ECA Prez Takes to PlayStation Blog to Seek Petition Support

July 16, 2010 -

Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) President Hal Halpin was given the opportunity to make a post on Sony’s PlayStation blog in order to talk about why Schwarzenegger v EMA should matter to American gamers and to urge them to sign the ECA’s Gamer Petition.

Halpin began by stating, “At stake: gaming in America. Yes, you read that correctly.” He continued:

In the time since the Court’s announcement there has been a lot of media coverage, both from the enthusiast outlets and the national press. A disturbing theme that you’d find too often in the consumer comments is one of apathy. Perhaps it arose from winning in each of the violence in video game cases. Maybe because, from our perspective, it’s hard to wrap your head around the idea that we could lose — the logic seems pretty obvious.

 

But this is the U.S. Supreme Court, the only court in our country where the Justices don’t have to “follow the law” because they make the law that everyone else follows. And here’s the rub, as industry executives will openly admit: a loss wouldn’t just be limited to any one demographic, such as minors; or any one area, such as California; or even to any one art form, such as video games. It wouldn’t solely change how games are merchandised and sold. Should the U.S. Supreme Court determine that games may not necessarily enjoy the same First Amendment protections as music and movies do now, it would be catastrophic and the implications for gaming and gamers, and entertainment consumers generally, widespread.

Halpin also answered questions from commenters, including one from D-Squad3 asking, “So can anybody sum it up in a sentence?,” to which Halpin replied:

Sure: The Supreme Court is going to determine if games should continue to be treated like movies, music and books (which the industry – and ECA – wants) or if they should instead be regulated like alcohol, tobacco or firearms (which the State of California wants).

Nvqhoi wrote, “im 11 i dont understand this does this mean they are trying to ban violent video games in america?” The answer:

At issue is whether games are different than, say, movies. Those that believe that gaming should be treated differently think that there’s a difference between watching a space alien be shot on TV and virtually shooting one in a game. They believe that because gaming is interactive, it’s more detrimental.

Their goal isn’t to outright ban games (to the best of my knowledge), it’s to restrict them in ways similar to buying cigarettes or beer. And we disagree.


Disclosure:
GamePolitics is a publication of the ECA

Comments

Re: ECA Prez Takes to PlayStation Blog to Seek Petition ...

Considering they delete petitions on the forums, I wouldn't push your luck on the blog.

Re: ECA Prez Takes to PlayStation Blog to Seek Petition ...

"Their goal isn’t to outright ban games (to the best of my knowledge), it’s to restrict them in ways similar to buying cigarettes or beer. And we disagree."

The point is that this law is the stepping stone.  Much as the decision to have sexually explicit material considered unprotected and governed by "community standards".  We've seen where that has led.  Many, just through the threat of bring lawsuits, have been successful in banning books from schools, libraries, even made efforts to prevent publications of material.  And much of that material was not strictly sexually explicit.

By having "violent" content treated in the same which, which IS the underlying reason for this law, even more media (books, movies, TV shows, magazine stories, and more) will come under fire.  We know this because it HAS happened before as noted above.  This is the stepping stone.  To have SCOTUS determine violent content to be treated as unprotected speech WILL give the ammunition to those who wish to dictate to others what is or is not appropriate for them or their children.

Also remember that Banned Books Week is September 25th - October 2nd this year.  And we should remember that ALL forms of media face similar treatment now and potentially in the future as well.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: ECA Prez Takes to PlayStation Blog to Seek Petition ...

"have been successful in banning books from schools, libraries"

You mean school libraries.  Not the same thing as schools AND libraries.

"even made efforts to prevent publications of material"

Can you give me a recent example of a book whose publication was prevented by legal intervention and not a consumer boycott?

I'm firmly opposed to the California bill, but you're arguing slippery-slope here.

Re: ECA Prez Takes to PlayStation Blog to Seek Petition ...

 I was on Playstation Blog yesterday and saw the petition.  I did sign it yesterday because:

1. I'm a member of GP

2. I didn't like what's going on between California and issue of violent game.

 

Re: ECA Prez Takes to PlayStation Blog to Seek Petition ...

 I'm glad that they are not allowing for commenting like in other online petitions... there are many gamers who have habit of making themselves look like complete assholes when reacting to these issues

Re: ECA Prez Takes to PlayStation Blog to Seek Petition ...

In effect it will mean a ban where some gamers are concerned. After all, alcohol, tobacco and sexual imagery aren't 'banned' per se, but if you're 6 years old the effect is the same as a ban - and I'm fine with that where alcohol, tobacco and sexual imagery are concerned, but not for games. Currently the law allows anyone - child or adult - to play any game (except games that include pornography), and there's nothing wrong with that because there is no evidence that games - even violent mature-rated games - are at all harmful for kids, and there's some evidence that such games are actually good for kids.

If Schwarzenegger gets his way, it will be illegal for me to allow my daughter to play games like Assassin's Creed 2 or Red Dead Redemption - games she currently plays and enjoys. I think that will be a bad law because it will criminalize activities that are harmless and perhaps even beneficial for kids. Such a law will effectively be a form of prohibition, where the law ends up being ignored on a grand scale by people who are otherwise law-abiding. Such unpopular and unreasonable laws make the law itself seem arbitrary and incompetent.

Re: ECA Prez Takes to PlayStation Blog to Seek Petition ...

"If Schwarzenegger gets his way, it will be illegal for me to allow my daughter to play games like Assassin's Creed 2 or Red Dead Redemption - games she currently plays and enjoys."

No it won't.  If those games fell under the scope of the law, it would be illegal for retailers to sell it to your daughter (if she's underage).  It wouldn't be illegal for you to buy them for her or for her to play them (with or without your permission).

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: ECA Prez Takes to PlayStation Blog to Seek Petition ...

I wouldn't be so sure of that. It's not outside their authority to change it so it reads "illegal to expose to minors", which would make it illegal to allow minors to play it.

Re: ECA Prez Takes to PlayStation Blog to Seek Petition ...

That's not what the law has said since it was introduced years ago and nothing Yee or anyone else has said indicates CA is looking to change it (or introduce an entirely new one) in order to make it illegal for a child's legal gardian to permit their kids to play violent video games.

And even if that did happen, it would be immediately shot down.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: ECA Prez Takes to PlayStation Blog to Seek Petition ...

 Would it? i mean if this law were to pass as is, it would create the basis that violent video games are not a protected form of speech. First amendment protection no longer applies and CLEAR evidence is no longer needed... as such, would that not lay the ground work to restrict parents from providing minors with access to such material? Afterall this law is being built on the (flawed) basis that violent video games are harmful to minors. i'm not certain, but i don't think it's legal for a parent to give their children pornography; nor do i think it's legal for a parent to allow a minor to drink (i think those two things might vary from state to state)... If a state were to make the argument that violent material should NEVER be viewed by a minor even by the permission of a parent, i think the law could pass now that the first amendment no longer applies... While this law does not make such a high level of restriction, a future law could be created that does. 

Re: ECA Prez Takes to PlayStation Blog to Seek Petition ...

You and I are talking two different things here.  I'm merely stating what the law is and how things are right now.  You're talking about what might happen in a future where the Supreme Court upheld the CA law.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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Andrew EisenHence the "Uh, yeah. Obviously."09/02/2014 - 12:53am
SleakerI think Nintendo has proven over the last 2 years that it doesn't.09/02/2014 - 12:31am
Andrew EisenSleaker - Uh, yeah. Obviously.09/01/2014 - 8:20pm
Sleaker@AE - exclusives do not a console business make.09/01/2014 - 8:03pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that, despite the presence of a snopes article and multiple articles countering it, people are still spreading a fake news story about a "SWATter" being sentenced to X (because the number seems to keep changing) years in prison.09/01/2014 - 5:08pm
Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that the current gen of consoles is representative of 2009-2010 in PC gaming, and will be the bar by which games are released over the next 8 years - resulting in more years of poor PC ports (if they're ever ported)09/01/2014 - 5:06pm
Andrew EisenMeanwhile, 6 of Wii U's top 12 are exclusive: Mario 3D World, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, and ZombiU. (Wind Waker HD is on the list too but I didn't count it.)09/01/2014 - 4:36pm
Andrew EisenLikewise, only two of Xbox One's top 12 are exclusive: Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome (if you ignore a PC release later this year).09/01/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenNot to disrespect the current gen of consoles but I find it telling that of the "12 Best Games For The PS4" (per Kotaku), only two are exclusive to the system: Infamous: Second Son and Resogun.09/01/2014 - 4:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/beyond-two-souls-ps4-trophies-emerge-directors-cut-reported/ MMM MMM, nothing quire like reheated last gen games to make you appreciate the 400 bucks you spent on a new console.09/01/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenThat's actually a super depressing thought, that a bunch of retweeters are taking that pic as an illustration of the actual issue instead of an example of a complete misunderstanding of it.09/01/2014 - 4:20pm
Andrew EisenObviously, the picture was created by someone who doesn't understand what the issue actually is (or, possibly, someone trying to satire said misunderstanding).09/01/2014 - 4:10pm
Papa MidnightPeople fear and attack what they do not understand.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
Papa MidnightWell, let's not forget. Someone held their hand in a peace sign a few weeks ago and people started claiming it was a gang sign. Or a police chief displayed the hand signal of their fraternity and was accused of the same.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
SleakerEither people don't understand that what the picture is saying is true, or the picture was created out of a misunderstanding of what sexism is.09/01/2014 - 3:52pm
Sleaker@AE ok yah that's where the kind of confusion I'm getting. Your tweet can be taken to mean two different things.09/01/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - No. No, not even remotely. The pic attached to my tweet was not made by me; it's not a statement I'm making. It's an illustration of the complete misunderstanding of the issue my tweet is referring to.09/01/2014 - 3:13pm
Papa MidnightIn other news, Netflix states why it paid Comcast: http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/29/technology/netflix-comcast/index.html?hpt=hp_t209/01/2014 - 3:10pm
Papa MidnightAndrew Eisen: Sites like Tumblr make things seem much bigger than they are. A vocal extreme minority start complaining and things go as they do.09/01/2014 - 3:09pm
 

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