Category Archives: Influential people making a move
NJ task force recommends game regulation “Yes folks it must be games that made them do it… REALLY??”
This is a story that I originally found on GameSpot, And it has relevance in everything that is going on in Games today. While I do not agree with the arguments the State of New Jersey is making, I believe both sides should have a voice, And I will listen as I am doing now before giving my side, Or the other side of the coin.
The New Jersey SAFE Task Force has released a comprehensive report calling on Republican Governor Chris Christie to regulate games sold in the state, increase educational efforts about games, and review violent media overall as a means to help stamp out mass violence.
“The interactive nature of video games, as opposed to other forms of media, may dictate particular regulation of such games,” the group wrote.
The first regulatory action the group recommends is requiring minors be accompanied by an adult when purchasing games with an M or AO rating, as judged by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB). The task force also recommends a “request for identification” for the sale or rental of games with M or AO ratings.
On top of this, the group seeks to require game retailers to “conspicuously” display ESRB ratings at the point of sale. These retailers should also develop, maintain, and display their own policy on selling M or AO games, the group said.
Another bullet point on the task force’s recommendation list to Christie is the removal of violent games from state property, namely highway rest areas. The appropriate authority with jurisdiction over such property should “consider the practicality and feasibility of regulating those video games to ensure that violent games are not made available to children,” the group wrote.
The New Jersey SAFE Task Force also would like to see the state conduct a review concerning whether or not violent media is inappropriately marketed to young people.
“Specifically with regard to violent video games, the Task Force encourages the appropriate agency to explore the question of whether retailers should be required to label video games with stickers, in addition to the ESRB rating symbol, to make clear the appropriate age range for a particular video game,” the group said.
Concerning education, the task force said it recommends that the Department of Education (or another appropriate agency) help educate parents about how to make “healthy” media choices for their children. On top of this, the group said it advises industry associations within the state to conduct a comprehensive public information campaign to bolster understanding of media ratings systems.
“Our recommendations are provided cognizant of the fact that violent media has received a great deal of blame for youth violence in the recent past, but most people agree that exposure to media violence alone does not cause a child to commit a violent act,” the group wrote.
“While several major public health organizations have voiced their shared conviction that exposure to violent media leads to more aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, they have also acknowledged that it is not the sole, or even the most important, factor contributing to youth aggression, anti-social attitudes, and violence,” the statement goes on.
Recommendations for action regarding video games are just one part of the task force’s five-chapter, 83-page report to Christie. Other highlights include calls for new gun control measures, new strategies to combat urban violence, various mental health initiatives, and new school safety guidelines.
Christie is in no way bound to follow through on any of the recommendations, as the report is first and foremost a guide to help the governor prioritize these initiatives he feels are most appropriate and pressing.
One of the report’s recommendations is already being acted upon. Following the publication of the report, assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union) announced plans to introduce a bill that would ban video games containing mature and adult content in public places.
“Games that are meant for older, more mature audiences have no place in places where children can easily access them. Video games alone do not influence violent behavior, but they can play a role. Some of the most prolific mass shootings not just in this country, but in the world had links to violent video games,” Stender said in a statement.
“The longer a child is exposed to video games where killing is the sole objective, the greater the chance that he or she will become numb to this type of behavior and even consider it acceptable. This bill would ensure that video games with graphic adult content would not be available to children who are not old enough to make a distinction between fantasy and reality.”
If signed into law, the legislation would prohibit M- and AO-rated games from public spaces and carry a fine of no more than $10,000 for a first offense and no more than $20,000 for any subsequent offense. On top of the monetary fines, a violation could result in cease and desist orders from the Attorney General, punitive damages, and the awarding of treble damages (three times the amount), and cost to the injured.
Stender’s bill is not the only such piece of game legislation to go before the New Jersey Assembly. Earlier this month, republican state lawmakers Sean Kean and Holly Schepisi introduced a bill that would make unlawful the sale of an M- or AO-rated game in the state to any person under the age of 18 without parental consent. In this case, consent means the purchaser’s parent or guardian is present during the transaction and consents to the sale either verbally or through writing.
The bill specifies that anyone caught selling such games to minors would have committed an unlawful practice, which under the Consumer Fraud Act is punishable by a penalty of not more than $10,000 for a first offense and not more than $20,000 for any subsequent offense. Violators could also face further legal action from the state Attorney General, similar to Stender’s legislation listed above.
Video games have been a much-discussed topic since December’s Connecticut schoolhouse massacre. A reportedly “deranged gamer” killed 20 children and six adults before taking his own life on December 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Most recently, Democratic California Senator Dianne Feinstein argued that violent games can serve as simulators for would-be mass murderers.
Eden Games “Test Drive dev” Closed by Atari after attempted strike, (Another Example and one step closes to Game Unions?)
Alone in the Dark and Test Drive Unlimited developer Eden Games has closed, the Lyon, France-based studio has confirmed (via Eurogamer).
The studio originally opened in 1998.
The official closure of Eden Games comes nearly a year after studio owner Atari labeled the studio as “discontinued operations,” suggesting its shutdown was not far away.
The studio’s final game was 2011’s warmly received Test Drive Unlimited 2 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Previously developed titles include 2008’s Alone in the Dark and the 2006 original Test Drive Unlimited.
In 2011, Eden Games formed a “symbolic strike” aimed at protesting a wave of forthcoming layoffs at the firm, believed to total as many as 80. A letter from Eden Games claimed “mismanagement” on the part of Atari and noted the publisher was not willing to enter negotiations with the studio.
38 Studios management knew it was in trouble before moving from Massachusetts to Rhode Island in 2010, according to recently filed documents in Rhode Island Superior Court.
Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. lawyer Max Wistow said there is “crushing evidence” that shows founder and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and other executives intentionally concealed that financial information, according to The Providence Journal.
The state contends that 38 Studios instead relied on “speculative financial projections” to operate its business.
Rhode Island sued Schilling, along with other 38 Studios executives, in November over the controversial $75 million loan that brought the game company to the Ocean State in 2010.
The state continues to argue that the defendants knew or should have known, but failed to inform the EDC Board, that 38 Studios was destined to fail based on 38 Studios’ own financial projections.
In total, the complaint includes 17 counts of alleged wrongdoing against 38 Studios. These include counts of fraud, unjust enrichment, civil conspiracy, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, negligence, legal malpractice, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions, and breach of fiduciary duty.
Separately, the 38 Studios website has returned to operation today. The site at one point today contained a handful of posts–all created today–highlighted the history of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Project Copernicus, and Green Monster Games, which would later become 38 Studios.