Game Over for Minors?

Probably the most violent video game moment I've ever witnessed. Should minors be allowed to buy this? Not if California has its way.

I'm sure most fellow gamers know that the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday concerning the sale of violent video games to minors. In California, a law was enacted but never enforced that would ban the sale of violent games to minors, since games allegedly bring out violent tendencies in those who play them.

I'm not sure how much of the research is legit. I don't think anyone has come to a hard, fast conclusion that games inspire violence in children. Yeah, there are famous cases: I remember some media outlets talking about Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's obsession with the shooting game Doom, but let's face facts: Harris and Klebold didn't kill people at Columbine because they were playing that game, they did that horrible thing because they were two kids in terrible need of help.

Nobody can blame a video game for their actions: they can only blame themselves. That said, I side with the lawmakers who created this legislation in California. The ban only affects minors, not those over 18. The violent games themselves aren't banned, only their purchase is.

We have laws that ban minors from viewing of pornography (although it's way too easy for kids to get). Movie theaters and retail stores can limit the viewing or sale of R-rated films to teenage kids. So what makes a game any more different than those forms of entertainment?

I think most of the backlash comes from the fact that people don't want this to be the first step to government censorship. First the government bans the sale of games to minors, then they start banning certain elements (not being able to attack government officials, policemen, etc), and then before you know it, your favorite video game series ceases to exist because the government stepped in.

I don't think that would happen. If the government did decide to try interfering with a game's content, I think people in movies, television and books would rally behind game makers. They would realize that if content in games could be banned, their forms of livelihood could be threatened as well.

Without sounding like a traitor to my fellow gamers, I support the ruling. It's no different than a kid not being able to buy Playboy or getting denied the chance to see Saw 3D. If this ban against games for minors can't stand, let's allow kids to watch whatever they want. Yeah, the parents should be the ones who decide these things. But we have too many lazy, stupid parents in our country that are simply unable to make great decisions for their children.

Maybe now, those ESRB ratings we came up with 16 years ago will actually mean something.


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    About This Blog

    A blog for the masses, if by masses you mean myself and family members who probably read this out of pity.

    I'm dustin Faber, the 16-bit Catholic. This blog is an amusing, sometimes thought-provoking look at my life and the world around me. Poetry, cooking recipes, gaming, faith, things that make me go awww, things that make me go grrr, and my obsession with a good glass of root beer can be found here.

    If you're looking for gaming-centered posts, check out catholicvideogamers.blogspot.com. If you seek the blog I keep with my fiance, check out thecatholiclovebirds.blogspot.com

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