California game law struck down...again

US Appeals Court upholds 2007 decision blocking state law restricting the sale of violent video games to minors.

by

Antigaming legislation has been struck yet another blow today. The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court's decision that declared as unconstitutional California's law preventing the sale of violent video games to minors. According to the appeals-court ruling, bill AB1179, signed into California law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, violated the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech.

AB1179 author Leland Yee.

"We hold that the Act, as presumptively invalid content-based restriction on speech, is subject to strict scrutiny and not the 'variable obscenity' standard from Ginsberg v. New York," the US Court of Appeals ruling read. "Applying strict scrutiny, we hold that the Act violates rights protected by the First Amendment because the State has not demonstrated a compelling interest, has not tailored the restriction to its alleged compelling interest, and there exist less-restrictive means that would further the State's expressed interest."

Originally penned by California Senator Leland Yee, the bill sought to ban the sale or rental of "violent video games" to children. A "violent" game was defined as a "game in which the range of options available to a player includes killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being." Under the law, retailers that sold such games would be subject to a $1,000 fine.

The bill would also have required "violent" video games to bear a two-inch-by-two-inch sticker with a "solid white '18' outlined in black" on their front covers. That's more than twice the size of the labels that currently adorn game-box covers and display the familiar Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) rating.

"We are extremely gratified by the court's rejection of video game censorship by the state of California," said Entertainment Merchants Association president and CEO Bo Andersen in a statement. "The ruling vindicates what we have said since the bill that became this law was introduced: Ratings education, retailer ratings enforcement, and control of game play by parents are the appropriate responses to concerns about video game content."

Andersen also challenged proponents of the legislation to not pursue further legal recourse with the US Supreme Court. "The state should not acquiesce in this demand, particularly in light of its budget difficulties," said Andersen. "The state has already wasted too many tax dollars, at least $283,000 at last count, on this ill-advised, and ultimately doomed, attempt at state-sponsored nannyism."

In 2008, California was ordered to reimburse the Entertainment Software Association $282,794 for legal fees associated with the case. The state is currently facing a crushing budget crisis, thanks to a mounting deficit that some state officials say could hit $42 billion by 2010.

For his part, Yee was undeterred by the Appeals Court ruling. Reiterating sentiments expressed to GameSpot in November, California Senator Leland Yee issued a statement bemoaning the court's decision and voicing optimism over the case's prospects were it to be escalated to the US' top court.

"California's violent video game law properly seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games," said Yee. "While I am deeply disappointed in today's ruling, we should not stop our efforts to assist parents in keeping these harmful video games out of the hands of children. I believe this law will inevitably be upheld as Constitutional by the US Supreme Court."

Discussion

610 comments
mc200020
mc200020

Lets face it, Games are here to stay. Violent Video Games do less to someone's mind than watching Barney. I do not play overly violent games myself, but i have been playing fighters, Third Person Shooters, and Combat Racing Games(The kind that involve car mounted missile launchers and driving on the left side of the road) since I was 5, and I have scored above average on all standardized tests in my life(As a matter of fact I have never scored below 90 Percent in a test), have an strong aversion to the SMELL of liquor and cigarettes(Both have been targets that said use of video games increased the chance of people using them within their lifetime)due to seeing what they could do to you from WITHIN the games themselves. I have never been in a fight in my lifetime(I have had to hold myself back several times however). I have not developed asthma or diabetes, and continue to work out AFTER school hours. My friends I have just given you Exhibit A for the defense of video games.

ShroudedEagle
ShroudedEagle

This is stupid. If there is anyone to blame for kids turning violent it's parents, not video games. Who bought the kids the games? Because I'm sure that the kids can't just go out themselves and pick up a copy of GTA IV! Someone's got to be responsible, and it's not going to be the people who make the games and even make the effort to put big red labels saying "15" or "18" in big red bold writing. Jesus, people with kids, and they haven't even grown up themselves, mentally. They need to stop pointing the finger and just accept the fact that they aren't being a good enough parent.

mr0806
mr0806

you are 100% correct theAceOfskills and Awful_cleric my brothers and i didn't get a video game system until i was about ten( the youngest of three) and i remember having plenty of fights with them before and if we were fighting after it wasn't because we saw Mario jumping on a mushroom and thought that was cool and wanted to do that it was because there were three of us and only two controllers... and my parents played the games before we could to make sure they were suitable for their children...

TheAceOfSkulls
TheAceOfSkulls

Oh hypocrites, how ye bark! Violence is everywhere yet you can convientently ignore it. Video games cause violence? Weren't movies the reason before? Was it not television before that? Oh, before that was comic books! Regular books came up before that. I'm pretty sure that I've heard music does it too. Hm... I'm probably going out on a limb here but maybe parents should be teaching kids wrong from right instead of point fingers. You see, kids need someone to teach them how to live, and if a parent won't do that, they'll start listening to something else (in this case games). I'm also pretty sure that kids were violent before all these things (if you have a sibling, you know I'm right). Quit wasting money, teach kids not to kill each other (hopefully they'll cause less war than previous generations) and stop pointing fingers because I can guarentee that if you were raised like some of those responsible for these laws being made, you'd be no different.

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

this better not have anything to do with jack thompson

Awful_Cleric
Awful_Cleric

Why are these wanker's trying to protect their interests while stomping on everyone else. I'll just have to say it. "Screw trying to protect your children from violent content in games!" Humans have and always will be the most disgusting violent creatures on earth! we did not become the most dominating species on this planet by playing well with others or ourselves. What about every war, revolution, massacre, genocide, religious crusade and fratricide that existed before the invention of electricity. or gun powder for that matter? What can these political bastards blame all the destruction wrought by mankind on back then? what are they going to say that it was caused by the aggravation of playing Cup-&-Ball? This is starting to get OLD!

mr0806
mr0806

yes but the constitution is inadequate, it wasnt written with 3d video games and spy satellite's in mind thats why it has been amended over 25 times to try and meet the standards for the modern era and it just hasn't yet....

sfalexl13
sfalexl13

Torchstone Though children they may be, isn't the point of the constition to protect the rights of the governed, not to strip them away?

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

good god, can you try to solve our economy before dipping in to a sensless law senator yee? as of right now, i may get an iou on tax return

Torchstone
Torchstone

Oh and by the way, I personally don't think it will have that much effect on the game industry.

Torchstone
Torchstone

@ Those who think the 1st amendment is a trivial issue that doesn't need to be debated. You guys may cite the bad economy, war on terror and other things as more important than this issue, but life goes on and we need to protect our rights and/or our children (depends on what your view is on this issue) whatever side you agree with on this issue. If the effects of these games on children can indeed be proven innocuous then great. Case closed. But these legislators have been working on this for quite sometime and to just stop this because we are in a depression would really be the stupid thing to do. I mean if you want to argue that pushing for this bill is stupid, I think it would be even more stupid to strike it down because from what I'm taking from these comments is that most people don't think it would make that much difference: so why not let it pass and we'll be done with it. But as I said in a previous post they may move on to other media such as movies and music and amend the law to include much more. As I said before, I don't have a problem with this bill, since I don't think its unconstitutional. This doesn't mean that I would necessarily push for it's passage, but I don't have a problem with it.

Torchstone
Torchstone

The laws of the land do not apply to minors the same way that they apply to adults. Look at the tattoo laws in the various states. Although I would agree with any one who says it is different than this game issue, the 1st amendment doesn't protect a minor's right to get a tattoo. Another example would be strip club laws. But the most comparable I think would be the laws that prohibit the sale of pr0n to minors. This is not protected under The 1st. The models in the movies are protected under the 1st to be in the movies, but only if they're at least 18 years old. Also The 1st technically protects the rights of the artist/distributor. It does not protect the gamer in this case. So this is not about kids rights to begin with. Does that make sense? ------------------------------------------- Also, regarding free speech for adults, not all speech is protected. One part of this is that you cannot yell fire in a crowded theater (ah... it's a classic!). Another example of unprotected speech is decency laws. You cannot walk down the street with a shirt that has indecent things on it [naked chicks, ethnic slurs, etc.](well you can, but someone could call the cops and they could make you remove it). If it is considered indecent to the community at large, then there can be laws that forbid such clothing (from being worn in public, but not from being produced). This really has nothing to do with this law but I bring it up just to illustrate the fact that free speech under the 1st is not absolute and must continually be interpreted by the judicial system. Personally, I don't understand why they can't interpret this law correctly. The gaming industry must be buying them off like Blago! States' rights now!

bschroth
bschroth

I think they need to get Mr. Yee back on the Hotspot again. I throughly enjoyed listening to his viewpoint on gaming. The worst part of this is that the taxpayers are the ones footing the bill for both sides.

prdroog
prdroog

Yet another person to add to the list of people i want to slap.

shadowmonk77
shadowmonk77

This whole thing about video game based laws are getting annoying. Why cant the government step aside and let the parents do the parenting. Let us decide what is best for our children, and stop wasting tax payers money on petty laws that have no major influence.

shadowmonk77
shadowmonk77

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mr0806
mr0806

@morinn i like and agree with your explanation of artistic talent and expression although the two can be linked one does not need to be a talented artist to deliver a strong and meaningful point...

morinn
morinn

@ poofacemcgee Uhm, what exactly are those games expressing? What point are they trying to get across? Are they allegories for something? This is like saying Commando and Die Hard have some sort of message. They don't. They are about good guys killing bad guys. Period. Milk has a message, Bowling For Columbine has a message, Mississippi Burning has a message. These films are trying to point out a certain viewpoint, a viewpoint that many people disagree with and might want to put a stop to. That's the difference between entertainment and artistic expression. I get the feeling that you lump artistic expression and artistic talent in to the same group. A well drawn picture without content is just as empty and meaningless as a can of Coke. So a well designed game is not artistic expression, it's talent to make things look good and be fun. @maverick_76 It all depends on what you put in to the stroke and what it portrays. @ lonewolf1196 "morrin thats like saying paintings are just colors and mvies are just moving color. honestly pac man is not artistic but other than arcade games most games tell a epic or at least decent story" Wrong, as I said before, it all depends on content. Try to step back and think what these "epic" stories have to say, other than the hero trying to kill the villain. You can have the biggest, most epic story, with the best designed elements you can think of and yet have something as empty as a fart. That's the different between entertainment and artistic expression. I don't think that there is anything wrong with fluff entertainment, I've got my share of crap films and fun games but I have a problem with people yelling censorship and freedom of expression when it isn't the case, with this law the games aren't being censored and there is no expression to be taken away. It's irrelevant to the discussion of whether the government should be the middleman in parenting by fining stores for selling mature games to minors.

edblevins
edblevins

Its not so much the realism, its the idea that your kids are killing people by the dozens with out remorse. Although gamers know otherwise in most cases thats how parents cant help but see it. Even in movies kids know that person isnt really dying.. why because there in the next summer blockbuster. The people you shoot in video games dont matter to kids and that feels weird to parents. But hey, a new generation of parents and voters are coming, no worries brothers and sisters

highvolts12
highvolts12

Yeah but movies have real people dying. Violence is much worse in our movies. Sex is much worse in our movies. It doesn't matter tho because this law would never pass period.

gameking5000
gameking5000

So it is different from watching, you are playing not watching and it has different effects.

gameking5000
gameking5000

@sharpshooter188 But you are playing that chararacter

sharpshooter188
sharpshooter188

sry about the quote. I spaced the comment but apparently it didnt split. My views about half way down in the big paragraph.

sharpshooter188
sharpshooter188

@scorpion16 "still don't see why people have a problem with this law though because it only prevents kids from buying M games." Hate to break this to you but minors have constitutional rights to free speech as well. A 10 year old has every right to buy GTA IV and the store has every right to refuse the sale and the parent has every right to say no. However if the parent doesn't care and the store doesn't either then the government has absolutely NO right to force them to. "No different than porn, cigarettes, alcohol, R-rated movies," I'm sorry but you just sunk to Jack Thompson's level of stupidity with this comparison. Cigarettes and alcohol have been linked to disease and health problems which is why they are are regulated that way. And Porn is another issue as well considering it can fall under obscenity which can be banned/regulated. Violence cannot be legally obscene. Also it's easier for kids to get into R-rated movies then it is for M-rated games. Of course since the movie industry isn't the current whipping boy for today's problems, they can get away with not enforcing the ratings" I cant say i agree with this. Regulations are necessary to an extent but each nation is different with its views. (i.e. why england is opposed against violence but sexual behavior is somewhat disregarded) Im siding with the previous statement on this one. The government steps in too much to try and mother and father its public. Obviously of course without making sure people have food and shelter but thats another topic altogether. There are simply too many censorship laws and freedom has become a thing of the past. This whole article is just another attempt to stifle freedom because the government are under the guise of "protecting" something for the greater good when it really just comes down to more control.

ghX11
ghX11

Face it. This is just a distraction for the goverment.

Scorpion16
Scorpion16

"still don't see why people have a problem with this law though because it only prevents kids from buying M games." Hate to break this to you but minors have constitutional rights to free speech as well. A 10 year old has every right to buy GTA IV and the store has every right to refuse the sale and the parent has every right to say no. However if the parent doesn't care and the store doesn't either then the government has absolutely NO right to force them to. "No different than porn, cigarettes, alcohol, R-rated movies," I'm sorry but you just sunk to Jack Thompson's level of stupidity with this comparison. Cigarettes and alcohol have been linked to disease and health problems which is why they are are regulated that way. And Porn is another issue as well considering it can fall under obscenity which can be banned/regulated. Violence cannot be legally obscene. Also it's easier for kids to get into R-rated movies then it is for M-rated games. Of course since the movie industry isn't the current whipping boy for today's problems, they can get away with not enforcing the ratings

Ars_Imperatoria
Ars_Imperatoria

There definition of violent games captures many teen games as well and thats why they even made it

shadowmonk77
shadowmonk77

Yea the only ones hurt would be minors, but im sure they will still get "violent video games" from either parents or friends......wait i sense a little redundancy in this who thing. A law that prevents minors from buying "violent video games"?? Their already not allowed to buy them in the first place. What would be the point..I mean really? Spend sooo much money on a point less law, upset a few people..o yea i totally get the gist of this idea. O well, it does'nt affect me. But still this is just another backlash to the gaming industry, even though it utterly failed, and did'nt really hurt said industry. I can understand his philosophy, his actions are noble, but he just is too ignorant. FYI Lee theres a reason why the ESRB was created.

Cabal23
Cabal23

Problems in the gaming industry? This tired old topic again. The only way kids get M games is through there parents who haven't the parenting skill to raise children. No retailer will sell a game to a minor unless they really want to bring problems onto themselves. Hell I get carded for M games and I am 36. Some retailers (Best Buy) take it very seriously. If they don't its because of poor training. I can't find one retailer who knowingly sells out M rated games to children. I still don't see why people have a problem with this law though because it only prevents kids from buying M games. It doesn't mean squat to the average adult gamer. So the only people being hurt are the game companies because they are supposedly not selling as many games due to the restrictions. They are hoping little Johnny's mom buys him the GTA IV that is way to violent for him. If they passed that law little Johnny wouldn't get squat because it has been made OBVIOUS to the mother what the content is based on the new labeling this law proposed. As the rating on the back weren't obvious enough, but I guarantee then it would become an issue. You are just censoring what a minor has access too. No different than porn, cigarettes, alcohol, R-rated movies, etc. If you are going to make games with adult content then it should be monitored the same as all of the vices listed above. Once again, doesn't mean anything to anyone over the 18, which is the majority of all gamers.

mr0806
mr0806

Your most welcome shadowmonk77... I think the entire nation should stop what they are doing take vote on weather this is constitutional or not instead of focusing on the economy, energy crisis, fires, natural disasters, job market, the war on terror, the crashing housing market, and the huge national debt, you know the little things that can be put off and are a waste of tax payers money and politicians time...(completely sarcastic if you cant tell)

goldeneye_basic
goldeneye_basic

technowiz999 Posted Feb 21, 2009 10:26 am CT "@goldeneye_basic who says that allowing children to see porn is a bad thing? who says allowing children to see R rated movies is a bad thing? but America was built on hypocrisy so you might as well give up on the courts actually making sense. and btw the majority of retailers don't sell M rated games to minors and don't even carry AO games because they feel that some moms that probably don't even buy their kids more than a few video games are gonna get mad at them." Many people say it is bad to let children see those things. I am not going to argue about studies that show one way or another, but parents are the ones that should decide what their kids should and should not see. Also, America wasn't built on hypocrisy, it just became that way. You also missed my point. I said I was tired of the courts not making sense. I never said that I had hope for the courts. I was just complaining. "btw the majority of retailers don't sell M rated games to minors and don't even carry AO " Yeah, I already stated that when I wrote "...the current policy of most retailers not to sell M rated games to minors". Did you not read my entire post?

gameking5000
gameking5000

This is what needs to be resolved before gaming is problem-free.

shadowmonk77
shadowmonk77

@ mr0806 Thank you. Ok for those of you out there umm...this guy failed due to the fact that it is basicly illegal to to do that. The only way the government can censor stuff like this is if it defames some one and down right offends some one directly. Example: I could not post in the news paper that "so and so is an a$$ whole and deserves to be hung by his testicles" No offense to any one. That would give them the right to censor that. But who in their right mind would even do that?? Ok if the government went around censoring any thing they find offensive or just restricting stuff...they would be hypocritical in the fact that the first amendment gives us the right to speech, press, religion, and peaceful assembly so on and so forth. We spent decades trying to free our selves from oppressive government ( British back in the revolutionary war), we wanted freedom. Then there is this guy who tries to deny us this freedom. How hypocritical is that? We are acting like the very evil we broke from. Holy crap!! Way to take a raging piss on the declaration and bill of rights dude!! Not all parents are bad, some are just too ignorant to even care. NO!! Dont you go and falsely accuse stuff just because you think it is wrong. Why dont you take a look at the real problems that are so largely in front of you eyes. Its the parents that decide what their children play at home. A 10 year old cant go down to a game store and buy GTA 4 in the first place, an adult has to but it for them. Its the parents, so STOP!! complaining about stuff that YOU dont THINK is right and start focusing on the real problems in this world and start trying to do stuff about them!!!!

loftus42
loftus42

@ touchstone If a kid is still in his parents care, then yes, the parents are responsible. What I am saying, and has been done a number of times in hollywood. If a minor proves he can take care of himself, owns his own house, and lives on his own. If his parents want to search his house, then it is not thier buisness. If the police come in with a search warrent, and find something not on the search warrent then the 4th amendment does cover this minor. There is a number of examples where minors have sued, sometimes with the help of a parent, about 1st amendment rights and were successfull. These rights do not disqualify due to age, some do though, like voting rights, etc. I just don't want to see congress legislating the responsibilities of the parents away, and to a company like best buy. If they chose not to sell these games to minors they don't have to. Wal-mart censors CDs all the time for vulgar language. It is their right to do so. We just don't need another law telling us what to do and not to do. Nice debating this with you Sir.

JackHoleFace00
JackHoleFace00

Oh and PS about the politics, Torchstone at least has a point about "gateway" laws. You can also view it as legislating from the bench, setting precedence, whatever you want to call it. For example, look at the Prop proposing that teens notify parents before getting an abortion--it's trying to take steps towards banning abortion. Anyone who's ever taken poly-sci or other pre-law classes in college should know these things. As for who's more responsible between conservatives or liberals for censoring games, that's debatable. Some of the biggest advocates for game censorship--Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman? Liberal Democrats. Arnold? Moderate Republican. I consider myself a Republican, and definitely a libertarian. I find the parents should be in charge of what their kids see/play, and companies like the ESRB just help them make those decisions.

JackHoleFace00
JackHoleFace00

I don't understand two things: 1) Why they feel the current system is inadequate. The ESRB does its job of educating consumers, then parents decide what their kids play. 2) Why they single out videogames. I'm assuming it's not illegal to buy a movie like Hostel 2, which has much more graphic/realistic violence than perhaps every game ever made, but you don't hear them whining about that. Stupid. I moved to California a few years ago. And while I love the weather/ beaches/etc., I hate the screwed up politics of this state... including the $52 billion (largest state increase ever) in new taxes that just happened on top of the already super high taxes. But that's a whole other story so I digress :)

forthefunofit
forthefunofit

@Torchstone You admit its not important, when you minimize its impact on anyone but yourself , who clearly by your admission isn't impacted by it or you might care more deeply about the effects it has on those whom are. That's typical of many people these day, if it doesn't affect them, who cares.... When you lump in one societal group, say man-dog marriage ( obviously your being facetous to 'try' to make your point ) , all you do is make a weak point for your argument, because your descending down into the gutter trying to show that you think gay rights equate to those wanting man-dog marriage equality, and I think we all know thats absurd. Polygamy goes into the same point, as its obvious that with the best of intentions,,having multiple wives/husbands ??? can easily cause interrelational problems that ordinarily would not exist in a 'couple' environement. If you doubt that, do some homework, and just look at the latest buzz in the news of the last year to see evidence of it. It all comes down to tolerance in a system that is 'not' built for failure to begin with, and to suggest as the main reason for this topic, that violence video games is somehow helpful to our communities is just ludicrous and has no basis in fact, when clearly there is plenty of fact to backup the other side. The law ruled against it, even in clear evidence to the contrary, so its evident that the system was jaded in this regard, and you would be naive to believe otherwise. ( see my previous post, if you want some hard evidence of study showing my point; its a PDF file )

Torchstone
Torchstone

RE: forhtefunofit When did I say gay rights was not important? I said that it can be considered a HUMAN RIGHTS issue! That is more important than free speech in my estimation. And FYI if I was still in my beloved home state of CA I would've voted no on 8. I argued the fact that 8 was unconstitutional with my mom. (However I believe that homosexuality is wrong (short answer) but that is my personal belief.) I also am not opposed to the idea of polygamy being legalized (though I am personally opposed to it). On the other hand, I am against man-dog marraige! I am pro-canine rights! Woof! My point was only to illustrate that the one law may affect more than its initial meaning.

forthefunofit
forthefunofit

@Torchstone, It's nice to see you agree this is a issue relevant to be discussed and considered, I'm laughing out loud that on the other hand your just fine with gay rights as a 'not important issue', because well, your straight so why should you care right ? How utterly compassionate of you to be so liberal in your thinking that you view others of the same species with such disregard. It's easy to have such views isn't it, when your up there , all mighty looking down on those who have less rights than you I guess. Im sure glad your not making the laws, but I do agree on reps vs dems etc, so that was good to see.

mtnjak
mtnjak

Forthefunofit, I think you need to read this article again. I'm on your side, dude! Blue78, let's look at this excerpt from the article again shall we, '...California's law preventing the sale of violent video games to minors'. Don't get too paranoid there. They're not saying that your 10 year old cannot play GTA, they are just trying to put into law what most states (including mine in Illinois) are already trying to do by not allowing kids to purchase M rated games. Nobody's going to break down your door and remove the M rated game from the 10 year old's game console that a [sarcastically] highly responsible adult allowed the child to play in the first place. Oh, heaven forbid!

mr0806
mr0806

nice view points torchstone...

Torchstone
Torchstone

So I see alot of people saying that it won't do much to prohibit the sale of these games to minors. Though I pretty much agree, this is not a reason to dismiss this kind of law. First of all, you have to remember that this may be a kind of "gateway law" to allow prohibiting minors to view 'R' rated movies and other things. I believe that overall, this desision is bigger than it seems because it is a free speech issue. Similar to how gay marraige being catagorized as a human rights issue would open the door to polygamists and others. Regarding free speech protecting minors (@ sorry bro I forgot your name): I used the example of the private school requiring uniforms. What I mean by that is that the kid can't go to the Supreme Court and make a plea that his parents move him to a school where he can wear whatever he wants based on his 1st amendment right. He is practically considered property of the parent. That is why we hold parents accountable for children that are messed up. Because they are responsible and should be able to train and teach as they see fit. If my 2 y/o burns down a house, guess who's responsible. Me. If I had an 18 y/o and he burns down a house, guess who's responsible. He is. So if I want to try to control what my kid watches or plays I certainly should have the right to (since I consider it my responsibility). Especially since I know my kid better than the gov't. Another point that I haven't seen mentioned is that if you are being partisan about this, you are being hipocritical. Reps. believe in state rights and dems believe in a liberal dose of free speech (as opposed to the reps moral beliefs that oppose some speech (porn, violence, etc.)). So here you have a dem pushing state rights. Oh NO! The partisan heads are about to explode! (FYI, though I'm probably more conservative socially, I HATE both parties). Anyway I just think that's interesting. Regarding nannyism: This law would not nanny the kids (as it has been pointed out kids will find a way to play). It would nanny the parents, or at least attemp to get the parents to nanny the kids ;-) You really could look at it either way, but I think that it would end up being a wake up call to the parent, when they realize that the game their kid is playing has them picking up prostitutes, not using a condom or tipping them improperly. Regarding helmet/seatbelt laws: They suck. Please repeal this law, I do not care about the costs (insurance prems, etc.). Please let the human race evolve and get these idiots off our roads in a way that is fitting! However, the jury is still out for me on the hands-free deal. This is because it potentially affects others, not just the idiot. But on the other hand, I think it is stupid that we have to point this out to people since it is already illegal (since it is considered careless activity while driving). So it still seems like a stupid law. I bring this up because I think this gaming issue is more like the hands-free issue since the spawn of idiots can potentially become more idiots that we have to deal with. The parents' decisions will affect the child and society. And I thought that I should also address the basis of this law: the belief that gaming doesn't affect the kids views towards violence. I personally think the effects might be overblown by people like Yee, but I am certain that there are at least subliminal effects based on personal experience. I have never looked into the various studies that have been done, but I'm sure many of them are skewed a bit. For me, I have seen the effects of GTA on my driving :-). I drive more agressively after a GTA session. My wife was the first to notice (and no she does not object to GTA, in fact she bought the game for me). After she pointed it out, I totally noticed it, and I noticed the same thing after playing Forza (Uh oh! Should Forza also be rated M? :-)) Anyway, thanks for the feedback to all. I would like to be a part of this discussion mainly because of the fact that I am a parent who will have to deal with this issue in the future. ...and also because I would appreciate a reduction in little brats that mar multiplayer games for the rest of us. Ha!

forthefunofit
forthefunofit

@airboygt, I find your lack of sympathy for the entire state of California, and all its 'children' that live there a telling sign of the violent nature in this world. Are you a gamer, and if so do you tend to play violent games ? Im glad God/Buddha/Allah/Shiva is independent and not linked to your psyche, as if they were I suspect we all would be in great peril, whenever YOU decided you didn't like something a given state was doing.

airboygt
airboygt

Wow, Crappy-Fornia is near Bankruptcy and they are still wasting money on this ridiculous anti-gaming laws. Now they will go crying to the Federal government with their hands out begging for more stimulus money. I really wish God/Buddha/Allah/Shiva...whoever would use the San Andres Fault and sink that stupid state to the bottom on the Pacific Ocean.

mr0806
mr0806

@ forthefunofit we studied this in my child psych class and although the study was biased and geared to the outcome the study showed that some of the children in the experiment did mimic what was on tv, but the parents were not allowed in the room to explain and tell their child it was wrong and why it was wrong, so even if you support the idea that violent video games make kids violent you still have to blame the parents of the children for not teaching their kids what is acceptable and what is not....

mr0806
mr0806

@shadowmonk77 i'm glad to see that there are at least three people on this site that can comprehend what this is about and what will come of it...

dalejrgamer
dalejrgamer

Isn't there a law that prevent these idiotic Congressmen to pass the violent MEDIA, yes MEDIA law? How about finding a way to reimburse the California budget? I'm waiting...

forthefunofit
forthefunofit

@mtnjak, So lets cut to the issue at hand here; You think its just fine and dandy to let kids play violent video games ( you can't deny , many are extreme, not just violent ), long as you aren't on the receiving end of their anger afterwards ? Wow, aren't you just the moral center of our species ;) Do some homework, and you will see that its a PROVEN fact that after children ( no doubt some adults) after playing violent based games , act out those violent tendencies, and if you dont know that, you are simply ignorant of the facts. http://www.apa.org/journals/features/psp784772.pdf Even if atm there is no definitive study showing a steady correlation to violence behavior and violent games ( or VERy violent games), should it concern our species that we find amusement in violent past times when our children ( and adults for that matter) are likely better served when we engage in meaningful and peaceful recreation ? Where is it written that violence is synonymous with value as parents, we want to instill into our children, and if you think they are, what kind of upbringing did you have ? These are all valid questions we need to ask if we consider ourselves to be a compassionate society, and if we dont where does that lead us and who is taking us there ? -

Blue78
Blue78

mtnjak, Are you saying you think the law should have passed? I don't think you understand what this was trying to do. It had nothing to do with ratings. They wanted to ignore the rating system altogether and simply ban kids from ANY game with some violence in it. Yes, movies have ratings that we don't want kids to watch and so do video games. It's called the ESRB. Look it up.

shadowmonk77
shadowmonk77

I absolutly agree with swamptick and mr0806. 100%.