Sunday, August 30, 2015

Rate, don't ban, video games

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger shouldn't reinstate a law in his state banning kids' purchase or rental of the games.

Rate, don't ban, video games

In this video game image released by Electronic Arts, the character Eddie Riggs, voiced by actor Jack Black, left, is shown in a scene from the game, "Brutal Legend." (AP Photo/Electronic Arts)
In this video game image released by Electronic Arts, the character Eddie Riggs, voiced by actor Jack Black, left, is shown in a scene from the game, "Brutal Legend." (AP Photo/Electronic Arts)


Shouldn’t the Terminator be a character portrayed in a violent video game, rather than the guy who’s out to ban the games’ sales to minors? It’s certainly an out-of-character role being played by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who plans to dispatch lawyers to the Supreme Court in November to argue for reinstating a law in his state banning kids’ purchase or rental of the games.
Schwarzenegger says he’s acting with a parent’s eye toward protecting children from violent images. State officials’ contention is that the video-game industry’s rating system doesn’t serve as enough of a deterrent to keep kids from getting their hands on violent games. Trouble is, California’s well-intentioned 2005 law pretty clearly runs afoul of constitutional free-speech protections. Along with similar laws in several other states, the statute has been upended by legal challenges.
In a February decision striking down the law, a federal appeals court also said that the law was overkill. For one thing, the court ruled, there was no “causal link between minors playing violent video games and actual psychological or neurological harm.” More importantly, the judges concluded there are less restrictive ways to keep the games away from children — such as the ratings that already warn parents about a game’s content.
A quarter-century ago, Tipper Gore urged that the music industry be forced to slap warning labels on songs with explicit lyrics. Congress wisely deferred to voluntary industry efforts, and now such helpful ratings are commonplace. That’s where the high court should come down on California’s video-game ban.
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

The Inquirer Editorial Board's Say What? opinion blog showcases the work of the editors and writers who produce the newspaper's daily and Sunday opinion pages.

Find out more about The Inquirer's Editorial Board here.

The Inquirer Editorial Board
Also on
letter icon Newsletter