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ESA Fights Minnesota Game Sales Restrictions 41

Posted by Zonk
BaldManTom writes "ZDNet is running a story about the ESA's suit against the state of Minnesota regarding a bill which would fine anyone under the age of 17 for buying a game rated 'M' or 'AO'." From the article: "Lowenstein said that the average game buyer last year was 40 and the average player was 33. He also questioned how lawmakers reasonably expected retailers to collect the $25 fine from children."
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ESA Fights Minnesota Game Sales Restrictions

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  • Come on, with Ventura at the helm, what did you expect? :)
  • by daranz (914716) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @03:43PM (#15490059)
    He also questioned how lawmakers reasonably expected retailers to collect the $25 fine from children.

    That's easy: they'd kill a hooker and steal her money, or murder someone for their wallet. We're talking about gamers here, after all.
  • by Nos. (179609)

    I agree that underage children shouldn't be able to buy M or AO rated games. But giving a fine to the child that the retailer is supposed to collect? That's ridiculous. What incentive is there for the retailer to do so? They lose a sail, and somehow they have to enfore a law? What if the child can't/won't pay? Are they supposed to detain (kidnap?) the kid?

    Either ZDnet isn't giving a very good overview of the law, or this belongs on one of those dumbest law lists.

    • Kickbacks (Score:3, Insightful)

      by boldtbanan (905468)

      When any non-government agency is supposed to collect any money for the government, they usually get a cut of the money. That's how it works for sales tax, which is analogous to a fine here.

      What concerns me is that, depending on how this bill is written, retailers may be given an incentive to entrap minors. What's to stop a retailer from trying to convince kids to buy these games, then charging them an additional $25 'fine' at the register when they but it (besides bad publicity, although it might garner

      • I wouldn't say its analogous to a sales tax. And it does ay an attempt to purchase the game. But year, if the retailer gets a cut, that's almost worse. I still have to wonder what the action would be if the child does not pay the fine. Is the retailer going to call 911? I can't see the police responding over a $25 fine. Arrest the kid? I can see lawsuits popping up when some retailer "arrests" a minor for not paying a fine.
      • When any non-government agency is supposed to collect any money for the government, they usually get a cut of the money. That's how it works for sales tax, which is analogous to a fine here.

        What are you talking about? Sales tax is nothing like this fine.

        Sales tax is owed by a business to the government. You're not involved at all. However, to make prices seem lower businesses advertise a lower price that doesn't include the percentage they will eventually owe to the government. While common, this is

      • Which, if I'm not mistaken, is why San Diego had to get rid of their traffic cameras which were run by a private company: It's illegal for private entities to perform the role of law enforcement. Sales tax is completely different, in that the seller is not imposing a penalty for an alleged violation of the law.
    • They lose a sail

      Arrr, it's got to be those nasty pirates, taking other people's sails out.
      (couldn't resist)
    • and if retailers lose to many sails they won't be able to make it to the next port.
    • They lose a sail, and somehow they have to enfore a law?

      You do if you want to stay in business. You can't sell alcohol to minors, you can't sell cigarettes to minors.

    • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by plover (150551) *
      I agree that underage children shouldn't be able to buy M or AO rated games.

      Why do you say that? Did the State of Minnesota mandate the rating process? Does the state oversee the correct application of a rating to a particular game? Did the state place the ratings on the boxes? Can a game producer appeal to the state if they feel a rating is unfair? Does the state regulate any portion of the rating system at all?

      No.

      A voluntary system created by the industry, with private reviews and voluntary com

      • A voluntary system created by the industry, with private reviews and voluntary compliance by game producers, and now it's somehow state-mandated that retailers abuse this completely unofficial system?

        Key word: voluntary

        If the government doesn't control, oversee, or indeed have anything to do with the rating system, they shouldn't make laws that rely on that system. It's that simple.

        • If the government doesn't control, oversee, or indeed have anything to do with the rating system, they can't make laws that rely on that system. It's that simple.
          Fixed that for you.
  • FTA
    The association's most recent legal victory came in April when a federal judge in Michigan issued a permanent injunction halting the implementation of a state bill that would ban the sale of violent video games to minors. The judge rejected the state's claim that the interactive nature of video games makes them less entitled to First Amendment protections, the ESA said.

    cause you know... conversations arn't interactive in the least. Guess some politician got too used to hearing themselves talk and e
  • dumb law (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dosboot (973832)
    Well I'm a Minnesotan gamer and I don't think it is that silly to prevent kids from playing rated M games. It shouldn't be a law though, I'd rather see it be a simple store policy. The movie industry doesn't have this kind of ridiculous legislation.
    • Re:dumb law (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hunterx11 (778171)
      The movie industry doesn't have this kind of ridiculous legislation.

      They also have more lobbyists than the video game industry.

    • Most Video Game stores do have policies, and most follow them.
      I seem to recall all the "investigations" that have been done into this sort of thing it is the big chain stores that sell them most often (against their own policies) to under aged folks.
      Also being a Minnesotan gamer, and havign worked in a video game store, I can honestly say this won't help much with the problem of kids getting violent/explicit games.
      1) Truely explicit games aren't avaiable at game stores,
    • Preventing them from playing involves a whole lot of things you really don't want the government in control of.

      On the other hand, I see no problems with preventing people who do not meet the age requirements on the box from purchasing games.
    • Re:dumb law (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Vexar (664860)
      I think the state should require a license to sell M and AO licenses, and that the license would be revoked. make M and AO games a controlled substance, sort-of. That way, you'd lose your license if you got caught selling to minors.
  • Shouldn't you be fined if you are under 18 for Ao games? Has anyone else noticed that some shops, like EBgames and GameStop won't sell mature games to anyone under 18, even thought M games are 17+ and meant for 17 year olds?
  • I'm a Minnesotan, so it's trippy to see this here :) I was paying closer attention to our "ban gay marriage" thing honestly. Retailers have the right to refuse sale, for any reason, but adding a fine to minors makes things a little more fuggy. First of all minors do not have a right of contract, they can bail out freely. Things like alchohol and cigarrets are prohibited, but it's more giving minors access to them that's banned, not them using it. There's a similar policy with alcohol, but it turns differen
  • So, even IF this bill would actually stand, I foresee certain retailers adopting a "$50 or $75 if you're under 18" rule.
  • Simple, you fine the child, but their guardian is responsible to pay the fine.

    I say fine the store, they are guaranteed to be there for the transaction. Works for booze, guns, porn, gambling, movies, why not games too?
  • I don't know what the specific law says, but here's my opinion on the matter.

    If the law is simply preventing businesses from selling games which are rated for adults to children, and if the fines are imposed on the retailers (not the customers), then I guess it's okay. An adult, any adult, could simply go in and buy it for the minor, but hopefully that adult is the legal guardian. However, game ratings should always be optional, meaning if the video game manufacturers wanted to get around this law, they cou
  • ... so this means that a retailer gets $50 (or $60, or whatever) from a minor when they purchase an M or AO game; then they immediately charge $25 because the minor purchased an M or AO game?

    Doesn't that mean they are abetting the breaking of the law, then enforcing the punishment of it?
    IANAL, of course...

Long computations which yield zero are probably all for naught.

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