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Supreme Court Upholds Gamers' Rights!

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Post Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Supreme Court Upholds Gamers' Rights!

Sweet! I am so happy! :D In case you didn't know, in California, a bill was being processed to stop the sell of violent video games. Fortunately, the Supreme Court protected our rights as gamers and killed it and ruled it unconstitutional.
Why is this a good thing, exactly? Well, we have the ESRB that rates our video games. They are not affiliated with the government and have set up their own procedures for testing and rating the games. Currently, they do not rate the games based on sitting down and actually play them. They make the video game makers give them specific data and scripts that the ESRB reviews. This saves them a lot of time and prevents the ESRB from leaking data about the games to the public. Timing when a game comes out is key to good sales and many places will not sell games unless they have an ESRB rating. Therefore, it is important that game publishers work with the ESRB to get the game out the door in a timely manner. You cannot just review it from start to finish like a movie because some games, like Fallout, have over a hundred hours of playtime, and games like Mass Effect 2 have multiple scenarios and require many runs through to reach every scenario.
So, if the government controls the rating system, they will have to rate everything through the games like they do with movies... This means that some games will take many, many months more time to be reviewed to be released publicly. Some games are based off of things like movies. Take for instance Transformers 3... The movie is not done whenever they are making the game. If they want the game to come out when the movie does, they need to push back the starting date, which means that they have even less resources and information to work with when they are making their games.... It's very sad to see that this could have negatively effected so many bad things.
On another note, if I wanted to sale my games that I make, I would have to get my games rated,too!! Do you think that would be free? No... I would have to stop making games...
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Post Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:50 am

Re: Supreme Court Upholds Gamers' Rights!

I too was very happy when I heard this. This effectively states that video games are an officially recognized art form and therefore are protected by the first amendment. But as with the rating comment, When it comes to any form of art no rating system is controlled by the government so your safe:). All current rating systems (MPAA, RIAA, PMRC, ESRB) are all private and only serve as guidelines for parents. They legally have no power. It is the distributors choice to carry and allow certain ratings to be sold in their establishment. So in the end your game (Especially if it is a PC release and is distributed online) is not required to be submitted to the ESRB or anything of the like.

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Post Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:11 pm

Re: Supreme Court Upholds Gamers' Rights!

ratings are a waste of time any way i remember when the ratings system first came out (yes i am THAT old i turned 26 back on the 21st of june :P) my mom was all like it wont last well it has and either way i have only come across one store that has ever asked for my id when i was buying an M rated game and that was walmart. i have never been carded at game stop fye tower records (when they had one down here a few years back) on cue (before they went belly up) sam goody nor any of those places the ratings system is onyl effective if A) the parents watch what their kids play (of course if youve got a free spirited mom like mine that will let you play anything cept for Boogerman then youre SOL on that one :P) and B) if stores start actually enforcing the iding of people buying M rated games
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Post Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:03 pm

Re: Supreme Court Upholds Gamers' Rights!

The purpose of ratings is not for them to card you. That is up to the establishment you are purchasing from. They can choose to card you and not sell you the game if you are underage or whatever policy they have set up for themselves. That is what the court ruling said. Because in California it was a CRIME for a store to sell a M rated game to a minor. Now it is optional. If they do sell one to a minor now they wont be in trouble with the law. The board was not started to restrict sales to minors but to guide parents.
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Post Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:27 am

Re: Supreme Court Upholds Gamers' Rights!

it's the same thing with CD sales though in teh days before iTunes with the parental advisory stickers down here it was illegal locally for any store to sell a CD that had that sticker on it to a minor how the clerks got around it was just asking if you were 18. the entire ratings system is pointless anyways i've played many games that should have gotten a T rating and were rated E and the same for M they should have been rated M but were rated T. it's god in theory but it doesnt work. and when i have kids and they become gamers i will monitor what they play closely or i'll do what my mom did growing up and play games with them.
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Post Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:32 am

Re: Supreme Court Upholds Gamers' Rights!

I didn't say the system worked perfectly. And saying a game should have gotten a certain rating is entirely subjective. What you say is T someone else will say is E and so on. And as for it being illegal to sell a explicit CD to a minor locally is a violation of the first amendment. "No doubt a state possesses legitimate power to protect children from harm, But that does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed.". That was the ruling that was made. Those "Ideas" also apply to music. As it is an idea.
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Post Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:45 am

Re: Supreme Court Upholds Gamers' Rights!

i said it was a few years ago and it wasnt statewide it was only certain counties. they didnt ban the sale of them outright just to minors. and when i said certain games should get different ratings i jsut menat that by taking a look at some of the games on the market and seeing how one game can have the exact same things that got it let's say a T rating as another game that gets an M rating is jacked up. a perfect example is sitting on my shelf right now Demon's Souls and Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom DS has an M rating for Blood and Violence yet on the other hand ULDK has a T rating for the exact same thing Blood and Violence. the difference between these two games? one has a lighter gamma than the other simple as that
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Post Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Supreme Court Upholds Gamers' Rights!

I like the current rating system, especially for parents, but most need to pay more attention to it. My little brother got Grand Theft Auto III from Gamestop because my step-father bought it for him. He didn't check the label and my little brother knew he wouldn't. I think the system is fine, but the parents are the ones that need to be brought up to speed.
Now, the other thing about this ruling is that the government cannot force HUGE warning labels on the games. I hate that the idea was even brought up. How ugly would it be to see most game boxes coverted 20% by a warning label that was big and disgusting...
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Post Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Supreme Court Upholds Gamers' Rights!

Well the good news is now all the people who grew up with and understand games are now adults. Meaning they will have children of their own and will hopefully understand the ratings and make a decision on what is best for their children. And yeah not having a huge label F'ing up my box art is defiantly a plus lol.

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Post Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:38 am

Re: Supreme Court Upholds Gamers' Rights!

personally when it comes to the box art and the warnings and everything i think we should have a system in place like in Canada or other countires where instead of a small black and white letter it's color coded in bright colors as well as has the age appropriate for play on there. and personally when i have kids if they want a game i'm gonna be doing EVERY bit of research i can find on it gameinformer gamespot google and then if they have a demo for it i will download it play the demo and then decide if it's something i want my kid to have (although if they come wanitng some disney channel crapppy game then i will veot that on the spot :P)
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Post Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:55 am

Re: Supreme Court Upholds Gamers' Rights!

Yeah, they definitely should color the M or T on the covers to red or something to be easily seen. E games shouldn't have to be colored, though. Sometimes, one would assume the colored labels may throw off the box art, though....
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Post Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:44 pm

Re: Supreme Court Upholds Gamers' Rights!

I personally think that the current box ratings are alright. They have a consistent theme that can go well with the box art. Visuals sell. And if you have some big letter messing with the colour scheme then it may turn some people off. And like I said there parents of about 5 to 7+ years ago didn't really have experience with games. I think the coloured labels would be ok then. But as we come of age and have our own children we will be controlling what our children play. And we all know the system. So once we get the torch I think its gonna be fine.

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