Remember the California video game law? The one that wants to restrict violent video games? Well it’s back, and it may even go as far as the US Supreme Court. More in the full article.
Who can forget the bill proposed by California Assemblyman Leland Yee (now a state Senator)?
It sought to restrict the sale or rental of video games that are classified as “violent” especially if such games are offensive and that the violence is especially heinous, cruel, or depraved in manner.
This bill was signed into law by the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The law has been described unconstitutional, and gaming institutions were quick to act in countering the law, putting it under preliminary injunction, and eventually a permanent injunction. But it seems that California isn’t calling game over just yet, as they are appealing the ruling made by the lower court in 2007.
The 9th US Circuit Court isn’t expected to be able to rule immediately on the matter after today’s hearing. California Deputy Attorney General Zackery Mozzarini compares restricting violent games to limiting access to sexual content, describing that the violent video games are just as obscene. The San Jose Mercury-News reports that Circuit Court judges, however, are more inclined to uphold the 2007 injunction.
“What you are asking us to do is go where no one has gone before,” Judge Consuelo Callahan said to the state’s lawyer. “Admittedly, the violent video games are disgusting, But aren’t you just trying to be the thought police?” The video game law raises plenty of issues which go against the First Amendment, and the appeal has to come up with heavier arguments to challenge its unconstitutionality.
It sure doesn’t look like that the loser in these new proceedings is going to give up. San Francisco‘s ABC-7 reporter Terry McSweney comments, “Both sides agree that whoever loses is going to appeal this thing and it’s going to end up in the US Supreme Court.”
Vowing to vigorously defend this law, the Governator said, “Many of these games are made for adults and choosing games that are appropriate for kids should be a decision made by their parents,” on a comment back in 2007.
The Governator said it himself, it should be left to the parents. He may have wanted the law implemented, but if parents don’t want their kids playing GTA and the sort, then they should be the ones to filter their kids’ games. While it’s true that video games may affect behavior, implementing this law would not be fair to those who could handle violence better than the others.
Six similar laws have been overturned in the US, and we expect this one to have the same result.
Via Game Politics