California Senator Wants Fewer Guns in Games

| 6 Apr 2013 15:57
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Senator Dianne Feinstein has suggested the government should pass in-game gun restrictions if the game industry doesn't self-regulate.

Late last year, the tragic massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Connecticut shook the country to its core. It's an event that spurred new debates on the issues of guns and violence in the United States, and will likely continue to ignite passions for years to come. As often happens in the wake of such events, videogames have fallen back under the scowling gaze of those who believe them to be an instigator of violence in our society.

Speaking to a crowd of five hundred in San Fransisco on the subject of gun control, California Senator Dianne Feinstein leveled criticism at the game industry, suggesting that the government should consider taking action to reduce the presence of guns in videogames. According to Feinsten videogames play "a very negative role for young people, and the industry ought to note that. If Sandy Hook doesn't do it, if the knowledge of these videogames this young man played doesn't, then maybe we have to proceed, but that is in the future."

Feinstein is not the first government official following the events in Newton to push for new restrictions on videogames. In early February of 2013, State Representative Debralee Hovey introduced a bill to the state legislature that would have levied special taxes on violent videogames in the state of Connecticut. That same month, again in Connecticut, state senator Toni Harp pushed a motion to make it illegal for minors to play arcade games involving fake guns.

It's important to remember, of course, that videogames, thanks to the Supreme Court's decision in the 2011 Brown vs. EMA case, now enjoy the same first amendment protections as books, music and film. Even if a measure were passed by the government in an attempt to restrict the content of games, there would be tremendous legal precedent to help opponents strike it down.

Source: CBS 5 KPIX via Game Informer

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Ha ha ha. Classic backward thinking. I wonder, how many people have been killed by pretend guns in games and real guns in real life? Yeah, thinking it will be the real guns.

Wasnt she the woman that said games are gun training simulators? But what about target shooting at a gun club, wouldnt that be considered the same? She is the reason people think americans are backward especially as she is a senator and should have more sense. Thing is its been proven that all shootings are linked to everything other than games. They are caused by mental health, jealousy, anger, bullying, racism etc no one has killed someone because they were playing a game and then it turned them into a gun toting zombie. If this was the case then there would be millions more shootings and jails would be full of dazed teenagers.

Actually, i wonder what the figure is for people who shot others but didnt play games?

I prefer slaughtering my digital foes with gory melee weapons anyway (the spinning blade tool in Bioshock Infinite was sweet, and also the omni-blade in ME3 was a great addition) lol...

but in all seriousness, good luck ma'am.

FEichinger:
Best Regards,
Europe.

Dear Europe,

Need we remind you of mass shootings in Finland, Slovakia, and the Netherlands? The Norway attacks in 2011? The Winnenden shooting in 2009? Politicians in these countries were quick to blame violent games as well. They do not understand that the world is full of sick people. No law, no amount of mental care can prevent a psychotic individual from acquiring the tools to kill defenseless civilians.

This is not the black-and-white debate you think it is. Granted the GOP has been backwards since the Reagan administration, but they have a solid point against gun control. Believe it or not, gun related deaths and crimes are decreasing in the U.S. The party is concerned that a succession of bans will turn this trend around, not only leading to higher death rates but infringing on the rights of citizens.

The Democratic party is concerned with protecting the public and controlling assault weapons. It's a good cause, but a lost one. We do not have a practical system of keeping track of firearms in the U.S. It's likely we never will. As I said before, we are not the only country that has this problem. Educating the populace about safe, defensive firearms use is a more practical way of reducing gun related crime and deaths than trying to improve an individual's mental health.

Get off your high horse.

Best regards,
United States.

Father Time:

endplanets:
This is some seriously depressing stuff. The government is dead in the water on background checks, but fake guns, gotta stop that shit right now.

In America we have low video game regulations and have lots of violence.
In Australia/Germany they have harsh VG regulations and low violence.
In Japan/Sweden/UK/etc they have low VG regulations and have even lower violence.

Other that hate-speech like games, VG regulation has no effect on the levels of violence in a country.

America's crime rate keeps going down. It's been decreasing since the mid 90's.

And what do you mean hate speech like games? Do you mean games that are blatantly racist but don't encourage violence? And if so where's your proof they cause violence?

I mean all of games that I know of are available online so they're just as available to British or Australian people.

Scratch that last post of mine. L4D2 specifically is allowed but was censored. But other games, like Manhunt 2, are still banned.

Father Time:

endplanets:
This is some seriously depressing stuff. The government is dead in the water on background checks, but fake guns, gotta stop that shit right now.

In America we have low video game regulations and have lots of violence.
In Australia/Germany they have harsh VG regulations and low violence.
In Japan/Sweden/UK/etc they have low VG regulations and have even lower violence.

Other that hate-speech like games, VG regulation has no effect on the levels of violence in a country.

America's crime rate keeps going down. It's been decreasing since the mid 90's.

And what do you mean hate speech like games? Do you mean games that are blatantly racist but don't encourage violence? And if so where's your proof they cause violence?

I mean all of games that I know of are available online so they're just as available to British or Australian people.

Hate-speech games would be games like "Ethnic Cleansing" and "Shoot the Blacks". I don't think there are any hate-speech games that don't have you killing people, but I guess it is possible. As for hate-speech games causing violence it is considered part of the 'diet' of bigots, up there with bigoted rallies, radio shows, tattoos, revised history books and movies which is linked with hate-crime and over-reactions which result in violence. I have not seen a study where hate-speech video games are isolated though so it is a fair point on your part.

I know that violence has gone down. Specifically, violent youth crime has been going down regularly declining since the 1950 if I remember correctly. Meanwhile VG sales are rising. This is one of the more painfully obvious things that politicians should know.

I don't know about Britain, but I know that Germany and Australia have very harsh VG laws and they are not legally allowed to buy or own certain games.
http://kotaku.com/5361301/left-4-dead-2-banned-in-australia-%5Bupdate%5D

everythingbeeps:

canadamus_prime:
But we don't want fewer real guns in the hands of people now do we?

So very glad it didn't take several posts before this point was made.

Let's put fake guns on the back burner and deal with the real ones first. I promise, the first time I accidentally shoot myself in the leg while playing Halo, I'll take up the cause. Until then....it's silly.

SSJBlastoise:

Segafriday:
maybe its time to allow the law to make EA's job just a little bit harder. because seriously, fuck EA.

That doesn't even make sense. The only games that spring to mind from EA that you could claim it has too many guns is the Battlefield series and Medal of Honour but these two franchises have been running for years. I've seen people use many different reasons to hate EA but this takes the cake for being one of the most far-fetched.

ok, really? im just saying "fuck EA" as an off handed comment, first. and second. yes call of duty and medal of honour are long ruinning series. series that have long stopped being original and need to be put to bed. badly. EA does nothing but turn its games into space marine-flavoured, gun toting hoedowns. I'm saying that maybe if we passed a law banning guns in games, we wouldnt have to deal with the overflow of monotonous shooters that are saturating the market. but even then I wasn't serious about it. just saying. i really do love shooters, but there are too many shooting games out there these days.

Yea And I want Star wars fans to stop crying about the prequels that's not gonna happen either is it?

canadamus_prime:
But we don't want fewer real guns in the hands of people now do we?

So very glad it didn't take several posts before this point was made.

Let's put fake guns on the back burner and deal with the real ones first. I promise, the first time I accidentally shoot myself in the leg while playing Halo, I'll take up the cause. Until then....it's silly.

Segafriday:
maybe its time to allow the law to make EA's job just a little bit harder. because seriously, fuck EA.

That doesn't even make sense. The only games that spring to mind from EA that you could claim it has too many guns is the Battlefield series and Medal of Honour but these two franchises have been running for years. I've seen people use many different reasons to hate EA but this takes the cake for being one of the most far-fetched.

yes her reasoning is flawed and her argument is invalid but maybe just maybe we SHOULD let her pass this law, it certainly would help drive down the obnoxiously overflowing number of mindless shooter games. not that shooters aren't fun, they are. but these days they've become a bland pile of samey crap. maybe its time to allow the law to make EA's job just a little bit harder. because seriously, fuck EA. maybe if they reduced the guns in games by law, the Triple-A industry would be forced to think of something else to do to give games a
"broader appeal"

To me this is like censoring porn magazines because children might get their hands on one. Kids are not even supposed to be able to play half the video games on the market in the first place because they have ratings and most businesses card people when they buy an "M" rated game.

So instead of doing something rational that would take mature material out of the hands of children, say...make selling a mature rated game to a minor a fine-able offence like they do with porn magazines, cigarettes and alcohol, they step in to censor them?

This is a weird crusade of ethics and not all about curbing gun violence.

That's so silly.. I .. I won't get defensive. I'll just nod and admire her opinion because I never heard anything like it before.

Though, it won't solve anything. Fewer guns in virtual worlds like in games will go unnoticed, let alone stop anyone from killing people in real life. You have to look at the individual's mentality, and the source of where they get their weapons from. Start there, and maybe we can get a step closer in preventing disasters.

A lot of senators or politicians think stopping a fictional source (movie, book, game, ect.) will stop violence. But, really it would just annoy people and the violence would continue. We need to look into increasing security, drills for shootings (my college started doing this), and understanding the fact criminals don't follow the law. They'll do something regardless, one way or another even if they must rely on a kitchen knife to harm someone. Besides, what if the games help people relief stress rather then encouraging people to kill? Over 200,000 daily play Black Ops II including me but I do not go harming others with a shotgun. Instead I try to rank up on the leaderboard and later do my projects for First Aid. Gamers are human beings and most in general know what's right and wrong.

And I want fewer guns in real life. I wonder which is more relevant to killing people with guns?

Games are as far from firing real guns as science fiction movies are from actually going into space, so putting a virtual gun control law would do nothing to stop shootings from happening, just like the prohibition did nothing against people drinking alcohol. Besides, video games are protected by the 1st amendment, so they cannot have laws restricting what game developers can and can't have in games without violating our right to free speech.

Oh, this is precious. She wants to impart gun control in games when people are against gun control IN THIS COUNTRY.

Ma'am, you're fighting in a fantasy world over things you don't understand. Stick with reality. The guns in gaming do not equate to the guns in real life, and have never MADE people violent. Even the real guns don't do that. They are not the devil and they don't whisper in your ear to go shoot shit up. Granted, all guns are good for IS shooting things, but they aren't the ones in charge. No tool is evil, only the will and intent. And no media can MAKE YOU have that will or intent, nor can they make you any good at using them. So, don't bother.

But... But... Shooting 8 year olds while calling them a fag is so much fun. Please don't take that away from me... please.

First the VP of the NRA, now the spearhead of gun control. Despite my personal beliefs about gun control, I cannot stress enough that the gun control debate should not include video games in any way.

For those of you who still haven't figured some things out

Feinstein is a democrat
She lead the 90s awb and the recent one as well
California has some of the tightest gun control in the USA, but that doesn't stop the gang violence, which thankfully has been going down
Chicago has tighter gun control but they get like 12 shooting deaths on a good week
We all know games have no correlation to violence
There are idiots in politics because most other people who see how politics works stay the fuck away
The USA has a lot of people who like guns, people who don't are likely in the minority
Oh and California has been known to target fake guns. Look up sb798 and sb 1315

Great to see senator Feinstein barking up the wrong tree yet again. If there were studies backing this up and not just her gut feeling about what is and isn't "right" for kids then this would be a more interesting case. But there aren't, and we don't really need the kind of treatment comics went through in the 50's.
With any hope she could go back to pushing for stronger regulations on this, rather than picking a new target.

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