New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to Signing

July 18, 2008 -

There is a good deal of buzz this week surrounding video game-oriented legislation passed overwhelmingly last month by the New York state legislature. New York Gov. David Paterson (left) must decide by July 23rd whether he will sign the bill into law or let it die.

In a story broken by GamePolitics on June 24th, we reported that the NY State Senate passed, by a 61-1 vote, Sen. Andrew Lanza's bill which:

  • requires that games carry a rating
  • requires games consoles to have parental controls
  • establishes a 16-member advisory council on media violence

While the various segments of the video game industry have taken no unified position to date, the Binghampton Press details opposition to the bill from some unusual corners.

Grover Nordquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, said:

This is a feel-good piece of legislation that really doesn't so anything.

GP: That's certainly true (see: NY Video Game Bill Barks, Doesn't Bite)

Robert Perry of the New York chapter of the ACLU, added:

This bill would have the state regulating constitutionally protected speech. The courts will not permit that.

GP: Since the bill doesn't restrict content or sales based on content, we're assuming that the ACLU's Perry is referring to the requirement that games be labeled with a rating, which they already are on a voluntary basis.

Derek Hunter of the Media Freedom Project said:

The bill is unnecessary. The video-game industry is praised as the best at policing itself. They have a great ratings system.

Adam Thierer, writing for the Tech Liberation Front, calls the bill "unnecessary, unworkable, and unconstitutional" in an open letter to Gov. Paterson.

Meanwhile, Jason Della Rocca, executive director of the International Game Developers Association, has apparently issued an alert to IGDA members based in New York, calling upon them to contact the Guv in opposition to the bill.

The key piece of the puzzle will be whether the ESA decides to challenge the law's constitutionality. The game publishers' trade group, busy with E3 this week, has not said what it plans to do in that regard. Their most likely response will be to wait and see whether the Governor signs the bill into law. In the meantime they have urged VGVN members to write the Governor in opposition.

Comments made by the Entertainment Merchants Association, however, give the impression that video game retailers believe they can live with the law's provisions:

The bill is unnecessary and seeks to solve a problem that does not exist. But we do not anticipate that video game software retailers will have a problem complying with its requirements. (It is important to note that NY law already requires DVD packages to display the rating of the movie.)

 

Comments

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

 

Hey, I'm out of toilet paper. Where's the bill of rights?

Oh right, New York already used it.

So how about we pass a law stating that EVERY elected representative be forced to READ the constitution before swearing to uphold it?

 

Just leave it up to chance.

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

Its really disturbing when politicians think its good to pass legislation that contradicts are rights of freedom of speech. This undermines what we stand for and those responsible for this legislation should feel ashamed of themselves. They have no right for their own political gain! 

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

As someone inside the industry, I'm actually worried about provision #1 - say I'm making a small, indy game and don't have the clout or money to have the ESRB review it?  Does that ban me from distributing the game intra-state?  Can I slap a sticker on it: "The game has not been rated; buyer beware" and be good?

Good thing I live on the west-coast...

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

(It is important to note that NY law already requires DVD packages to display the rating of the movie.)

 

Sure, but it does not require the movie to have a rating. I see unrated versions of movies in the capital district walmarts all the time.

 

all this law does is create a council so someone gets paid to sit around and do nothing.

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

The bill is even more useless than GP's writeup suggests. The requirement that games display a rating is only for games which have actually received a rating.

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

As I said in the "Barks, Doesn't Bite" comments, the gaming industry and gamers should be opposed to this law, because it singles out video games for these restrictions.  The fact that games are already rated and consoles already have parental controls is totally irrelevant.

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

I'm hoping to introduce a bill which:

  • requires that people eat food
  • requires that people decide what they're going to eat
  • establishes a 16-member advisory council on what's for lunch

 

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

I'll do you a few better:

I'll make it mandatory that people:

Extract oxygen from the air when they breathe.

Actively engage in cell division.

Blink when their eyes are dry.

Age.

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

I'm guessing this is the Gov's way of a, "Hey look I'm doing something about video game violence by making a 16 member panel." Which really means he needed a way to help his campain finances, so he made a 16 new positions especially for those who "needed" jobs and benefited his cause.  It's that simple.

-Loudspeaker
"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

Yeah, I hate laws that only make mandatory what people are already doing.

This is like making a law to require people to produce blood. They are doing it anyway, so why are we making it mandatory?

If I lived in NY, I would be all over trying to convince the Gov that this is useless.

E. Zachary Knight
http://www.editorialgames.com
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

This is quite literally the most stupid law I've ever seen, and definatly the most useless. If I lived in New York, I'd definatly give the Guv a call/email

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

"requires that games carry a rating"

They do already, voluntarily, and quite informative if you can be bothered to find out what the symbols mean. And the numbers (some people will be that dim)

"requires games consoles to have parental controls"

All the current generation of consoles do already.

"establishes a 16-member advisory council on media violence"

Translation: 15 Jack Thompson disciples plus 1 token gamer with no nads.

 

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

lol how wierd!

I was literally coming on to post the EXACT same thing lol.

Already carry a rating, Already have parental controls..

so what exactly is this law trying to do.. i dont get what all teh money is being spent on...

Re: New York Video Game Law Heats Up as Guv Moves Closer to

16 useless people who couldn't be employed otherwise.

-Loudspeaker
"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

"Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."
 
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MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
james_fudgeWe appreciate your support :)08/29/2014 - 2:55pm
TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
 

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