Example of an old fart with a control mentality. from http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2249640,00.html
Senator moves against violent games
Bill would make it more difficult for minors to buy, rent, or play graphically violent video games."
By Micheal Muller, GameSpot
April 29, 1999 11:35 AM PT
With all the talk regarding video-game violence and its alleged overwhelming
power to incite gamers to random acts of violence -- you knew that at least
one politician would step up in an attempt to curb the use of violent games.
Meet State Senator Jack Wagner, a Pennsylvania Democrat who on Tuesday
announced that he has launched legislation to "make it more difficult for
minors to buy, rent, or play graphically violent video games."
In a release issued on Wednesday, Wagner's proposal is a reaction to the
perception that violent video games have a role in violent acts committed by
teens. The senator says that several studies have shown that playing violent
video games is linked to teen violence, but he admits more research needs to
occur. He added that, "It doesn't take a scientific study to tell that
graphically violent video games are inappropriate for minors."
"As a public official and as a parent, I am asking all parents and guardians
of children to monitor and control the video games children are playing," Wagner said. "Some involve barbaric acts of violence that are desensitizing children to violence."
"The level of graphic violence in video games far exceeds that which is
permitted in R-rated movies," Wagner said. "Since the age limit for R-rated movies is 17, I am proposing a similar age restriction for violent video games."
His proposal is to make it an offense to sell, rent, or provide violent video games to people under age 18. Wagner is urging Congress to mandate that game publishers submit all their games to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) for rating and review. Game publishers already do this as a matter of business, so the rating resolution would more than likely hold retailers, game rental locations, and others responsible for supplying gamers with violent games.
"What I am proposing is not censorship," Wagner said. "Individuals and
companies would still be free to create, sell, and rent violent video games. They could not, however, offer such games to minors. I believe the restrictions I am proposing are reasonable, justifiable, and in the best interests of Pennsylvania's children and children across America." Other sources of information Wagner listed in his release this morning included a 60 Minutes news piece in which a retired Army lieutenant colonel stated that he found "disturbing parallels between today's violent video games and methods used by the military to teach recruits to kill. Yet Wagner doesn't appear to blame all teen violence on gaming, "My legislation is not a panacea. It addresses one aspect of a complicated problem - a problem that, frankly, can be best addressed by caring and involved parents." Considering the mainstream media have chosen games as one of the scapegoats alongside TV, film, and music in the recent outcrop of violent shootings in Paducah, Kentucky, and Littleton, Colo., the debate over violence in gaming appears to have been placed on page one once more. As Senator Wagner's legislation moves into Congress, we'll make sure we check on whether other Senators feel games do play a role in teen violence. If the legislation does move into the House of Representatives, gamers of voting age can contact their representative to make their voice heard in the great cacophony over gaming.