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The Courts Games

Supreme Court To Rule On State Video Game Regulation 278

Posted by Soulskill
from the incrementing-scalia's-frag-count dept.
DJRumpy sends in this quote from an AP report:"The Supreme Court will decide whether free speech rights are more important than helping parents keep violent material away from children. The justices agreed Monday to consider reinstating California's ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors, a law the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco threw out last year on grounds that it violated minors' constitutional rights. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who signed the law in 2005, said he was pleased the high court would review the appeals court decision. He said, 'We have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions, just as we already do with movies.'" SCOTUSblog has a more thorough legal description of the case.
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Supreme Court To Rule On State Video Game Regulation

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  • Harmful Effects (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Reason58 (775044) on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:06PM (#31989094)
    "We have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions, just as we already do with movies."

    Which harmful effects are those? Have there been credible, peer-reviewed studies which actually show any negative effect of seeing violence on a screen?
  • Wrong. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Psmylie (169236) * on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:08PM (#31989112) Homepage

    (Arnold Schwarzenegger) said, 'We have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions, just as we already do with movies.'"
      WRONG. WE don't have a responsibility, PARENTS have a responsibility. WE (as in "we the people") have a responsibility to make sure the Constitution doesn't get corrupted by well-intentioned feel-good attempts to legislate morality. Get it straight, ya big goof.

  • Why is it so hard... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CondeZer0 (158969) on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:11PM (#31989140) Homepage

    ...for people (specially those sitting in the Supreme Court) to understand something as simple as: "Congress shall make no law"? Now law, means no law!

    And that video games are speech is so obvious that is shameful if anyone needs it pointed out to them.

    If parents don't want their children to play certain games, just like if they don't want them to read certain books, or don't want them to jump from certain bridges, it is their problem to figure out how to do this.

  • by zero_out (1705074) on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:14PM (#31989184)

    The U.S. really needs to have a single system for rating all media for age appropriateness and content, and enforce it at the distribution level. Movies have a rating, TV shows have a rating with a code for content (FV for fantasy violence, D for dialog, etc.), games have their own rating, but magazines and music, to my knowledge, do not. The only one that can't really be controlled is the internet.

    Ideally, parents would know what their children are doing 24/7, and be able to determine for themselves what is appropriate for their children. We all know that no parent can actually do that. It's simlply impossible. That's why these ratings need to be enforced. Selling or distributing these things needs to be enforced like the ban on selling alcohol or cigarettes to minors is enforced. Sure, the enforcement isn't 100% effective, as kids still smoke cigarette butts off the street, sneak into their parents' liquor cabinet, or get their older siblings to purchase them for them. But the ban and enforcement is, for the most part, effective enough. The major difference, however, needs to be that enforcement ends with the sale or distribution of this media, and does not actually outlaw the act of kids playing these games or watching these movies (like alcohol and cigarettes are). That should be up to the parents to decide.

    Anyway, that's just my opinion.

  • Re:Harmful Effects (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:19PM (#31989242) Homepage Journal

    And which laws? The MPAA rating system is not required by any law.

  • pot/kettle (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:53PM (#31989828)

    "We have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions, just as we already do with movies" ...said the man who got fame and fortune from making violent movies...

  • by Mitreya (579078) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ayertim>> on Monday April 26, 2010 @05:55PM (#31989874)
    Way off. It's the parents responsibility to be parents when the kids obtain the stuff. Smart people realize no law is going to stop what people consider a civil disobedience at best.

    I don't even think you can return an open game. Certainly not a PC game. So, as a parent, what do you do?
    Why are people up in arms about restricting R-rated games to minors?? What is the problem? Minors don't even have full legal rights. Are you surprised that you can't get your nose pierced (without guardian permission) if you are 15? How is that different?

  • by EMG at MU (1194965) on Monday April 26, 2010 @06:24PM (#31990408)

    It's a LOT easier to control distribution at the point of sale.

    Right on! Teen's never get alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, porn, cold medicine, spray paint, duster, (keep naming things that are age restricted because we're thinking of the children)

  • by zero_out (1705074) on Monday April 26, 2010 @06:32PM (#31990552)
    Kids will still pick cigarette butts off the ground, sneak into their parents' liquor cabinet, or get their older siblings to buy them for them. I know that. Yet, controlling their access via retailers is, for the most part, effective enough. It's not about preventing all kids from ever getting their hands on this stuff. It's about limiting it to as small an amount as possible, to ensure that as many kids grow up to be productive members of society as possible.
  • by poetmatt (793785) on Monday April 26, 2010 @06:55PM (#31990970) Journal

    why? Because not everyone fits a blanket.

    Saying a kid can't have an R game doesn't fit for everyone.

    I was involved in R-rated games, movies etc at 12. I was mature enough to handle it. Should I have had to wait another 6 years because of the law?

    Please. It's like laws on speeding. they have a general concept but unless you're in extreme violation nobody cares because they aren't even realistic laws in the first place.

  • by Alphathon (1634555) on Monday April 26, 2010 @07:12PM (#31991236)

    While we don't do it for pornography or tobacco, in the UK it is legal to drink beer and other alcoholic beverages of similar strength from the age of 5 as long as the young person doing so is on private property and is supervised by an adult. In pubs etc you can drink from 16 if ordered with food (although the pub requires a special licence) or without food from 18. The rest of Europe seems pretty similar, having general drinking ages from 16-18 (occasionaly with higher restrictions on spirits etc). Serbia and Albania don't even have age restrictions.

    That said, the UK does have the highest rate of of binge drinking in Europe...although considering the similarity in the drinking ages etc, I think that might be cultural rather than legal.

    Regardless, it seems parallel to the USA/Europe comparison for age of concent, and in both cases the US seems overly restrictive. Why is a 17 year-old incapable of making an infomed decision about sex (ignoring abstinence-only education for a moment)?

  • by bigbigbison (104532) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @02:19AM (#31995526) Homepage
    this law is specifically about the form. it is saying videogames are so bad that they need special laws that other forms don't have. In the case of alcohol there is proof that it can be bad for you. There is no conclusive proof that videogames are bad for anyone.

    This law is not unconstitutional because people are forcing morals on people. It is unconstitutional because it violates the first amendment. There have been lots of very similar laws that have all been overturned on first amendment grounds. There is little reason to doubt that this law will be any different.

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