NY gov signs game bill into law

All games at retail will need to carry ratings; new consoles required to include parental lockout features by 2010.

Last year, New York lawmakers pondered a bill that would have made it illegal to sell or rent some violent games to minors. The regular legislative session ended before it could be passed, but the bill returned this year and was signed into law today by Governor David Paterson, albeit in a significantly watered-down form.

Governor Paterson's office said the bill was aimed directly at protecting children.

The passed version of Senate Bill 6401 abandons the restriction on minors' access to violent games, but retains some of the original legislation's satellite measures. Chief among those is a requirement that after September 1, 2010, all new gaming consoles sold in the state will need to have parental lockout features. PCs are exempt from the law, as are handheld systems. (The Nintendo DS is the only current-generation system on the market without a parental lockout feature.)

In addition, all games sold or rented at retail will need to carry ratings by the end of the year. There are exceptions made for games that are sold through mail order, as well as those which are "unrated" editions of previously rated games. The law does not specify that the ratings need to come from the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

Finally, the law sets up an advisory council to examine "the connection between interactive media and real-life violence in minors exposed to such media." The 16-member board will include a representative of the gaming industry and another from a retailer trade group. Members of the panel will not receive compensation for their work, but will be eligible to have expenses reimbursed by the state.

An Entertainment Software Association representative told GameSpot that the group is currently reviewing its options on whether or not to challenge the law in court (as it has done successfully with game-related laws in California, Illinois, Louisiana, and other states). However, ESA senior VP of communications and research Richard Taylor issued a statement summarizing the trade organization's generally negative attitude toward the news.

"The state has ignored legal precedent, common sense, and the wishes of many New Yorkers in enacting this unnecessary bill," Taylor said. "This government intrusion will cost taxpayers money and impose unconstitutional mandates for activities and technologies that are already voluntarily in place. It also unfairly singles out the video game industry over all other forms of media. One wonders where this overreach by government in New York will end. If New York lawmakers feel it is the role of government to convene a government commission on game content, they could next turn to other content such as books, theater, and film."

The Entertainment Merchants Association also weighed in on the bill, telling GameSpot that the law is "totally unnecessary."

"All computer and console video games sold at retail are rated by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board and already display their ratings prominently on the front cover," a representative of the trade group said. "The latest generation of video game consoles--Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360--each include controls to allow parents to regulate the game content played on those systems. Finally, the work of the advisory commission appears duplicative of reports issued in recent years by the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Surgeon General, and others."

Despite that, the representative did note that the bill signed into law was significantly improved over the version considered last year. He went on to call the omission of the restriction on selling or renting violent games to minors "a victory for video game retailers and consumers."

Written By

Discussion

370 comments
D3j1k0
D3j1k0

1st bill: Already being done, idiots 2nd bill: good ****** luck enforcing it without banning them (which will probably also be ruled unconstitutional, like the 20 other bills)

dranzhero
dranzhero

art least we don't have to pay taxes to play games that would be ridiculous like gift taxes and the home run ball a dude had to pay 10,000 bucks a month to keep.

Pistonite
Pistonite

You know what is funny. Conservatives are telling Librals to stop wasting tax dollars on "stupid" laws and so on when they are the ones wanting to send Billions of dollars (tax dollars) a week over to Iraq to keep a pointless war going. I'd rather have a government that cares about people through health care, education, and so on then a government that wants to build up a military to blow up people. Yes I agree this law is a bit stupid in itself but at least that money isn't going towards a new machine gun or mine for the army.

rwallacefan
rwallacefan

wow, uh I always thought the ESRB was supposed to do this?

andyrae11
andyrae11

This is where your tax dollars are going, people. Not figuring out how feed the poor or to stop crime. Nazi Politicians.

lebanese_boy
lebanese_boy

What's the point in paying more for something that's already included for free? Some people...

jackanderson
jackanderson

Seems OK to me. I mean, put it this way. At least they haven't banned kids from gaming. Even though this is (as ahyumifan said) just the exact same thing that was meant to happen all along.

ahyumifan
ahyumifan

isn't all game already have ESRB rating already? why the hell do they repeat it?

Quezakolt
Quezakolt

bleh vote more dumb laws please. how about... fighting real issues?? Nope.

dreadkght
dreadkght

Oh and btw thanks for wasting my Taxpayer dollars on something I never wanted or needed and again thanks for wasting taxpayer dollars on trying to fight for this bill. Oh and don't forget the taxpayer dollars you'll have to pay the soon to be legal fees that the ESA or ESRB are going to use to remove this bill.

LastPRmarine
LastPRmarine

This guy is blind how would he know what a violent game is come on

dreadkght
dreadkght

I've said it before and I'll say it again I'm glad to be a republican in NY. All of these idiots are democrats and have all imposed these decisions. The only republican to decide to jump in on this currently is under a scandal for extramarrital affairs and for having a SIDE family. Guiliani never thought this was a good idea or Pataki for that matter. This just goes to show that majority of Politcians are tools and I'd put the majority of those tools as liberals.

teknicz
teknicz

The bigger and busier the state, the more pandering that needs to be done by the politicians. That's just life.

starcutter20000
starcutter20000

The stusy is a farce. They did this with comic books fifty years ago linking them to violent behaviour and citing it encurages dilinquency. Read "The Ten Cent Plague." People were burning books not even ten years after the Nazi regime ended. This law bothers me because it does not aply to movies, books etc. what makes video games so special? Considering the violence in the Bible and other scifi novels they would be illegal to sell or give to minors as well.

devilscry
devilscry

But.......they already do all of these things.....why did they need to make a a new law for something they already do? thats like making a law that people must tie their shoes after putting them on, or chewing their food after putting it in their mouths. Gee, i sure can't wait for them to pass a law making it so that i have to EXhale right after i Inhale or i might never do it. Future generations will either laugh at us uncontrollably....or be so sterile in every facet of life they won't even know what laughter is.

necronaux
necronaux

Hey, if they consider this a win and it keeps then quiet, great. "Kids" will still be able to play these games (friends, siblings, ebay, etc.) and as for the parental lock-out... there are easily found codes to reset the feature. (Yep, there are our tax dollars at work.)

txarod
txarod

why are they such jerks. man ive been playing GTA since i was 7 and i turned out fine.

bassy26
bassy26

They began with wanting to censor music, boy did they lose. They then aimed at movies, but movie stars fought back and won. Now they have found the scapegoat... Video Games I will not stand for this crap. I live in California and I will support any gamer in NY to get this ridiculous law out struck down. Blaming video games as the sole purpose why children do not study, are violent, and progressively dumber is what most of us gamers call lazy parenting. I know there are parents who are great parents, they do their parenting for goodness sake to make sure their kids are not damn stupid! I applaud those parents for understanding its their responsiblity of watching over their kids and making sure of their responsiblities. Politicians, I said this once and I will say it again. Leave video games alone and adress the real issues you fake lieing sons of &*$^^&& that go and cheat on your wives because you cant keep your *(&&@ in your ^)*(&*(ing pants! Learn to be human, learn to be nice, and most of all READ THE CONSTITUTION. You serve the public, not the public serves you!

MxO
MxO

Redundant, superfluous, and pointless.

shroom76
shroom76

lol... i saw rambo last night. some video games are pretty bad, but they are so much more limited than movies, and movies look as real as it gets cuz they are real

Zoard
Zoard

isn't this already a standard feature?

IMDLEGEND
IMDLEGEND

With this logic, all DVD players sold should have a parental control too.

-WHATTHEDUECE-
-WHATTHEDUECE-

Seriously i would love to have a government SOMEWHERE in the world that doesn't try and cover up real issues like Taxes, Oil and gas prices and what the hell we're going to do about global climate issues and disease and stuff that actually matters... Instead of pretending to give a rats ass about kids, who's parents are ALSO too lazy to teach their kids about things like respect, love, understanding of things, and even correct forms of intercourse seeing as how saturated Entertainment media is with fantasy sex, scantily clad bimbos, and pornography. Only then to turn around when their kids access inappropriate content in Video games, of all things, and then snivel and piss an moan, that their children are now "TAINTED AND TRAUMATIZED" Sorry for the rant but this Bullcrap is really getting old now.

anime_gamer007
anime_gamer007

This law doesn't make any sense. The ESRB already rates all games that you can buy. You can't buy a game unless some sort a rating board has reviewed it. What's the purpose of this? There's no evidence to support violent games are bad for kids. As long as the person is mature enough it's doesn't really matter what they see. For God's sakes I know 12 years old who are more mature than the 18 years olds allowed to buy this. I'm not criticizing the ESRB however, I am criticizing the NY lawmakers. Kids are smarter and more mature than, kids their age 20, 15 even 10 years ago.

IPHANTOMI23
IPHANTOMI23

Is this where my tax dollars are going too? They worthless crocks of ish! What a total waste of money and time! What is also very offensive is that its trying to strip our right to freedom of press and our freedom of speech! Those of you who think this doesn't matter, think again! Who's going to pay for these new attachments on our systems...? Guess Who! The consumer a.k.a. you hardcore gamers. The cost of a new system is already expensive, try adding a $30-$50 on top of the original price. I remember when the PS3 retailed at $500. Sales were low because the cost was way to hight. Add $50 on top of that just to enact this law. Video game companies are not going to swallow the cost, they are just going to pass it down to the consumer. NICE JOB Governor! I hope the gamers of New York step up and slam this guy!

dark_monk56
dark_monk56

Like Jon-X93 said in the beginning, it's not a huge deal. All it means is that the gov't decided to cock things up some more, but it won't matter. VERY few kids who get the games online or w/e use their real age, so now it'll be mandatory for em to lie, as opposed to optional :)

Jon-X93
Jon-X93

guyz theres nothin to worry about....jus get the game and play thatz all and besidez itz not like 14 year olds put year born 199? or higher NO they dont they put themselves as 21 even here where u tryin to see a M ratd trailer or even in youtube wen therez a flagged video...please this bill is a waste i jus cant believe that gov is gonna sit there and believe minors are now "safe" get real

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

playing 'violent' video gaems don't make me violent things like this is what makes me violent, they want to prove so badly that video games cause violent behavior, no, it's arugments and laws enacted make ME violent, luckily, i have a thing called self control that keeps me from running amok killing everytime this happens

Last_One_Left
Last_One_Left

Wow! How ****ing worthless! Thank you, American Governmnet for ****ing up again! What else is new!

Mystoksor
Mystoksor

of course its irresponsible parenting to let your 8-year-old play grand theft auto, but by 14 the kid's seen way worse. Besides that, this bill in no way helps anyone whatsoever, and just wastes the money that I as a new york resident give this state. Way to go, Paterson, I'm proud I didn't vote for you

Darth-Caedus
Darth-Caedus

Glad to see the government has its priorities straight........

voodoo_goodoo
voodoo_goodoo

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

kidsmoov
kidsmoov

Nice! Now we can blame the parents of these idiot kids!

halo1hater
halo1hater

kids will still get M games, they'll just have their parents go in and get it for them, but either way, they will find a way. Galius7: "The 360 aready has a parental control so theyre all set. " because only under aged people play 360 nowadays. they just buy M games anyway. I bet some 360 fan boys give me thumbs down. haha.

PieCrusher
PieCrusher

A completely useless bill that wastes tax payer's money. It are bills like this that make me think the government is full of imbeciles.

acsam12304
acsam12304

"umm Im a law makerand i think im going to make a bill that is going to make selling beer to any under the age of 21 illegal. yeah that right sound slike a good idea, waste tax payers money on something that is in use today. cuz my high rich wife wants to have a voice on something she dont know anything about. yeah.. i sounds so smart coming up with this bill of no selling beer to under age 21 , even tho we live in the year 2008 A.D."

knives2
knives2

This is what they get paid to do? All they did was waste time doing something completely unnecessary.

assassinX01
assassinX01

It doesn't sound like all that improper of a bill (the requirement for ratings sounds more like a requirement to simply provide information on the product; a 'rating' could be anything along the lines of 'this is a game'), but still, what does this accomplish? Doesn't NY have a better use for its tax payers' money, like improving their god awful roads?

Acagold20
Acagold20

I love the ignorant jackasses on here with the liberal vs conservative sh*t. First of all, this law is completely erroneous. All these things the bill states have already been done voluntarily by the game industry. Next, most of the liberals I know, including myself, are too busy worrying about an alleged "conservative" government that has spent trillions of dollars setting up big brother spy programs, warrant-less wiretapping, jacked up the nations debt by over 4 trillion (fiscally conservative my ass), and generally just did everything conservatives have always been afraid the liberals would do. The saddest part is how you guys just buy into the partisan crap like there is any difference. It's called the culture war ladies and gentlemen. It keeps us bickering while the jokers and the thieves raid our country. Get a clue.

GrgSpunk
GrgSpunk

Who wants to bet that this law won't be shot down by the NY Supreme Court by 2010? Any takers? Holy crap, we've got idiot conservatives trying to push their own sense of morality on the people...

Galius7
Galius7

The 360 aready has a parental control so theyre all set.

roll450
roll450

HHmmmm what a useless bill.

phase4illini
phase4illini

All the "America sucks, America is lazy" bashing aside... at least we have the 1st amendment, which is utterly bada$$ and completely unique to our country. Just look around... every time a Canadian or European tries to do an honest bit of research on Islamic extremism or the threat of socialist agenda within the European Union they get their pee-pee slapped. But seriously, Governor humpy-scrump is going to get his face slapped by the 17-inch wang of the 1st Amendment.

Slashgibber
Slashgibber

@BlackKnightOfH8 lol @ that, so **** true!