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.