Video Games and The First Amendment

Posted: November 14, 2010 in family law
Tags: , , , ,

As a grandmother, I have witnessed some of the games mentioned in this article and agree that some of them are violent. Do I want to be the grandma run down in the street by the wild teenager in the car? Of course I don’t. (You know what I am talking about if you have ever seen or played Grand Theft Auto). Do I want the government telling me what my grandchild can or can’t rent or buy? No, I don’t. I think as adults it is our duty to teach our children and grandchildren the difference between real life and video games. My grandson loves Grand Theft Auto, or at least he used to. He got bored with it pretty quickly. I also watched him play it and we talked about him running grandma over in the game and what would happen if he did that in real life. Grandma doesn’t get back up and wait for the next car to come and run her over in real life, lol. I don’t worry that my grandson will grow up to be a violent man because he played these games. I worry more about the gangs in his school and the violence he witnesses in real life more. How about you?

Amplify’d from www.nytimes.com
If the Supreme Court renders justice in a case it heard this month, Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association, it will strike down a California law barring the sale or rental of violent video games to anyone under 18. That would end a violation of free expression — but not prevent the states from finding other ways to support parents who do not want their children to play violent games.
Restricting the content of games, however, would mean adding to the short list of expression excluded from the First Amendment’s protection. Just last April, the court said the Constitution does not permit the government to impose a restriction “simply on the basis that some speech is not worth it.”
But in an opinion from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturning the California law, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said that the 1968 ruling dealt with “a sub-category of obscenity — obscenity as to minors.” It “did not create an entirely new category of expression excepted from First Amendment protection.”

“We do not have a tradition in this country of telling children they should watch people actively hitting schoolgirls over the head with a shovel so they’ll beg for mercy,” he said. He concluded sternly, “We protect children from that.”

He is right, society can protect children from that. Narrowing the First Amendment is not the way.

Read more at www.nytimes.com

 

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