The Escapist magazine has a new video on Free Speech and Video Games. It’s actually a srs business video discussing the fact that California’s law preventing minors from purchasing video games with “violent conduct,” basically claiming that video games contain zero artistic value, and they “do harm” to minors. Go, watch it, then come back.
What, I’m not going to go on until you watch it.
Sorry, I can’t embed it, just click the link.
okay. This video is actually pretty important material. If video games can be censored for “harming children,” who are “clearly unable to make choices for themselves,” where does that leave the rest of pop culture material?
In the first place, if you are a minor, why do you have real purchasing power? Minors, those under the age of 18, generally speaking, can’t hold jobs. Without being able to hold a job, how do they have money of their own? Allowances? Parents, in my opinion, should be monitoring what their children are spending their money on, because there is no law saying you have to give a child an allowance. If your 12 year old is using his monthly allowance to purchase a violent video game, I think you should know this!! How is your 12 year old getting to the store? How are they coming home and playing that game without you, as a parent, knowing?? They don’t! They can’t! They’re CHILDREN.
So lets say your minor is 16 years old and is working at ShopRite. Or wherever. Sixteen, a whole two years younger than eighteen, is a world of difference. Yet, part of what I mentioned before still stands. How can you have no idea what kinds of entertainment your child is choosing? And, as a parent, isn’t it your responsibility to control or influence that in some way? Or decide that your child is indeed mature enough to play this game and be fully aware that they aren’t going to go out and blow people away because that’s what they do?
Beyond that point, in general employees at game shops will often advise parents of the content of a game if they know that the game is being purchased for a minor. Games also have a rating system from the ESRB. Games are rated Early childhood, Everyone, Everyone over the age of 10, Teen (13+), Mature, Adults Only, and Rating Pending. It’s not like this rating is obscure. It is denoted on the front of the game, and EXPLAINED on the back of the game. Parents who are too ignorant to see this shouldn’t be blaming the game for being violent, they should be blaming THEMSELVES for NOT SEEING the fact that the game CALLS ITSELF violent!
If games are going to be censored or controlled by the government, then what says that other forms of entertainment, such as movies, COMICS, books and television are not going to become targets of this kind of legislature? If games harm minors, who can’t make decisions for the good of themselves, then why don’t comics fall under that? Why are movies exempt? They are….for now. But if this follows through, it opens the door for censorship across all entertainment genres, and sets up a legislation that permits violation of the First Amendment of our Constitution. Which is definitely Bad News Bears.
Essentially, I don’t understand why this case is making it to the Supreme Court. It simply, logically, legally, makes no sense. If you’re interested in hearing more and/or helping the cause, please visit this site: www.theeca.com.