Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Oklahoma Senate OKs Violent-Games Bill 412

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the where-is-their-judge-to-vote-it-down dept.
CNet is reporting that the Oklahoma Senate unanimously approved a new violent-games bill on Monday that makes it a crime to sell violent video games to children under 18. From the article: "The bill passed 47-0 in the state Senate, but is being held on a motion to reconsider the vote within three legislative days before being sent back to the House to vote on Senate amendments."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Oklahoma Senate OKs Violent-Games Bill

Comments Filter:
  • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @08:19AM (#15203698) Homepage Journal
    Here's a link to the Bill's text [okinsider.com] (showing revisions).

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I found some of the definitions extremely amusing. Selected quotes:
    2. "Nudity" means the:....

    c. depiction of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state;
    hahaha - turgid (sounds like its written by a 14 y.o - why don't they just say 'erect'). Also we have:
    6. "Sexual excitement" means the condition of human male or female genitals when in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal;
    Thanks guys - I would never have guessed! - here's a scarier one:
    5. "Sexual conduct" means acts of ..., homosexuality, ...
    wtf? Does this mean you can't have two guys holding hands in a game? *shakes head*
    • by Bwerf (106435) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @08:49AM (#15203841)
      Hmm.. I'm a bit confused, but what does any of the above examples have to do with violence?
    • showing of the female breast with less than a full opaque covering of any portion of the female breast below the top of the nipple

      Does that mean that the breasts can be fully exposed as long as they don't have nipples?

    • Re:Text of the Bill. (Score:5, Informative)

      by GreyPoopon (411036) <gpoopon AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @08:57AM (#15203896)
      5. "Sexual conduct" means acts of ..., homosexuality, ...
      wtf? Does this mean you can't have two guys holding hands in a game? *shakes head*

      Perhaps if you had included the ENTIRE text of definition 5, it would make a bit more sense and seem a bit less biased.

      "Sexual conduct" means acts of masturbation, homosexuality, sexual intercourse, or physical contact with a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person be a female, breast;
      I don't think they are trying to single out homosexuals. I think they are just trying to completely spell everything out for the corporations that act like children and try to find all the loopholes in the law. However, I'd like to echo somebody elses sentiment: What does all of this have to do with violence?
      • I think they are just trying to completely spell everything out for the corporations that act like children and try to find all the loopholes in the law.

        Isn't that what lawyers usually do... Children are usually only able to spot blatent loopholes.
      • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:06AM (#15203944) Homepage Journal
        No, they are indeed singling out homosexuals, because all of the other standards for sexual conduct described apply equally to homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. It would be entirely possible to read this law to say that two men or two women holding hands is illegal, but a man and a woman is not.
        • I doubt very much that "act of homosexuality" would apply to holding hands. Remember, this is not about rights of developers. Devs may avoid explicit material where appropriate because of this, but the biggest hit will be to the kids who can't play 80% of games because of this law.
      • Re:Text of the Bill. (Score:4, Informative)

        by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:34AM (#15204116) Homepage Journal
        I don't think they are trying to single out homosexuals.

        I think you're completely wrong - consider the full text:
        "Sexual conduct" means acts of masturbation, homosexuality, sexual intercourse, or physical contact with a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person be a female, breast;
        vs this
        "Sexual conduct" means acts of masturbation, sexual intercourse, or physical contact with a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person be a female, breast;
        The second statement covers all sexual acts, be they gay, straight or inbetween.

        The first statement also covers all sexual acts, gay, straight or inbetween and further, covers non-sexual acts between homosexuals. It is inflamatory language, designed to provoke a reaction in those who hate/fear homosexuality.

        However, I'd like to echo somebody elses sentiment: What does all of this have to do with violence?

        The bill is about guidelines covering products considered harmful to minors - the sexual stuff I quoted allready existed & the violent games is the addition.
      • by Colonel Angus (752172) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:35AM (#15204128)
        Homosexuality isn't a form of sexual conduct. It's a sexual preference. Anal sex is sexual conduct. Oral sex is sexual conduct. A Dirty Sanchez is sexual (mis)conduct.

        Homosexuality is no more a form of sexual conduct than heterosexuality is, the latter of which appears to be missing.

        That's purely prejudicial to include one and not the other. A homosexual character in a game makes it illegal to sell to minors? Please.
      • I dunno, holding hands doesn't seem to qualify as "sexual". On the other hand, "Physical contact with a female breast" seems to describe breastfeeding, doesn't it?
      • "Sexual conduct" means acts of masturbation, homosexuality, sexual intercourse, or physical contact with a person's clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person be a female, breast;

        So, GTA: San Antonio* would be alright?

        * Grand Theft Animal
    • by Perseid (660451) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:12AM (#15203983)
      Damn. And I was so looking forward to that Brokeback Mountain RPG.
    • hahaha - turgid (sounds like its written by a 14 y.o - why don't they just say 'erect').

      Because turgid in this context means swollen, and so covers semi-erect as well as erect.

      (And how many 14 year olds do you know could even spell turgid, let alone use it correctly?)
    • Not to be a dick, but (a) you're being obstinate about some of these terms, and (b) their language reflects the nature of legal terms-of-art.

      They say "turgid" instead of "erect" for several reasons, not the least of which being that you can have quite a turgid dick without having being erect. In fact, the larger your penis, the more likely that your maximum 'erection' isn't that hard (John Holmes, for example). Thus, they're trying to cover a portrayal of a turgid (and thus obviously sexualized) penis
  • Video Game Voters (Score:3, Informative)

    by Digitus1337 (671442) <{moc.liamtoh} {ta} {sutigid_kl}> on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @08:22AM (#15203704) Homepage
    Make Your Point, a political internet radio show, had a show about this kind of thing a couple of weeks ago. You can find it here [voiceamerica.com], the show was on 4-13. Interviewed was the head of the Video Game Voters Network, parodied on penny arcade here [penny-arcade.com].
  • You would think (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kierthos (225954) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @08:23AM (#15203706) Homepage
    that after the similar Michigan law was drop-kicked by a Federal judge that the Okies wouldn't even try. I guess there's always that sound-bite they have to go for...

    You know... "We're doing this for the children!"

    What a load of bollocks.

    Kierthos
    • That law was invalidated by a completely different court. And it was a completely different law. Just because two laws have the same purpose doesn't mean they are both either consitutional or unconstitutional. The Michigan law, for instance, was not struck down because of its purpose, but because it was overbroad.

      And even then, that wasn't even an appellate decision. Far too much stock is being put in a lower court decision that will doubtlessly be appealed (and since it's a first amendment question, be rev
    • God Wah-rriors usually don't learn. The definition of insanity is "attempting the same thing again and expecting different results."
    • >> What a load of bollocks.

      Not in Oklahoma. In Oklahoma bollocks are illegal.
    • That's exactly what they said. When asked about the constitutionality of these types of bills, an Oklahoma Senator said that he preferred to protect children over what the Supreme Court thought. Ugh!
    • Win-Win for the legislature. Even if the law had a legal problem the legislators could say it was those liberal activist judges ruling against God's moral compass.
  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @08:25AM (#15203716) Journal
    This type of thing really pisses me off. Are they going to ban violent sports games like football, boxing and hockey? There is a lot of hitting in those games. Are they going to ban sales of violent rated "T" games? This is just another example of legislators usurping parents' roles. It will be struck down, they're doing it all for show.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Seriously. But even those real-life can get you in trouble with mom. I was playing football the other day with my friends, and this hooker walked up and was all, "where's my money?" Then we beat her up, stole her car, and went and shot up a convenience store with my BFG.

      Mom said I was out of line, but I was all, "dang, lady, it's just football!"

      I guess some people are just senstive.
    • Are they going to ban violent sports games like football, boxing and hockey? There is a lot of hitting in those games.

      In both real and computer versions of these games. Yet often the actual games, where serious injuries even death are not unknown, are considered "family entertainment". Someone had a really strange set of priorities...
    • You miss the bigger point, which is that it's still not illegal to sell rated "R" movies to people under 18.

      Games yes, movies, no. Hell, if you could find a place that sells NC-17 movies, you could buy those. Typical hypocrasy. Just love Oklahoma's progressiveness. OMG teh video games r destroying our youths!
    • This is just another example of legislators usurping parents' roles.

      I'm assuming its still perfectly legal for parents to allow the kids to play a violent game or for them to buy it for their kids right?

    • Age restricting is not banning. In fact it's a means to avoid banning and works very well in Europe where we have a lot less problems (and uncut versions of Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophercy / San Andreas and others) because there are enforced age ratings on games.

      In the US, San Andreas with hot coffee was effectively banned. Yeah, much more constructive than age ratings.
  • Seriously, this isn't a big deal. If the kid wants it that bad, they just need to get older. It happens to all of us. Either that or convince someone to buy it for you. The bill makes it illegal to sell to someone under 18 but not give it to them. Even Penny-Arcade agrees. [penny-arcade.com]
    • The bill makes it illegal to sell to someone under 18 but not give it to them.

      Oh great, so the next time I walk past an EA Games store in the mall, I'm going to have to deal with crowds of 14-year-olds asking me to go and straw purchase "GTA 15: The Streets of Westchester County" for them.

      I suppose some day I'll look back with nostalgia on the good 'ol days, when the only things kids wanted fake IDs for were beer, cigarettes, and pornography.
    • We should accept an unjust law because "it isn't a big deal?" This is a Godwin trap.
    • by Perseid (660451) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:17AM (#15204010)
      Bzzt. Wrong. There is no law against a 10 year old going to see an R-Rated movie. There is no law against a 10 year old buying said movie on DVD - unrated version even. There is no law against a 10 year old buying an Emimen album.

      If this law is accepted, it will also be accepted that video games are for some reason a less protected form of speech than other media. I that OK with you? It's not OK with me.
    • Read the Bill (Score:3, Insightful)

      It's not based on the ESRB rating system, nor does it create its own similar system. It's based on "contemporary community standards" as understood by the "average person over 18 years of age". This means that the stores CAN NOT KNOW FOR CERTAIN which games are illegal to sell to a minor.

      This is a STUPID law.
  • by Weh (219305) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @08:29AM (#15203733)
    I recommend that people interested in the effects of violents in the media should this book/site [killology.com]. The guy makes some very interesting points, one of them being that the effects of being desensitized don't surface until someone is actually confronted with a violent situation.
  • Make it a crime? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pryonic (938155)
    "The Oklahoma Senate unanimously approved a new violent-games bill on Monday that makes it a crime to sell violent video games to children under 18"

    Was it not a crime already? Here in the UK the same rating system for movies is applied to certain video games, thus a game rated 18 cannot be sold to anyone under this age. Supplying GTA to a minor can land the shop keeper in a lot of trouble.

    Does the US rating system differ?

    • Unless they have changed the rules in the last few years, the ratings on computer games are only advisory in the UK. Some stores enforce the rules, some do not. Some store employees are under the impression that they have to enforce them for legal reasons, others are not.

      While the symbols on the box are the same as for films, the legal ramifications are different.

      • I'm almost certain that PEGI ratings are just advisory, but the BBFC ones are mandatory, I have no idea why only some games get BBFC ratings, whilst others only have PEGI ones, and some have both. I think it has somthing to do with the cut scees in games, which would fall under the BBFC remit.
      • Unless they have changed the rules in the last few years, the ratings on computer games are only advisory in the UK.

        As are classifications on films and videos.

        Some stores enforce the rules, some do not. Some store employees are under the impression that they have to enforce them for legal reasons, others are not.
        While the symbols on the box are the same as for films, the legal ramifications are different.


        Only in the sense that the classifications on the latter are likely to be enforced. But in many
    • One way these laws differ from the UK law is that certain violent / sexual content does put games into the legally enforcable BBFC [bbfc.co.uk] ratings, but the BBFC ratings aren't a simple cutoff to an 18 rating, the BBFC have their own ratings system that runs in parallel to the PEGI [pegi.info] system, that's also used for videos / DVDs, so you can see games with other BBFC ratings as well as 18 ones.

      (There's also a second way for BBFC ratings to appear on games, as although most games are exempt from classification, most video
    • The UK is quite the nanny state, isn't it? And now Oklahoma is following this lead.
  • by Funkcikle (630170) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @08:35AM (#15203756)
    Making it a crime to sell such games is pointless if one can simply supply a child with them. Say, for example, on the 25th of December after weeks of begging.

    The problem isn't some immoral shopkeep hawking his wares to unsuspecting kiddies whilst twirling his moustache, but the permissive parents at home who mostly don't give a damn if their child is virtually running around with a virtual gun shooting virtual people with virtually aroused sexual organs.
    • but then stupid people should be banned from having kids

      you can't make laws that require people to be good parents
      well, i guess the US can...
    • by Tim C (15259) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:02AM (#15203922)
      Speaking as a parent, I'd rather my daughter did it virtually (in moderation, of course), than in reality.

      One of my earliest childhood memories is of being at school during play time, at the age of 5 or 6, running around with a bunch of other kids playing war. We divided into two teams, and ran around miming shooting, stabbing and otherwise killing each other, long before you could do the same on a computer. Great fun.

      Violent video games don't make kids violent; being human makes kids violent. Some are worse than others, and need special care and attention; despite my favouring violent games, films, etc I've never actually been in a fight in my life.
    • The problem isn't some immoral shopkeep hawking his wares to unsuspecting kiddies whilst twirling his moustache, but the permissive parents at home who mostly don't give a damn if their child is virtually running around with a virtual gun shooting virtual people with virtually aroused sexual organs.

      Why should they give a damn? It's virtual! It's all make believe. Why should I as much as raise an eyebrow?
  • Loop hole? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by buxrule (970805)
    (3) the material or performance lacks serious literary, scientific, medical, artistic, or political value for minors, or

    I'd say video games hold serious artistic value these days.
    • Re:Loop hole? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Randolpho (628485) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @08:45AM (#15203822) Homepage Journal
      And others would say the exact opposite -- that no video game holds *any* artistic value. Then your loophole would work in the other direction.... banning the sale of all video games to anyone under 18.

      Honestly, I think this may not be a bad idea. I'm a life-long gamer, but I'm also a parent, and I firmly believe that parents should rigidly control what games their children play. Banning the sale of of all video games to minors would help parents in that regard, and may just force the issue with lazy parents, making them go to the store to buy a game for their kid. Maybe even getting them to go together, actually talk to each other for five minutes... yeah, a bill like that might even eventually bring about world peace!

      Heh, who am I kidding?
      • I'm a life-long gamer, but I'm also a parent, and I firmly believe that parents should rigidly control what games their children play. Banning the sale of of all video games to minors would help parents in that regard, and may just force the issue with lazy parents, making them go to the store to buy a game for their kid.

        With that attitude, why don't you just ban everything from being sold to kids? There's certainly a lot worse things for kids to have than video games.
  • I guess this is the kind of bill that comes out when our elected officials are completely bereft of the intelligence and courage needed to do the hard things that really need to be done. This kind of law has been invalidated in state after state, so this is just stupid and a waste at this point. Indeed, this is no longer news at all.
    • I guess this is the kind of bill that comes out when our elected officials are completely bereft of the intelligence and courage needed to do the hard things that really need to be done. This kind of law has been invalidated in state after state, so this is just stupid and a waste at this point. Indeed, this is no longer news at all.

      It might be news to find an elected official who actually has the intelligence, courage and decency to actually do their job though...
  • Kids find ways of getting their hands on all sorts of things whose sale to minors is prohibited. Who here was even close to 18 years old when they first saw a set of boobies a raunchy magazine that your friend got from his older cousin? Or had a friend's cool mom buy you smokes? Or knew someone over 21 that bought you booze? Smokes, pr0n, and later on, booze. We had all these, no one gave a shit, and if they did, you hid it from them, simple as that.
  • Bill is Doomed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by digitaldc (879047) * on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @08:50AM (#15203847)
    I wonder what they will do about all the kids playing Doom online? [google.com]
  • I read in New Scientist a long time ago an article about violent video games and whether or not they actually affect children, and they seemed to suggest that it really doesn't affect them at all. Here's the article: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg16622425.000 .html [newscientist.com], although I'm afraid you can't read much of it unless you're a subscriber.
    • The way I see it, if you were to take a kid who lit up his school did so after playing GTA a lot and went back in time and removed GTA from his scenario... something else would take its place.

      If someone is mentally weak enough to not be able to draw the line between cartoon/video violence and real-life then *something* at *some point* will set them off. Mentally stable people don't light up their school or place of work. The unstable do and if it's not the video game that sets such things in motion, it'd
  • From the text of the bill:

    "Harmful to minors" means:

    a. that quality of any description, exhibition, presentation or representation, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse when the material or performance, taken as a whole, has the following characteristics:

    a. (1) the average person eighteen (18) years of age or older applying contemporary community standards would find that the material or performance has a predominant tendency to appeal to a prurie

  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:08AM (#15203963)
    Violent games fund terrorism and child pornography, don't they.
  • by Starker_Kull (896770) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:22AM (#15204042)
    "HB2122 passed and was signed by the Governor. This new law allows Permit/License holders to carry onto private parking lots their concealed firearm and store it in their locked vehicle. The Bill States, "No person, property owner, tenant, employer, or business entity shall be permitted to establish any policy or rule that has the effect of prohibiting any person, except a convicted felon, from transporting and storing firearms in a locked vehicle on any property set aside for any vehicle." The law becomes effective 11/1/04." - in fairness, it must be mentioned that this law was set aside (forgive the nonlegalese, IANAL) by a Federal judge, and also the minimum age for possessing a firearm is 21.

    But you have to wonder at the logic of a legislature that needs to "protect" kids from videogame violence up until 18, and then at 21 lets them buy REAL guns, carry them around concealed, leave them in their cars (oooh! The car has to be LOCKED - that'll stop a car thief), and so forth. Note this is not an anti-gun post - it is only an anti-hypocrasy post. Don't promote the carrage and use of weapons of deadly force on one hand and then act holier-then-thou and say we're "protecting the children" by not letting them see video-game violence on their own (on the TV it's fine, evidently).
    • by ianscot (591483) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @10:00AM (#15204278)
      Don't promote the carr(i)age and use of weapons of deadly force on one hand and then act holier-th(a)n-thou...

      We have relations in Oklahoma. Decent folks, live and work on their family farm... and as susceptible to idiocy like this demagogue's "anti-violence" bill as anyone could be.

      This is the state that elected Tom Coburn "Lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they'll only let one girl go to the bathroom" as a senator. It's a fricking demonstration case for Dick Nixon's "Southern Strategy" social issues being used to scare and dupe people.

      In these folks' minds, promoting "anti-violence" legislation that addresses sexuality as if it's "violent" and preventing churches from controlling who brings concealed weapons to Sunday service are not fundamentally incompatible actions. We're talking my relatives -- whose response to my idea of putting numbers (10 cents, 25 cents) on our coinage was that it smacked of world government.

  • Rdundant (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Szaman2 (716894)
    Is this just me, or is this legislation absolutely redundant and unnecessary?

    It is not going to change a damn thing either, because 90% of time these games are bought by parents/guardians of with their explicit permission.

    If little billy gets carded in the video store, he will come the next day with his older brother, or his Dad and get the game anyway.

    Eh, legislation for sake of legislating. This is nothing else but some blatant political maneuvering. Because "protecting children" looks good on the record

We are Microsoft. Unix is irrelevant. Openness is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.

Working...