US Supreme Court to rule on state law banning violent video games

The United States Supreme Court agreed today to rule on the constitutionality of a California state law banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. "The Court accepted for review an appeal by the state of California, urging the Court to adopt a new constitutional standard that would enable states to ban such games for those under age 18. The case is Schwarzenegger v. Video Software Dealers Association (08-1448)."


  1. The irony, or should I say, IRONY, of having Arnold Schwarzenegger attempt to have violent entertainment banned, I hope, is not lost on anyone.

    Calling all satirists: don’t waste your time; you’ve been outdone by reality.

    1. Some things are not appropriate for kids. That’s why there’s ratings. That’s why retailers don’t sell to kids. That’s why, in order to make a purchase, a child needs money, which is regulated by adults. That’s why there are parents.

      I don’t think we need the gubmint getting all “nanny state” on this. There are better ways to spend my tax dollars then to turn police officers into babysitters. There are plenty of safeguards already in place.

      Besides, why do some badges and suits get to tell me how to raise a kid? If I decide I don’t have a problem with my 13 year old kids playing GTA (or whatever), how is the Government going to tell me I’m making a mistake?

      1. Well let’s see, We ban the sale of alchohol to minors, We ban the sale if firearms to minors, we ban the sale of cigarettes to minors. So yeah I have no problem with a law banning the sale of GTA to a 14 yo kid learnign how to socialize. If the rents want to buy it for them that is their business but the stte should not condone it.
        If nothing else maybe those 13 yo punk snipers will stop nailing my ass in Bad Company 2 for a change. :)

  2. I thought kids under 18 couldn’t buy games that were RATED MA anyway the last time I went to a Walmart or Game stop/EB games their systems came up with “are you 18”. So why would you ban something that was ALREADY a no, no! I mean if the parents are still going to buy it for them or they can just borrow it from their friends what are you really banning. They already couldn’t buy it, without an adult. But good luck policing that one.

  3. I’m going to have to steal a quote from Ars in this case:
    Schwarzenegger: “Da veedeo games are bad. Dey are too violent and muzt be kept away from de impressionable youth”.
    Parent: “If video games are bad, then what is good Mr. Schwarzenegger?”
    Schwarzenegger: “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.”

  4. Enforcement of age restrictions on films and games is voluntary. There’s a huge difference between voluntary enforcement of something like a ratings system, and giving it the force of law.

    Firearms, alcohol, and cigarettes are not in the same category as free speech and expression. They are also alternately items or substances that can kill another human being or are categorized as a drug/controlled substance that is scientifically proven capable of causing harm to the health of another human being or minor. There is no such similar proof that video games are harmful. The difference between those items and a video game are extreme, and anyone attempting to compare the two is missing the point. Anyone wishing to claim otherwise would do well to first prove that such materials are harmful to the development of a minor, before falling back on an argument that relies on the subjective interpretation of what should be considered “common sense”.

    A ruling against the sale of violent video games to minor could also have repercussions in a variety of markets unrelated to video game sales. Libraries do not generally enforce age restrictions on materials, instead relying on parents to either explicitly permit their children to check out any such materials, or exercise the effort required to remain aware of what their children are watching and reading. Librarians are not, and shouldn’t be, babysitters. When a library does enforce age restrictions, it’s voluntary (and against the ALA Code of Ethics, but most public libraries receive government funding and pragmatism can be the final bastion of weary or narrow minded librarians.) Imagine a law that suddenly makes certain materials illegal to circulate to a minor, and makes a librarian criminally liable, in a world where we already self-censor and impede the development of children as they and their parents see fit.

  5. No one is saying that kids should be buying M rated games, the problem lays with how horribly the law is written and structured.

  6. Wonder how much of this was bought and paid for by lobbyists… Parents by and large tend to ignore what their children are doing anyway, and I think if such a law went into effect, these sorts of games, like cigarettes and booze will still find their way into the hands of underage buyers. As a matter of fact if it were up to me, I wouldn’t fight this, I’d hope that like everything else that’s been legislated against, that the market will boom because of the ‘danger factor’ of owning/buying such things.

  7. I don’t think the government should be parenting our children. They may, however, want to be keeping some people from becoming parents. Everybody gets sterilized at birth, and then you have to take care of one of those baby-simulation dolls for a year before you can apply to get the procedure reversed. I know that sounds horribly Orwellian and extremely expensive, and it wouldn’t work for a huge number of reasons, but really…there are just too many idiots who are breeding simply because they are idiots.

    1. It’s possible you’re joking but, if not, COME ON. Who exactly do you want defining “good parenting”? The current majority in congress? The current majority in your super conservative/liberal state? Right now, “good parents’ probably excludes gay people, and likely single parenting too. And maybe muslims and atheists too, since the majority in this country doesn’t seem to care for them all that often.

      Of course, I know who defines good parenting: you do. Just don’t define it for everyone else.

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