MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame Law Fight

May 28, 2010 -

In what can only be categorized as "no great shock to our readership," Michigan State University law professor Kevin Saunders will help the state of California when the Supreme Court revisits Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association later this year. Saunders will help co-author an amicus brief to help California’s position when arguing its case before the U.S. Supreme Court during its 2010-11 session, which begins in October. As you probably already know, Saunders testified during the 2005 California State Assembly Judiciary Committee hearings on the issue at the invitation of Leland Yee. His arguments were obviously against the industry and for the law written by Yee.

Saunders' statements on the matter almost sound like the ECA's, EMA’s or the ESA's position:

"Parents need to play an active role in deciding what is appropriate for their children."

No disagreement there. But then he makes it sound as if the law helps to insure that universal truth:

"This law would leave it to parents to buy the games they will allow their children to play, taking the decision out of the hands of retailers."

This is an odd statement considering that the decision has always been with the purchaser and not the retailer - especially parents. No laws are required to make this possible. Retailers follow ESRB guidelines and require proof of age - as warranted - to buy "Mature" rated games. In fact, data from the Federal Trade Commission's Dec. 2009 news release, "FTC Renews Call to Entertainment Industry to Curb Marketing of Violent Entertainment to Children," indicates that the industry and retailers are doing a pretty good job of self-regulation:

"..Further, retailers are enforcing age restrictions on the sale of M-rated games to children, with an average denial rate of 80 percent. The report notes, however, that children may be able to obtain M-rated games by, for example, using retailer gift cards online."

Other entertainment industries had lower rates of rejection, according to that same release: the movie industry turned away 72 percent of underage movie goers from "R" rated movies; while seven in 10 underage shoppers were able to buy CDs with a Parental Advisory Label from retailers.

None of that matters to Saunders; this is a way to help execute a long-held belief that the First Amendment should have an exception when it comes to violent content, just like the court has recognized sexual content in some cases. Saunders has argued for years that the "obscenity exception" to the First Amendment should be extended to violent material.

Likewise, the State of California argues that violent games have "no redeeming value and should not be entitled to constitutional protection." The Yee authored law restricted the sale or rental of violent video games to anyone younger than 18. The law broadly classified violent content as "depictions of violence in games that are offensive to the community" or violence in an "especially heinous, cruel or depraved’ manner."


Comments

Re: MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame ...

The law broadly classified violent content as "depictions of violence in games that are offensive to the community" or violence in an "especially heinous, cruel or depraved’ manner."

& isn't it only offensive when the community complains about the content numerous times? But it would also be wrong to let the parent play the game, but then get mad at the child(ren) for playing the game or else them using offensive language.......then that would be wrong. B/c the child(ren) is only seeing & doing & saying what the parent is doing. Monkey see, monkey do.

 

 

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Re: MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame ...

Translation: "I am going to help California spend more money it doesn't have to defend a useless law that a government official is trying to pass only for brownie points with lazy parents"

Re: MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame ...

"Parents need to play an active role in deciding what is appropriate for their children."

Last time I checked, Parents already had the ability to do this.

Re: MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame ...

Yup and even if your kids gets their hands on an innappropriate game there's things you can do to make sure they can't play it (at least at your house).

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame ...

Unless you don't give two craps about your kids and are too worried with your own life than your childs.....

Re: MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame ...

The unspoken assumption here is that violent videogames are harmful - an assertion that has never been shown to be true in any study whatsoever. You can care a lot about your kids and still let them play a violent videogame, because we have no evidence showing that violent videogames are any more harmful than cuddly teddy bears.

This is a witch hunt mania. We should not be encouraging the witchfinders by agreeing with their premise.

Re: MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame ...

This is the same moron who created a Book about Regulating Violence as obscenity

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

 
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james_fudgeAlso http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/17/2014 - 4:29pm
Andrew EisenI read the Kotaku story. Nowhere does it say anything close to "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers." It's commenting specifically on the crap being slung at people discussing gender issues in games. So, what's the problem?09/17/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenYeah, I can imagine Spiderwoman posed like in your second link.09/17/2014 - 4:00pm
Andrew EisenThat's not the same pose. Spiderman (who is wearing an actual outfit rather than body paint) is crouched low to the ground. Kinda like a spider! Spiderwoman has her butt up in the air like she's waiting to be mounted.09/17/2014 - 3:59pm
quiknkoldAndrew Eisen : Kotaku did a whiole article on it, as did others http://kotaku.com/we-might-be-witnessing-the-death-of-an-identity-162820307909/17/2014 - 3:59pm
CMinerQuiknkold: Do you think that there are no cases where a piece of art (painting, movie, videogame, comic cover, etc) is unambiguously sexist?09/17/2014 - 3:58pm
quiknkoldand can you imagine if Spiderwoman was posed like this? http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/spider-man1.jpg09/17/2014 - 3:58pm
Andrew EisenWhat games outlet is writing articles saying "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers"? What examples have you seen of journalists being paid off for favorable reviews? Who's shaming what now? What's the problem with critiquing the Spiderwoman cover?09/17/2014 - 3:57pm
james_fudgeWell there's def "politics" involved in this issue. The movement was hamstrung by bad behavior and illegal activites here. We would have covered it more if not for those unforutnate happenings.09/17/2014 - 3:56pm
quiknkoldhttp://i.imgur.com/v3p8Bwf.jpg Here you go EZacharyKnight. Spidermans Buttcrack.09/17/2014 - 3:56pm
quiknkoldwhile another person doesnt see it09/17/2014 - 3:56pm
quiknkoldJames_fudge : I feel like the people challenging Games are the same people who Challenge Art because Michaelangelo's David shows Wang. The problem is, alot of things with Games are left to the eye of the beholder. One Person see's Sexist Antiwomen views.09/17/2014 - 3:55pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I don't recall Spider-man's costume conforming to the contour of his buttcrack.09/17/2014 - 3:54pm
quiknkoldIts the same Agenda Fueled Journalism youd find on Fox News or MSNBC. I appreciate Gamepolitics for just stating the facts.09/17/2014 - 3:54pm
james_fudgeQuiknold: you're entitled to your opinion on creatives being left alone. Others are entitled to their opinions that they should be challenged.09/17/2014 - 3:53pm
quiknkoldI can point specifically to the Spiderwoman Milos Manara cover as an example. Not strictly VG Related, its still the same example of journalists attacking Milos's artwork, claiming its sexist, when its the exact same pose Spider-man has done on a cover.09/17/2014 - 3:52pm
quiknkolddevices, and then we can discus the merits of the game. and then there's the people exchanging money and other things to game journalists for favorable reviews and articles, while also shaming those who may criticize these articles09/17/2014 - 3:51pm
quiknkoldIts more about those 20 some odd articles saying Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers. I want there to be a discussion in videogames. Good positive discussion. but I also think the Artists involved in crafting the game should be left alone to their09/17/2014 - 3:49pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/17/ice-climbers-wont-be-in-the-new-smash-bros-and-heres-why/ Sakurai explains why Ice Climbers had to get cut from the roster. Spoiler alert, it's exactly why people thought they got cut.09/17/2014 - 3:47pm
Andrew EisenAgenda? What exactly is this agenda and what does it have to do with ethics and transparency in game journalism? I mean, goodness, you make it sound like GamerGate really IS about silencing people from talking about gender issues in video games.09/17/2014 - 3:03pm
 

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