November 3, 2010

Supreme Court Split on California Video Game Law

The Supreme Court appears to be split on the Cal­i­for­nia Videogame law that for­bids the sale of game to chil­dren under 18 that depict scenes of gra­tu­itous vio­lence, sex and tor­ture. 
““Why isn’t it com­mon sense,” said Jus­tice Stephen G. Brey­er, that if the law can for­bid sell­ing pic­tures of a “naked woman” to a young teen, it can also for­bid the sale of scenes “of gra­tu­itous tor­ture of chil­dren” in a video game?
 Chief Jus­tice John G. Roberts Jr. agreed, cit­ing scenes from the game Postal 2 in which girls are smashed in the face with a shov­el and their bod­ies set on fire.
“We don’t have a tra­di­tion in this coun­try” of expos­ing chil­dren to that kind of graph­ic vio­lence, he said. But in a case that seemed to break the usu­al lib­er­al-con­ser­v­a­tive alliances, Jus­tice Antonin Scaliaclashed with Roberts and Brey­er and argued that the 1st Amend­men­t’s pro­tec­tion for free­dom of speech has nev­er been applied to restrict vio­lence in the media. 
“The same argu­ment could have been made when movies came out that expos­ing chil­dren to vio­lence would harm them”, he told a lawyer for Cal­i­for­nia.”
This case has been cir­cling around Wash­ing­ton for some time now.  This case, in my opin­ion, rep­re­sents a huge land mark in free speech.  I should state that I think it is very impor­tant to shel­ter our chil­dren from this type of mate­r­i­al.  I don’t think 0 ‑16 year old should be exposed to extreme amounts of gore, sex and vio­lence.  How­ev­er, I believe that it is the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the par­ents to make sure their chil­dren are pro­tect­ed from this NOT the gov­ern­ments.   This case most like­ly won’t be decid­ed for anoth­er cou­ple of months. 
What do you guys think?  Do you think it is the gov­ern­ments respon­si­bil­i­ty to step in where par­ents are obvi­ous­ly fail­ing?  Is it the gov­ern­ments right? 
Quotes tak­en from LA Times.


  1. T8 - November 8, 2010 9:20 am

    the gov­ern­ment should nev­er step in for the lack of prop­er par­ent­ing. My chil­dren will play what video games I WANT them to play when I WANT them to play. If the gov­ern­ment steps in, its just anoth­er instance where par­ents give over anoth­er one of their rights because they dont want to have to raise their own chil­dren.

  2. zero_19 - November 11, 2010 8:17 am

    As a father, I agree with T8. My chil­dren will play the games that I buy for them when I feel they are ready/mature enough for the “next lev­el”.

  3. thsoundman - November 11, 2010 3:09 pm

    I don’t under­stand why par­en­t’s have such a hard time say­ing no to their chil­dren. It just seems like so many go to great lengths to nev­er say no to them. My father said no to me all of the time and I sure as hell did­n’t throw a fit. I’d been stu­pid as shit to back­talk my old man or my moth­er for that mat­ter just because they told me I could­n’t have some­thing. You are sup­posed to be a par­ent first and friend sec­ond… not the oth­er way around. But what do I know… I was only a kid once and I’m not a par­ent.

  4. ScrotusKilmystr - November 11, 2010 3:18 pm

    This is the same argu­ment that’s been going on for each gen­er­a­tion from the 50’s till now. It’s the same debate “we have to pro­tect the chil­dren!” with the ESRB and parental con­trols on every con­sole on the mar­ket, even soft­ware for PC’s that con restrict what it loaded/played/viewed is avaible par­ents just have to GET INVOLVED in their kids lives!
    I’m in the retail end of the indus­try and telling par­ents why the game is rat­ed does­n’t make a dif­fer­ance 9 out 10 times they will still buy it. This whole issue is just tired and played out for votes!


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