Posts Tagged ‘judges’

Judges Say The Funniest Things

Last night saw the first hearings in the case known as Schwarzenegger vs EMA, which concerns the Governator’s attempt to bring about a US-wide ban on the sale of violent video games to minors. Which sounds eminently reasonable, save for the fact that the US already has the ESRB ratings system, which anyone with even an eighth of a brain uses and enforces effectively. This law would remove all parental responsibility concerning what games their kids can play, and instead make it a criminal offence for retailers to sell adult-rated games to under 18s – as well as effectively putting the judgment as to which games contain “deviant violence” in the capricious hands of state authorities.

While the case for the defence has been that this contravenes First Amendment rights regarding freedom of speech, the real problem is that notoriously conservative mega-chains like Walmart would likely refuse to stock adult-rated games at all (considering them pretty much up there with hardcore porn), which means sales will plummet and publishers will focus efforts on family-friendly stuff instead. Much as it’s enormously important to ensure kids don’t have easy access to games with violent or saucy content, we really don’t want our choice of games to diminish sharply as a result. Fortunately, California’s arguments appear to be vague, contradictory and poorly thought-out, which a number of US Supreme Court judges quickly caught onto…
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