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ESA: Follow PlayStation's Lead and Help Protect Video Games

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215w ago - Today Rich Taylor of the Entertainment Software Association has shared the following PSA via PlayStation Blog on the effort to help protect video games.

To quote: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in the case of [Register or Login to view links]/ Entertainment Software Association. They'll decide whether a California law, which would restrict the sale of "violent" computer and video games, is constitutional.

What does this mean to you, PlayStation fans?

This case could have huge implications for the industry. No one is sure what counts as a "violent" game, so the California law would suppress game developers' imagination and right to self-expression. It would also prohibit retailers from selling the games that might be perfectly legal, "just in case."

It could mean an environment where "[Register or Login to view links]" is banned from retail shelves, but the sometimes violent written works detailing Greek myths are still available on bookstores shelves and taught in classrooms.

It's a slippery slope, and the California law is similar to what Congress tried to do to comic books over fifty years ago. In a letter of support for video games, comic book legend [Register or Login to view links] explained:

"A Senate subcommittee investigated and decided the U.S. could not "afford the calculated risk involved in feeding its children, through comic books, a concentrated diet of crime, horror and violence." Comic books were burned... Looking back, the outcry was – forgive the expression – comical. Substitute video games for comic books and you've got a 21st century replay of the craziness of the 1950s."

If the Supreme Court sides against the video game industry, developers could experience a creative chilling effect, because the government could essentially tell determine what games could and could not be created. It would also open up states to pass a patchwork of legislation around the country, requiring publishers to release many different versions of each game they publish.

And, these same restrictions could eventually be applied to other creative mediums like movies, books and music. The result would be a huge foot on the brake for innovation in one of our nation's most dynamic economic sectors.

But there are common-sense reasons to oppose this law as well, most importantly this: The decision over whether to buy a video game or a book or a movie should be made by responsible parents, not the government.

Fortunately, the courts have historically aligned themselves on the side of video games. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals already ruled that the California law is unconstitutional, and every other state and federal court case has ruled in favor of video games as protected speech.

But what can you do while we wait for the Supreme Court's ruling?

The most important thing you can do is join the [Register or Login to view links].

The Video Game Voters Network is a place for voting age gamers to organize and defend against threats to video games. Video games are fully protected speech under the Constitution, and receive the same First Amendment protection as books, movies, music and cable television programs.

The VGVN opposes efforts to regulate the content of entertainment media, including proposals to criminalize the sale of certain games to minors, or regulate video games differently from movies, music, books, and other media.

Join the [Register or Login to view links] today, tell your friends to do the same, and stay current on your gaming rights.

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Comments 13 Comments - Go to Forum Thread »

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#13 - judess69er - 214w ago
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there are ratings on games for a reason if parents are pissed cause the game they bought there kid was to violent or they didn't this it was going to be "that bad" though it's there fault for buying a game with that clearly advertises the rating.

#12 - computers6 - 215w ago
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In most stores around here they won't sell mature games to people under 17 anyways. However the law won't do anything, there was already a law like this passed in 2004 in cali, but it was never enforced. Kids who do play M rated video games usually have their parents buy it for them anyways.

Also violent video games don't cause violence in kids, yes some kids have done violent things and play violent video games but that doesn't mean video games caused the acts of violence. General the people who are violent are violent with or without video games.

Video games are more helpful than harmful as studies show kids who play them have better reaction time and are able to make decisions under stress easier.

#11 - Kraken - 215w ago
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Laws like this keep the ESA busy defending their medium so that they don't have time to persecute their customers like the RIAA and MPAA do. Whichever way the court rules will be bad for us simply because it will end the controversy.

#10 - wiseolddragon - 215w ago
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Even if the new law was actually put in place, the kids who are already playing violent games will CONTINUE to play those games. Why you ask? because nothing will change. kids who are already playing these games don't buy the games, its not like the kids have jobs and make an income. So how do they get access to these games then? THE PARENTS.

This proposal is a stupid idea. This will hurt the industry more than anything at the expense of public tax dollars. The concerned parents who are actually in favor of this law are probably already confining their kids in a 4x4 'play' area.

#9 - trogoldito - 215w ago
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Quote Originally Posted by sykoNsc View Post
umm from what i saw the law is only making it a crime to sell "violent" video games to kids under 18 which i thought was already in effect? is this true or was i misinformed?

You are correct, but it seems like a lot of websites are grossly misrepresenting what this law is for.

I myself have actually read the entire proposition, and nowhere in there does it imply in any way that the sale of violent videogames will be banned in California.

This law would impose a fine upon retail stores for selling violent videogames to children. The parent could still buy the game in question for their children if they so desire. I really don't see how this could be a problem. If you are under age, your parents most definitely have the right to restrict what media you are being exposed to.


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