Activision joins fight against violent game law

Activision has joined a growing list of media, research and other groups opposing a proposed law that would ban the sale or rental of video games to minors in the state of California. Making a vocal show of support for the industry, the publisher has voiced its opinion on the upcoming Supreme Court case surrounding California's violent video game legislation.

According to the company's statement, the California bill, which would provide government-mandated legal penalties for the sale of violent video games to minors, is "dangerous, unnecessary, and misguided, and could undermine freedom of speech protections under the First Amendment for the entire nation."

Favoring the industry's existing self-regulatory rating and enforcement efforts such as the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB), Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has been outspoken on the California law.

"Our First Amendment has survived intact for 219 years amid far greater technological, historical, and social challenges," says Kotick. "The argument that video games present some kind of new ominous threat that requires a wholesale reassessment of one of our nation's most treasured freedoms and to take that freedom away indiscriminately from an entire group of our population based on nothing but age is beyond absurd."

"These are the same attacks Americans have witnessed against every previous emerging entertainment medium and genre including books, comics, rock n' roll, movies, TV and the Internet. In each case, freedom prevailed," Kotick continued. "We are thrilled to be able to be an important part of this historic effort to protect our Constitution and to ensure that video games remain vibrant form of expression for every gamer in our constituency."

Calling California's pursuit of its law "tampering with the nation's Constitution and wasting taxpayers' money," Kotick suggested an alternative solution of investing state resources in parental education, while continuing use of the game ratings system, and on how to judge appropriate content.

The proposed law was originally signed by state Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005. A federal appeals court, however, blocked it, deeming it unconstitutional. In April, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the measure and will hear oral arguments on November 2.

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Calling California's pursuit of its law "tampering with the nation's Constitution and wasting taxpayers' money," Kotick suggested an alternative solution of investing state resources in parental education, while continuing use of the game ratings system, and on how to judge appropriate content.

At last somebody with some common sense, I agree it is down to educating parents on how to control their kids, take mine for instance, when I say bedtime they go to bed and sleep, they are not up until the early hours of the morning playing on their XBOX. Parents should not buy violent games for their kids either. As I have said and I will state again "Games don't kill people, people kill people..."

it is not ok :to kids to play violent games and kill virtual persons.
but it is ok :to kids to enroll the army (17 years) and start killing real persons.

:-?

Well, being that minors can't buy most violent games anyways without parents around, this doesn't seem to be much of an issue. I got Reach the day it came out, and some guy with his little 8 year old bought it right after me. It's stuff like that that annoys me and shows the terrible parenting of our times.

My parents stuck by the ESRB til I was almost 16. Wasn't all that big of a deal.

smartin0115 said,
Well, being that minors can't buy most violent games anyways without parents around, this doesn't seem to be much of an issue. I got Reach the day it came out, and some guy with his little 8 year old bought it right after me. It's stuff like that that annoys me and shows the terrible parenting of our times.

My parents stuck by the ESRB til I was almost 16. Wasn't all that big of a deal.

We didn't have ESRB back when I was growing up (Not to mention the country I was growing up in). I played any kind of game I wanted at any age I wanted. (Like say... Mortal Kombat 3 at 14, Wolfenstein 3D as soon as it came out and so on) I do not have the urge to grab the nearest automatic weapon and go on a killing spree, though.

The issue isn't that kids are allowed to play said games. The issue is that parents aren't bothering to teach their kids the difference between reality and fantasy and what's right or wrong.

I'm against it because we are already in debt. Why waste money campaigning and setting up meetings for bs? Let the companies make their money and hopefully the state I live in has some more common sense than what I see now (none). The governator isn't the brightest one either so yeah

Well, try and make a game about Arnold Schwarzenegger, 'Terminator Reloaded', for example.
How on earth can the California ban that

Setnom said,
This law only works in games available in stores, right? How about digital distribuition, like Steam?

I promise you, if they allow this law to stand, California will find a way to ban that, too.

Setnom said,
This law only works in games available in stores, right? How about digital distribuition, like Steam?

Considering you need a credit card to shop on Steam... you really wouldn't be very able to ban that. The person purchasing the game will be an adult and the law is obviously aimed at minors alone.

Metodi Mitov said,

Considering you need a credit card to shop on Steam... you really wouldn't be very able to ban that. The person purchasing the game will be an adult and the law is obviously aimed at minors alone.

A minor can go to an Walgreen's, Wal-Mart or Target and buy a Credit Card. Yes cars use to be for users over 18. But there are gift cards now and they work like any other Credit card.

I'm not a "gamer"..but it's clear that most gamers are very much into violence..as all of the most popular computer games include little else besides violence....which means gamers are what?--sick?..or simply human?....I say sick.....but I am grateful for the technology spike which their addictions have fueled!

thadumas said,
I'm not a "gamer"..but it's clear that most gamers are very much into violence..as all of the most popular computer games include little else besides violence....which means gamers are what?--sick?..or simply human?....I say sick.....but I am grateful for the technology spike which their addictions have fueled!

Eh? How am I sick for enjoying the fact that I can use a set of pixels to dismember another set of pixels? It's not the real thing and I have absolutely no desire to grab a chainsaw and run around the office, dismembering my coworkers. Every time some kid shoots a school up, people keep pointing the accusatory finger at violent video games, when they should be pointing it at parents, teachers and school councilors. The kid had much deeper issues than playing a video game, and there should have been plenty of signals for adults to pick up on (Parents mostly, but it's possible for teachers and other adults to notice odd behavior as well).

Why not just put a law on them same as alcohol an cigarettes etc where if the parents buys a 18 for a child, they can be fined. and legal action can start.

Rather then making the government looking after their children and parents should be accountable for what the children watch in there own home!

Renshaw said,
Why not just put a law on them same as alcohol an cigarettes etc where if the parents buys a 18 for a child, they can be fined. and legal action can start.

Rather then making the government looking after their children and parents should be accountable for what the children watch in there own home!

How are you going to enforce that, though? Install surveillance systems in people's homes to monitor who plays/watches what? What's next, big brother?

e-berlin.org said,
I support the law 100%. Good job.

Eh? What does this law change exactly? Minors can't buy games above their age rating anyway, at least not in places like gamestop and such. And this law doesn't prevent parents from buying the same games and giving them to their kids to play.

The only thing I'm against is hearing anyone who hasn't hit puberty yet screaming profanities and destroying my ears with their high pitched prepubescent voices while playing Call of Duty. There shouldn't be a law against selling video games to minors, I just wish parents would give two sh*ts about what their children do.

satukoro said,
The only thing I'm against is hearing anyone who hasn't hit puberty yet screaming profanities and destroying my ears with their high pitched prepubescent voices while playing Call of Duty. There shouldn't be a law against selling video games to minors, I just wish parents would give two sh*ts about what their children do.

LOL, I have heard the children chain together at least 6-10 four letter words so eloquently while playing Halo that I had thought, well surely their entire summer must have been spent with Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, and there they had learned the finer points of the mastery of gutter English.

personally i am against that 'violent game law' crap because at the end of the day kids will find ways to get around it.

and as i always say... anyone who commits a violent crime because of a video game usually had major issues to begin with where as the vast vast majority can play violent video games and be perfectly fine with it.

Activision doesnt give 2 ****s about freedom of speech. The only thing they care about is the huge dent this is going to make on their earnings. **** the industry. And anyone that is stupid enough to gobble up their lying crap.

cloaked said,
Activision doesnt give 2 ****s about freedom of speech. The only thing they care about is the huge dent this is going to make on their earnings. **** the industry. And anyone that is stupid enough to gobble up their lying crap.
I was scared I was the only one who saw past the money grubbing b.s. Kotick was spitting out, trying to come off as a saint protecting freedom of speech. Kotick isn't fooling anyone. He's only joining the fight solely for the prospective idea of a loss in funds.

If it were the other way around, and somehow this law would make selling video games in any shape or form more profitable, that devil's advocate would campaign the bill like he was running for president. I don't care what anyone says about how effective of a businessman he is. Kotick is the worst thing that's ever happened to video games since the Virtual Boy.

Exactly. He doesn't care about what is happening to anyone. But he sure cares about a law that will dent the size of his wallet. Don't go praising this man, because his motives are just as bad as this bill.

shakey said,
Exactly. He doesn't care about what is happening to anyone. But he sure cares about a law that will dent the size of his wallet. Don't go praising this man, because his motives are just as bad as this bill.

Not sure how this law will affect the size of his wallet. People will still be able to buy digital downloads of games on-line, not to mention that the law doesn't ban the sale of violent video games, it bans the sale of it to minors. That doesn't prevent a parent/older sibling from buying the game for the kid in question, so sales are unlikely to see a decline. While the guy is obviously throwing a ton of PR to make his company look better, it's just that, PR... not a worry about his profits.

Metodi Mitov said,

Not sure how this law will affect the size of his wallet. People will still be able to buy digital downloads of games on-line, not to mention that the law doesn't ban the sale of violent video games, it bans the sale of it to minors. That doesn't prevent a parent/older sibling from buying the game for the kid in question, so sales are unlikely to see a decline. While the guy is obviously throwing a ton of PR to make his company look better, it's just that, PR... not a worry about his profits.

Creating a law that creates in any sort of way at all more difficult for a person to purchase any sort of video game, under any sort of age restrictions, is a hinderance in a CEO's eye. A few lost sales because of a strict bill may not seem that bad in general, but to a money grubbing businessman, this is the breaking of the Hoover Dam. Kotick doesn't care less whether it's a 10 year old or a 30 year old that purchases the next MA rated game out the door, a sale is a sale to him.
Just google a few public statements from Kotick and try to tell me with a straight face that he has any concerns for PR in any sort of way at all.

And as far as digital distribution goes, albeit it's still infant in nature, hard copies will always out sell digital by far.

Metodi Mitov said,

Not sure how this law will affect the size of his wallet. People will still be able to buy digital downloads of games on-line, not to mention that the law doesn't ban the sale of violent video games, it bans the sale of it to minors. That doesn't prevent a parent/older sibling from buying the game for the kid in question, so sales are unlikely to see a decline. While the guy is obviously throwing a ton of PR to make his company look better, it's just that, PR... not a worry about his profits.

I agree. if these kids can afford to buy the game in the store, if they can't they will simply seek other means. Many of these teens have a Credit Card or their own bank accounts. Lets see, I can't go to my favorite store to buy a game? Then I'll buy it from the same store online.

Just like teens who smoke or drink. You simply get someone to buy it for you or sneak it from the parents.

Yes games and music and tv, videos and poor parenting could land your child in prison for life. if you make the penalty for crimes more stiff it would be a better deterant. Like maybe, for a murder. Instead of wasting money for a lengthy trial, if he/she is guilty, just take them outside and murder their ass. Jail should only be for non-violent crimes like theft. But if you rape or kill you should be killed. Video Games don't teach anyone to be violent, it simply sensationlizes it.

If parents allow kids to own these games, its their job to parent them and teach them right. Most parents, especially those in california who have multiple people they screw and produce millions of kids for no reason other than they like sex way to much, bring the rest of us down.

we also don't let kids buy porn, alcohol and cigarettes. this is just making the ESRB ratings into law. The industry has been self regulating and not selling Teen games to kids, right? this just means those parents that would approve of the games need to be a bit more involved in the purchase but otherwise I dont see how this changes anything.

Don't they know that minors can just ask parents/big brother/sister to purchase the game for them? I mean even in movies as long as you're with an adult you can still get into a 18+/Mature as a minor. No law about that. Too many loopholes imo and this law surely is one of them. Also, Activision Blizzard just want money so they'll do anything to give you the most violent game possible

carson2255 said,
Glad I dont live in California

That's a good short-term statement. The problem is that what happens in CA tends to spread; like cancer.

carson2255 said,
Glad I dont live in California

Over a video game scapegoat?? Seriously is there any ounce of common sense left in this world? I have lived in California all my life and as much as the situation is bad, if you can get a good business going or have connections it will make you one of the happiest people around. I have met people coming from even Sweden saying Los Angeles is better in terms of living conditions and its fun to be close to the entertainment capital of the world. I have contacts in Toronto as well wanting to visit and they haven't even seen Vancouver. As crappy of a state we are, political things aside we aren't that bad. Visit yourself and see what we have to offer.

Karo - 323z IT said,

Over a video game scapegoat?? Seriously is there any ounce of common sense left in this world? I have lived in California all my life and as much as the situation is bad, if you can get a good business going or have connections it will make you one of the happiest people around. I have met people coming from even Sweden saying Los Angeles is better in terms of living conditions and its fun to be close to the entertainment capital of the world. I have contacts in Toronto as well wanting to visit and they haven't even seen Vancouver. As crappy of a state we are, political things aside we aren't that bad. Visit yourself and see what we have to offer.

I don't think carson2255 is sayiing just because of the video game issue. They is a whole slew of issues. This is just one more of many more to have happen and to come.

safesax2002 said,

I don't think carson2255 is sayiing just because of the video game issue. They is a whole slew of issues. This is just one more of many more to have happen and to come.

+1

Before long they're going to be able to tell me when to take a sh*t. There are laws for everything now-a-days. Mind your own damn business and let me raise my(<-) kids, my way. Maybe the Republicans are right.

notta said,
Before long they're going to be able to tell me when to take a sh*t. There are laws for everything now-a-days. Mind your own damn business and let me raise my(<-) kids, my way. Maybe the Republicans are right.

Arnold is a Republican...maybe the Democrats are right. The Republicans want to guide your every step. At least he is trying to make Weed legal. That is a huge plus.

warrior4321 said,
I support this law. Parents are getting more and more irresponsible.

So that makes it okay to infringe on our Bill of Rights?!?!

safesax2002 said,

So that makes it okay to infringe on our Bill of Rights?!?!

If your Bill of Rights says that its ok for an under age person to buy a violent video game then your Bill of Rights is wrong. Not all video games are suitable for children.

How does this work with movies then in the US? Surely people could complain that their rights are being violated when being denied admission to an 18+ movie as well?

safesax2002 said,
So that makes it okay to infringe on our Bill of Rights?!?!

Heh, people just don't like being told they can't do something by someone else. Its human nature! Especially in America where "Freedom without rational thought" runs rampant. Freedom for freedom's sake doesn't help society, and freedom was imparted upon Americans by their founding fathers to improve society. If there's a chance that violent video games when played by minors are creating problems in society, then its the governments duty to try to prevent that from happening. Try not dismiss the ban as nonsense until you have checked the facts beyond your own personal experience.

Oh and all that being said, I do not support the ban as I feel the body of evidence supporting the assertion that its bad for kids is insufficient to warrant government intervention.

Pc_Madness said,

If your Bill of Rights says that its ok for an under age person to buy a violent video game then your Bill of Rights is wrong. Not all video games are suitable for children.

How does this work with movies then in the US? Surely people could complain that their rights are being violated when being denied admission to an 18+ movie as well?

Sorry, but I don't think it is the role of the state to decide whether my children can or cannot watch violent movies or play violent videogames. I grew up watching Catoons like "The Woodpecker" and "Tom and Jerry", and those were extremely violent (Woddpecker was even evil, always trying to take advantage on everything, steal or hurt others). And in no way did this turn me into a violent person, because I had good parents who taught me what was the necessary and acceptable behaviour to live in a society.

It is all about good parenting, teaching your children what is right or wrong, being there to help when they need, punish them when they deserve and, most importantly, being fair. Passing laws like this in no help.

ALso, this won't prevent kids from playing violent games. They'll either have someone buy for them or download it from the internet (and may do this without parents being aware, which is a much worse situation).

sviola said,

Sorry, but I don't think it is the role of the state to decide whether my children can or cannot watch violent movies or play violent videogames. I grew up watching Catoons like "The Woodpecker" and "Tom and Jerry", and those were extremely violent (Woddpecker was even evil, always trying to take advantage on everything, steal or hurt others). And in no way did this turn me into a violent person, because I had good parents who taught me what was the necessary and acceptable behaviour to live in a society.

It is all about good parenting, teaching your children what is right or wrong, being there to help when they need, punish them when they deserve and, most importantly, being fair. Passing laws like this in no help.

ALso, this won't prevent kids from playing violent games. They'll either have someone buy for them or download it from the internet (and may do this without parents being aware, which is a much worse situation).

Absolutely agree with you there. And to the OP... irresponsible parents will still be able to buy the violent games and let their kids play said games at home, so this law solves absolutely nothing in that regard. Not even sure why it is being proposed, unless they intend to add devices to monitor who plays what on every PC/console in the state to ban kids from playing said games.

Parents need to start acting like Parents and stop avoiding the issue of personal responsibility.

Video Games are being used as a scapegoat to cover the real problem.

Sonic. said,
Parents need to start acting like Parents and stop avoiding the issue of personal responsibility.

Video Games are being used as a scapegoat to cover the real problem.


Like everything else before it. This is the worst example of the nanny state.

I for am for it. Parents suck these days and can NOT Be trusted to raise their kids.

As if that is something new.

war said,
I for am for it. Parents suck these days and can NOT Be trusted to raise their kids.

As if that is something new.

This law will not help with the issue, though. A parent can still buy the game in question and then give it to his/her kid to play at home. All the law does is enforce that games of a particular rating not be sold to children.

Don't know if you were being sarcastic or not but how is that in any way communist? Every time somebody critiques the right for criticizing the left, somehow it resorts too... "oh you damn communist!". Come on, let's have substantiated arguments and you were bang on when you said "parents do actual parenting". whether you're right or left, parents have to be rationale and logical and this proposed law is an example of the opposite.

the1himself said,
Don't know if you were being sarcastic or not but how is that in any way communist? Every time somebody critiques the right for criticizing the left, somehow it resorts too... "oh you damn communist!". Come on, let's have substantiated arguments and you were bang on when you said "parents do actual parenting". whether you're right or left, parents have to be rationale and logical and this proposed law is an example of the opposite.

Problem is that parents don't want to parent anymore. That's also the real reason behind all-day kindergarten and year-round school.

Isn't that the whole point of the ESRB? If parents are not responsible enough to censor the games their kids are buying, then that's their fault, not the fault of the game producers.

CoMMo said,
Isn't that the whole point of the ESRB? If parents are not responsible enough to censor the games their kids are buying, then that's their fault, not the fault of the game producers.

Ya. I thought the ESRB was supposed to solve this "problem"

thatguyandrew1992 said,

Ya. I thought the ESRB was supposed to solve this "problem"

It would solve the problem if there were not so many absentee parents...

thatguyandrew1992 said,

Ya. I thought the ESRB was supposed to solve this "problem"

The "problem" is bad parenting. The ESRB provides the information, the rest is up to the parents.

Sticktron said,

The "problem" is bad parenting. The ESRB provides the information, the rest is up to the parents.

Agreed. If I send my step-daughter in a video game store to buy something that is rated PG-13 and higher, they will refuse to sell it to her. Hence the problem really doesn't come from the fact that kids are buying violent video games, it comes from the fact that parents are buying them and then letting their kids play them, a problem that this law will not solve.

dotf said,
That or get parents involved with their childrens' lives.

Dude stop talking crazy, if your kids turn out bad it's tv, school, the media an video games fault never the parents....oh and that guy marilin manson he's has at least 50% of all the blame of all the bad things.

Neoauld said,
Dont right wingers have anything better to do like hate on blacks, gays, and saying NO to everything the left says.

I smell a communist! Also California is about as liberal a state as it gets hence why it's sinking in debt. SPEND SPEND SPEND! Hollywood = communist central.

Also Activision sucks and Blizzard needs to drop them like Time Warner dropped AOL.

What it ultimately comes down to is if parents do actual parenting. However at the same time anyone could say violence costs lives though sex does not so why allow someone to buy a game and kill people though not allow that same person to watch soft-core pornography? That's a rhetorical question of course.

JAB Creations said,

I smell a communist! Also California is about as liberal a state as it gets hence why it's sinking in debt. SPEND SPEND SPEND! Hollywood = communist central.

Also Activision sucks and Blizzard needs to drop them like Time Warner dropped AOL.

What it ultimately comes down to is if parents do actual parenting. However at the same time anyone could say violence costs lives though sex does not so why allow someone to buy a game and kill people though not allow that same person to watch soft-core pornography? That's a rhetorical question of course.

And how will banning the sales of videogames help revenue?

Neoauld said,

And how will banning the sales of videogames help revenue?

Fines. Then they get the money they need to spend, spend, spend...

safesax2002 said,
Fines. Then they get the money they need to spend, spend, spend...

At least that's their reasoning. Of course in the real world it doesn't work that way. The massively reduced sales taxes from the resultant cut in sales will far outstrip any gains in fines.

Neoauld said,
Dont right wingers have anything better to do like hate on blacks, gays, and saying NO to everything the left says.

Obviously not, their entire platform is based upon the protection of guns and militias, featuring cult like quasi religions, demanding less taxes or not paying them at all with deposits in Swiss bank or Cayman Island accounts, fostering pseudo family values which promote the hatred of other groups of people, religions, nationalities, ethnicities etcetera, with unbridled greed, and the promotion of mass hysteria while they fleece their fellow right wingers and left wingers as well for that matter lol...they rule by fear. The entire lot of them are herded like cattle by their leadership, brainwashed by corporations, and the masses of the right are kept poor and illiterate so that they are eager to serve in the next war, for the lack of any other opportunities. God help them!

Edited by onebadolepuddycat, Sep 23 2010, 12:14am :

mokthraka said,
I don't understand why people choose to live in that horrible horrible state
Yup, I agree. California have the worst economy in the entire country and yet, still proposing the worst and most stupid laws ever. Not wonder why all type of businesses are leaving California.

mokthraka said,
I don't understand why people choose to live in that horrible horrible state

At least here in san diego we have pretty perfect weather year round.... that's about it though.

Alastyr said,
Fixed it for you.
Where should I go then? Point me in the direction of the perfect utopia that you live in please.

mokthraka said,
I don't understand why people choose to live in that horrible horrible state

What are you? I guarantee no matter what state you live in it pales in comparison to California.

zeke009 said,
Where should I go then? Point me in the direction of the perfect utopia that you live in please.

Canada is pretty fun.. except for the snow

cloaked said,

What are you? I guarantee no matter what state you live in it pales in comparison to California.

I live in Chicago and Sarasota FL. Florida has several advantage over California. We don't have a state tax. The sky is much clearer even over the 2 biggest cities. Traffic on I-75 is never more than 2 or 3 miles long even in Tampa's rush hour, and DisneyWorld is far better than Disneyland. We don't have an actor acting like he is a govenor. I love that line in the movie 2012 'he is an actor reading a script'. His job as an actor basically is no different in what he is doing now. He is a bad actor and a bad govenor.

zeke009 said,
Where should I go then? Point me in the direction of the perfect utopia that you live in please.

Canada...