Governator Wasting More CA Taxpayer Money On Unconstitutional Violent Video Game Ban

from the terminate-this-wasteful-spending dept

At last count, at least 10 states had passed laws banning the sale or rental of violent video games to children, and every single one of them has been thrown out as unconstitutional. At this point, any state that passes such a law is knowingly throwing away taxpayer money to defend the law in court -- and, for the most part they're doing it to pander to the electorate, so they can talk about how they "protected the children" despite more and more evidence that violent video games aren't a threat to kids.

Perhaps the most bizarre of all of these state laws is the one in California, where our governor starred in numerous violent films. Yet, Schwarzenegger has been at the forefront of supporting this law. After a lower court followed all those other states in throwing out the law as unconstitutional, the Schwarzenegger administration quickly appealed, and the new case is set to begin this week, with most noting that it's unlikely that California will somehow buck the trend and get the law approved. Instead, we get a waste of taxpayer money (in a state that's going bankrupt) so that an action hero of a ton of violent films can claim he's "protecting the children" from viewing a little show violence.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    shanoboy, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 5:04am

    V-chip!

    Instead of wasting all this cash trying to pass the unconstitutional laws, why don't they throw that money into ads educating parents on the fact that all the video game systems of this gen have built in parental controls.

    The gov't already runs ads for V-chips in TVs, why not for video games too?

    I guess they'd rather trample our 1st amendment rights instead.

     

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  2.  
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    sam, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 5:08am

    .

    This is not unconstitutional. We need to ban these worthless games before we ruin a whole generation.

     

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  3.  
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    SteveD, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 5:15am

    Re: .

    'Its not unconstitutional because I said so, and I know better then those ten judges.'

    Is that you, Governor Palin? :P

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 5:19am

    Re: .

    How are they worthless?

    How will they "ruin a whole generation"?

    Note, more than one generation at this point has played/is playing violent video games.

    Also note, according to government statistics youth violence was at a 40 year low in 2004 and was dropping further. Since video games, violent or otherwise, have come onto the seen major drops in youth crime are evident.

    How is it *not* unconstitutional?

    You need to re-read the Constitution, and actually learn the meaning behind the words. The point to this country, the *only* point, was to allow as much liberty and safety as is possible to the people who populate it. Foreign visitors included.

    Even hackfest type video games have different puzzles within them, usually fairly abstract, that you must solve to advance further. Some video games actually teach you some pretty useful critical thinking skills.

     

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  5.  
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    abba12, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 5:50am

    It's unconstitutional simply because it supresses freedom and free speech, as if that hasnt already been done.

    But of all the people, the governator? yeah... he can really speak for non-violence cant he

     

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  6.  
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    biz, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 6:18am

    Re: .

    This is one of the most ignorant comments I have ever read. Video games are played tops 3-4 hours a day in any household with children that also go to school. -I write for a gaming organization these numbers are about right- plus if you're a parent, take shanoboys advice, learn what your kids are playing and control it yourself. If a child harms someone in the first place, check their living environment and their head. TV has a higher consistancy of violence than the games your child plays. This video game ordeal is a crock, Jack Thompson got thrown out, so will this.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 6:36am

    Re:

    Yeah! The rights of children! To vote, to full prosecution of the law, and so on. Oh wait, children are not afforded the same freedoms as adults, and that is a societal choice. This law or whatever, however pointless, will not limit the freedoms of a full fledged member of the American society, just a citizen in the making who hasn't been given the full gamut of "rights" afforded him.

     

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  8.  
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    Colin, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 6:49am

    Parents

    I believe parents use violent video games as an excuse as to why their kids are unruly. All studies point to that the fact that violent video games don't cause children to commit violence in fact crime is down for youths. I grew up playing video games - violent ones among those. My parents were involved in my life. They taught me the difference between right and wrong, fantasy and reality. I have played the entire Grand Theft Auto series and never once I have considered going out and shooting someone. I think if parents are involved in disciplining and just being involved in their lives then playing a violent video game won't affect them. I’m sure they are cases out there of someone playing a video game and then committing a crime. Then they turn around and blame the video game. Is it the video games, or is it the parents?

     

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  9.  
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    Justanothercommenter, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 7:26am

    Oddly enough, is da Governor fully aware that most of the companies that develop this so-called violent gaming software are right there in California? Nothing like taking on one of the largest high tech industries in his very own state. That should endear him with all of the employees of these companies as they're told they have to make more kid friendly, Care Bear™ type games.
    Excuse me while I go learn to spell with Barney instead of playing WoW...

     

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  10.  
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    Sean, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 7:34am

    Here is a violent game - the cover couldn't be better.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Terminator_(SNES)#The_Terminator_.28SNES.29

     

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  11.  
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    triiodide, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 7:48am

    Although many "violent" video games appear to change children this is mostly in a household that do not take a part in their child's life. Even by simply talking to a child a parent can learn alot about their gaming and the way they feel about it. Games are and have been a projection of alternate reality, a concept that most children can understand quite well. Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus. My mother in-law is ABD writing her thesis on the benefits of multiplayer gaming not only as a development tool but also analysis tool. This is purely a task dealt to the parents and only should be. And if they don't want to do it they shouldn't have had a child.

     

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  12.  
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    Overcast, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 8:05am

    Yeah, get the kids to stop playing GTA, and they can spend hours watching the Terminator and Commando instead.

    That will make things better.

     

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  13.  
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    Overcast, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 8:09am

    I believe parents use violent video games as an excuse as to why their kids are unruly.

    Yes, that's 100% true.

    My 16 year old son plays video games a lot - he's quite well mannered.

    My 12 year old daughter is a little brat. Maybe we were 'too lenient' on her in years past. But she barely ever plays video games.

    We're not easy on her now though, lol - but take my advice, don't be 'too nice' when they are young, you'll pay for it later.

     

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  14.  
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    custompcmax.com, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 8:10am

    While I don't support a hardcore ban on violent video games, I do think it is a good idea to require parents to purchase violent games for their children.

    I don't think violent games cause kids to be violent, though. Violent kids always have another deficet in their life somewhere that steers them that way. Video games do not cause it. But, I think parents have the right to decide what their kids are playing.

    THe argument that Arnold can't say anything because of his films is BS. His films were all rated R and required you to be 17 or with a parent/guardian.

     

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  15.  
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    joe, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 8:28am

    I let my 10 year old daughter play any game she wants including GTA. I don't think they are any more harmful than music, movies or books. I think the bible and other religeous texts cause the most violence of any media.

     

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  16.  
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    Mike, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 8:28am

    Re: .

    I think we need to stop people like you from breeding.

     

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  17.  
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    Some IT Guy, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 8:51am

    If it weren't for video games kids would be doing crack.

     

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  18.  
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    rudy, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 9:00am

    How is banning the sales of violent video games to a minor a violation of a constitutional right?

    How would this ban be any different that the ban against selling porn mags to minors? Should Playboy sue for not being allowed to sell to minors?

    Why are these companies determined to sell to kids directly these video games..I doubt it's because of their constitutional rights, its because of money. They're not concerned about rights, or a child's health.

    And for every study you can site about violent games effects, I could site an opposing study.

    Using common sense, collectively games, music friends all determine a kid’s behavior. To believe a video game can not have a positive or negative impact is naive.

     

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  19.  
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    pumm3l, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 9:00am

    So big deal these kids will find a way to get these games regardless if they can't rent/buy it themselves. Not only is it a pointless law in the first place, it won't stop them from playing the games.

     

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  20.  
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    Adam, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 9:09am

    Try banning scapegoating instead

    Why not wake parents up to the fact that all games have a RATING in black and white? Including content! Seriously, people need to get over this. The Romans took their children to watch gladiators hack each other to pieces. Providing a frame of reference about what violence means and when it's appropriate is the responsibility of parents, not legislators. Parents need to be involved. The Xbox 360 is not a parent substitute. Just like the TV isn't.

     

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  21.  
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    Joe, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 9:30am

    Re: V-chip!

    I agree...especially since almost all consoles have a v-chip type technology. Another alternative is to give console makers a tax incentive to run the ads themselves.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Kev, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 9:47am

    Re: .

    Moron.

    Watch what your kids are doing and educate them properly. Problem solved. "Protecting the children" is a parent's job and as a parent, I rely on my own conscience to tell me what I should be teaching my children and what steps I should take to minimise the exposure that they will have to potentially harmful materials (physical and mental).

    One problem with the piece though; just because Arnie starred in violent movies doesn't mean he can't argue against MINORS being exposed to violence. All Arnie's violent movies were rated appropriately and therefore (in theory) wouldn't have been accessible for children.

    Which brings up the next point. If you're banning video games, you have to then ban the movies and the news.

    How is it that rational, intelligent people can't seem to grasp that video games are not the problem? I fear that too many people want an easy scape goat for their inadequacies in the parenting department!

     

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  23.  
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    Tim, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 9:57am

    Seems ok to me

    It's an accepted rule that under age kids cannot see rated "R," movies without an adult. Why not extend that to violent video games? If a parent says it's OK for their kid to play the game, then no harm, no foul.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 10:44am

    Re:

    Thank god children are not enticed by items that have been deemed illegal... If kids weren't so level-headed this ban could really backfire ensuring that they find a way to get their hands on it outside of a parents mediating eye...

    Lets just reject human nature and give kids more of a reason to be deceptive.

     

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  25.  
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    Rudy, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 11:52am

    Again

    How would this ban be any different that the ban against selling porn mags to minors? Should Playboy sue for not being allowed to sell to minors?

    Are the people posing on here who are are against the ban, also against the ban of selling porn to minors?

    If you support the ban against selling porn to minors, then please explain the difference?

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Adam, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 12:25pm

    Re:

    The difference is that people in favor of banning sales of violent videogames to children never seem to realize that they are rated, just like movies, and the rating is on the box of every videogame ever sold. The framework is in place for everyone to make educated decisions on what games their children should play, but legislators always seem to think that it isn't enough. Also, among industrialized nations, only America seems to have a problem with minors being exposed to human sexuality. Porn is a problem when it replaces education.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 12:46pm

    Re: .

    We also need to ban selling/renting the violent movies to kids and block the TV shows about crime, and the game shows that give people a huge reward for acting like idiots.

    While we're at it, Goldilocks was guilty of trespassing and vandalism, The Three Little Pigs is an example of terrorism, and the Bible if full of sexual misbehavior and mayhem.

     

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  28.  
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    another mike, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 4:35pm

    violent video games

    I've been playing violent video games all my life, they're the only type I like. And I turned out just fine with lots of friends, a good job, and no criminal history or addictions.
    There's just the overwhelming hatred of Orcs and the rest of the Horde. And the Burning Legion. The Flood and the Covenant, too; not fond of them. The other gladiators in the Quake Arenas and Unreal Tournaments. The monsters and demons in Olduvi Station. And those nazi guards in Castle Wolfenstein; can't stand them want to shoot every last one.
    So yeah, a perfectly well-balanced individual with no hang-ups whatsoever.

     

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  29.  
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    DanC, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 10:37pm

    Re: Seems ok to me

    It's an accepted rule that under age kids cannot see rated "R," movies without an adult.

    But it isn't a law. It's up to the theatres to adhere to the motion picture rating system and limit admission.

    Why not extend that to violent video games?

    They did. The ESRB performs the same function. Likewise, it's up to the retail stores to adhere to the age guidelines.

     

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  30.  
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    Luna Loof, Oct 28th, 2008 @ 7:15am

    I can see why Arnold Schwarzenegger who was born in Austria might think that you need to protect children from violence in media. In the old world violence and not sex is mainly thought responsible for damage done to children's minds while they are growing up.

    Even if I'm not supporting any form of censorship, I often have a good laugh about all those prudes in America and their nipple affairs and whatnot. In the US where people believe they have a civil right to carry around guns, trying to protect children from violence in media probably provokes the same kind of reaction.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2008 @ 8:45pm

    Waste?

    "Instead, we get a waste of taxpayer money"

    Waste of money? How could lawyers getting rich be a waste of money?

     

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  32.  
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    ㅁㄴㅇㄹㅇㄴㅁㄹ, Jan 14th, 2009 @ 4:54am

    ㅁㄴㅇㄻㄴㅇㄹ

    ㅇㄹㅇㄹㄹㅇㄻㅇㄴㄻㅇㄴㄻㄴㅇㄹ

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Chaos, Feb 23rd, 2009 @ 7:12am

    Re: .

    You are an imbecile that should leave deciding what is good for a generation and what isn't to people who are more educated than you. Please learn that your opinion is not the truth.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 12th, 2010 @ 7:20pm

    Re: .

    u r a retarded man

     

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  35.  
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    Tres, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 3:50pm

    Repercussions

    There are some people who are addicted to games, and will do anything to get them. Like the one kid who shot his parents, killing his mom to get Halo 3 back. And about another kid who ran away from home because his parents took his xbox and died. Taking violent video games from teens has nasty repercussions. What goes around, comes around.

     

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