Jack Thompson harrassing little old ladies now

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LogisticEarth

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It's a damn shame that any 'free' country censors this stuff, or anything, for that matter.

To be perfectly fair here, in the US at least, nothing is "censored". It's not illegal to buy or sell any of these games. It's the policy of the game stores in response to pressure from parents and other consumers. I really don't see any problems with it. Should a 10 year old be able to walk into a store and buy a porno mag?

There's a difference between a government "censoring" and a society self-restricting. Most of the people I see ranting about restricting sales to minors are, in fact, minors themselves.

That said, Jack Thompson is a general all around douche and should be disregarded for the loon he is.
 

Shadrach

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Lol, somehow I doubt he actually wrote that, if sites like CSNation and Gtaforums are the only sources on it... Ya gatta learn to be more sceptical people! :p

Even if he is IS a major a-hole, he is a lawyer after all, so no way would he open himself to the kind of lawsuit that letter would get him into. Regrettably, he's not *that* stupid...

I got to agree with LogisticEarth, stores should do some kind of self-policing, if only to avoid adding fuel to the agendas of people like Thompson.
 
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LogisticEarth

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Public television and radio are most definately censored in the United States. And they plan on making it worse - http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-1780

Well, when I said "nothing", I was referring to the video games. However, the FCC only has juristiction over broadcast TV and radio, as any legal broadcaster must "borrow" thier broadcasting frequency from the Federal Goverment, who technically "owns" all the radio frequencies. That's the only reason they're able to do it. So they'd only lose thier broadcasting license. So far, most people support this kind of control though, since it only effects about 4 TV stations, and normal radio.

Cable and satelite TV, Satelite radio, books, video games, DVDs, etc. are all unable to be censored by the Federal government. That's why South Park was able to get away with episodes like the one where they had the characters say "sh!t" as many times as possible. The worst you'll run into is some age restrictions on buying pornography, or some weird arcahic local laws by local governments which are probably constituionally unsound, but nobody has bothered to challenge yet.
 

PUTZ

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To be perfectly fair here, in the US at least, nothing is "censored".
Uhh. FCC anyone? Bleeps in movies and music? WHAT???

It's not illegal to buy or sell any of these games. It's the policy of the game stores in response to pressure from parents and other consumers. I really don't see any problems with it.
True, it isn't illegal, nor is it illegal for game stores to restrict the sales of games. But (personal opinion here) they don't have any business restricting sales either...w/e. It's the parents duty to raise their children as they see fit...why people ask game stores to restrict sales their children, it effects other people who don't agree with that policy...it's just insane.

Should a 10 year old be able to walk into a store and buy a porno mag?

Yes. Why is sex so taboo? It's perfectly natural to enjoy that...at any age.

There's a difference between a government "censoring" and a society self-restricting. Most of the people I see ranting about restricting sales to minors are, in fact, minors themselves.

Because they are being denied their ability to pursue happiness. It's human instinct to want something that can be enjoyed.
 

I. Kant

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It's a damn shame that any 'free' country censors this stuff, or anything, for that matter.[/SIZE]

I beg to differ. Seeing as I come from a national background where the magical idea of "Freedom" is not an all-encompassing vague catch-all that it, perhaps, is in some different countries, I wouldn't say allowing an individual to buy (obtain) anything, without any restrictions, can lead to good things.

You can go around shouting "Freedom! Freedom!" (that with a capital letter), but I implore you to think about it for a while. Opening the gates to everything can let some nasty **** in. Besides, many restrictions are already in place. And the lawsuit hysteria that makes the US the place it is, only proves that total, unrestrained Freedom is a myth and is, in fact, detrimental. Because when someone burns their mouth while drinking hot coffee, they cry like they didn't know that hot coffee can burn your mouth. People at their current stage of development are simply not ready for complete Freedom. Not in Poland, not in Iraq, not in the US, not anywhere in the world, They have to be baby-sitted and people have to realise that when governments try to regulate various aspects of our life, this has nothing to do with oppression or anything of this sort. Seriously, you don't go accusing the government of oppression when it requires the drivers to follow some rules, so that its difficult for them to bring harm to either themselves or others. However old it may be, its "for their own good". The rule is easily extrapolated to other fields (i.e. housing regulations to minimise fire risks, hell, I don't know, loads of things). Obviously, in some cases the boundaries are fuzzy or the governments try to encroach on your personal freedom in a way that is not acceptable (and the exact boundaries of how far the state can go are subject to incessant debate, or they should be, at least). It's a matter of the People who should constantly engage the State in dialogue. If they keep finding compromises that satisfy both sides, then all's going to be well. If either side finds they are not getting enough from that deal, then you can ring up Houston and tell them that we've got a problem.


Give it a thought, should a kid be allowed to buy the following:
- any kind of a game
- alcohol
- tobbaco
- drugs (soft, hard, medicine, you name it)
- guns
- pornography
- machine tools
- pencils
- Teddy bears

Sure, some of these are going to be acceptable, but you try and think about the future consequences of allowing people (not just kids, anyone really) to freely purchase all the things on the list.

Call me a conservative, fascist, whatever, but if I got it all wrong - hey, let me know!
 
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REZ

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Yeah, I'm sure you see it now. My post was simple commentary on your use of the word 'nothing'. What you posted about the FCC is common knowledge ;).


also, Kant, your post is meandering and a touch naive in places. No offense. For us to go further would have this thread locked.
 
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Zips

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Lol, somehow I doubt he actually wrote that, if sites like CSNation and Gtaforums are the only sources on it... Ya gatta learn to be more sceptical people! :p

Even if he is IS a major a-hole, he is a lawyer after all, so no way would he open himself to the kind of lawsuit that letter would get him into. Regrettably, he's not *that* stupid...

I got to agree with LogisticEarth, stores should do some kind of self-policing, if only to avoid adding fuel to the agendas of people like Thompson.

He, himself, originally posted it on Kotaku (along with other such letters if you'll note his post history).
http://kotaku.com/commenter/jackthompson/

Seriously, don't insult my site. Thanks.

And yes, he is that stupid. He's the same asshole that challenged someone to make a violent game with a set of specifics and that, if made, he would donate $10,000 to PA's Child's Play. When someone DID make it, he refused to donate the $10,000 to Penny Arcade's Child's Play charity.
 
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LogisticEarth

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Uhh. FCC anyone? Bleeps in movies and music? WHAT???

See my post right before yours, I was only talking about video games when I said "nothing".

True, it isn't illegal, nor is it illegal for game stores to restrict the sales of games. But (personal opinion here) they don't have any business restricting sales either...w/e. It's the parents duty to raise their children as they see fit...why people ask game stores to restrict sales their children, it effects other people who don't agree with that policy...it's just insane.

Well, see, the store has a base of customers. Customers demand certain things, and certain levels of service quality. The way I see it, sales restrictions are just another way of providing the service potential customers ask for. Generally, as a society, we've decided that unguided exposure to high levels of sex and violence are generally innappropriate for younger kids. To help enforce this social norm and make (most) parents happy, game stores have a policy to help the parents who don't want thier kids to buy them. Parents who allow thier kid to buy an M-Rated game have to go through the minor inconvience of going to the store with them. Like you said, it's a personal opinion. But store/buisness owners are also private people with thier own opinions.

In short: Societies have always self-regulated what type of material is easibly availible and what is not. It only really becomes an issue (in my mind) when the government makes it ILLEGAL to do so.

Because they are being denied their ability to pursue happiness. It's human instinct to want something that can be enjoyed.

Denying access to a videogame is not a "denial of ability to pursue happiness". Being assigned homework when you're a kid inhibits your "ability to pursue happiness" in that respect also.
 

PUTZ

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Does playing a video game make you happy? If you can't play it because someone has restricted your access to it, then you've been denied that pursuit. It's as simple as that.
 

LogisticEarth

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Does playing a video game make you happy? If you can't play it because someone has restricted your access to it, then you've been denied that pursuit. It's as simple as that.

That's a gross oversimplification, and I could go on about the definition and limits of an individuals right to "pursue happiness", but that would probably get too political.
Even still, the situation we're talking about is a "denial" that can be easily reversed by thier legal guardian going to the store with them. It's not some grave social injustice. They're still minors.
 

REZ

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It's not some grave social injustice

It is a big shiny boot right on the neck of human liberty. If I'm 13 and have enough money to buy Grand Theft Auto, and I'm of sound enough mind to understand the difference between real life consequences and what happens in a video game, I dont find it right that some store owner is going to tell me I cant buy it because some righteous groups or individuals stretch the truth and create an aura of 'potential' danger around my purchase. It's like preemptive blitzkrieg on undeserving countries (Iraq) when the aura of fear is unjustly painted on them by influential people in power. Human liberty once existed, we should all try, as individuals, to reconnect with it. It isnt up to Joe-Bob at Walmart to decide for me if something is good for me or not. (BTW I've never spent a single cent in a Walmart ever in my life and I'm proud of it :p)
 
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hockeywarrior

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Well, I think with nutjobs like Jack Thompson on the loose, it's very easy to jump to the conclusion that all censorship is bad. Of course it isn't.

Personally, I think there is nothing healthy about a 10 year old buying Manhunt or Postal 2 and killing people in extremely graphic and grisly ways. Certain things should not be seen by kids at certain ages. They simply don't know how to deal with that sort of violence, or view it as not totally real... they just aren't mature enough.

Showing ID to buy M rated games, is a fine policy, and makes total sense. If a kid REALLY wants to buy a game like that, he's going to have to get his parents to buy it for him. Ultimately, it should come down to the parents -- it's their responsibility to make sure their kids don't do anything that is unhealthy or damaging to themselves.

People like Jack Thompson don't seem to understand that it's mostly not the retailer's job to make sure kids don't buy graphic games. It's up to the parents.
 

REZ

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Ultimately, it should come down to the parents -- it's their responsibility to make sure their kids don't do anything that is unhealthy or damaging to themselves.

Exactly. It shouldnt be up to the store clerk OR the government OR society at all.
 

LogisticEarth

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Exactly. It shouldnt be up to the store clerk OR the government OR society at all.

Of course it's up to the store clerk/owner. Every transaction has two participants: the buyer and the seller. Either can refuse the deal if they don't like the way buisness is being done. Bartenders can refuse service to people who are to drunk, and tatoo shops can refuse service to kids (or, like the bar, people who are too drunk :p ).

It's the same deal with video games. It's not a "boot on the neck of liberty". That's a wild hyperbole. We live in one of the most socially free times in human history. Try living a hundred years ago when it was not only hard to obtain, but outright illegal for adults to view some of this stuff, let alone kids.

Look, people like Jack Thomspon are one end of the spectrum, and unresricted access to everything for everyone is the other end. Strike a balance. That's exactly what age-check policies do.
 
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REZ

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Store owners have a right to refuse business, of course. But there arent any repercussions to selling a teen a video game with depictions of violence or sex. Comparing that with a bartender creating a deadly instrument wielding (car) individual is cute hyperbolization. The reasons a store owner wouldnt sell an 'M' rated video game to a kid are based on falsehoods, and it is indeed an infringement of personal liberty. There is no basis for the refusal other than trying to impose personal views on another.

None of this stuff existed 100 years ago. Television didnt even come around till the late 30's. People were able to buy all the usual stuff.. liquor, women, smut publications, firearms, the whole nine yards.
 

LogisticEarth

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None of this stuff existed 100 years ago. Television didnt even come around till the late 30's. People were able to buy all the usual stuff.. liquor, women, smut publications, firearms, the whole nine yards.

While you make some valid points here, it's not entirely true. For a period of a decade about 80 years ago, you could NOT buy liquor in the US. And there were a large number of state and county prohibition laws well before the national legislation. Women couldn't vote, most of those adult publications were not found in easily accessible pubic places. Etc, etc. We're not living in a utopia, but we still are very socially liberal compared to the rest of human history.

I'll also conceed that the bartender refusing service may not be best example, but what about the tatoo parlor?

Just to be clear also, I'm a pretty staunch libertarian, and agree with your overall sentiment. I'm 22, so I'm not some old fogie. However I take issue with the hyperbole. There's a difference between giving people the liberty to do what they want, and FORCING it on them.
 

Ralfst3r

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In my country you can buy any game at any age. Although they are trying to stop that which is pure BS.

Euhm that's not bull****, that's smart. A whole lot smarter than banning games all togheter.
I mean you can't rent certain type of movies when you are below a certain age, why would you be able to rent/buy any type of movie when you are say 12 years old or something.
 

Donut

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Uhh. FCC anyone? Bleeps in movies and music? WHAT???


True, it isn't illegal, nor is it illegal for game stores to restrict the sales of games. But (personal opinion here) they don't have any business restricting sales either...w/e. It's the parents duty to raise their children as they see fit...why people ask game stores to restrict sales their children, it effects other people who don't agree with that policy...it's just insane.



Yes. Why is sex so taboo? It's perfectly natural to enjoy that...at any age.



Because they are being denied their ability to pursue happiness. It's human instinct to want something that can be enjoyed.
/pedobear

Well, I think with nutjobs like Jack Thompson on the loose, it's very easy to jump to the conclusion that all censorship is bad. Of course it isn't.

Personally, I think there is nothing healthy about a 10 year old buying Manhunt or Postal 2 and killing people in extremely graphic and grisly ways. Certain things should not be seen by kids at certain ages. They simply don't know how to deal with that sort of violence, or view it as not totally real... they just aren't mature enough.

Showing ID to buy M rated games, is a fine policy, and makes total sense. If a kid REALLY wants to buy a game like that, he's going to have to get his parents to buy it for him. Ultimately, it should come down to the parents -- it's their responsibility to make sure their kids don't do anything that is unhealthy or damaging to themselves.

People like Jack Thompson don't seem to understand that it's mostly not the retailer's job to make sure kids don't buy graphic games. It's up to the parents.
Yes, kids killing people is bad. :p If you meant just buying the game, MAYBE, nowadays, because kids these days don't seem to have the same amount of maturity as I did at that age. As to the last two bolded sentences, not true in my case. My brother and I grew up watching Staurday morning cartoons, and Kung Fu Theatre in the afternoons, occasionally SNL at night, between 1976-84, and never once contacted Acme for a pair of rocket skates, we never hit each other with skillets, or used power tools as weapons. Did do the "beach towel as a cape" thing, but NEVER, not for one second, did we think we could fly. Hell, when I was 5, in kindergarden, it was really hot out during recess, we yelled, "HEY! Kool-aid!" and the teacher said, "Hes not coming". We just looked at each other and laughed, because we already knew that. Saw my first R rated movie when I was 12(Outland with Sean Connery), I thought the guy exploding in the elevator looked cool in the ad. Turned out to be the first time I saw a gay couple as well. 5 rows in front of me and my dad, during the elevator scene(rather bright in theatre, easy to see), I saw these 2 guys statrt kissing, and the thought in my mind at the time was, "Well, thats different", went back to watching movie, didnt faze me at all. So Id like to know how the parenting has change, because, as you say(italicized), its the parents job to raise their children, not society's.