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ezacharyk's picture
Joined: 2007-04-23

Here is what I sent my Rep and Sen:


My name is Zachary Knight. In responsed to HR5990, Video Games Rating Enforcement Act, I sent this to you from the PTC's web form, but am not sure if you read form mail from the PTC. I also had a few things I wanted to elaborate on as well as add. Anything the PTC said has the label of PTC.

PTC: Will you stand with families to protect children from violent video games? Today Representatives Jim Matheson and Lee Terry introduced a bipartisan bill that would require retailers to check identification in order to keep adult-rated video games from being sold to children. I am writing you today to urge you to support this legislation.

Zachary: Families are already protected. It is called being a parent. Parents have the final say in what media enters their home. There is no need to have the government intervene on parental matters. Please don't support this legislation.

PTC:Children are easily able to purchase or rent violent video games. A 2005 Federal Trade Commission study found that 42 % of unaccompanied 13-16 year-olds were able to purchase “M” (Mature) rated games from retailers, even though the M-rating suggests the game is inappropriate for children under the age of 17.

Zachary: They are quoting an out of date report. It seems that the latest data from the FTC does not fit the FTC's agenda. The 2007 report ([url]http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/05/secretshop.shtm[/url]) states that underage children were able to purchase them only 20% of the time. R rated and unrated Movies on the other hand were able to be purchased nearly 50% of the time. Why are they not calling for legislation on movie ratings enforcement? Adding to that. If you look at the data breakdown by store, stores that focus solely on video games successfully prevent underage children from purchasing M rated games 94% of the time. It is only the big department sotre chains that seem to have the problem. You also have to remember that these purchases were made by children who were given money and a ride to the stores. When you read the data provided by the ESA on this matter ([url]http://www.theesa.com/facts/index.asp[/url]) the average age of the game buyer is 40 years old with 96% of all game purchases are made by people over the age of 18. So that means that only 4% of all game purchases are made by kids. Also only 15% of all games sold in 2007 were rated M. 94% od kids have parents with them when purchasing any game. So the actual rate of children purchasing M rated games with out parent approval is well below 1% of all games sold in the US. Hardly a National Emergency.

PTC: Right now one of the most popular M-rated video games on the market is Grand Theft Auto. The latest version, which was released just last week, allows players to shoot police officers and innocent bystanders, have sex with prostitutes, and receive lap dances from strippers.

Zachary: Yes. The most popular M rated game. What they don't tell you is that the most popular games in general are the likes of the T rated Guitar Hero, T rated Rock Band, E rated Mario Galaxy, E rated Wii Sports. Gee, I wonder why they forgot to mention that information. Going back to the ESA's information, only 15% of games sold in 2007 were rated M.

PTC: It’s outrageous! Legally, stores can not sell children pornographic magazines or handguns – but they can legally sell video games to children that contain sexual content and teach children how to kill. In the wake of the horrific school shootings in Paducah, KY, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a West Point psychology professor, Professor of Military Science, and an Army Ranger stated:
Certain types of these (video) games are actually killing simulators, and they teach our kids to kill in much the same say the astronauts on Apollo 11 learned how to fly to the moon without ever leaving the ground… All you have to do is see what kids are being scripted to do (on the video games) to get the high scores, and you know that in a very short period of time, their dark fantasies are going to become your tragic realities.”
This legislation will not prevent adults from buying whatever games they want for themselves or their children – but it will help millions of parents by ensuring their children will not be able to buy games like this without their consent.

Zachary: Wow, there is a lot to say here. First, it has been ruled constitutional to restrict the sale of obscene material and firearms to underage children. Legislating the sale of video games has been attempted at least 9 times and every time it has been ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL. As for Grossman, his comments are rather ignorant. Video games are about as much of a training simulation as playing Cowboy and Indians when I was growing up. Then there is ther last claim. It may not directly effect adults, but it does cause a slippery slope of legislation. What will stop the government from creating more strict laws regarding content if this one goes through? And again, parents have the final say in what enters their home. Most children will not have the means to get the money to buy games or transport themselves to the store to buy the game by themselves. Someone has to take them there and give them the money.

But going back to their claim about pornography. It was ruled by the Supreme Court that the government has the authority to legislate the sale of pornography to minors. It was also ruled that government has the authority to legislate the sale of pornography in general. So what do you have? You have some states that only allow certain types of pornography to be sold. You have certain counties and cities that don't allow pornography at all.

But that is not all. It also opened up the door for states to regulate the production of pornography as well. Some states do not allow the production of pornopraphy within the state.

Now I am not trying to compare porn to games. What I am getting at is that if any sort of law passes that regulates the sale of games to minors, it is possible to spread that influence to other aspects. This would lead to states not allowing the production of certain games or games in general within their borders. We don't want that.

To add to this, any game that would fail the Miller test would be deemed obscene and the states will have the authority to regulate it. No M rated game would ever fail the Miller test. M rated games are the equivolent of an R rated movie.

PTC: Please support this important legislation. Our families are counting on you. Our children are counting on you.

Zachary: Don't supposrt this bill. As a parent, I hate the idea of people claiming that I am so incompetant in my duties as a parent that we need the government to get involved. I have the final say in my home. If my kids were to bring home a game I told them not to get, it will go back to the store and they will lose the money they had to get it. They know the rules of my home.

I am sorry that the PTC's membership base are incapable of setting rules in their home and enforcing them. I am sorry that they are so incompetant that they need the government's help. But I am not. I don't need the government to interfere.

This is what I got back from my Senator:


Dear Mr. Knight:

Thank you for your recent correspondence. As your voice in Washington, I appreciate being made aware of your views.

The legislation you have contacted me about, H.R. 5990, Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act, is presently pending in the House of Representatives. While I do not actively work with House bills that have not been passed, I do find it useful to receive input on such matters. A House bill, if passed, would come to the Senate and could become law. Also, House bills can be precursors to Senate bills.

In any case, I believe we should look closely at the sale of adult-rated video games to minors and recognize the important role of the parental supervision. It is crucial that the decisions we make be informed and forward‑thinking. If Senators or Representatives ignore issues, either because they are addressed only by legislation in the other house or otherwise, they shirk part of their responsibility, which is to be attentive to the needs of all of their constituents.

Again, thank you for your comments. Please do not hesitate to contact me again.


James M. Inhofe
United States Senator[/QUOTE]

Not much in a Yay or Nay, but at least it is a response. My Representative has not responded at all about it.


Jack Thompson wrote:
Only a seriously sick or disturbed or mean person would do a countdown to Jack Thompson's disbarment.
Orson Scott Card wrote:
Me, I prefer democracy - even if it means letting dumb people like me have our say - and our votes. Studies have shown that when you let dumb people vote, it works out way better than letting experts make all the political decisions.
Divine Knight Gaming

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