Supreme Court Ruling on Violent Video Games: Where Does the Responsibility Lie?

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling nixing the ban on "ultra-violent video games," one local mom says free speech has been taken too far this time.

Call of Duty, Halo and Grand Theft Auto in whatever lastest incarnation and sequal numbers they come in are all video games that contain a rating of T (for teenagers) to M (for mature audiences). All of them contain writing on their labels that warns of content unsuitable for children.

But, thanks to a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, that won't stop video game retailers and renters from selling and renting said games to minors.

On Monday, the high court of the United States struck down a California law that would ban the selling or renting of violent video games to minors citing that the law is unconstitutional based on the rights of free speech and expression.

Other language in the law, which required strict labeling for video games was also deemed unconstitutional.

In a story reported by www.msnbc.com  Justice Antonin Scalia said "Our cases hold that minors are entitled to a significant degree of First Amendment protection. Government has no free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which they may be exposed."

What? No, seriously what?

 Besides the fact that the members of the Constitutional Congress could not have possibly imagined the idea that someone would willingly and for pleasure reenact the horrors of war (ie, Call of Duty), television and video games could not have been a glimmer of an inkling of a spark of an idea (not even for Benjamin Franklin) when the Bill of Rights was introduced.

But aren't we glad that all encompassing First Ammendment can be so broadly interpreted today *sarcasm alert*?

I suppose it oughtn't be such a shocker. One only need to look who is behind the curtain, and a thinly veiled one at that, to understand what is going on here.

The video game industry is a 10.5 billion dollar a year money making machine, so it is no surprise that the imaginative geniuses behind these games are the ones who opposed the law.

Just think, if you need parental permission to buy a certain video game it could potentially become much more difficult for a purchase to be made if at all.

I personally feel that this a blatant waste of time and energy on the part of the Supreme Court and another example of people failing to do what is right while hiding behind our rights.

But then again Justice Scalia does have a point. It isn't the governments' place to restrict, or shall I say shield, the ideas that our children are exposed to. In fact I think the current feeling of our country is that we would like very limited government involvement in pretty much everything.

If that is so, then where does the responsibility fall? It doesn't take a genius to see where I am going with this.

Video games violent and non are not going away anytime soon and it is clear that we are not going to get any help from the government so, like every other moral and ethical teaching, it begins at home.

Only you the parent can decide what sort of content you will allow your children and teenagers to view and partake in, to purchase and play. It probably goes without saying that, although we would like to, we can't shield them from everything.

As parents though we are tasked with teaching our kids a certain amount of morals and instilling in them the ability to make good choices.

I would hope that whatever you decide to allow in your home it is always accompanied by open and honest conversation concerning the ideas that are presented and their basis in unreality and entertainment.

That is the kind of free speech I can get behind.

Ariel Carmona Jr June 28, 2011 at 06:18 PM
The responsibility obviously lies with the parents. There is violence all around us, just turn on the evening news, it's one long laundry list of crime and violent acts. The parents have to stand vigilant if they expect their kids to turn out OK.
MellowMaverick June 29, 2011 at 01:30 AM
Ariel is correct. My son played a few games that might have been borderline when he was younger but I limited his use and monitored games closely. I'll never forget buying a WWII game that was rated "T" (teen)and the clerk (a lady) at WalMart in Glendora asked my son if Jesus would want him to have that game. (He looked younger than he was) We bought the game. The clerk is still there too....my son has turned into a wonderful adult................life goes on........


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