Illinois library rejects request to stop stocking M-rated games

Elmhurst Public Library board members shoot down request from resident group seeking to change library's policy.

Residents of Elmhurst, Illinois will not be barred from borrowing M-rated games at their local library. The Chicago Tribune reports that Elmhurst Public Library officials this week shot down requests from a group of residents seeking to change the library's policy, citing no connection between violent games and violent behavior.

"There's no evidence I can see between these games and violent behavior," library director Mary Beth Campe told the paper.

She and other board members said they believe the inclusion of M-rated games in the library's catalog is a matter of freedom of expression, protected under the First Amendment.

At a meeting Tuesday, citizen group speaker Jim Schuetz said the group was not seeking a ban on the games, but rather wanted the library to "implement selection criteria and procedures" for the games the library chose to make available. He said he was motivated to take action after President Obama called on citizens to take steps to reduce gun violence in the United States following the Sandy Hook shooting in December.

According to Campe, materials chosen for the library--including M-rated games--are selected on the basis of online sources of popular material as well as community requests. Such an approach leaves room for contestable material, but this is nothing new, a board member said.

"Some citizens consider Harry Potter or Fifty Shades of Grey objectionable," board member Jan Vanek said. "We are in a culture of violence, but it doesn't start in the public library."

The Elmhurst Public Library stocks E, T, and M-rated games, but no AO titles. According to the Chicago Tribune, the library requires anyone checking out an M-rated game to provide identification proving they are 17 or older and self-checkout is not allowed for these games.

Some of the M-rated games available at the library, according to a catalog search, include various Killzone, Call of Duty, and Grand Theft Auto games.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

304 comments
MaxPwnage
MaxPwnage

Every game my library has is M-rated. What's the problem?

XboxGuy1537
XboxGuy1537

My library always carries a few games. Don't know why, but it's all good with me!

wyan_
wyan_

Cool story. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

areial_ace
areial_ace

First of all, what the hell that library has games damn i wish my library was like that. 

Secondly,***reaches for history book, blows dusts of it*** holy crap look, according to this book violence has existed thousands of years before the violent video game was even first conceived.

tsunami2311
tsunami2311

what what?! since when do libraries carry games? its a libraries NOT GAME RENTAL SHOP.


Derpalon
Derpalon

What I want to know is who would even care enough about this to actually take the time to file up a complaint with the library about it? Even if I might have found their stocking of M-rated games questionable (which I don't), I just couldn't see myself giving enough of a crap to bother reporting it anyway. Seriously, some people need to find a new hobby or something.

Like video games. ;D

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

Since when do libraries carry video games?

Also, people need to stop getting their panties in a twist every time the president holds a press conference.

"We live in a country of violence, but it doesn't start at the public library."
It starts in the heads of the psycopaths who think bombing a marathon, or going on a stabbing spree, or shooting up kindergartners. or leaving pipe bombs on buildings, or whatever else you can think of.

It aint games, it's the broken society we live in that is causing people to SNAP because we are using a system THAT CAN NOT SUSTAIN ITSELF.

Get with the Fn program people.

RobDev
RobDev

She's a librarian, she should have just told them SHUSSSSSHHHHHH

ThaDukeLV1980
ThaDukeLV1980

I wish my library had video games. That would be awesome.

Imperiusmax
Imperiusmax

Damn straight! This has helped restore my faith in humanity.

JMaster69
JMaster69

I have family that lives in that town and I have been to that library (it's a good one). It's awesome that they made this decision, but I wouldn't be surprised if my family was part of the group trying to get rid of the games. They are all super religious and use the library all the time.

Ilikemyname420
Ilikemyname420

Won't anybody please think of the children!? You know...the ones that can't even sign the games out because they aren't over 17.

junglist101
junglist101

Am I missing something or did reason and logical thinking actually prevail here?  

*starts slow clap*

KiriharaZro
KiriharaZro

The most ironic thing is that those people are responsible for the bad education of the current generation (5-18 years old), they want to blame everything and everyone just to cover their failure as parents.

famekiller
famekiller

another dumb ass group of old farts trying to blame video games on our violent society. They probably hate same-sex marriage as well. they all need a lobotomy.

Colinschindler
Colinschindler

I just rented a game yesterday, if only my town's library was this awesome...

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

Just today, in this very moment, for a little bit.. My faith in humanity has seen a slight bit of restoration.

And so I smile.

◕‿◕

Kickable
Kickable

I CAN GET GAMES AT THE LIBRARY?!?!?!

toddx77
toddx77

So even though you need an idea to check up M rated games people still wanted them removed?  By that logic shouldn't these same people be demanding that movie theaters remove R rated movies?

naruto0187
naruto0187

Good job for the workers in this library for not going along with the damn stupid "Violent video games make people violent" bandwagon.

PS: If libraries here in my country had video games, I'd be in a library everyday.

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

 library's have games? wow none i went to had games only music cds books and movies of course there was always a fee for checking movies out

Grimkillah
Grimkillah

Wait, US libraries have video games that you can borrow? I am living in the wrong country!

kyacat
kyacat

Way to go Elmhurst library for using common sense and not jumping on the anti banned wagon to banned video games and its good to see there people using their heads in this world while clueless politicians who bother use the game industry and us gamers as scapegoats.

MonkeySpot
MonkeySpot

Hmmmm... Perhaps IL isn't full of idiots, as was widely suspected...

TC_Squared
TC_Squared

Playing devil's advocate for a moment, let's just say that video games do cause violence. That's entirely beside the point. It's a damn library. Quit lecturing them on what they can carry.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

I'm surprised on two fronts. 1st I didn't know libraries carried video games to take out and 2nd...good for Elmhurst Library for not caving in to the Violence Vs. Video Game hype...

OldKye
OldKye

Yay for Library's there really are more intelligent people there, who want's to bet the majority of the group that wants the games removed has never use that Library's services?

jdookee
jdookee

Cool, so I can still pickup Leisure Suit Larry there.

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

"He said he was motivated to take action after President Obama called on citizens to take steps to reduce gun violence in the United States..."

So where did Mr. Schuetz go? To a shop that sold guns? To the NRA? No. He went to the library to crack down on video games... *facepalm*

blaze_boy30
blaze_boy30

1) If my library had video games, I'd go to the library more.

2) Schuetz, your heart's in the right place, but your mind isn't. Having a public library stop stocking M-rated games will not reduce gun violence in the U.S.

tsunami2311
tsunami2311

@VenkmanPHD If you look up virus in dictionary, it will summon humanity rather well, all this system we been using wont sustain squat when and if the power goes out or we have huge famine. the whole world is like this but that wont change till it to late

SavageEvil
SavageEvil

@Ilikemyname420 It's much easier to follow the crowd and blame whatever is popular with the kids these days. Face it US society is built upon some weird desire to police everything that children are connected to, only thing they really should curb is allowing people to have children(many of them can't care for those children to begin with).  We have parents in this day and age who can't have a straight talk with their own children about sex, (freaking birds and the bees, wtf is that?). You wish to speak to a child about adult things then speak to them like an adult and not some two year old making up these ridiculous names for sexual organs. 

Lazy parenting and weekend parenting is the bane of this society at large, if you aren't with your children and being a part of their growing experience guess what, something else will fill that void. I'm pretty sure that most of these young adults committing these violent acts had barely a semblance of an upbringing that one would call nurturing. All these studies these professionals are doing, but no one sits down and brings up "how would you sum up your upbringing?"...guaranteed right there we would have some serious ammunition for lazy lackluster parenting. 

You can't fault mental illness, but you can create an environment where the onset of it isn't jarring and causes a snap in the individual suffering from it. You can't protect children from things outside 100%, but you can instill in them right and wrong and if you fail to show them that violence is not a way to solve the vast majority of their issues. A soft reply can diffuse a situation that could result in violence, an apology can sap the tension out of a situation, being able to swallow one's pride and take wrong in a situation just to avoid an altercation is a great thing to be able to pull off. If you can show your children different ways to diffuse situations they will less likely be bothered by media that glorifies violence. 

I watched loads of violent movies as a child, but my parents were always there showing love and never resorted to violence and yes I got whippings when I did things that warranted that, wasn't that many since I can count on one hand how many whippings I got, lol. I am in no way a violent individual but I am not someone you can just roll over either. I prefer to asses my situation before hand, thinking in my strong point. Also I realize that violence can lead to two things, death and incarceration neither of which I want to try out. Parents need to show their children love, give them attention instruct them if you do not want them to embarrass you then you should be doing all you can to ensure that they grow into someone who respect you and society at large. Even activists and those with alternative lifestyles don't go around defaming their parents, especially those who love their family.  Many even have their families full support, respect is a mutual highway it goes in two directions, so don't talk down to your children give them the respect that a human being deserves.

Kickable
Kickable

@toddx77 maybe they know library employees are most likely just as lazy and irresponsible in their duties as themselves in their parenting.  better to remove all risk, policing their children's entertainment is too much work.

NettoSaito
NettoSaito

@MonkeySpot I live in IL and I'm actually shocked the Library in a large city wouldn't go along with it lol. Most of the state is made up of small towns who wouldn't care, but this library is in Chicago.

RAMENN00DLE5
RAMENN00DLE5

@Shanks_D_Chop  That's just what I thought when I read that asinine justification for his dastardly shenanigans.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

@blaze_boy30 

1) That's sad seeing as how that's what it'd take to get you within 50 ft of a book

2). read the article fully.  They're NOT removing the M rated games.

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

@SavageEvil  Exactly. I firmly believe we wouldn't have such a fucked up society if we didn't treat sexuality as Satan's doing. Another thing that makes me frown upon abrahamic religions.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

@Gravity_Slave @blaze_boy30 I read a decent amount of books. I just buy them at B&N instead of using library books. I haven't checked anything out of the library since the 7th grade.

blaze_boy30
blaze_boy30

@Gravity_Slave @blaze_boy30 1.)  Easy now. It's a joke. I have Kindle Touch for reading. I haven't felt the need to go to the library for recreational reading after buying one.

2.) I READ the article and gave the article a RE-READ. I know the library will not stop stocking M-rated games. They shut Schuetz down. Schuetz did not outright say they wanted have M-rated games banned, they wanted the library to re-evaluate which games get made available to the public in an effort to curb gun violence in light of the Sandy Hook shooting. So what article did I not read carefully?

What I did do is that I make an inference (read: assumption) on Schuetz words. I'm also going on a limb here and assuming this is yet another attack on "violent video games". Definitely feels like one. Hypothetically speaking, if the library gave in to Schuetz demands, the M-rated FPS's and TPS's would be the first to go. Fantasy action games like GoW, Darksiders and Ninja Gaiden might stay for a while since the gameplay does not involve guns, but the pathway to banning them is already open. These games are just as violent, if not more so than shooters. If the M-rated shooters are screened out to curb gun control, then M-rated hack n' slash  and M-rated fighting games can be screened out for being too violent. The only M-rated game that I can think of that might be same is DOA5 because it rated-M because of the outfits that the women wear. Not single drop of blood or gory scene in sight. There might be more but I can't think of any.


tl dr version: If the Elmhurst Public Library gave in to pressure from Schultz and co. to develop criteria to screen games that will be released to the public, it could lead to banning a majority of M-rated games. Fortunately, the library refused to do so.