Two more states ponder game bills

Indiana, Maryland politicians cook up legislation to limit sales of games with violent or mature content to minors.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' Hot Coffee controversy may be old news, but it appears that some politicians are still going back for refills. Even though several proposed game bills, intended to limit the sales of certain games to minors, have been shot down in court, new politicians are still putting a target on the gaming industry and its ratings system.

Gamepolitics.com is reporting that officials from Indiana and Maryland have thrown their hats into the ring and have drafted up bills that would put restrictions on the sale of games with violent or mature content. The proposals are largely based on similar bills that failed to pass in California, Illinois, and Michigan courts last year.

From Indiana, Senator Dennis Kruse has proposed Senate Bill 0135, which would fine retailers who sell "violent or sexually explicit" games to minors, and Senator Vi Simpson has discussed plans to introduce her own bill aimed at violent games.

"Right now, kids can walk into just about any store and get their hands on a video game in which they can shoot police officers, use drugs, steal cars, rape women or even assassinate a president. That's frightening to say the least," Simpson said last week.

In Maryland, Delegate Wade Kach's proposal aims to block Adults Only-rated games to minors, and Justin Ross has inititated HB 54, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the bill California Assemblyman Leland Yee brought to court last year.

All four bills are expected to go before a judge soon.

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56 comments
boolow407
boolow407

Assasinate the president? Where in the hell is that in GTA or any other game? These losers are joking. Goes to show they never played the game. They should make a game with Hillary Clinton and Jack Thompson, along with these idiots. Then again, there would be too many retards in that game. Scratch that...Comparing these idiots to the mentally retarded is an insult to the mentally challenged everywhere. Just more politicians playing mommy and daddy because the biological parents cant/and/or wont. Pick on someone your own size like Iran!

8bitantichrist
8bitantichrist

I don't think that they're referencing a 22 year-old Atari 2600 game for the whole rape thing, but hey, politicians have done stupider things. Also, I'm with mikekare on how these kids get the money and a trip to the store.

IgnatiusX
IgnatiusX

Uh, mhorbatuk. They didn't blame the game in that car crash. If you ask me, go Canada, someone is finally realizing that it's the dumbarse kid and not a video game. I played GTA III when I was 13. I'm perfectly fine. I have murderous thoughts, everyone does. But I have no intention whatsoever of ever carrying them out. It's not a false sense of reality, it's a complete and utter disregard for human life. People like that are everywhere, murderers, rapists. The games are a scapegoat for the fact that they're either on drugs, have crappy parents or are born with some kind of metal shoved through their brain. Stupid. People who do stupid things are stupid. A video game won't make someone stupid.

mhorbatuk
mhorbatuk

this is why i hate politics. All politicans have never ever played a video game in thier life. Its like they wake up in the Morning and say" hey whats the thing im gonna screw over today....oh looks like its videogames. Hmm what sounds bad even though there has never been a game where you can actually rape some one....oh i know im gonna take a s**t on videogames by saying you can rape people in them." And yet movies like Hostel come out and nobody even notices. The comercials almost gave me nightmares and there was not retribution. Does san andreas have people that are completely blenderable? Do the people in SA scream in horrible angony when you chainsaw them in half? It makes me wish that the Western World was self-governed all issues were voted on instead of having some fat lazy @$$ senators andCabinet Ministers(im from Canada) make decsisions on stuff they have no idea, no slightest inkling of. Oh look some kid just went and killed a pedestrian in a street race, oh look there is a copy of Need For Speed in the car. Well time to blame another death on videogames even though the kid stole a car, killed a person and thne went on to completely destroy the car, waht does he do says " oh i Didnt know, its the games fault for making me steal the car and kill a man". Our problem is that nobody ever takes responsiblitys for them selves any more. Come on in WW1 14 yr olds went off to war and died for their country. Now a 16 yr old can go fight in Iraq but he still cant drink or go see an R rated movie or get an M rated video game. Dont you see a problem with this?

kaito2
kaito2

More politicians using taxpayer money as toliet paper.

Nradd99
Nradd99

There's definitely something wrong when minors are joining the army and killing "enemy combatants" and having sex at the age of 16, yet they somehow aren't mature enough to play video games and watch violent movies. The legislation is just an excuse for candidates to impose their narrow, flawed values on everyone else. I don't think it's all just political opportunism. Some of these people actually believe the bullsh*t they're preaching, which makes them all the more dangerous to our freedom. Soon even the judges will relent under pressure, and before we know it the only games left will be boring, censored games full of "family values." And gamers will deserve it for being too damn lazy and doubtful to do anything about it. Oh, and what games allow you to rape and kill presidents? Whoever said that was outright lying, and should have to pay the price. Oh wait, I guess politicians are allowed to lie about important issues of freedom and national security. But their personal sex lives are everyone else's business.

Hellisunreal
Hellisunreal

Guess politicians think this good publicity

remmbermytitans
remmbermytitans

the politicians need to just stop! seriously this is going to end up like all the other bills that tried to get passed.... its going to get shot down.... and then we can laugh at them.... XP, and i totally agree with: mikekare79, how does a 10 year old get 50 bucks, go to a store, and buy the game? he CANT! they need a PARENT to drive them, and give them the money! so WHO'S FAULT IS IT? THE PARENTS!! so please do us a favor and stop....

DrKill09
DrKill09

Wold these damn politicians screw off already!? I am sick of this bull!

mikekare79
mikekare79

A lot of places enforce it. What I wanna know is, how does a 10 year old get $50 and a ride to the store...

starcutter20000
starcutter20000

I love the news article in Indigo Prophecy, It describes four teens in chicago going on a shooting spree in their school. It then says that after finding "violent video games" in their homes it proves the link between violent behavior and video games. The gun vendor is no longer in question because officials now know what is really responsible for the tragedy. I thought it kind of shows just the state of mind these arrogant/ignorant people are.

Tricky2050
Tricky2050

I don't mind the fact that Mature rated games are kept from being sold to children but the American Government is going way out of control by how much crap they are throwing at games.

seifer99
seifer99

^Yeah I live in Canada too^ Anyway. The Government shouldn't waste their time on who can buy what. I think that it is reasonable to have the stores deny a minor an M rated game. But it also shouldn't stop anyone above the age limit. Besides a lot of M rated games aren't that bad. And a lot that I've seen for PC let you turn the gore down or off. Ex. UT2004, Counter Strike, Etc.

Seraphim_24
Seraphim_24

We can't afford gas, we can't afford housing, and food costs continue to climb, worse yet its well past time to bring our troops home and let the Afganis and Iraqis stand on thier own two feet, and yet instead of focusing on making life in America easier and better they continue to let costs go up, and our troops die needlessly so that they can combat video games. People I hope you're taking names so that you know who NOT to vote for, especially since most of us gamers are voting age or older, or will be very soon.

NeoJedi
NeoJedi

Nice going daggertail, that'll help the situation out a whole lot... Anyways, I think children should not play violent or sexually explicit games, period. All this legislation and politicians trying to get into the public eye by using the "flavor of the day" won't help either. Parents of these children need to wake up and take better care of what their offspring buys and plays. Bringing in new laws and taking away the freedom of "speach" from game designers and developpers is not gonna help in any way. I'm so happy I live in Canada, politicians are dumb here too, but they don't spend their time attacking games.

kuvo
kuvo

Passing a law that says children can't buy a violent video game is just absurd. if you think for even a minute that this will reduce the violence in our culture and society, you are kidding yourself. Games are no different than violent movies, books, and paintings that depict violence and nudity, which are all protected under the first amendment. Remember people, the definition of art isn't whether you like it.

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

just ban GTA and anything similar to it.

daggertail
daggertail

if all u f**king politicians try to do the BAN thing, all the gamers will be going on a major strike. OH n lets see wat u do after that u bloody c@$k sucking mother f**king politicians. F**K U ALL TO HELL U F##KING POLITICIANS

OPOLO
OPOLO

If only people in the USA had Parenting Skills - so we deal with the government helping parents with no skills

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

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

forever_blank
forever_blank

Well, that is just insane... for starters there is a lot of back story to the 'you can rape people claim', as for assinating the presedint, all you need to do is watch a spy thriller movie, or some sort of tom clancey movie and your there. Movies are playing at the, 'someone will asasinate the president tonight' So stupid, games are not what cause problems in our society, it is the neglegent parents, retailers and BAD POLITIANS.....

Cartman86
Cartman86

Oh well the bill says Provides affirmative defenses if: (1) certain relatives of the child were involved in the sale or rental; (2) the child used false identification to buy or rent the video game; or (3) the video game was rated appropriate for children less than 18 years of age by the Entertainment Software Rating System. Which clearly goes by the ESRB on the surface. So they are being smart here. Bravo!!!

Cartman86
Cartman86

lol if they have even heard of Custer's Revenge then they get some credit. But anyways when I was 16 (like 3 years ago) I would be mad about banning the sale to minors a little bit. I still would be, but if this will get them to shutup I feel just like films they should be able to do it. But not by there rules. Use the ESRB ratings system. Its so simple. If a game is rated M don't sell to anyone under 17. Thats the rule just like R rated movies for crying out loud!

kaosprince
kaosprince

Hate to say this guys but there was a game where you can rape a woman. A game called "Custer's Revenge" was made for the Atari 2600 in 1983. I remember the guys here at Gamespot had a feature about videogame controversy and Custer's Revenge was on it. Most of you guys have probably never played it(I've never played it either and I don't plan on it) but it did start alot of controversy for its rape theme. Also, do not say America is the only country that where videogames are only attacked in. Germany and Austrila are even worse, I mean they ban very violent games from coming in the country.

Tribalcheetah
Tribalcheetah

Where are their parents? Guess no one wants to take responsibility for themselves or their kids anymore. Everyones a good parent, so when the kids act up it must be the video games fault! When my kids get fat, its the fast food joints fault! When I die of lung cancer, its the cigarrettes fault! Please mister Government, regulate us, we have no idea what self control and disipline are anymo, youll get ma vote, yessa masta politician, since you know whats best for me and mine! Please stop makina me make dicisions for maself, herts ma brains!

Greendonut
Greendonut

Attention all politics: When a kid says that a video game told them to kill people, they do not mean it. They felt like saying it just to stop themself from getting into the slammer. And please, STOP GOING ON A BAN ALL VIDEO GAMES RAMPAGE! Do something useful... oh say, like quitting your job. Better yet, use taxpayers money for something useful like donating money to a school.

LordelX
LordelX

Ha ha ha. Only in America do people panic about the content of videogames. This doesn't happen anywhere else in the world. Nothing wrong with what your congress is trying to do....yet... But I feel sorry for you guys. It must suck to live in culture so fearful that the content of video games supercedes the fact that all of your poor youth are sent to die in a foreign country every 10 years. Maybe they should make a videogame about that.

redlar
redlar

Geez, haven't these guys learned yet that these bills won't be passed?I'm all for not letting young kids play trash like GTA, but that's the parent's responsibility to not let kids play these kinds of things. Many stores where I live require ID or parental consent to purchase M-rated games, like Halo 2. And it's also up to game publishers like Rockstar to put out better stuff. I mean, why make a game like Bully?What kid would want to beat up other, virtual kids?Did they really think parents would let their children bring games like that home?We don't need these bills, we need responsible parents and programmers.

xundying_soulx
xundying_soulx

if they keep it up MS might take away their comp software and sony might take away their tvs, camrecorder...and anything else they make...lmao..jk

davahsa
davahsa

Please get this act together NOW! Don't sell s#!* to kids so that publishers won't be soo afraid of making more mature games. The average age of a gamer is 34 and last I did the math...that puts little Timmy and precious Jenny 17 years (at least) behind the average! If stores can't stop selling Mature games to a small percentage of there customers then Please Congress!... step in and let the kids know that they are not welcome to this type of content. No other entertainment lets the kids join in on the adult stuff and it needs to be official here as well. It's only holding back the industry and wrecking creativity when big publishers are trying to flesh out their IP.

punkcore
punkcore

Im getting really sick of this crap. I dont pay taxes so a bunch of politicians can waste the money on bills that do the parenting for the parent(s). Maybe if parents talked to their kid every once in a while he/she would know the diffrence between reality and f*cking VIDEOGAME

ace_of_spades
ace_of_spades

Oh and one more thing, WHY DID ROCKSTAR PUT THAT IN THEIR GAME!!! What is wrong with them, they know that this day in age no easter egg is left unfound. What idiot programmer put that in there to begin with. The mini-game was also in the PS2 version. What did Rockstar think that nobody would find out???

vicelibertydre
vicelibertydre

Oh right. The JFK game. But what game lets you "rape women"?

ace_of_spades
ace_of_spades

Why do politicians think that kids are so stupid. I know I misspelled poloticians

ace_of_spades
ace_of_spades

stupid poloticians don't they have better things to do? Oh Yea there too busy taking brides from interest groups to focus on the deficit. OH COLD (Abramoff)

nemes1s3000
nemes1s3000

Some people just never learn, giggle.

sorata07
sorata07

Okay if a child is unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality then the parents protesting raised some pretty idiotic children, and if the games do twist the childs perception on life then if you have the means for the children to carry out their twisted fantasy lying around your house then i think these parents deserve what happens

coolcool23
coolcool23

wow its yet again poised to get shot down like illinois, michigan and california...

grantwest
grantwest

F**K POLITICS! i'm just tired of it

Kenzo287
Kenzo287

Stupid Rockstar! Why did you guys even think of putting the hot coffee content in anyway! You should of removed it from the start not hidden it!

MrSelf_Destruct
MrSelf_Destruct

I can get an M-rated game at just about any store? Really? Well, show me where they are, because nine times out of ten I get told to come back with a parent. Most stores have their own policies about selling games rated M or AO to minors, there's no need for this. And what game lets you rape women?

auron212121
auron212121

this is total BS the goverment should really use tax money for something usefull. The ESRB's doing a greatjob the only place i used to be able to get M-rated games without one of my parents was tradeagame a local company and they only let me because I came in very oftenm and they knew my parents would be cool with it, anyhow if someone is going to go actually kill, use drugs, steal cars, rape women ( I've never heard of a game where you can actually RAPE a woman), or assasinate a president ( which I wouldn't be against if someone assasinated the current one) they aren't playing enough games.

Game-o_O
Game-o_O

And legally they don't have to, it violates the first ammendment. You guys forget, those ratings are there just to show how 'mature' the 'product is', NOT TO LIMIT people from buying it. My ebgames doesn't ask for id, neither does our local theater. The goverment doesn't need control over what people choose, if you can't get ahead in life as it is. Now people want you to wait just to see stuff other kids couldn't handle. --- I think its the politicians that can't handle the games, with idiots like Jack Thompson backing them up though, they will never learn.

rencie
rencie

Krypton36 says, "It's not that the system doesn't work, it does, it's that the stores aren't enforcing it."

By system I mean the system of preventing minors from accessing to media that is intended for mature audience. This system consists of parents, vendors, artists, manufacturers, and law makers. I'm not solely targeting ESRB in anyway. The moment that one of these parties in the system does not do their work, the system collapses.

By the way, I like the ESRB's rating system. They make it clear as to why they gave certain games a particular rating.

yboucher
yboucher

Hey Americans.. how about some GUN legislations instead ?!

Krypton36
Krypton36

It's not that the system doesn't work, it does, it's that the stores aren't enforcing it.

rencie
rencie

Today at EB Games, the vendor actually asks the teenager for ID when he tries to purchase a M-rated game. The teenager did not have ID on him and the vendor denied him of the sale. This is what should be happening in the first place, as with sale of cigarettes and adult literature and videos to minors, as well as of movie tickets to R-rated films to underage movie goers.

Ratings are meaningless if parents and vendors ignore them. When movie theatres allow teenagers under 18 to watch R-rated films when they should be carding them in the first place, and game vendors selling games like Grand Theft Auto to minors, the system of course doesn't work. This issue should not shouldered by just one party (e.g. ESRB, parents), but everybody involved in the production and sale of the products.

The government is getting involved because the system obviously doesn't work. Although I am for this legislation, I am not for censorship because it impedes production of literature, films, and games that cater to mature audiences. This sort of censorship is giving way to a fascist movement in the government.

GameDestroyer88
GameDestroyer88

Oh my god, don't these senators have more important things to do.....I can think of at least 80 other things that are more important for senators to do than bash gaming. Don't they realize even if they put in the bills they won't be passed. Seriously....I believe Schwarzenegger tried the exact same thing and guess where it got him....EXACTLY no dice. Why not bash the movie Hostel instead....I hear that movie is pretty gory....but you don't see politicians running to their offices to put up a bill against movies....even though the R rating is enforced. Still the ESRB does a good enough job. Leave ESRB alone senators, go find more important issues to deal with. Oh yeah.....in which game out there can you assassinate a president honestly, what that JFK reloaded bull$^5t wow....it figures they would fall back on that. Jesus man...what do we have to do to get a little virtual fun here. I'm pretty sure non of these senators even care....they just wanna get in the action so when it comes time to vote they can put their two cents into what they have done to "help" moral values.

GameDestroyer88
GameDestroyer88

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