That California game law that goes before the Supreme Court soon is certainly getting a lot of attention, and not just from annoyed gamers.

Game insiders, journalists, and executives are all banding together to fight what many are calling a ridiculously restrictive would-be law. The law would revisit a current California state mandate that would, if passed, restrict the sale of mature-themed games to minors but that's not really the problem. The problem is that, according to what EA CEO John Riccitiello told CNBC , certain retailers might stop carrying "M"-rated games (like how Wal-Mart censors music albums with the Parental Advisory label), thereby impacting sales. Furthermore, what if we had 50 different jurisdictions…? Said Riccitiello:

"…We could end up with state level bureaucracies that define what’s marketable in 50 different jurisdictions across the U.S. I can imagine [the government] trying to tell Steven Spielberg 'We need 50 different cuts of your movie for each state.' It will screw us up in a real way."

The law was originally written back in 2005 by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and state senator Leland Yee, but in 2007, the California Ninth Circuit Court found the law unconstitutional, ruling that video games are a form of free speech, which means they must be treated as all other forms of entertainment (movies, music, books, etc.). However, with the Supreme Court agreeing to review the law again this year, we could end up with government-mandated labeling guidelines rather than our standard self-regulated labels applied by the ESRB. The ESA (Entertainment Software Association) has already said they plan to fight the new attempt to pass the law. SCEA CEO Jack Tretton summed it up:

"I think the Supreme Court is looking at it to potentially see if there’s something to it or to put an end to it once and for all."

Everything should go before the court this summer so cross your fingers.

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TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

This may ultimately fall foul of the Interstate Commerce act and be declared unconstitutional.

Luiscosmo2
Luiscosmo2
10 years ago

I agree.

kraygen
kraygen
10 years ago

which it should, government in this country has it's hand in too many cookie jars as it is, last thing I need is big brother telling me what games I can or cannot play.

I don't think it's the governments job to tell parents what their kids can play either, that's what parents are for, not governments.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

100% agree Kraygen.

You can have my games when your pry them from my cold dead hands!!!

johnld
johnld
10 years ago

if most parents actually pay attention and enforce these guidelines, think of how much better the psn/live experience would be. A man can dream right….so for now, i'm grateful for in game mute function.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

I disagree Kraygen, nationwide regulation is okay, state regulation is what we are talking about here.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
10 years ago

@Kraygen and Jawknee. In order to have the law declared unconstitutional under the interstate commerce act, I'm pretty sure that the federal government would need to act which would effectively have big brother acting to remove a restriction on your freedom, not adding one.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

If the Supreme Court strikes the law down based on the First Amendment then there would be no need for the feds to act. Once the Supreme Court says its a no go the case can then be taken back to the state to get the law over turned no?

Like in this recent gun decision, the Supreme Court struck down the gun ban in Chicago, those restrictions can now be challenged based on that ruling.

Your right, they wouldn't be adding a freedom rather, reinforcing free speech.


Last edited by Jawknee on 7/7/2010 9:33:51 PM

manofchao5
manofchao5
10 years ago

it'd be nice if parts of our Gov't would stop trying to regulate stuff and instead teach the parents to control what their kids can buy so you dont have to order out of state just to get a game you want or possibly stop a game all together

CaptRon
CaptRon
10 years ago

Ridiculous…

Luiscosmo2
Luiscosmo2
10 years ago

This is ridiculous….I mean sellin to minors…I kinda agree but some minors are more matures then others…Guess the spoiled apple ruins the bunch…

But droppin the M+ Rating completely? Are you people too lazy to check if the game would be selling to minors…Then the goverment could make it pass troguh the whole country? I think Ima cry…

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

I thought Walmart stopped censoring music. I haven't seen any censored CD's there in years. Besides, Walmart censoring music was not a government mandate, it was a policy made by Walmart if I'm not mistaken.

I have faith the courts will come down on the side of freedom in this matter. They have been consistent for the most part. If we don't have these kinds of limits and restrictions on movies, i can't see them doing it for games. The First Amendment usually prevails in these matters.

Amazes me that these elites so arrogantly proclaim to know whats best for all of us.

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
10 years ago

Hope you're correct.

It truly infuriates me. When was the last time the government asked the private sector ( the people whom they are to be governing and representing) how we felt and if we think this is right?

I normally don't like to go into politics on gamers blogs but this particular thread warrants both.


Last edited by shadowscorpio on 7/7/2010 2:05:48 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

I just hope this gets through the court before this newest Supreme Court nominee is confirmed.

Apparently its okay to ban books because the government won't enforce it anyway. Could this same logic be used for games and movies?

::facepalm::

Hard to believe i know, just google it. "Kagen, it's okay to ban books"


Last edited by Jawknee on 7/7/2010 2:23:34 PM

MyWorstNightmar
MyWorstNightmar
10 years ago

I am obviously missing something here. Is this not just a law prohibiting the sale of rated M games to minors? This is not attempting to ban games, just put the control of sales of M games into the hands of parents, right?

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Parents already have control though.

The ESRB is a private rating system i thought, this job would effectually be taken over by the state government. Bureaucrats will decide whats inappropriate, not consumers. Different standards could be set all over the country causing havoc.

Thats why the 50 different cuts of a movie example was brought up.

MyWorstNightmar
MyWorstNightmar
10 years ago

Interesting. I didn't know the ESRB was independent. If there is no teeth behind the rating system to keep games out of minors hands, what is the point to having a rating system.

I have mixed emotions about this. I think mature video games should be kept out of the hands of minors UNLESS purchased by a parent, and given to the child. If there is no governing body to enforce that, I think there should be. This is a democracy, and we all have freedoms, but I don't think someone under the age of 18 gets to enjoy anything they want carte blanche.

I realize people are afraid of the "slippery slope" point of view to this, but I am surprised there is no enforcement to protect children from adult aimed video games.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

I mostly agree with you. I think the trouble with this particular law is California is setting its own standard that's different then the rest of the nation. I suppose if it was more like the movie ratings system, which the ESRB pretty much is, then it would work better. Perhaps the one size fits all standard would work in this instance. Though i still don't like the idea of the state deciding whats appropriate and whats not.

Come to think about it, the MPAA functions much like the ESRB. I'm not sure whats wrong with the current standard other then its largely not enforced at certain stores. My local Target and Walmart card me when i buy a R movie or a M rated game so i guess some are making an effort on their own to keep M games out of kids hands.

How are movie ratings enforced? Say they let a kid into an R rated movie and the authorities find out. What happens at that point?


Last edited by Jawknee on 7/7/2010 10:33:06 PM

MyWorstNightmar
MyWorstNightmar
10 years ago

From what I understand, the theaters are self regulated, just like Target or Walmart. There is nothing that happens to the theatre if a kid gets in.

Here is the rub. If the movies were gov regulated, then there would be a fine to theaters who let kids in. If the theater faces a fine because of a minimum wage employee who doesn't give a darn, then the theater would have to make the decision "do we even want to show rated R movies if we keep getting fined for letting in kids?"

I think that is the thinking here for not wanting to regulate the ratings, because with government regulation comes the potential for fines, and businesses won't want to take the chance of getting constantly fined for selling rated M style games to minors, thus they will say heck with it, we won't sell them.

I think there are ways around that. As an adult, you are required to have identification. Put a case with a lock on a rated M game. That will be a reminder to the clerk that they have to check ID for the game. They then unlock the case, and give you the game. This is doable in my oppinion.

Jawk, in terms of your concern about the state being able to pass a law regarding this, they should have the right. States can pass any law they choose. Citizens have the right to challenge those laws in court. And at this point, the nations only standard is to not have a standard since the ESRB is privately run. We could have 50 different laws on the matter, since the Federal government doesn't have a law on the books for the States to follow.

I don't want Target or Walmart deciding what is ok for my child to play, I want to be the one to decide. The only way to make Target or Walmart obide by my parental authority is to have the government establish a law regarding it.


Last edited by MyWorstNightmar on 7/7/2010 10:46:15 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

i agree completely with that, my only problem is who gets to decide whats appropriate and whats not? Government, the parents or the ESRB?

Maybe the solution is to allow the ratings to be done by the ESRB but leave it to the state to oversee enforcement? Not sure. I don't think there is any easy solution to the problem at hand.

I don't want kids playing games that are too mature for them but i don't want the state telling me what they think is appropriate entertainment and whats not.

hmmmmm…tough one.

MyWorstNightmar
MyWorstNightmar
10 years ago

Yep, it is tough. There are no easy answers. You would have a department of people who are unelected, (and therefor unanswerable to the people) deciding what is decent, or offensive, or not suitable for someone under 18. Values and sensitivity to such things as sex and violence vary from person to person. So, in that regard, I am not for gov regulation.

But on the other hand, there needs to be limits to what minors can freely get their hands on. And right now, stores are on the "honor system" to adhere to not selling "M" games to minors. The only time I ever got carded for a game was when I bought Heavy Rain. Course I am 35, so I am sure I look over 18. HA!

I know it sounds like I am talking out of both sides of my mouth, but I do think the law has good motives. It is just such a tough thing to implement properly.

Underdog15
Underdog15
10 years ago

Nothing will come of it. It's too extreme. At MOST, they would merely have to regulate sales of rated games more strictly. I don't even think that will happen.

The only good thing that could come of this is MS's failure, and the west having no choice but to play Japanese made games! XD

I kid! I kid!

My friends! You have this Canadian's support!


Last edited by Underdog15 on 7/7/2010 11:19:09 AM

SolidFantasy
SolidFantasy
10 years ago

I hope you're right.

rogers71
rogers71
10 years ago

"Sarcasm begins"

Yeah, the government needs to stay on top of this issue. I mean, everything else going on right now can take a back seat to this really pressing matter. Priorities have now been set in order.

"Sarcasm finished"

GOOD GRIEF, that is all I can say.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

I know right, California is bankrupt, farmers aren't getting the water they need because of some damn fish, people are leaving the state in droves and this idiot is picking a fight with gamers and the First Amendment?!

These state legislator and Arnold's stupidity never ceases to amaze me. I really hope Californian's wake up and vote these bums out. How does the saying go?

As California goes, so goes the rest of the nation?


Last edited by Jawknee on 7/7/2010 11:41:01 AM

coverton341
coverton341
10 years ago

We're not all sitting around with our heads up our asses. This isn't the only thing he is doing that is stupid though.

At this moment he is motioning to lower the wages of every last state employee to Federal minimum wage. That is lower than the state standard of living wage. Now, I know a lot of people will say "Good state employees get paid too much." and while I agree that some do people like my g/f work for the state but not in the "government" sector and she makes a decent living, not over the top buying yachts kind of cash.

Anyway, I am way off topic. He's being a jackass all the way around, and while most of us here seem to be content with getting screwed some of us have our eyes open.

I'd move if it wasn't for school and my new lady friend.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Get your lady friend to move with you. That's what i did.

😉

Natalisrubbish
Natalisrubbish
10 years ago

@jawknee
not even touching this one. (-:

Nickjcal
Nickjcal
10 years ago

This is getting old. Movies to me are more influential than a video game and for god sake they sell freakin porn movies at walmart and other places with entertainment. "American Pie". I mean id rather minors not see that before age than playing a m rated video game or buying one with this matter. But on the other hand i dont understand how this is really going to affect anything. My friend just has his mom come in and buy the game for him after giving the money out. If anything retailers should be fined for selling M-rated games to minors

Phoelix
Phoelix
10 years ago

It is pretty funny that you could go buy the boobies edition of Eurotrip from Wal-Mart (unrated version, I mean) when you're 13, and these politicians are worried about games you can't buy under the age of adulthood (17 in Missouri).

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
10 years ago

This is just another piece of the puzzle. Another way of controlling the American citizen.

It's going to get worse people.

sawao_yamanaka
sawao_yamanaka
10 years ago

Yup its going to get much worse. Hopefully they don't pass it.

Luiscosmo2
Luiscosmo2
10 years ago

Yep with the Iternet Killswitch…Gov controling us in fron of our eyes *sigh*

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
10 years ago

No kidding. The bill moved onto the Senate. Will be watching this one closely.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Nov. can't come soon enough.

SolidFantasy
SolidFantasy
10 years ago

I'm with maxpontiac on this one. This is only putting us one step closer to having nothing…

Hezzron
Hezzron
10 years ago

There's always been out of touch politicians badmouthing video games. However, the fact that this was spearheaded by Schwarzenegger only rubs hypocritical salt into my open wounds.

This guy sleeps on a pile of cash thanks to having starred in some of the most violent movies made in the 80's and 90's.

Politics can do funny things to a man….like give him real short term memory.


Last edited by Hezzron on 7/7/2010 11:44:27 AM

sawao_yamanaka
sawao_yamanaka
10 years ago

No to mention his porn gig he did!

NiteKrawler
NiteKrawler
10 years ago

Haha. You beat me to it. I was going to say the same thing. Hypocrisy.

coverton341
coverton341
10 years ago

Oh but you forget that films are art and video games are interactive murder simulators…(just forget about the games based on Arny flicks)

</sarcasm>

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

Hypocrisy is an unknown word to these people.

frostface
frostface
10 years ago

Where's Larry Flynt when ya need him?

mike rlz
mike rlz
10 years ago

woody harrelson did such a good job in that larry flynt movie!

Ultimate_Balla
Ultimate_Balla
10 years ago

Get ready to bend over, USA. Lol. 😛

PANICinc
PANICinc
10 years ago

Join the ECA and let your voice be heard!

http://www.theeca.com/member_home

This is a social injustice targeting gamers. We must not allow this to go through. Join the ECA, contact your local government official and urge them to protest this ridiculous notion. Only then will we be free to play the games we want to play!!

*End Rant*

FM23
FM23
10 years ago

California become more f*cked up. Who voted to have an german actor take control of California's legislation…I mean honestly, either these high class people didn't know this was going to happen or this was the plan the whole time. This is the problem is power…history time and time has proven big societies crumble and America is working itself towards that state. Economy is bad, over population, no jobs, too much and expensive education/preparation for a carrer in which you will use your salary to pay back loans, and on top of this violence. Man I'm ranting, but this world is depressing…which I could be a kid again where things were more simplier, because all the uglies in life are exposed when you are adult, if your lucky (meaning you didn't grow up already presented with these issue like myself). Point and fact, this law is pointless and there are more important matters that need to be taken care of, but these rich idiots…yeah these rich idiots…enough said…lol

Qwarktast1c
Qwarktast1c
10 years ago

arnold is austrian, not german.

Jawknee
Jawknee
10 years ago

lol

When he ran for his first term he made a lot of promises to clean up the fiscal mess California was in. People wanted to believe him. Also the fact his only competition was Gary Coleman and some airhead porn star probably helped him win.


Last edited by Jawknee on 7/7/2010 2:22:22 PM

Rings0fUranus
Rings0fUranus
10 years ago

So, you're saying AHHnold wants a total recall of all M-rated games? Man, he's acting like a total kindergarten cop. If this passes, looks like games will have seen their last action hero.

…I couldn't think of one for Terminator.

But remember when he said he'd kill videogames last? He lied. (He never said that, just needed a Commando reference.) BOOYAH! 😛

frostface
frostface
10 years ago

I think US gaming will now be Terminated. This is no True Lies. He should start Running Man, as the US gamers see Red Heat…could this be End of Days for US gaming as we know it? Why would he want to Eraser this rating system? He's a gaming Predator. What a Raw Deal the US is getting. I guess video games to him are The Expendables.

(ok thats all I got, but dude, still laughin at the commando reference…best line in the movie)