Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE - http://www.mmcafe.com/ Forums


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Gojira
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"Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Mon 9 May 12:49post reply

Well I can see after all that games teach you to assassinate President Kennedy so this will do well for... wait what?





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EddyT
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"Re(1):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Mon 9 May 13:02post reply

You didn't hear about that JFK game? I don't know if it was ever made, but there actually was a game being made where it simulated killing JFK. Not sure if they actually published the game or not, though.

I remember reading about it online and was pretty shocked that someone would make a game like that.





crazymike
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"Re(2):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Mon 9 May 13:37post reply

The JFK game was being sold online, no more than 5 megs to download.





Spoon
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"Re(2):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Mon 9 May 13:48post reply

quote:
You didn't hear about that JFK game? I don't know if it was ever made, but there actually was a game being made where it simulated killing JFK. Not sure if they actually published the game or not, though.

I remember reading about it online and was pretty shocked that someone would make a game like that.



That game was terrific for two reasons:
it was released around the anniversary (if you'd like to use such a word) of JFK's shooting, AND the creators offered a cash prize to anybody who could completely recreate the video of that shooting (cuz you could place cameras and snipers around and such).





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"Re(1):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Mon 9 May 14:02post reply

quote:
Well I can see after all that games teach you to assassinate President Kennedy so this will do well for... wait what?



Every time I see articles like this I'm always all like "WHAAAA?! that's not illegal already?"

So what are the ratings there for if they're not enforced? just because "rated M for Mature" sounds cool to end a commerical with?






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DarkZero
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"Re(2):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Mon 9 May 15:32post reply

quote:

So what are the ratings there for if they're not enforced? just because "rated M for Mature" sounds cool to end a commerical with?



They're there only as an advisory, so that people who don't read reviews and previews like you and I do can see how much "objectionable content" is in the game.

Making it illegal to sell M-rated games to minors is not a good thing because it classifies games as a whole as something other than speech and puts a greater legal restriction upon them than the restrictions that are put on music or movies. There are music CDs that say "Explicit Lyrics" and movies that are rated "NC-17", but it's not illegal to sell them to minors because they're classified as works of free speech. If there are games that are illegal to sell to minors, then that means that legally, video games are not speech in the same sense as movies, music, or books, and you have legal precedent to make laws that just ban certain games (like Grand Theft Auto) outright, keeping them from being sold to anyone of any age.

There's no restriction on selling NC-17 movies or Explicit Lyrics CDs to minors and the United States has yet to become a festering hellhole of gang warfare, so I don't see any reason to put any special restriction on games.





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"Re(3):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Mon 9 May 15:47post reply

quote:
There are music CDs that say "Explicit Lyrics" and movies that are rated "NC-17", but it's not illegal to sell them to minors because they're classified as works of free speech.

That's odd, because they used to ask for my ID to prove I was over 17 when buying tickets for an R-rated movie, and I've even been asked my age before buying an M-rated game. Is that just the theater/store's policy then?





Dr Baghead
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"Re(3):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Mon 9 May 15:58post reply

quote:
They're there only as an advisory, so that people who don't read reviews and previews like you and I do can see how much "objectionable content" is in the game.


ah, thanks for clearing that up

quote:
Making it illegal to sell M-rated games to minors is not a good thing because it classifies games as a whole as something other than speech and puts a greater legal restriction upon them than the restrictions that are put on music or movies. There are music CDs that say "Explicit Lyrics" and movies that are rated "NC-17", but it's not illegal to sell them to minors because they're classified as works of free speech. If there are games that are illegal to sell to minors, then that means that legally, video games are not speech in the same sense as movies, music, or books, and you have legal precedent to make laws that just ban certain games (like Grand Theft Auto) outright, keeping them from being sold to anyone of any age.

There's no restriction on selling NC-17 movies or Explicit Lyrics CDs to minors and the United States has yet to become a festering hellhole of gang warfare, so I don't see any reason to put any special restriction on games.



well in all fairness "the United States has yet to become a festering hellhole of gang warfare" is subjective, I'm sure extremist on both the left and the right would love to argue how it already is one for varring reasons... but that's not the point and even if it was it's not worth discussing.

I didn't realize banning the sale of games to minors was so grave... I always just assumed it would be like cigerettes where you sell them something they shouldn't have, you get a fine, end of story... and I assumed movie theatres and porn shops would recieve fines too which is why they ask for ID.






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Gojira
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"Re(3):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Mon 9 May 16:33post reply

quote:
You didn't hear about that JFK game? I don't know if it was ever made, but there actually was a game being made where it simulated killing JFK. Not sure if they actually published the game or not, though.

I remember reading about it online and was pretty shocked that someone would make a game like that.


That game was terrific for two reasons:
it was released around the anniversary (if you'd like to use such a word) of JFK's shooting, AND the creators offered a cash prize to anybody who could completely recreate the video of that shooting (cuz you could place cameras and snipers around and such).



Wow. The information seems earnest, so I'll assume you're not really fucking with me about this. Was this some kind of propaganda, or a joke, or what? Who made it?





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Spoon
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"Re(4):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Mon 9 May 17:36post reply

quote:
You didn't hear about that JFK game? I don't know if it was ever made, but there actually was a game being made where it simulated killing JFK. Not sure if they actually published the game or not, though.

I remember reading about it online and was pretty shocked that someone would make a game like that.


That game was terrific for two reasons:
it was released around the anniversary (if you'd like to use such a word) of JFK's shooting, AND the creators offered a cash prize to anybody who could completely recreate the video of that shooting (cuz you could place cameras and snipers around and such).


Wow. The information seems earnest, so I'll assume you're not really fucking with me about this. Was this some kind of propaganda, or a joke, or what? Who made it?



It was called "JFK Reloaded" or something like that (it was a dumb, inflammatory name). I can't remember if it looked or played at all well, but the whole cash prize thing struck me as a unique offer... hey, that's ONE way to take advantage of modern physics and graphics technology ,eh?





DarkZero
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"Re(4):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Mon 9 May 20:42post reply

quote:

I didn't realize banning the sale of games to minors was so grave... I always just assumed it would be like cigerettes where you sell them something they shouldn't have, you get a fine, end of story... and I assumed movie theatres and porn shops would recieve fines too which is why they ask for ID.



The reason they check your ID before they let you do those sorts of things is because it's a system based on legal threats. Movie theaters make an honest attempt to keep minors out of R-rated movies because if they don't, then Congress will FORCE them to keep minors out of R-rated movies, which means 1) The movie industry is fair game for all kinds of censorship and prosecution on a local level afterward because their works are no longer speech, 2) The fines for failing to keep minors out of the theater can raise at any time (especially in an election year!), and 3) They just generally lose control of how they do their business.

Cigarettes and porn are different because legally, cigarettes and porn are not considered speech. Porn is already in the pit of "not speech" that they want to put games into, which is why it's not very widely available (in the physical, non-internet sense) in lots of places around the United States. In all likelihood, if games were ever deemed "not speech", then Grand Theft Auto would be as difficult to find in my area as most hardcore porn DVDs. You'd probably have to go to a specialty shop in a specifically zoned area that's X amount of feet from general human civilization just to get your GTA on.





hikarutilmitt
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"Re(5):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Wed 11 May 08:43post reply

quote:

I didn't realize banning the sale of games to minors was so grave... I always just assumed it would be like cigerettes where you sell them something they shouldn't have, you get a fine, end of story... and I assumed movie theatres and porn shops would recieve fines too which is why they ask for ID.


The reason they check your ID before they let you do those sorts of things is because it's a system based on legal threats. Movie theaters make an honest attempt to keep minors out of R-rated movies because if they don't, then Congress will FORCE them to keep minors out of R-rated movies, which means 1) The movie industry is fair game for all kinds of censorship and prosecution on a local level afterward because their works are no longer speech, 2) The fines for failing to keep minors out of the theater can raise at any time (especially in an election year!), and 3) They just generally lose control of how they do their business.

Cigarettes and porn are different because legally, cigarettes and porn are not considered speech. Porn is already in the pit of "not speech" that they want to put games into, which is why it's not very widely available (in the physical, non-internet sense) in lots of places around the United States. In all likelihood, if games were ever deemed "not speech", then Grand Theft Auto would be as difficult to find in my area as most hardcore porn DVDs. You'd probably have to go to a specialty shop in a specifically zoned area that's X amount of feet from general human civilization just to get your GTA on.



They can legally "ban" selling games to minors just as they do pornography (which IS under free speech) and cigarettes because it's not a ban outright but regulation. They can do the exact same thing to porn and cig dealers if they sell to minors (alcohol, too) as they are proposing to do with games. Theaters can, and will, get fined if they have been found to sell tickets of restricted movies to minors as can locations that sell or rent home versions of them. It's not that the bill violates free speech, which it most certainly does not, but that it's calling for regulation of the material. they can regulate it all they want till they're blue in the face, but the moment they ban it outright it's a matter of 1st Amendment infringement.





Chupiler
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"Re(6):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Wed 11 May 11:08post reply

Y'know, I wouldn't mind games being regulated, as long as they rid the industry of goddamn ESRB. I hear they charge up the pagoda just to slap a stupid rating onto a game.





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Undead Fred
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"Re(7):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Wed 11 May 17:23post reply

quote:
Y'know, I wouldn't mind games being regulated, as long as they rid the industry of goddamn ESRB. I hear they charge up the pagoda just to slap a stupid rating onto a game.

The only reason why I don't want them to completely get rid of the ratings is that when people start whining and bitching about how inappropriate violent games are, everyone can point at the rating and say, "well, read the fucking label next time, asshole." I can't really imagine that removing the rating and saving the developers money would help them take risks with games... they'd either pocket it or just polish up the graphics a little or make a nicer package design or something. I don't think it's really worth it to drop it.





DarkZero
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"Re(6):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Wed 11 May 18:18:post reply

quote:

They can legally "ban" selling games to minors just as they do pornography (which IS under free speech) and cigarettes because it's not a ban outright but regulation. They can do the exact same thing to porn and cig dealers if they sell to minors (alcohol, too) as they are proposing to do with games. Theaters can, and will, get fined if they have been found to sell tickets of restricted movies to minors as can locations that sell or rent home versions of them. It's not that the bill violates free speech, which it most certainly does not, but that it's calling for regulation of the material. they can regulate it all they want till they're blue in the face, but the moment they ban it outright it's a matter of 1st Amendment infringement.



From FirstAmendmentCenter.org, one of the first Google links that comes up:
1957
"The U.S. Supreme Court determines that "obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press." In Roth v. United States, the Court defines obscenity as "material which deals with sex in a manner appealing to prurient interest." The mere portrayal of sex, however, in art, literature, scientific works and similar forums "is not itself sufficient reason to deny material the constitutional protection of freedom of speech and press," the Court states. Additionally, the Court notes that speech is obscene when "to the average person applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to prurient interests."

1973
"The U.S. Supreme Court in Miller v. California defines the test for determining if speech is obscene: (1) whether the "average person applying contemporary community standards" would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, (2) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law, and (3) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value."


Pornography is not protected by the First Amendment and for the most part, it never has been. It's protected by a porn industry with appropriately obscene amounts of money and millions of taxpayers who like to use it to whack off or "set the mood", even if they don't go to rallies and hold up picket signs that say "Give me my HardcoreDeepThroat.avi back!"

There are limited protections for pornography from the First Amendment, as the First Amendment wiki notes, but they're nowhere near the same as free speech.

Oddly, information relating to the legality of letting minors into R-rated movie theaters was more difficult to find. More than 90% of the links were to forums where people were stating this fact, while few were left to back it up (or deny it). Here are the relevant ones that appeared:

A Chicago Sun-Times article from awhile back notes that:
"There is no federal law against unaccompanied minors sneaking into R-rated movies or playing violent video games. The entertainment industry is self-regulated."

Also, the first link on many search engines (all of which probably use the same core search engine) is this LawForKids.org article:
"Question: Is there a law that prohibits minors from attending R-rated movies?

Answer: There is no law passed by Arizona or the Federal Government that prohibits minors from attending R-rated movies. The rating system that you are asking about is put out by the Motion Picture Association. Theatre owners voluntarily enforce the guidelines. Currently, about 85% of theatres in the United States subscribe to this system and will not admit individuals under 17 to R-rated movies without a parent or guardian present. If you would like more information regarding MPAA and their rating system, call the MPAA at 220-293-1966 or visit their website www.mpaa.org"






[this message was edited by DarkZero on Wed 11 May 18:20]

Chupiler
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"Re(8):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Thu 12 May 00:28post reply

quote:
Y'know, I wouldn't mind games being regulated, as long as they rid the industry of goddamn ESRB. I hear they charge up the pagoda just to slap a stupid rating onto a game.
The only reason why I don't want them to completely get rid of the ratings is that when people start whining and bitching about how inappropriate violent games are, everyone can point at the rating and say, "well, read the fucking label next time, asshole." I can't really imagine that removing the rating and saving the developers money would help them take risks with games... they'd either pocket it or just polish up the graphics a little or make a nicer package design or something. I don't think it's really worth it to drop it.



If the government establishes their own ratings board, there wouldn't be a need for ESRB. After all, I find it ridiculous to spend $1500+ to have stupid, money-grubbing people play a game and rate it.





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"The Guvment???" , posted Thu 12 May 02:36post reply

quote:

If the government establishes their own ratings board, there wouldn't be a need for ESRB. After all, I find it ridiculous to spend $1500+ to have stupid, money-grubbing people play a game and rate it.



Actually they watch footage instead of actually playing.

Sorry, but I seriously doubt the government would do it for cheaper... or actually play the games... and why involve politics?

Plus I'd be paying for it anyway as a taxpayer. To put it bluntly, fuck that.

Not to mention that Canada (possibly Mexico, anybody know if they use ESRB ratings?) would have to create their own ratings systems or the ESRB would still exist in North America anyway.

So, to sum up, I don't think this would be a good idea.





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legalstep
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"Re(1):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Thu 12 May 04:35post reply

I love that this story links to PS3.IGN





Chupiler
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"Re(1):The Guvment???" , posted Thu 12 May 04:42post reply

quote:

If the government establishes their own ratings board, there wouldn't be a need for ESRB. After all, I find it ridiculous to spend $1500+ to have stupid, money-grubbing people play a game and rate it.


Actually they watch footage instead of actually playing.

Sorry, but I seriously doubt the government would do it for cheaper... or actually play the games... and why involve politics?

Plus I'd be paying for it anyway as a taxpayer. To put it bluntly, fuck that.

Not to mention that Canada (possibly Mexico, anybody know if they use ESRB ratings?) would have to create their own ratings systems or the ESRB would still exist in North America anyway.

So, to sum up, I don't think this would be a good idea.



It's just an idea I threw up. I can't possibly see why it'd cost $1500 worth of anyones time to watch a 2 hour-or-less video, go through the paperwork and hand a company their rating. I think THAT'S ridiculous. The lasttimeI heard, the price was around &750; I don't seeany reason other than financial gain for such a giant fee-hike. I think the ESRB has lost sight of its original purpose.





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Mav
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"Re(2):The Guvment???" , posted Thu 12 May 06:07post reply

The ESRB should be disbanded and just slap movie ratings on games. It's practically the same. This way, parents would stop thinking the box says "Mature" because it's a difficult game and not because Kratos cuts off heads and gets threesome action.

The only reason they probably haven't switched to movie ratings is the stigma around G-rated movies as "for kids". So maybe "E" for everyone could stay.





hikarutilmitt
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"Re(7):Selling M to kids... INAPPROPRIATE" , posted Fri 13 May 22:37post reply

quote:
From FirstAmendmentCenter.org, one of the first Google links that comes up:
1957
"The U.S. Supreme Court determines that "obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press." In Roth v. United States, the Court defines obscenity as "material which deals with sex in a manner appealing to prurient interest." The mere portrayal of sex, however, in art, literature, scientific works and similar forums "is not itself sufficient reason to deny material the constitutional protection of freedom of speech and press," the Court states. Additionally, the Court notes that speech is obscene when "to the average person applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to prurient interests."

1973
"The U.S. Supreme Court in Miller v. California defines the test for determining if speech is obscene: (1) whether the "average person applying contemporary community standards" would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, (2) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law, and (3) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value."


Pornography is not protected by the First Amendment and for the most part, it never has been. It's protected by a porn industry with appropriately obscene amounts of money and millions of taxpayers who like to use it to whack off or "set the mood", even if they don't go to rallies and hold up picket signs that say "Give me my HardcoreDeepThroat.avi back!"


It's limited, yes, but not absoutely unprotected. The problem comes in when they defien what obscene material is. Pornography, as it usually is here, is not obscene except for in places where people still think sodomy is bad and getting a BJ is worthy of getting your dick chopped off. So long as SOMEONE can find it to have some artistic value at all it's not obscene. It has SOME value to it socially other than just being sex or sexually-related material, which is why it's protected by free speech. That's exactly the reason why Larry Flynt fought so much for.

I'm not trying to stir up trouble or be contradictory for the sake of doing so, but all of my Media Law class(es) we were discussing this and it ALWAYS came up whether something was protected under free speech or not. It was essentially drilled into my head on how you're supposed to interpret the constitution and what it really means.