Senators Ignore Court After Court On Unconstitutionality Of Video Game Bans

from the it's-a-tough-pitch dept

Undeterred by the fact that case after case after case where judges point out that government bans on video game sales are unconstitutional, some US Senators are pushing forward with a federal version of a similar law that would fine store managers should their stores sell video games designated for mature audiences to kids. This has been talked about quite a bit, and whether or not you agree with it, just about every court to hear such a case has found it to be unconstitutional, Illinois and Michigan being the two most recent examples. It’s tough to see how the federal law is any more likely to be found acceptable. Also, following the ridiculous outrage at a game (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) including hidden sex scenes, this law would have the FTC waste taxpayer money investigating “the prevalence of embedded inappropriate material not reflected in a game’s rating.” Remember, this was a case where a game whose main storyline involves all sorts of criminal activity and who already had a “M for Mature” rating, getting into all sorts of trouble for including some consensual sex scenes hidden away. Because our Senators can’t handle such things, it appears that the FTC will now get to spend time hunting around for Easter Eggs in all sorts of video games. Does this mean Microsoft would need to reclassify old versions of Excel?

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Comments on “Senators Ignore Court After Court On Unconstitutionality Of Video Game Bans”

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Scott says:

Re: Re: Facts straight

Actually the courts disagreed because the rulings were overbroad and inconsistent. A simple law stating that M rated games, games that are labelled voluntarily by the industry of being “not appropriate for minors” would be acceptable.
How do I come to this conclusion? Some states have laws banning the sale of R rated movies to minors that have held up under scrutiny.

dan says:

Re: Re: Re: Facts straight

Yeah, while IANAL and IANASCJ (supreme court justice), I would have to agree that I don’t see the un-constitutionality of this. Alcohol and cigarettes are restricted from minors, and for a better analogy, pornography is restricted to adults. There are many laws (maybe they aren’t laws, regulations instead?) that control what can be distributed to minors.

I was actually under the impression that regulations already existed in the game industry. I assumed that M rated games could not be sold to children.

Not that I am for this kind of thing. Not having kids, I am not really sure where I stand. I think that if I felt they were mature enough to handle the content, I would buy it for them, and if they weren’t mature enough, and bought it themselves I would take it from them. Parents can do stuff like that.

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