Another Video Game Ban Tossed Out

from the repeats dept

Following similar rulings in other states, a federal judge has found that California’s law banning the sale of violent video games to minors contravenes the First Amendment. Time and time again these laws have been struck down, but the Senate presses on with an effort of its own, making it likely this issue will end up before the Supreme Court. Never mind the Constitution when politicians can whip up a frenzy around a hot-button issue.

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Comments on “Another Video Game Ban Tossed Out”

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Bob says:

Re: perfect play

Yup, politicans love throwing stuff out to the public that doesn’t involve actually /DOING/ anything. Lets all agree on some silly policy that doesn’t take effect till years from now, we’ll look good now and who gives a damn about the later? Bottom line, politicans love to look good, and the best way to do so is to pretend you actually doing something. Not much progress is acomplished, but who cares? Not them.

c'mon now... says:

Re: Re: perfect play

I agree our polticians are getting very good at not only the wedge issue but the fake resolution, but as a parent i don’t think a law against kids buying mature rated games is unreasonable. I don’t know if violent or overly sexual games have any effect on kids. I tend to think that they don’t but as a parent I should be able to make that decision. I DO parent my kid. And I also know that there is no stopping a sufieceintly enterprising kid. They can go to the house of friends who have less vigilant parents, they may be able to get away with Gamefly or Blockbuster rentals or possibly even figure out how to get at my games, those are all more or less my responsibility to monitor and control. I CAN’T friggin’ control the store. Nor should I have to. SImply pass a one line law: ” stores will follow the rating advices on the games/movies/music labels”. If they did that I’d consider the government part in HELPING me raise my kid done. If I decide I want my kid to have the games, as a responsible parent , I can simply go out and buy them – too simple.

BTW, has anyone forgotten that kids really do not enjoy full rights that adults do? There is a reason why we parents are responsible – to a degree- for what our kids do.

Colby (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: perfect play

One more piece of info… When your kid is not around you, you are still their parent. If you have parented your kid, they will probably make choices that are pleasing to you…(To some degree) Everyone is ultimately responsible for their own actions, even children. But the parent is the one to decide when a child should be allowed to make his/her own decisions. Remember everyone is different, and some kids don’t grow up till they’re 30. Some kids, like me are grown up(enough to be considered an adult) at age 16.

The Other Mike says:

Does this mean...

Does this mean that 13 year old boys should be allowed to buy Playboy magazines because of the First Ammendment too? Not trying to be difficult about this, just trying to understand the ruling and its meaning. Oh and I know that Playboy is barely a step beyond Maxim, just an example folks.

Video games are one thing but pornography is a whole other ball of wax when it comes to kids.

crystalattice (profile) says:

Re: Does this mean...

AFAIK, the reason these attempts keep failing is because of how they are worded. They are so vague that they end up being too broad in effect, hence the courts say they are no good.

If the politicians just said something simple like, “If a game is rated ‘M’, then a child under 17 can’t purchase it”, then they might have a chance at it getting through the courts.

Of course, this whole battle will be as effective as the fight against under-age drinking and smoking. The kids will just have someone older buy it for them, or ask Grandma for a video game at Xmas, or rent if from Gamefly, or … They will never be able to prevent kids from getting something they want.

Colby Callahan (profile) says:

Re: Re: No Logic Here!

Hey now, let’s not be too hasty and jump to a logical solution. It’s quite obvious we need a government official to make personal decisions like what images we want our children to see. Just think about it, if we didn’t have legislators like that, every parent would start becoming more and more responsible for their children’s upbringing. This is certainly not what America is about. America is about blame, taking, and talking. Example: Hurricanes in the south hit, and everyone in the country first observes, then they start to whine. This is FEMA’s fault, Busch’s fault, la dee dah, and so on. The whole issue was people being stranded on their roofs in a flood. The cause of this issue was the damn breaking. The cause of the damn breaking was poor preparation for the unfortunate people in that town. I don’t hold George Busch responsible for my misfortune. The same way I don’t rely on someone on the other side of the country to lead me down the road of fortune. We are ourselves. The only person that can take care of myself, is in fact, myself! It’s amazing. Who needs another person to tell them what is allright to watch and not allright, what is acceptable and what is not. I certainly don’t want a SENATOR to tell me those sorts of things. If I listened to him, I might actually start to become like him! The last thing I want is to become a person whose career is dependent upon living up to a phony standard built on lies and deceit.

Colby (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: No Logic Here!

And just remember… When a legislator says, “This has my stamp of approval! OK for kids.” You don’t have to let your underage children watch it. You are still their parent and legal guardian all the way up to 18. I’m really not even joking here, but when you got down and dirty in the back of a run-down movie theatre, I bet you never thought a child would be something to take 18 years to do! But it’s true. In our country a child is a child until they are 18! So the ruling is completely irrelevant. The whole issue doesn’t matter. The bottom line is… “A parent who parents their child will be a good parent.” (For definition of parent please contact Webster at their website or me @ A parent who doesn’t parent their child will not be a good parent. Is it all really this simple when it comes our children and the censorship of their lives?

Doublestandardsabound says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No Logic Here!

I think it’s funny that this poster takes an independant stand from what the legislators say is “ok” when he/she cites that a child is a child until the age of 18.. uhm.. Your legistlators set this standard for you, and you don’t seem to have much of a problem running with it. In Texas, age of consent , legal adult age = 17.

Colby (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No Logic Here!

Thank you for pointing out that trivial matter. It would seem absurd, apparently, for someone to support only certain actions taken by others. With that same logic and mindset, I would either only be able to support the president 100% or 0%, logic and discernment would be non-existant. E.g. “If you don’t agree with someone’s stance on abortion, you can’t agree with their opinion about income taxes.” The issues are seperate.

My intention should be clear that I was not attacking legislators in general (Though, in general, I do hate most legislators. Not because they are a legislator, but because I have never heard from a legislator who made normal human sense to me. There’s only so much faith I can put in someone who has the job of talking to people for appeasement. It seems like a conflict of interest.). I was putting a satirical spin on how people view legislators today. Just because words come from someone’s mouth, or just because words are written on paper, doesn’t always mean something. In the case I talked about, there are no ramifications from this law unless parents are not parenting.

I was simply stating the fact that we are all responsible for our children up to a certain age. The generally accepted age is 18 (Whether it says so on paper or not). This is a time when kids are graduating their last required grade for high school. Most kids at this time are already an adult whether or not they have turned 18. The point I was talking about was the responsibility of parents given existing laws (e.g. age of consent statutes), and that laws made after that general fact can be considered null and void. They are of no use because of an already existing, more general, law. It states every child is a child until they are 18 (In your case apparently 17).

Besides the previous obviousness of this comment, the acceptable age for video games seems to be much more of a debatable topic. Mostly because the age for emancipation has historically always been between 14-18. This goes back as far as recorded history can tell us. is a good site to explain what being an adult is all about. It is more related to physical conditions in the scientific view. The issue of acceptable age for viewing certain video games seems to be, self-evident to me, more based on opinion and again “discernment”. This is especially true without the thousands of years’ history the “legal adult age,” issue carries. Remember video games have been around only since the ’60s.

Thanks for your input though, I’m sure other readers were happy to hear from you and dying to hear the helpful info.

Landon says:

No Subject Given

There is no law that says you have to be 17 to see R rated movies… At least I think so (feel free to correct me, as I may be wrong, just like most tech-dirt posters that think they are right) But its movie theatre policy not to sell R rated movie tickets to people under the age of 17. Also, I dont really agree with this law. I mean, some video games, i.e. Liesure Suit Larry, and The Playboy Mansion video game, should not be sold to minors. I believe that if they were to write the law, they should distinguish between voilence, gore, action, and pornographic, or adult games. In my personal opinion, I think the only games that should be restricted are the pornographic games. I mean, do you really want your 8 year old kid buying these adult video games? Also, I do not see anything wrong with a 12 year old kid playing Grand Theft Auto. In the long run though, I think it would be better for businesses to set the policy on what they will sell to kids of certain ages, rather than the government set the law. I think that an average store clerk has better judgement than a 50 year old senator.

Joel says:

Re: No Subject Given

Hey just to give you guys a fun example of being a store clerk. Customer I was checking out at Best Buy bought merceneries(?) and I get a pop-up asking, “is the customer born before 12/22/1988”. I don’t give much into this, but when I asked the parent this [btw; was a sure shot into ’70s, maybe ’60s] she laughed yeah, that’s why I’m buying it for my kid. I wish I had a tape of this to send to every politician out there to show that parents are doing their job. So the big wigs can actually do something more meaningful, LIKE A WAR AND ECONOMY!!

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