L.A. Times: Don’t Appeal California Video Game Law to Supreme Court

While Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown ruminate over whether to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court over a 9th Circuit ruling that California’s 2005 video game law is unconstitutional, the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times offers some advice:


From the L.A. Times editorial:

The [California] law raised a multitude of constitutional concerns. First… one of the definitions of "violent" was too broad. A game was violent if a player "virtually" harmed not only human beings but "characters with substantially human characteristics" (good news for centaurs and bipedal hedgehogs). But even when that language was severed from the rest of the law, the appeals court said the statute was unconstitutional…

Important as it is, the court’s legal analysis doesn’t identify an easy alternative for parents who are justifiably concerned about the effects of violent video games, films or comic books on their children. But the primary responsibility for protecting minors from potentially harmful influences lies with parents, as it did long before video games were a twinkle in a programmer’s eye. Parents don’t need a law to urge makers of video games to strengthen their current voluntary ratings systems. More important, they don’t need permission from a legislator or judge to keep an eye on what their children are doing — or playing.

GP: BTW, the pic at left is none other than Gov. Schwarzenegger as portrayed in a violent video game. It’s safe to assume that he was paid for the use of his likeness…

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  1. Zerodash says:

    I fail to see why most pols need to appeal this (or any) game law- they already have something to mention in their campaign ads simply by voting for the legislation in the first place. Mission accomplished. 

    Regardless of whether the law is overturned, they can still make the campaign commercial like thus: "[INSERT NAME HERE] fought for families to protect our children from harmful videogames"  Done.

    The only pols with any real, practical reason to appeal these things to hell and back are the few who are truly pushing the nannystate/theocracy. 

  2. hellfire7885 says:

    The governator was a hypocrit for signing this into law.

    Legislating violent media when he himself made money from violent media.

  3. ZippyDSMlee says:

    It would be easier to have a IQ test for parenting….. IE keep people stile until they show they are capable of parenting right…


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


  4. TBoneTony says:

    I would like to say that the law is not a shickel, it is a sledge hammer,

    and anything that those Christian pandering politicians say does not even take the real law into account.

    Perhaps they need to do their own research into the 1st Admendment and understand that they can’t force anyone to do anything.

    Politicians just don’t understand the 1st Admendment or even they have never even understood a single thing about Videogames to begin with.


  5. PHX Corp says:

    If JT’s Case Comes Crashing down around his ears It’ll be hilarious

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  6. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Here’s hoping they don’t appeal it. Gives Jack more of a chance his case will be heard.

    (Yes, I want them to hear his case. Makes him look even more stupid when he fails.)


  7. HarmlessBunny says:

    Still a guy who made a career making R-rated movies that are incredibly violent and very adult in content advocates what people should and should not watch? Whether his likeness was in Teen rated game…he has Conan The Barbarian, Terminator, Predator, etc etc under his belt.

  8. PHOENIXZERO says:

    Certainly a better example could be used than Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines with the image taken from IGN? With no mention that the "violent game" was rated T. There’s plenty of hypocrisy out there for Ahhnold, why not use something more fitting? Granted IIRC the law would include this game, but still…. It was rated T…

  9. DarkTetsuya says:

    And the budget just passed right? Though the recession’s still going on, so I’d like to think ‘violent videogames’ would be a hell of a lot lower on people’s lists than say, finding/keeping a job. *eyeroll*

    300 Episodes and counting: http://www.orangeloungeradio.com/

  10. Kincyr says:

    maybe their economy’s bad BECAUSE they waste money on crap like this

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  11. olstar18 says:


    Now if only some of their illiterate politicians could get someone to read the article to them.

  12. Cerabret100 says:

    hmmm….major newspaper advocating parents taking charge, and not law making to restrict games.

    Slight amount of disbelief, but good none the less.

  13. Seiena_Cyrus says:

    It’s no wonder California is broke with their stubborn attitude towards this law it’s getting really really old…really fast and I think when it comes up…Arnold and Yee should be outta our government…-_-

  14. Andrew Eisen says:

    The law is unnecessary and here is why:

    -Minors buying M-rated games is very rare to begin with.

    -Most stores have policies not to sell M-rated games to minors.

    -Enforcement of those policies is very good and getting better every year.

    -All games are clearly rated so it’s easy to tell by glancing at the box if it’s appropriate for your child.  You can even look at the box when your kid brings it home from the store.  It’s not too late!

    -All consoles have parental control so if you’re too damn lazy or incompetant to pay attention to what your kids is doing, lock out M-rated games and junior won’t be able to play it even if he does manage to buy it.

    -Rating and content descriptors not enough?  In addition to the new summary at the ESRB site, the web is littered with oodles of info on whatever game you’re not sure about!

    -After all this your kid is still playing an M-rated game?  Don’t worry, contrary to popular belief, it won’t hurt him.


    Andrew Eisen

  15. cppcrusader says:

    I would think the only reasonable thing for them to do right now would be to appeal it.  That way their pretty much bankrupt state can put off paying those industry legal bills a while longer.

  16. MaskedPixelante says:

    Just let it DIE. You FAILED. Give it up, before you waste MORE taxpayer money. Just accept that there’s no chance this will make it onto the 100 cases the supreme court hears a year.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  17. PHX Corp says:

    I think the Guv is not going to appeal it period(due to the Economy being in the shitter)

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  18. babbleon says:

    It’s simple. Want to teach a parent how to regulate what kind of games they play? They should use the parental control settings and set it so that the console won’t play anything over a Teen rating.

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