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 Post subject: Schwarzenegger v. EMA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:20 am 
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Well, today was Election Day here in the States. It was also the day that arguments in Schwarzenegger v. EMA were heard before the Supreme Court. The transcripts have now been posted online via Joystiq and Scribd (among others). Going over them, I think I can say the state of gaming in the States is going to be just fine. It looks like those who predicted the only reason the Supreme Court took this case was to basically spell it out for the states that they need to quit wasting money on this idiocy were probably right.

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 Post subject: Re: Schwarzenegger v. EMA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:10 am 
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The video game industry got pressed rather heavily as well at some points, but not near as bad as the opposing party did.

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 Post subject: Re: Schwarzenegger v. EMA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:48 am 
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This is interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing. You know, although I'm glad the transcript of the proceeding is made public, it pisses me off that videorecording isn't allowed at the US Supreme Court. I would have really liked to have watched this whole thing. It's our damn government... we should be able to see it all!


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 Post subject: Re: Schwarzenegger v. EMA
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:04 pm 
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pbpb33 wrote:
This is interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing. You know, although I'm glad the transcript of the proceeding is made public, it pisses me off that videorecording isn't allowed at the US Supreme Court. I would have really liked to have watched this whole thing. It's our damn government... we should be able to see it all!

Can't help you with video, but how about audio?

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 Post subject: Re: Schwarzenegger v. EMA
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:25 am 
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I don't get why anyone would enjoy "playing" some of those trash, sadistic, graphic torture "games" described in the hearing. Even if adults like that for themselves, I would think that most everyone could agree that children should not be purchasing or playing that poisonous stuff.

Why isn't the current industry rating system working now? Or is it? Wouldn't those disgusting games already get an Adults Only rating? Aren't retail stores, as a matter of policy, refusing to sell or rent that stuff to children (if they even sell it at all)? Some stores aren't doing what they ought to be doing?


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 Post subject: Re: Schwarzenegger v. EMA
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:39 pm 
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pbpb33 wrote:

Why isn't the current industry rating system working now? Or is it? Wouldn't those disgusting games already get an Adults Only rating? Aren't retail stores, as a matter of policy, refusing to sell or rent that stuff to children (if they even sell it at all)? Some stores aren't doing what they ought to be doing?


Well, I think that was the Supreme Court's whole point. The current rating system is working fine, or at least as well as any such system can--you will always have parents who don't give two shits about what their kids play, and you'll always have store clerks that don't give two shits about what they sell and to whom. But mostly, the system works as it was designed. For the most part, teens get carded when they buy M-rated games, and they aren't allowed to buy games with the rare AO rating. It works, more or less. What these idiots are advocating is a federal suppression of content--that is, the developer's right to put whatever the heck they want in their game and deal with the consequences (like lack of sales if it garners an AO rating, for example.) To do what these guys wanted would have been no less than a suppression of free speech, and so the Supreme Court rightly laughed in their faces (figuratively speaking, of course.)


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 Post subject: Re: Schwarzenegger v. EMA
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:51 pm 
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Retailers don't even sell AO games.

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 Post subject: Re: Schwarzenegger v. EMA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:24 am 
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MusicallyInspired wrote:
Retailers don't even sell AO games.

Yep. AO titles are basically download-only.

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 Post subject: Re: Schwarzenegger v. EMA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:00 am 
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Lambonius wrote:
pbpb33 wrote:

Why isn't the current industry rating system working now? Or is it? Wouldn't those disgusting games already get an Adults Only rating? Aren't retail stores, as a matter of policy, refusing to sell or rent that stuff to children (if they even sell it at all)? Some stores aren't doing what they ought to be doing?


Well, I think that was the Supreme Court's whole point. The current rating system is working fine, or at least as well as any such system can--you will always have parents who don't give two shits about what their kids play, and you'll always have store clerks that don't give two shits about what they sell and to whom. But mostly, the system works as it was designed. For the most part, teens get carded when they buy M-rated games, and they aren't allowed to buy games with the rare AO rating. It works, more or less. What these idiots are advocating is a federal suppression of content--that is, the developer's right to put whatever the heck they want in their game and deal with the consequences (like lack of sales if it garners an AO rating, for example.) To do what these guys wanted would have been no less than a suppression of free speech, and so the Supreme Court rightly laughed in their faces (figuratively speaking, of course.)


I still get carded to buy M rated games at 21. and Yes this censorship idea is completely silly and the courts have every right to be mocking the guy. Jack Thompson 2.0

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 Post subject: Re: Schwarzenegger v. EMA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:46 pm 
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It seems the problem with this law is that it is too vague, even if it has a very noble goal. It's much easier to ban the sale of alcohol or cigarettes to kids, since these things can be easily defined, but it's another thing to try to ban kids from buying something subjectively determined inappropriate by a particular government commission. We all know that certain graphic material is illegal for anyone to sell or own, and I doubt there would be a huge amount of disagreement over much of what is on that list, but it seems a lot harder to pinpoint the exact line between what games are and are not okay for children as opposed to adults... even though I think most people would probably agree 90% of the time on the suitability of particular games. Still, I like the idea of AT LEAST being able to threaten retailers and industry associations with the possibility of this kind of legislation, in order to keep them acting responsibly and to keep them on their toes in their self-regulation.

One thing I don't agree with is the idea that “video games” are always totally harmless for children. Valid concerns about children playing very violent games shouldn't be so quickly dismissed, as I've seen happen many times in online comments. Games have gotten so realistic, and I don't think “games” with sadistic, obscene content should be given a special pass just because they are considered “games” or whatever. I've seen clips from shameful trash like Postal 2, an admittedly extreme example, where the player can stick the barrel of a gun up a cat's butt, then wave the cat around before firing the bullets through the animal's body and out its head... all for laughs... and you're not going to tell me this has no potential for negative and lasting influence on very young players. It is important to protect children from being exposed to this kind of garbage.


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 Post subject: Re: Schwarzenegger v. EMA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:01 pm 
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pbpb33 wrote:
One thing I don't agree with is the idea that “video games” are always totally harmless for children. Valid concerns about children playing very violent games shouldn't be so quickly dismissed, as I've seen happen many times in online comments. Games have gotten so realistic, and I don't think “games” with sadistic, obscene content should be given a special pass just because they are considered “games” or whatever. I've seen clips from shameful trash like Postal 2, an admittedly extreme example, where the player can stick the barrel of a gun up a cat's butt, then wave the cat around before firing the bullets through the animal's body and out its head... all for laughs... and you're not going to tell me this has no potential for negative and lasting influence on very young players. It is important to protect children from being exposed to this kind of garbage.

Which is exactly what the self-imposed ratings system does. I mean, seriously, if an adult took his or her child to an R-rated movie and then complained about the negative effect on the kid, very few people would take their argument seriously. M-rated games are kept out of the hands of those under the recommended age at a better success rate than R-rated films, so frankly, this is mostly just politicians stirring things up to justify or keep their jobs.

And like several other commenters have noticed in many places, I feel I must say this as well...why is it ALWAYS Postal 2? Do people who are against games think every person who enjoys video games hands Postal 2 to every three-year-old with even a passing interest in a game console? Seriously, people, we DO have common sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Schwarzenegger v. EMA
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:51 pm 
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compare the number of gamers to the number of postal 2 sales. Subtract from that the meathead journalists playing (if they ever get that far because they don't) it to bash it. Guess what, nobody's ever actually played it.

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 Post subject: Re: Schwarzenegger v. EMA
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:28 pm 
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Brainiac wrote:
Which is exactly what the self-imposed ratings system does. I mean, seriously, if an adult took his or her child to an R-rated movie and then complained about the negative effect on the kid, very few people would take their argument seriously. M-rated games are kept out of the hands of those under the recommended age at a better success rate than R-rated films, so frankly, this is mostly just politicians stirring things up to justify or keep their jobs.

And like several other commenters have noticed in many places, I feel I must say this as well...why is it ALWAYS Postal 2? Do people who are against games think every person who enjoys video games hands Postal 2 to every three-year-old with even a passing interest in a game console? Seriously, people, we DO have common sense.


Isn't the desire to avoid government censorship (and other government regulation of creative content) the incentive for industry self-regulation? The industry is not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, after all. I don't know all the details about how successful the game rating system has been at keeping inappropriate material unavailable to children (what nearly everyone wants), but it sounds like it has worked pretty well, thankfully. We all know about the potential for problems when the state is given a greater role in regulating the content of creative products and speech (e.g., Canadian and UK hate speech laws, which apply questionable, politically correct notions to the review processes), so even just to the extent that government speech regulators can be avoided, it's a great thing. In addition to the potential, looming threat of government involvement, which probably lit a fire under the feet of publishers and retailers to get the rating system working right, I think a lot of the credit for the very existence of a rating system ought to go to the people expressing the kinds of concerns you deride.


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 Post subject: Re: Schwarzenegger v. EMA
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:10 pm 
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Surprising no one, the Supreme Court sided with the EMA. The final vote was 7 - 2, with the dissenters being Justices Thomas and Breyer. The full decision, with both dissenting and concurring opinions, can be found as a PDF on SupremeCourt.gov.

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