Saturday, February 5, 2011

Supreme Court Debate on Violent Game Laws

This court case centers on the California Law that attempted to ban extremely violent games from being sold to minors. Although the final decision has not been released as of today, the justices seem rather divided on the issue because of the implications it has for First Amendment rights. Past rulings by the Supreme Court would seem to demonstrate the the law on banning the sale of these games to minors will not hold because it is outside the First Amendment. Furthermore, anyone who has purchased a video game knows that the label clearly shows the age groups that should be playing the game. Even though the ratings are just suggestions, I believe that parents need to take more responsibility when they purchase these games for their children and pretend that they had no idea of the violence contained in the gameplay. I think stressing a more discriminating eye from parents is the best remedy for the spread of violent games in the hands of children. As companies have admitted, the target group for many of these violent games are in their 30s and 40s, as this group purchases and plays the majority of these titles. When the decision finally comes from the Supreme Court, it would be interesting to see how the nation's high court rules on laws that could possible place even more restrictions on the video game market. I am skeptical that stronger legislation is the proper course of action for a younger generation that has become very skilled at getting their hands on the most violent of games despite the current rating system.


  1. I agree that more heavy handed legislation is not necessarily the best way to control the exposure of adolescents to violent games. The government already regulates things such as cigarette sales, or the content that appears on network television, and the idea that laws can continue to become even more intrusive is distressing. If this happens, who knows how much more regulatory power the government would possess in the future. There are certainly more elegant solutions. Education and community censorship seem to be more effective and permanent solutions.

  2. Issues like this always make me angry because the government is on the verge of overstepping their boundaries once again and see fit to taking decisions out of our hands. I do believe that parents can and do make mistakes when it comes to decisions concerning their kids, but that does not mean they should be stripped of their freedom to make those bad decisions. Instead, the governments efforts should focus more on educating adults and making them aware of these types of games and how violent they really are. I do not think this is an issue for the Supreme Court and it worries me that this has made it so far up the judicial ladder.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.