Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

January 10, 2011 -

Not every teenage boy backs the video game industry when it comes to banning the sale of violent video games to children in California. Take 16-year-old Daniel Willens, a junior at Sonoma Academy -- a preparatory school in Santa Rosa, California, for example.

The teenager penned an editorial in the Press Democrat called "PRO: Minors shouldn't be allowed to buy violent games." Daniel sounds like many of the other supporters of the 2005 law written by California State Senator (D-San Francisco). Daniel opens with the following statement:

"Killing innocent civilians and picking up and beating prostitutes aren't activities parents want their children doing in their free time. Therefore, it only seems logical that minors should be prohibited from buying or renting video games where these actions occur. A California law passed in 2005 does just that, but it was immediately challenged in federal court and is being examined by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court should find this law constitutional."

He then lays out why the law should be found constitutional by the highest court in the land:

"Because the statistical majority of underage gamers are negatively influenced by these games, California has a compelling interest in prohibiting minors from buying them. This compelling interest should warrant governmental regulation. (Editor’s note: earlier in his op-ed, he cites studies from Iowa State University about exposure to violent media and its connection to aggressive behavior) Essentially, California should regulate sales of hyper-violent video games to minors, placing these games in the same category as obscene speech and child pornography -- areas of speech the court has found to be less protected. The California law proposes an equivalent regulatory scheme to that employed for obscene speech. It would effectively prohibit minors from buying the targeted games, yet the actual use of these games would be left to the discretion of parents or guardians."

Commentary: As always, if you want parents to continue to have the power to make choices for their children, they simply can use the ratings system already in place and existing retail policies requiring that anyone under the age of consent to provide a picture I.D. at the register before the sale of a "mature" rated game occurs. Of course, this student does not speak for the entire student body at the school. 

Read the rest of the editorial at the Press Democrat.


Comments

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

I hope those kids know that this law would ban violent games from adults as well. Since not store would dare sell an 18 and up rated medium.

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

One could even argue that such a law would only entice teens, as well as adults, to download the games they want from file sharing sites. If you can't get the games from the stores, why bother buying them at all? This will encourage massive infringement.

Aside from that, this encourages lazy parenting and a lack of involvment in their child's life which would be far more damaging than any game with violent content. But this isn't about doing what's right. It's about a politician trying to advance his career by winning a phony battle against the evil games that make children violent monsters.

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

PS3, PC, DS and PSP users can just import games form over seas.

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

Not if developers don't make the games in the first place.  And frankly, if they can't sell them in America, they're not going to make them.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Retard Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

As Andrew said above, when you have to lie to support your position as well as to justify your actions in regard to that position, then their position is obviously wrong.

Wonder how much Yee had to pay that kid to write that crap?

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra. Hell will stay frozen over for quite a while since the Saints won the Super Bowl.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Retard Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

Old Wacky Jack hasn't had much clout since he was disbarred. :D

-Greevar

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

It is not really surprising that a 16-year-old would make an argument that has not been strongly appraised or substantiated, much like the under-18s who strongly oppose the law.

I think the article shows promise, there is some attempt at reason but it ultimately falls flat due to an obvious hypothesis and little insight to the real issues involved. For instance, is he really saying that he is impressionable enough for a piece of entertainment to have a substantially harmful effect on his behaviour? Way to shoot yourself in the foot.

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

>> Because the statistical majority of underage gamers are negatively influenced by these games

proof please!

I went to a college-prep high school and I had to footnote my factual sources! just because the acrticle is op-ed doesn't mean he can spin his opinions as facts within it. maybe he's preparing for community college?

>> The imposition of the law would indeed empower parents and ensure that the availability of hyper-violent video games is left to the discretion of the parent, not the video game vendor.

this is not empowerment. regardless if the law should be passed or not, this is not giving power to parents, it's giving power to government. if anything, this makes parents less powerful because it incites willful ignorance and complacency - parent: "I don't need to look into what games little jimmy is playing, the gov't is taking care of that for me! Thank goodness too, I really wasn't interested in what jimmy was doing anyway..."

keep this kid back a year or 2, he's not ready for college! :)

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

keep this kid back a year or 2, he's not ready for the real world! :)

FIXED :)

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

Since win did fictional people have rights? Since win did fictional crimes become illegal?

Until the above becomes true you can not ban it, even for minors who are treated the same as adults for 98% of fiction.

If you can just make the law ban violent content on a whim for anyone you can make it ban it because it hurts fictional people creates fictional crime...


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

Well, in the case of kiddy porn, fictional crimes are illegal since fictional depictions carry the same legal weight actual child abuse does.  And now they are testing if non-fiction (non-story) descriptions are also illegal.

So there is precedent if SCOTUS decides that 'protecting minors' is compelling enough to override the constitution.

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

Actually, the SCOTUS ruled in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition that the CPPA (Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 which banned virtual child porn) prohibits speech that does not record a crime and does not create a victim by its production. The Court also rejected arguments that this speech should be banned based on the types of harm it causes and the difficulty in distinguishing it from porn that contains real children. The Court concluded that these harms were too indirect. Thus, it found those elements (and other related elements) unconstitutional.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashcroft_v._Free_Speech_Coalition

So, based on that, virtual crimes which create no victim in their comission can not violate the law - at least in the US...so far.... You can kill that virtual child as many times as you want, without being prosecuted for homicide.

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

Well, such rules are back on the books and has not made it to SCOTUS.  I am not even sure if there are any cases challenging it going through the courts.  Lawyers willing to defend percieved pedophiles are few and far between.

And yes, there are people in jail due to this law, AND sites like google filter results based off of it.


18 U.S.C. 2256:
"child pornography" means any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where?
(A) the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
(B) such visual depiction is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
(C) such visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
(D) such visual depiction is advertised, promoted, presented, described, or distributed in such a manner that conveys the impression that the material is or contains a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Many courts apply the so-called Dost test to determine if a given image is considered to be "lascivious" under the statute. United States v. Dost, 636 F. Supp. 828, 832 (S.D. Cal. 1986), aff'd sub nom., United States v. Wiegand, 812 F.2d 1239, 1244 (9th Cir. 1987) set forth a six factor test:
(1) whether the genitals or pubic area are the focal point of the image;
(2) whether the setting of the image is sexually suggestive (i.e., a location generally associated with sexual activity);
(3) whether the child is depicted in an unnatural pose or inappropriate attire considering her age;
(4) whether the child is fully or partially clothed, or nude;
(5) whether the image suggests sexual coyness or willingness to engage in sexual activity; and
(6) whether the image is intended or designed to elicit a sexual response in the viewer.

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

I followed your link and found a slightly different wording (which it says is current as of Feb 1, 2010 - emphasis below mine):

(8) “child pornography” means any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where—

  (A) the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
  (B) such visual depiction is a digital image, computer image, or computer-generated image that is, or is indistinguishable from, that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
  (C) such visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
  (9) “identifiable minor”—
  (A) means a person—
  (i)
  (I) who was a minor at the time the visual depiction was created, adapted, or modified; or
  (II) whose image as a minor was used in creating, adapting, or modifying the visual depiction; and
  (ii) who is recognizable as an actual person by the person’s face, likeness, or other distinguishing characteristic, such as a unique birthmark or other recognizable feature; and
  (B) shall not be construed to require proof of the actual identity of the identifiable minor.
  (10) “graphic”, when used with respect to a depiction of sexually explicit conduct, means that a viewer can observe any part of the genitals or pubic area of any depicted person or animal during any part of the time that the sexually explicit conduct is being depicted; and
  (11) the term “indistinguishable” used with respect to a depiction, means virtually indistinguishable, in that the depiction is such that an ordinary person viewing the depiction would conclude that the depiction is of an actual minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. This definition does not apply to depictions that are drawings, cartoons, sculptures, or paintings depicting minors or adults.

 

In otherwords, the "virtual porn" must look like it is depicting an actual, potentially identifiable child and cannot be a drawing, cartoon, sculpture or painting. So, as long as the "virtual porn" is either a cartoon, a drawing, or depicts a child that has no distinguishing characteristics, such as a unique birthmark or other identifiable feature, it is legal. This seems to me to still fall within the Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition ruling, or at least be very close.

Please note that I am not defending that type of pornography, merely clairifying the current rulings of the Court with regard to "Virtual Crime" and "non-existant victims".

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

This is sure a very useful comment and should be taken on account on every discussion about videogames or any media suffering of "controversy".

 

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

It depends on whos decideing the case it can still go either way with loli/shota/hentai manga and real fictional non realistic kiddy porn. But ya sadly for some reason we just have to test the barriers of reason and logic to the inanely nth degree...


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

More like it depends on who is prosecuting.

So far the only cases that have gone to court have resulted in conviction.  No judge has rules in favor of someone when it comes to such media, and so far no one convincted has had the resources to go up the appeals chain very far.

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

Since win did fictional people have rights? Since win did fictional crimes become illegal?

Ask that to Tokyo and their "virtual youth" law the already passed or to some women´s rights groups that incist that drawed porn is bad and women on those comics also need protection and constitutional rights.

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

Oh I saw it brother and at the same time over looking live action nudity and sexual content. Its quite they managed to target random content and ban it just cause they could legislate it, just because you can make a law dose not mean we need or require a law....


The US has the slowly dieing constitution to prevent on the fly censorship of the masses but not all countries have it and they have to learn the hard long way that censorship is never a cheap or viable option...



Getting back to what I said, the main reason that censorship will win the day is because the inept amoral upper cast of society will make the dumer than ever public believe that fiction hurts people and creates crime even if if fictional people and fictional crimes.



I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

Actually, this does not surprise me.  I remember one of the things they talked about in Grand Theft Childhood was how often older teens were among the staunches supporters of keeping violent games out of the hands of younger ones....

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

People need to realize GTA and Postal aren't the only M-rated games ever made. And you know, having worked in a game store: it's more often parents buying GTA for their kids, even after you warn them about the content.

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

these people also need to realize that 17-year-olds (the age ratings for such games and movies) count as minors too

岩「if Phyllis Schlafly wants to undo Women's Rights, she should lead by example and get back in the kitchen」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

There's also an opposite view piece by an 18-year-old student from the same school. www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110109/LIFESTYLE/101091003/1329/lifestyle I'm from this area, and the Press Democrat often does this, giving teens the ability to present opposing views on a particular issue.

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

Very good article. Infinitly better done than the first and well documented. This article would need to be uploaded here.

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

"Killing innocent civilians and picking up and beating prostitutes aren't activities parents want their children doing in their free time. Therefore, it only seems logical that minors should be prohibited from buying or renting video games where these actions occur. A California law passed in 2005 does just that, but it was immediately challenged in federal court and is being examined by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court should find this law constitutional..."

 

I can´t even say where I can start. I can´t believe this is a 16 years old with a brain. Sounds more like he was taking note from Leland Yee than anything.

I´m mexican. I don´t know almost nothing about the US cosntitution except what I see on TV shows, and I have readed enough about the anti-video games California law to know is unfair and it will not do any of the good they say it will do and that it is not supporting the rights of the freedom of speech that americans say they uphold so fiercly. I see it as the exact opposite of what the constitution says.

This kid has no clue of what his is saying. He is just repeating the same speech that his seniors.

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

Dear Mr. Willens,

You know one easy way to determine whether you're wrong or not?  When you have to lie in order to support your position.

 

Sincerely,

Andrew Eisen

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

I'm sorry, but how is this in any way relevant news?  Wishing no offense to a 16 year old this is the most amateurish opinion column I've ever read.  At least vitriol-saturated anti-game rants are usually offered by pundits with some qualification.

While I don't have time to go down the coma-inducing list of fallacies at work here I do love how the author claims it is "logical" to issue a government regulation on something if parents don't want their children doing it.  That's a nice culture to encourage.  If you can't be bothered, the government will pick up your slack.

Sourcing citations: It's not just for professionals anymore, Daniel.

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

Welkome comrade to the new GP where articles go unsigned and the editors hide behind the hive mind in order to not have an article tallied up and counted against them.


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

If an article is unsigned, James wrote it.  If someone else wrote it, you'll find their name at the bottom of the article.

This really isn't that difficult.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

AE stop killing my fun :P


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

If you're going to continue calling our integrity into question, I'm afraid I can't oblige.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Teen Op-Ed: California Game Law Should Be Upheld

Well if its anythign more than the integrity of a nameless bot driven news blog site then there's not much to oblige.(god wit I no haz it ><).

Also

 

Are?we?us? BBrraiinnnsssssss...*shuffle*

:P


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

 
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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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