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leper73
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#1

Posted 23 April 2005 - 12:37 AM

BREAKING NEWS:

No violence or sex for young Tar Heel gamers

North Carolina state senate passes bill banning sale of "violent" and "sexually explicit" games to minors.
Legislators in North Carolina have passed Senate Bill 2, which prohibits the sale or rental of violent and/or sexually explicit games to minors. The bill also requires retailers and game rental facilities to post signs alerting customers to the existence of the ESRB game rating system, as well as to provide information on that system upon request.


Retailers and rental agencies are also required to keep inappropriate games out of the reach and view of minors, ostensibly through the use of curtains, walls, or separate rooms. The bill was passed unanimously yesterday.

The bill specifically categorizes a number of items that are said to be harmful to minors if they appear in a game. These include a character "engaging or offering to engage in sexual activity with or for another in exchange for anything of value," the showing of "uncovered, or less than opaquely covered, human genitals, pubic area, or buttocks, or the nipple or any portion of the areola of the human female breast," and any images of "covered human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state," for example.

Store owners found to have distributed inappropriate games to minors will be charged with a misdemeanor, the punishment for which is to be left up to the presiding judge.

In 2003, Washington state became the first in the nation to ban the sale of M-rated games to minors. However, that bill went further than simply halting the sale of obscene and violent games to minors; a provision in the Washington legislation also restricted the sale of any game that portrayed violence against law enforcement officers. For this reason, a district court in Seattle declared the Washington bill unconstitutional in July of 2004.

The North Carolina bill must now be passed by both the state house of representatives and the governor. If passed, the law would go into effect on December 1, 2005. California lawmakers introduced a similar bill into that state's senate this past December, but it has yet to reach the floor for a vote.

By Staff -- GameSpot
POSTED: 04/22/05 04:17 PM PST

For those of you living in North Carolina, urgent action is needed. Contact your state representative, and ask him/her to oppose this bill. Mention American Amusement Machine Association v. Kendrick, Interactive Digital Software Association v. St. Louis County, and Video Software Dealers Association v. Maleng as reasons why this bill would be unconstitutional. Also include the problems with the research that supposedly shows that such games are harmful to minors, most notably the lack of validity outside the research situation. Do this ASAFP, and hopefully we can derail this, and the Illinois legislation, as well as numerous others.

leper73
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#2

Posted 23 April 2005 - 04:07 AM Edited by leper73, 23 April 2005 - 05:39 AM.

UPDATE:

Other bills have seen important steps taken. The California bill has passed the Judiciary Committee, and will be heard in the Committe on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, and Internet Media on May 3. The Georgia legislation, while still active, has seen an important change. Whereas it would have previously have banned the sale of violent video games to minors (an action Censor Watch does not support), it would now force retailers to display the ESRB rating system and explanations in their stores (an action Censor Watch does support). The bills in Maryland, banning violent video game sales to minors, Virginia, doing same, and Connecticut, banning minors from using point-and-shoot arcade games, have been defeated. The Maryland bill is a particular moral victory, as it was shot down in the backyard of the Lion & Lamb Project. Thank you to all who took your time to contact your legislators in these states, and if legislation is still pending, please do so if you haven't already.

Side note: I recently heard back from two California legislators on my state's bill, AB 450. And the news is...good? bad? I don't know. I sent first to Joe Nation, whose district I am registered to vote in. However, since I put my college address on as a return address, he sent it to Lois Wolk, who he assumed I was registered under. Wolk also wrote me back, and while she and Nation thanked me for contacting them, neither expressed an opinion on the bill, or whether they will support or oppose it.

loseruser
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#3

Posted 23 April 2005 - 06:00 AM

QUOTE
the showing of "uncovered, or less than opaquely covered, human genitals, pubic area, or buttocks, or the nipple or any portion of the areola of the human female breast,"


erection


ph34r.gif Wait, how's this going to stop kids from getting the games they want?

Oh yeah, it won't.

darthYENIK
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#4

Posted 23 April 2005 - 06:40 AM

I don't see it as them trying to keep the games out of minors hands, I just see it as having the parents actually look at the game and see it when they have to pay for it. It's not illegal for the minors to play the game, just to buy. Yes it shouldn't be this way, but parents will never, I repeat NEVER, properly screen their child's video games. Yes some will, but most will not. Now the banning of sale of games that have violence against cops that's another thing. Just stupid.

leper73
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#5

Posted 23 April 2005 - 11:27 PM

BREAKING NEWS:

Several states have introduced various other bills in their legislatures aimed at restricting video game sales. Georgia has reintroduced a game-sale restriction law. SB 105, led by Doug Stoner (hold the jokes please), would prevent the sale of games considered "atrocious or cruel" to minors. Minnesota's SF 0785, led by Sandra Pappas, and HF 1298, led by Assemblywoman Ruth Johnson, would provide criminal prosecution not only for retailers who sell M-rated games to kids, but to the kids themselves who purchase them. Michigan has proposed numerous bills, I will show each of them below, as they are quite wordy:

Bill Number: SB0416
Sponsor: Cropsey (Senate)
A bill to prohibit the dissemination, exhibiting, or displaying of certain ultra-violent explicit matter to minors. Fines up to $5,000 for first violation; $40,000 for third violation. (Note: Covers all "violent" material, not just video games.)

Bill Number: HB4604
Sponsor: Pavlov (House)
(12 cosponsors)

A person shall not sell or rent a restricted video game to a person who is less than 17 years of age. As used in
this section, "restricted video game" means a video game rated "AO" or "M" by the entertainment software rating board.(2) A person who violates this section is responsible for a state civil infraction and may be ordered to pay a fine of not more than $1,000.00.

Bill Number: HB 4593

Sponsor: Angerer (House)
(34 cosponsors)

A person shall not sell or rent a restricted video game to a person who is less than 18 years of age. As used in this section, "restricted video game" means a video game rated AO (adults only) or M (mature) by the entertainment software rating board. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.

Bill Number: SB 0249
Sponsor: Clarke (Senate)
(22 cosponsors)

A person shall not sell or rent a restricted video game to a person who is less than 17 years of age. As used in this section, "restricted video game" means a video game rated AO (adults only) or M (mature) by the entertainment software rating board. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.

In Missouri, HB 390, sponsored by Representative Jeff Harris, would make it a crime to sell M-rated games to minors. Ballsy, since the landmark case of Interactive Digital Software Association v. St. Louis County struck down an almost identical ordinance in this very state.

New Jersey and New York have also launched a fresh barrage of game restriction legislation. Again, descriptions are wordy, so the list is below. First is New Jersey:

Bill Number: A2921

Sponsors: Wolfe, Holzapfel (Assembly)

Prohibits sale or rental of a mature rated video game to persons under 18, and requires ratings on all games

Bill Number: S1471

Ciesla, Palaia (Senate)

Prohibits sale or rental of mature rated video games to persons under 18 without parental permission

Bill Number: A630

Sponsor: Stender (Assembly)

Prohibits sale or rental of mature rated video games to persons under 18 without parental permission

Now New York:

Bill Numbers: SO5160 (Senate), AO7470 (House)

Sponsors: Senate: Andrews,
Breslin,
Brown,
Gonzalez,
Hassell-Thompson,
Kruger,
Montgomery,
Onorato,
Oppenheimer,
Parker,
Sampson,
Smith A,
Smith M

House: Greene

Prohibits the sale to minors of certain rated video games containing a rating that reflects content of various degrees of profanity, racist stereotypes or derogatory language, and/or actions toward a specific group of persons

Bill Numbers: SO4226 (Senate), AO7261 (House)

Sponsors: Senate:Andrews
Breslin,
Brown,
Gonzalez,
Hassell-Thompson,
Kruger,
Montgomery,
Onorato,
Oppenheimer,
Parker,
Sampson,
Smith A,
Smith M



House:
Greene

Prohibits sale of games with "Mature or Violent" ratings to persons under 18. Mature or Violent games must be displayed in a restricted area.

Bill Number: AO5965 (House)

Sponsors: Kolb,
Reilich,
Casale,
Nesbitt,
Mirones,
Stephens
(7 mltspnsr's)
Prohibits the sale of video games containing sexually explicit or violent depictions to minors such as those that glamorize the commission of a violent crime, suicide, sodomy, rape, incest, bestiality, or sado-masochism; requires affixing of warning labels on such video games; provides violations of such provisions shall be a civil penalty and a violation as defined in the penal law; directs sellers of such video games to restrict access to such recordings by storage in a sealed and locked container behind a service counter or in an area inaccessible by the general public; requires sellers to make copies of certain video games available for examination.

Bill Number: SO2715 (Senate), AO4464 (House)

Sponsors: Senate: Bablioni,
Lavalle,
Little,
Marchi,
Padavan,
Rath,
Skelos,
Volker,
Wright

House: DiNapoli,
Markey,
Clark,
Carrozza,
Destito
(19 mltspnsrs)
The law:
1) Creates an advisory board on interactive media and youth violence to address potential impacts of interactive media usage on violent behavior, and review current rating system for effectiveness and accuracy;
2) Requires all video games to be rated and makes it illegal to rent or sell a video game to a person younger than the rating recommends.
3) Prohibits persons under 16 from playing a video game at a commercial establishment on which the trigger is a replica of a gun, and ammunition is being fired;
4) Creates a parent/teacher anti-violence awareness program.

Bill Number: SO2710

Sponsors: Bablioni, Hannon (Senate)

Prohibits the sale to minors of certain rated video games containing a rating that reflects content of various degrees of profanity, racist stereotypes or derogatory language, and/or actions toward a specific group of persons.

Bill Number: SO2711

Sponsors: Bablioni, Hannon (Senate)

Prohibits the sale of mature and violent video games to minors, and provides
for the display of such videos in a manner to preclude access by minors.

Bill Number: AO4257

Sponsors: Weprin, Alfano (House)

Prohibits persons under 18 to play violent point-and-shoot games at commercial establishments

Anyone living in a state with legislation, contact your representatives to garner support against these bills. If your rep is a sponsor, do a "shame on you" type letter, but don't act immature and insult or flame them. Court cases are mentioned in my first post, if you want specific help, request here or PM me.




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