In a rare victory for the free exchange of ideas, the supreme court today struck down a California law restricting the sale or rental of violent video games to children citing that governments had been vested with the power to “restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed.”
Writing for the majority, the courts practical and should-be chief justice, Antonin Scalia went so far as to say that children’s fables (Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel , Snow white) were just as violent, saying “Certainly the books we give children to read – or read to them when they are younger – contain no shortage of gore.” All logical arguments aside, the legal argument for the majority in the 7-2 ruling was “No doubt a state possesses legitmate power to protect children from harm… but that does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed.” There’s no indication that this is going to extend 4th graders the right to buy a copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, as the California law in question only restricts access to “violent” video games, but sexual content is not addressed; so it’s possible that we could still see a ban on the selling of sexy video games.
Assuming that this ruling sets precedent, we could soon see games like “call of duty, modern rapefare” and “Ted Bundy’s pro stalker” in the hands of confused 4 year olds and socially awkward 15 year olds. It’s only a matter of time before the Westboro Baptists Church spouts out something ignorant and illogical, and the next school shooting will no doubt be blamed on our Godless supreme court/legal system/Nancy Pelosi/Kenyan Muslim President; our future generation will inherit mountains of debt, and crippling psychosis. So as we embrace the coming apocalypse, let us congratulate the video game industry at large for winning the right to spread to gospel of bloodlust to a broader audience…
In reality this ruling doesn’t amount to anything. Before it was legislated, video stores and retailers were already restricting access to games and the only real danger was that a kid would figure out how to buy games online, steal their parent’s cards and intercept the mail everyday for the nest 3 weeks, or just have normal parents who aren’t afraid that Halo 3 turns kids into thoughtless killing machines. The unforgiving fact that we need to face is that if sales figures are any indication, kids are much more interested in Italian Plumbers, Digital Chihuahuas, and failing at dancing like Michael Jackson. There’s a reason every game trailer and title card disclaim that “online actions are not rated by the MSRP,” because the real threat to our kids is how horrible adults are to them (and not just online).
Gaming brings out a very immature and insecure part of human males, who berate, curse at, pick at, and belittle tweens and children on games like Halo and Call of Duty to the point of child endangerment. Imagine when you were a kid and you wanted to fish, or drive or cross dress just like your father or grandfather or whomever you looked up to… With so many absentee and divorced parents, older gamers are our kids role models, they want to grow up to be like the prickish cretin on the other end of the server cussing out “n00bs” and taking out all of their insecure anguish on the world around. Our society has become so self-important that we’ve forgotten that we have kids to look after (it takes a village…) and we’re surprised that they grow up to be monstrous and lazy.
I’ve heard it said, by conservatives mostly, that you have to have a license to catch a fish, but any idiot can pro-create; and while it’s obvious and seemingly insignificant, that’s factually true. We shouldn’t be upset that governments have refused to raise our kids for us, we should rejoice that the government has given up a very small part of it’s hold on our culture. It’s not often that I feel anything but antipathy for politics these days, but if you have kids, and are honestly scared that if the guv’ment don’t tell your kid what games to play he/she is going to become a serial killer, you should have your rights to speak, vote and procreate revoked…