Thursday, September 2, 2010

Everybody watch this NOW


http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/extra-credits/1961-Free-Speech

28 comments:

Jeff said...

Hate to disagree with the guy but minors are not guaranteed 1st amendment rights.

If the argument standpoint is that 10-year-olds know what's best for themselves is presented on behalf of gamers, we'll lose in the arena of common sense long before we lose in the court.

Drake Sigar said...

I assumed he was speaking for adults Jeff, the average age of gamers is around mid 20s isn't it?

toosoo said...

your missing the point every M rated game that you have ever liked could fairly instantly go away that mean no bioshock, no halflife, no no more heros,no halo and any other games that us older gamers love will end videogames will become toys and not a medium and they may not recover from that

the ones you have will stay there but future ones will dissapper

I know i wouldnt want some of my favorite M rated game to dissappear

REPTILE 0009 said...

The 1st Amendment applies to all U.S citizens. As long as they are born in the U.S, minors are considered citizens of the United States. Therefore the first amendment applies to them. Adults and parents like to pretend it doesn't. And in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District Supreme Court extended free speech to students in schools.

REPTILE 0009 said...

It also bothers me that the California government is calling me "stupid". Oh sure, they didn't say that directly, but you know that's what they're implying. They're saying that I'm too stupid to make my own choices. I'm fricking 14, I don't need the government telling me what I can or can't enjoy. I'm pretty sure I can make the right decisions for myself.

spork said...

toosoo, I think that's a little extreme. Restricting mature games from being purchased by minors won't stop them from being made. Movies that are rated R can't be watched by minors unless accompanied by an adult, yet they still get made. Similarly, games that require adult accompaniment to buy them will still be around.

As you stated, there are many M-rated games that "us older gamers" love. And there are lots of older gamers out there, more than enough to fuel the production of M-rated games.

spork said...

And, REPTILE 0009, though I can't speak to the legality of the 1st Amendment, it is reasonable for there to be regulations in place to protect minors. That's why there are restrictions on movies that are rated NC-17 and R. AFIK, those restrictions don't infringe on anyone's 1st Amendment rights, so neither should age restrictions on video games.

There are already restrictions on what you can and can't enjoy, including on movies, access to certain magazines, alcohol and cigarettes, gambling, driving, strip clubs... There are good, sound reasons why these restrictions are in place, and extending them to particular video games is just a natural result of games becoming a mainstream medium.

awwnuts07 said...

Scary.

Yannis said...

Haha, I am glad I don't live under American conservativism. In Greece, it doesn't matter if it's art, it can still be sold. Now why cannot Americans have near-complete free speech like us? :-)

Jeff said...

"And in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District Supreme Court extended free speech to students in schools."

All Tinker v. Des Moines does is require the school to demonstrate why their disciplinary action (which has already been taken, mind you) is constitutionally valid, which they can do with ease. And if you believe free speech exists in schools, try calling your teacher a dirty bastard or a slutty bitch, and watch that Constitution go out the window.

Until you reach your age of majority, you are the ward of your family, even if that family is a government social worker. Your parents have the right to invade your privacy, control your diet and activities, and censor your language.

If a child were to exercise his free speech in a manner that offends, he would be instantly detained by a nearby authority and transported without Miranda Rights to his family for interrogation and punishment.

Adults are afforded no such treatment as it is their right to free speech that allows them to stand on a street corner and shout doomsday. And even then there are actual limits to free speech, like the "fire in a crowded theater" and the clear and present danger exceptions.

"I assumed he was speaking for adults Jeff, the average age of gamers is around mid 20s isn't it?"

I think he did say something about kids choosing for themselves in the video. And be careful about average ages. The ESA tried to pass off 39 as the average age once, basing it on videogame purchasers. And it is quite obvious that, since little kids don't receive paychecks, that it was much older adults buying titles for children.

Smashmatt202 said...

I already did. I also posted a link to the video on every forum I go to and I shared it on FaceBook. And I'm not going to stop there!

thenintenlord said...

I got the idea from this video that only M-rated games can be art. Either way, banning M-rated games might actually be a good thing for gaming, because it would improve gaming's public image to normal people and would force game developers and gamers to find non-M-rated maturity in gaming, which exists, they just don't admit it, because they are insecure about their masculinity. Though on the other side, I doubt the people supporting this law really care about children or gaming, they just either want justice system to enforce their morals and opinions or just want to get money from gaming.

Math_Mage said...

spork, R-rated movies are available in public libraries for minors to check out, but this legislation would restrict the sale of M-rated video games on no further basis than would be given for restricting the rental of those movies.

Moreover, the MPAA rating system for movies is a voluntary enterprise filling in because of the lack of government regulation. So to try to enforce for ESRB ratings what the government doesn't do for MPAA ratings is distinctly inequitable.

tl;dr: Your example is invalid.

thenintenlord: Banning M-rated games is far beyond the scope of the legislation under discussion, and for good reason--it's a terrible idea, clearly unconstitutional, and will have serious ramifications on other levels of gaming. Neil Gaiman had some good words to say about defending the indefensible in free speech, and it applies to video games as well as books:

http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/12/why-defend-freedom-of-icky-speech.html

spork said...

Math_Mage: I spoke to a librarian friend of mine, and she said that, though policies vary between library systems, the majority have a set up where children and adults have different types of library cards, and those with children's cards are not allowed to check out adult material (such as rated-R movies). At her system, the age at which one is able to obtain an adult card is 14, meaning a 14 year-old could check out a rated-R movie while a 13 year-old couldn't. I agree we should have a similar system for the purchase of video games. Those 14 and older can buy mature games, those under 14 can't. I'm arguing for regulation, but not necessarily for the 18 or 21 age limitation. A younger age restriction is fine with me.

Also, you said "to try to enforce for ESRB ratings what the government doesn't do for MPAA ratings is distinctly inequitable." I completely agree with you. The MPAA ratings *should* be enforced, as well as the ESRB ratings, and hopefully out of this legislation both will occur.

joemello04 said...

I think we can all agree to some regulation, even if it's just common sense. Say, no purchasing M-rated games without ID or T-rated games without ID or a consenting adult. I don't think we're going to get another "Citizens United" result, or at least I hope not.

What bothered me is the notion that the government knows what's right for minors, a trait that should be almost exclusively reserved for said minors and their parents. Any federal regulation should reinforce that, not replace it.

Jeff said...

"What bothered me is the notion that the government knows what's right for minors, a trait that should be almost exclusively reserved for said minors and their parents."

Governments have already done this. Children are required to get an education, and what used to be the realm of parents is now the realm of the state. Parents are required to surrender their children for 8 hours every weekday unless they can proved that they are capable home-school teachers.

This is because parents "deciding what was right for their children" in regards to education produced a bunch of stupid, backwards, ignorant hicks and very few stable, well-adjusted adults result from home-schooling.

"I'm fricking 14, I don't need the government telling me what I can or can't enjoy. I'm pretty sure I can make the right decisions for myself."

If you ever needed an example why some laws aimed at protecting children exist, here's your answer.

Rawle said...

I already saw the video, and I was thinking of e-mailing it to you, MovieBob, but apparently, you're way ahead of me. :)

If video games aren't protected speech, then they can be regulated and barred from anyone at all, whether minor or adult. Content will be censored to the point of dullness, and you'll need to go through multiple bureaucracies just to get your game's content approved. The industry will be strangled, and even more people will be out of work.

This is just like the Comics Code Authority, except worse -- at least that other one wasn't a law.

V Gray said...

ok, all I'm hearing from this form is people scared, that there violence, gore, & tits will be taken away. this is a question of free speech, meaning video games will have a harder time telling adult messages.

A big question is are we using M rated games responsible? We need free speech to tell a story, like A look at a world, that has embrace the views of Ayn Rand in Bioshock, or a look at the horrors of nuclear war like in Falllout, but do we need it for Halo? losing the right to tell these story, would make it extremely hard for the medium to grow. We need more work like God of War and less like God of War 3, if we wont to keep our M rating.

Hey, now that I think of this isn't Movie bob's latest review on Machete, about that same thing? Nice going on that.

andrew said...

It is actually legal for anyone to watch any movie rated under NC17 in the United States. The reason movie theaters and retailers don't let minors buy those movies because of company policy to follow the rules set out by the MPAA. Making video games even more controlled than movies and all other forms of media that aren't obscene.

The problem if this bill passes is that it will become to risky for a company to stock M rated games in there store because of the potential legal ramifications of selling one to minor. This in turn will cause game companies to not produce M rated games because they will not be stocked or sold in any of the major outlets significantly reducing their profits.

spork said...

andrew, the legal ramifications of selling to a minor doesn't stop stores from stocking and selling lottery tickets, nor does it stop them from being produced. Similarly, just because a kid under a certain age can't purchase a video game won't stop those games from being made or sold. Walmart has no problem selling alcohol and tobacco and asking for ID for those. I'm sure it would have no problem doing the same for certain video games.

And the game companies would still produce the games. The majority of the money that is made on an M-rated game is from sales to mature gamers. The bottom line on an M-rated game would be little hurt if young children were barred access, as the game is not aimed at them anyway.

I mean, think about how much was made on the Grand Theft Auto series from the 18-30 year old demographic. Compare that to how much they made on the 0-13 year-old demographic. There is no way Rockstar would say, "Oh no! Now that we can't sell our GTA games to the 0-13 year-old group, we're going to have to stop making the games!". Nor would Walmart say, "Since we can't sell Grand Theft Auto to kids aged 0-13, we're going to stop selling it altogether." They wouldn't say these things because there's just way too much profit to be made selling to mature games to mature gamers.

K.D.B. said...

The issue with government control over the censorship of games is that most people in congress do not have a very positive opinion of games at all. The fact that is capable of having symbolism, story, and depth (silent hill 2, bioshock, etc) is not something they will acknowledge. In the eyes of many this is a medium that should be nothing more than a children's toy for temporary entertainment.

If this mind set is the one being used to censor video games then it will cripple the potential of the industry. I'm not saying that the industry is living up to its potential (far from it sometimes) but it still can. Hell, the whole point of the ESRB was to avoid this very thing.

Sean said...

I actually have a real problem with the end of this video, which I will probably flesh out at some point, but in a nutshell is: Why the heck should game companies stop making DOA Extreme Beach Volleyball? Who is this guy to say it lacks artistic merit? When Lolita was released, it was described as "sheer unrestrained pornography" by the London Sunday Times. (Well, OK, technically a year after it was released, but you get my point.) These days, it's regarded as a classic.

There's no way to tell what is art and isn't in the moment. It's only in hindsight that we can establish these things. Was DOA Extreme Beach Volleyball an earnest appreciation of the female form, rather than mere cheesecake? Eh, probably not. But those lines are blurry, and asking game companies to censor themselves strikes me as just as bad as doing it for them.

TweakzGaming said...

haha i liked that vid, do people really have nothing better to do than be major buzz kills?

REPTILE 0009 said...

I think that mainly the types of games that we should punish developers for are bad movie-tie-in, and license games.

hazlenaut said...

Feel like they are using this for a scapegoat. I thought we were over this I guess we are not. After watching 10 minutes of movie epic movie, I learn violent movies don’t make people violent. It is horrible filth that dares call themselves a movie makes a person violent. I am thankful for games for taking my aggression out.
I thought parents should be responsible enough for their children choices.

toosoo said...

I may of over reacted to this when i first saw it but i still dont think im completely untrue either

games are a bussiness and if this goes through and videogames arn't considered an art in legal terms and can there for be regulated then this might hit the videogame scene hard if makeing a M rated games start to not make back the money it takes to make them you can bet there will be a ton of developers jumping ship and making T and E games even rockstar is not ammune to this I mean they have made T rated games before(bully comes to mind) and they could go to that
It may not be a bad thing either there might be alot of ways the developers can get around making M rated games and it might make games better by making developers have to amke fun less violent games who knows but i could do more damage then what it helps

CAPS LOCK CREW said...

Mr Moviebob, why are you advertising these chumps on your site? They're so beneath you (and us) it's not even funny. The writing rambles, the art is a series of .jpegs somebody saved off 4chan and the voice is incredibly irritating.

To make things worse, they just won't stop going on and on about how important games are and how "art" they are. They cover an important issue but ruin it with their shitty rhetoric.

Smashmatt202 said...

CAPS LOCK CREW, you ought to be ashamed, Daniel Floyd is just as good as MovieBob, because he has good information, makes good points, and he's nice about it and doesn't play down to anyone, unlike MobieBob who takes every chance he gets to bash hardcore gamers.