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'Games as Porn' Bill Passes Utah House 215

The state bill which attempts to equate gaming with pornography has passed the vote in the Utah house of representatives. GameDailyBiz reports: "Even though there's still no evidence of a direct link between video game violence and acts of violence committed in real-life, Hogue suggested that playing violent games leads to 'automatic learning of aggressive behavior,' and that violent games have played a role in school shootings. 'Would these same kids have done this anyway without watching violent videos? Maybe not,' he said, referring to the Columbine massacre."
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'Games as Porn' Bill Passes Utah House

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  • by Zardus ( 464755 ) <yans@yancomm.net> on Friday February 24, 2006 @05:30PM (#14797035) Homepage Journal
    Someone should have gotten up and made a rebuttal of "Or maybe yes." and then there'd be a deadlock as the opposing side tries to come up with an actual argument.
    • Re:"Maybe not?" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pantropik ( 604178 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:10PM (#14797310)

      These idiots who think they can save the world by denying people the right to look at the "wrong" things would be comical if they didn't so often succeed in getting idiotic laws passed. Humans enjoy ritualized violence, whether it's playing tackle football, boxing, hunting, video games, movies ... that's not going to change until humans either evolve away from it or become extinct.

      Taking away access to this stuff in no way takes away the innate human desire for it, and pretending otherwise is just willful stupidity. Before kids had XBoxes they had cap guns. Before they had cap guns they had toy spears and sharp rocks. It's not the behaviors that have changed, just the tools and implementation. As for the Columbine kids, I'd argue that he's got it all wrong. The kids sought out and surrounded themselves with violent imagery because that's what spoke to their hearts and minds, in the same way another child might seek out beautiful landscape paintings or elegant progamming code or slapstick comedy or politics or religion or who knows what else. If he honestly thinks that some bright-eyed, angelic child with no evil or violence in her heart can pick up a copy of GTA and turn into a murderous freak, he's even stupider than I give him credit for already. I'd also argue that if they hadn't had access to violent imagery they'd have probably been more inclined to create their own (torturing animals, etc.).

      Just because kids are imitative enough to use what they've seen in games or movies as templates for their own acts of violent stupidity doesn't mean they wouldn't have come up with something else on their own if they hadn't had something to imitate. I love action movies, murder mysteries, violent video games. I've committed virtual murder who knows how many times and loved it. I still remember blowing bodies all to pieces in Soldier of Fortune, sniping brains all over the walls and gleefully mutilating corpses. But you know what else? The thought of gleefully or even accidentally hurting an actual person or animal is repulsive to me, just as it is to any healthy human being no matter how many slasher flicks they've watched or virtual corpses they've dismembered. The notion that the majority of us shouldn't be able to do a thing because a tiny, dysfunctional minority might not be able to handle it is absurd.

      • Re:"Maybe not?" (Score:2, Insightful)

        by BlastQuake ( 530459 )
        By the same token, maybe Utah should ban football, or televised sports containing any body contact. Violence in sports likely has the same impact as violence in games, then again my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt. I an imagine what kind of uproar that would cause, "What do you mean we can't watch the superbowl?"
      • Re:"Maybe not?" (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ZB Mowrey ( 756269 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @07:22PM (#14797733) Homepage Journal
        The notion that the majority of us shouldn't be able to do a thing because a tiny, dysfunctional minority might not be able to handle it is absurd.

        First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they went after the potheads, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a pothead. Next, they went after the protesters, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a protester. After that, they tried to crack down on unwholesome music, but I wasn't a musician so I said nothing. Now, they've gone after games and I have no excuse on which to base my arguments.

        (with apologies to Pastor Martin Niemöller.)

        And yes, I realize the seriousness of the original context... but I couldn't help mentioning the similarity.

        • First they came for the communists, and I did try to understand the rational behind it and indeed that "communism" was more of a dictatorship than welfare and the common good.
          Then they went after the potheads, and I did speak up even though I am not a pothead, because downsides of the "war on drugs" far more than what it tries to achieve (think prohibition).
          Next, they went after the protesters, and I did speak because the right to protest is sealed in the constitiution as a human right (at least where I liv
        • First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they went after the potheads, and I didn't.... uhhhh.... heay man, got any potato chips in the house?

          -
        • ...a great deal of people haven't STOPPED speaking up. Just because they've been unsuccessful at stopping the tide of American politics doesn't mean they've been sitting in their barcaloungers the whole time.
    • Mormons have not always been shy about violence:

      Mountain Meadows Massacre [utlm.org]

      Thier early history was very violent. They were not always the victims as they claimed.
      • ...and somehow everyone in Utah is a Mormon. I don't see how your post has anything to do with the topic at hand. This is a discussion about politics... not religion.

        That being said... from what I read about this bill, it's a mistake. The simple fact that Gayle Ruzicka is behind it should clue you to that.

  • They would still commit the violent acts even though they do not play video games. They wouldn't use the ideas of violence from the games (aka: GTA).
  • ban school (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mahou ( 873114 ) <made_up_address_ AT hotmail DOT com> on Friday February 24, 2006 @05:33PM (#14797062) Journal
    Would these same kids have done this anyway without being made to go to school? Maybe not.
    • Would these same kids have done this anyway without being picked on daily at school? Maybe not.
    • Would these same kids have done this thing if their mothers had aborted them as fetuses before birth? Definitly not!

      -Steve
  • Still at zero... That's meant in jest for those that can't take a joke.

    Like this is a surprise, it's Utah which according to wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah [wikipedia.org] :
    Approximately 60% of state residents are adherents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Tell me no one saw this coming.
  • by sauge ( 930823 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @05:38PM (#14797099)
    The dreaded "gamer." Three kids go on a shooting spree and so the 1,000,000+ who play are all lining up at gun stores.

    This is a law brought to you by the people who want intelligent design taught in school.

    It also an example of why people are disgusted with legislators around the country.
    • Well I Don't Know (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SerpentMage ( 13390 )
      I am not going to say "video game = go on killing spree". However, what I am going to say is that when I went to high school in early to late 80's the idea of gun violence did not cross our mind. I do realize that not all high schools are equal and that some gun violence did exist.

      However, what disturbs me about many youth is that they do not think twice about getting a hand gun. I grew up in the country or cottage country to be exact and guns were common things. Though guns were used to go hunting for bea
      • Guns appear to have been a normal part of your life from childhood. You were raised around them, and were obviously trained in their proper use. (As were your peeers) You think that might have had some impact on how you and your peers viewed guns? Probably more of an impact than the lack of 'shooter' games?

        I'm suprised that people target games which feature gun violence, but ignore the glorified violence in other media. (Movies, pop music, etc)
        • I agree with you wrt to other media such as movies. Where I would disagree is pop music, I think more appropriate would be rap. Again, I am not saying "video games = shooting spree", but I do think the attitude among many that video games have NO effect is wrong!

          I would say movies give the ideas, video games let you live out the ideas virtually, and then well the next step is... Not for everybody I say, but for some...
      • Well, I went to high school and was a few years behind Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris (at a different school), I grew up in a rural area where guns were common and the only handgun I saw or heard about that was not safely holstered at police officers hips, belonged to a teacher who only took it out on weekends to shoot at his pistol club. I had a lot of outsider friends but none of them liked guns, talked about guns, had guns or wanted guns, only the redneck farmboys had them. I think the type of people who
      • When I was in school, handguns and rifles were easier to get, and many of us had rifles. We watched Robocop, Terminator, and Lethal Weapon. We listened to music with lyrics like "Raise an army of rabid rats, beat your neighbor with a bat!". We did not have a problem with guns or knives in school (some students HAD knives, but they were not used).

        There is an elephant in the room here. We hear all about video games, TV, and movies. What we don't hear about is the clear message of zero tolerance (you are an

  • What about war? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 24, 2006 @05:38PM (#14797103)
    Not to start a big flame war or anything, but doesn't invading other countries kind of encourage aggressive behavior?

    It seems that it isn't a question of aggressive behavior per se, it is where the aggresive behavior comes from that matters. In other words it is bullshit.
    • Do you really, truly think that young children and teenagers turn on CNN and read the newspaper and as a result relate America's foreign policies to their own actions in any concievable way? I've yet to ever hear a child say "If American can bully other countries, why can't I bully other kids?". And I'm fairly certain I never will hear any kids say it. I'm sorry, but that is, to be blunt, an idiotic theory, if that's what you're actually trying to say.
      • It might be a flawed theory, proposed by an idiot, but one would never know based on your total shambles of a refutation.

        I mean, really! If you are going to tell someone they are an idiot for proposing a connection between schoolyard violence and war, then you had better do more than invoke what you are "fairly certain" you will never hear as the basis for your counter-argument.

        Because otherwise, you look like the kettle calling the pot black.
    • Not to start a big flame war or anything, but doesn't invading other countries kind of encourage aggressive behavior?

      Nope. I was in elementary school during the Vietnam War. I recall seeing fragments of combat footage on the news. When friends and I played violent games we did not emulate or act out the news footage, we emulated TV and movies of the early 70s. Play was World War II themed, SWAT themed, etc. One friend's mom didn't allow toy guns, no problem his dad's old discarded golf clubs were fine s
  • OK, regardless of whether or not this is a good idea, maybe someone should let this guy know what the bill is about.
    "Would these same kids have done this anyway without watching violent videos? Maybe not,"

    Maybe he was trying to outlaw violence in movies and got his media mixed up?

  • A Bold Positive Step (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Shihar ( 153932 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @05:43PM (#14797131)
    I think this is a bold and positive step. Unfortunately, I believe that they have left a loop hole that needs to be immediately covered. Namely, while we can protect our children from violent video games, there are still now laws in place to protect our children from violent books. There are literally thousands of mystery books out there teaching our children how to be perfect killers. There are thousands of books glorifying war, death conflict, and even sexual perversion. I think must act immediately to step up an American Censorship board to keep violent books out of the hands of our children. I believe that all books containing 'adult content' should be separated out from books safe for children. Further, schools should have an absolute ban on violent and mature books.

    If we don't act now, school shootings will continue to rise, the violent murders will continue to increase, and our children will continue to live shorter and shorter lives in this terrible and violent world.
    • Who wants to take bets on how many morons miss the knee deep sarcasim of the above post and think it is the real thing?
    • Man, your point is serious. If this bill passes, and all children are limited to boring games, they might start reading and it would be disastrous.

      we can only hope it won't come to it.
      • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:05PM (#14797282)
        Worse yet, they might start reading The Holy Bible, with it's sordid tales of lust, murder, incest, homosexual rape, etc.... just imagine what kind of ideas they would get out of such obviously subversive literature!
        • Don't forget the genocide!

          What, you think when Moses and his merry men got to the Promised Land of Caanan it was just sitting there empty, waiting for them to mosey on in and set up a country?
        • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *
          It might be interesting to rewrite those more-sordid chunkc of the bible such that it's set as a completely modern tale, but without changing anything BUT the setting... and see how quickly it gets tagged as unwholesome, violent, pornographic, etc.

          Of course the people most in need of enlightenment would just be horrified by our "perversion of the holy word", and wouldn't learn a thing. :/

    • There are literally thousands of mystery books out there teaching our children how to be perfect killers.

      If these books teach nothing else, if that lady named Jessica Fletcher [wikipedia.org] shows up in your town, you should hold off on your murder plans ;)
    • I know you're trying to make a point that one form of content is about the same as another. But really there are people out their that would completely agree with your ideas. It's this same attitude that puts some neo-nazi guy in jail in Austria for making a speech 16 years ago that the holocaust didn't happen. Some people truly believe that ideas themselves are dangerous, and need to be controlled. A scary thought in a country who was founded in direct opposition to this idea.
    • You joke but the British Library (and I presume other libraries) has a special room that the general public is not allowed access to which contains all the very disturbing works that have been published over the years. Most of them are S&M and that sort of thing and many are technically illegal under current laws. The library has to keep them because they are legally bound to keep a copy of every book published in the UK.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Damn it, where's my porn?
  • by ChePibe ( 882378 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @05:48PM (#14797176)
    1. If you're not in Utah, don't worry. This isn't going to affect you. So pipe down already and focus on preventing it in your own backyard.

    2. If you are in Utah, don't worry. I'm in Utah now, and guess one of the two will happen:

    a. It won't pass the Senate, as legislative sessions here are remarkably short anyways (just a bill to get a little attention). It will simply die with time.

    b. If it does pass the Senate, my money is on a "pocket" veto, pretty much just ignoring the bill. The Utah senate this year is farily tied up as it is.

    In any case, here's the text for the bill [state.ut.us] and the ammendment [state.ut.us] for those interested. It'd be nice if the submitters included this information when they sent in an article on pending legislation.

    • Thanks for the links, I hadn't found the actual legislation yet.

      I live in Utah and this is the first I've heard of this.

      The slashdot summary is a bit misleading. I found this nice sum-up description after following the "previous coverage" link in the article. You can also confirm this using the links the parent poster has supplied.

      "The bill states that "inappropriate violence" would include video games with material patently offensive to the prevailing standards in the adult community, as long as it didn'

    • 1. If you're not in Utah, don't worry. This isn't going to affect you. So pipe down already and focus on preventing it in your own backyard.


      I don't know that that's necessarily true. Much as I'd like it too, Utah doesn't live in a vacuum with respect to the rest of the United States. Sucessful legislation in one state percolates into the other states. Stupid crap like this only emboldens the pro-censorship people. Also, video game manufacturers might try to change content so they'll be able to sell in U
    • So pipe down already and focus on preventing it in your own backyard.

      No, I will not pipe down.

      The Utah is in the U.S., and the U.S. is my backyard. If the U.S. wants to promote the principles of freedom around the world (whether it should or not is another debate) it must at least be an example of such freedom itself first.

      So everytime some backwards hillbillies come along and try limiting that freedom with their warped version of morality, I will grab a fucking megaphone and pipe up.
      • Yeah, but if you don't live in Utah, are you going to tell the people of Utah that they're not allowed nor entitled to censor themselves if they want to? You would oppress them? You tyrant!

        [/tongue-in-cheek]

        Admittedly, we know democracy doesn't actually work that way (in that it's not "all the people of Utah" but just representatives elected by a relative majority, and not necessarily acting according to the will of the people) ... but in theory, the lawmakers are representatives of the people, and the peop

        • Yeah, but if you don't live in Utah, are you going to tell the people of Utah that they're not allowed nor entitled to censor themselves if they want to?

          As a citizen of the United States that still has a first amendment, yes, I'm quite prepared to tell some people of Utah that they can't censor other people in Utah. If one individual wants to censor themself (whatever that means) that's entirely different.
    • Actually, the funny thing is the house and the senate here are in a stalemate. The house is refusing to pass any bill sponsored by a senator and vice versa. The session ends in a week... if the deadlock continues, NO bills at all are going to get passed and $300 million is going to go unspent (at least until the governor calls a special session).
  • You know in the old days of politics that some people would get so angry during the debates to get up and whack their opponents to death with their cane. Yet their was no bill to outlaw politicians who inspire such violent behavior. I wonder why?
  • Try to remember that this nonsense is coming from the great state of Utah, one of the most backwards and repressed places in the entire First World. What exactly did you expect from a political entity which, Constitution be damned, is essentially controlled by the Mormon church?

    Max
  • by Kirby ( 19886 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:20PM (#14797389) Homepage
    That's super convenient. Now I only have one hobby!
  • NO NO NO NO NO. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rod Beauvex ( 832040 )
    Call this a knee-jerk reaction stemming from childhood wounds, but I beleive many school shootings don't happen becasue of violent video games. These kids were screwed up for other reasons. I blame bad parenting, either being abusive and / or negligent to their child. Next I blame the school administrations. I have been to seven different schools, and 5 of them all did the same thing. Say student A and his buddies start irritating student B. Administration tells studen B to ignore it. Student B will only ig
    • School shootings are not about deranged kids killing other kids. Rather, they are loud, messy suicides.

      That's what these idiots who want to ban stuff don't get. Kids are tribal, and like any tribe, will attempt to eliminate nonconformists (kids who are different, or foreign, or whatever). And the kids who feel bullied will WANT to strike back, whether they actually act on it or not. And this goes on whether they have violent games and porn or not. But lack of an outlet for these feelings (and violent games
  • Surprising (Score:3, Interesting)

    by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:23PM (#14797422)
    Maybe this'll spur them to get around to cleaning up that little polygamy "problem" over there. May I present exhibit a: Google Results 1 - 100 of about 94,300 for mormon wife underaged
  • In other news, they're working on a bill requiring teachers to say that evolution is just one among many theories. They're working on a bill to ban gay/straight alliance clubs from high schools. They've decided that Utah's future economic growth depends heavily on new roads, but not at all on education.

    Every morning, my local public radio station does a legislative summary from the non-partisan League of Women Voters. A good day is one when I only have four or five stomach-clenching moments of impotent r
  • This is stupid. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dastardly ( 4204 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:27PM (#14797443)
    Rep. Lorie Fowlke (R-Orem) pointed out that HB 257 is the most narrowly defined legislation of these kinds of violent games bills. "I think it is worth a try," she said. "Otherwise we give up and say the court will always determine our values."

    And, Dastardly said, "It is worth a try to keep these bills from being passed otherwise we give up and say the politicians will always determine our values."

    • Re:This is stupid. (Score:2, Informative)

      by ACME Septic ( 936684 )
      You want to know what's stupid? Lorie Fowlke wants to limit access to fake guns, while leaving open full access to real guns [votelorie.com]! (I think George Carlin had a joke about this.)

      FWIW, I am in favor of having access to both real and virtual guns. I just like to point out the lunacy of elected officials.

      Also, her page says elsewhere about "Family," "I will do all I can to pass and support legislation that protects the traditional family from government encroachment. I will fight for what is right against any govern
    • Values Legislation
      noun: Deciding that you dislike the way other people want to live their lives and that you dislike the way they raise their kids, so therefore you get the nice young men in blue uniforms to force your prefferences on them at gunpoint.

      -
  • Don't worry... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by urbanriot ( 924981 )
    The "gaming generation" will be in power in about ten to twenty years and we can undo the damage done by these ignorant good old boys. Unfortunately, until then we're forced to suffer.
  • Kids would be much less prone to violence if we made them watch the news instead of playing video games. I'm sure the Iraq war wouldn't inspire anyone to violence.

  • by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @08:11PM (#14798002) Journal
    But it does seem hypocrical to ban the games which might have precipitated the shooting and to allow semi-automatic weapons that definately assisted in the shooting. How can you ban games that let people shoot in fantasy but not the weapons that let people shoot in reality?


  • Violent Video games today.

    Violent History Books tommorow.

    Sorry, my knee just jerked and made me type this.

  • Alright. I've heard enough. These violent games must be stopped in case they maybe could possibly lead some kids to behave aggressively!!! Who's with me?! - Hogue
  • "Would these same kids have done this anyway without watching violent videos? Maybe not,' he said, referring to the Columbine massacre." What a moron. Would they have done this if guns were illegal and therefore much harder to get? Probably not!
  • I don't like Mondays (Score:3, Informative)

    by KillerBob ( 217953 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @10:21PM (#14798417)
    http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/mondays.asp [snopes.com]

    There were school shootings long before video games started to take off, and long before the advent of the kind of graphic ultraviolence that this bill targets....
  • Look, we often complain about how it's considered horrible to see a nipple for three seconds, but lopped-off heads rolling down the street are ok. We decry the categorization of sexual material as "pornographic" and say that violence is the real pornography.

    Could this be a step in the direction of correcting that? Could this lead to the categorization of video violence as porno? Could this lead to removing violence from TV shows accessible to children? Could this lead to the eventual realization that violen

  • Goddamn Mario. It's not my fault. Blame my parents.
    Also whenever I'm in a big box store I get the urge to run through the aisles, eating fruit off the floor and dodging obese people in brightly colored mumus
  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Saturday February 25, 2006 @12:21PM (#14800596)
    If games are what causes violence, then porn must surely be what causes people to have sex?

    If this is true, then only people watching porn can reproduce. Hence if porn is banned, there
    will be no sex and no next generation anymore.

    The other way round, in order to ensure reproduction in the developed countries, free,
    high-quality porn should be available to everybody. Since games = porn, the same should
    be true for games.... I think I like this law!

    I also have a nagging suspicion: Do all these overpopulated 3rd world countries have better
    and more porn than we do?
  • Sometimes I just wish I didn't live in a state that makes an ass of itself at least once during a calendar year.
    • Sometimes I just wish I didn't live in a state that makes an ass of itself at least once during a calendar year.

      Might I suggest Puerto Rico?
      It's a territory, or possession or some such rather than a state ;-)
  • This is a travesty, you can't let the faults of the minority affect the majority, but once again it is happening. This is another case of the government trying to find scapegoats for social problems, Columbine wasn't because those kids played Quake... it was because of a build up of a huge number of factors. This is like saying seeing the army on TV makes people want to kill others, someone needs to set the people who think up laws like this straight before they get too much power. I'd like to keep my civil
  • Random massacres and crazy people running wild has to be caused by computer games. One thing's certain, it has nothing to do with the widespread and easy availability of guns of all kinds.

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