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Violent video game case headed to Supreme Court

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 01 Nov 2010 0:53 User comments (7)

Violent video game case headed to Supreme Court The U.S. Supreme Court is to hear arguments on Tuesday concerning a federal court's decision to throw out a ban on the sale of violent video games to minors in California.
The original legislation was first signed into law by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger back in 2005, but it was declared unconstitutional last year by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. It prohibited the sale of titles that depicted "killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being" to anybody below the age of 18.

The federal court found that the law violated the minor's constitutional rights under the first and fourteenth amendment. It also found, as did other courts in other U.S. states, that there was insufficient evidence showing that violent games caused physical or psychological harm to minors.

"It's not so much a video game case as a First Amendment case," said George Rose, chief public policy officer at Activision Blizzard Inc. Other gaming companies and the ESA oppose such legislation, pointing out that the industry already takes steps to protect minors from content inappropriate for them.

Sales of games with an M (Mature) or AO (Adult Only) to minors are already prohibited under the industry's self-regulation. The Federal Trade Commission has commented that the games industry has done considerably better at preventing minors form buying content not intended for them than the film or music industry.

The FTC fopund that 20 percent of minors were able to buy games with an "M" rating in a study last year, down from 42 percent three years ago. In contrast, the study found that 72 percent of minors were able to buy music CDs that had an "explicit content" warning, 50 percent could buy R-rated and unrated DVDs and 28 percent were given tickets to R-rated movies at theaters.

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7 user comments

11.11.2010 3:40

"In contrast, the study found that 72 percent of minors were able to buy music CDs that had an "explicit content" warning, 50 percent could buy R-rated and unrated DVDs and 28 percent were given tickets to R-rated movies at theaters."

Anyone can buy unrated movies; they are unrated. The scaled-back version that is rated R may be blocked to children, but the all-out unrated versions are not. This seems like a good solution to the games issue. The game companies should make "rated" and "unrated" versions of games...the "rated" version would look like something from disney, while the "unrated" version would make Charles Manson vomit.

21.11.2010 15:18

@Killerbug hahahahahah I like your idea, this such a joke the last thing our country needs is more censorship. Do you know they show porn on basic cable in Europe? Crazy to me how prude and sheltered we try to make everything



31.11.2010 20:37

Ok maybe I'm dumb but I dont really understand the significance of this law. Isn't there already a law saying you can't sell M rated games to minors or is it just a suggestion? Besides... most kids just have their parents buying the games anyways. I don't see why this is such an inhibition.

42.11.2010 0:43

most stores have a policy where you can't sell M games to minors at some places you can get fired for doing it, but those are just company policies there is no law saying M rated games can't be sold to minors. I Honestly hope this passes keep less kids on xbox live lol



52.11.2010 3:28

they can't stop minors getting alcohole,cigarettes or M/R rated video games/movies.when i was living at my mums the 4yo (nextdoor)use to come over and play mortal kombat with me.Didnt consider it that bad considering his dad use to let him play GTA3 at home.When i was young my step dad use to put horror movies on for the family to watch.we use to play mortal kombat for hours.We turned out normal.my sister and my little cousin had nightmares for a few weeks after watching child play.


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

62.11.2010 4:12

its really not a big deal, I honestly hope it passes its not going to hurt anything



72.11.2010 17:23

Originally posted by stuntman_:
@Killerbug hahahahahah I like your idea, this such a joke the last thing our country needs is more censorship. Do you know they show porn on basic cable in Europe? Crazy to me how prude and sheltered we try to make everything
I remember watching some really weird porn on cable when I was a Kid. Didn't screw me up neither did games.



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