Supreme Court to Weigh in on Violent Video Game Debate

Supreme Court to Weigh in on Violent Video Game Debate

You've heard all the arguments before: violent video games are corroding our youth, Grand Theft Auto makes kids want to beat up pedestrians, Doom and other first person shooters corrupt young minds into going on shooting sprees, and so forth and so on. The Supreme Court will hear these same arguments and decide whether a California ban on the sale of violent games to minors is unconstitutional.

Why now? You can thank California's governator, otherwise known as Mr. Universe, Conan the Barbarian, and The Terminator, to name just a few of Arnold Schwarzenegger's more popular alter-egos. At heart of the issue is a 2005 ban in California on the sale and rental of violent video games to children under 18, which also ordered game makers to post explicit warnings on game boxes. The law would later be overturned by a lower federal court and then again on appeal in February 2009. At the request of California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Supreme Court next month will step in and offer a definitive ruling in a case dubbed "Schwarznegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association."



In filings with the court, attorneys for the state of California argue that the ban was based on medical and sociological studies that "establish a correlation between violent video game play and increased automatic aggressiveness, aggressive thoughts and behavior, antisocial behavior, and desensitization to violence in minors and adults." These are the very arguments you hear every time a new study comes out criticizing violent video games, which is usually followed by a counter-study suggesting otherwise.

Stay tuned folks, this one's going to get awfully interesting.
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"In filings with the court, attorneys for the state of California argue that the ban was based on medical and sociological studies that "establish a correlation between violent video game play and increased automatic aggressiveness, aggressive thoughts and behavior, antisocial behavior, and desensitization to violence in minors and adults.""

Let me guess, movies don't do these things to minors? I blame the desensitization of violence on Hollywood. Look at horror movies, they are way worse than any video games I have played.

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I wonder if any of the Supreme court justices have ever played a computer game in their lives....

“Computer games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music”

-Gareth Owen

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@Gibbersome:

Roberts and Sotomayor would have been in their 20's when Space Invaders started getting popular - so it's possible that they wasted a quarter or two. Maybe not.

Let's hope they take good counsel. I don't need any laws to tell my kids what they can't play: that's my job.

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Violent video games have opened doors to just how creatively violent I could ever want to be. Personally, I love playing Just Cause 2 and grappling people to a plane as it takes off the runway. I love driving insanely fast in GTAIV and then swerving into the sidewalk to see how many people I can hit. Sometimes when I do that I pretend like I'm a bowling ball and those pedestrians are the pins. I love the thud that the bodies make against the hood of my car. I laugh whenever I shoot and kill somebody and the rag doll physics make their bodies do something comical.

Get real.

Video games create an alternate reality to where we can do things that we normally couldn't. So do dreams. So do movies. 

I make movies because it gives people an escape. I can tell a good story and they can revel in it. 

But once the game is saved, paused, or done, and once the credits roll, it's back to reality. 

If you can't determine the difference, then I blame both the parents and the child. 

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