn't exactly tell parents what their child might be seeing in the game. Perhaps they should give in-depth reasons for the rating on the back of the box, factually describing all the elements of the game that warrant the rating. It would help parents to understand the content of the game and make a better decision for their child. Seeing a little 'M' on the front of the cover doesn't tell parents whether it's mild profanity, slight nudity or excessive use of weaponry that got the game such a rating. Educate the parents so they can make educated decisions on what their children can and can't play - it's better than politicians banning games because Rockstar messed up with the Hot Coffee crap. Hot Coffee wouldn't have been such a big thing if it wasn't hidden, unadvertised content anyway...harmful mistake on Rockstar's part.

WeeWeeJumbo
WeeWeeJumbo

"Ever since rap became popular there are many more japanese kids and people from crapholes like dubai acting like 'thugs.'" You couldn't possibly be more ignorant. Never write another word.

Incarnadine256
Incarnadine256

I don't see why they got any flak over this hot coffee mod incident. To access it on the pc you needed to download a mod and on the playstation you needed to use an action replay max code. The content wasn't even really in the game. If you wanted to see it you had to go actively looking for it. It's outrageous that they got all that crap over it. It's like blasting the creator of the internet because you can find porn on it, if you go actively searching for it. And besides, they game was rated M anyway, so assuming all parents are responsible, no one under 17 shoudl have the game anyway. I don't see any problem there. It's just a whole lot of bs politicians are using to gain support from parents.

sam20vt
sam20vt

it's about damn time!!!!!!!!!

MadonnaProject
MadonnaProject

It was fun watching take 2 scamper after they screwed themselves into the ground with the whole GTA hot coffee thing. It started a chain of events which has cost the company probably more than it was willing to barter. Serves them right as well, games are games, and i know most people in here will still stupidly claim violence in the media doesnt affect the minds of the people exposed to that. But ever since rap became popular there are many more japanese kids and people from crapholes like dubai acting like "thugs". There is to much talk about rape/murder/mugging going on around the kids these for comfort.It has come to the point where someone has to put their foot down.I think take 2 deserved all the flack they got for GTA:SA, people just shouldnt go too far. The funniest part is they have set wheels in motion where this has actually started being taken very seriously, and from now on the rest of the developers will hold this as an example when they choose to develop further games. haha, so much for freedom of express and all that bullsh*t.

MStreeter
MStreeter

People (and kids) have always been killing each other all around the world. I'm pretty sure that the advent of video games didn't cause the downfall of man into the fiery chaotic world of violence. But, who knows... maybe Osama bin Laden, Hitler, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Jack the Ripper, Charlie Manson and countless of other homicidal maniacs & conquerers played too many video games. After all... people were never violent until video games showed them how to do it.

TamamoNoMae
TamamoNoMae

The major thing that alot of people are missing is lets say that they do get away with all this. lets say they ban violent videos, no body is allowed to buy, sell, make or think about violent video games. Now lets say they ban ALL video games in general? Good bye american economy. Video games (last time I checked anyway) was a 12 billion dollar a year industry, thats 12 billion dollars being spent on video games a year and what happens when that 12 billion dollar a year goes goodbye? All the stores that sell those video games loose 12 billion dollars a year. Then we can all point and laugh from the fact that the american economy now crashed and burned. Its called the ripple effect, just by banning violent video games, you reduce the amount of money that a video game company can earn, you then reduce the number of workers that company can have and mean people have to be let off, they loose their jobs and they dont have the money to buy anything from the stores and the stores loose money which means the amount of money circulating is reduced as well. The politicans arent thinking about the long term effects of what they are doing.

wokisan
wokisan

Some parents are just too lazy (or don't care) to be in tuned with what types of games their kids are playing....or simply too scared of their kids to tell them "No, you can't play that game." Get some backbone folks, do your job...instead of whining incessantly until the Gov't steps in. And yes I am a parent and yes I KNOW what my kids are playing and will continue to do so until they are of an appropriate age/mentality. As a father....It's my job.

kirbyray
kirbyray

For those of you saying "just pass a law that doesn't allow minors to buy M rated games," shut up. The parents need to take responsibility, if I can go to Blockbuster and rent gladiator, I should be able to go to Blockbuster and rent GTA: SA. When I take it home my parents let me play the games. Why? Because I know the difference because virtual reality and reality. "Ban video games, they're too mature," they say. You know what? A thirteen year old could go to a rental store and be denied GTA then he could go home and watch a video on the internet of a person commiting suicide. What, now you say "Ban the internet,"? Then he goes and watches TV and watches a bloody violent movie on some movie network or any other channel. "Ban television," you say? You know what I have to say? "Make the parent take responsibility!" Kirbyray

sgmcdaniel2000
sgmcdaniel2000

I think that really politics has just taken this idea of viloence and run with it. There is no difinitive proof between violence and video games. It seems as if it just a good way to get parents behind whichever politician is using it. Clinton is a case in point. This has nothing to do with protecting kids it is all about polls and preparing for an election in a couple of years, and getting the parents vote before hand. That is what is so sad about this. No parents are ever going to learn to teach their kids what is right and wrong because of this type of political warfare. I worked at a video store which rented games from E to M and many times when i would tell the parents that the game the kid is renting is mature, they would get mad at me for telling them, and tell me not to interfere. Politicians would be better off promoting good parenting and how to create strong family ties. I as a parent do watch very closely what my kids play, and i do enjoy games like GTA, etc.... I would never let them see it or make it accesible to them, but that is MY job not the governments. In spite of all of this I think a REALLY GOOD QUESTION to ask ourselves is why as adults de we LOVE VIOLENT games SO MUCH? What is it about our culture (very different from asian cultures which like stragetgy and interactive games over FPS) that we sooooo need to be playing games that are ultra gory and ultra violent? Just a thought....

VampyrKDB
VampyrKDB

I live in Australia, where recently the government overhauled the age classification system incorporating TV, movies and games under the same scheme... Or so they say! Games still don't have a R rating (for 18 years and over) even though the other forms of media do. If the government wants to correctly rate and classify games, how about recognising that the average gamer is (according to the half dozen or so surveys i've seen) in their mid-20's to early-30's and taking them into account! And why did the government see fit to overhaul the system in the first place? Well they say in order to simplify the system and make it easier for consumers and parents fo understand. I have never met anyone in Australia so incompetent that they could not understand what [MA 15+] stood for. If you can't understand what that means, you shouldn't be allowed out of the house, let alone play games.

Natdaddy
Natdaddy

Joshua250 please reread your first sentance, as it makes no sense at all. Censorship does work in some cases, not always. It makes sense at 3 to 4 in the afternoon to have shows acceptible for children to watch and not hardcore pornography..... Aldarish your comment makes no sense at all either as it is a fallacy as clear as day...from what you said I could say that because more people are watching tv violence has gone down in america - the subjects don't corrolate with eachother.

GyRo567
GyRo567

Censorship... Copy protection... Bannings... What do these things all have in common? Well, they all punish the legitimate users while those who caused them merely bypass it anyway.

Incarnadine256
Incarnadine256

"I believe that there is a system that is much more appropriate. Ratings based on maturity and understanding. Some sort of test should be given, that would determine your level of maturity." There's no scientific way to measure the idea of "maturity." I agree that age doesn't determine maturity, but neither can some test. The idea of maturity is subjective and therefore cannot be measured by a test. The idea of such a test reminds me of the literacy tests used to keep uneducated blacks from voting a long time. "gta, hitman, 25 to life, and the like should be banned IMO. those games are blatently for killing people" That may be, but the first ammendment of the constution clearly states that people are to have freedom of expression. Violent video games may be "bad" or "evil," but it's not up to the government to legislate that type of morality. It's up to people to amke choices about hwo they live their lives, whether you, or I, or anyone else agrees with them or not.

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

gta, hitman, 25 to life, and the like should be banned IMO. those games are blatently for killing people

Aldarish
Aldarish

Its funny because ever since the release of Playstation, xbox, ps2, and so on, violence in america has decreased

HitokiriEmmaSan
HitokiriEmmaSan

if people cant understand that children should not play certain games the governemtn should make it illgal for children to have such games... No. Just, no. Now, in my personal opinion, the issue of 'age' should be dropped all together. It furthers the stereotype that age determines maturity and understanding. I believe that there is a system that is much more appropriate. Ratings based on maturity and understanding. Some sort of test should be given, that would determine your level of maturity. Your score on this test would determine the types of games you can get. If you are not mature enough, you aren't allowed to buy 'M' rated games. Some people mature much faster than others. Saying that anyone is mature enough at 17 to play an 'M' rated game is ignorant. Just as saying anyone who is not 17, isn't mature enough to play an 'M' rated game is ignorant.

SilverArrows
SilverArrows

What I have a problem with is, if a parent wants to buy a violent game for his kids, who the hell is the government to decide if its right? Don't movies say "Kids under 17 not admitted without parent" .... thereby leaving the final decision to the parent. It should be the same with games. Like selling a dvd movie of a R rated movie to a minor is worng, its the same with games. But there isn't a law against it. And there shouldn't be one for games.

Ryu
Ryu

I'm a firm believer that the responsibility to raise and take care of a child is that of the parents. I'm all for accurate labellings of video games, and I think the ESRB does a pretty good job, but I feel that they can sometimes be vague as well. I think that the labels should be more prominent on the box for a game, and that the categories that define a "T" game from a "M" game should be more clear. Mild violence and mild cartoon violence. Why the discrepancy between these labels when they're really all trying to say the same thing? Mild violence tells the story. We can SEE if a game is animated or not from a single picture on the back. Make a more clear and consistent system and let the parents decide what's right for their children. I have no illusions of legislation disappearing from the issue, but I wish it would. Normal, decent people aren't going to shoot someone because they see it in a game. In the words of Chris Rock, "whatever happened to crazy? You can't be crazy no more?"

IgnatiusX
IgnatiusX

"Assemblyman Yee gave a much shorter introduction, focusing on the bills he sponsored banning "ultraviolent" video games. While the courts blocked the laws on First Amendment grounds, he said he was still confident that the injunctions would be overruled on appeal." Yeah, that's right. We're going to violate a document that created a standard for our nation so we can keep violent video games out of the hands of children. "Just because they said no the first time because they agreed with an infalliable document doesn't mean that they won't say yes the next time!!!" He should just say this and be over with it. Seriously, don't screw with the Bill of Rights. This is starting to look like Bush's amendment against gay marriage...

Incarnadine256
Incarnadine256

These politicians have no clue what they're talking about. It wouldn't surprise me if the politicians pushing these laws had never even played games in their lives. They make it sound like every video game in existance is a mass-murder simulator marketed towards children to brainwash them into being violent, but that's simply not the case. There's a reason games have ratings. Games like GTA are marketed towards the older crowd and there are plenty of tame games aimed at children. If 10 year olds are playing these games, it's not the industry's fault. Blame the parents for once. If they're worried about the games their children are playing, maybe they should be paying more attention.

frankeyser
frankeyser

if people cant understand that children should not play certain games the governemtn should make it illgal for children to have such games...

StillWingless
StillWingless

i've said it once, i'll say it until i turn blue--there isn't enough focus on the role of the parent in these discussions. that is probably one of the biggest reasons that the gaming "issue" is even an issue at all... many parents just aren't interested in monitoring what media influences their children, whether it be movies, television, music, or games.

John_of_Fire
John_of_Fire

m33nstr33k 'I'm for less government intrusion and more parental responsibilities.' Dido If people cannot take responsibility for their decisions their ability to make decisions will be taken from them.

Legir
Legir

Selling M games to minors shouldn't be alowed but that's about it.

Donkeljohn
Donkeljohn

Games certainly aren't the worst things in the world, but I applaud Yee's effort to represent stand he has taken. I agree with the need to have age appropriate entertainment, but quality stories and gameplay can still be made to apply to all ages.