Key California Assembly Committee Clears Video Game Bill

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A key committee of the California Assembly on Tuesday backed a bill to restrict the sale of violent video games to minors.

The measure is one of many pending before state legislatures and local councils across the country. Two federal appellate courts have already ruled, however, that such laws violate the free speech guarantees of the First Amendment.

Source: Yahoo! News

I have six words for you: The government should not get involved. Here are four more: They most probably will.

The ESRB does a very good job of taming down the 'M' rated games as it is. If these psycho psychologists looked at the builds of the 'M' rated games that got turned down there would probably be blood in the streets. It is really the retail market who has put a dagger in 'AO' (Adult Only) rated games, so no developer in their right mind will sit with an 'AO' rating from the ESRB. They go back and make it an 'M' rated game so it will sell. So blame the retail channel. Or you could blame the parents that buy the 'M' rated games. Just a thought.

The 'video game industry' is not selling mature games to minors, as so many 'experts' would seem to assess. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends, complete strangers, and bad retail salespeople sell mature games to minors.

This is not an issue that the government should stick its nose into. The federal appellate courts has already ruled as it is. A violation of free speech is a violation of free speech. You cannot bend the First Amendment for some things and not others. But I have not been very happy with this current government's trouncing of the Bill of Rights as it is. So this does not surprise me in the least.

Restricting the sale of violent video games to minors is a grand idea. Its a pipe dream. Its not going to happen. It should happen. The video game industry and the video game retail channels need to educate the buyers of video games. They need to educate both the adults and the minors. It cannot be up to the ESRB alone to do this educating all by themselves. It obviously is not working.

Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, as well as studios such as Square-Enix, Capcom, Konami, etc, need to be part of this education and awareness program. Whatever that program may be. The ESRB ratings system works. There are other factors that need to fall into place yet.

If an adolescent is old enough to have $50 in his pocket to buy a game, then he is usually old enough to play it. You cannot fault the minor in this situation. You have to look at other inputs: family, and society. Games do not kill, people do.

An 'R' rated movie does not equal a 'M' rated video game. 'R' rated movies have nudity, sex, drugs, violence, and all things wrong with society today. 'M' rated vide games, on the other hand, are rather tame in comparison.

I can see why the government wants to get involved right now. It is simple, no one else is stepping up to the plate. It still is not the place for our government to enforce laws that over step the bounds of our rights.

The question remaining is this: what do you think?

Comments (1)

Let's make very clear what this bill is doing. It's making each and every store that sells video games (but not movies, they've had their day in court) a parent because the real parents aren't doing their job.

Hey, I'm sorry if you're working three jobs to support your kids. Should have thought about that before you had the kids. It's not TV/movies/games fault. It's an example of society blaming everything on something other than themselves. Take responsibility, that's your job. Finding a scapegoat doesn't do anything. Think of it this way:

"No little Johnny, you can't have that video game because the government says so."

You're telling me he's not going to want that game even more now? Of course, then they'll just blame the games again saying they were marketed to kids.

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