Supreme Court Blasts California's Violent Videogame Ban

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PawBear

"...and helping concerned parents control their children." should read "government controlling it's citizens".

"...interests of corporate America before the interests of our children." should read "interests of government before the interests of corporate America".

Perhaps this helps explain why California can't balance it's budgets.

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Taqueed

 

This is a parenting issue? When does Society needs come into play? Society or the Gov. was created to limit everyone’s' freedom otherwise there would be no laws. I do no have the freedom to walk through the center on town naked because it infringes on someone else’s freedom to not see me naked. This is the agreement we come to live in a society.

You have the right to parent you child anyway you want except when there is a perceived harm to the child. You can spank you child but you cannot whip your child. We are now trying to decide if violent games are harmful to kids, the default should be on the safe side. Children do no have the same rights as an adult and limiting their access to free press items is not unusual. Example no one here would argue that Playboy should be sold and marketed to anyone under 18. This law does no ban the sale of the games just who gets to buy them and is you want to buy Dead Space for your three year old you can.

This SC has been pro-business and anti-individual.

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TerribleToaster

 

 

The law was ineffective. Parents were the ones buying the games most of the time for their kids before (since kids don't exactly always have a large sum of disposable income or a means to get to a game store without a car). Kids were still playing violent games that either their parents bought for them like always, or they went to a friends house to play them with their friend who's parents got said games for him/her. The law wasn't worth the resources to enforce it because it did nothing to actually stop the problem; which isn't that kids are playing violent video games, but that their parents are letting them. Money would be better spent on educating parents about the possible impacts of violent games on a child's mind.

The thing about violent video games is that it isn't a question of physical harm like drugs or emotional harm like you walking down the street naked. It's a question of morality. How do we want our children to think? That is an area the government should not have a say in for obvious reasons and the honor of deciding how children learn to think has historically always belonged to the childrens parents first and foremost and I see no reason to change that.

 

 

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bling581

TV and movies has just as big of an impact, perhaps even more than video games. There's already a rating system for games just like movies. It's up to parents/guardians to be responsible for what their children are playing.

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Scatter

I'm not saying that this bill should have passed but why are violent videogames different from porn in that laws to shield kids from porn are fine but laws to shield kids from violence aren't?

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Gezzer

I find it funny how so many times in recent history people have exclaimed how something was corrupting our youth. Anyone remember Tom Hank's first made for TV movie? Yeah, D&D was creating deranged killers.

The problem is that people perceive an increased level of violence, and attribute it to violent media, interactive or otherwise. On the contrary there have been many studies suggesting that over all levels of violence have been decreasing when looked at on a decade to decade basis, and that the vast majority of violence is of a domestic variety, not random.

So why do people feel we live in violent times and look for convenient scape goats? Simply put, we are inundated with information as entertainment. We have all news channels that need to fill their hours with programming. We have instant "as it happens" reporting. We're no longer just informed of a event, but then are treated to detailed analysis that can sometimes span weeks even months.

There are two major reasons that a person may be unduly influenced by outside stimulation. Either they have a hard time telling fantasy from reality, or they have an internal nature that is provoked and encouraged by certain stimulating actions. Both people like this are rare and very little can be done to prevent their actions. It's simply luck when they don't go off the rails.

As for children, studies have shown that they often have a better understanding of fantasy and reality then adults do. Again not all children but most.

The reason we have this tempest in a tea pot comes down to politics, entertainment, and lazy parenting. Some politicians love an issue where they can look like a "white knight" without eroding their power base. The same can be said for writers and talk show hosts that can increase their market share by pandering to the fear mongers. Lastly lazy parents that instead of trying to interact with their children expect the state to do the lions share of parenting.

If violent play lead to violent actions then all the war and cowboys & indians I played as a youth should make me more violent but it didn't. Nor has any video games. I loved Carmaggedon but never once since getting my drivers license have I felt the urge to mow down people.

Should there be restrictions? Of course. Will the world end because violent content exsists? Of course not. It hasn't yet.

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jackal49

I'm showing my age, but I have been gaming since the Atari days.  I was also the Manager of the Video Games Dept. at the Toys R Us in my hometown when Playstation 2 was launched.  As a father, I am involved in everything my kids do, see, and play.  I love playing video games with them.  As a gamer, it's an incredible bond.

I wanted to share a story about the ignorance of parents.  The ESRB is not enforcible by law, but a store can make it policy to enforce it.  Meaning while it's not illegal to sell an M-Rated game to a minor under 17, a store can make it policy to do so.  A mother and son, around 10 years old, came into my store and laid a copy of Grand Theft Auto on the counter.  I told the mother is is store policy that I inform her of the content of an M-rated game.  She then looked at her son and said, "You never said stuff like that was in this game!"  I showed her the ESRB rating poster as you want into the Video Games section.  It's there in every store, not just TRU.  The content is posted on the front and back of the game.  She then dragger her son kicking and screaming out of the store, without the game.

Parents need to take a more active role in PARENTING.  As one commentor said, "It is a responsibility and a privelege."  Just remember, people who are trying to pass these laws believe Roger Ebert when he said, "Video Games are not art."  Apparently he never played Flower (PS3), Potapon (PSP), or Mario Paint (SNES)!

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Fecal Face

I agree. We need parents to decide whether games are appropriate for their children or not, but most parents either just don't know (like in your example) or just don't care.

Maybe the ESRB / PEGI could have ads? On TV, or billboards, with the ESRB stuff on it, and what it means / how it works. Maybe that would help some of the uninformed parents, who don't know what's in Grand Theft Auto. I've seen ESRB ads in a few magazines, but that's not really enough.

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Marthian

this story is the reason why we shouldn't sell games to minors... well unless their mature enough. in this case, the kid was not... and the fact that he was immature sure is worrysome.

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Brad L

We need better parenting, not a nanny state.  Liberty wins.

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Fecal Face

I personally don't get all the hate towards violent video games.

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Marthian

I don't really got anything against them, I enjoy them just as much as the next person (except not so much the violent blood and gore but rather the gameplay.)

Its just selling to kids that are still in development. This could be just like not allowing your kids to drink at a young age because they would drink later in life.

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Fecal Face

How young is "still in development" though? I don't think that's the same age for everyone.

I'm (only) nearly 17, and I've been playing violent video games since I was.. 11? 12? I don't remember tbh. Been playing (non-violent) video games since before I could form proper sentences

I do agree with not letting kids who are "still in development" (When I read that, I think kids under 10 or 11) play games depicting blood/gore, drug use, etc. But everybody under 18 seems a little.. much.

I guess it depends when the person is mature enough to handle the content and understand that the violence being portrayed in such games isn't OK to do to other people. Obviously that would be a bit hard to gauge though :P

My 'solution' to this whole thing about violent video games would be just better parenting. To me, a law like this is like having the government parent your kid for you. The government shouldn't decide what games your child should / shouldn't play, the parent should. If you don't think your kid is mature enough to handle the content in a certain game, don't let your kid play it. Seems simple to me.

Obviously there are still going to be bad parents, who just don't give a damn. I would blame them when their kid does something awful, not a video game.

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Keith E. Whisman

Now to legalize minor aged drinking and smoking, and remove the age barriers from bars and "strip bars". Might as well degenerate the USA on a whole since the whole gangsta and criminal lifestyle is glorified so much in hollywood productions and music. 

 

Our enemies are laughing at us. 

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US_Ranger

Keith, this is one of the worst arguments I've ever heard. It is a textbook definition of the slippery slope argument for starters. Second, like someone else mentioned, other countries have far less problems with drinking and they have lower drinking ages and third, it's called parenting. If you can't be a parent, don't have kids. If more people in the US followed that last rule, maybe this wouldn't even be an issue. 

Freedom of speech > protecting our innocent children from the horrors of bad parenting, I mean video games.

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Ruhetag

The drinking age in Germany is 16.  18 to get into Strip Clubs.

Guess which country has a bigger issue with alcohol related crimes?  Yup, USA!

I am not your enemy, but I am still laughing at you!!  :-) 

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jedisamurai

Amen.

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Ruhetag

In the USA violence is shown around the clock on TV, but God help us if the children happen to see nudity.  Here in Europe it is exactly the opposite with nudity everywhere but violence is sheilded from the kids.  Legal Prostitution in much of Europe, but you need a PIN code on your cable box to watch shows such as "Breaking Bad" or "Criminal Intent".  We have MUCH less crime here in Europe and many more open minded people.  Yes, I have lived in the USA for a long time (born there), and I do not think I will return to my home land.  Given the choice between a country of more sexually open people or a crime ridden land of thugs, villians, and lawyers, which would you choose? 

"Land of the Free"?  You guys have NO idea how little freedom you really have compared to Europe.

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jackal49

I have to respectfully disagree.  I am in the military, and I have lived all over the world.  What I want to know is your definition of crime.  I lived in Sicily for three years, the birth place of the Mafia.  While violent crimes, such as rape and murder, are almost nonexistent, petty crime is some of the highest anywhere.  Not only is Italy full of pickpockets, Vespa gangs, and grab-and-run thieves, it is common practice to leave your doors unlocked and change in the cup holders as a way to thank the person rummaging through your car for not breaking your windows!

I question your definition of crime.  I have never seen as much petty crime anywhere in the USA as I did in Italy, and I have lived all over the USA.  I do agree that violent crime is much lower in Europe.  However, a crime is a crime, isn't it? 

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Blues22475

"...put the interests of corporate America before the interests of our children..."

You're kidding right? Parents are supposed to take an active role in what their children play and determine (with ESRB help) if they are supposed to be playing it or not. Making money off the "metal health" of our kids? Much like those "kiddie shows" and "for children" movies that are out? Video games are no different than those things, nor are they any different than the violence on TV and in movies now adays. Why do video games needed to be treated differently? It's a type of media is it not (much like TV, movies, newspapers, and etc)?

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jedisamurai

New Scientist magazine had an excellent series of articles which completely blasted that arguement to bits. Consistently, scientific research has shown that video games are NOT "a type of media (much like TV, movies, newspapers, and etc" They are a TOTALLY new type of experience because when you watch violence on TV you do not actively pull the trigger. In a video game, you do. This fundamental difference (passive verses agressive) changes the way your brain interprets the stimulus. Thus while TV teaches you that violence is acceptable, video games teach you to kill.

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DJ_Smoke

Thats all poppycock and hogwash, everyone knows that Old Scientist magazine is WAAAYY better than New Scientist magazine!!!!!

I bet jedisamurai owns a mac!!!

Come on guys, lets get him!!!!

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jedisamurai

I find it amazing that despite numerous studies showing that viewing violence causes violence, people continue to be in denial. Despite the clearly demonstrated negative effect of viewing and participating in video game violence, people call educating CHILDREN on the use of firearms, assault and rape of human beings FREEDOM OF SPEECH??????!!!!!

And when the interests of coporations who want to sell this garbage to children is put ahead of their good, they get thunderous applause.

 

I am a hardcore gamer from age 5 and own hundreds of games and more than 8 systems including a gaming PC. But I am also a person with a keen interest in Science and Psychology. I know that participating in violence isn't healthy for anyone, especially children. Wake up people!

 

"Gamers and free speech advocates alike scored a major victory?" More like corporate thugs and people who want to harm children.

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Fecal Face

Children wouldn't be "harmed" by video games if parents would properly regulate what their children are exposed to.

That being said I still don't think violent video games have anywhere near the effect you claim they have.

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Whitechip

Seems to me you're only reading studies that agree with your opinion....Good job maybe you should wake up.

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someuid

For some reason, California does not come to mind when I think of a responsible, safe, moral society in which to live.

Funny they would vilify video games as being so harmful despite the incredibly large and prosperous movie and music industries present in California.

Rant: why for the love of God does the King of Office Software (Microsoft) release a web browser (IE8) without a built in spell checker?  I so wish I could use Chrome or Firefox or at least IE9 (does it even have a Spell Checker built in?)

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rawrnomnom

lee looks like the kind of guy who thought gaming peaked at pac man... dont try to pass laws about things you dont understand...

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TerribleToaster

What? It is now required for California parents to actually care about what their children do?

 

God help us. :/

 

The role of the parent is to parent the kid, not the government. The government has enough problems without the 12 years old's kicking and screaming about how they want Halo 4.

Teach your own child about morality, don't leave it to someone else. It's both your right and duty as parents.

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szore

"California State Sen. Leland Yee wasn't nearly as thrilled, saying that today's ruling "put the interests of corporate America before the interests of our children," and as a result, "Walmart and the videogame industry will continue to make billions of dollars at the expense of our kids' mental health and the safety of our community.""

 

Yee, go fukc yourself.

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Brett Schealler

I'm with the Supreme Court on this one, However I do believe the parents should restrict and watch what their kids play. Since when was it a smart idea to throw out responsibility and make the government handle it all, and then complain it isn't working?

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qhoa1385

This^

 

Brett +1

Nuff said

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TommM

Ridiculous law to begin with - can't believe they had to waste the Supreme Court's time with this nonsense.

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Luminosity47

Haha, +1 for gamers.

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