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Censorship Entertainment Games Your Rights Online

Calif. Petitions Supreme Court On Violent Video Game Bill 204

eldavojohn writes "You know the drill, violent video game bill struck down because: "We hold that the Act, as presumptively invalid content-based restriction on speech, is subject to strict scrutiny and not the 'variable obscenity' standard from Ginsberg v. New York. Applying strict scrutiny, we hold that the Act violates rights protected by the First Amendment." Well, that didn't satisfy a PhD child psychologist turned Democratic California State Senator named Leland Yee who states in his press release that "California's violent video game law properly seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games. I am hopeful that the Supreme Court — which has never heard a case dealing with violent video games — will accept our appeal and assist parents in keeping these harmful video games out of the hands of children. I believe the high court will uphold this law as Constitutional. In fact in Roper v. Simmons, the court agreed we need to treat children differently in the eyes of the law due to brain development." His appeal (in PDF) is here and you can find some industry reactions to the Supreme Court hearing at GamePolitics. Unfortunately Yee seems to be a bit more competent than old Jack Thompson, who is pushing a bill in Louisiana today."
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Calif. Petitions Supreme Court On Violent Video Game Bill

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  • by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @05:48PM (#28031967)
    Yet Canada has more guns per capita then the US, and the same video games but also does not have teens prone to violence.

    Maybe there are deeper issues then just 'guns be evil.'
  • Re:WTF? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @05:54PM (#28032047)

    The problem is, most retailers won't sell an "M"-rated game to anyone under 18 anyway...their parents buy it for them! The problem is not the industry, it's the irresponsible, coddling parents...and btw, it's the parents who stuff their kids' faces with MiccyD's, too.

  • by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @05:57PM (#28032093) Homepage Journal

    assist parents in keeping these harmful video games out of the hands of children

    Wait, so parents can't refuse to buy violent video games for their kids already? They can't confiscate them if the child (or, more likely, teenager) saves up their allowance and goes and buys it themselves?

  • by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @05:58PM (#28032117) Homepage

    Someone needs to remind Mr. Yee that, at least in all the cases I've heard reported on, the store didn't sell the video game to the kid. They sold it to an adult relative of the kid, who then gave it to the kid without bothering to check on what exactly their "little angel" had been bugging them for. And then when they found out exactly what little Timmy had gotten, they dove headfirst into that river in Africa and started looking around for someone else to take the blame for their failure. No law about selling video games to minors will do a single blessed thing about that, where there's no video game ever sold to the minor.

  • by captnbmoore ( 911895 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @05:59PM (#28032127)
    Because we all know Government can be better parents then the parents themselves.
  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RsG ( 809189 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:02PM (#28032171)

    The stupid thing is, parents already have those capabilities, no new laws required. A parent controls their child's finances, access to electronics, and most other decision making.

    A parent can easily keep their kid from violent games. Don't buy a console, use proper precautions with computers (like requiring root access to install software and withholding the password), or failing that own a computer that can't be used for gaming (old, cheap or both). Don't buy them the games and assure relatives that you do not want the games given as presents. Do some very basic research.

    None of these things are difficult. Most don't even require action, merely inaction, on the parent's part. A modern luddite, like those who support these laws, shouldn't find it difficult.

    So, there are only two excuses for this idiocy. The first is that the people supporting these laws really are that lazy, or that unable to say no to their children. In which case, they need only look into a mirror to see the real problem. Laws won't solve the problem, unless those laws make reproduction a privilege.

    The second, more likely, explanation is that they want to enforce their own style of parenting on everyone. Which isn't "assisting parents", it's forcing them to do things their way.

  • Correction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pestie ( 141370 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:05PM (#28032207) Homepage

    "California's violent video game law properly seeks to protect children from the imaginary harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games."


  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:07PM (#28032243) Journal

    Cars kill more people (42,000) in the US each year than do guns(30,000, more than 1/2 of those suicide), and there are more guns (200 million) in the US than cars(70 million). I know, why let the facts get in the way of a knew jerk reaction to guns?

    Bowling for Columbine should be focused upon the Pharma industry, which has more to do with two kids going wacko than the guns and games did.

    But that is MY opinion.

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:20PM (#28032431)

    Yet Canada has more guns per capita then the US, and the same video games but also does not have teens prone to violence.

    Maybe there are deeper issues then just 'guns be evil.'

    Yes, there are definitely deeper issues, and making stricter gun laws is not ever the answer, as evidenced by statistics where strict gun laws did nothing but increase crime rate.

    I hate to say the blatantly obvious, but don't try and take my guns away because people generally suck at parenting, which tends to be the true root cause of this issue. If people can't manage to keep an ESRB teen-rated GTA game away from a 9-year old, that is not anyone elses fault, and certainly has NOTHING to do with my other inalienable rights. There's plenty of tech out there to protect your children from the Internet and they already should not be able to walk into WalMart and buy a violent game.

    Just another lame-ass excuse to grab guns and excuse parents from actual responsibility.

  • by snowgirl ( 978879 ) * on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:22PM (#28032465) Journal

    And the List of countries by firearm-related death rate [wikipedia.org] holds that the only country with more firearm homocides than the US, is North Ireland... yeah, where terrorists are bat-shit crazy.

    Take this as another example. Australia recently banned guns, and had their firearm homocide rate TRIPLE!!! Yet, they were still well below half of the US firearm homocide rate.

    US citizens have a mentality and a culture of "if I don't get caught", and an idea of a lack of responsibility to others. This is what caused the financial meltdown, this is what causes our murder rate to be so high, and this is why we're the only first world nation to not have social healthcare (or maybe we're one of two... has Israel implemented social healthcare yet?)

    "Merica" is just too bat-shit crazy individualistic. Who gives a crap about anyone else, as long as I get my guns to shoot people whom I don't like.

  • Mod Parent Up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sudotron ( 1459285 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:27PM (#28032541)
    It never ceases to amaze me how many taxpayer dollars and how much court time could be saved if legislators simply read and understood the documents they are supposed to be upholding.
  • by pcolaman ( 1208838 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:33PM (#28032629)
    Agreed 100%. The real problem is parenting, which won't be solved simply by any sort of legislation. It will be solved by local and state governments doing real things to encourage parents to give a damn about their kids lives, and unfortunately, it won't work in 100% of the cases even if the governments (both local and state, this isn't a federal issue) did their due diligence. There will always be some dickhead parents and some jacked up kids.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:35PM (#28032667)

    You moron.

    Banning guns won't stop people from killing each other (or themselves, as most gun-related deaths are suicides). It will stop people from using guns to kill, but it won't stop the killing.

    In fact, by your own admission, it will make the occurances of violent crime worse. Furthermore, it will deprive the non-crazy upstanding gun owners of their ability to defend themselves from the criminals. What good will that accomplish?

    What, exactly, are you trying to do here? Save lives, or encourage the use of knives?

    Who gives a crap about anyone else, as long as I get my guns to shoot people whom I don't like.

    Very nice straw man fallacy. Owning a gun doesn't suddenly make someone selfish or inclined to shoot anyone he doesn't like. You want to punish and harm the overwhelming majority of gun owners because you are afraid of the actions of criminals (who would take those actions even without guns).

    You, sir, are a coward.

  • by sortius_nod ( 1080919 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:52PM (#28032881) Homepage


    Take this as another example. Australia recently banned guns, and had their firearm homocide rate TRIPLE!!!

    [Citation Needed]

    The only "evidence", if it can be called this, of an increase in violence are opinion pieces such as blogs and editorials. There are no statistics or research to back this up. As an Australian I am proud of our gun control laws and laugh every time I see some gun-nut claiming they've done harm.

    This is just one site that shows how murders have NOT CHANGED and that gun related accidents have changed. They even state that assaults & other crime cannot be seen as a direct result of gun control laws.

    http://www.gunsandcrime.org/auresult.html [gunsandcrime.org]

  • Repeat after me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hojima ( 1228978 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:56PM (#28032923)

    Steering people (yes kids count as people, they are not sub-humans incapable of reasoning) away from the wrong direction gives them no ambition to move towards the right. Quite the contrary, they resist. We all know this because there is a little trait of people that causes illegal things to not "go away". Guns in "gun-less countries" are still there, and underage drinking has not gone the path of the dinosaurs either, we can't expect something as unregulated as video games to take a different route. So what should the government do to take care of this 'catastrophe'? Nothing. That's right boys and girls, it's in fact the job of the people to raise their children. Parents need to go out and take the initiative to buy their kids games that are non-violent that keep their kids preoccupied and away from violent video games. You may say, "how do I manage to find one?" It's called online reviews and talking to game store employees. Now you've run out of excuses. Go out and raise your kids. If you can manage that.

  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @06:56PM (#28032931) Journal

    So, what you are saying is that Assholes (Abusive Husbands) and Criminals are the problem, not guns.

    And are you're saying that when people die in car accidents there is no living forever with regrets or prison?

    I don't think you thought much about what you are saying.

  • by AlmondMan ( 1163229 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @07:02PM (#28033009)
    And make it illegal to indoctrinate children with religion, as religion is 1000 fold more harmful to childrens' minds than any videogame. Then, when they're of an age where they're capable of choosing themselves, having been enlightened of the choices in religion and atheism, and let them choose for themselves. Just like they can choose to play these presumably harmful videogames.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @08:03PM (#28033669)

    Wikipedia usually doesn't steer us wrong

    You mean like how Scientology is a valued, respectible religion and not a moneysucking, bank account draining ####

  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @08:07PM (#28033731)
    Dear California,

    As one of the most expensive states in the Union already, and with an electorate who just told you today that we want less government for less money, why are you spending your time on this kind of garbage? Don't you have bigger problems to face?
  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @09:12PM (#28034351) Journal

    Why is it OK to have sex with a hooker to recharge your health, then kill her to get your money back, but Hot Coffee was the *bad* part? Boobies. A one second glimpse of a booby will melt your kid's brain (and gannets aren't much safer, says I). Explains the whole wardrobe malfunction flap as well.

  • by Doctor_Jest ( 688315 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @09:16PM (#28034381)
    No. Why is it hard for you people to get? We uphold ALL the Bill of Rights. Not just the ones you like. I'll repeat it for the cheap seats, and you, since you might not be an American:

    "A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED."

    And the Supreme Court has upheld this. It's pretty simple really. Michael Moore, Dianne Feinstein, etc. can hate guns all they want. It doesn't change our rights to keep and bear arms. If they don't like it, the freedom exists for them NOT to own any guns. Let's analyze that a little closer... The RIGHT of the people to KEEP and BEAR arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. Period. End of story. You're free to be a gun-free zone at your house, car, closet, yard. But you have no right to tell me I can't carry/bear arms. (And forget the felon racket crap... felons broke the law, and half of the time they can't even vote.) Mod me troll if you must, but I'm getting TIRED of the broken record "modify the gun laws" "ban 'assault weapons'" nonsense. Get over it.

    Pick another "feel good" cause and leave the guns alone. It's cliche, but bears repeating: "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." It may be a worn out phrase, but it's true. So stop the insanity and leave the Bill of Rights alone... God knows the government tries to assrape the Constitution every chance it gets... We don't need anti-gun morons gangraping the 2nd amendment under some nebulous "for the children" crap. Makes me sick and ashamed that people can actually be for this yet cry foul when the First Amendment is trampled, and when the 4th (even in the "new" Obama administration) gets gutted. We need to start standing up for individual liberty and stop this nonsensical garbage that undermines the very document that wrote down what we already should've known... I mean, really, folks. Is it that hard?
  • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Wednesday May 20, 2009 @10:58PM (#28035279) Homepage

    I don't intend to defend the statement about Australia, but it would not be inconsistent with what statistics show about other nations.

    The statistics that were quoted on Wikipedia are from a more detailed survey that also cataloged gun ownership and gun control laws across those same countries. In college, I read the entire thing, but I can't find it online anywhere. The results show that legal gun ownership is not proportional to non-suicide gun deaths. Interestingly, if you throw education into the mix, there is a very close correlation between education and non-suicide gun related deaths.

    Really it makes sense: Criminals use guns to kill people, and gun laws do not affect criminal gun ownership. Hence, you can't legislate away murder.

  • by Danse ( 1026 ) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:14AM (#28035725)

    Americans believe they have the right to defend themselves with firearms. But what constitutes self-defense? Who decides?

    Law enforcement and a jury of our peers.

    America's problem isn't just too many guns, it's the fact that people carry them around and feel that they have the right to use them.

    Back that up with something credible and it might be worth discussing. People with carry permits tend to be the most well-trained in the use of guns, and aren't likely to be found using them for the kinds of ridiculous reasons you state. At least we pretty much agree about the games.

  • by Danse ( 1026 ) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @12:19AM (#28035759)

    Wow. TERRIBLE comparison. For it to be a little more accurate you'd have to get half the gun owners in the country to take out their guns and start firing them for two hours every day. You think death by firearms would raise once that started happening? Throw in a good helping of 18-25 year olds firing guns after a night of drinking and see what you get.

    Wow. TERRIBLE logic there. If the primary use of guns was to be taken out and fired randomly for two hours a day, then you might have a point. Since they aren't, you don't.

  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @01:42AM (#28036185) Journal

    Gun are a necessity because.... ?

    Guns (Specifically "arms") are in the Constitution, cars are not. Seems like they are pretty important to me, but what do I know?

    I one of those wacky libertarian people who thinks the Government ought to fear the people, rather than the other way around.

  • Re:Correction (Score:3, Insightful)

    by donaldm ( 919619 ) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @07:17AM (#28037575)

    "California's violent video game law properly seeks to protect children from the imaginary harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games."


    Anyway all the people in California who want a so called inappropriate game will drive to the next state and purchase the game anyway. What are they going to do have strip searches at the border and xray all game imports from say Netflix or even monitor all downloadable game content. If they do this it is time to polish up your boots, practice the "goose step" and watch out for that man with the "Charlie Chaplin" moustache. :)

Your good nature will bring you unbounded happiness.