ESA: Follow PlayStation's Lead and Help Protect Video Games
Today Rich Taylor of the Entertainment Software Association has shared the following PSA via PlayStation Blog on the effort to help protect video games.
To quote: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in the case of Schwarzenegger v. EMA/ Entertainment Software Association. They'll decide whether a California law, which would restrict the sale of "violent" computer and video games, is constitutional.
What does this mean to you, PlayStation fans?
This case could have huge implications for the industry. No one is sure what counts as a "violent" game, so the California law would suppress game developers' imagination and right to self-expression. It would also prohibit retailers from selling the games that might be perfectly legal, "just in case."
It could mean an environment where "God of War" is banned from retail shelves, but the sometimes violent written works detailing Greek myths are still available on bookstores shelves and taught in classrooms.
It's a slippery slope, and the California law is similar to what Congress tried to do to comic books over fifty years ago. In a letter of support for video games, comic book legend Stan Lee explained:
"A Senate subcommittee investigated and decided the U.S. could not "afford the calculated risk involved in feeding its children, through comic books, a concentrated diet of crime, horror and violence." Comic books were burned... Looking back, the outcry was - forgive the expression - comical. Substitute video games for comic books and you've got a 21st century replay of the craziness of the 1950s."
If the Supreme Court sides against the video game industry, developers could experience a creative chilling effect, because the government could essentially tell determine what games could and could not be created. It would also open up states to pass a patchwork of legislation around the country, requiring publishers to release many different versions of each game they publish.
And, these same restrictions could eventually be applied to other creative mediums like movies, books and music. The result would be a huge foot on the brake for innovation in one of our nation's most dynamic economic sectors.
But there are common-sense reasons to oppose this law as well, most importantly this: The decision over whether to buy a video game or a book or a movie should be made by responsible parents, not the government.
Fortunately, the courts have historically aligned themselves on the side of video games. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals already ruled that the California law is unconstitutional, and every other state and federal court case has ruled in favor of video games as protected speech.
But what can you do while we wait for the Supreme Court's ruling?
The most important thing you can do is join the Video Game Voters Network.
The Video Game Voters Network is a place for voting age gamers to organize and defend against threats to video games. Video games are fully protected speech under the Constitution, and receive the same First Amendment protection as books, movies, music and cable television programs.
The VGVN opposes efforts to regulate the content of entertainment media, including proposals to criminalize the sale of certain games to minors, or regulate video games differently from movies, music, books, and other media.
Join the VGVN today, tell your friends to do the same, and stay current on your gaming rights.
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I live in California, I don't wanna see this crap.
umm from what i saw the law is only making it a crime to sell "violent" video games to kids under 18 which i thought was already in effect? is this true or was i misinformed?
"But there are common-sense reasons to oppose this law as well, most importantly this: The decision over whether to buy a video game or a book or a movie should be made by responsible parents, not the government."
those do not exist in the states. The government has to put up laws that make it punishable to sell the games to kids. They SHOULD do something about parents buying it for kids
What type of bull crap is this, why can't people get through their thick heads that the parent is responsible for what the child sees and plays. If you let your 12 year old son play games that clearly state that it is meant for a mature audience of 17 and older because of reason clearly stated on the front of the game you are a bad parent.
Don't punish the rest that are old enough to play the games for the stupidity of others. Whichever state is trying to enforce or provoke these laws and bans are moronic delusional idiots, The the parents that are letting there kids play those games are the same as well. I get so frustrated when i see these things, why can't people understand that simple concept.
this is what i read everywhere: latimes.com/business/la-fi-court-video-games-20101102,0,3050339.story
i think it's a great idea as kids don't have good enough judgement to figure out they can't do everything they see on tv, movies, or video games. it's one more thing that's sending our country to hell in a hand basket and the video game industry should have morals enough not to target the younger audience with these violent graphics and actions in a "cartoon-like" environment. doesn't anyone remember the dc sniper??
he was brainwashed and trained by being "forced" to play silent scope... now i doubt any kid that age has to be forced to play a video game but the fact remains that the game had such a profound effect as to make him want to kill in real life... violent video games have their place...in the hands of responsible, tax-paying adults, not underage impressionable kids that have no say so in what goes on in this country and it's that way for a reason and it's called they are immature plain and simple. so more power to California and i hope the law sticks and catches on.
i love violent video games and i am old enough to buy them, but i would never buy one for my kids or let them play one of mine. the law should target parents that buy for kids as well as retailers that sell to kids
rules not laws
Example: 14 year old kid walks into game stop. Brings GTA IV to the counter. Employee sells it to him. Kid walks out. No law in place to stop that sale. What does stop that sale is GameStops rules. Employee's manager sees this sale, and is grounds for instant firing.
Note: GameStop DOES fire for selling games to underage kids. I've seen it happen a few times.
Same exact system is in place for movies. It DOES work.
What keeps these companies enforcing the rules. Are Media, Public image, and Standings within the industry.
Few years back there was a report on Fox 35 about gamestop employees selling underage kids M games. They even went as far as to have a hidden camera when trying to get some of us to sell games without IDs.
They came into my store and tried it. Didn't work out for them very much. I also saw the camera and laughed.
Law are not needed for this purpose. If a parent wants their 14 year old kid to play M games then so be it. What ever happens is on their own mind, and is their own fault no one elses.
I myself have actually read the entire proposition, and nowhere in there does it imply in any way that the sale of violent videogames will be banned in California.
This law would impose a fine upon retail stores for selling violent videogames to children. The parent could still buy the game in question for their children if they so desire. I really don't see how this could be a problem. If you are under age, your parents most definitely have the right to restrict what media you are being exposed to.