Supreme Court Considers Hearing on Violent Video Game Legislation

By Nick Breckon, Sep 29, 2009 3:20pm PDT The U.S. Supreme Court will decide today whether to hear arguments on a California law that would bar minors from buying violent video games, according to CNBC.

The bill, initially introduced by California assemblyman Leland Yee, was signed into law in 2005 by governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) quickly sued the state, and a district judge blocked the law on the grounds of First Amendment protection.

A federal judge ruled that the law was unconstitutional in August of 2007. The state of California appealed the decision, leading to another rejection in February of this year by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Now the Supreme Court could choose to make a final ruling.

Proponents of the law argue a link between violent games and real-world violence. However, in his 2007 ruling, District Judge Ronald Whyte stated that "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."

Schwarzenneger maintains that the law can only help parents to better protect their children from violent media.

"By prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 and requiring these games to be clearly labeled, this law would allow parents to make better informed decisions for their kids," said the Governator.

Added Schwarzenneger in a recorded statement: "Stop whining, you son of a bitch!"

The Supreme Court's decision could be known as soon as Wednesday.

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  • on a more serious note, i don't think letting your 12yr old child pick up hookers on a street corner then ater you have your heath back, kill her and take back your money plus a little something for the ammo you used on the bitch.

    don't get me wrong, it's hilarious to do. i just dont see it being something a young child should be acting out on a video game until he is old enough.....

    if this law is only to sell an 18 rated game to 18+ people, and 15 rated games to 15+ etc etc, then i dont see the issue.

    sounds like a solid idea.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 3 replies.

    • Remember that isn't the focus of the game, merely something you can do. I question the minds of the developers who spent time specifically coding that at the expense of more entertaining things, but I don't question their right to.

      If a player pays for sex with a prostitute then beats her to death and takes the money back, that only reflects what is already within the mind of that player, age regardless.

      I grew up playing GTA - I didn't use the prostitutes to regain health because it fucked with the atmosphere.. Hell, I didn't even intentionally kill civilians except to attract cops for fun chases, as a means to an end.

      Games only provide a stage for the mind to play out upon.

      You live in a world where you are free to go out there, pay for sex (even legally, depending upon the location), and nothing but a kind-hearted pimp bystander or her secret kung fu can stop you killing her and taking the money back. If you're inclined to do so, kindly go and die =D But don't blame my games!

      All these games tell us is that we're surrounded by sick fucks with problems, who are inherently broken from a very young age o.O