Stan Lee Wants You to Fight Video Game Censorship
60 years later, the same thing is starting up again, but this time with video games, and Stan Lee is calling on everyone to stand up for themselves and not give up the fight against censorship! Apex News Network recently reported that Stan Lee, 87, wrote a letter to the Video Game Voters Network urging gamers to fight against the recent attempts of censorship against video games.
"If you restrict sales of video games, you’re chipping away at our First Amendment rights to free speech...take a stand and defend both the First Amendment and the rights of computer and video game artists.” This debate is moving out of local governments and states, and will soon head to the Supreme Court. Why is all this happening? Do we really need video games to be censored?
== TEASER ==
No, no we don't. I'm not going to even leave that question open for discussion. However, in 2005 Arnold "The Govenator" Schwarzenegger passed a law that makes it illegal to sell or rent games that depict "killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being" to anyone under the age of 18. So now you're wondering, "Why is the classic arcade game, Sunset Riders, on the right?" Well, you kill people in this game, and a whole lot of them, unless they ALL survive being shot. This game technically, under that law, would be banned. Think that's too far? Well, there's people out there that think like this daily because they supposedly know better than we do. They want to govern what we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. Luckily, that terrible excuse for a law was shot down by U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte about two years later because it was deemed unconstitutional. It violated the free speech amendment. But there is an appeal to have the law reinstated soon to be heard by the Supreme Court.
Why not let parents be parents. Let them decide what is right for their child. If their child goes behind their back and purchases the game themselves against the parents wishes, why not punish the kid? I don't want to go to a restaurant and have someone order for me, so why do I want someone telling me what my kid can or can't do. This is just a step into the direction of banning all violent material. People say that those who play violent video games become desensitized to violence in real life. (They "say" it because there's no actual scientific data to back up their claims) There's a huge difference between real violence and video game violence. If you don't believe me, go play Fight Night and then get into a real fight. Fight Night can be fun and entertaining, while a real fight can be terrifying and remorseful. Before my head explodes from the frustration I feel while thinking about this subject, well let Stan Lee finish this off with his kind and gentle words.
"My memory has always been lousy and it’s not improving with age. But it’s good enough to remember a time when the government was trying to do to comic books what some politicians now want to do with video games: censor them and prohibit their sales. It was a bad idea half a century ago and it’s just as bad an idea now. And you can do something about it."
What do you think? Is it time to fight for our right to play what we want or is it ok to ban selling violent games to kids?
There's a gray line between this kind of issue.
I can understand censoring games like Grand Theft Auto to underage kids, since they involve "real-life kind of violence" where you shoot and rob people. Or bloody games like Mortal Kombat where you tear out othere people's head and limbs.
But games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or even Ratchet & Clank should be okay since the violence is animated, and "killing" (but more like beating) alien robots or foot ninja soldiers are nowhere near as real as say... blowing someone's head off with a .357 and car-jacking their ride.
Why should childless American adults be punished because somebody somewhere has a kid and an agenda?
If a 10 year old kid can walk into a store and buy a excessively violent or pornographic book, videogame, movie, or piece of candy, that's the parents fault. Good parents can find a balance between keeping a child as a prisoner and letting it run free. Sheltered kids turn into sheltered adults, millions of horrible people are raising children right now. Censoring everything is not an answer, raise your kid, don't tread on me.
I have a spoiled rotten little nephew and he really doesn't need to be playing GTA. I think it depends on the type of game. God of War 2, sure it was bloody, but it was mostly monsters. Then all of a sudden they showed a fully naked women and I really didn't understand why, did it really need it? GTA 4 had characters snorting blow and smoking weed. It has a strip a club in with titties hanging out. Games don't need to be cencored, but they do need to be rated. My brother and his wife are divorced and I know his exwife doesn't sit there and watch every damn minute of the games he's playing. Chances are he doesn't have the game, but his mothers boyfriends kid does. I can picture my 10 year old nephew sneaking a quicky from a hooker and then killing her so he can get her money back, and that's just wrong.
That makes me wanna drop whatever I do right now and play Sunset Riders and a couple of other 90's arcades. Screw that censorship though. If some people get influenced in their everyday life by a bunch of games, that's probably their problem. I wont stop having fun because of that.
My parents raised me well. Rather than crying censorship and complaining about the sales of things like power ranger swords and toy laser guns, they just said no, until they felt I was old enough to have that kind of thing.
But while as a kid and teen I wasn't allowed to have rated M games in the house, I was allowed to play them at my friend's house (early on, maybe not really, but I did). Either way, I didn't turn out ultra-violent, and none of my friends, whose parents were less strict, are bad either.
And what about guys like Charles Manson? He didn't get any of his ideas from video games. Neither did the Zodiac killer.
While there is evidence to show that violent video games do create a bit of a culture of aggression, there's no evidence that I've heard of to suggest that video games are any more a cause of crime than brushing your teeth.
In the UK the law goes if a game rated 18 by the BBFC or 17 by PEGI then the store has committed an illegal act if it sells that product to someone under that age. This applies to all the ratings so you get situations where I got asked for ID when I bought FFIII on the DS which is rated 12+, but I feel like it is a reasonable way to do thing. Hell because of this stance in the UK most comic stores I've been in will stick to the rating that a comic has and some even rate comics themselves.
" My parents raised me well. Rather than crying censorship and complaining about the sales of things like power ranger swords and toy laser guns, they just said no, until they felt I was old enough to have that kind of thing. But while as a kid and teen I wasn't allowed to have rated M games in the house, I was allowed to play them at my friend's house (early on, maybe not really, but I did). Either way, I didn't turn out ultra-violent, and none of my friends, whose parents were less strict, are bad either. And what about guys like Charles Manson? He didn't get any of his ideas from video games. Neither did the Zodiac killer. While there is evidence to show that violent video games do create a bit of a culture of aggression, there's no evidence that I've heard of to suggest that video games are any more a cause of crime than brushing your teeth. "One of my favorite quotes dealing with violent media relating to real life violence.
"What was the name of that violent video game that Hitler played?"
" People keep complaining about everything "My stomach hurts!
Well the problem with parents punishing their children if they purchase a game behind their back is that punishment does nothing to decrease the behavior. Thorndike's Revised Law of Effect and Skinner's studies really showed this unless the punishment is severe enough.
Restricting sales for minors isn't really censorship though, you are still allowing the product to be made and you are still allowing people to purchase the product.
I consider myself a gamer, I like to play CoD and GTA and that, but theother day I saw Manhunt for Wii.... Manhunt is the game where you have to kill people cruely and grotesquely, and if the Wii remote is making adults (and kids) peform the specific actions of ramming a glass shard into someones face whilst suffocating them with a plastic bag, then it is disgusting beyond ratings.
"I can honestly say that Stan Lee is without a doubt one of the most intelligent people on this planet. I could not agree with him more and he is saying everything I have been. How can this guy get anymore awesome? "
he cant no human can rise above his level of cool
all the rappers like lil wayne and Jay z are always bragging about how cool and rich they are but stan lee could crush them with his bank account and crush a solar system with his awesomeness
Even in scientific studies it was shown that people who commit actions of violence associated with games have pre-existing conditions which make them likely to do these kinds of things, research has shown that kids do copy what they see, but this is only in the short-term and only really happens under the age of 8.
Censorship may be necessary, but only when it is something that the person would not understand or be able to comprehend, but when you have an understanding of the concepts of sex, drugs and murder, you should be allowed to play the games that contain them because there are very little new influences caused by them.
They should just pick one age and use that as the censorship benchmark.
The part that pisses me off the most about all this crap, is that because of laws in a stupid country that I don't live in, and I therefor have no way to give my say to effect the matter, it will affect me. As much as I hate it, if the yanks banned something then that means the rest of the world is not going to get it anymore ether. There is no game company out there that is going to spend the time and resources needed to produce a game that they can't sell in the Yankee marketplace.Due to that fact the rest of the world now has to suffer for there ignorance, fear and stupidity, and the worst part of it all is that all the rest of us can do is sit back and watch as they screw it up for everyone else because there is nothing we can do about it.
Guess what, I think games like that are fine.No one made you play it so why do you care? If you don't like something on the TV or radio your turn it off. If you don't like what someone is saying you walk away. If you don't like what your reading on the internet you close the browser. Why should I not be able to enjoy something I like just because you feel it's wrong, and vice versa?
" I consider myself a gamer, I like to play CoD and GTA and that, but theother day I saw Manhunt for Wii.... Manhunt is the game where you have to kill people cruely and grotesquely, and if the Wii remote is making adults (and kids) peform the specific actions of ramming a glass shard into someones face whilst suffocating them with a plastic bag, then it is disgusting beyond ratings. "
I love how people love to play back seat parents. I am raising a six year old and let me tell you, it's very limited with the market so geared towards gun porn games and sexually perverted comic books.
Outside of Disney titles what kind of titles I can purchase for my step daughter. I mean, how many tits and a$$ covers are there between Marvel and DC? Same relates with video games that bombard you with violent post apocalyptic video game commercials all the time.
Video games much like comics are keying into a mature audience or adults experiencing their second adolescence. Like it or not human beings are visual creatures. We are compelled to look. If the violence of the game isn't disturbing enough, it's the length of play time. It's almost a drug. It promotes anti-social behavior and sedimentary play contributes to this rise in diabetes 2.
Sure Parents should be held accountable but they can't be around 24/7. Not in this economy and I certainly challenge any one to raise their kid in NYC as I do.
I'm not saying video games should be censored but how do you teach your kid self-restraint when Eye candy continues to taunt them all the time?
Stan has a point but wouldn't the world's oldest whore for attention be bolder if he challenged video game designers to make games that aren't so fetish-ized? Despite the comics code, there were amazing comic book stories that didn't need to beat you over the head with shock factor. Sometimes less is more.
The sad fact is the majority of our population is dumb. They don't like to think for themselves nor do they want their children doing so, so what better than to have good ole pal government step in and do the thinking for us. Why should we have to make up our minds about what's offensive when the government can do it for us? Nice and clean.
I personally think this is only made funnier by the fact that the chief among censorship supporters is a man who has fictionally killed lots of people himself in some fairly brutal ways. You can't say that the hypocrisy isn't entertaining.
So kids can't buy some violent games. They also can't buy Playboy, beer, guns, cigarettes, R-rated movies, etc. Cry me a river. Guess what... you're a kid. Sorry you can't go around you parents back that easy, junior. Find a schlub to do it for you the way God intended.
And the CCA wasn't government censorship, it was self-policing by the publishers. Stan did the anti-drug issues of Spider-Man that went against the CCA because the US Health Department wanted him to. He sucked up to the very government he is pretending to have fought against. Nice to see retcons in the real world.
Stan Lee is great, and I'm sure he is a wonderful human being. But he has put his name on some really questionable stuff of late. I know the guy just needs to make a living; but it's his business not his philosophical sensibilities that I question. So speak on Stan, Speak on!
How was Stan sucking up to the government?
The Health Department asked him to do an anti-drug issue and he did it, not just because they asked him to, but because a moral thing to teach kids (and people would remember and pay money for it) I would not call that sucking up... I'd call that doing your job.
There are plenty of games out there for kids and gaming would have little effect on social behaviour if they are at school or play the games with their friends... and there are actually games being made to help reduce the amount of people suffering from type 2 diabetes, they are currently being tested on kids aged 8-10 (IIRC)
"@Blindside002 said:Truer words i think were never spoken or typed for that matter.
"I can honestly say that Stan Lee is without a doubt one of the most intelligent people on this planet. I could not agree with him more and he is saying everything I have been. How can this guy get anymore awesome? "he cant no human can rise above his level of cool all the rappers like lil wayne and Jay z are always bragging about how cool and rich they are but stan lee could crush them with his bank account and crush a solar system with his awesomeness "
"I find it hilarious that governator Ah-nold was the one to introduce that law. I seem to remember him starring in a film where a three-breasted alien hooker gets shot in the head, amongst others..."
Its a shame hes considered "the" best version of conan on film.Because he will always be the king of the Rinos to me.
We got a rateing system heres a realy amazing idea use it. WHAT? I know shocking isnt it. God of war is a game based on greek myth where sex and vilence play a large part. Its rated M and lists its reasons read these reasons and see if your ok with your child playing it. Grand Theft Auto is well known for what it contains and just look at the title its named after crime. So what dose that mean? It means 5yr old Jane shouldnt play. If you have a isue with a games subject mater then dont let it be played. Games are curently 60$ little Jimmy isnt going to get his hands on the game without your aid. You want restraints then put them in effect dont cause proublems for every single individual.
That's encouraging that X-Box is kind of jumping on with the Wii with those simulated motion dimension that allows a kid to be more active while playing.
I deliberately avoided the part about the advertisements because it is an issue to do with TV not the games themselves, as far as I am aware, there is a policy which says no violent game advertisements (or anything "adultish") should be shown when there are child-targeted television shows on... and studies have shown that children under 8 don't usually re-enact what they see for a long amount of time, so there is less of a chance of a child seeing the advert and an even lesser chance of the child copying what they see.
Bah, not this censorship stuff again. I agree with Stan, censorship is a bad thing, honestly, why cant parents teach their children the difference between fiction and reality, that shooting and killing someone in a video game is different from the real world instead of crying foul and wanting the government to raise their children for them.
I don't see how prohibiting sales to minors of content that is already rated for 17 and older has anything to do with the First Amendment. It's not like the law is saying "hey, game companies, you aren't allowed to put cussing and violence and nudity and sex in your games anymore". It's merely covering the asses of the companies who sell the games from frivolous lawsuits, the publishers and developers from frivolous lawsuits, and forcing parents to be more responsible and KNOW what games their kids are playing.
I don't see problem with forcing a store to check IDs and tell the parents "hey, if your kid wants to play it, you need to buy it for them". All of this hoopla over making it a law and that it "goes against the First Amendment" is kind of dumb. I mean, if people are going to say this is against the First Amendment, then why haven't they been going against the companies that already restrict the sales of Mature games to minors voluntarily for the same reasons? Why aren't they going after the ESRB, MPAA, and RIAA for the same reasons?
Seriously, people need to look at this from the RIGHT point of view, and that is a simple task to do: if you have no problem with your kid watching rape, torture, abuse, violence, sex, or listening to profanity, then cool. You are the one that raises your kid, and in turn, this just means that you'll be required to be in-store to purchase a copy of Grand Theft Auto for your child. If you don't want to do that, tough luck. Your kid can come in instead and buy something that isn't rated M.
It's not censorship - it's being responsible.
@ForbushBug: *clap clap clap* THANK YOU!
@inferiorego: The law that is being positioned right now is definitely the wrong bill to try and pass. Saying "violent video games" in such a generalized fashion is an issue, as that creates a very broad claim of material. THAT is content-based restriction. However, if the law were to say "materials that are voluntarily rated by the ESRB at a Mature rating or higher must require someone over the age of 17 to purchase the game", THAT would be the right way to go about it. It's not restricted content, but rather holding responsibility to the parents and companies.
As someone who works in a gaming center and sees kids playing violent games on a daily basis, I can say that I don't need any form of scientific proof to tell me what I see everyday: kids have more violent tendencies when playing violent games. Moreover, the reasons they want to play those violent games are simple: they want to kill people. I've had kids that literally tell me they just want to play a specific game because you can "kill people really good" in it. They do not comprehend the difference between real life and fantasy, as the parents aren't teaching them the difference. Most of the parents could give a shit less. Instead, we as a staff feel like taking the extra step and pointing out that it is a virtual world that is made up and the things depicted in it are not something to replicate in real-life is. We shouldn't have to, but we do. At least I do. I talk about them like they are games because that's what they are. They talk about them as if they were extensions of real life.
If the same were to be applied to comics, meaning that Mature Reader content were sale-restricted unless someone was over the age of 17 to purchase them, then I wouldn't have a problem with that either.
People act as though materials passed through commerce shouldn't have some form of restrictive sale to them in order to cover the businesses producing and selling the materials, as well as holding the parents responsible...and THAT to me is kind of disturbing.
CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW STAN LEE IS THE MAN CENSORSHIP NOW CENSORSHIP NOW!
" @crusader8463: I didn't mean to offend you, and I let me make it clear that I do believe in everything you've said, I just think think that if you enjoy using the wii remote in a life like way to perform a grizzly execution, I feel it is too extreme. Bare in mind that if everyone comitted to your "walk away" policy then we may be in trouble, for example Martin Luther King didn't walk away from racism because he didn't like it "Did you just compare video game violence to segregation? How are they similar in any way? Playing violent video games or buying them for your kids is done by choice, segregation was institutionalized and enforced by the government. They're completely different.
I agree with Stan, video games have ratings...if the rating isn't suitable for your child..DON'T BUY THE GAME FOR THEM IDIOT!!! Let the parents decide..I play violent video games and enjoy them..they are just a game to me just like the comics I read..I can tell the difference between fantasy and reality. If they censor video games..I'm moving to Guam
Funny thing that that the man who basically started the COMIC CODE AUTHORITY, to drive EC COMICS out of business as his books could not compete with Those gorey anthology books, now wants to end a form of censorship. Is DISNEY getting into the splatter porn game business LOL.
Point aside I do not get the fuss over this . It should be illegal for children to buy 18 rated games. They do not want to ban adult games as far as I understand, just to stop shops selling them to kids, what the heck is the fuss about. If that was enforced with may actually see true adult games, that deal with adult issues and not just puerile crud to make teenage boys snicker at the boobies.
Also IDIOT PARENTS who buy their kids adult games, ignoring sellsperson advice, "as games are for kids"- RIGHT???? then they freak out when see an adult situation, and demand games banned, Then when these retarded breeders make a fuss , about adult games they bought against warning for their kids, the government will be able to charge these morons for giving 18 rated games to a minor.
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