Sessler's Soapbox: Gaming is Not a Crime!

Posted: September 21, 2010
Sessler's Soapbox: Gaming is Not a Crime!
Adam discusses the current Supreme Court case, deciding if it's constitutional to outlaw the sale of mature games to minors.

Comments are Closed

  • obriens0n

    i bet anyone supporting the law hasnt played a min. of a video game and if they did they are just tired of little kids bothering them on xbox live. parents need to stop buying GTA, or any game that involves guns for there kids seriously

    Posted: September 22, 2010 6:01 AM
  • Kratier

    Sorry but no, the MPAA is just protecting its investment, they are majorly a large corrupt industry that has been pushing for illegal enforcement of laws not yet withstanding, why havent you mentioned ACTA at all ? Because you're some sort of corporate whore now it seems.

    Like video games or music, or comic books, they are a product, and in this product you must ascertain the ramifications of impacting minors, legally you should not be distributing content that is unsuitable to minors, and this law is going to enforce that.

    What you are defending is the sale of 18+rated products to minors, nothing more , nothing less.

    You can make assumptions of the ramifications, but that just proves you aren't trying to debate the logic.

    Posted: September 22, 2010 5:56 AM
  • Donkeylips

    I wouldn't be surprised if the game devs want to see this. so they can force the digital download imposing coming soon.

    Posted: September 22, 2010 5:19 AM
  • sevendust06

    my buddy brick killed a guy after playing BFBC2... damn snipers

    good thing im turning... 21 in 2 months lol

    Posted: September 22, 2010 4:55 AM
  • Hiro05

    You have a point about both sides of the argument not being represented. But the information at the linked website contains mostly factual information. Biased,yes. But they give statistics and counter-arguments. So you can mostly ascertain what the other side believes at least from just twisting the arguments on the website the other way.

    Posted: September 22, 2010 2:27 AM
  • Snestastic

    I might have missed the point of your argument Adam so appologies if I have. Im in England and therefore have little knowledge of the American Bill Of Rights. However it seems to me that fining a person for selling an M rated game to a minor is correct as the age ratings are there for a reason. However I think the people who are against videogames as always have missed the point, M rated games aren't usually sold to minors, they are usually sold to irresponsible parents who either don't care what their children play or are unaware that there is a reason for the big M on the box. I don't really think there is a legitimate way to stop kids playing M rated games.

    Posted: September 22, 2010 1:54 AM
  • Peetza

    I also find it cute that the only link given is to the ESA's actual website, which is filled with more bias and hyperbole.

    I realize G4TV, and "Sessler's Soapbox" specifically, is just one big editorial, but there should still be at least a moderate attempt at professional journalism. If you want to truly discuss the issue with people who are educated on both sides of the story, then please give them access to both.

    Posted: September 22, 2010 1:26 AM
  • Peetza

    Just more fear-mongering and hyperbole from the stereotypical gamer.

    Leave it to the faux intellectuals to find a bunch of slippery slopes to defend selling dangerous material to minors. Why not just give them access to everything? This anti-government movement is adorable, but misguided. A large percentage of this country is bleeped up beyond repair. Unfortunately, we NEED the government to babysit. Heck, let's just get rid of the police, cause it is the "parent's job" to keep track of their kids.

    This is no different than the porn industry. Certain things MUST be kept out of the hands of minors. There is very little question that our society(children specifically) has been desensitized to violence, and video games are just one of the causes. For the same reasons I can't see money-shots on Network television, my kids shouldn't be able to see it in Mario Galaxy 3.

    As people are saying, it is VERY much a parent's right to decide what is acceptable for their children to watch or play, and that is exactly what this law does. It attempts to keep some 17 year old kid working at EB Games from deciding that my 10 year old can buy Mafia 2 just because I am not there.

    To the people who claim that parents need to pay more attention, it is quite obvious you don't have children. If I wanted to keep my son locked in the basement until he is 18, I "might" be able to restrict his access to everything. This isn't the reality. There are times(gasp) that I won't be standing over his shoulder. My kids know the rules and know the consequences, but do all?

    While this isn't an issue in my family, I don't trust other parents whatsoever. I am fully aware that some parents use video games as a babysitter. THOSE are the kids I am worried about. Those are the ones who will act out their MW2 fantasies because they get bullied a bit at school.

    The ridiculous misuse of the First Amendment whenever something like this comes up is just sad.

    Posted: September 22, 2010 1:11 AM
  • Hiro05

    Great presentation Adam.

    I was more or less raised on games as my mainstream form of entertainment. and I actually felt liek ti was thanks to games that I learned what exactly what was mature in the world. But it also taught me a lot of important history without making it look cute or censored.
    Games foster both strategic,emotional,competitiv e, and captivating thoughts and feelings in the same way that books do. To take away something just because it is dark or gorey is sad.
    That aside, the ESRB is more than enough to keep M+ rated games from being carelessly bought by children without the knowledge of their parents.

    Posted: September 22, 2010 12:06 AM
  • Hugzie

    I agree with Adam here and find it very interesting that more people do not see it this way. People simply fear what they do not understand. The people who want to ban these games are people who: A: Do not understand the appeal of theses games. And B: Probably have kids who they should keep a better eye on, but instead of monitoring what their kids play they simply want to ban them completely.

    Posted: September 21, 2010 11:19 PM
  • Hugzie

    I agree with Adam here and find it very interesting that more people do not see it this way. People simply fear what they do not understand. The people who want to ban these games are people who: A: Do not understand the appeal of theses games. And B: Probably have kids who they should keep a better eye on, but instead of monitoring what their kids play they simply want to ban them completely.

    Posted: September 21, 2010 11:18 PM
  • tbair419

    The way i see it one of the biggest things that makes this against the 1st Amendment is that there is already a less restrictive regulation in place. If most retailers won't sell an M rated game to a minor than why do you need to make a law that makes it illegal? Also California doesnt have a compelling government interest in this case except that violent video games affect children's brains, which there is no sound evidence backing up. In fact youth violence has dropped significantly in the last 10 years while the sales of games have soared.

    Posted: September 21, 2010 9:58 PM
  • whocares88

    i don't know when it was a crime i played true lies on the sega when i was a young. moms didn't care mortal combat 2 was a family game(at 7) never heard of games corupting i've heard about t.v. thats a big one but since their gen. (watch lone ranger, ed sullvin)sex and viloence is okay. the only reason why is colimbine, if not for doom being on the computer or their game which wasn't as graphic tv now (no little red spot). if that kid didn't pull some real grand theft auto actions games would have went by the way side, although which one of those men never had a bb gun war truely western style?

    Posted: September 21, 2010 9:43 PM
  • theantigzus

    My favorite part in this whole matter is how parents just dont come into the picture, if the reasoning for this is law is that video games are a detriment to the youth then why does everyone have to pay for this but the parents. Personally i would say that the bigger issue is people becoming parents that are not ready for it, if a child has a good values and storng beliefs instilled in them at home then any outside influences whether they be other kids at school, television, movies, comics or video games wont negatively influence them.

    Posted: September 21, 2010 9:11 PM
  • Hitman_Mr.47

    This topic actually was brought up in my Mass Communications. Not this scenario exactly but we were talking about banned books and why they were banned. We came to the agreement that most of these books are banned is due to some 3rd party taking a glimpse at these materials, finding one thing wrong with it and considering it a terrible book for children or anyone to read.

    Although i do agree that some M rated games should not be played by minors, or be sold to minors, but if an adult is buying the game for the minor, then the minor has every single right to enjoy the hell out of that game. Sure games may be overly violent and filled with cussing, but what are video games for? That's why they are video games and not real life. Among all the violence and cussing comes a great story, God of War for example. Simply a beautiful story, just magnificent. Or Mass Effect 2, again just a great story.

    I know this is off topic of what the Soapbox is about but i feel kids are missing out when they don't get to play great games such as these. It's a shame.

    Posted: September 21, 2010 8:23 PM
  • Th3_R0ltz

    I've said this once & I'll say it again: Video games are NOT the problem; ignorant & careless parents who let others, namely video games & television raise them without proper supervision or are oblivious to their children are the ones who need to be held responsible. Also, stop aimlessly looking for scapegoats just because you the adults or parents are too lazy & dumb to take responsibility.

    Posted: September 21, 2010 8:16 PM
  • johnnyroyal75

    Thanks Adam for brining this issue up. From my perspective this is simply a matter of an older generation attempting to manage the morality of a younger generation. This move comes across as incompetent and detrimental to a legitimate entertainment industry. I can't help but wonder if those that are pushing this issue are just trying to get some good PR for upcoming elections. The idea of having two versions of a game, a clean one and a M rated one is laughable and reminds me of Wal-Mart's attempt to manage the lyrical content of their CD music being sold. Wal-Mart sold edited versions of CD's without any notification in store. I personally encountered this many years ago and refuse to buy any music at the retailer again. I also can't help but to wonder the large financial benefit the gaming industry has had on the American economy. This would be a good issue you should bring up in a future mentioning of this censorship issue.

    Posted: September 21, 2010 8:02 PM
  • squeezy89


    Posted: September 21, 2010 7:56 PM
  • C7Phantom

    I think the misleading title (don't think it was intentional on G4 or Sessler's part) has gotten people a little too fired up about this from what I read in the comments. The law would make it a crime to sell a game rated M to a minor, it doesn't say anything about it being illegal for a minor to play rated M games. I was actually surprised at the reaction to this because there have been restrictions on the selling of rated M games for a while now. Some retailers require a photo id from ANYONE buying a Rated M game. Some are more lenient than others, but this law would not make a huge difference. To say that retailers would be discouraged to sell these games because of that restriction is too much of an assumption to make. Their loss in sales would only be to those people without an ID, but if you're 18+ without a license or even an ID is quite sad. In terms of the comparison with alcohol, video games don't have the same effects that alcohol does. Games don't impair your judgment or driving abilities. In terms of the argument of a retailer not selling a parent a game because they think they'll just give it to their child, once the retailer sells the game, it is out of their control. They would not be fined or punished for selling an adult a game, even if they believe/know they'll let their kids play it so they will not be discouraged from selling someone a game, retailers usually don't try to decrease sales. Again, the comparison with alcohol would not hold any water. Video games do not damage people on the same scale, physically, as alcohol does. In terms of the first amendment argument, I would like specific references or quotes that say that the Federal or State government can't restrict the spread of an "art" form. I play and enjoy video games, but I in no way think they are an art form. They are just for entertainment purposes. A comparison could be made with film. Just because you produce or see a movie, it does not make it art. That would be like the film Metropolis (art) and The Expendables (entertainment). Going back to the first amendment, it comes up so much, but people are never specific enough to strengthen that argument. The government is not telling game developers to not make games rated M, they're just telling them they're not going to let minors PURCHASE them. As far as I know, they can still play them.

    Posted: September 21, 2010 7:42 PM
  • hoof_hearted4

    the ESRB ratings are enough. it tells parents whether or not the game is suitable for their children, and those ratings are quite picky especially as games become more and more violent and "mature" (according to the ratings) so like others have said, all this is doing is making it so parents dont have to pay attention and it becomes a problem of the state to pay attention for them pretty much hurting everyone. its not hard to keep M rated games from minors as a parent. and its not rly hard to keep M rated games from a minor as a destributor. ask for ID it takes 2 seconds. im 20 and ive been asked since i was 17 for my ID. i have no problem with it quite honestly.

    this is just a progressive movement. the government has absolutely no right to tell us what we can play, just like they have no right to tell us what to read, watch, say, or anything else. i highly doubt that the Supreme Court will pass this and am appalled that it even made it that far.

    Posted: September 21, 2010 7:32 PM