RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Jul 1st 2011 at 03:31:47 PM by (highspot)
Posted under Censorship, Supreme Court, First Amendment, California law, ban, Mature, ESRB, art, responsibility

(I recently wrote a paper for school discussing the Supreme Court's recent decision to throw out the law in California banning the sale of "violent" games to children and thought I'd share it here! I've been wanting to start blogging here for a while now and thought this would be a great starting point. Let me know what you think and expect more to come!)

supremecourt.jpgTrying to link popular media to the corruption of young people is nothing new in America. From Tipper Gore and the PMRC going after musicians in the eighties to the formation of the Hays code for rating movies in the thirties, people have tried to make the argument that material which some may find objectionable is detrimental to the minds of those who experience it and can be clearly linked to deviant behavior. The extent of that particular type of influence is a debate that may never reach a conclusion that satisfies both sides. With its rise in popularity over the last few decades, the video game industry is the latest target being made an example of by those who wish to limit a consumer's access to material that they find objectionable. California has tried and failed to pass a law prohibiting the sale of certain games. As with any other form of artistic expression, this is a type of censorship, something that is clearly against the First Amendment of the Constitution. With a voluntary, self imposed rating system and a lack of clear evidence as to the influence that games have on the minds of players, the dismissal of California's law by the United States Supreme Court is the right decision, the only decision, in defending the rights of game makers to be able to freely express themselves through their creations.

In 2005, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a ban on the sale of violent video games to minors. Retailers caught in violation of this ban would be subject to fines of up to $1000. Before the law was even put into effect it was tossed out in a San Francisco federal appeals court. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court in June of 2011 before yet again being struck down by a ruling of 7-2 as an unconstitutional infringement on the rights of video game makers as outlined by the First Amendment. Proponents of the law state that the government "has a legal obligation to protect children from graphic interactive images when the industry has failed to do so" (Mears). That begs the question as to how and to what extent the gaming industry has failed.


Continue reading Supreme Court Sides With Gamers


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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