Video Game Voters Network: Send in your old controllers to protect freedom of speech

“Let Senator Leland Yee know you stand up for your First Amendment rights!” implores a new web page from the Video Game Voters Network. Next month, the California Supreme Court will hear arguments for the reinstatement of the blocked CCC 1746 – 1746.5 “California Video Game Law.”

Championed by Senator Yee, the law would make it a crime to sell 'violent' games to minors, punishable by a fine of $1,000. In addition to the VGVN, the law is opposed by several entertainment and liberty groups including the ACLU and the NCAC. The law would make videogames unprotected speech - if you'd like to know more, the VGVN has posted a good summary:

"By placing legal limits on certain types of video game content, the government is effectively telling game publishers what to produce. Publishers will be afraid to innovate and create edgy content for fear of the legal restrictions. Retailers would stop selling more mature games to avoid the risk of prosecution."

The Video Game Voters Network encourages us, the average Joes, to make our voices heard. How, you ask? By sending your old controller to the good senator with your own personal message declaring the reasons for your opposition to the law (please remain civil).

If you feel inclined to join the protest, you may send your controllers to:

The Honorable Leland Yee
455 Golden Gate Avenue
Suite 14200
San Francisco, CA 94102

But before you do, the VGVN requests you send images to the protest page. Will you participate? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Crypto140 - October 11, 2010 2:30 p.m.

    What really gets me mad is that the court wont listen. They will just sweep us under the rug, calling us nerds or violent based on the games we play. We can send in our controls, but what would that do? They are political figurheads, they only understand 1 thing: $$$. We should send in "kickbacks" and "retirment funds" to the judges to get it overthrown. And if we don't stop them here, then what is to stop them from censoring movies? I mean not from rated-R stuff but to PG13, to becoming PG-17? And also TV, like Cops. They sometimes have to taser people or get in high speed chases, so that show would go down. And the same with Deadlist Warrior, no one really dies, but they might move on to that, and then the internet will be banned completey. The point is, every fight the judical system wins that takes away something, another blow is delt to the average American, and soon they will write in a law removing basic speech from us, and then we turn in to something worse than communism. The point is, stand up against this, because no matter how small a fight like this may be, it is still imporntant in the long run. Want proof of something that was taken away for being to mature and parents had no common sense? Invader Zim.
  • ShokuaHyuga - October 11, 2010 3:29 a.m.

    "Let my gamers speak!" is exactly what I will write on the back of my old gamecube controller.
  • Aletheon - October 10, 2010 7:26 a.m.

    Hey kids, the country is in bad shape. Freedoms and rights are being destroyed daily. The noncommittal, cynical, sarcastic reaction to these things is the perfect recipe that allows these assaults to continue. Listen to your intuition and begin researching the true nature of the world around you. You'd be surprised to learn how little you really know.
  • Grif - October 8, 2010 7:44 p.m.

    I'll be sure to look for some old controllers when I get home on Monday. Games should not have to be censored by the government, it is the consumers choice.
  • johngrybos - October 8, 2010 7:27 p.m.

    Wouldn't they figure out to stop accepting packages from unfamiliar addresses pretty quickly?
  • sheepy94 - October 8, 2010 4:31 p.m.

    TBH, I'm a minor and I don't really see why everyone is so opposed to this, here in Britain it's illegal to sell games (or films etc) to anyone that's younger than the game's rating (you have to be 15 or older to buy a game rated 15 etc), and retailers still stock plenty of 18-rated games, more so than younger-rated games in fact. I can kinda see the argument that it's a slippery slope towards censorship, but really, it isn't, games wont be censored anymore than they currently are, they just wont be sold to children who aren't old enough to understand the concepts introduced to them via game, murder, sex etc, and who can honestly say that's a bad thing? If a child REALLY wants a game, they can just ask their parents to buy it for them, which is what they probably do anyway, due to the fact that they probably don't have all that much disposable income, so no change there. It will also reduce all that BS about 'how games kill children by making them murderers hurr', as then the blame for a child playing an M rated game can only possibly fall on the parent's shoulders. As for the whole "If the law passes, video games won't be free speech nor art" argument, again it simply wont. Free speech, as far as I know, is the right to express one's opinion, without censorship or punishment. While one could quite rightly construe the prevention of sale of games to minors as a form of censorship, the content of the games themselves, will remain 100% uncensored. As for the punishment aspect, while retailers would be punished for selling M rated games to minors (just as they would for selling alcohol to minors), the company creating the 'speech' would not, just as breweries aren't punished for retailers selling their product to minors, which would keep games as free speech. Although I do think that this law in its current form shouldn't pass, but would agree with it if it included things like M rated films shouldn't be sold to minors etc. Also about the whole 'art or not' thing, who ACTUALLY cares what people say in regards to the artiness of games? Art, to me is a creation that is designed to evoke an emotional or intellectual response, which games do, so I consider them art, however, if you say to an art curator "I think that modern 'art' isn't really art because random blobs of paint do not evoke an emotional or intellectual response beyond "wtf is that?"", then you would probably get laughed at, just as we should laugh at the idiots whom have never played a game and whose opinions on the matter are entirely second hand. tl;dr people are getting pissy over nothing and instead of fighting for the law to be squashed, should concentrate on making sure that minors can't access other, more potentially damaging media like M rated films.
  • aliengmr - October 8, 2010 4:17 p.m.

    Fact is, if you start making it against the law and imposing fines you make selling M rated games very risky. The reality is that you can't be 100% sure that an M rated game is sold to someone under 17. So rather than risking substantial fines companies like Best Buy might not sell the games, Publishers will then have to scrutinize what they are releasing and devs will not risk making GTA5. That is a worst case scenario, but it will have an impact. It will also mean Jack Thompson will think he is important again and we'll never get him to shut up.
  • ventanger - October 8, 2010 4:14 p.m.

    "I support the first amendment, but don't draw a picture of Muhammad"... I wish the ACLU was at least consistent in their bullshit.
  • CreeplyTuna - October 8, 2010 1:35 p.m.

    This is bull! Im 15 years old so i have to get my mom to come in the store and tell the cashier i have permission buy whatever game i was buying, but i shouldn't have to wait in the car while my mom goes in and pick up the game i wanted to get. I should be able to buy m games with permission from a parent and not be restricted. I understand not wanting little kids to buy gta but that should be on the parents, not a law that says so.
  • TheWizard92 - October 8, 2010 1:27 p.m.

    Definately am sending in some old controllers as soon as I get home. This is pretty much the start of what happened in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, but with video games. -nsstricky
  • Migglez - October 8, 2010 9:02 a.m.

    they could either pass this law... or parents can just use common sense.
  • Felixthecat - October 8, 2010 7:13 a.m.

    This is hilarious. The law has been in place in the UK for ages, and we don't have a problem at all. It won't stop kids buying violent games, because people who sell video games will sell them violent ones anyway. They want to make money. Sure, there isn't a fine in this country, but this law has always been around in this country.
  • Cwf2008 - October 8, 2010 4:15 a.m.

    I hope the Supreme Court makes the right decision...of course if they don't what are we gonna do? We're powerless to stop the Court...
  • ThatGuyFromTV - October 8, 2010 2:22 a.m.

    @ BearKiller and brickman409 I think the reason that this law is so dangerous is because it uses the term "violence" so loosely - I'm fairly sure this wouldn't just apply to M-rated games, it could apply to any game with any kind of violence. Blood, nukes, guns, weapons, fist fights... if this passed, these people could challenge the NHL games for having fights in them, and the NFL games for being too violent. They could challenge racing games like Forza and Gran Turismo because they depict humans in potentially fatal, life-threatening situations. If this bill passes, these guys could potentially go on a game-banning RAMPAGE under the protection of this bill.
  • xerroz - October 8, 2010 2:17 a.m.

    Save your working controllers and start buying the games online (if you are under 18/21). You'll even save a few bucks from taxes ;) (use newegg!)
  • db1331 - October 8, 2010 1:26 a.m.

    This is just dumb. So to show them that we don't want censored games, we're supposed to send in our controllers, which signifies that we aren't going to use them to play games anymore, which would make these guys even happier than forcing us to play censored games... Maybe we can throw them all in the briar patch while we're at it.
  • n00b - October 8, 2010 1:12 a.m.

    all my controllers are still working, plus i live outside the us so...
  • n00b - October 8, 2010 1:10 a.m.

    @ BearKiller but then if its not an issue, why should video games be singled out and the law not apply to movies, music, novels etc. This is what they are trying to avoid.
  • BearKiller - October 8, 2010 1:02 a.m.

    Well when you put it that way...I guess I really don't want it to happen...
  • steveomatic3000 - October 8, 2010 1 a.m.

    send your working controllers without writing on them to me!!!!

Showing 1-20 of 35 comments

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