NY State Passes Video Game Labelling Law; About To Waste Taxpayer Money Defending It
from the definition-of-insanity dept
About a dozen states have passed laws either requiring video games be labeled for content or banning the sale of certain video games to children. Every single time this has happened, the law has been struck down as unconstitutional. And, every single time, the same arguments are shown to politicians, explaining how such a ban is a clear violation of the First Amendment. Politicians know this. But they can’t resist passing such laws, because it gets them headlines about how they’re “protecting the children,” even if the only real result is having to waste taxpayer money defending the law in court, where they always lose.
The latest to join the fray? New York State. NY has been working on such a bill for a while, and Gov. Patterson has signed it into law. Lawsuits are already being filed against it, and New York will almost certainly lose. Once again, we can’t resist repeating the quote from Judge Richard Posner in striking down one of these laws:
“Violence has always been and remains a central interest of humankind and a recurrent, even obsessive theme of culture both high and low … It engages the interest of children from an early age, as anyone familiar with the classic fairy tales collected by Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault are aware. To shield children right up to the age of 18 from exposure to violent descriptions and images would not only be quixotic, but deforming; it would leave them unequipped to cope with the world as we know it.”
Yeah, but it does get politicians in the headlines, and who cares about deforming children when the headlines will claim they’re protecting them?