Samu-kun wrote:But GTA4 definitely did not have a penis. o_O;
Yep. GTA4: The Lost and the Damned expansion pack, later bundled in with all boxed retail versions of the game, had an NPC that gave missions to the player while in a sauna, and he frequently uncrossed his legs to give the player a full (and realistically rendered) shot of his genitals. It caused a very minor scandal at the time, mostly from homophobic players. But when the Supreme Court struck down California's law that would make it a crime for retailers to sell M-Rated games to minors, they specifically called out GTA4 as a game that it would be legal for retailers to sell to minors.
Samu-kun wrote: US federal law takes a totality of the circumstances approach to legality of drawn minors engaging in sexual activity, so if a drawing is offensive enough and devoid of artistic merit, it may be illegal. Also, different states have differing definitions of what constitutes child pornography, although none can be more restrictive than federal law. (So the federal law should be what really matters)
And though several people and artists have been charged under this law, to my knowledge all the cases have been thrown out by the courts and the artists found to be innocent. It is REALLY hard to prove an image is devoid of artistic merit, ESPECIALLY when it is used in a larger artistic work like a game. Several cities and states have tried to charge artists holding exhibits, some even with real photos of children, and every time the Supreme Courts have told them they are wrong to do so.
Samu-kun wrote:Actually... the discussion has made me curious, so I will further investigate US porn laws to determine what's safe and what's not...
It is really non-intuitive, I'll admit. Go read the Supreme Court Justices closing statements on the California M-Rated games case.
Reading Dante is unquestionably more cultured and intellectually edifying than playing Mortal Kombat. But these cultural and intellectual differences are not constitutional ones. Crudely violent video games, tawdry TV shows, and cheap novels and magazines are no less forms of speech than The Divine Comedy … Even if we can see in them “nothing of any possible value to society … they are as much entitled to the protection of free speech as the best of literature.
The Court's decision OFFICIALLY gave video games First Amendment protection as works of art and expression. If Lolita
is legal fare for a novel or movie to examine, a video game that explored the affair between an adult and child is similarly protected.
So right now, it is legal to sell games to minors that depict “killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being”. All the stores and retailers you go to that ban these kinds of sales are following corporate
policy, not government policy or any laws.
I'm not arguing for some kind of policy of handing out Mature VNs to young forum goers left and right, but with a US based server, we don't need to be doing the hand-wringing or worrying you seem to think necessary, even if those under 18 do happen to grab these titles. Children are taken to art museums with naked paintings and statues, a naked anime sprite ending up in front of an underage forum goer isn't going to bring a SWAT team down on the forums.
BUT I'm actually arguing for threads NOT to have any naked pictures in them. The main board stays safe to browse, just like going to the iTunes store and watching all the movie trailers is safe, regardless of the content of the movies being advertised.
Sharm wrote:It seems that the argument is that the only people this content filter is blocking out are people who would want to see it but don't like the stigma and are missing out. I personally am not even slightly interested in this type of content (in any format), and I've liked that I can choose not to turn off the filter and freely surf this forum at all times of the day without worrying that my very young niece will get scared or ask uncomfortable questions.
I don't think anyone wants that. Everyone wants the main board to remain completely work safe to browse.
My main worry with the self-policing is that there's enough people out there who like to impose their personal morality on people they feel are too prudish, making it basically useless. I don't like browsing DA during the day for that reason. On the other hand, if the self policing works and there isn't a problem with bait and switch threads I don't have a problem with this solution. I don't believe in micro managing children or making other people responsible for my child's (if I had one) bad behavior.
I don't think self-policing is entirely sufficient. I still think admins should be able to edit a post to remove pictures that go over the line or tell the OP to tone it down or move it to the Mature sub-forum instead of the main board. I think if all threads start off properly marked in the title, we shouldn't even have problems with people accidentally entering one when they don't want to, even if they wouldn't find anything NSFW inside. Make it a rule that all threads discussing or advertising games with mature content mark the topic with a [Mature] tag in the topic name.
I'll admit I'm one of those people that feel others are too prudish, but I don't want the main boards suddenly flooded with naked and risque pictures either. I just want people to be able to discuss and follow the development of such titles in the main board with everyone else.