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Posted on Jul 1st 2011 at 03:31:47 PM by (highspot)
Posted under Censorship, Supreme Court, First Amendment, California law, ban, Mature, ESRB, art, responsibility

(I recently wrote a paper for school discussing the Supreme Court's recent decision to throw out the law in California banning the sale of "violent" games to children and thought I'd share it here! I've been wanting to start blogging here for a while now and thought this would be a great starting point. Let me know what you think and expect more to come!)

supremecourt.jpgTrying to link popular media to the corruption of young people is nothing new in America. From Tipper Gore and the PMRC going after musicians in the eighties to the formation of the Hays code for rating movies in the thirties, people have tried to make the argument that material which some may find objectionable is detrimental to the minds of those who experience it and can be clearly linked to deviant behavior. The extent of that particular type of influence is a debate that may never reach a conclusion that satisfies both sides. With its rise in popularity over the last few decades, the video game industry is the latest target being made an example of by those who wish to limit a consumer's access to material that they find objectionable. California has tried and failed to pass a law prohibiting the sale of certain games. As with any other form of artistic expression, this is a type of censorship, something that is clearly against the First Amendment of the Constitution. With a voluntary, self imposed rating system and a lack of clear evidence as to the influence that games have on the minds of players, the dismissal of California's law by the United States Supreme Court is the right decision, the only decision, in defending the rights of game makers to be able to freely express themselves through their creations.

In 2005, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a ban on the sale of violent video games to minors. Retailers caught in violation of this ban would be subject to fines of up to $1000. Before the law was even put into effect it was tossed out in a San Francisco federal appeals court. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court in June of 2011 before yet again being struck down by a ruling of 7-2 as an unconstitutional infringement on the rights of video game makers as outlined by the First Amendment. Proponents of the law state that the government "has a legal obligation to protect children from graphic interactive images when the industry has failed to do so" (Mears). That begs the question as to how and to what extent the gaming industry has failed.


Continue reading Supreme Court Sides With Gamers



Posted on Mar 15th 2008 at 01:13:30 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Big Brother, Modern Gaming, Minitrue, You Know Not What is Good for You, Censorship, BBFC, Manhunt


Britons! We Oceanians celebrate your recent triumph, for it was today that your country realized the intrinsic value of incredibly violent games. We have for so long known the value of these games, and now you'll get to experience a game that has been training our kids for your own perusal. We feel that this game will only make your people more prepared for the atrocities that will be part of the unending war, which we are sure that you'll soon enter. Where we're numb to the atrocities of the unending war, you people have no concept of the atrocities that you will soon experience and see. Thankfully, your government has officially decided to make Manhunt 2 available for purchase. Praise to your government.

Minipeace approves of this development, and we certainly hope that more games like Manhunt will be approved for purchase within your country. Perhaps your country will be the first to realize the masterpiece that is Thrill Kill. We personally so close to realizing that game; however, Big Brother felt that Oceania was not ready for this masterpiece. Hail Big Brother. His wisdom is unending, and with his leadership we're certain to prosper for years on end. May we remind you of his wisdom:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Hail Big Brother. That is all.


After Lengthy Legal Battle, Manhunt 2 Ban Lifted in U.K. [GamePolitics.com]

The Author of this Post assumes no responsibility for any thoughtcrime that may have occurred while reading this article. Hail Big Brother. That is all.




Posted on Feb 28th 2008 at 09:10:44 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Australia, Censorship

See this man to the right? His name is Julian Porteous, and he has something to say about video games. Clearly, being the auxiliary bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney Australia just doesn't fancy all of his time. Never mind striving for that "Just Community" and other Catholic mumbo jumbo*, for now is the time to talk about video games.

See, Australia currently has a maximum rating of R15 on video games. As you know, the age 15 generally doesn't correlate to mature audiences. As such, there are quite a few games that just don't get released in Australia. I don't know what I'd do if I could not play Manhunt, Postal, or Marc Ecko's Getting Up. I'd probably go crazy. Regardless, that is how it is in Australia. Clearly, video games are a subversion where any game intended for people over the age of 15 should be banned.

Recently, it was mentioned by sometime in the Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification that they may consider adding the R18 rating to the game ratings. Currently, the R18 rating exists for film, but not games. Certainly, there are a couple prudes that think that it is their God given right to think what other people should or should not do. Take for example Julian Porteous. As a ranking member of the Catholic clergy shouldn't he be worrying about something more important than what games are rated, such as clergy abuse, or is that strictly an American thing? Either way, the auxiliary bishop of Sydney opposes the proposal to add R18 to the Australian Classification system. Why? He thinks that video game violence can desensitize people into performing acts of violence. Hogwash. If that was the case, I would have gone out killing lots of people with a beam katana that I obtained at the local flea market. Thanks No More Heroes! Thankfully for everyone, I would never make such an absurd connection and my rationality and morality would keep me from performing such a heinous action. God knows though what would happen if I was subjected to sitting through one of Julian's homilies. Now that's desensitizing.

Julian, bugger off. Convince your congregation to perform acts of charity and see God in all things. Stay the hell off of our modes of entertainment, and I'll be less inclined to criticize the work that you and your cohorts do.

*David Murnan is a raised Catholic kid who was subjected to 12 years of Catholic education, of which four of those years were in an amazing Jesuit Institution. As such, he is allowed to be openly critical of his own faith.

via Gamepolitics



Posted on Feb 9th 2008 at 11:29:40 PM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Big Brother, Modern Gaming, Minitrue, You Know not what is Good For You, BBFC, Censorship

Bravo, Britain! We Oceanians approve of some of the latest developments regarding your suppression of video games! What our Minitrue did over 30 years ago in its infinite foresight, your government is now trying to replicate. They realize that like in Oceania, Britons are too stupid to be let to make their own decisions. Hence, Britons need an organization similar to our Minitrue to assist in making you informational and media based decisions. Luckily for you, Britain, you have your own beginnings of our Minitrue in the BBFC. These amazing folks do everything possible to ensure that what you all experience is in line with your party. Similar, the Party of Oceania approves of the recent moves made by your Party.

We see that your Party wishes to impose the same trials and tribulations levied against movies in your country against games. We certainly approve of this idea. In fact, we feel that your government should go one step farther and censor every form of media, just like our own Minitrue. Such actions will only prepare you for your inevitable entry into the unending war.

Proper censorship will ensure that only the most violent of games will be available to the populous. Your future Minipeace will certainly appreciate that. You don't need games like Barbie or I Can Remember. Your evolving Minitrue can censor those unnecessary titles out. You need proper exercises like Call of Duty 4 or Manhunt 2. Such games are guaranteed to prepare Britons for their entry into the unending war, a war we've fought in for very long.

You need training exercises for the unending war. Eventually war will find you. And when it does, you need to be ready. Lest we not remind you of the mantra of Oceania's own Party:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Blindly accept what your government thinks is right for you. You certainly do not have the mental capacity to make that decision for yourself. Your Party knows what they are doing, and will do everything in their power to ensure that your county's into the unending war is as seamless as possible. Hail Big Brother. That is all.

The Author of this Post assumes no responsibility for any thoughtcrime that may have occurred while reading this article. Hail Big Brother. That is all.



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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