Concerned New Jersey Lawmaker Proposes Banning Video Games That Do Not Exist

Concerned New Jersey Lawmaker Proposes Banning Video Games That Do Not Exist

Following Massachusetts’ successful crackdown on Time Crisis and Lethal Enforcers, a New Jersey lawmaker is also looking to make the state’s beautiful and historic Turnpike safe from light-gun games no one plays anymore. Except the language of the law she has in mind has a teeny tiny problem that renders it entirely meaningless.

Here it is described in a news release from her office:

Assemblywoman Linda Stender will introduce legislation that prohibits any kind of public accommodation — movie theatres, rest stops, bowling alleys, arcades — from making games rated Mature or Adults Only available to the public for play.

Stender may want to know that, as we speak, there is no arcade cabinet game rated M or AO available to play anywhere in New Jersey. Or in the United States. Or the galaxy. The Entertainment Software Rating Board does not rate coin-operated arcade games. It rates home console and PC games (and some mobile games.) It’s one of a few things pointing to the cultural irrelevance of arcade games in the United States in 2013.

Still, under Stender’s proposed law, offenders could face fines of up to $US10,000 for a first offence and $US20,000 each time after for a crime they’d have to try very, very hard to commit, like setting up LAN stations for Call of Duty at the Chuck E. Cheese.

I realise some gaming stores offer LAN parties and some of them let kids play games like Halo (with a parent’s signed permission) making them subject to the provisions of this idiot bill. I doubt Stender’s thinking is sophisticated enough that this threat is what she really had in mind in drafting her legislation. If it is, fantastic, she’s writing a law that affects about nine locations.

Stender’s hopeful her useless bill will get traction following a state task force report that recommended adults accompany minors buying M-rated video games. That, too, is a good idea, Assemblywoman Stender. In fact, video game retailers in your state have been practicing it for nearly two decades, and it has been shown, by the Federal Communications Commission, to be more effective at preventing minors from accessing mature video games than the MPAA’s rating system is at keeping kids out of R-rated flicks.

Good luck on your re-election, Assemblywoman Stender. Doing nothing, but looking tough while doing it, is also proven to be effective.

N.J. assemblywoman wants to ban violent video games in public places [The Star-Ledger]


  • “When will they ever learn? Games doesnt destroy kids, it destroy they’re minds!” Bart Simpson: The Simpson Hit and Run

    • Hey, I still play light gun games when I have a half-hour to kill at the cinema before the movie starts! Well. I used to. But they use their own ‘token’ currency now, which I’d have to buy in allotments I’ll never use. Also, I’m worried about being seen as an adult taking advantage of a murder simulator. Also, I don’t think they maintain the calibration on their guns, so the handling is so crap as to be unplayable. But those things aside, I at least look wistfully at the machines for a minute or two!

      • High-Five for Point Blank high score buddies. It would be the one arcade machine I would actively seek to purchase (but only the first one)

    • Admittedly I’m not that big a fan of light gun games in the arcade (mainly because I’m too cheap to throw money into the arcade most of the time) but I love them on consoles. Still waiting for someone to release another good, proper light gun game since HotD Overkill/HotD 2 & 3 Returns on Wii. Overkill Extended Cut on PS3 doesn’t count because the Move integration is complete balls (lost 1:1 tracking within moments of calibrating when I played it), nor do the RE Chronicles games or Dead Space Extraction (if I can’t turn off the cursor, then I may as well be playing a mouse-clicking game).

  • Wasn’t house of the dead rated M? Or was that just a marketing ploy to get those under 15 keen to play it

    • Was that the one with the curtain around it so passers by couldn’t see?
      I remember that being in a couple of pubs I used to visit. I thought it was pretty weird because if I’m in a pub surely I’m old enough to see a M-rated game. So maybe it was just a ploy?

    • Yes. Yes it was.

      IANAL, but I’m pretty sure if you read the fine print in the classification act, arcade games do not escape the requirements for classification in Australia.

  • Careful, the enforcement of this legislation could extend to any place providing internet access that carried code for such games, which might be her intent all along.

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