California's Violent Game Law Gets Blocked

A federal judge ruled on Monday a California law to label violent video games and bar their sale to minors was unconstitutional, prompting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to say he would appeal the ruling.

California passed a law in 2005 regulating video games with strong support from Schwarzenegger, the former star of many violent action films. Legislators argued violent video games could bring psychological harm and spark aggressive behavior in minors.

The Video Software Dealers Association and the Entertainment Software Association promptly sued to block the law, arguing their games were protected under the First Amendment's protection of free speech.

Judge Ronald Whyte, who had previously granted a preliminary injunction against the law, issued a permanent order that also cited conclusions from judges facing similar laws in other states.

"At this point, there has been no showing that violent video games as defined in the Act, in the absence of other violent media, cause injury to children," he wrote in his decision. "In addition, the evidence does not establish that video games, because of their interactive nature or otherwise, are any more harmful than violent television, movies, Internet sites or other speech-related exposures."

"Although some reputable professional individuals and organizations have expressed particular concern about the interactive nature of video games, there is no generally accepted study that supports that concern."

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News source: Reuters

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14 Comments

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Passing a law like this just makes it easier for parents to sit back and let the government raise their children.

It would be a sad day that such a law gets passed - parents need to be more involved in their children's lives. If I bought a violent video game when I was a kid, you bet your ass my parents would have taken it away.

Banning people from buying them is stupid though and if they are young enough where they should be under parental supervision then the parents should do what they feel is right if their child is easily manipulated by virtual stuff on a damn TV screen.

Too bad. I don't live in Cali but if I did I would be lobbying for this bill. And don't even start, we all have our reasons.

Trying to pass this law seems unamerican to me. Parents should be free to decide what is too violent or not. Imposing such laws goes to show us how little the government thinks of our parenting skills. It's insulting. The rating system is just fine. I know if I purchase a game rated for adults it's probably not a good thing to let my 3yr old play it. With this said, if allow this mindset to continue who knows when it will end? Will we outlaw boiling hot water in fear that it could burn us if spilled?! Sounds ridiculous, I know, but so does this headline.

spacer said,
I agree. It's disturbing how much the government is infringing on our rights now a days.

IMO, baring the sale of the violent games marked say... Mature to minors is justified while allowing parents to buy the game FOR their kids if they so wish would be ok in my eyes...

Now I just skimmed the article but I don't see how baring the sale of these violent games to minors is any different than baring the sale of cigarettes to minors (physical harm to possible mental harm) and infringes on the rights of the minors to buy such products.

But, stupid laws are very American. You guys have hundreds of them in California alone.
Just some examples:

Sunshine is guaranteed to the masses.
Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.
Bathhouses are against the law.
It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.
Women may not drive in a house coat.
No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.

I could on, but that's against the law here.

http://www.dumblaws.com/laws/united-states/california/

Never had a problem with such laws in the UK. Only the odd game gets 15+ or even 18+.

Tbh Grand Theft Auto simply isn't exactly suitable, 10 year old material.