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Another violent video game law struck down

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 05 Apr 2006 8:19 User comments (28)

Another violent video game law struck down A U.S. District Court judge has struck down yet another law that banned the sale of violent or sexually explicit video games to minors. The Michigan law was signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm last year. It imposes both civil and criminal penalties to anyone who is found to have distributed a violent video game to a minor. Federal District Judge George Caram Steeh issued his ruling in Detroit today saying that video games were protected under the first and fourteenth amendments.
He said that the state "lacked substantial evidence to show violent video games cause minors to have aggressive feelings or engage in aggressive behavior." The law was challenged last September in a suit filed by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the Video Software Dealers Association and the Michigan Retailers Association. This is just one of several laws in the U.S. which aimed to cut the supply of violent games to minors.

In 2005 alone the gaming industry witnessed an enormous amount of pressure from critics over titles such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The emergence of a patch for San Andreas that unlocked a hidden sex minigame gave critics like Hilary Clinton the weapon they needed to show how inappropriate some games can be for minors; even though without the patch (which Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive had nothing to do with) the hidden games were inaccessible. The game was given an AO (Adult Only) rating and dropped from retailers around the U.S.

In Illinois in December 2005 a federal judge blocked two similar laws aimed at stopping the supply of these games to minors. The ESA also took a stand against a bill signed in October last year by Arnold Schwarzenegger in California.


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28 user comments

15.4.2006 10:17

I myself am lightly pleased that the decision was against it and not for it. I don't live in Michigon, but I think that the fact that they wanna take away something of the sort due to the fact that what I have seen is 20 to 30 percent of parents that are the layed back type and will buy the game for their children before looking into it, mostly because they don't want to argue with their children or just spoil them rotten. I have read a bunch of reports and found that the ones that they say there is more agressive behavior, there is no points that I have asked to be brought out (how violent were they before the games, how violent to people are they after, etc.) and found that most of the kids I hanged with at high school were more layed back afterwards.

25.4.2006 12:27

I like the fact it got shot down JUST so that the power hungry Hillary and others like her can't get a snowball effect going and ruin it for us all...

35.4.2006 13:58

good, I am not voting for that bitch next election, I live in Michigan and that si totally a violation of freedom of speech!

45.4.2006 15:20

Well if you want to protect your kids from violent or sexually explicit games go out and buy a nintendo,you can`t go wrong with it.

55.4.2006 15:20

It all boils down to the Parents making the right decsion for there child. What one parent finds acceptable another might not. Anything is better than big goverment telling us (as consumers) what we can or cant buy.

65.4.2006 15:28

I agree with everybody here, I here you all saying that you think we as adults are capable of making our own decisions, and thats my opinion, the government doesn't have a right to make our personal decisions.

75.4.2006 18:05

well this doesnt bother me at all, i remember going to buy GTA vice city and because my kids were with me i was not able to purchase it, then i went alone and again i was ask who i was purchasing the video game for, and of course i said me, and only then i was able to buy it. now most parents buy video games for their kids without even reading the rating on the box, as i read on one of this forum, about the lady who purchase GTA san andreas for the 14 yr old grandson, is clearly marked rated M for sexuality and violence, and now she's had filed a law suit agains Rockstar games, only to proof that most adults purchase games without knowing their content.

85.4.2006 18:51

Violence is ubiquitous in our society. Maybe while they are it, they should redefine what violence really means, and not focus on one or two aspects of it, in a million or so variable.

95.4.2006 18:53

of a not in a oops

106.4.2006 4:26

It always cracks me up when I hear about Arnold Schwarzenneger supporting laws that regulate violence in movies or videogames! :-D This is very ironic. Without violence in entertainment, he would still be in Austria, broke, sitting at home in his underwear, smoking weed and complaining about how unfair the movie business is...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Apr 2006 @ 4:30

116.4.2006 6:32

the industry is working they wouldnt sell irongiant GTA SA becuse he had kids with him altho if its his kids and said it was for himhew is an adult he should have been able to get it...anyway the industry needs toput just aliitle more effort into it and be able to use either TV rateing or Moive ratesing the Zombe horde of soccer moms dont seem to under stand M = 17+ teen 13+ ect,ect,ect

126.4.2006 7:04

well this i do know, most tv's dvd players and including ps2's has parental controls on them, all you do is set the raiting you want and passcode protected and thats it kids cant play games that are not suitable for them, but lets face it, we see violence every single day tv, news, the war in Irac, and our kids see that, i grew up watching action movies, with Arnold, Sylvester stallone, i didnt turn out to be a killer or anything like that, is how your parents raise you, now days people live their lives wrap in their own little world that they dont stop to see what their kids are doing. so now people are very quick to blame somebody else for their own mishave, a young kid when on a rampage and kill cops because he was playing to much GTA c'mon give me a break, then the attack in world trade center was cause by Holliwood teaching terrorist how to doit. Games dont teach kids how to be violence, is parents themselves, that dont sitdown with their kids and teach them right from wrong.

136.4.2006 12:51

I think its fair to say, that the type of people who are influenced by violent games or movies, are either, killers, baterers, rapists, etc to start off with. I've never seen anyone play a videogame that has extreme violence in it, with no violent history, stand up out of nowhere and say: today, I will massacre 22 people. That just doesn't happen. And in regards to politics and "Arnold the politicator", there is an old saying:"in politics, you are either a liar or a hypocrite" I wonder which of the two Arnold is lol

146.4.2006 13:28

If you want sex, violence, lies and propoganda..switch on the news. These games are age-restricted, simple as. If parents don't understand that then that is hardly the fault of the games developers. There is also no definitive argument for video games sending people over the edge..

156.4.2006 14:11

violence is necessary to the human psyche. just look at our history! we're the only species on earth that kills fellow members of our species either for fun or no reason whatsoever. to me, it's better that this violence occurs in the realms of fantasy than in reality. anyone who thinks such videos are a problem probably has either a war-monger hiding within them or is trying to wipe out violence all-together in some quasi-1984 version of reality where everything fun is illegal and no one has the thinking capacity beyond that of a brick.

166.4.2006 16:06

Civilization was paved through the blood of man. Violence isn't necessary, we just haven't evolved enough to learn how to effectively and permanently curb it.

176.4.2006 18:21

My first comment after all this is that irongiant needs to learn how to spell and to organize his thoughts. Second, I watched this show on G4 a while back that showed that violence in teens has dropped drastically ever since Mortal Kombat came out in the early 1990's. I have a feeling that this isn't coincidence. Also, I'm a cashier at Walmart and the computer tells us when something is rated "mature" or "R." Walmart, from time to time, will actually have someone underage try to buy one of these from us and if we sell it to them then we are fired. It happened the other day to a woman who was caught selling alcohol to a minor. So to make a long story short, these are just overreactions by people who want to draw attention to themselves and if everyone stops to think for TWO SECONDS then most of this nonsense will go away.

186.4.2006 19:16

well wetsparks if i need to lern how to spell, why dont you teach me?? by the what kind of degree you need to work at walmart? i wonder??

196.4.2006 21:00

@ IronGiant & WetSparks ... C'mon guys. be nice ! :-)

206.4.2006 22:35

GTA San Andreas, addicting game I must say, I am an adult and to have an adult rating is a good idea, That doesn’t stop parents from buying the game for their kids to play. It just prevents kids from buying the game. But lets abolish age limits, then our kids can go to bars to drink, buy cigarettes, buy porn….. Need I say more limits are good. And after a good hour of playing GTA, go out for a drive, a lot of things might be rushing through your mind at that point.

217.4.2006 7:19

@irongiant Before you try and gratuitously insult someone, please formulate a correct sentence; if anything. Besides, the guy is trying to earn a living at Walmart. In any event, hypothetical situation here, group a bunch of people together, put them in a secluded town, tell them the laws don't apply to them... How long do you think it will take before someone throws a punch, slap, kick etc...?

227.4.2006 18:58

I think irongiant has played too much GTA.

2310.4.2006 5:22

Why is it that whenever something violent or proven to be anti social, harmful or used to exploit is attacked out come all the freedom of speech pundits. Freedom Of Speech is part of the US constitution so the people can openly and freely speak of what they believe in without the fear of persecution. What a laugh. All it is used for is to protect the expoiter. There is enough violence in the world without promoting more.

2411.4.2006 9:33

The Bush regime has made a mockery of the constitution. Something very suspicious happened around 9/11, and the commission investigating it is now closed! Where's Bin Laden? Why is the U.S. still trading with the Saudi's (maybe its because the Saudi's give the U.S. half a trillion dollars yearly) even after its involvement with its people? Why does it seem that more and more people fear the government? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Why is Bush mentioning God and State? Bush can't do the job right, so he has to involve God to share his burden and blame... Come on, this is too much diarrhea for me to handle, I would rather settle for some mindnumbing violent game than deal with the woe's of the world right now.

2511.4.2006 20:16

hot_ice, Thank you for stating the truth, but Bush wants people to watch TV, listen to Music and play Video Games, it dumb's the mind.

2612.4.2006 15:46

@chubby Perhaps, but its not as if Kerry would have been better either. So here the case of the lesser of two evils doesn't apply, they were both in the same Alumni group called the skulls and bones. Personally, I think politics in the US needs major reform, and more then two main parties, the democrats and the republicans. bah, back to onimusha ciao

2712.4.2006 17:44

hot_ice kerry is about as messed up as Bush but as bad as bush has run us aground we would have been better off with kerry 0-o Of corse thigns could be worse you could live in Austraila where they want to make all M 17+ games Adults only and ban them 0_o oy vay

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

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2814.4.2006 17:04

Zippy, Bush and Kerry are distant cousins, and from what I hear the apple does not fall from the tree, expression taken out of context, but suitable no less for this situation. I think Bush would be more credible as a president, if he would do his press conferences with a bermuda shirt and jeans, and offer unscripted answers to unscripted questions.

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