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Illinois Ban On Explicit Video Games Is Unconstitutional 195

Posted by kdawson
from the let-slip-the-gods-of-war dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "A federal court has struck down an Illinois law that criminalized the sale of 'sexually explicit' video games to minors. In reaching this decision, the court held that the Illinois law was too broad, because it could be read to encompass any game which displayed a female breast, even for a brief second. Interestingly, the court chose the game God of War as the model of gaming art which must be protected. As the court explained, 'Because the SEVGL potentially criminalize the sale of any game that features exposed breasts, without concern for the game considered in its entirety or for the game's social value for minors, distribution of God of War is potentially illegal, in spite of the fact that the game tracks the Homeric epics in content and theme. As we have suggested in the past, there is serious reason to believe that a statute sweeps too broadly when it prohibits a game that is essentially an interactive, digital version of the Odyssey.'"
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Illinois Ban On Explicit Video Games Is Unconstitutional

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  • Wait what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Broken scope (973885) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:22PM (#17008254) Homepage
    Kratos is a spartan? Where the hell did homer come into this? Am I missing something? Did I not read one of those things right?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Gemini_25_RB (997440)
      Kratos is too awesome to be a spartan. Think more along the lines of god, and try again.
      • He is a spartan who made a pact with Aeries i thought. Then he got really pissy with Aeries and killed him.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      and!!! .. a much better example of something explicit would be the mini/sub-game (on my UK PS2 version)... you start a level on a boat, there are 2 naked women in a bed, and if you "use" them, the camera shifts to the side so both they & your character are off screen, by waggling the analogue stick in the shown manner, you hear expected noises and the bedside unit shakes around (if memory serves)

      anyway, screw the games, seen the covers on public display in any shops magazine rack recently? ...
  • Wait... (Score:5, Funny)

    by frosty_tsm (933163) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:23PM (#17008270)
    Are we saying that Greek social values are trumping modern day ones?

    I see more parades on the horizon...
    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sckeener (137243) <sterling@te[ ]keeners.org ['xas' in gap]> on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:36PM (#17008458)
      It has been said before but when the public wants to censor give them graphic violence and sex in a biblical wrapper and they won't censor...

      It sounds like the judge is taking the track that any historically accurate game is ok...

      Of course it doesn't always work...take Oscar Wilde's Salome...banned in the UK and produced in France.
      • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Funny)

        by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:51PM (#17008652) Homepage Journal
        It has been said before but when the public wants to censor give them graphic violence and sex in a biblical wrapper and they won't censor...
        Sodom & Gomorrah [wikipedia.org] Only on Xbox 360! Complete with homosexuality, rape, and brutalization! Will you survive the Wrath of God? Brought to you by Religious Right Software: Games With a Higher Purpose.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Is there going to be a secret alternate lvl when I don't offer my virgin daughters to the angry mob and instead throw my guests out to them to be sodomized? Cuz replayability is high on my list of game criteria.
      • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday November 27, 2006 @08:23PM (#17009830)
        It sounds like the judge is taking the track that any historically accurate game is ok...
        More likely, the judge is taking the position that the First Amendment does not allow banning material on the basis of "obscenity" unless the three prongs of the Miller test [wikipedia.org] are satisfied, particularly the third prong: "the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."
        • What is art? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Pfhorrest (545131) on Monday November 27, 2006 @10:08PM (#17010790) Homepage Journal
          More likely, the judge is taking the position that the First Amendment does not allow banning material on the basis of "obscenity" unless the three prongs of the Miller test are satisfied, particularly the third prong: "the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

          As defined by whom? Why would something like God of War fall under that categorization, while something like Pirates [wikipedia.org] (the porn film; don't worry, the link is to the wiki article about it) would not? Both are set in pseudo-historical or pseudo-mythological settings, and both are primarily interesting for their violent and sexual content, respectively, with the setting being just that - an interesting setting for the violence or sexuality to take place in. Yet the latter is very clearly considered (my those whose opinion matters in court) "obscene", and the former is apparently some sort of work of art. What's the difference - and more importantly, to whom are we entrusting the power to determine what it culturally valuable or not? Doesn't the fact that someone wants to acquire such works mean that they have value to someone? Just what is "literary" or "artistic" value, beyond simply being a piece of media that someone finds interesting and worth experiencing?
        • by Duds (100634)
          Except it's not being banned, it's just not being sold to under 18s.
    • by bunions (970377)
      modern day social values.

      hmm.

      Ok, I can't think of any either. :(
    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      Are we saying that Greek social values are trumping modern day ones? I see more parades on the horizon...

      Don't forget the public vomitoriums, leading to the reclassification of bulimia from eating disorder to social disorder.

      That, of course, and the widespread acceptance of NAMBLA.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jacksonj04 (800021)
        A vomitorium is a feature in theatres, namely the exits located below the seating usually in a thrust or amphitheatre stage, although occasionally seen in other forms. The name comes from the fact that after the performance the audience would 'vomit' out of them. They're also quite handy for cast entrances and exits.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by BakaHoushi (786009)
        Public shifts blame of problems onto society. More on this story after our special report, "The Sky: It's Blue."

        Anyway, why should we be so unaccepting of the National Association of Marlon-Brando Look-Alikes? They are good people, and serve our communities well, even fending off pedophiles!
    • Are we saying that Greek social values are trumping modern day ones?
       
      I see more parades on the horizon...
      hehe... so a game may show what Achilles and Patrocles did together whenever nobody was looking?

  • Paint me surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Control Group (105494) * on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:23PM (#17008276) Homepage
    How stunningly...sane.

    Every now and again, something happens to help convince me that all hope is not, in fact, lost.
    • by RsG (809189) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:42PM (#17008536)
      Why is this surprising? That the law was blatantly unconstitutional was clear. This was strictly a political move from the get-go.

      The politicians involved said to the public "look, I'm taking a stand on the evil violent games! Vote for me!" because games are a wonderful scapegoat, and because taking such a stance is politically safe. The law didn't need to remain in effect in order to serve its purpose, it only needed to be passed. I doubt anyone who drafted the thing will care at this stage, months after the fact.

      Now what will they say to the public? "Oh folks, I tried, but those damn activist judges ruled against me. So sorry." It's so easy to shift the blame when the public doesn't care whether those in power respect the constitution.

      What amazes me isn't that the judges showed common sense. That's their job. What amazes me is that voters continue to fall for these simple tricks.
      • by Control Group (105494) * on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:58PM (#17008744) Homepage
        Why is this surprising? That the law was blatantly unconstitutional was clear

        That, unfortunately, is often no bar to laws being upheld by the judiciary. Retroactive copyright extensions are an obvious example. The effective federalization of the drinking age (and the speed limit) is another. More than half the laws passed under the auspices of the commerce clause also qualify.

        Hence my surprise.

        I have great faith in the US' judicial system in criminal matters. Less in civil matters, even less when large sums of money are involved, and least of all when political activism and "doing things for the children" or "fighting terrorism" are involved.

        This case is, in the oft-cited "grand scheme of things," fairly minor. But it's still encouraging to me. But then, maybe I'm a cynic.
        • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Monday November 27, 2006 @08:51PM (#17010116)

          Why is this surprising? That the law was blatantly unconstitutional was clear
          That, unfortunately, is often no bar to laws being upheld by the judiciary. Retroactive copyright extensions are an obvious example.

          Well I'm sure to get some troll mods for this, but what the hell. There's a certain amount of zealotry in your statement usually only reserved for religion.

          The fact that I do not agree that retroactive copyright extensions are unconstitutional should speak to the fact that it is not "blatantly unconstitutional," but if you were arguing with me about it I wouldn't be too put out if you were just sure you were right.

          The problem I have is you're arguing with the people whose job it is to decide these matters. (If you want to get REALLY technical, the power to declare laws unconstitutional, which you seem to support, is nowhere to be found in the Constitution.) The case of retroactive extensions was heard and the extensions upheld. Until such time as they review the decision and overturn it, not only are retroactive copyright extensions not blatantly unconstitutional, they are not unconstituional at all. While I know nothing about you specifically, /.'ers often like to make these sort of assertions about Constitutionality without even any legal education which just makes it twice as annoying to me. We'll complain about managers who aren't technical making technical decisions, but in the very next breath we'll argue the law with judges. It really floors me.

          Look, if these issues were as simple as you make them out to be, there wouldn't be a judiciary. At the very least, could we not pretend Constitutional issues are so cut and dry? Very little about the law is blatantly anything. Often including intelligible.

          • by Vengie (533896) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:25AM (#17011844)
            Many things are /blatantly/ unconstitutional. Like tasering a suspect on the ground in handcuffs. ["Pain as a compliance technique" is plainly unconstitutional. Lethal force is permitted only under limited circumstances, tennessee v garner. The only reasons you can be frisked during a Terry stop is so that the police can ensure their own safety. Even assuming arguendo that the pre-handcuffing tasering is constitutional, the rationale behind allowing law enforcement to use force -- to PROTECT themselves and others -- breaks down once the subject is HANDCUFFED. The force of additional tasering is in no way shape or form proportionate to any possible risk he could pose. Blatantly unconstitutional.] And now, like a prick, I will quote the man who taught me criminal law (a SCOTUS clerk in his time...) "But it's one of the strange features of the system that unconstitutional tactics often survive quite a long time after it's pretty clear they're unconstitutional." This law was blatantly unconstitutional. Read the goddamn text of it.

            Two additional side notes: Did you just question judicial review and then expect anyone to continue reading and take you seriously? I think Marbury is pretty well accepted at this point....
            And....The court has specifically noted that there can be manifestly unjust laws that courts may sometimes wrongly uphold. [That doesn't make them any less unjust; it just makes the ju[stic|dg]es a bunch of jerks] See e.g. Walker v. Birmingham. </rant>
      • by kilgortrout (674919) on Monday November 27, 2006 @09:08PM (#17010250)
        Now what will they say to the public? "Oh folks, I tried, but those damn activist judges ruled against me. So sorry." It's so easy to shift the blame when the public doesn't care whether those in power respect the constitution.

        No one even vaguely familiar with the federal judiciary will ever accuse the Seventh Circuit of being activist judges. Actually, this result is pretty well settled precedent at this point in all the federal circuits. These type of laws have been routinely struck down everywhere so the result here is hardly surprising.

        I couldn't agree with you more; this was a stupid election year stunt and everyone knew the law would be struck down in the courts.

        • by Vengie (533896)
          Actually, people call the 7th circuit "activist" all the time. "Activist" means "we didn't like the ruling."
          Grumble.
          (Disclaimer: I HEART EVANS)
          And for some REAL 7th circuit humor, please see: US V MURPHY 406 F.3d 857 at footnote 1. Muahahhaa.
          less fun, but cute: Crue v Aiken 370 F.3d 668;
    • by hey! (33014) on Monday November 27, 2006 @07:11PM (#17008942) Homepage Journal
      Well -- you have to look at the reasoning, not the result, to decide if the ruling was rational.

      Laws can regulate expressive speech in various ways, but laws which regulate speech based on content (as opposed to the manner in which the speech is done) must pass what is called "strict scrutiny".

      Under "Strict scrutiny", the government has a burden of proof to show that the law in question is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling public interest.

      Persons of a libertarian bent might see keeping sexually explicit games out of the hands of minors as failing to rise to the level of a compelling public interest. However it sounds like the law failed because it was not "narrowly taliored".

      A law which is intended to restrict access by minors to sexually explicit games may not under any conceivable circumstnaces restrict anything else. It probably helps that there is an example of how the law does more than it is supposed to, but such an example doesn't have to exist. Hypothetical future expression is important to protect too.
    • by SQLz (564901)
      Every now and again, something happens to help convince me that all hope is not, in fact, lost.

      Amen. May exposed breasts always be protected by the constitution.

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:25PM (#17008304) Homepage Journal
    What about Hindi ones?

    Or Aztec?

    Or Celtic?

    That said, good ruling.
    • by MMaestro (585010)
      Well if you count Freedom Force versus The Third Reich, Aztec gods have already been used in video games. Shiva is used in nearly Final Fantasy game and shes based off of a Hindu god. If you dig around games like D&D you could probably find references to Celtic gods as well.
  • "the catcher in the rye", a very bloody fps

    "death of a salesman", the graphic language mmorpg

    "to kill a mockingbird", with an orgy scene
  • Old news? (Score:5, Informative)

    by lpangelrob (714473) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:25PM (#17008320)

    I can't really figure out where the new news is in this, seeing as we're already on the "Illinois ain't paying squat" part of this saga.

    Blagojevich hasn't paid for video lawsuit as judge ordered [chicagotribune.com] (Chicago Tribune, reg. required, subscription-free Sun Times here [suntimes.com].)

    ...[L]awyers from Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C. say they haven't received the money or an explanation for the delay, according to court documents. So they went back to the courtroom earlier this month to ask the judge to force the administration to comply.

    Chalk up another horrible idea to good ol' Rod, (illegally importing drugs from Canada, buying $2.5 million of non-FDA approved flu shots). But all's well - we voted him in another 4 years too.

    • by kinglink (195330)
      Just remember, it isn't Illinois if it isn't hopelessly political, corrupt, and inept. Once and while we can toss in illegal too.

      I recently moved here, and between here, Florida and Massachuttes, I have to say I've lost all hope for the country. Though with my luck the next state I'll reach is California. At least there I'll get to watch the Terminator put the smack down on the state congress every so often.
      • You'll be disappointed, sounds like. After the brutal asskicking our Gropenator received in 2005 from the voters (zero for 8 on his precious referenda) Governor Gangbang had to come crawling back to the Legislature and kiss Dem ass. And he'll keep doing so if he wants to get anything done; the Dems OWN this state (California governors have virtually no real power of their own save for the veto pen - the legislature calls the tune). You should come watch - watching a neutered Arnold crawling and begging f
      • by Vengie (533896)
        What's your problem with Massachusetts? The SJC has a good head on its shoulders, the legislature is no group of dummies, and the general populace was smarter than to elect that homophobic, racist, spiteful bitch, instead opting for their first black man, who happens to have his shit together in a big way. Plus we have the first circuit. Oh bruce selya, love him or hate him, you respect him.

        [Funny you picked California -- oh Ahnuld.....]
      • Whenever I get depressed about Good ol Rod, I just remind myself that there is a decent chance that he'll go the way of George Ryan.

        The really sad thing is that the corruption moves through all spectrums of Illinois bureaucracy including the schools. You'd be AMAZED at the amount of waste going on there.
    • by Tweekster (949766)
      offtopic:

      good, he should break those laws.
      unless of course those drug companies are shipping substandard drugs to canada...
      Which I kind of doubt.

  • It implies that any sales of such games would be prohibited. In reality, it would prohibit minors from purchasing them, like the way they are prohibited from purchasing cigarettes.
  • Does anyone have a link to the actual opinion and ruling?

  • by SSChicken (872688)
    I fully agree with the ruling. It's laws like this which would have prevented me from buying the game "Civilization II" because there's an exposed breast in the background of the games 'desktop' (behind the windows if you move them)
  • Two comments (Score:5, Insightful)

    by n0mad6 (668307) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:29PM (#17008370)
    1) I'm assuming the members of the court have either not played God of War, not read the Odyssey, or both
    2) I find the idea of considering one brief scene of polygonal breasts to be the most damaging aspect of God of War with regards to children... shocking, quite frankly.
    • Re:Two comments (Score:5, Insightful)

      by laffer1 (701823) <luke@@@foolishgames...com> on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:57PM (#17008726) Homepage Journal
      People can't have it both ways.. women want to breast feed in public. Women like to wear practically nothing at the beach. Sears likes to send underwear ads in the sunday newspaper. Then video games are immoral for showing the same thing in an often ANIMATED way.

      If society choses to be modest in every other way then they can regulate video games. Many video games are played by adults... so much in fact that Nintendo released a console targeted toward them! Just as the simpsons isn't meant for a 5 year old, not all video games are for little tikes. I think my cousin could handle most of the games in my collection (he's a minor) but I wouldn't let him play doom 3. However, his parents let me play doom at 15 (just a little older) at their home when he was almost 2. Its up to them to sensor him and not the government, the PTA, or anyone else.

      1. Parents should be responsible for their children. That includes their behavior and what they view/see.
      2. Parents should monitor what their children do online and offline. They should teach them what they expect and how to be safe.
      3. When someone tries to solicit a child online, its not just that persons fault. Its also the parents fault for not watching their child, letting them use myspace or ET or whatever.
      4. Parents need to learn their kid doesn't get a cut in line or special favors. Nothing is that much greater about your kid than every other kid on the planet and if there was it would be on CNN right now.

      I could have handled most if not all video games in my teens. Hell i was playing doom and leisure suit larry at 16. I didn't blow up anything, threaten anyone or have 8 children with a bunch of child support. I guess video games aren't the only motivating factor in society! Heaven forbid I might have learned something from my parents and others.
      • by Bastian (66383)
        Keep in mind that the people who want our society to loosen up when it comes to the human body and the people who decry the loosening of our standards of modesty are not actually the same people.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TapeCutter (624760)
        "When someone tries to solicit a child online, its not just that persons fault. Its also the parents fault..."

        If that "someone" knows they are talking to a minor then how the fuck is it anyone else's fault?

        BTW: Just a guess here but your not a parent are you?
        • by laffer1 (701823)
          Because the parent (or someone) gave access to the internet unattended to the child! I remember what I did on the internet at 16 in my room. I had a PC in my room with a password only I knew for internet access. My parents were clueless. Based on that experience, I think anyone who gives free reign on the net to a child is an idiot.

          Conversely, there are good parents who try to monitor their kids. I had a coworker who caught her 13 year old daughter talking to a 23 year old guy. The were already exchan
      • People can't have it both ways.. women want to breast feed in public

        That's an unrelated issue though - it's not to do with sex as in f*cking so much as it's to do with sex as in gender, even though it involves some of the same body parts. No one breastfeeds in order to try to titillate you, so to speak.

        Just as the simpsons isn't meant for a 5 year old, not all video games are for little tikes.

        Yes, I think this is more likely the problem. Just as some old fashioned people think that animation must

    • by RsG (809189)
      Well, for 1), I'd point out that in cases like this the judges involved would be shown the game (as in, watch somebody else play it), or read summaries about it. I haven't played GoW, but I know enough about it to think that a passing look, or a general summary, would tell a judge that it's borrowed (loosely) from Greek mythology.

      Moreover, the gist of the argument from TFS seems to be that actual Greek mythology is plenty bloody already. Ergo it is inconsistent to limit the expression of a game borrowing
    • Maybe he thought God of War was a game he used to play on his Magnavox Odyssey [betuwe.net]? ;)
    • by DM9290 (797337)
      "1) I'm assuming the members of the court have either not played God of War, not read the Odyssey, or both
      "

      This is what witnesses are used for. Both sides need full opportunity to challenge any evidence, which would be impossible if the judge went off and performed an independant investigation. The question of whether or not GOW is similar to Odyssey or whether Odyssey has any educational value is up to expert witnesses to testify to. Judges are not capable of knowing what has educational value or not.
    • I'm sorry, but you're underestimating the impact this filth will have on our youth. Imagine the impact of polygons on children too young to handle geometry! Imagine further that these demonic planar paths are imposed on the image of the first source of sustenance that the child can remember!! We should be promoting video games with round breasts only; polygonal breasts should never be viewed by children under the age of 18 (or 16 if they've taken an AP geometry class).
  • Total Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vivin (671928) <vivin,paliath&gmail,com> on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:36PM (#17008448) Homepage Journal
    You know, what ever happened to Parenting? I hate all these "Oh will someone think of all the poor children!" laws. I understand that we need these laws to a certain extent, but come on. Seriously, if I was concerned that my children would be exposed to extremely violent games, or overtly sexual games, then I would monitor what I got them. Isn't that also why have ESRB ratings?

    Increasingly, people are looking for scapegoats for violent or antisocial behaviour in children. Honestly, you can either chalk it up to bad parenting, or just the innate propensity of our species to violence.

    So like I said, it's all bullshit. I'm glad this was struck down.
    • by Sloppy (14984)
      Yeah, but has any politician lost their job over this crap? If not, then we're still encouraging them to do this stuff.
    • by Trogre (513942)
      Seriously, if I was concerned that my children would be exposed to extremely violent games, or overtly sexual games, then I would monitor what I got them.

      That's very admirable, but how exactly would you go about monitoring what you get them?

      Without some kind of censorship how do you know that Blues Clues Holiday Special DVD you just bought for your kids doesn't come with a bonus episode of "Joe Goes Apeshit In A Brothel And Shoots Kittens"?

      The simple truth is that you can't watch everything your kids are ex
      • Without some kind of censorship how do you know that Blues Clues Holiday Special DVD you just bought for your kids doesn't come with a bonus episode of "Joe Goes Apeshit In A Brothel And Shoots Kittens"?

        That doesn't require censorship, just a rating system. Rating systems don't require government assistance, except in the form of laws against fraud (claiming a rating without having it, or making incorrect claims about content). In your example: you know that because you saw the big "G" or "TV-Y" rating lo

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shajenko42 (627901)
      You know, what ever happened to Parenting?
      What happened was the rising necessity for both parents to work, brought about by the downfall of unions and the upsurge in offshoring (manufacturing first).

      Want more parenting? Improve the lot of the average worker.
    • by Eivind (15695)
      That's the funny thing about this ruling.

      God of war is one of the more brutal ps2-games there is. You rip peoples (well, medusas) heads off, you impale caged prisoners that pose no threat to you, you slaugther hordes of enemies, blood flying.

      Still, the aspect of it they're concerned with is the fact that there's a scene or two where you can spot a naked breast for a second or two, you can also choose to have sex with two whores once you arrive in Athen, the sex is off-camera (you see only a shaking bed

    • Apparently, Google properly understands "184594917 in base 16". Damn, that's cool.
  • What's next?? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by surprise_audit (575743) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:37PM (#17008460)
    So what's next after games that show a brief shot of a breast?? Pornographic literature?? It should be really interesting watching the fallout from that... The Song of Solomon is fairly explicit, and there's all kinds of violence in the other books of the Old Testament. But wait, the government can't get involved in religion, so they can't ban the Bible. But wait, it's pornographic and violent!! Arggh...:)

    Anyway, does the game show a shot of a *real* breast, or one drawn by an artist?? If drawn breasts are as bad as the real thing, a lot of famous artworks are going to be banned too...

    • Re:What's next?? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Shados (741919) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:47PM (#17008596)
      But remember, its videogames! They don't go by the same rule as "real" art, duh!

      It is rediculous how people forget history and let it happen over and over. Anyone take a modern history book, and read about north american culture in 50-60 years ago. People DID talk about books the way they talk about videogames today. I'm not sure about protestant-land, but in catholic areas, fort the longest time books like The Three Musketeers were -BANNED- because of their content. A few centuries before, paintings and such were often shunned down or banned because of similar things

      Now its video games.

      Anyone wants to make a long term bet with me? 10$ that within 50-60 years, you'll hear conservatives go "OMG! All these Virtual Reality Systems are teaching our kids the worse things! They should play console videogames so their brains don't rot away, like we did in the good old days!"

      Anything thats new is automaticaly a scapegoat for everything bad in society. For now, its videogames and movies.
      • Re:What's next?? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RsG (809189) on Monday November 27, 2006 @08:04PM (#17009612)
        There's a quote by Douglas Adams along those same lines:
        "Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things."

        Slightly off topic, but still apt. The people who get snookered into thinking these laws are a good thing are very much in the last category.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)
      There's all kinds of violence and sex in the bible, besides your examples there's lots of other good ones. The bible teaches some amazingly fucked up lessons anyway, though. Lot's daughters get him drunk and rape him in order to carry on their genetic line, and are praised for this in the bible. I mean, it's an incredibly twisted book.
  • Good grief... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Duncan3 (10537) on Monday November 27, 2006 @06:53PM (#17008692) Homepage
    How exactly did Americans get so completely uptight about boobs and yet graphic violence and games about killing cops are just fine. It's completely insane.

    Must be a fundamentalist involved in there somewhere, the quesiton is only which religion?

    .
    • by _Ludwig (86077)
      Violence isn't "just fine" with everyone. [cbsnews.com] Say what you will about him, but at least the guy's consistent, unlike the fundies.
    • Re:Good grief... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by inviolet (797804) <slashdotNO@SPAMideasmatter.org> on Monday November 27, 2006 @07:14PM (#17008998) Journal
      How exactly did Americans get so completely uptight about boobs and yet graphic violence and games about killing cops are just fine. It's completely insane.

      Take care here. Calling something 'insane' or 'evil' or 'nuts' explains nothing, but it kills your own motivation to seek further understanding. Whereas almost all human behavior is actually understandable.

      In this case, America is sexually repressed. That is why sex appeal can sell practically anything, and why an unclothed breast gets all the Normals so excited. The clamor for censorship is their way of quieting the ensuing cognitive dissonance [wikipedia.org].

      A possible secondary element is the approach that American women have taken towards nudity. In order to maximize the emotional impact (and hence the indirect financial value) of exposing their own breasts, American women demand a ban on all public sensual exposures of female breasts. They're just maximizing profit by shrinking the supply, you see. Contrast this situation to Europe, in which sensual breast exposures are ubiquitous and so European men get no thrill out of getting the same from their mates.

      • >In this case, America is sexually repressed. That is why
        >sex appeal can sell practically anything, and why an
        >unclothed breast gets all the Normals so excited.

        I've been poring over some musty old documents, and it looks like folks as un-American as the ancient Israelites:

        1. Covered their breasts (women).
        2. Found breasts erotic (men).

        BTW, Solomon had lots of wives, and therefore saw lots of breasts. Yet judging from Song of Songs, he still found them exciting ...

        Therefore, I conclude that this peri
    • When you re-elect a Democrat.

      Yes, Rod Blagejovich is a Democrat. There's no fundamentalist frosties here, folks, just a good Ol' Democrat trying to force his morality on the rest of the state.

  • ...why the sight of a bare female breast is forbidden while depictions of horrific violence are fine.
    • by Firehed (942385)
      Neither will I. And when I asked my mother, who feels exactly that way, she couldn't give anything close to a satisfactory answer. Or even a logical one, for that matter. Something about "do you want to see breasts?" (yes :p but I responded "I'm not bothered by it") and something so illogical or off-topic about why violence is better that I can't even remember what she said.
  • Safety (Score:2, Funny)

    by cybereal (621599)
    I gazed above
    as often I do
    the clouds had parted
    the light shone through
    I thought to myself
    as often I do
    "Teh boobies r safe!"
    I cried. "Woohoo!"

  • I live in Illinois. We just re-elected Rod Blagojevich, the governor who endorsed this crappy law. The guy's a schmuck.
  • Excellent news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 91degrees (207121)
    It's no surprise that this has been struck down as unconstitutional. Unconstitutional anti-video games bills seem to have become a hobby for legislators recently. But it works for us.

    We now have an argument backing games as freedom of speech from a respected independent organisation, and not only that, it uses a highly respected literary work to make its point. I'd say the Illionois legislature did the games industry a serious favour here.
  • nss (Score:2, Informative)

    by erbbysam (964606)
    From the no shit serlock department: you can't censor in the US! I smell a constitutional amendment to prohibit boobies from being seen! It doesn't matter how many "enemies" spew virtual blood on your screen, boobies are 100% worse!
  • Did he just call God of War an interactive version of the Odyssey?!!

    Stamping out censorship is good, but at what cost? Dear god, what terrible cost!
  • We combine blue-collar conservatism with white-collar leftism. The result is a mish-mash of totalitarian social views and socialist economics; it's sort of a new-wave domestic USSR. (We have the dubious distinction of having the first "universal" healthcare for children. OMG, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!! We also have U.N.-condemned police torture in Chicago. And then there's our world-famous political corruption; even third-world nations in Africa are familiar.)

    We do still manage to get by with a flat 3% in
  • Couldn't we solve the whole issue with a voluntary rating system? Seriously, if you think your game contains material too explicit (sexually or violently) for children, either provide an in-game mechanism to lock it out, or provide your own voluntary rating and ask stores not to sell it to minors. By doing that, you're not preventing anyone from playing it, but you're forcing the parents to get involved. I'd imagine there are at least a few game developers out there with the decency to admit: "Enemies can
    • Second time I've done this recently. I keep forgetting whether I'm using HTML or not.

      Couldn't we solve the whole issue with a voluntary rating system? Seriously, if you think your game contains material too explicit (sexually or violently) for children, either provide an in-game mechanism to lock it out, or provide your own voluntary rating and ask stores not to sell it to minors. By doing that, you're not preventing anyone from playing it, but you're forcing the parents to get involved.

      I'd imagine there ar
  • by mqduck (232646)
    If someone wrote a new, modern-day epic like the Odyssey, what are the odds that the "explicit" content would be viewed as acceptable for minors? No, guess again. Lower. Lower. Right, zero.

    Just sayin'. I'm glad it was overturned, and in fact I oppose all sexual/violent content bans of any sort on any kind of media, for adults or kids. I'm not outright encouraging its consumption, but I've yet to hear anyone explain why kids would be harmed by, say, pornography. It seems like an assumption everyone takes for

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