California Appeals Videogame Law to Supreme Court

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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California Appeals Videogame Law to Supreme Court


The state of California has appealed a ruling against a 2005 law restricting the sale of videogames to minors to the Supreme Court of the United States [http://www.supremecourtus.gov/], the first time a case dealing with the constitutionality of violent videogames has ever been taken to the land's highest court.

Sponsored by vocal game critic and California State Senator appealing Whyte's decision [http://dist08.casen.govoffice.com/] to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court, which upheld the original ruling.

Despite the repeated losses and numerous similar decisions in other states throughout the Union, Schwarzenegger has elected to take his appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. "I signed this important measure to ensure parents are involved in determining which video games are appropriate for their children," Schwarzenegger said in a press release [http://dist08.casen.govoffice.com/index.asp?Type=B_PR&SEC={EFA496BC-EDC8-4E38-9CC7-68D37AC03DFF}&DE={D7CF72C1-9B38-43AE-94ED-5203B301F673}]. "By prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 and requiring these games to be clearly labeled, this law would allow parents to make better informed decisions for their kids. I will continue to vigorously defend this law and protect the well-being of California's kids."

Echoing Schwarzenegger's comments, Yee said, "I am hopeful that the Supreme Court - which has never heard a case dealing with violent video games - will accept our appeal and assist parents in keeping these harmful video games out of the hands of children. I believe the high court will uphold this law as Constitutional."

"The video game industry should not be allowed to put their profit margins over the rights of parents and the well-being of children," he continued. "The multi-billion dollar video game industry relies on the revenue generated by the sales of these extremely violent games to children; thus they have the desire and resources to fight this cause at every turn. Despite their high-priced lobbyists, they were unsuccessful in the Legislature and despite their high-priced lawyers, I am hopeful they will inevitably face the same fate in the courts."

The Entertainment Software Association, which has led the legal battle in support of the First Amendment rights of videogames, issued a statement in response to the appeal saying, "California's citizens should see this for what it is - a complete waste of the state's time and resources. California is facing a $21 billion budget shortfall coupled with high unemployment and home foreclosure rates. Rather than focus on these very real problems, Governor Schwarzenegger has recklessly decided to pursue wasteful, misguided and pointless litigation."

"We are confident that this appeal will meet the same fate as the State's previous failed efforts to regulate what courts around the country have uniformly held to be expression that is fully protected by the First Amendment," the statement continued. "California's taxpayers would be better served by empowering parents and supporting the ESRB [htp://www.esrb.org] rating system."

The appeal will not necessarily be considered by the Supreme Court, however. The state has filed a writ of certiorari to be considered by the court and, as happened with Jack Thompson's recent failed appeal [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/89829-Jack-Thompson-Appeals-Disbarment] of his disbarment, if less than four of the nine judges on the Supreme Court vote to hear the appeal, it will come to an end. Unlike Thompson's appeal, however, this one may have the legs to make it; battles over the First Amendment protection afforded to videogames have been hotly contested in numerous State courts and the opportunity to settle the issue once and for all might be one the Supreme Court is willing to embrace.


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CoverYourHead

High Priest of C'Thulhu
Dec 7, 2008
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By prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 and requiring these games to be clearly labeled
Um... they already are. Have any of these people looked at a video game box before? The rating is right on the front. And legally people cannot sell games to people under the age of the ESRB rating.
 

Cpt_Oblivious

Not Dead Yet
Jan 7, 2009
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CoverYourHead said:
By prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 and requiring these games to be clearly labeled
Um... they already are. Have any of these people looked at a video game box before? The rating is right on the front there. And legally people cannot sell games to people under the age of the ESRB rating.
I'd expect the Governator to know these sorts of things.
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
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I find this ironic coming from Arnie. This is a guy who pretty much made his name by acting as a super-hero to kids in ultra-violet blockbuster movies. I mean crud, I grew up watching the guy pretend to decimate bad guys in movies long before I was 18... well that is when he wasn't the Bad Guy (gogo Terminator).

Yet this is the guy who is opposing violence/action directed at kids?

What about the video games based on HIS movies over the years. Oh, granted most of them blew utter chips, but they were still out there, and were not exactly known for their non-violent, educationally oriented content. :/

I'd actually write him a letter, but he'd never read it, or care if he did. I'm in Connecticut and my vote isn't even a factor.

Ah well, I guess Republicans can disagree with each other. What we need is the second coming of Charlton Heston! Firearms education in school! A gun on every hip. Let's make the issue irrelevent. (yes, I'm very pro-gun as well as supporting violent games).

>>>----Therumancer--->
 

scotth266

Wait when did I get a sub
Jan 10, 2009
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CoverYourHead said:
By prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 and requiring these games to be clearly labeled
Um... they already are. Have any of these people looked at a video game box before? The rating is right on the front there. And legally people cannot sell games to people under the age of the ESRB rating.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Is there a link to describe what this law does specifically? I'm no law expert, but I'd like to be able to rip it apart properly.
 

ssgt splatter

New member
Oct 8, 2008
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xmetatr0nx said:
I think hes confusing the video game industry with Sky Net...

Honestly he has more important things to worry about, like how financially fucked our state is. Stop wasting time with stupid crap model T-800, thats an order!
LOL
 

Meado

New member
Apr 27, 2008
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It'd be cheaper to hire someone to go to every house in California with a copy of an 18 game, slap each person they finds across the back of the head, thrust the case in their face and yell "Don't buy an 18 certificate game for your kids!"
Okay, not cheaper, but more fun!
 

Avatar Roku

New member
Jul 9, 2008
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CoverYourHead said:
By prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 and requiring these games to be clearly labeled
Um... they already are. Have any of these people looked at a video game box before? The rating is right on the front. And legally people cannot sell games to people under the age of the ESRB rating.
Being fair, they can legally sell M games to kids, but they aren't stupid enough to. It's store policy for basically every game retailer to follow the ESRB, but it isn't law.
 

Nuke_em_05

Senior Member
Mar 30, 2009
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Malygris said:
"I signed this important measure to ensure parents are involved in determining which video games are appropriate for their children," "By prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 and requiring these games to be clearly labeled, this law would allow parents to make better informed decisions for their kids. I will continue to vigorously defend this law and protect the well-being of California's kids."
All makes sense, but already done, see: ERSB and the little warning that comes up on the register when someone tries to buy it. EDIT: I understand that ERSB is not law, but most retailers, and all that I've come across, use it with store policy regarding sale to minors. So while not law, it still works. Would it hurt to make it a law? No. If it's this big of a deal to make a law of what is already generally accepted, is the time and resources worth it? Also no.

Malygris said:
"...assist parents in keeping these harmful video games out of the hands of children... The video game industry should not be allowed to put their profit margins over the rights of parents and the well-being of children, the multi-billion dollar video game industry relies on the revenue generated by the sales of these extremely violent games to children; thus they have the desire and resources to fight this cause at every turn. Despite their high-priced lobbyists, they were unsuccessful in the Legislature and despite their high-priced lawyers, I am hopeful they will inevitably face the same fate in the courts."
Corporate america... global warming... rabble rabble rabble. Hooray for ignorant hate-mongering. Based on the way he talks he probably belives that they eat babies too. The "they" are organizations made of individuals who also have families and children too, and aren't out to get kids hooked on violence so they can make more money. They work with ERSB to try to keep violent games out of the "wrong" hands. Money-wise, their biggest concern is probably piracy by adults. I base this on pretty much the grapevine, news reports I've read, and my own reasoning, but it's probably more reliable than the orifice from which the senator is pulling his information.

Would the senator like to talk about that multi-billion dollar industry known as the United States government that wastes billions bailing out large corrupt and irresponsible companies with taxpayer money? No, probably because like many politicians, he's a rich kid with his second beach house in Florida fund locked away in those stocks. Read: Stereotyping and generalizing based on little to no actual information, not so fun on the receiving end.

Malygris said:
"California's citizens should see this for what it is - a complete waste of the state's time and resources. California is facing a $21 billion budget shortfall coupled with high unemployment and home foreclosure rates. Rather than focus on these very real problems, Governor Schwarzenegger has recklessly decided to pursue wasteful, misguided and pointless litigation... California's taxpayers would be better served by empowering parents and supporting the ESRB rating system."
Agreed.
 

Frank_Sinatra_

Digs Giant Robots
Dec 30, 2008
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Tinq said:
I'm pretty sure this calls for a bigger label on the box and bigger sanctions for people who sell the games to minors.
How about a video game box that has the name of the game and the rest of it is the rating. It would save on box art costs.
 

Nuke_em_05

Senior Member
Mar 30, 2009
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Frank_Sinatra_ said:
Tinq said:
I'm pretty sure this calls for a bigger label on the box and bigger sanctions for people who sell the games to minors.
How about a video game box that has the name of the game and the rest of it is the rating. It would save on box art costs.
That. Also, even if reasonably larger, is there anything to indicate that bigger labels would help? Even if bigger labels and better sanctions are the answer, wouldn't the resources be better allocated in maybe working with the game companies, ERSB, and vendors rather than literally making a federal case out of it?
 

Frank_Sinatra_

Digs Giant Robots
Dec 30, 2008
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Nuke_em_05 said:
Frank_Sinatra_ said:
Tinq said:
I'm pretty sure this calls for a bigger label on the box and bigger sanctions for people who sell the games to minors.
How about a video game box that has the name of the game and the rest of it is the rating. It would save on box art costs.
That. Also, even if reasonably larger, is there anything to indicate that bigger labels would help? Even if bigger labels and better sanctions are the answer, wouldn't the resources be better allocated in maybe working with the game companies, ERSB, and vendors rather than literally making a federal case out of it?
No, no, no we can't do that because it makes sense and this is politics.
 

Nuke_em_05

Senior Member
Mar 30, 2009
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What gets me is that it is being publicized as "big bad video game companies are out to corrupt our children with violent video games". One, we don't need any more of that, video games haven't been proved to cause aggresssion, only increase it in already aggressive personalities, violent video games aren't the only video games, not all gamers play violent video games for the violence. Two, the video game companies aren't "out to get the children". Three, this isn't a "State of California vs Video Games case". This is the legislature writing a law, the executive branch signing the law, and the judicial branch determining it to be unconstitutional, and now they are appealing it to the highest level of the judicial branch. This is an internal government affair. The Supreme Court will determine if such a law is constitutional, not whether or not video games are evil. Regardless, all we will hear is about the "evil violent video games" and "our innocent children".
 

Nuke_em_05

Senior Member
Mar 30, 2009
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Frank_Sinatra_ said:
Nuke_em_05 said:
Frank_Sinatra_ said:
Tinq said:
I'm pretty sure this calls for a bigger label on the box and bigger sanctions for people who sell the games to minors.
How about a video game box that has the name of the game and the rest of it is the rating. It would save on box art costs.
That. Also, even if reasonably larger, is there anything to indicate that bigger labels would help? Even if bigger labels and better sanctions are the answer, wouldn't the resources be better allocated in maybe working with the game companies, ERSB, and vendors rather than literally making a federal case out of it?
No, no, no we can't do that because it makes sense and this is politics.
Dang it! I forgot about that... silly me and my reasoning.