A Legal Analysis of Brown v. EMA

July 8, 2011 -

            No doubt everyone has heard the good news out of the Supreme Court last week. Video games are saved from government censorship based on violent content, California’s law prohibiting the sale of violent video games to minors is invalid, good times had by all. This article is for those curious as to the how and why of this outcome, and will take readers through the Court’s principal opinion written by Justice Scalia (which is the governing law and will be used as precedent everywhere in the US from now on) as well as touch on a few points from other opinions penned by other Justices.

 

Australian government bans over 200 mobile games

June 30, 2015 - Andrew Eisen

Ugh.

It is so hard for me to refrain from editorializing when I write these types of stories but... I'll do my best.

The Australian Classification Board has the ability to refuse classification to any game it feels falls outside the scope of its highest rating.  This effectively bans these titles because it's illegal to sell games in Australia that aren't rated.

3 comments | Read more

Report: Apple reinstating historical war games on Apple App Store that use confederate flag

June 26, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Apple isn't admitting that it didn't anything wrong when it pulled a bunch of historical games from the Apple App store yesterday because they featured the confederate flag, but according to this TechCrunch report, the company is working with developers to reinstate them as we type this.

According to what an Apple rep. tells TechCrunch, they only meant to remove games that use the flag in a way that promotes hate or harm.

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Report: Apple banning games that feature the Confederate Flag

June 25, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

It's one thing to display a Confederate Flag on a state capitol building; it's quite another to ban a game because it uses it in a historical context. Apple is wading into that murky territory today, it seems. According to this Touch Arcade report, that is exactly what Apple is doing.

13 comments | Read more

Australia passes new anti-copyright infringement law

June 22, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Australia has passed a controversial new anti-piracy law, according to this Ars Technica report. Why is it controversial?  Because it makes it easier for rights holders to censor websites. The bill, which passed both houses, allows a rights holder to go to a federal judge to get a site - even an international site - blocked if they believe its primary purpose is in enabling copyright infringement.

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Twitch bans 'Adults Only' game streams

May 28, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Game streaming powerhouse Twitch has updated its rules of conduct on streaming games rated "Adults Only" by the ESRB (or games with an equivalent rating under other ratings systems like PEGI, etc.). Under the new rules of conduct games rated "AO" cannot be streamed on Twitch, but games rated 18+ in other regions are fine (as long as they do not have an ESRB rating of AO in the North America).

15 comments | Read more

Poll: Is it censorship when a private retailer decides not to sell a particular video game?

May 27, 2015 - Andrew Eisen

The GamePolitics weekly poll has returned!

31 comments | Read more

Academics in Turkey call for 'Minecraft Report' to be released

April 27, 2015 - James Fudge

A petition signed by academics who are part of the Turkish Chapter of DiGRA called on the country's Ministry of Family and Social Politics to release its "Minecraft report" to the public. It further notes that academics and experts who study video games should evaluate it before any attempts to seek court actions against the game takes place.

1 comment | Read more

'Postal' rejected from Google Play for 'gratuitous violence'

April 8, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this forum post over at the official Running With Scissors forums, Postal won't be making it to Android devices. Why? Because apparently it has been rejected from the Google Play Store because it contains "GRATUITOUS VIOLENCE." While the Postal series is known for its outlandish levels of violence, Running With Scissors makes a valid point when it notes that other equally violent games are already available in the marketplace.

From the post:

2 comments | Read more

'Turkey Not Banning Minecraft,' Says Diplomat

March 11, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

While media reports coming out of Turkey suggest that the government wants to "ban" Minecraft in the region, a spokesperson at the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C says that it is simply not true.

In an interview with Christian Science Monitor, Fatih Oke, a spokesman for the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C. says that a ban is not possible.

1 comment | Read more

Mojang Responds To Turkish Government's Plan To Ban 'Minecraft'

March 11, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Mojang has responded to a report that the government of Turkey wants to ban its open-world building game Minecraft. Yesterday we reported that the government's Family and Social Policies Ministry issued a report recommending that the game be banned because it is "based on violence," might encourage children to "become isolated" and to "kill small animals" without an understanding of what they are doing.

3 comments | Read more

Turkey Inches Closer To Banning 'Minecraft'

March 10, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

In February we reported that the government of Turkey was kicking around the idea of banning Minecraft. Today we are learning that such a ban is moving closer to becoming a reality. According to several Turkish publications, a new report from Turkey's Family and Social Policies Ministry is recommending that Minecraft be banned in the region.

3 comments | Read more

Report: Valve Censoring Messages About Torrent Site in Steam Chat

February 17, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this TorrentFreak story (by way of MCV), Valve is censoring links in Steam's chat that point to popular torrent site KickassTorrents. The site, which is one of the last huge Torrent sites in the world at this point, was taken offline last week after its Somalian domain was seized.

3 comments | Read more

Report: Turkish Government Investigating Violence in 'Minecraft'

February 11, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a report on Turkish website Haberturk (as reported on by Newsweek and GameSpot) Turkey's family and policies minister Aysenur Islam has expressed concerns that Mojang's sandbox building game might be too violent and might "promote aggression."

6 comments | Read more

'Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number' Refused Classification in Australia

January 15, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has been refused classification in Australia, according to this Kotaku Australia report. A report by the Australian Classification Board explains why the game was refused classification, or given an "RC," effectively banning it from being sold in Australia. The scene in question involves implied sexual violence:

1 comment | Read more

Nudity Restored in iOS Version Of 'Papers, Please'

December 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Apple has decided to allow Lucas Pope's original version of Papers, Please onto the Apple App Store for iPad and iPhone. Earlier in the week Pope said that Apple originally rejected the full version of the game which showed scenes of nude bodies as people went through body scanners. Pope then submitted another version of the game censoring out those scenes, which Apple then approved.

But something has apparently changed Apple's mind.

Apple described the whole situation as simply a "misunderstanding" to Pope.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 125

December 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

If you missed Saturday's live broadcast of Super Podcast Action Committee (Episode 125), you can watch the video replay on YouTube, or download it below. On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss the latest GamePolitics poll ("Will Street Fighter V remain a PS4 exclusive?" - 49:30 mark), if Tekken 7's Lucky Chloe will be removed from western versions of the game (59:49), and how Apple thinks nudity constitutes porn and removes Papers, Please (1:12:46).

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Take-Two President: If you don't like 'GTA V,' don't buy it

December 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Speaking at the BMO Capital Markets 2014 Technology & Digital Media Conference (as chronicled by GII) today, Take-Two president Karl Slatoff said that those pushing to get Grand Theft Auto V banned in Australia should simply not buy the game if they don't like it, not get it banned from store shelves.

4 comments | Read more

Kmart Australia Joins Target Australia in Pulling 'GTA V' From Stores Shelves

December 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Kmart Australia has joined Target Australia in pulling Grand Theft Auto V from stores shelves in the country. This is not surprising considering that Wesfarmers owns both Kmart Australia and Target Australia. Still, this news is likely disheartening to Take Two, who issued a statement expressing its disappointment in Target yesterday.

4 comments | Read more

Take-Two CEO Expresses Disappointment in Target Australia's Decision to Remove 'GTA V' From Stores

December 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick has expressed deep disappointment in Target Australia's decision to pull Grad Theft Auto V from its store shelves after an online petition specifically targeted the retailer over stocking the game. That petition on Change.org called for the retailer to pull the game over first-person interactions with sex workers (mostly viewed from YouTube videos showing sex with a prostitute followed by a murder in first-person view).

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Target Australia Pulls 'Grand Theft Auto V' From Store Shelves

December 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

It looks like a Change.org petition has garnered enough attention to get Grand Theft Auto V  pulled off store shelves at one major retailer in Australia, according to a GamesBeat report.

5 comments | Read more

Report: Activision Using DMCA Takedowns on 'Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare' Cheat and Glitch Videos

November 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this Ars Technica report, Activision is using DMCA takedowns on YouTube videos that tell players how to use glitches and exploits in its latest Call of Duty title, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Over the weekend video network Machinima sent out a tweet warning other YouTube video makers that Activision was cracking down on videos that highlighted possible ways to cheat in Advanced Warfare:

6 comments | Read more

Advocacy Group Criticizes Games That Exploit Israel-Gaza Conflict

August 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A British advocacy group is criticizing games on Google Play and Facebook that glorify or minimize the tragedies surrounding the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The group, Council for Arab British Understanding, said in a statement to the BBC that these games glorify violence and normalize the conflict.

2 comments | Read more

'Tropico 5' Banned in Thailand

August 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Gamasutra is reporting (based on this AP report) that the government of Thailand has banned Tropico 5 in the country. Why, you may ask, would they do that? According to the report, the government is worried that people will play the game and be compelled to rebel against the rule of law there.

3 comments | Read more

'The Evil Within' Edited For Japan, Cut Content to Become DLC

July 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

When Bethesda Softworks releases the horror game The Evil Within in Japan, it will be missing some content. Bethesda had scheduled Shinji Mikami’s upcoming survival-horror game for an August release, but the publishers announced that the game would be delayed until October.

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Apple Pulls Pot Game From App Store

May 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Apple has pulled developer Manitoba Games' app about growing and dealing weed from its App Store. The game, called Weed Firm, was yanked from the Apple App Store because of its depiction of illegal activity, according to the developer. The game revolves around "the vicious and lawless career of Mr. Ted Growing," an expelled botany sophomore who decides to take over a pot growing operation. The goal of the game is to become the biggest pot dealer in town, by growing and selling to a cast of amusing and dangerous characters, all while avoiding the long arm of the law.

3 comments | Read more

Apple Bans 'HappyPlayTime,' A Game About Female Masturbation

May 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

GamesIndustry International has an excellent article chronicling the plight of a female developer whose game was banned from Apple's App Store for depicting a sexual act. At first blush the game, HappyPlayTime, might sound like pornography, but it's more about education in a fun and entertaining way, according to its creator.

10 comments | Read more

Bikinis, Shorts and Inter-Gender Touching Banned In Chinese Video Games

May 13, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

A few weeks ago we reported on the copious restrictions China has imposed on video game makers wanting to sell their wares in the country now that the console ban has gone bye-bye.

3 comments | Read more

The Sims 4 Rated 'Adults-Only' In Russia Because of Same-Sex Relationships

May 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Russia's ratings agency that handles video games has given The Sims 4 an 18+ age rating due to the inclusion of same-sex relationships. The game violates a law that protects children from "information harmful to their health and development."

The Sims Russia Twitter account announced earlier this week that the game had earned the restrictive rating. Previous Sims games released in the region have all been rated T (Teen) or 12+ but a law passed in 2010 is the reason for the more restrictive rating.

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Turtle Rock Community Manager Weighs In On Donald Sterling Situation, Gets Fired

May 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Josh Olin, the community and eSports manager at Evolve developer Turtle Rock Studios, has been fired over tweets he made yesterday in support of embattled LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Olin, who is a former community manager at Treyarch Studios and Riot Games, said on Twitter on Wednesday:

"Here's an unpopular opinion: Donald Sterling has the right as an American to be an old bigot in the security of his own home. He's a victim."

11 comments | Read more

 
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Poll

Which group is more ethically challenged?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Consterwhy aren't "Video game players" an option on the poll? :P07/04/2015 - 5:19am
Andrew EisenThat was quick! Pretty accurate cosplay of the new Ghostbuster uniform and proton pack: https://twitter.com/mirabellemusing/status/61673135125394227207/03/2015 - 6:23pm
Matthew Wilson@mast I dont know, but I do know it got a cult fallowing here.07/03/2015 - 6:22pm
MastermuneWasn't the Zero Escape series more popular here than in Japan?07/03/2015 - 6:19pm
Matthew Wilson@mast given the game was revealed in the US, I wouldnt be shocked if it was released at the same time.07/03/2015 - 6:15pm
MastermuneI don't trust the big AAA worldwide simultaneous releases though.07/03/2015 - 5:57pm
Mastermune@Infophile I have come to the conclusion that smaller games like zero escape, JRPG's and the like are actually worth preordering sinc they are limited quantities and since they usually release in japan first we know if there are any issues.07/03/2015 - 5:56pm
Infophile@Matthew! Awesome news. I'd preorder on that shout alone if I didn't have a policy against preordering anymore.07/03/2015 - 5:16pm
Matthew Wilsonzero escape 3 was announced today.07/03/2015 - 4:21pm
Matthew Wilson@pnx I am guessing a ddoss since that is what happened to neogaf, but sony needs to do a investment in psn as a whole. steam is still the most reliable and fastest digital platform I use.07/03/2015 - 3:06pm
PHX Corphttp://www.vg247.com/2015/07/03/psn-is-down-sony-investigating/ not again: PSN is down, Sony investigating07/03/2015 - 3:04pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/2015/07/03/digital-extremes-trespasser-keystone-pc/ if true, this is funny and embarrassing for Digital Extremes. companies need too have better security.07/03/2015 - 2:57pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.gamespot.com/videos/the-point-destiny-the-hardcore-gamers-slot-machine/2300-6425852/ this is very good, and well researched.07/03/2015 - 12:41pm
InfophileOther features to become standard: The ability to remap controls however the hell I want. Quicksave at any time (especially for handheld and mobile games). Plus everything Andrew said07/03/2015 - 10:43am
InfophileRegion-freeing becomes tricky for games with a strong online component though, especially when the servers are run by different branches in different regions.07/03/2015 - 10:41am
InfophileI'm in favor of getting rid of region-locking for any purchased games. I can understand an exception for free, ad-supported games, as many ads are only relevant in certain regions, and it's a ridiculous hassle to get ads for all regions.07/03/2015 - 10:40am
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/payday-2-has-been-broken-on-xbox-one-for-three-weeks-1715384186 Payday 2 Has Been Broken On Xbox One For Three Weeks07/03/2015 - 8:44am
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/3bxduw/why_was_riama_along_with_a_number_of_other_large/ here is a more complete acount of whats going on.07/03/2015 - 1:32am
Matthew Wilsonredit is on fire right now. most subreddits have been set to private.07/03/2015 - 1:24am
MattsworknameYou know andrew, those are actualy rock solid ideas, I woudl like those features a bunch ,especially with games that a cut scene heavly. looking at you kojima!07/03/2015 - 1:18am
 

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