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Two bills target video games following Sandy Hook tragedy
Two bills target video games following Sandy Hook tragedy
January 17, 2013 | By Kris Graft




In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, lawmakers have introduced two new bills that seek to impose restrictions on the sale of video games.

Diane Franklin, a Republican from the Missouri House of Representatives, seeks to amend existing Missouri tax law with an "emergency clause" that would apply a 1 percent tax on "violent video games" [PDF].

Revenue from the tax would be applied to a state fund dedicated solely to the "treatment of mental health conditions associated with exposure to violent video games."

The bill defines "violent video games" as any game that the Entertainment Software Rating Board rates as "Teen," "Mature" and "Adults Only." That includes bloody games such as Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto and Resident Evil, but also games like Zumba Fitness 2, We Sing 80s and Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It.

The ESRB rates games not only based on violence levels, but also drug references, sexual themes and alcohol reference, among other factors.

Referring to the Sandy Hook shooting, Franklin told the Associated Press, "History shows there is a mental health component to these shootings."

The U.S. Supreme Court said in June 2011 that video games are protected by the First Amendment. "Psychological studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively," read the ruling. "Any demonstrated effects are both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media."

In the years prior to the Supreme Court ruling, similar bills were proposed that would place restrictions on the sales of video games. In 2012, Oklahoma state Rep. William Fourkiller proposed a 1 percent tax on "violent video games," but it failed shortly after its introduction.

The ESA has many times fought against such proposed measures, won, then sent the bill for the legal fees back to the state. Some say that's a waste of taxpayer money.

Franklin's proposal isn't the only bill that was proposed in the wake of Sandy Hook. Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson from Utah reintroduced the Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act [PDF] to the House. The bill would make it illegal to sell, ship, distribute or rent any game that doesn't have an ESRB label. The bill, which only referred to physical packaging, also seeks to ban sales and rentals of Mature- and Adults Only-rated video games to consumers under the age of 17 and 18, respectively. Violators would be fined no more than $5,000 per violation.

Matheson originally introduced the Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act back in 2008, though it failed to pass.

Yesterday, in response to the Sandy Hook shootings, President Obama introduced sweeping gun policy proposals, days after a game industry meeting with Vice President Biden's task force. In the President's speech he said, "Congress should fund research on the effects violent video games have on young minds. We don't benefit from ignorance. We don't benefit from not knowing the science."


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Comments


Dave Ingram
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Well... adding 60 cents onto the retail price of a violent game doesn't hurt consumers' wallets, and sending the money to help people with mental illness is a noble cause, but it's a shame that our industry's image has to be tarnished by this implication.

It's also very odd that the bill is designed to financially punish players, rather than publishers or studios.

E Zachary Knight
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$0.60 might seem reasonable today. However, consider that the proposed tax is not also levied on "violent" movies, books or music.

Also consider that the ultimate outcome, if not the ultimate goal, of sin taxes such as this is to reduce the demand for the taxed product/service. When demand is reduced, so is the income from the tax. So what is done next? The tax is raised. So instead of a $0.60 tax on a game, you are looking at a $1.20 tax. Then a $1.80 tax. Then a $3.60 tax. There is no end to it.

This tax should not be levied. Not simply because it denies citizens of their money, but because the premise of the tax is based on a lie, or at best an unfounded assumption. When we are allowed to place taxes on anything we wish for reasons born out of emotion rather than fact, we are passing something that is ultimately unfair.

David Metzener
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What condition would this money go to help cure? The article even says that "Psychological studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively".

So where would this money go? I already have enough money being taken from me that I have no idea where it goes, I certainly don't want to see any more of it going into a limbo account or have it used for something totally unrelated.

Also, this is a State level issue, are the other 49 states going to create similar taxes? Is this going to be like cigarettes? Games needing to cross into Illinois or Kansas to purchase "Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It" so as to get it without this weird tax and save a little money?

How about adding a hefty tax to GUNS! There's a thought! Sheesh, our government are such shills letting the NRA pad the pockets of each and every Senator and Representative in DC!

John Trauger
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This is as much or more a budget thing.

If government is already funding the stuff, those funds are switched back to the general fund and these take over.

R G
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This is where it begins. If you allow that one step, they'll simply keep pushing it.

I really hope you understand what this can all lead up to.

Jane Castle
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Revenue from the tax would be applied to a state fund dedicated solely to the "treatment of mental health conditions associated with exposure to violent video games."

HOLD ON ONE COTTON PICKING SECOND..... Where is the DEFINITIVE evidence that violent video games cause mental health conditions??????

Why are violent movies not also taxed???? Don't they also cause these fabled mental health conditions. If anyone wonders at the state America finds itself in currently, one only need to look at the incompetents in Washington and the moronic laws they try to pass..

Doug Poston
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Standard logic (fallacy).
The government is going to fund a study on the link between video games and violence, therefore a link *must* exist, otherwise why would they do the study in the first place?

Matt Robb
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I'd be amazed if either of these actually make it to a vote.

Amazed and depressed anyways.

Daniel Hettrick
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+1

Luis Guimaraes
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"treatment of mental health conditions associated with exposure to violent video games."

Is that a new way to say "my wallet"?

Mike Griffin
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'Referring to the Sandy Hook shooting, Franklin told the Associated Press, "History shows there is a mental health component to these shootings."'

Wow Mrs. Franklin, such astounding insight.

'Revenue from the tax would be applied to a state fund dedicated solely to the "treatment of mental health conditions associated with exposure to violent video games."'

Nice way to act on something prior to the government's newly-initiated study.
Like a facile assessment of guilt.

Hey, we're not 100% certain yet how these effects alter a person's behavior, or who is providing younger players with access to these titles to begin with, but we're super-duper sure that taxing Teen and Mature games to pay for a Gamer Mental Health Fund is the logical next step!

Sigh.

So, now the tens of thousands of Missouri parents who buy the latest Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto game for their 13-year old kid will have to shell out an extra .60 cents to repent for their transgressions.

A couple of years later after more condoned, unsupervised exposure to Mature titles, these parents can enlist their 15-year old in the Gamer Mental Health Fund, which they've helped to pay for.

Such progress.

Dan the gaming Guy
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This is such a load of nonsense. I've been playing violent games since Doom and everything in between (as well as non-violent games). If there is a connection between violent games and violence, I'm not showing any symptoms (except occasional aggressive driving when I'm cut off by Californian drivers on the phone when they shouldn't be).

I do like fruity drinks, hugging trees, complimenting people and I've never been in a physical fight with anyone. Maybe those personality traits are a result of violent video games??

Anyway, this article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13799616 lists video games as 1/10 reasons for a consistent drop in crime over the past 20 years. So the evidence is contradicting the claims of ignorant politician looks to place blame on something they don't understand.

Ramin Shokrizade
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The best way to cut down on driving is not to raise the cost of cars, it is to raise the cost of gasoline. The best way to cut down on shooting, short of banning guns, is to raise the cost of ammunition. Tremendously. The 2nd Amendment says we can bear arms, but it says nothing about ammunition. Ration that and force people to account for every bullet used, and ammunition will dry up over time. Games can be used to train a person how to shoot, but that does not necessarily make someone want to shoot that did not already want to.

David Metzener
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Nice! Throw a loop-hole back in their faces! :)

Brandon Van Every
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You are wrong. Legal decisions are that the ammo are part of "the arms." You cannot pass draconian price increases on ammo just because you think it's some kind of loophole.

Doug Poston
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@Ramin: "Games can be used to train a person how to shoot.."

Hate to be nit-picky (I agree with the rest of your post), but I don't want people to get the idea that video games like CoD/Halo are training people on how to shot a gun.

Justin LeGrande
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Personally, I would prefer the guns and ammunition be scrapped and recycled into other, more useful items... Creating an artificial "rationing anomaly" isn't much of a strategy when billions of rounds of ammunition of various types is manufactured every year, in the USA alone...

Perhaps outlawing all imports and exports of arms, ammunition, and manufacturing materials might make such an anomaly effective, but there's no way the arms manufacturers would allow that to happen without a fight... They're the most powerful lobby next to the likes of the Koch brothers... No one in the Democratic or Republican party would dare oppose them.

Sauli Lehtinen
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I'm going to be shot down for this, but after reading so much bullshit about the reason for violence I just have to say it - US goverment supports torture and sends it's citizens to other side of the globe to kill people who are no threat to them, US president is celebrated for getting the terrorist leader murdered (instead of bringing him to justice) and people are celebrating it on the streets like savages, collateral damage of drone attacks in pakistan is huge and so on...

And then some people think that video games are the reason for violent behavior... Like it wouldn't matter how much US goverment endorses violence compared to video games.

Michael Joseph
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But why does the US government support torture and why is it so easy for it to send it's citizens to the other side of the globe to kill people who are no threat to them?

In a way you're just substituting one, single cause argument for another. Games are apart of our culture and they influence people just like all media does.

Maybe war shooters make it a tiny bit easier to get people accustomed to
the idea that killing the other is ok. Maybe if you play enough shooters and watch enough Rambo movies and 24 you become a tiny itty bit more apathetic towards the plight of the people at the other end of our weapons. If all the experiences you have of people in foreign lands are depictions of them living in primitive huts and getting blown up by soldiers, then maybe that's going to affect you just a tiny bit in the real world.

Tim Burris
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Sent to State Rep Franklin:

HOUSE BILL NO. 157

I just read your bill proposal and notice a definition conspicuous by its absence. Exactly which "mental health conditions" are "associated with exposure to violent video games"? Who is responsible for making those associations?

To the best of my knowledge, the scientific consensus is that some mental health conditions can be exacerbated by exposure to violent imagery, but
a) any causal relationship between violent video games and mental health conditions is at worst statistically insignificant and at best actually a positive effect (e.g. stress relief)
b) given an existing mental health disorder, any negative effect from violent imagery is equivalently attributable to violent games, violent movies, or real life news footage.

On what basis do you single out violent video games? Please use facts and not only emotion or intuition when proposing laws.

Thank you for your time.

Doug Poston
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Thank you for writing your Rep.
Please let us know what response you get.

Daniel Burke
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So one shooting is being pinned on computer games and there is talk of changing laws.. I seem to recall another shooting in the cinema was blamed on the Batman movie. When did the laws around films change to help benefit mental care?

Michael Joseph
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Seems to me laws like these could potentially impact low budget indies the most. Getting your game ESRB rated isn't free. Would this be a step towards forcing all game developers to get ESRB ratings? Just because it's for physical packaged products today doesn't mean it will be tomorrow.

Doug Poston
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It's worse then that, this is an attack on Free Speech.

Laws like this have been struck down before because of Free Speech issues, and hopefully this one will be too. But we're going to have to keep fighting this fight until somebody comes up with a new form of speech that scares people more than games...

Youn Lee
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Same tragedy is plotted in Korea.
If the States worry about violence, than they should stop selling guns.

Does violent game really become a cause of deadly actions?

I don't know.

I think it's the problem of 'that' criminal,
who accidentally played shooter games.

Justin LeGrande
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It's interesting that you would say that. People who like guns in the USA typically answer "more guns" when they want to stop violence. Sounds counterproductive? We Americans are strange people...

Michael Rooney
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"The bill defines "violent video games" as any game that the Entertainment Software Rating Board rates as "Teen," "Mature" and "Adults Only." That includes bloody games such as Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto and Resident Evil, but also games like Zumba Fitness 2, We Sing 80s and Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It."

Oh great, she's legislating and doesn't even understand what the rating means...

Justin LeGrande
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I wonder if she really doesn't understand it, or if there is someone pulling her on strings...

Jacob Alvarez
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Politicians can't know everything. But they sure as hell can act like they do.

Rachel Presser
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"Revenue from the tax would be applied to a state fund dedicated solely to the "treatment of mental health conditions associated with exposure to violent video games.""


If exposure to violent media supposedly causes mental problems, then gee, why not levy a massive sales tax on ALL other media that portrays senseless violence like film and TV DVDs and downloads, and news channels, and have it go to a fund dedicated to mental health services period?

Since you know, there seems to be something a little disproportionately fakakte with being able to buy a gun more easily than you can access mental health services when you fall into the canyon of being too poor for decent insurance but not poor enough for Medicaid; without even getting into the stigma involved with seeking help for mental issues.

But hey, let's just blame the gaming industry! They do it for the evulz!!1 And push the tax incidence on the people 18 and older making the purchasing decisions, not the publishers or marketers...

Nick Putnam
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Why is the government not happy with the current ESRB rating system? The real issue is society and parenting. Besides this state action our federal government also plans to spend $10 million dollars on research to figure out if video games are to blame for these violent acts. This is $10 million dollars that could go straight to the mental health industry.

Rachel Presser
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"The real issue is society and parenting."

Yes, THIS. I grew up in the late 80s and early 90s when a computer or video game console was meant for the whole household. I see these 9-year-olds with iPads and parents complaining that they buy $600 worth of IAPs...or buying Call of Duty for 10-year-olds.

Guess that personal responsibility doesn't matter when there's some big evil corporation to scapegoat.

and YES, that $10M would be better spent on mental health services as well as education and destigmatisation efforts.

Nicholas Behrens
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All shootings are travesties. But when we, as a society, respond in these manners--blaming games, blaming guns, digging for scapegoats, passing laws to restrict freedoms in the name of "safety," we take one travesty and create numerous unnecessary others.

Running around saying guns are the problem or that video games are the problem--violent movies, nasty music, horror comic books (50's), whatever--this stuff is scapegoat hunting, and always manages to accomplish the same thing. Each and every time, we manage to overlook actual causes of problems, which starts with people--but then, since we never bother to look deeper, this is purely speculation. I, we, don't know for sure. Because we, as a society, are too busy chasing scapegoats.

When we run around screaming "guns are the problem," or "video games are the problem," all we're really saying is "we want an easy fix, regardless of impact, and we're afraid to look too deep."

In the end, we end up with more pointless legislation, more laws, less freedom, fewer rights, and nothing solved. Prohibition didn't magically make alcohol go away. Making cocaine and heroin illegal didn't magically make use stop--the US is still #1 in use of both. You can't legislate a better, smarter society.

Kris G
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> You can't legislate a better, smarter society.
umm, yes you can. by your logic we should have no laws at all. maybe we should just let people drive on whatever side of the road they feel like, at whatever speed they feel like?
of course we cant play the 'blame game' and blame drivers for doing whatever things they feel like doing, duh.

Matt Robb
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Was discussing this with my wife and this quote came to mind.

Xander Cage: Yeah, yeah. These monkeys are following me because I just took this car. Obviously the car doesn't belong to me, it's not my style. It belongs to Dick. Dick Hotchkiss, a California state senator. You remember Dick? He's the guy who tried to ban rap music because he feels that the lyrics promote violence. It's music, Dick! He's also the guy who wants to pull every video game off every shop in the country, because he feels that the video games diminishing intelligence of our youth. Oh, come on, Dick. It's only education we got. Dick, you're a bad man. You know what we do to bad men. We punish them. Dick, you've just entered The Xander Zone.

J Dan Scott
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We would be better served if government parties were fined for allowing idiots to run for office. Sorry Diane you are not smart enough to run a toaster let alone a state.

Brandon Van Every
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The legislation is unconstitutional and ridiculous. It's a product of politicians who will posture with any demagogic issue so that they can score points with their constituencies who don't play games. These politicians don't care that they're wasting tax dollars on lawsuits that will be thrown out, with legal fees paid to the constitutional challengers. All gamers and game developers should fight such laws, without compromise. There isn't any "discussion" to be had when SCOTUS has already spoken on the matter.

Alex Kring
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I don't think she is proposing this law with the belief that it will pass. Given that it realistically has almost no chance of passing, I'm guessing she is proposing this law to look good in the eyes of the public. If people see that she is proactively making attempts to fight gun violence, especially at a time like now, people will most likely think more highly of her.

Justin LeGrande
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"The ESA has many times fought against such proposed measures, won, then sent the bill for the legal fees back to the state. Some say that's a waste of taxpayer money."

It IS a waste of taxpayer money- which COULD be going towards helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy! The people drawing up this sort of legislation know little or nothing about computer games, and should not have a defining voice on the matter- that should belong to lawmakers who DO understand the computer game industry and it's products.

In Diane Franklin's case, mandating governmental (or industry) backed studies would bias the results; though they may claim otherwise. Such studies need to be conducted by non-governmental, non-industry organizations which have no ulterior motives or backers skewing the process.

In Jim Matheson's case, mandating the ESRB as the one-and-only legitimately rated bearer of physical merchandise throughout the USA (or North America) would primarily hurt the foreign import market. Domestic retailers and distributors would not be the primary targets- companies residing in foreign nations would. Many of their products would suddenly become contraband, regardless of content!

It's interesting, from an American perspective, that a politically {conservative} person would propose [increasing non-essential taxes], and [increasing the available powers and reach of government]; while a politically [liberal] person would propose {decreasing the viability of international fair use laws} and {decreasing worker's rights in relation to global trade}. I guess the Democratic and Republican parties are not so different, after all...

R W
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Since imported games don't have an ESRB rating wouldn't they be exempt from such taxes? Couldn't the ESRB change the ratings to not be labeled as Teen, Mature, and Adult instead being Somewhat Okay, Not so Nice, and Not Tall Enough To Ride?

This seems like nothing more than an attempt to selectively increase sales tax to pour money into some fund that gets dipped into for other purposes. Its being added to an existing fund which I can only assume is overflowing with unused money. A 2014 rolls around and suddenly the state has a budget surplus that they use to give themselves bonuses for a job well done.

Justin LeGrande
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"The bill would make it illegal to sell, ship, distribute or rent [ANY] game that doesn't have an ESRB label. The bill, which only referred to physical packaging, also seeks to ban sales and rentals of Mature- and Adults Only-rated video games to consumers under the age of 17 and 18, respectively. Violators would be fined no more than $5,000 [per violation]."

If it's ANY game without an ESRB label, that means games using foreign rating systems, such as CERO in Japan, would be considered contraband, according to this legislation. For international and foreign online retailers, for example in this case Play-Asia, the American market would instantly become taboo.

Independent and homebrew games would also instantly become equivalent to marijuana- dangerous because it's illegal, not illegal because it's dangerous.

David Boudreau
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Great article Kris- relevant and it has good links... however I am wondering about the second bill mentioned in the title ("Two bills target video games following Sandy Hook tragedy")- besides the Diane Franklin of Missouri bill, which is the other?

Kris Graft
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Hey David,

The other bill is the one from Matheson that I mention near the end. He's re-introducing his "Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act," which had previously failed back in 2008.

R W
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In regards to my comment about importing I didn't notice the different wording for the Utah bill (pdf near bottom of the article). I really have no respect for politicians and hope these bills don't pass with the offenders being voted out of office.

In either case the bills don't stop someone from playing the game, only from purchasing it themselves, unless the parent keeps the game in a lockbox next to their guns. Its also interesting to note that the ESRB allows companies to self rate digital games through a questionnaire and does a follow up afterwards. The article mentions the fees are waived though that might only apply to games with a small budget.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/10/esrb-simplifies-ratings-pro
cess-for-downloadable-games/

Babak Kaveh
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I finally got to watch the movie "Loopers" on a flight last night. In the movie, the main characters shoots and kills two small boys with an oversized revolver, and fails at shooting a third child. I had to fast forward through the movie, as soon as I noticed a small girl of 4 or 5 sitting behind me and looking at my screen wide-eyed at the horror of a child being stalked and shot by a big bloody ugly bear of a man (Bruce Willis). Interestingly, the movie character actually morally justifies killing the children, because supposedly one of the kids will grow up to become a tyrant (sort of a reversal of Terminator).

Now, I remember from back in the days when some dumb-ass at our company proposed to have children to be kill-able in a mature rated game, and everyone including the director told him in the strongest of terms to shut up, and act more responsibly - compare that response to that of the movie industry in making movies like Looper.

So why attack the game industry? It is almost a tradition here in the US to attack the companies with the least lobbying power, while defending (NRA) or ignoring (Hollywood) those with the most lobbying power, and you know what - the American public will buy it, and the government will endorse it, because they just love scapegoats, and taxes, and sin taxes as we know are an almost infinite source of income for a cash-trapped government. I don't think we can win this fight - not in the US. A lot of people here have been talking about the "culture of violence" in the US, I find that even though the media and certain interest promote violence (has anyone seen the army recruitment ads where violent youngsters are beating each other up) - the average American parent is also extremely sensitive to violence, and weary of the things their children find entertainment in - and it is those guys who are paying for a good portion of our paycheck.

Having gone through multiple consecutive senseless wars, and with more US soldiers committing suicide than being killed in combat, I think the public will consider any measure including meaningful ones, or completely ridiculous ones to confront the issues - "confront" being the keyword, instead of "understanding and addressing".

Kat Mahoney
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Our government is AGAIN trying to control what we play, what we wear, how we eat ... it pisses me off sooooo much! I am so fed up with our government. I am so tired of them trying to control us because of dumb people in this world. You will NEVER control tragedy in life ... our government is NOT GOD (or whatever being you believe in) ... they need to stop trying to control us because as long as morons are being born no matter what we play or eat or wear or learn, it won't matter because criminals don't care! We need to start holding PEOPLE accountable for their actions and NOT the video games or the guns or anything else! I am just infuriated! There are great kids out there (like my kids and some other kids I know) who play these games and UNDERSTAND RIGHT FROM WRONG! There are thousands of historical maniacs who have commited violent crimes WELL BEFORE VIDEO GAMES! And if there is a mental health issue, like my son who has Autism, we limit video games and what he plays, but even if the parents aren't responsible enough, then restricting video games from someone who is severely mentally insane will NOT prevent any other forms of violence! If anything drives the human race to violence, it's going to be our government!

C B
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So basically, if Zelda: Twilight Princess was re-released, and so was Smash Bros. Melee, they would be taxed due to violence.

Yeah, no thanks.

Not a whole lot of thought went into that bill, considering that indie games bypass the ESRB. And wow, 60 cents. Nice one! Even if the unsupported "research" claiming that violent video games cause violence in real life turned out to be true - even though it isn't - that extra 60 cents would deter another shooting. Definitely! I see where they're coming from. Oh wait, no I don't. Because it's a bunch of ignorance.

mark perry
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Topic: Violence in Video Games
Purpose: To look at the growing incidence of violence in society and determine its main cause.
Question: Dose violent behavior stem from video games or elsewhere?

Thesis statement: This research is to pinpoint the interjection of violent behavior into societal acceptance, found in present day video games. Narrowing a broader view of drafting soldiers form a historical record to how USA solicits and pre trains the population to become modern day soldiers. This paper sets out to prove violent behavior has nothing to do with video games and everything to do with propaganda.

Cultural and historical military influences date back to the beginning of our conception, we as a species have always practice for war and survival. Weather playing cowboys and Indians, or soldier with friends, we as a society have deeply ingrained commitments to war. In our modern day this molding is more of a science and less of a passing down to the next generation. (American Elementary)
Dime store novels or comic books as we refer to them today really started to take off in the late 1930s. Great titles like Superman showed the hero crushing the horrific; and his motto "truth, justice and the American way". Help lead the way for a comic book not heard of as much in our current day Battle stories, which evolved into battlefield magazine. These stories are military style comic books which glorified the role of the soldier. (Superman)
The generations of the early 20th century glorified war and the soldiers that enlisted, the generations alive for between the First World War and the second saw this as a duty to the country to march on foreign soil. Children helped as much as they could by recycling old rubber tires and metal junk to make new weapons for the American troops. This ideology is exact opposite for the Warriors that came back from the Vietnam era. (American Elementary)

above: Battle and Battlefield pulp comic series made through most of the early 20th century.

Some of the key individuals in the early 20th century were Superman, Buck Rogers, and Capt. America. It seems that all these characters have made their way into video games, targeted for younger players.

The Draft 1900 -1929
The United States was astonishingly ill-equipped for war in 1917 (World War One). The Us had not fought in a major conflict since 1865. Our military at the time was small having some weapons that were outdate technologically. The draft began in the spring 1917, volunteers were accepted. Four million men with thousands of women united for the endeavor. World War one was a rushed expansion of the armed forces. (To Raise an Army)
The same year President Woodrow Wilson created the Committee on Public Information (CPI) to control war information and provide pro-war propaganda. Shortly after the U.S. government passed the Espionage Act and then the Sedition Act. The Sedition Act criminalized any expression of opinion about the U.S. government or armed forces. (The Illusion)
The purpose of the CPI was to influence American public opinion toward supporting U.S. participation in World War I. The CPI used conflict material that was based on fact, but reworked it to characterize a positive picture of the American war effort. The CPI used newsprint, posters, radio, telegraph, and movies to broadcast its message. (What's Mine)
The CPI went as far to target the American worker by filled factories and offices with posters designed to promote the role of American labor in the triumph of the war effort. During its lifetime, the Committee on Public Information had over twenty divisions, with offices in nine foreign countries. (Image Makers)

Above: Committee on Public Information had posters made - World War One

The peace time draft 1929 -1946
In 1940 the government passed the first peace time draft legislation. The nation went from a manpower surplus with 17% unemployment in 1940 to a severe worker shortage by 1943. The Army urgently need production of indispensable war materials and packaged food more than soldiers. Patriotism was the theme of advertising throughout World War Two, massive campaigns were launched to sell war bonds, encourage efficiency in factories, and dissipate rumors. The war consolidated the advertising industry's role in American. All media work together with the federal government in the official observation of the war. Also all movie scripts had to be pre-approved. (Advertising at War)
Hollywood studios went all out on the war effort; studios even encouraged their stars to enlist. Hollywood had military units that made instructional films – Ronald Reagan narrated many of them. Hollywood made many war movies with the coordination with the Office of War Information (OWI). The movie showed Americans who the heroes and the villains were. Ninety million people went to the movies every week in the 1940's. (We'll Always)
On television during 1950s the American military was the mightiest armed force on Earth and in real life. The American military is without fail part of popular entertainment. Encouragingly; media (TV at the time) highlighted the military, involving its stories and personnel in all types of programming. This new tool television could easily interact with future assets (potential militarily personal) on a wider stage then ever seen before.
Recordings of real battles and illusory drama, to situation to sports and quiz shows, television focused habitual flattery upon the armed forces. Never in the history of peacetime in American pop culture has broadcasting placed this level of intensity on the military - the start of the cold war. ("The Big Picture")
One of the most popular television entertainment designs was the military style documentaries, these admiring epics were riddled with cold war implications. The 1949 television release of Crusade in Europe was a twenty six part history of World War two based on the accounts of General Eisenhower. As an illustration of the United States in war, Crusade in Europe was a remarkable presentation of the skill, bravery, and righteousness of the American war effort. (Crusade in Europe)
The success of Crusade in Europe series, led to the sequel Crusade in the Pacific. This series went beyond World War II. It covered the Korean War, a security measure (unsanctioned war) that had begun less than a year before the series was released. The sense of crusade they conveyed, essential to both productions enclosed the idea that the national struggle against dictatorship and hostility did not end just because Hitler was dead and the Japanese got blown up. - sound familiar? (Crusade in the Pacific)

Above: Office of War Information ok all movies with the synchronization of Hollywood.-WW2
Nowhere was the moral righteousness more powerfully presented than in the esteemed NBC program Victory at Sea. This was the Cold War documentary series focusing on the U.S. Navy in World War II. Adding to the militarized state of mind of many Americans in the 1950s, Victory at Sea had a positive responsive within America. It became an instant success and was immediately rerun once its first showing was completed. Ten years after its release, mass acceptance of the series and every ship, installation, and substation in the Navy had at least one episode of the program to be used as an educational device. (Victory at Sea)
Conscription 1963 - 1984
The draft has activated several times in the United States throughout war, but also during the Cold War era. The United States discontinued the draft in 1973, moving to a volunteer military force. Yet, the Selective Service System remains in place as a secondary plan. Young men between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to register with the selective. In 1980, President Carter re-instated the mandatory requirement that young men register with the Selective Service System. Failure to register is a felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment or a $250,000 fine and refusing to register can also cause a loss of eligibility for federal financial aid for college. (Selective service)
Lyndon Johnson took over the presidency after the death of John Kennedy, initially did not consider Vietnam a priority at the time. Johnson had reversed Kennedy's policy for Vietnam, which would have withdrawn 1,000 troops by the end of 1963. Instead Johnson expanded the war. (Vietnam: A History)
In 1964 the board game Blitzkrieg was released by the Avalon Hill Game Company. The game represented war between two imagined countries on a drawing of a make believe continent. This is one of the first times in America history that a military strategic game was released, and the level of military technology was based upon the Second World War. The game used cardboard tokens to symbolize military units on a hexagonal field put on top of a printed game board. (Blitzkrieg)
The first player commands the country great blue, the other player commands great red. There are neutral countries between the two; they have an automated response to being attacked written within the rulebook. The game tries to be balanced giving each player an equal advantage to winning. This was a good start to military style gaming of the early 60s which really took off in the 1970s. (Blitzkrieg)
In the 1970s a new style of gaming was introduced called role-playing develop from the creators of Dungeons & Dragons. A new style of interaction had been created Fantasy role playing and the ability to interact with characters of their own making, giving players a further sense of control upon their avatars.
1984 - 1999
Scientists from the University of Rochester have exposed playing action video games prepares people to formulate the precise conclusions faster. The researchers establish that video game players expanded a finely tuned understanding on what is going on around them. (Science Daily)
This advantage make them better at wide variety of skills that can help with everyday activities, multitasking, driving, reading small print, keeping track of friends in a crowd, and navigating. (Science Daily)
One of the largest groups to use video games for training is the US military. The U.S. Army strongly believes in the ability of video games to train soldiers for combat in flying, driving and commanding. The Army program Executive Office for Simulation Training and Instrumentation has an operating budget of over $1 billion dollars. The Marines have even created commercially available first-person shooters for simulated training. According to the article the Marines are learning teamwork, communication, with concepts in command-and-control. How young is too young start training. (Iowa State University)
In 2009 for the first time since the establishment of all-volunteer forces in 1973, the US military has met all of its recruiting goals. This success can be attributed in part to new video games through its marketing campaign targeting teenagers. The Us military released the third installment of the taxpayer sponsored video game America’s Army, and an arcade the Army Experience Center in a Philadelphia mall that is filled with simulators. In 1999, the military had the worst recruiting in 30 years, so Congress called for new approaches in recruitment creating the Army Marketing Brand Group. The aim of the new recruitment strategy was to ensure long term success by cultivating teenage Americans. The free video game America’s Army has been downloaded more than 40 million times. According to a 2008 study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “the game had more impact on recruits than all other forms of Army advertising combined.” America’s Army targets between the ages of 13 to 21. The T for Teen rating was attained because designers were, as one Army spokesman said in 2002, “very careful on the blood thing.” (America’s Army)

Above: The official seal of America's Army (Video Game)

Integration 1999 - 2013
Military grade game controllers are nearly indistinguishable from their civilian version, allowing soldiers to operate cameras, fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and even fire remote controlled machine guns. The military version of these controllers are rugged to protect the fragile electronics from dust, water and general abuse. The U.S. Army know soldiers today are 18 to 20 year old with gaming experience. These young soldiers want and need a controller with a known feel much like the video game controller they left at home, but built to withstand a military environment. Being able to plug in and operate a device in mints makes for a much faster traing. However these consol style controllers may soon come to a close, because of a new generation of controllers that resemble iPhones or touch screen devices.
This year a new video game rifle will be released the Delta Six controller. It is modeled after a military grade weapon that will give gamers the experence of becoming a sniper, or shortening the game rifle to become a sub machine gun. It has a realistic magazine clip, when your character runs out of ammo they can reload, it has recoil and if you hold it up to use the scope, it activates a screen inside. The only way to get more real is to enlist. (Delta Six)



Above: Propaganda or hard facts of the growing frequency of violence in society (the delta six)





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