California’s video game law has reached the high court. On Nov 2, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the law’s constitutionality.

Supporters of the law say it “facilitates good parenting” & keeps minors safe. Opponents say there’s no conclusive evidence that violent video games harm minors.

I happen to be one of the opponents of the law. Why? Several reasons. 1: Movie retailers are less effective at keeping mature flicks out of the hands of minors than video games retailers are. 2: Why hold one section of the entertainment industry to different standards than another i.e. movies vs video games. There are other reasons, which you can read in a previous post.

As I mentioned in a previous post, video games, like movies, have their own ratings system. The latest data I could find shows that this system, along with parents & retailers, keep age inappropriate games out of the hands of minors about 80% of the time, even though it’s not illegal. A store can use these ratings suggestions to decide if they sell these games to minors or not. And if they do sell the games to minors, then the responsibility falls to the parents to know what their kids are doing & if it’s appropriate to do so.

California’s law takes that responsibility away from parents & grants it to government officials. Why should it surprise me that they’d do that, though? This coming from a state that has a county that banned toys in McDonald’s happy meals. 

Other industries, even scientists, are coming to the aid of video games. Scientists are handing over evidence that violent video games have no harmful effects on kids. The motion picture industry sees the implications of the law on their industry if the law is found constitutional & are running to defend video games.

I pick on CA, but several states (including my own) have tried this approach with video games. And each & every time, the state Supreme Court found the laws unconstitutional. But CA’s the only state to take the case to the US Supreme Court. 

Why would a cash strapped state enact a law that could piss off a $20 billion industry? Hey video game makers: come to Tennessee. The auto industry found out we’re more company-friendly. Energy companies are moving to the South. Even some tech companies are realizing this. 

For a more extensive write-up, check out this month’s issue of Game Informer. To let lawmakers know where you stand, check out G4TV has some good write-ups on the case, too.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Whichever side you’re on, I want to know why you’re in favor of or opposed to the law.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by, Michael Carr. Michael Carr said: Video Games Supreme: […]

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