Voting gamers try to sway Schwarzenegger

The Entertainment Software Association's Video Game Voters Network is putting out a call to action. Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled that California's law restricting minors from buying violent games was unconstitutional. Shortly after that news broke, the state's governor and former film...

The Entertainment Software Association's Video Game Voters Network is putting out a call to action. Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled that California's law restricting minors from buying violent games was unconstitutional. Shortly after that news broke, the state's governor and former film star Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his intent to appeal the ruling.

"I signed this important measure to ensure that parents are involved in determining which video games are appropriate for their children," Schwarzenegger said, promising to "vigorously defend" the law.

The VGVN is imploring gamers to put up some vigorous defense of their own, asking California residents to write Schwarzenegger and urge him to withdraw his appeal (which has not actually been filed yet). The group's official Web site even includes a form letter to make it as effortless a process as possible.

"Video games, even violent ones, are a protected form of expression, just like movies," the letter reads. "Do you really believe that it should be illegal for a 16-year-old boy to watch True Lies? The answer is no--it is a decision for parents to make, not the government."

By providing an e-mail, name, and address, gamers can have the VGVN send Schwarzenegger a copy of the form letter. They can also add in their own remarks, and the VGVN even provides a list of talking points to consider making to the governor. It should be noted that filling out the form on the Web site also automatically registers a person in the VGVN.

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Discussion

290 comments
jermay
jermay

I think the law for minors buying violent video games is a good thing, IF there are ESRB ratings listed on the game. I understand that it is up to the parents to make the decision. But, I don't agree with a 14 year old walking into the store to buy a violent game with an ESRB rating of "Mature 17+". Leave it to the parents discretion and have them buy it for their child if they choose to do so.

NinjaMunkey01
NinjaMunkey01

and this is comung from the terminator and the man that killed aliens in predator? better listen to him before he rounds up his robot buddies and takes over the world.

keci_kt
keci_kt

See i agree when they say that parents are responsable for that their kinds watch on tv and for any kind of game they play... I also say that it depends on how you're raise and that will influence you on how your perspective of live will be... I know my mom was the one who spend mos of the time with me and virtually she was the one who raised me...but during my time while i was growing up she was always telling " Remember games and different from reality....not because you're shooting at people on the game means you're gonna shot people here" Of coure some people really deserve to desapear...but here is my point again...depending on how you're raised that's how you're perspective of life will be.

chubhold
chubhold

good thing he wasn't in any violent films...

playstation_wii
playstation_wii

Videogames rullllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

pidow
pidow

Everyone must remember that the governor was the actor that entered a police station and killed everyone in sight. Was his action(s) due to games or another calling? This proved that the Movies are MORE violent than games are. Which games required anyone to wipe out a hospital or police station floor by floor. How is he going to answer or explain that one?.

scslug
scslug

I understand that "protecting our children" is a hot button political issue and an attempt to score easy brownie-points for most politicians. Video games are an easy target now just as movies were and then music. Do I see Blockbuster getting fined for selling that "unrated" DVD of American Pie to the 14 year old, or for that matter selling or renting them any of the "R" rated terminator movies. I don't want or need the government telling me what I can and can not do in my own home or what my child can or can not do for that matter. Let's leave McCarthyism where it belongs, in the 50's. Which I suppose in another one of the issues, most of the people attempting to pass these laws for some unknown political gain have probably never invested more than 10 seconds playing a game in the first place. OK, let's forget about the unconstitutionality for a minute and focus on what the Government should be doing with our tax dollars instead of wasting them on passing silly laws that will be overturned and are ineffective and unenforceable.. I have suggestion, why don't they focus on things that will really improve our society and protect our children. How about fixing our deteriorating school system, what about getting all those pedophiles off the streets, or investing in after school programs that are good enough that kids might want to go out and play instead of sitting in the house playing video games. Wait, I know what the issue is; they can't just pass arbitrary decrees and try to gain political favor with tackling these issues. The problems would take real work, real thinking and some serious dedication to solve, not just a sound bite for the press. Rather than just gripe, I also offer a suggesting that has been recommended before. Try working with the industry, try a spirit of co-operation and partnership, try to actually accomplish something beyond political posturing.

jogunther
jogunther

Politics should stay out of games. So far they really haven't done anything to improve the situation. Its really not that different then typical media.

Yoshi-chan
Yoshi-chan

There is only one thing i have/need to say to in this in my opinion.Once "minors are restricted" from buying "violent" video games, I believe it will be true to say that the movies will take the next hit. Now if you take a brief moment to look at America's economy...you'll notice that our violent movies and video games (more so movies) are our big money makers. A huge sum of that income is taken in from the youth; simple put, BIG F-in shot to America's income in addition to putting more kids on the streets due to ex stream boredom. We are a people not one greater than the other, thus we have no right to disallow anyone (kid,child,adult) of CHOICE America's older generation will continuously complain about violent movies and video games; always and forever, thus making America look weak.

raedman
raedman

IF we get a law like the movies, at least it'll be somewhat fair, instead of random lawyers just saying "bann'd! I AM TYRANT! BLARG!" We should be allowed to fire lawyers if they are hated enough *cough*JT*cough*

speedracer216
speedracer216

but the government DOES decide what movies you can see... if you're 16 you CAN NOT see a R movie without parental permission. so why not let M games be like R movies? i don't get the big fight here. only complainers should be 16yrs and younger. but who cares what they think? LOL. just playin little buddies. still, i like the rule to work the same as R and NC-17 type ratings. get parents permission or be of age.

spectyre
spectyre

When will people learn. It's not the government's job to regulate video games... It's also not their job to ban smoking in private businesses, or to force adults to wear a seat belt, or to provide health care, etc. The morale of the story is we must all protect freedom in every form 'cause sooner or later the politicians will get to something you care about.

zoe256
zoe256

i must be weird, i agree with having ratings on games, and movies. i don't believe that kids kill people because of games and stuff but some things some more immature kids are too young to understand. parents shouldn't just buy kids whatever games they want to keep them quiet, kids need to be outside playing and stuff otherwise they become zombies. at least when you are older you realise that games can be a part of normal well-rounded life. kids get too into games and get too aggressive over them, i have cousins who just play games all the time so i know what i'm talking about.

Agulf
Agulf

Conan and Arnold in the news the same week? Coincidence? I think not!

Bloodhawk_DX
Bloodhawk_DX

Huaaarrrauuuggghhh... Ahhhhhrnold, President of California. Action super star and slayer of men in his movies making laws against video game violence? How many kids grew up watching him shoot the hell out of everything. What a hypocrite.

Mkeegs79
Mkeegs79

It is bad when the government(arnold) is getting into peoples' personal lives by saying what it is legal and not legal to do when it come to video games. When are we going to hold parents responsible if the government is going to force everything? We are a free country, right? I guess Arnold thinks he can throw the constitiution out the window because "thinks" something is bad. Outlawing it? Pathetic!

blesst1
blesst1

if the esrb was more respected and used then we could have more adult content in M or AO games instead of having to worry about little brats picking up games intended for adults. If more retailers would have to ID kids then it would not be a problem. A few good lawsuits should clear it up. It happened to Wal-Mart. I wonder why EB or Gamestop hasn't decided to make this move yet.

-THA-hamst3r
-THA-hamst3r

Parents shouldn't stop their children from seeing anything. Seeing and experiencing, even the bad parts of life are healthy. They should instead explain to their children the difference between fantasy and reality. Parents should voice their opinion to their children about what they feel is right and wrong and help the children comprehend everything rather than assuming they are incapable of such comprehension. A parent should also give good reasons to their children for why they shouldn't do certain things they see in video games, such as stealing cars. "Because I said so." isn't a good answer, ever. In fact, it's an invitation to rebel. What reason could a parent give? Try this: "You can steal all you want in the game, that's what the game is for. It's make-believe. Stealing in real life doesn't work out so well. You've been shot in the game at least once, right? Died? Dying only happens once in real life, there is no restart. Let's just stick to the game, yeah?" I don't think anything should be restricted from a child, teen or young adult simply because the government feels they are too young to comprehend it properly. Rather, help the youth understand what it is they are seeing and provide different views and opinions on it so that they can fully comprehend what's right and wrong. It works, really. It's the method of creating smarter people that can think for themselves rather than more ignorant people.

JeffreyCor
JeffreyCor

Their complaint against the law is wrong. They compare it to a 16yo watching an R rated movie, ok. It is wrong for one to watch the movie in a theater unescorted by a guardian. This is no different from one buying a game rated above their age. They still could, as long as they are with a guardian. The only bad part is there even needs to be a law to force parents to be parents.

sir-michael
sir-michael

I just want to add one thing , things are getting out of hand with the game blaming , if something isnt done soon we will face a germany like law , anybody playing violent game in their home !! can be arrested !! yes folks in your own house !! So , but people always blamed whatever they dont understand , do you remember the 1980's and rock and roll music being a satan music , people said play it backwards , play it backwards and you will hear 666 or satan messages , what a moron's , hopefuly someone reads my post and sees that humans are stupid and blame whatever they dont understand and since when church and politics go together huh ??

rolento88
rolento88

its times like this i'm glad i'm not in high school anymore...

Feniks9174
Feniks9174

"god when will the government stop acting like ****ing parents " -EpidemicAHazard . . . when parents START acting like parents.

DoomKid
DoomKid

I don't trust Arnald.

CapitalistPride
CapitalistPride

I've bought and read books as a minor that are MUCH worse than any rated M game (for example, American Psycho) yet there are no restriction on book sales (and it should stay that way). The reason why government involvement is a big deal is because not all games, just like not all books and all movies, are for sole entertainment purpose. Take for instance Deus Ex, a very politically charged game that's rated M. What if a video game equivalent 1984 was to be made but was rated M or AO?

Unkillable
Unkillable

Look you know something's wrong when little kids drag their parents to 'help' them buy GTA. Parents have to learn to say "No," and to know what's inside the game their little angel wants to buy so badly. Parents need to be educated about games, otherwise they can't raise their kids properly. Some don't even know how much of an impact video games have in our society today.

ynfive
ynfive

Its still surprising to me when I ask around to the parent demo that they still don't realize that an "m" rating in video games equates to an "r" rating in movies.

selbie
selbie

I don't see how it's unconstitutional. It's just like banning kids from drinking alcohol before a certain age. This is merely shifting the responsibility to the parents.

toa_cookie52
toa_cookie52

Parents are not watching what they're giving they're kids. THEY should blame themselves cause they're not doing their jobs. So they send one tsunami of lawsuits to the hardworking developers, which are making games for adults, and the ESRB is putting right there. In a very big logo. M for Mature. The parents just grab the game, give it to their kids and just go back to doing work. They have to be reminded that they also have another job.

hotgamer12
hotgamer12

I'm with Schwarzenegger on this one. Don't you get it people ? It's about content control. A kid doesn't have to kill someone because you put a gun in his/her hand, but how would you feel if your 8 year old child, little brother or sister was able to walk into any gun store and legally purchase a pistol without your knowledge. I know most hardcore gamers don't want to believe in the power of gaming's influence, but I've seen this stuff effect people.

hotgamer12
hotgamer12

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

hotgamer12
hotgamer12

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

AlbertiRAGD13
AlbertiRAGD13

I dunno, I do think that a parent should be present, and that they should know what their kids are up to. If the parent, or an adult is not present, I don't think the minor should be allowed to buy the video game. I mean, I'm not one of those wackjobs that thinks video games warp kids minds, but the kid is under parent control, the parent should know what's going on, and if they don't know what's going on, I don't think the minor should be allowed to buy the game. It's really easy to hide a game from parents if the television the kid plays games on is not in the family room or something. I just think parents should be involved in what their kids are up to. We don't let thirteen year olds in to R-rated movies, why should they be allowed to buy M-rated video games? (which can be more violent than an R-rated movie).

sniper_99
sniper_99

lol the Governator has been in numerous violent movies

tomxizor
tomxizor

C'mon Arnie, don't let us down!

gamefan
gamefan

Government should have never been involved for what kids watch and don't watch. If a kid gets his/her hands on a M rated game or watching an R rated movie.....it's all the parents fault; they're responsible for the actions their kids make. It's not our fault parents are irrresponsible with their kids. When goverenment tries to make the rest of us suffer in our entertainment because of parents' irresponsibility, that's uncalled for. Do you blame air flight providers for leaving without you because you were late? Not really.......but people still do. It's wrong and immature. And I clap to that letter.

Yellowinja
Yellowinja

I understand arnie cause he has good intentions but he's being too obsessive. Next thing you know he'll probably propose a law to ban pencils, pens and markers because a child might poke her/his eye out.

ItWasTravis
ItWasTravis

Leave it to the Terminator to accept such a policy.

pilouuuu2004
pilouuuu2004

Schwarznegger is an hypocrite. Let's hope it doesn't end like The Simpsons the Movie where he is president of the USA. Parents should be able to decide which games their kids should play.

CapitalistPride
CapitalistPride

For the last time, it is NOT illegal for a minor to see a rated R movie (with OR without an adult present with them). The MPAA is like the ESRB, it's an organization set up by the PRIVATE (aka, non-government) movie industry (in this case, movie industry meaning the big studios) for the EXPLICIT purpose to regulate itself so that the government won't have reason to step in and regulate the movie industry itself. Just look up the MPAA or Jack Valenti (the founder) on Wiki. Actually, check out This Film is Not Yet Rated. Everyone that is saying there are laws in place in conjunction with the MPAA, PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT.

QuattroRS6
QuattroRS6

These people need to really think a bit more. Has anyone in government gone and watched some movies or movie trailers lately. I'd def say that a good portion of releases are far worse then what any game maker has put out, or at least as violent. People need to know more about the ESRB which i believe does as good of if not a better job the the movie raters but for some reason people really just dont compare these two entertainment mediums as far as their respective ratings systems go. R movies many of them would end up AO probably. Ah well enough rambling anyone on this board knows how dumb this is and how it needs real looking into not who throws more money at politicians looking into.

wiifan001
wiifan001

Naturally, the Terminator knows what's best.

JKL06
JKL06

It isn't the governments business to tell people what video games are and aren't appropriate. Its the parents of the children. Personally I' am fourteen and I've played about every M game there is out there [MGS 1-3, all the GTA's, FEAR, etc.] I can see why there are the ratings in the first place but i have played them and its not like I've been poisoned, in fact I've gained a lot of knowledge from those games. And even if you don't let your kid play those video games its not like he/she isn't going to be protected at school [which is a lot worse than any M game at least the games are fictional] The government can't start controlling everything, and i think we all have seen the movies and played the video games that explain why, lol

salvaster
salvaster

It won't sway him, the email sounds too focused on its own benefit. Kind of funny though.

iliyun
iliyun

Voht'e for A'WWWNOLD

Kazona
Kazona

"Do you really believe that it should be illegal for a 16-year-old boy to watch True Lies? The answer is no--it is a decision for parents to make, not the government." If that is part of the official letter, then it's a pretty dumb one. They provide the answer for him, to a question he hasn't even answered yet. And if his answer does turn out to be yes, then the entire statement meant to urge Schwarzenegger not to appeal the decision is completely useless. While personally I have nothing against a law that helps keep (extremely) violent games out of the hands of minors, I do believe--like most--that it is up to the parents to ensure this. But if this is how they're gonna try to convince the governor of their unified opinion, then I give them very little chance of accomplishing their goal.

cochrasc
cochrasc

Perhaps it's because I'm 38 and this law doesn't affect me in the slightest, but I totally agree with it and Gov. Schwarzenegger. I'm a gamer and have been since Pong came out when I was 5. Of course because of this, I'm aware of the ESRB ratings system and monitor what games my daughter plays. However, I firmly believe that video games should be treated the same way as other media entertainment. Stores don't (or shouldn't) sell rated R DVDs to children under the age of 17, nor can anyone under 17 legally view a rated R movie at the theatre *without parental accompaniment*. Why should video games be any different? This law is not saying that children cannot play these games, nor is it saying parents cannot purchase these games for their kids. It's simply treating games the same way as movies: if you want to buy it, you must be of age. I don't see how this is a problem, except for this kids that want to be able to run out and purchase GTA IV without their parents knowing about it. How on earth this law is deemed unconstitutional is beyond me. Developers can still put whatever content they want in their games...it just may not sell as many copies if they don't create the games for their target audience in the first place. If you want to market and sell games for kids, then do so. If you want to create a violent and sex-filled game targetted for adults, please do. Myself and many other adult gamers would be happy to buy it if it's any good. 'Nuff said.