This is the really annoying thing I find about most video game legislation.
Not the usual broken first ammendment language and other vagaries (Greg Costikyan breaks down the crappiness recent NY bill well) – I mean, that sucks and it’s retarded, sure. But the frustrating thing is that I think there is a goal both parties, the game industry & state legislators, share, and that’s to keep adult content out of the hands of kids.
There seems to be two general categories of politicians that sign that sort of bill: the grandstanders, wanting to get press for their “family values” image, and the people actually concerned with how we raise our kids in our society. Most of the game industry just recoils in horror, naturally, at the first ammendment violations. But those are counter purpose to what the second category of legislator’s real underlying goal is.
And so it makes me wish we could do more to work with them to avoid the language that we don’t like that inevitably gets struck down time and again, and put reasonable punishments in place for retailers & others that don’t properly guard against kids buying age-appropriate content. Instead there are lawsuits, the legislation gets struck down, and meanwhile no actual progress gets made towards proper safeguards/penalties.
Ok, sure, you can write your congress person, but is that really an effective means of having a dialogue? Vicarious Visions editorial in the Albany Times Union is a good start, and hopeully legislators in Albany will take notice, but in then in each state we have to have this battle/debate/dialogue separately, over and over. Until we manage to convince all of them and then probably have to go back to first and reconvince them… Sigh.