The Supreme Court will decide whether video game legislation banning and criminalizing the sale of violent video games to minors is constitutional.
The law started in California, signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, but was blocked by various state courts. It would have made the selling or renting of “violent video games” to those under 18 illegal. Those who sold or rented the games would be fined up to $1,000.
In February 2009, the 9th Circuit Court of California declared the law unconstitutional. That ruling was appealed to the Circuit Court, which stood with the ruling. The Supreme Court will now review the case during its next term, starting October 4th.
In response to the Court’s decision, Entertainment Software Association (ESA) President Michael Gallagher said:
Courts throughout the country have ruled consistently that content-based regulation of computer and video games is unconstitutional. Research shows that the public agrees, video games should be provided the same protections as books, movies and music.
California Democratic Senator Senator Lee, one of the main proponents of the law, said:
I am very pleased that the Supreme Court has accepted our case to help protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games. I am hopeful that the high court will determine our law to be Constitutional, but regardless, states are now certain to receive direction on how to proceed with this important issue.
In an interview with Kotaku, Lee also said:
This is not about Leland Yee trying to destroy the industry,” Yee said in an interview with Kotaku. “This is not about Leland Yee trying to prevent any of you game [developers] from developing any more atrocious kinds of games. This is a free society. If you have the imagination to do something even more horrible with the technology, then god bless you. That’s part of our freedom of expression here in America, but you just have to figure out when it’s appropriate and when it’s not appropriate. For me, as a child psychologist you ought not be doing it for kids.
Video Game Discrimination
This is a huge deal, because whatever the Supreme Court rules, all the states in the country could follow suit.
What exactly are “violent games”? That term is so loaded. “Violent games” could encompass a variety of games. There needs to be clearly defined terms before decisions over legislation take place.
Either this type of legislation needs to apply to all media, or none at all. It isn’t right that video games are constantly discriminated against.
No one would dare to do the same to books. People would be enraged at the mere suggestion of it. Why must it be done to video games?
It feels like we’re living in a Twilight Zone. The supposed freedom lovers all across the country are the very ones who are going to censor and control freedom of expression.
Man has murdered one another and spread violence since the beginning of time, long before video games came around. Video games aren’t the cause of the mass hysteria and violence taking place all throughout the world.
I love how Yee says, “imagination to do something even more horrible with technology” in regards to video games. Humanity has been doing that for centuries, finding new and exciting ways to kill each other in real life, not in some virtual world. All you have to do is turn on the news to see the results of our imagination. I don’t see him crusading against that.
He also completely dismisses gaming as something only children do. News flash: not only children play video games. Just like not only children read books, or listen to music, or watch movies.
I guarantee there wouldn’t be so much outrage over “violent video games” if people got past that outdated stereotype.
Ultimately, it’s up to the parents to decide what their children take in. Unfortunately, no one in America seems capable of living up to their responsibilities as parents, so we have to deal with people like Leland Yee, who apparently knows better than the rest of us.
Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children?!
Regardless of what happens, prepare for a huge storm of ignorance, lies, misinformation, and tall tales coming from the media, politicians, teachers, pastors, and even your own mother in the coming weeks and months.
Basically, expect a ton of this from a lot of people who don’t and have never played video games or know a single thing about them:
And a little bit of this:
The media touts out these brain-dead people like those featured above. Meanwhile, those in the game industry are barely given a voice to defend themselves.
This is a story Quarter Disorder will definitely be following in the coming months. Hopefully, all of America’s children don’t become “terrorists and shoot people” before a final decision is made.[photo by Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press]