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Jack Thompson's Violent Game Bill Signed Into Law 368

Posted by Zonk
from the happy-day-for-media-savvy-lawyers dept.
simoniker writes "Louisiana Democratic Representative Roy Burrell's HB1381 bill, covering violent videogames, has been signed into law by Governor Kathleen Blanco. The law takes effect immediately, the latest in a very long line of video game-related bills specific to one U.S. State. The measure proposed by HB 1381, which was drafted with the help of controversial Florida attorney and anti-game activist Jack Thompson, allows a judge to rule on whether or not a videogame meets established criteria for being inappropriate for minors and be subsequently pulled from store shelves. A person found guilty of selling such a game to a minor would face fines ranging from $100 to $2,000, plus a prison term of up to one year. Needless to say, the ESA will likely be mounting a legal challenge to this bill in the very near future."
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Jack Thompson's Violent Game Bill Signed Into Law

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  • Priorities (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheBogie (941620) on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:34PM (#15550832) Journal
    Kathleen Blanco should be worried about the coming hurricane season rather than wasting everyone's time with this.
    • Re:Priorities (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stratjakt (596332)
      Yeah and police should be worried about the "real criminals" instead of harassing 16 year old kids for drinking beer in the woods!
      • by eneville (745111) on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:44PM (#15550920) Homepage
        No. It's about the 8 year olds having sex and firing bb guns in the woods. 16 is pretty much 18... there's no big deal if they're watching inappropriate material. Big deal if they're much younger.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          8 year olds having sex

          If you're 8 years old and *able* to have sex, well then bravo!

        • Re:Priorities (Score:2, Insightful)

          by stratjakt (596332)
          My point was that the "gov't employee should be doing X instead of Y", when their job entails both.

          Sobriety checks and parking tickets are every much police work as homicide investigations, and signing bills into law (it passed the house, etc) is every much as much a governors job as planning for hurricanes. Actually planning for hurricanes isn't a governors job, per se.

          • by FatSean (18753) on Friday June 16, 2006 @04:04PM (#15551056) Homepage Journal
            That is what 'meter maids' do. As for Sobriety Checkpoints...I think they are the evil product of cowardly turds who fear what they are told to fear.

            But you do have a point, except for the fact that morality (which is what this law entails) is NOT part of the government's job.

            • by Pfhorrest (545131) on Friday June 16, 2006 @05:37PM (#15551866) Homepage Journal
              But you do have a point, except for the fact that morality (which is what this law entails) is NOT part of the government's job.

              I must strongly disagree with your words here (and with the many others who espouse them), though I agree completely in spirit. Enforcing morality is the government's ONLY job. But morality is not synonymous with any particular group's common tastes or traditional values. Morality is about what is good for the everybody, and that is precisely what government's legitimate purpose is: to look out for the well-being of all of society.

              But what is good for the everybody is a very small set of things: liberty and security. Any of the particulars (i.e. watching porn, eating red meat, having long hair, wearing shoes, whatever) may be good or bad for different people in different contexts, but freedom and safety are the two things that are always good for everyone. With those provided, people are free to acquire all the things that are good for them in particular and avoid those which are bad.

              Which means that the government's job, as I think you were saying, is to mind it's own business, that business being making sure that other people are minding theirs. It is not the government's job to enforce the tastes or personal values of any people on any other people.
    • I really do. Like Florida...constantly getting federal funds to repair the damage from hurricanes that just keep comming.

      On the upside, this is strong selection pressure against people who like to live near violent storms.
      • The problem isn't Floridians. We know how to get through a hurricane. It is all the immigrants who come down and don't know how, and won't listen until they go through one. And then they bitch and moan when their services are not there the next day.

        Hurricanes are a piece of cake to deal with. I'd rather deal with them then earthquakes or tornados.

        • by Kelson (129150) * on Friday June 16, 2006 @04:56PM (#15551558) Homepage Journal
          Hurricanes are a piece of cake to deal with. I'd rather deal with them then earthquakes or tornados.

          Here's the funny thing: I, and most people I know who have grown up in California, would much rather deal with earthquakes than hurricanes or tornadoes. We can't imagine why someone would want to stay in a hurricane-prone area. And I'd be willing to be that people in, say, Kansas, would much rather deal with tornadoes than hurricanes or earthquakes.

          I think it just comes down to the disaster you grew up with. You know what to expect, you know how to prepare for a typical hurricane/quake/flood/tornado, you know what to do during the disaster, and you know how pick things up afterward. Every once in a while something hits on the level of Katrina or the 1906 San Francisco quake, but for the most part, the locals in any region are comfortable with their area's disasters -- and often freaked out totally by the disasters that hit other areas.
          • I think it just comes down to the disaster you grew up with. You know what to expect, you know how to prepare for a typical hurricane/quake/flood/tornado, you know what to do during the disaster, and you know how pick things up afterward. Every once in a while something hits on the level of Katrina or the 1906 San Francisco quake, but for the most part, the locals in any region are comfortable with their area's disasters -- and often freaked out totally by the disasters that hit other areas.

            Absolutely corre
      • Personnaly I don't really know what where people live and the natural disasters they are prone to has to due with a videogame bill. As far as natural disasters go, just about everywhere has its own type of possible disaster to be dealt with. As far as this gaming bill goes, in my opinion, morality is not specifically the job of government to make rules on, but without moral rules, laws really wouldn't exist. In all honesty, murder is just a question of moral reasoning. If it weren't, every solder that came
    • Re:Priorities (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by stlhawkeye (868951)
      Why? Her solution is to throw her hands up, run away, and bitch that nobody else is doing anything about it. She doesn't need to prepare for anything.
  • Florida will love have some input on this topic. I lived there for several years, and I remember repeated protests by local ethnic groups after each release of GTA, due to its perceived representation of those groups. It is also GW's brother's state still.
    • This is a state law that applies to Louisiana only; it has absolutely no bearing on how Florida or any other state but Louisiana deals with violent video games.
      • by mcmonkey (96054) on Friday June 16, 2006 @04:05PM (#15551063) Homepage
        This is a state law that applies to Louisiana only; it has absolutely no bearing on how Florida or any other state but Louisiana deals with violent video games.
        That's not entirely true. Legally state law only applies to that state--although there are exceptions to that rule as well.

        Politically, state law can affect other states in a couple of ways. First, politicians are always playing 'keep up with the Joneses.' If poll numbers go up for legislators in La. or a borderline incumbent gets reelected after campaigning on 'save our children from evil video games' you bet your sweet ass that will have a bearing on how other states deal with video games.

        Also, politicians are lazy farks. Why do think they pass laws written by lobbyists? La. has a bill demonstrated to be passable. You think every other state considering a law on the same material is going to reinvent the wheel? Heck no! You can probably already buy a copy of this law at Office Depot--all you need to do is fill in the name of your state.

        Now legally, a law like this can have great bearing on how other states deal with violent video games. Let's say there is a legal challenge to this new law in La. Whatever the outcome of that suit, again other states will use that information in forming their own laws. If it get's thrown out, expect the lobbyists to study the ruling closely to determine exactly what version of the same law would stand up in court. Think dealth penalty.

  • by azrane2005 (860037) on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:35PM (#15550845) Homepage
    I see the point of this, if you're going to Wal-Mart or GameStop/EB. But what about online side of retailers, Amazon, GameStop, Wal-Mart, etc. This bill only affects Louisiana, so if you can't find the game on store shelves, you'll be able to find it online.
    • Those major online retailers should just threaten to not sell anything to anyone in that state... I think the general public would be pretty pissed off and that would be the end of the idiotic law.
    • by paladinwannabe2 (889776) on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:40PM (#15550888)
      Ah, but if Little Timmy orders it online, he's doing it through Mommy's Credit Card- which means that either A. Mommy gave her permission (in which case she's buying the game, and it's okay) or B. Little Timmy is commiting fraud, and it's Little Timmy who is breaking laws, not the seller. It would be the same as if Little Timmy stole beer from the department store- the store isn't breaking laws, Timmy is.
    • Unless there are some interstate laws that effect online commerce, an easy argument against an online version of this bill is due to the fact you need to have a credit card (checkcard) to purchase products online. Credit cards/check cards are only supposed to be given to people age 18 and older. While someoen here, I am sure, will say "well my nephew is 14 and has one" - well that is against the law. Does it happen? I know it does, I saw a personal banker (i used to manage a bank) help a minor apply for
  • Redundant? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Golias (176380) on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:36PM (#15550851)
    Was a new state law really needed for something like this? Wouldn't it have made sense to simply apply the same rules that currently apply to the distribution of R-rated movies on DVD?

    At least this wasn't a federal initiative. If the people of Louisiana have a problem with this law, they can certainly let their government know about it.

    (Although, considering all that's happened in the last year, I can't imagine that current local leaders in that state have a very long and rosy political career ahead of them anyway. It's kind of tough to rein in a lame-duck government which is already world-famous for corruption. The people of that state who don't like this law might just have to wait for the next administration to work on getting it reversed.)
    • by Sweeman (980241)
      Mr. Thompson feels that the ESRB's rating system is too logical. He'd rather have an arbitrary and subjective system that can be bent to fit his needs.
      • Not wanting to slog through the bill, can someone confirm the impression I get from the summary...

        After a judge rules that a game is not suitable for minors, a store can be fined for carrying it before the judge mad that decision?

        This sounds like a clear case of "Not convicting enough criminals? Just make some more!"

    • There are no laws for R rated movies, they've been overturned by the courts time and time again. Although many theaters do voluntarily enforce the ratings. X rated movies do fall under obscenity laws, but I think it would be hard to qualify any video game as an X.
    • Re:Redundant? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dyslexicbunny (940925) on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:53PM (#15550979)
      It's a pretty short bill (the bill [state.la.us]) but this phrase takes the cake.

      (3) The game, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.

      Who makes the diecsion on whether or not games fall into this category or not? Thompson? I think it's fair to say that no game (that people would seriously play) falls into this category based on how I read it. But then again, I don't play games for those reasons and likely, neither does anyone else.

      Honestly though, I don't have a problem with either of the first two parts. Selling games to minors that don't fit into the ESRB ages should be a crime. But the fine should be enough and might be a little high on the top. And/or a year in prison is silly even with the fact it could also include hard labor.
      • Selling games to minors that don't fit into the ESRB ages should be a crime.

        If people really are all that concerned, wouldn't community pressure be enough?

        In a lot of neighborhoods across America, you can't buy pr0n in convenience stores anymore. Not because of laws, but because community groups shamed the stores into taking it off their shelves with threats of boycots and/or very visible campaigns against it.

        If you had a couple blue-haired ladies in front of every EB store (or whatever) holding up signs t
        • Re:Redundant? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Kouroth (911586)
          I'd like this to be true. More often than not the people who would work this out instead turn to make it law. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that people seem to think their values are the 'true' ones for everyone. A lot like the smoking laws all over the place now. A few people didn't like it, so they built an empire of smoking haters and got laws in place everywhere. It more than likely won't stop with Louisiana. They will continue their 'holy crusade' to eradicate the 'evil' in games.
      • You can get hard labor for violating the Louisiana law that makes consuming 40 different (non-marajuana) plants (e.g. Amanita Muscaria) illegal too.

        Perhaps many or even most laws there have that provision.
        • Louisiana law that makes consuming 40 different (non-marajuana) plants (e.g. Amanita Muscaria) illegal too.

          They need a law against that? Louisiana must have the best parties ever!
      • Interesting enough Marc Ecco's Getting Up is probably the most political AND artistic game in recent memory... yet it's rated "M". It's also banned in Australia [slashdot.org] due in part to it's political views (hmm...). Jet Set Radio for the Dreamcast and Xbox had a similar theme but was only rated "T"

        There are some other games that I'd consider "artistic" such as Rez [wikipedia.org], or the upcoming Spore. I suppose if you stretched the definition enough you could extend it to Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero, or even Parappa th
      • Re:Redundant? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Khaed (544779) on Friday June 16, 2006 @04:26PM (#15551261)
        Selling games to minors that don't fit into the ESRB ages should be a crime.

        Agreed. Rant mode:

        Some places don't even sell M rated games (which is their choice), and I've known people who worked in game/rental places where they could get fired for selling an game to someone in the wrong age bracket. One friend of mine has actually been bitched at by a twelve year old, and then his mom for refusing to sell the kid a game that he wasn't old enough to play.

        People are going to bitch no matter what happens, as long as the violent games are made. Music has warning labels, and people still try and blame music for stuff. Even without labels -- come on, a game named Doom? Grand Theft Auto? You must be stupid to not realize that this might not be appropriate. Halo? Well, that one sounds acceptable (moreso than Super Smash Brothers name wise).

        Until we live in Carebear land where everything is flowers and unicorns we're going to have to put up with these stupid people and their crummy elected officials.

        Okay, rant mode off. This issue just pisses me off because the people involved are so stupid and deliberately ignorant. Gr. Argh. And stuff.
      • A game cannot be sold to minors only if it fails all 3 clauses. Clause 3 is an escape clause saying that even if your game, say contained scenes of nazis torturing jews to death graphically, if it accurately portrayed the holocaust (qualifying for literary, artistic or political merit) the game would not be restricted.

        As to who decides ... I believe it would come to a judge, and he would hear arguments about whether or not the game had any of the mentioned merits. If the game has any merit, you're off the
    • I can't imagine that current local leaders in that state have a very long and rosy political career ahead of them anyway. It's kind of tough to rein in a lame-duck government which is already world-famous for corruption.
      You'd be suprised what a bit of gerrymandering [wikipedia.org] can do for politicians.
    • Can you find a reference to any law in the U.S. restricting the sale of R-rated movies to minors?

      And even if there was one, no one could possibly be brought up on charges (successfully anyway, one would hope) given that video games are not movies.

      And the whole reason laws like this are getting passed is that none of the big 3 games distributors is willing to be first to put in place a national policy to restrict sales of mature games to minors.
    • "Was a new state law really needed for something like this? . . . At least this wasn't a federal initiative."

      I think this kind of legislation belongs with the state. The Federal government already encroaches in areas they really don't belong. The rating for DVDs is essentially a self-censoring activity by the movie industry with compliance by retailers. I'm not aware of any law actually enforcing the ratings (except pornography). IIRC, the adoption of the movie rating system was a move to stave off governme
  • Wonkfest (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AgentSmith (69695)
    *Yawn*

    Bill gets challeneged in court and dies.

    Couldn't we just get the current videogame ratings enforced instead
    of the geschtapo tactics?

    I know, it's beyond Jack-off's reach to understand such things.

     
    • You're missing the obvious point.

      If the bill dies, Jacko still has his moment in the spotlight, which he craves. The man is a media whore. And when it does die, he can go on about "activist judges" and liberal bias in the courts (nevermind that there are censorship wonks on the left as well as the right). Jackass's crusade will continue no matter how many times he loses.

      This isn't about protecting minors. This is about lawyers getting paid, politicians getting votes, and whores like Jack getting attenti
    • Bill gets challenged in court and dies.

      Maybe.

      Maybe not. Bill gets challenged in court. Bill gets ruled unconstitutional. Judge issues ruling on bill. Lobbyists now have blueprint for what needs to be changed to make bill good.

      Think death penalty. I wouldn't expect a ruling, 'you can't restrict the sale of video games ever, in any way, don't even think about it, ain't gonna happen.' I would expect a ruling, 'this phrase in this section of the bill is too vague in regards to free speech protection

    • That's pretty much what they're aiming for (restricting sales of intense games to minors ... whether by ESRB rating or by the judgement of the court), it's just that explicitly enforcing the ESRB ratings specifically would mean governmentalizing the ESRB. (IE ... what would happen to this law if the ESRB went out of business, or decided to change their rating system?)

      That's why, in terms of a law, they need to keep the ratings system out of the process.
  • Dear Mr. Thompson (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Discopete (316823) on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:38PM (#15550868) Homepage
    "The reason is that this industry, through the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board), its developers' lobbyist, the ESA (Entertainment Software Association), and the retailers' lobbyist, IEMA (Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association) are involved in ongoing fraudulent conduct in marketing video games that contain adult material to children."

    1:) Prove it
    2:) If you can't do you as an attorney know what Libel is?
    3:) IIRC Libel can be grounds for revocation of your BAR registration.
    • Wouldn't the lack of action by the bar association for Thompson's actions in the past three years indicate that the bar association does not care?
      • Getting someone disbarred isn't exactly easy, which is a pity. Personally, I figure that the bar association is probably not too concerned about some senile crusader trying to prolong a career in the spotlight by pushing crap like this.

        Given that there are far more dangerous abuses of the legal system that lawyers get up to, the bar association likely turns a blind eye to minor infractions, especially if disbarring Jacko would be unpopular in whatever district he's licensed to practice in. OTOH, I dearly
    • this will be intresting, because if ESRB and ESA are acuratlely rating games according to the court there should be no problem. It also seems like it would have to find the rating was in error wouldn't it?

      it might give rise to some intresting statistics about how often the court finds and existing ratting to be in error.
  • How does he do it? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by edmicman (830206) on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:38PM (#15550869) Homepage Journal
    In a statement released by Jack Thompson when the Louisiana Senate passed the bill, the lawyer commented: "The corrupted and corrupting video game industry will, of course, challenge this law once it is signed by Governor Blanco. The reason is that this industry, through the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board), its developers' lobbyist, the ESA (Entertainment Software Association), and the retailers' lobbyist, IEMA (Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association) are involved in ongoing fraudulent conduct in marketing video games that contain adult material to children."
    Good grief! How in the world does this guy maintain any kind of professional credibility?!? What kind of backwards state government would even give JT an audience? "The reason is that this industry...are involved in ongoing fraudulent conduct in marketing video games that contain adult material to children." What??? There's nothing more important going on in the world today??

    I think I want to drive to Louisiana and kick this guy in the nuts.
    • I think I want to drive to Louisiana and kick this guy in the nuts.

      Get in line.
    • My bad...I guess he's in Florida. Well, I'll drive to both states and kick everyone involved in the nuts, how about that?
    • I think I want to drive to Louisiana and kick this guy in the nuts.

      I see a slashdot carpool in the future! :-)

    • I think I want to drive to Louisiana and kick this guy in the nuts.

      Stand in line please, no skipping.
    • Its called the South. Its called Democracy. If enough people want these Jebus freaks making "holy laws to protect the children" then it will happen. Don't live in the south if you don't like it. The people have spoken. As much as slashdot hates this guy there's about 10,000 voters per slashdotter who love him and his "moral mission."
    • I think I want to drive to Louisiana and kick this guy in the nuts.

      Didn't GTA learn you anything better? You gotta go kill him, either with a baseball bat or a submachine gun. Then steal his wallet and use the money to buy a hooker. Kids these days.

      • Didn't GTA learn you anything better? You gotta go kill him, either with a baseball bat or a submachine gun. Then steal his wallet and use the money to buy a hooker. Kids these days.

        Get him in the back seat of your car first. That way, he'll replenish your health first, and then when you're done, he gets out, you run him over and get your money back!

        Oh wait, my bad, he's a lawyer. I mistook him for a whore. It's a common mistake.
  • Grr. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:40PM (#15550882) Homepage Journal
    Playing violent videogames never made me want to shoot anyone.

    Listening to violent music never made me want to stab anybody.

    Reading a violent book or watching a violent film never made me want to go out and hurt anyone in any way.

    Fearmongering idiots getting ridiculous laws made, on the other hand, would seriously test my limits were I not reasonably confident of this eventually getting struck back down by someone with half a brain.
    • Playing violent videogames never made me want to shoot anyone.

      Speak for yourself. When I was a kid, I had a sudden urge to run around with a bent tent pole and go after highly pixellated "Ducks" [wikipedia.org]
    • Playing violent videogames never made me want to shoot anyone.

      Actually, playing Duke Nukem 3D made me want to rampage around a movie theater with a flame thrower.

      Oh wait, it wasn't caused by the game; it was caused by thinking "I paid $16 to see this turkey?!"

  • by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:40PM (#15550887) Homepage
    <sarcasm>I like how this generation of parents is teaching this generation of kids to value and defend their freedoms.</sarcasm>
    • Just to be contrary about the whole thing, this is pretty far from any kind of free speech issue. And as for freedoms, since when did we get our knickers in a twist over what minors are allowed to buy? Technically, they're not allowed to buy porn, alcohol or see R-rated movies without their parents either, and you don't hear anyone beefing about that.

      I see the whole thing as sort of a stupid nonissue, redeemed only by the unbelieveable shitfuckery of Jack Thompson. It is a constant source of amazement to
  • Jack Thompson may have his head in the wrong place, but he's not as stupid as people make him out to be. While it's a fair bet that the ESA will go after this bill (just like they have in every other state to sign one into law), I wonder if they'll have more of a difficult time with this one. After all, they have one ruling at least to go on (Illinois), one law that's been unchallenged (Maryland), and after the fiasco with his Modest Proposal I doubt Jack would help author something else that was going to b
    • I'm not sure what you mean. The Illinois law was struck down as unconstitutional [theesa.com], just like the others - so that's another win for the ESA. The Maryland one, on the other hand, was actually supported by the ESA because it only concerned itself with explicit sexual content rather than vague terms like "unsuitable" or "violent". As far as I know, there are no games published in the US which would even qualify under the Maryland law (including Hot Coffee), so it seems more like it's simply trying to bring exis
  • How exactly will they imprison the entire Walmart branch's employees at once? Those poor people already have it bad enough.
  • The government does not need to fill the spot of lazy parenting. If parents are so worried about Mature-rated video games then why aren't they preventing their own kids from getting them? And it's not one parents reponsibility to enforce their beliefs on another parent. I was allowed to play violent video games back when I was 10 or so (Marathon and the sort) but I was only allowed to as long as I understood that a) IT'S JUST A GAME and b) DO NOT EMULATE WHAT YOU SEE IN SAID GAME.
  • by sleepophile (568417) on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:47PM (#15550938)
    I live in Louisiana ...and there are a hundred things far more important than this shit.The state of education heres is pathetic , NO hasn't recovered from the last hurricane season ..and the new one is already upon us. Crime is off the charts ...and so on.And they waste time on passing a stupid video game law. Blanco needs to get her head checked .
  • More stupid laws to wow the values voters. They won't even notice when they are overturned after the elections are over.
  • by SpecTheIntro (951219) <spectheintroNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:52PM (#15550972)

    The bill's intent is to keep adult-oriented (this criteria to be determined by a judge) games from getting into minor's hands, and fines any store responsible for selling said games to minors. This is not necessarily a bad thing; one of the biggest weaknesses of the ESRB is its lack of real power: it lacks any and all punitive ability. It can assign ratings all it wants, but when it comes down to it, individual store policy determines who can buy any given game. Clearly this has been ineffective in keeping inappropriate games from the hands of minors. We can argue all day long that: "this is the responsibility of the parents, zomg the government is evil, how dare they try to say that killing hookers is bad, zomg," but really the gaming industry lacks any coherent self-regulation and this needs to change.

    Unfortunately, this bill is one step in the right direction (fining retailers who sell GTA3 to ten year olds) and three steps in the wrong (absolutely no specification as to what can be considered "inappropriate," granting sole discretion to the judge, and calling for any "inappropriate game" to be pulled from circulation.) The last wrong is the one that concerns me the most: since when does content "not suitable for minors" suddenly translate into "not suitable for sale?" That seems to me a gross overextension of what the bill should be trying to do, which is to keep minors from playing excessively violent or sexual games. It's no secret that idiots like Jack Thompson believe the world would be a better place without video games, period, but it shocks me that any legislature would buy into this. There are plenty of types of media (rape-pornography, for instance) that the courts currently do not have the ability to demand be removed from circulation. I'm supposed to believe that ANY game could be more harmful to society than the simulation of rape? That doesn't make any sense at all.

    • what the bill should be trying to do... is to keep minors from playing excessively violent or sexual games.

      If some teenagers want to go out on a bender, do you really think it's the retail clerk who sells them the abuse which is responsible? The retain chain at which he works? The cops, legislature, or judiciary?

      While I agree that some things are probably not appropriate for children, I also believe that parents should be the ones primarily responsible for deciding what is appropriate for their childr

    • "The bill's intent is to keep adult-oriented (this criteria to be determined by a judge) games from getting into minor's hands, and fines any store responsible for selling said games to minors. This is not necessarily a bad thing..."

      Yes it is necessarily a bad thing. It's not the government's job and it's not an appropriate use of taxpayers' money to perform morality/value judgement/child development enforcement in the private sector. Here's a crazy thought: the Twinkies (R) stores sell to minors are prob
  • I've found that America, and Americans are all about finding people to blame.

    Blame the governor and Jack Thompson all you want, but in the end, the geeks of Louisiana are the ones who dropped the ball here. Did anybody follow through on those calls to "write your legislature, blah blah"? Does anybody ever? Nah, too much like work. But goddamnit they should know how we feel!

    A bunch of smelly non-voting hippies with a complete apathy towards government whining about not being represented.

    Boo-hoo..

    Don't wo
    • To the Honorable Representative Mucketymuck:

      As a concerned citizen, voter, taxpayer, consumer, and constituent in your perfect state and district, I respectfully submit that I am concerned with the situation concerning your honorable boot upon my face. I would like to ask of your honorable and distinguished self that you give due consideration to the possibility of not stomping on my face, and perhaps consider the alternate position of only invading my home and imposing the strength of your will and morali
  • What am I to do (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Joebert (946227)
    I can't masturbate because it's a sin, I can't play violent video games because they make me violent, & I can't sleep with the girl next door because her dad owns a shotgun, what the hell am I supposed to do ?
  • inappropriate for minors and be subsequently pulled from store shelves

    Why does it need to be pulled from shelves? Just make a "do not sell to minors" label on it and if they sell to a minor then they get fined/jail. I have no problem with preventing minors from buying particularly violent bad games themselves. Normally i would say it is against freedom of speech/privacy and what-not, but we are talking about minors. That segment of our population which cannot buy guns, alcohol (some states it is 21
    • OT, but alcohol's 21 in every state. Thanks to our buddy Reagan, states which do not set the age limit to 21 don't get federal highway funding and other goodies, that sly bastard.
    • the drinking age in all states is 21. Didn't used to be, but it is now.".that infringes on *MY* "right to view and purchase the game.."

      you have no right to view or purchase a game.
      The rights being steppped on are that of the company that sells the game.

    • Why does it need to be pulled from shelves? Just make a "do not sell to minors" label on it and if they sell to a minor then they get fined/jail

      Exactly. We have quite enough precident for this with, oh, I don't know, things like liquor, tobacco, porno mags, and movies. Make the (already existing) ESRB ratings carry a legal punch preventing their sale to minors.

    • I have no problem with preventing minors from buying particularly violent bad games themselves.

      The "think of the children" line can be used to justify banning anything and everything though. JT isn't interested in just stopping the sale to minors, he's interested in stopping the sale to anyone on the basis that minors might come in contact with it somehow. Let's just lock everyone under 18 into prisons and stop worrying about whether this or that might hurt them. I don't have kids and I'm over 18, so
  • who's fault? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rolyatknarf (973068) *
    If I buy an "inappropriate" game in my home state of Missouri and give it to my minor aged (15 tears old) nephew in Louisiana as a gift who goes to jail?
    • This laws has no effect on that hypothetical situation.

      This law potentially sends the seller, not the buyer of an inappropriate game to jail.

      Since the seller sold it to an adult, he's off the hook.

      Since you gave it, without monetary consideration, to the minor, I think you're off the hook too. It's vaguely possible that you could get busted, though, IANAL, and the last time I read this bill was a couple of weeks ago.

  • So who is going to go and collect every computer game that has existed and find out which ones are effected by this law?
    And is it exicution or intent that counts? IE in nethack you become the 4th rider of the end times and are able to kill anything in sight. But its text bassed. Does that count?
  • What a freakin' joke. They're concerned about violent video game legislation while most of the New Orleans population is still homeless? What a backwards ass state that is...
  • by pwntang (902080) on Friday June 16, 2006 @04:28PM (#15551279)
    Why is Louisianna dealing with this stupid issue when there are lots more pressing an immediate issues at hand, like gays getting married
  • My 2 cents. (Score:2, Interesting)

    Not that it probably makes too much of a difference, but bear with me for just a minute here. I used to work at EB Games (before the gamestop merger, can't say whether or not this is still true). I can't say anything on walmart's policy, but when I was at EB there was a pretty simple policy in place... You don't sell an M rated game to a minor, or you're gone. I know that came from at least as high up as my district manager, who implied that it came from at least as high up as the regional manager, though I
    • the policy on M-rated games is identical up here in canada, at least where i live. you've gotta show photo ID to buy an M-Rated game. its been policy of pretty much all stores (EB, radio shack, zellers, the independants, everyone) in town for about 2 or 3 years now.
  • "People deserve the government they get and get the government they deserve."

    And if the people of Louisiana are so convinced that video games are such a menace that they require laws like this, then by $DEITY they deserve their government!
  • Why only games? Let's do the same thing for violence shown daily on TV. In the news, in the movies, everywhere.

    Seriously, though. I don't see why games were singled out.
  • by Plugh (27537) on Friday June 16, 2006 @10:02PM (#15553120) Homepage
    Jack Thompson was interviewed a few weeks ago on Free Talk Live [freetalklive.com], which is hosted by a self-described "Free-Marketeer", ie, an anarchocapitalist. The co-hosts are also basically free-market Libertarians.

    Mr. Thompson comes across as a deluded, selfimportant, lawerish, jack-ass of an individual. Granted, the host was intentionally pushing his buttons ("I think it should be legal for convenience stores to sell beer to 10-year olds! Parents will boycott the place and it'll go out of business... let the market sort it out!") but surly Mr. Thompson knew this was going to be an interview with someone whose views were diametrically opposed to his own. Surely he could have at least engaged in a real, 2-way debate?

    Thompson got so irked by the free-market ideas, he wouldn't even discuss the concept. He hung up on the interview! What an infantile, childish little busybody! These are the kind of asses that make this kind of law to "protect the children!"

    Here's the clip:
    http://freetalklive.com/files/thompson.mp3 [freetalklive.com]

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