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T O P I C
The 10 Feet Of Censorship
August 22nd 2000, 16:57 CEST by andy

More bad news for our friends in the games industry, as Indianapolis bans children from playing violent and sexually explicit arcade games...



This ABCNews story explains:

The law requires coin-operated games featuring graphic violence or strong sexual content to have warning labels and be kept at least 10 feet from nonviolent game machines. The machines must also be separated by a curtain or wall so minors cannot see them. The law bars people under age 18 from such games unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The law is being challenged by two industry groups, the American Amusement Machine Association and the Amusement and Music Operators Association.

AMOA president Frank Seninsky is quoted as saying:

What’s next after banning video games depicting violence? Movies? Books? ... We are on the edge of a slippery slope, and our industry has been forced to litigate to protect core constitutional rights.

The article concludes:

Mayoral spokesman Steve Campbell said the city expected a lawsuit over the ordinance — believed to be the first of its kind — but remains confident it will meet constitutional muster.

"We can’t ever guarantee anything that goes on in a court of law, but we did our homework on this one," Campbell said. "We did quite a bit of research to make sure that this would stand up under judicial scrutiny."

At first you may think this case is similar to the one in British Columbia involving Soldier Of Fortune. Let me refresh your memory: Activision doesn't want kids playing violent games, but they don't want any laws to stop them. Actually, though, this case is surprisingly different...

The AAMA and the AMOA, which incidentally are based in adjacent suites in an Illinois business park, have no official objection to children playing violent arcade games. Their shared policy, the Coin-Operated Video Game Parental Advisory System, merely requires that arcade games are colour-coded to indicate what age range they are suitable for. To be effective, the system requires parents to "accompany their children into locations where coin-operated video games are available and to assist their children in making game-playing decisions". (Quoted from the FAQ.)

So what we've got here is another classic example of self-regulation that is designed not to work. Parents accompanying their kids to the games arcade? Please! Good idea, maybe, but it's just not realistic. Kids don't want their parents hanging around while they're playing games with their friends, and parents don't want to stand in an arcade for hours.

Whatever your view on the issue of violent games, it's hard to take the AAMA/AMOA seriously when they begin squirming in this ludicrous way. Already the AMOA president Frank Seninsky has let rip with that wonderfully stupid sound-bite: "What’s next after banning video games depicting violence? Movies? Books?"

Seriously, what planet is he on? Violent video games aren't being 'banned', they're just being moved into another room. And aren't movies already restricted in much the same way? What's happening with video games in Indianapolis is no different from a multiplex showing kids' films on one screen and adult films on another.

Industry associations like the AAMA/AMOA and publishers like Activision really need to wake up to something: Either violent video games are going to be controlled more tightly, or they're going to be banned. You either lose some of your sales, or you lose all of them. It's your choice. Just don't fool yourself that there's a secret third option, okay? You're starting to look very silly.

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#1 by "Lpx"
2000-08-22 17:06:01
loonpants@hotmail.com
First?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#2 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-08-22 17:14:29
tc10@spammegoonidareya.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom/
Ech.
Parental abdication of responsibility leads two ways - a nation full of arrogant wasters, or the government being forced to take over on things which parents should be doing, whereupon, of course, our first amendment-style friends get hacked off, and parents start saying things like 'Don't tell me wot ter do ter be a good mum! My Kev's a wonderful little bleeder, I know wot's best for him, now fuck off Kev, mum's got ter watch her soaps...'
Ahem. Ramble? Me? With my reputation?
#3 by "^mortis^"
2000-08-22 17:26:17
mortis@goddamnindependent.com http://www.goddamnindependent.com
w3rd...i can't wait to have to look around nervously to make sure noones watching in Electronics Boutique and slip into the closed-off "back area" to buy games stamped with the 'Mature' tag. hahaha.  "back off, chump, that's my copy of 'Asia Carrera's FPS Love-In'."
#4 by "Frijoles"
2000-08-22 17:27:13
aarona@cc.usu.edu
Look on the bright side.. if certain video games are enclosed by a curtain, maybe it will be like a porn shop where the 'seedy' individuals sneak back behind the curtain to see the good stuff.
#5 by "PHroot"
2000-08-22 17:27:29
I don't really see that any of it matters anyway.
#6 by "Andy"
2000-08-22 17:31:09
andy@planetcrap.com http://www.meejahor.com/
For some reason I insisted on calling the AMOA the AMOE, so sorry if that confused anyone.

Also, Eurogamer had an <a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/content/a_britcol">article</a> about Activision/SOF/BC yesterday.
#7 by "PHroot"
2000-08-22 17:33:37
Moving an arcade machine 10 ft away from the others and putting a partition up.  Will anyone regulate the segregated area? Arcades employing security to ensure that 10 yr olds dont play the wrong kind of games?  Hmmmmm
#8 by "Union Carbide"
2000-08-22 17:43:33
smythe@bangg.org http://www.bangg.org
<b>#Main Post</b> "andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>Parents accompanying their kids to the games arcade? Please! Good idea, maybe, but it's just not realistic. </QUOTE>

Uh, sure it is. It's called PARENTING.  Something that isn't done very much anymore, or very well for that matter.

It is the PARENTS responsibility to know what their children are doing, and their apparent willingness to abdicate this responsibility doesn't change that.

Andy, is it then your position that all children should be raised by the gov't in creches?  Since obviously parents taking responsibility for the squalling brats they brought into the world isn't "realistic", I mean.
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#9 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-08-22 18:03:42
tc10@spammegoonidareya.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom/
UC: Is that really what you took Andy's words to mean? My reading was that he considers it, as he said a 'good idea' - but that for all practical purposes, in this abortion of a world that we live in, it ain't gonna happen... and I'm inclined to agree :)
#10 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2000-08-22 18:04:14
tc10@spammegoonidareya.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.fisty.com/~tom/
Dropped a comma. Hot-diggity-dang.
#11 by "Jeremy"
2000-08-22 18:07:17
jnthornh@eos.ncsu.edu
<b>#Main Post</b> "andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>Seriously, what planet is he on? Violent video games aren't being 'banned', they're just being moved into another room. </QUOTE>
A room which will turn no profit, of course.

How many 18+ folks have you seen hanging out in video arcades?  Not a whole damn lot I would imagine.

Certainly not nearly enough to support a seperate room just for them.

Relegating these games to their own room dooms them to failure.  Why would an arcade even bother having the games at all if they won't be played?

It <i>would</i> effectively banning them, just in a somewhat roundabout way.

Jeremy
--
Despite your efforts to be a romantic hero, you will gradually evolve into a postmodern plot device. <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#12 by "Jeremy"
2000-08-22 18:08:55
jnthornh@eos.ncsu.edu
<b>#11</b> "Jeremy" wrote...
<QUOTE>It would effectively banning them, just in a somewhat roundabout way. </QUOTE>
Gah.  Drop that nasty "ing" there and you're good to go.

Jeremy
--
Despite your efforts to be a romantic hero, you will gradually evolve into a postmodern plot device. <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#13 by "Whisp"
2000-08-22 18:18:55
whisp_@hotmail.com
I would like to say that I am opposed to censorship in any form, for any reason.  Temporary blockage of sensitive information is questionable, because it invites abuse, but outright censorship is not.  Sure there are things that many would feel it is inappropriate for their children to see.  That's okay, as long as it remains only THEIR children they attempt to control.  Bad parenting is no excuse for legislating morality.

-Whisp
#14 by "The Neo-Reaper"
2000-08-22 18:21:07
neoreaper@excite.com
Arcades are all about eye candy.... drawing the paying customers in.  Block a major portion of the arcade off with curtains and you're gonna lose a cutomer base.  What violent games are we talking about, anyway?  Those zombie shooters?  I haven't seen a game in an arcade yet too violent for anyway over the age of thirteen... and if they are younger than that, for god's sake someone should be watching them!  As for sexually explicit games, they don't belong in arcades anyway, they belong elsewhere.

Though I think regulating age groups that buys PC games is ok, placing mature games 'in back' along with the really adult stuff is unnecessary.  Besides, I don't want it to look like I'm browsing through porno just to pick up a copy of Soilder of Fortune.

Though its most likely true Activision and AAMA/AMOA are worried about losing some of their younger profits, they are also in threat of losing some of the profit they deserve, so I don't blame them for fighting.

The more censorship gets on a roll, the more it'll spread.

<I>The Neo-Reaper</I>
#15 by "Chris Johnson"
2000-08-22 19:36:55
I personally won't be surprised when this law is given the boot.

A) It will be delayed from going into effect once it is formally challenged.  At least this is how I understand that it will go.

B) First Amendment bars things like this from happening.  Sure there's going to be people up in arms either way it goes, but after all is said and done, the First Amendment can't be done away with, unless another amendment is passed that will do it.  And I really don't see that happening.

I love the fact that this is happening, what, 3 months away from major elections?  Gosh, no political motive here is there? :P

The fact of the matter is that this, like any of the "Won't someone think of the children?!?" cries that have gone up are quite frankly politically motivated.  If this wasn't such a knee-jerk (empahsis on jerk) situation that is so politically profitable in the short-term, it'd never happen, and we sure as hell wouldn't hear about it.

Now to take a really odd stance as a gqme developer.  I personally don't care, at least not about the underlying theme of the law.  This is much like Film ratings (and, of course, so are the ESRB ratings as well).  I have no problem with a rating system in place, nor of enforcement.  What I do have a problem with, as I've said before, is that some self-grandizing puritanical politico feels it necessary to put some new, wildly unpopular, and ultimatey unlawful law in place, rather than try and actually enforce the ratings that are already there.  MPAA ratings are enforced as is.  As are RIAA "Explicit Content" ratings.  So why not do the same with ESRB?  Hell, they're already in place, people recognize them and what they mean.  

And good lord, someone might actually act like a responsible retailer and responsible parent in the mean time.
#16 by "Morpheus"
2000-08-22 20:01:45
oneiros42@hotmail.com
#11 "Jeremy" wrote...

<QUOTE>How many 18+ folks have you seen hanging out in video arcades? Not a whole damn lot I would imagine.</QUOTE>

Actually, most arcades here in Indy already disallow the 18 and younger crowd after a certain time at night.  And they still do fairly well.

I don't know as it's a huge deal.  From my experience with arcades here, there'll be like 3 machines (almost all shooting/fighting games) behind the curtain.  All of the fishing/racing games will stay out.  Fishing and racing in Indianapolis, whod've thunk it...
#17 by "Certis"
2000-08-22 20:38:59
spleen@mts.net http://www.voodooextreme.com/Alteredworlds
Penny Arcade commented on this very issue a while back.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/view.php3?date=2000-07-14&res=l
#18 by "Certis"
2000-08-22 20:39:47
spleen@mts.net http://www.voodooextreme.com/Alteredworlds
http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2000/20000714h.jpg

Try that again :)
#19 by "Morn"
2000-08-22 20:45:44
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
What really makes me very, very tired is how something like this quickly becomes real scandal over in the States, with people screaming "freedom is under attack!", while it's been even stricter in some other countries for quite some time. (Under-18s can't even enter <i>any</i> arcades here in Germany, for example.)

And that's all you'll see from me in this thread, I don't want to risk a heart attack. :)

- Morn
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#20 by "NutWrench"
2000-08-22 20:48:52
<quote>Steve Campbell said the city expected a lawsuit over the ordinance — believed to be the first of its kind — but remains confident it will meet constitutional muster.</quote>

Is it an election year AGAIN? :P
#21 by "12xu"
2000-08-22 20:50:25
mswitzer@insync.net http://http;//www.hichouston.org
If they put <b>mature</b> games behind a curtain maybe we can start getting things like thrill kill in the arcades...

That is how it usually works, before record labelling you hardly ever found a record that used the word fuck...now that all they have to do is put a label on it, they can say whatever they want...

Maybe we will get some really over the top stuff developed if they know kids won't be playing...or won't officially be playing anyway..

12xu
out<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#22 by "Uncle Jeet"
2000-08-22 20:51:43
jeet@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Right, morn.  But the difference there is that America is the land of the free and the home of the brave.  Germany....well, germany's gots beer.  That should make you not care about the other laws.

<b>Uncle</b> <i>Achtung, Baby</i> <b>Jeet</b><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#23 by "Derek Smart"
2000-08-22 21:13:47
dsmart@3000ad.com http://www.3000ad.com
<quote>
Industry associations like the AAMA/AMOA and publishers like Activision really need to wake up to something: Either violent video games are going to be controlled more tightly, or they're going to be banned. You either lose some of your sales, or you lose all of them. It's your choice. Just don't fool yourself that there's a secret third option, okay? You're starting to look very silly.</quote>

Ban 'em all!! Its the only way to be sure :-)


<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#24 by "Speed"
2000-08-22 21:27:04
speed@pandora.be http://fragland.net
I was going to write a big rant about this, but got so angry about it that I decided to not do it.
Instead I'll just say this : instead of blaming games for the society going down (that's actually what all this bullshit against games is about) those "god-fearing" people should look at themselves and try not to blame everyone else for their mistakes.

F*cking hypocrits

If we would believe all the bad stuff people are saying that come out of playing violent games, I guess a LAN party where pubers play Quake, Half-Life, Soldier of Fortune, etc... non-stop for several days would finally end up as a bloody mass massacre.

Speed,
Fragland.net
#25 by "bagofmice"
2000-08-22 21:36:24
rcastle@microsoft.com
<quote>Parents accompanying their kids to the games arcade? Please! </quote>

Uhm.... Excuse me, what planet are you on?


<i><quote>*Bago waits for the inevitable conclusion to the pun</quote></i>
#26 by "Talion"
2000-08-22 21:41:57
talion6@hotmail.com
<b>#24</b> "Speed" wrote...
<QUOTE>If we would believe all the bad stuff people are saying that come out of playing violent games, I guess a LAN party where pubers play Quake, Half-Life, Soldier of Fortune, etc... non-stop for several days would finally end up as a bloody mass massacre.</QUOTE>
This is a straw man argument.  No one claims that after being exposed to violence anyone becomes a murderer, such a claim is demonstrably false.  They claim that a very few people are influenced by it, and this is demonstrably true.  The issue is how few these few really are, and is it worth intrusion on our lives on the part of the nanny state to try to prevent this influence.  Being of a somewhat libertarian bent myself, I say no, but others disagree.

Calling people "fucking hypocrites" may make you feel better, and occasionally it may be true, but it's irrelevant to the issue.  You may get a few cheers from the choir you're preaching to, but you only undermine your credibility in the long run.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#27 by "Andy"
2000-08-22 22:06:55
andy@planetcrap.com http://www.meejahor.com/
<b>#26</b>, Talion:

*applause* Well said.
#28 by "Uncle Jeet"
2000-08-22 22:12:00
jeet@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Look, I'll wait to worry until there is some sort of zoning law regarding arcade.  Not within 500 feet of an elementary school or church, or some such.  Don't laugh.  Try the Bible Belt.  :)

<b>Uncle</b> <i>Praise Hallalujah</i> <b>Jeet</b><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-08-22 22:17:16
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
#26:<quote>This is a straw man argument. No one claims that after being exposed to violence anyone becomes a murderer, such a claim is demonstrably false. They claim that a very few people are influenced by it, and this is demonstrably true. The issue is how few these few really are, and is it worth intrusion on our lives on the part of the nanny state to try to prevent this influence. Being of a somewhat libertarian bent myself, I say no, but others disagree. </quote>
While I agree it's a straw man argument, the problem here is that people that have some relation to or are in the process of defending (in courts usually) a murderer will sometimes point to violent video games and media as the 'cause' of the person's actions. Such claims don't usually hold up in court, but at the same time, many people still hold this unreasonable belief. You go back and take a look at Columbine and you can see the press mentioning over and over again how these kids played Quake, read the Doom novels, and listened to KMFDM, and while we just laugh at them, the general public sits there and is horrified that this stuff is out there for their kids to get ahold of, after all, these horrible murderers were listening to it, it could cause someone else to do the same thing.

Never mind that we all know that there are very few reasons for people to be playing Quake or Doom any longer, except for nostalgia (and for a couple of the really long lasting mod scenes in Quake) or for the fact that their computers simply can't handle anything more recent. Never mind that the things in KMFDM's songs are quite a bit more mild than anything you could find from any number of other bands/groups out there. Hey, that kid killed himself, and there was a Marilyn Manson CD playing when the parents found him, let's blame Marilyn Manson. Hey, this kid killed himself, let's blame Ozzy Osbourne for recording Suicide Solution, nevermind that the song was anti-suicide and specifically related to the death of Bon Scott via alcohol poisoning. Let's blame Metallica for this kid's suicide because they recorded Fade to Black...

It's not that this is anything new, it's that they're starting to make headway. The baby boomers that are now in their 40s and 50s don't remember how rediculous it sounded to them when their parents were trying to ban KISS and Black Sabbath, they just hear this new music that they can't stand from people like Marilyn Manson (hey, he got his whole stage act from KISS practically), KMFDM, and in the previous decade Metallica and Ozzy (hell, he was the frontman for Black Sabbath, and Metallica was heavily influenced by what he did with them) and they want it gone. They don't like the fact that their kids are saying 'no' when they tell them to do something or that they're sneaking out at nite, or all of the other things teenagers do, so they find an outlet for their frustrations, and they call it the source of the problems.

Your kid spends too much time in front of that computer you don't understand playing games that give you motion sickness just watching, and you assume that it's having some sort of negative effect on them because you don't want them doing it. Hell, I bet my parents would've felt 20x more comfortable with me sitting at the computer playing games than doing who-knows-what out with my friends for my 4 years of high school, and they probably would've been right to feel so, but they didn't get the 4x86 until I was a good part of the way through that part of my life anyway ;) (and those games for the AppleIIgs and NES lost their charm a year or so before high school started).

 Then again, I was out listening to Metallica, Ministry, Tool, Type O Negative, Judas Priest, Sepultura, Pantera, and wtf knows what else, so I'll just blame that for anything I did during that time, yeah right.
#30 by "Speed"
2000-08-22 22:27:23
speed@pandora.be http://fragland.net
Talion : nicely said indeed, but you're missing the point I'm trying to make.
Eventually, if we let these people carry on with banning everything they don't like, we will only be allowed to play games that have no spirit anymore.
Violence would be banned, any sex-related stuff would be banned, etc.
Eventually we would go back to the hypocrit times of the 1950's where everyone had to be the decency itself to the outside world, while in their house it didn't matter what they did.
A good example of those people that I dispise is that TV-preacher in the US that got caught several years ago having sex with minors, while preaching on TV that we all needed to follow the word of god and donate money for "his cause".
After he got caught, he went back on TV and he was "oh so sorry, please donate money so that I can meditate on my misbehaving"
It's that kind of people that's now sturring up the stuff against games. Not because it are games, but just because games are the newest thingie they can react against.
Just look at the past.
During the years several things have been claimed to "poison the mind of children" like :
- Elvis
- The Beatles
- The Rolling Stones
- Movies
- TV
... (just naming a few)
If we let these people continue their crusade (not in the picture of course, but rather behind the scenes) they will eventually start getting more and more supporters and get the power to do actually influence our society in a way we really don't want them to.
Don't get me wrong here, I'm totally not in favor of people creating games where you are Hitler and conquer the whole world to create the Third Reich or something like that, but we should be very careful in what we want to have banned.
Things like sex, violence in games, violence in movies, ... are very easy and popular things to get people on your hands because which mother likes her children to watch some movie where the blood spills all around, or which parent likes to see lovely 14 year old daughter killing people in a video game ?
However, if we give in to this all the way, that will only be the beginning.
Violence in games has been an issue lately, but don't forget that people are trying to actually monitor everything on the internet which would mean that actual freedom of speech here would eventually stop if they succeed.
And that would only be the beginning...
I feel that we need to really watch out with what we do and follow, because otherwise Orson Welles' Big Brother might be just around the corner

Speed
Fragland.net
#31 by "Dragon"
2000-08-22 22:31:56
dragon@planetshogo.com
For me, the only way to get to the arcade was by having my parents take me. I wonder where those kids are getting their cash from. Maybe they're selling rock candy behind the elementary school. :)

I really wish parents would go into arcades with their kids. In some of the larger ones, you have more than just games. There are pinball machines and other games for the parents to enjoy while they wait for Little Timmy to finish playing Tekken 3.

It's not like anyone is stopping the parents from entering the arcades with their kids. I'm pretty sure most arcade owners wouldn't mind parents coming and getting twenty bucks worth of tokens and staying for a few hours.

Oh well. If they are too tired or busy to keep an eye on Little Timmy, they can always have the government make the rest of society into parents.

[/rambling]
#32 by "Uncle Jeet"
2000-08-22 22:41:05
jeet@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Speed -

  One could argue that your examples <i>did indeed</i> 'poison' the minds of the children of the time.  I'd lean most toward television, and the mind numbing, imagination crushing force that it has held with a tighter and tigher grip with every generation weaned on its teat.  (Pardon the Ellisonian reference) You're looking at the situation through the eyes of someone who has never known of other times.  To steal a line from Billy Joel, "They say that these are not the best of times, but they're the only times I've ever known."  What I'm saying is, life today is very different from live before tv, or even radio.  Morals are different, ethics are different, etc.  You are not capable of understanding if life was, indeed, better back then - or if it is better now.  What you have to admit, however, is that the introduction of each of your examples did indeed have an extreme impact on the culture.  Those around before them claim the impact was negative.  Those new to life around them, of course, claim the impact was positive.  And so it goes, on down the line.  See what I'm saying?

<b>Uncle</b> <i>Computers.  Heh.  They're just a fad, I tell you.</i> <b>Jeet</b><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#33 by "Uncle Jeet"
2000-08-22 22:47:35
jeet@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Speed -

  Also, you mention the fact that 'people are trying to actually monitor everything on the internet' as being something that would eliminate freedom of speech on the net.  We'll assume, for now, that the whole world is America, and does, indeed, have freedom of speech.  That being said, since when does anonymity equal freedom of speech and that, with the lack of anonymity, there is no freedom of speech.  Quite the contrary, I believe that if there was no anonymity to the net - and that everyone was held accountable for the shit they spew forth unto the world from their keyboards - that it would be a much nicer place to visit.  You can still say whatever you want - but somebody may make you back it up now.

<b>Uncle</b> <i>Kristian Bland</i> <b>Jeet</b><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#34 by "Talion"
2000-08-22 22:55:21
talion6@hotmail.com
<b>#30</b> "Speed" wrote...
<QUOTE>Talion : nicely said indeed, but you're missing the point I'm trying to make.
Eventually, if we let these people carry on with banning everything they don't like, we will only be allowed to play games that have no spirit anymore.
Violence would be banned, any sex-related stuff would be banned, etc.</QUOTE>
That's true, but because societal trends are so clearly moving in the opposite direction, I have difficulty getting worked up about this sort of thing.  If the ACLU can defend government funding for someone urinating on a crucifix, they can handle this.  I can hear what you're yelling at your monitor, "But if we let down are guard they can slip legislation through..." etc.

Do you (and this is for everyone, not just Speed) <B>really</B> believe that we are in <B>any</B> danger of having any of this stuff banned?  You make a good point later on about people attacking Elvis, the Beatles, etc.  But <B>did they have any success</B>?  No.

<QUOTE>Eventually we would go back to the hypocrit times of the 1950's where everyone had to be the decency itself to the outside world, while in their house it didn't matter what they did.</QUOTE>
Again, do you really believe this could happen?  You can't put the genie back in the bottle.  One thing that people have been regrettably slow to understand is that once something is given, it's tremendously difficult to take it away (giving it away is another matter, cf. Germany 1930s).

<QUOTE>During the years several things have been claimed to "poison the mind of children" like :
- Elvis
- The Beatles
- The Rolling Stones
- Movies
- TV
... (just naming a few)
</QUOTE>
Yet with music and entertainment in general, there has been a steady trend towards more and more violence or sex or otherwise objectionable content.  It's just not the sort of thing that's going to be turned around. (someone else while I've been hammering this out said these DID corrupt the young, which I would agree with in the case of television/movies...I think the Internet will save society by replacing television, but that's for another day)

<QUOTE>However, if we give in to this all the way, that will only be the beginning.</QUOTE>
I assert that rather than being the beginning of a reversal, it would merely be a slight bump in the road of the trend I discussed earlier.

<QUOTE>I feel that we need to really watch out with what we do and follow, because otherwise Orson Welles' Big Brother might be just around the corner</QUOTE>
Big Brother died (for the next few decades, anyhow) with the popularization of the Internet.  It's all about control of information.  The government (contrary to what some think) doesn't control much of it.  For that matter, popular culture for fifty years has been indoctrinating the masses to distrust government and authority in general.  As long as television remains the dominant medium, it will be possible (though highly unlikely) that a central group could get control of it and sway people, but passive entertainment is going the way of the dodo.  Thank God.

Er, well, that was a bit of a tangent.  Anyway.  Suffice to say no one's going to take away your pr0n.  It amazes me how frightened people on the Internet are of the "fundamentalists", believing them to have the power to change the entire direction of society.  They can barely keep an anti-abortion clause in the Republican party platform, much less control an entertainment industry that despises them.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#35 by "Talion"
2000-08-22 22:57:21
talion6@hotmail.com
<b>#33</b> "Uncle Jeet" wrote...
<QUOTE>Speed -

Also, you mention the fact that 'people are trying to actually monitor everything on the internet' as being something that would eliminate freedom of speech on the net. We'll assume, for now, that the whole world is America, and does, indeed, have freedom of speech. That being said, since when does anonymity equal freedom of speech and that, with the lack of anonymity, there is no freedom of speech. Quite the contrary, I believe that if there was no anonymity to the net - and that everyone was held accountable for the shit they spew forth unto the world from their keyboards - that it would be a much nicer place to visit. You can still say whatever you want - but somebody may make you back it up now.

<B>Uncle</B> <I>Kristian Bland</I> <B>Jeet</B></QUOTE>
David Brin wrote an interesting book, Transparent Society, about how he feels that only by abolishing privacy can we protect society from tyranny.  I find it a refreshingly different view, considering how common the privacy-is-god folks are on the net.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#36 by "Speed"
2000-08-22 22:58:07
speed@pandora.be http://fragland.net
Uncle Jeet :

Would you find it normal that CIA, FBI, etc... have filters that check all messages that go on on the internet, so that nothing (not even e-mail which is supposed to be secret) stays safe ?
That when you send the joke about f.i. the US government, this joke will be classified with other messages that they consider as state-dangerous ?

Censorship is not a good thing if people carry on with it.
Remember the former USSR and several other states where people can't talk freely.
I think the people that live there don't like it...

Speed
Fragland.net
#37 by "Morpheus"
2000-08-22 23:00:23
oneiros42@hotmail.com
#15 "Chris Johnson" wrote:

<QUOTE>I love the fact that this is happening, what, 3 months away from major elections? Gosh, no political motive here is there? :P</QUOTE>

Actually, this is a political non-issue in the Indiana Gubernatorial race.  People here are more worried about property taxes and what to do with the state surplus.  Oh, that and the fact that Govenor O'Bannon lifted the Gas Tax for the summer.

Banning books and movies?  Probably not.  Although, don't we already have laws about not selling sexually explicit/violent material to minors.  Note that I did not say we enforced them, but we have them.  I'm highly doubtful that my local video store would rent <I>Debbie Does the World</I> to a 10 year old.  Although I'm sure they could download it somewhere...

While we're at it, aren't we infringing on the tobacco industries right to free speech by not allowing them to advertise to minors (once again, I didn't say it's not done, just that we don't allow it)?  They claim we are.

So the arcades have to pay someone one night's work to move the machines and pay to put up a curtain.  Somehow, that doesn't seem like such a big deal to me.
#38 by "Uncle Jeet"
2000-08-22 23:07:26
jeet@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Speed, try to understand.  If you say, "I hate the government.  I think it should be abolished.  Anarchy will reign supreme in the New World."  No one is going to care.  Since you said it publically, and with your real name, and you said it on the Internet - if the government scoops you up and hauls you away - everyone that held interest to what you said will know about it.  Anonymity is what has been holding the net back in the land of porn and morons for far too long.  Once people are without their precious security blanket of anonymity, you'll see a vast improvement in not only the content of the interent, but also the validity of that content.  When you can have a laid off ditch digger put up a web site about the CIA (who has no domestic charter to check your e-mail to begin with) and the FBI scanning everyone's e-mail (which is ludicrious and is not happening) conspiricies, people might actually believe him.  He may claim to work in the government.  The point is - it is very difficult to know what to actually pay attention and give creedence to on the net these days.  Throw away the anonymous pacifier, and let the real leaders step forward.  The rest of the bunch can go back to the playground for some more Pokemon festivities.

<b>Uncle</b> <i>I'm always right...</i> <b>Jeet</b><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#39 by "Talion"
2000-08-22 23:10:04
talion6@hotmail.com
<b>#36</b> "Speed" wrote...
<QUOTE>Uncle Jeet :

Would you find it normal that CIA, FBI, etc... have filters that check all messages that go on on the internet, so that nothing (not even e-mail which is supposed to be secret) stays safe ?
That when you send the joke about f.i. the US government, this joke will be classified with other messages that they consider as state-dangerous ? </QUOTE>
(sorry I keep jumping on everything you say, Speed, but you keep hitting little pet peeves of mine)

This is another one of those deep-seeded fears I find in a lot of Internet types which I find strange.  The NSA reads my email.  So what?

Not so fast, one of our European friends might protest, pointing to evidence that Echelon intercepts of European company communications was used to give an American company a competitive advantage.  Yeah, that's illegal and the US government shouldn't do that, but too bad.  You know they're listening.  Use stronger encryption for sensitive documents.  Heck, go ahead and be one of those people who only accepts PGP encoded email.  Anything the US govt can read can usually also be read by a 23 year old hacker (or as the Slashdot zealots would stone me for not saying, cracker) living in his parents' basement.  It's a rough world, get used to it.

(being in the middle of re-reading Cryptonomicon gives me stronger feelings about this than usual, heh)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#40 by "Seth"
2000-08-22 23:55:59
Jeet: You realize you said "Praise" twice, don't you?
:P

morn: curious, how do you get your games? If they're as hard to get ahold of as you it seems they would be... where do you get yours? "Specialty shop"?
Seth <i>Stalin was right, you know</i> Krieg
#41 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-08-23 00:00:48
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#38</b> "Uncle Jeet" wrote...
<QUOTE>When you can have a laid off ditch digger put up a web site about the CIA (who has no domestic charter to check your e-mail to begin with) and the FBI scanning everyone's e-mail (which is ludicrious and is not happening) conspiricies</QUOTE>

errr ... well ... I don't know if the FBI specifically monitors your mail but governments have been known to monitor mail - and sell information to corporations or swap it for info on own populance (As most countries do not allow monitorin own populance). I know england/british isles use to have everything scanned as well as french email. Not sure about US thou ...

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#42 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-08-23 00:02:26
rhiggi@home.com
<b>#38</b> "Uncle Jeet" wrote...
<QUOTE>Speed, try to understand. If you say, "I hate the government. I think it should be abolished. Anarchy will reign supreme in the New World." No one is going to care. Since you said it publically, and with your real name, and you said it on the Internet - if the government scoops you up and hauls you away - everyone that held interest to what you said will know about it. Anonymity is what has been holding the net back in the land of porn and morons for far too long. Once people are without their precious security blanket of anonymity, you'll see a vast improvement in not only the content of the interent, but also the validity of that content. When you can have a laid off ditch digger put up a web site about the CIA (who has no domestic charter to check your e-mail to begin with) and the FBI scanning everyone's e-mail (which is ludicrious and is not happening) conspiricies, people might actually believe him. He may claim to work in the government. The point is - it is very difficult to know what to actually pay attention and give creedence to on the net these days. Throw away the anonymous pacifier, and let the real leaders step forward. The rest of the bunch can go back to the playground for some more Pokemon festivities.

<B>Uncle</B> <I>I'm always right...</I> <B>Jeet</B></QUOTE>

You tell 'em <b>Uncle Jeet</b>.  Damn anonimus cowards :-).

Anyway, would it really matter if I knew who you were if the government scooped you up because you were sending messages to a group of people like PC about Violent Games (in the extreme case that both were legal)?  Theres two related issues here privacy and free speach.  One one hand, maybe you should be able to know everything about me if we both post to PC.  Where I live, how much money I make, what I do in my spare time, phone taps, etc. etc.  On the otherhand maybe its none of your business.  No ones stoping you from giving this information out.  You're simply given a choice.  You can send me your soc. number, and other indentifying info, which I of course would never use or give to others, or you can withhold that information.  So far you seem to be with holding, though I'm not sure why <b>Uncle Jeet</b>.

In some places you have certain unalienalble rights, in others you don't.  Personally, I don't want to live in a place where I'm put on a national register of people who buy violent video games which an employer can use to discrimate against me (because I could go off at any time, better make sure he has counceling).  Theres a whole mess of issues/problems here that are trivialized by your out of work ditch digger example.  People with certain diseases for example.  Do you need to know if I have AIDS or am black or overweight?  

V

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#43 by "Mankovic"
2000-08-23 00:16:17
mankovic@jellico.net http://
<b>Talion</b> wrote in #26:<quote>"...No one claims that after being exposed to violence anyone becomes a murderer, such a claim is demonstrably false."</quote>

Well, at least 4 professional organizations in This ABC News</a> article say something completely removed from your view. Dont get me wrong, you make some good points in your posts, but if I was a parent, who would <b>you</b> want me to listen too when trying to make a decision about whether or not my child might be harmed by something? An online acquaintence, or someone who has studied this for years and is a paid professional in the field, with expertise far exceeding mine or your own?

How many of you were around when the Dungeons and Dragons phenomenon(written by Gary Gygax) was prominently played by teens back in the early 80's? Anyone remember the kid(s)? who committed suicide in California due to a curse that the Dungeon Master had placed on their characters? If this doesnt illustrate that children can be adversly affected by unsupervised game/role playing, then I doubt anyone can be convinced.

I'm 36 years old, been gaming since the mid 70's, and I've seen a lot of games that I wouldnt let my child come near. Leisure Suit Larry is one such game, very mature themes and highly suggestive content, yet I have seen children as young as 12 years old buying this game off the local EB shelves, when the ESRB is prominently displayed right on the box.

Something as simple as barcode data is a great way to prevent kids from buying something they shouldnt, the cashier scans it, and if it has an adult or mature rating the cashier is required to verify age thru identification before the sale can be finalized. Is that so bad? Sure the human element is still in the equation, but at least the government element is missing...:)

The Video Game industry can take the lead in this, deciding to take action on its own, instead of waiting for the Govt to force them. The Video game industry has the lessons learned in the film and recording industries as information on how things should be handled. Yet they wait.....and I dont understand why, its almost as if they want a confrontation with the govt or one of its agencies.
#44 by "Mankovic"
2000-08-23 00:18:11
mankovic@jellico.net http://
/installing Crapspy........grrrr
#45 by "Speed"
2000-08-23 00:31:30
speed@pandora.be http://fragland.net
Talion and Uncle Jeet :
I don't mind letting people know my real name.
I don't "hide" behind my nickname.
I don't like, however, everyone knowing everything about me.
Governments collecting information about their citizens is normal, but I find that this has to be done in a way that the parliament (at least) should know about this, and that the citizens need to know that it's done, and not sneaky behind everyone's back by some parts of the government. That is something that shouldn't be possible in a democracy.
I'm really bad with remembring names, but a few years ago there was a movie where people were all genetically modified, and where un-modified people were really discriminated because they had "a bigger chance for diseases" and stuff like that.
This might seem off-topic, but it's actually quite hitting the point.
If people are getting categorised, and everything they do gets monitored, this will only lead to more discrimination and will ultimately lead to an undemocratic society where some people will be able to use their power to get themselves better, while abusing others.
I know I'm talking pretty idealistic here (boy, I even scare myself at the moment :p) but a democracy should preserve the freedom of speech, and not look for ways to prevent it.
I have nothing against pron-lookers getting caught.
I'm not in favor for anarchy.
I only want to be sure that no-one will ever come to me and say "Hey, you don't agree with what we say, so now we're going to put you in prison".
But actually we're getting slowly but steadily off the original topic :)
#46 by "Speed"
2000-08-23 01:10:42
speed@pandora.be http://fragland.net
Mankovic : I agree with your point.
If the government stops game developers, they'll probably enforce a law that prohibits violent games being made, or make it so that they will be only available in some stores like (f.i. with adult films) adult stores, making it not interesting anymore to make them.
If the game publishers enforce their own way of rating, game developers will not be prohibited of making violent games at all.

Speed
Fragland.net
#47 by "szcx"
2000-08-23 01:17:54
szcx@planetszcx.com
speed:  less slashdot, more reality
#48 by "BloodKnight"
2000-08-23 01:48:24
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
SOF I could understand of being 'censored' in BC because of the amount of gore and other shit, but 'bloody arcades' shouldn't be in this mess.  I have never seen any arcade that was extremly blood dripping action that a teen or up could play.  Just because little 3 year old jimmy is playing House of the dead because their families are a butch of a dumbasses that doesn't even know that jim is shooting bald zombies with a gun doesn't mean that others should suffer.  I can't really recall an extremly violent game besides house of the dead.  I believe this law is a bit pointless unless bloody arcades start growing like wild flower all over the place

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#49 by "G-Man"
2000-08-23 02:28:42
jonmars@shiftlock.org http://www.shiftlock.org
In my opinion the reason that this sort of legislation and negative media attention occurs, is due to a failure on the part of the game publishing industry to educate the public (ineffective PR) and lawmakers (weak lobby).

This may or may not change soon, but before it results in an outright ban on all violent and sexual imagery and themes in interactive entertainment, the primary distribution and production models will have changed enough to make any current legislation null and void.

As an example online retailers will have no problem when faced with implementing these prohibitive age restrictions. And in their current form e-tailers are but a shallow revamping of the distribution process.

 - [g.man]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#50 by "Talion"
2000-08-23 02:55:52
talion6@hotmail.com
<b>#43</b> "Mankovic" wrote...
<QUOTE><B>Talion</B> wrote in <A href="spy-internal:Load/138#26">#26</A>:
<quote>"...No one claims that after being exposed to violence anyone becomes a murderer, such a claim is demonstrably false."</quote>

Well, at least 4 professional organizations in This ABC News</A> article say something completely removed from your view. etc.</QUOTE>
While I frequently disagree with professional organizations, especially in matters of psychology, I certainly agree with them here.  You either did not pay enough attention to what I said, or what the article said.  Speed was talking extreme Columbine-type cases.  Your 4 professional organizations say it leads to "increased violence", which is true.  God knows I've had five year olds come running up to me and try to hit me with a Mighty Morphine Addict Ranger kick while their parents stand giggling, apparantly thinking, "How cute, Johnny just tried to kick a stranger in the testicles."

<B>BUT...</B>

That kid, brat that he was, will almost certainly never kill anyone, or purposefully do serious harm to anyone.  That is what I was talking about.  A few scrambled eggs like Dylan and Klebold do, not <B>anyone</B> which is what I said.
<QUOTE>
How many of you were around when the Dungeons and Dragons phenomenon(written by Gary Gygax) was prominently played by teens back in the early 80's? Anyone remember the kid(s)? who committed suicide in California due to a curse that the Dungeon Master had placed on their characters? If this doesnt illustrate that children can be adversly affected by unsupervised game/role playing, then I doubt anyone can be convinced. </QUOTE>
This illustrates that there are children who are screwed up.  A very few.  Someone who went to my high school choked to death on a peanut butter sandwhich at age 23.  In a nation of 280 million people, I'll wager several other people in the past decade have choked to death on peanut butter sandwhiches.  Probably more than have committed suicide from D&D.  That's a bit of a rhetorical cheap shot, but I'm trying to underline the fact that we're dealing with stuff that doesn't even show up on the statistical radar but gets blown out of proportion by the media.

(what follows is about that article on ABC, not your post)

Television and video games glorify violence because we as a culture glorify violence.  Is that a good thing?  No.  Can it be changed?  Yes, but not by trying to sue the entertainment industry into showing less violence.  You have to address the root problem.  Treat the disease, not the symptoms.

Not that it's easy.  The only example of a successful effort like this was the one hundred year struggle to purge racism from American society (well, almost successful...give it ten or fifteen more years).  Violence is something much more ingrained than racism, though.  May not be possible without indoctrination techniques.  At the very least, you'd have to purge everything that glorifies violence, which I'd offhandedly estimate as 60% of literature and a much higher percentage of television and movies.  It would take a book burning of monumental proportions, in other words.

You can't ban violence in media because people want violence in their media.  You have to make people stop wanting the violence.  And you can't have it both ways and try to keep Johnny out of the room while you watch Terminator 2, either.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
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