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Massachusetts Bill HB1423 Turns Games Into Porn

Massachusetts Bill Karate Chops Minors' Access to Violent Games

Whether you know it or not, there is a storm-a-brewin in the video game industry. Recently, there has been new interest surrounding violence in video games. Does violence + video game = violent peeps in real life? Boston Mayor Thomas Menino seems to think so and is backing bill HB1423, aimed to block the purchase of violent video games to minors—as it would with pornography.

Although there has been no evidence or studies to prove a connection between violence in games and actual violence, Massachusetts officials met yesterday to discuss the bill. If it passes, it would make it illegal for persons under the age of 18 to purchase games with violent content. To see the details, just

Massachusetts House Bill 1423 would deem video games illegal for minors to purchase if the content matter:

"Is harmful to minors, if it is obscene or, if taken as a whole, it depicts violence in a manner patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community, so as to appeal predominantly to the morbid interest in violence of minors; is patently contrary to prevailing standards of adults in the county where the offense was committed. . . and lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors."

Other states, including Utah and Louisiana attempted to pass similar laws, but were stopped cold as District Courts deemed the laws unconstitutional. As someone who loves video games, I think the responsibility lies with the family to regulate what games can or cannot be purchased, as they would music and movies. But what's your opinion? Should video games depicting violence be illegal for people under 18 to purchase?

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thorswitch thorswitch 8 years
I agree that the primary responsiblity to keep material that parents might find objectionable for their children to see or play with should lie with those parents - but I also think that a large part of the problem is that (a) too many parents just don't care and (b) even if parents do keep it from their children, if the kids go to someone else's home, they may be able to see/play it there. And in all honesty, I do think a lot of what's available *is* too violent for kids to be playing with, but that doesn't mean that I think the government should be involved. I do think that customers should be given adequate information to make decisions about whether or not they want their kids playing again. So, I don't have a problem with games being rated based on content, but I do have a problem with laws being made to enforce those ratings. The ratings should be there simply as an educational tool for the consumer, not a regulatory tool for the government.Our country is based on the principle of capitalism, and one of the hallmarks of capitalism is that the marketplace dictates what is or isn't acceptable. If someone offers a product and not enough people buy it to make it feasible for the company to keep making it, the product gets dropped. And I think that's where decisions about what kind of game material is made available should be decided.If there are people who feel that games are too violent and don't want to see so many violent games made available in general, not only should they avoid buying those games themselves, but they should also make use of their 1st amendment rights and engage in public protests of of the games - and maybe even stage boycotts against game manufacturers, merchants or others who profit from the ultra-violent games. IF enough people agree with them, sales of the games will go down, companies will bow to public pressure and the games will eventually stop being made.If, however, the majority of the consumer base either doesn't care about the issue or feels that the games are just fine, then those games and the companies involved in making and distributing them will continue to make enough money for it to be worth their while to continue offering them. That way, the government doesn't get involved and no one's rights are being trampled. Each side has the same right to make their case to the general public and it will be the public that decides. That's how the marketplace is supposed to work.
thorswitch thorswitch 8 years
I agree that the primary responsiblity to keep material that parents might find objectionable for their children to see or play with should lie with those parents - but I also think that a large part of the problem is that (a) too many parents just don't care and (b) even if parents do keep it from their children, if the kids go to someone else's home, they may be able to see/play it there. And in all honesty, I do think a lot of what's available *is* too violent for kids to be playing with, but that doesn't mean that I think the government should be involved. I do think that customers should be given adequate information to make decisions about whether or not they want their kids playing again. So, I don't have a problem with games being rated based on content, but I do have a problem with laws being made to enforce those ratings. The ratings should be there simply as an educational tool for the consumer, not a regulatory tool for the government. Our country is based on the principle of capitalism, and one of the hallmarks of capitalism is that the marketplace dictates what is or isn't acceptable. If someone offers a product and not enough people buy it to make it feasible for the company to keep making it, the product gets dropped. And I think that's where decisions about what kind of game material is made available should be decided. If there are people who feel that games are too violent and don't want to see so many violent games made available in general, not only should they avoid buying those games themselves, but they should also make use of their 1st amendment rights and engage in public protests of of the games - and maybe even stage boycotts against game manufacturers, merchants or others who profit from the ultra-violent games. IF enough people agree with them, sales of the games will go down, companies will bow to public pressure and the games will eventually stop being made. If, however, the majority of the consumer base either doesn't care about the issue or feels that the games are just fine, then those games and the companies involved in making and distributing them will continue to make enough money for it to be worth their while to continue offering them. That way, the government doesn't get involved and no one's rights are being trampled. Each side has the same right to make their case to the general public and it will be the public that decides. That's how the marketplace is supposed to work.
ALSW ALSW 8 years
I agree with you, Geek - I think that it's up to the family to explain the difference between a gaming reality and actual reality and up to them to decide what their children can and cannot handle in terms of video game violence. That being said, I also think that some parents don't think about those things before purchasing a game and this wouldn't exactly stop those parents either. My parents let me play Wolfenstein, Doom, Duke Nukem, all back in the day, but I understood the difference between games and reality.
ALSW ALSW 8 years
I agree with you, Geek - I think that it's up to the family to explain the difference between a gaming reality and actual reality and up to them to decide what their children can and cannot handle in terms of video game violence.That being said, I also think that some parents don't think about those things before purchasing a game and this wouldn't exactly stop those parents either.My parents let me play Wolfenstein, Doom, Duke Nukem, all back in the day, but I understood the difference between games and reality.
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