Fed. Appeals Court Rejects California Game Law

We feel like we've been here before, and in fact, we have. Sort of, at least. The same hotly debated video game law in California has come to the forefront of attention once more, with a federal appeals court striking down the law that sought to bar minors from purchasing or renting games that were deemed too violent. The 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the original 2005 law "violates minors' rights under the Constitution's First and 14th amendments." The three judge panel's unanimous ruling upholds an earlier ruling in the United States District Court.

If it would have passed, the law would have prohibited the rental or sale of "violent" (who determines that, we wonder?) video games to anyone under 18. Furthermore, it would have created "strict labeling requirements for video game manufacturers." Judge Consuelo Callahan stated that there were simply better and less restrictive ways to protect minors from violent games, most notably, to give parents the ability to block certain rated titles on game consoles. The decision makes a strong stand to say that the government doesn't feel that it should be determining what a minor can or cannot handle in terms of violence within games, and we must say that we completely agree with that notion.

Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat and child psychologist from San Francisco, had this to say on the matter: "We need to help empower parents with the ultimate decision over whether or not their children play in a world of violence and murder." We concur on all points. If the government were allowed to determine a threshold of acceptable violence here, what else could it begin to regulate? We shutter at the mere thought of that.