Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, Conservative Group Argues in Supreme Court Brief

June 26, 2009 -

The conservative Eagle Forum has filed an amicus (friend of the Court) brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of California's 2005 violent video game law.

As GamePolitics reported last month, California Attorney General Jerry Brown petitioned the High Court to review a U.S. District Court ruling that the state's 2005 law blocking the sale of violent games to minors is unconstitutional. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court upheld the District Court decision in a February ruling.

The family values group, founded by conservative Phyllis Schlafly (left) in 1967, filed the brief on Monday. The document was authored by Andrew Schlafly, son of Phyllis and founder of Conservapedia (sort of the anti-Wikipedia). In the amicus brief, the Eagle Forum lays an array of societal problems at the feet of violent video games: bad grades, violent behavior, poor graduation rates, school shootings, game addiction and even sudden death.

We'll let the Eagle Forum's laundry list speak for itself (with a little help from GP's trusty red pen):

The First Amendment does not render our nation’s youth defenseless against the predatory, billion-dollar video game industry that churns out increasingly graphic blood and gore for impressionable minds to imbibe...

 

The corruption of our nation’s youth with increasingly deviant video games is a matter of national importance. Our nation’s youth is in crisis, by any measure. A calamitous 30% of our nation’s youth fail to graduate from public high school, and only 32% of those who attend public high school are ever qualified to attend a four-year college...

 

A substantial percentage of teenagers are hooked on these disturbing video games, and spend many hours each week playing them. Moreover, mass killings perpetrated by youngsters are frequently linked to addiction to violent video games...

 

The First Amendment does not forbid state legislatures from keeping this harmful material from children. The California legislature, not known to be conservative, protected its youth against the predatory video game industry. It was an error with national implications for the Ninth Circuit to invalidate the California statute...

Violent video games hurt children in two ways. Their increasingly realistic and disturbing images burn into children’s impressionable minds much as pornography does, and the role-playing inherent in a video game causes the child to buy into the rampages of murder and other heinous crimes that he is acting out...

 

The early market leader in video games was Nintendo, which adopted a policy against “excessive blood and violence,” but it was trounced in sales by a 3 to 1 margin by more gory material produced by Sega, and Nintendo learned the message that “violence sells video games to children...”

 

Numerous studies confirm the obvious: violent video games do cause addiction and harm... There has never been a full First Amendment right to flash highly objectionable and disturbing images specifically at children, or to entice them to participate in destructive role-playing behavior...

Displaying a shocking image to a child is conceptually identical to the utterance of “fighting words” to an adult, which this Court famously held to be out-side of First Amendment protection...

The stress attributed to violent video games can even be physically harmful. Eighteen-year-old Peter Burkowski, an avid video gamer, collapsed and died of a heart attack while playing games in an arcade...

 

Children who play violent video games have difficulty obeying authorities, treating peers properly, and succeeding in school...

DOCUMENT DUMP: Grab a copy of the Eagle Forum's amicus brief here.


Comments

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

I thought this was an issue between the State of California and not just the State of Nannies and Ignorant Social Conservatives. Do they have to bother California even though they don't live there? I understand their goal is to give our children flowers and unicorns so that they won't have to see pure reality, everybody gets hurt everyday and people should at least be exposed to video games and violence.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

I just realized something, since this is a Supreme Court decision we're talking about it will effect them, should the case be heard. If they ever want to ban sales of violent games to minors a supreme court decision calling such bans constitutional would make it so much easier to pass (likewise one calling it unconstitutional would make it considerably difficult).

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Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

"Do they have to bother California even though they don't live there?"

yup

Such is the nature of petty moralist, busy body swine. They want to make sure no one can do something they find inappropriate and they're willing to lie through their teeth to do it.

Didn't prop 8 teach you anything (I live in CA and the amount of BS coming from the prop 8 side was staggering)?

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Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Disclaimer: I didn't mean to imply that all who are against gay marraige are moral busybodies, just that there are a significant number of them from Utah (since they funded prop 8 which had absolutely no effect on them)

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

You're absolutely right.  They had no business sticking their noses into it.  However, neither did the wackjobs who started firebombing churches.  And I'll be the first to say that they're wackjobs, and not libs, because I firmly believe that these people are just plain old wackjobs, on either side of the political spectrum.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Everyone is still waiting for you to cite your firebombing claims. Whats your excuse for refusing this time?

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Two words:  Google It.

If I posted a link, you probably wouldn't look anyway, or you'd come up with some smartass comment about how I picked some crappy website.  If you are actually willing to find out, look for yourself.  You see, I actually watch the news on televison, not just looking for stuff on the internet.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

 Tried google, didn't find actual carried out incidents

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

The burden of proof is on you. YOU made the claim, YOU back it up. All you ever do when someone expects you to cite your claims is make excuses and project your opinions as fact. Typical of a fake Marine.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

When have I projected my opinion as fact?  Almost everything I've ever said is my opinion.

Speaking of which, wouldn't calling me a "fake Marine" also be projecting my opinions as fact?

And I explained why I won't post a link.  If that isn't good enough for you, you're merely proving my point about it.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Jedi, I was watching the news the other day, and it said YOU killed a bunch of orphans!! How could you?!

You better provide a link that says that you did or didn't, or else everyone should just assume you killed a bunch of orphans... with diseases!

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

I call you a fake Marine because you lack any and all qualities of an actual Marine, and, like everything else you've claimed on this site, you have refused to prove it. Every time someone calls you out on one of your claims, you whine, complain, bring out your persecution complex, and expect everyone else to look up and prove your claims. That's not how it works here, or anywhere else. If making outlandish claims and expecting everyone else to provie it "proves your point" then your sense of logic is seriously more warped than imagined.

 

What is it with conservatives always refusing to back up anything they ever say?

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Mmm... As a liberal, let me just say, LOGIC IS AMAZING. I love logic, it feels soooo goood... Thank you, Mr Pat, for giving me that nice dose of logic.  However, conservatives like mister moronic jedi, there, don't like logic. They recoil in fear, when logic is introduced to an argument. Pathetic Really.

Like everyone else before me has said, Jedi.. The burden of proof is on you. Until you provide us a link from a reputable news source (NOT the Drudge Report, in case you were thinking it.), it didn't happen.

The best part about this is that you won't provide a link, thus proving once and for all that you are a lying, ignorant, conservative blow-hard with no facts to ever back up your opinions. Next time, before you go about making outlandish claims about things that never really happened, how about you take your head out of your ass, and realize that most of us here are smart enough to see through your bullshit lies.

GOD DAMN, I love it when a conservative destroys his credibility.. (Not that conservatives have much credibility to begin with..)

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

I had to reply to this, because the irony was so thick I thought I was going to choke on it.

"However, conservatives like mister moronic jedi, there, don't like logic. They recoil in fear, when logic is introduced to an argument. Pathetic Really."

This is commonly known as argumentum ad hominem, or, attacking the man. Instead of adressing a point, you adress the individual and what you perceive as faults in an effort to discredit him.

 

"Like everyone else before me has said, Jedi.. The burden of proof is on you. Until you provide us a link from a reputable news source (NOT the Drudge Report, in case you were thinking it.), it didn't happen.

The best part about this is that you won't provide a link, thus proving once and for all that you are a lying, ignorant, conservative blow-hard with no facts to ever back up your opinions."

This is known as argumentum ad ignoratium. You assume that because something has not been proven true, that is has been proven false. Should jedi provide a link? Of course, but the assumption that something is false due to a lack of evidence is a logical fallacy.

"Next time, before you go about making outlandish claims about things that never really happened, how about you take your head out of your ass, and realize that most of us here are smart enough to see through your bullshit lies."

A combination of ad hominem and argumentum ad ignoratium here.

"GOD DAMN, I love it when a conservative destroys his credibility.. (Not that conservatives have much credibility to begin with..)"

Also known as argumentum ad odium, or an appeal to spite. You are relying on other people's existing distaste for conservatives in order to make an argument which consists purely of ad hominem to begin with.

The amount of logical fallacies in your post is staggering, to say the least.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Lying blow-hards come in all shapes including liberal so knock off the liberals are all so great with logic crap.

Although whenever someone makes a claim they themselves have to back it up, I find it amusing that people who are on sites where you can post links always say just google it. If it were that easy why don't they just do it and post the links they find?

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Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

I'll do whatever I damn well please, thank you very much.

According to what I've observed in my life, my comments are perfectly accurate. I've yet to find a conservative who relies on logic and thinking to come to thier conclusions. That being said, I also know that liberals can fall down that line too, but, to my ever growing amusement, it happens so much more often on the other side. And it is fun to watch.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Opinions are nice and all, but when it comes to an interpretation of facts, your opinions suck. Your opinion or belief as to why you shouldn't post links is a bad one.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

 This isn't youtube, you can freely post links. Hell, the fact that you have yet to post a link just shows you are making shit up. Which is kind of obvious considering I've been paying attention to this series of events months before November 2008 started began, to this day, every piece of news pertaining to the Prop 8 vote and the aftermath has been accounted for. To this day, no church has been firebombed because of it.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Again, Link Please.

Firebombings didn't happen. Again, the moron church certainly deserved it, but it didn't happen. Even if it did, it certainly wasn't widespread. But, like I said, you probably won't find a link to a story about a firebombed church because of Prop 8, so your comments are pathetically invalid.

Edit: Just noticed an entertaining typo in my comment, but I'll leave it there, since Moron and Mormon are interchangable with respect to prop 8.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

True. I remember during the Propr 8 fiasco that people reported seeing picket signs that said "End the hate, vote Prop 8."

If you have to lie to the faces of people you aim to "save", when you are doing the exact opposite, or are just out for your own interests.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

What I've learned about the people who were for Prop 8 didn't seem to understand that gay people could marry somewhere else and a church would not get sued, which was totally false. There was too much pressure from people who didn't live in California and pretty much all around the country giving money to fund the Yes side and even on the No side and telling us to vote for this. The problem I've had with the No side was that they seemed disorganized and choatic, but I don't mean that in a bad way, like they just ate too many Twinkies. What I mean is that the Yes side seemed to be capitalizing on how mean and how destructrive the people who are for gay marriage. You've might have heard people taking their Yes on 8 bumper stickers from their cars or writing grafitti or people's garages who have the Yes on 8 on their lawn.

I also learned that the sky will not fall if there were to be gay marriage and God will not burn us in hell if we lose the term, "One man and one woman". I was so annoyed by that. They also said something about democracy for them since the majority of people voted for no gay marriage. They seem to be shouting out words like 'Democracy' or 'Freedom' in the midst of winning the Yes vote. They were also saying something about the interference of government or limited government and gay marriage.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

The argument trhat if we have gay marraige it will piss off God and he'll kill us all seems loony to me (for lack of a better term).

Europe had gay marraige and so did some other states, God hasn't smote them yet.

Although forgetting gays for a minute why hasn't God smited certain Middle East regions for banning Christianity and punishing Christians? Certainly that would deserve God's wrath far more than gay marraige, and yet it hasn't happened. So I don't think we need to worry about God crushing all of our society for disobeying him or something.

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Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

So were the firebombings of churches by gay people because Prop 8 didn't go the way they wanted.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

 Just because you claim churches were bombed doesn't mean it actually happened.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

 "Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings."

I love irony. I really do, because this is grade A stupidity right here. Plain and simple. Here's a tip, don't make extremely outlandish claims without sources while using a signature that denounces people for doing so.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Indeed, I heard of signs being stolen and some vandalism but this is the first I ever heard of a fire-bombed church.

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Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Source Please.. I don't remember such a thing.

There were protests, yes, but I hardly think that level of violence happened.. (No matter how much the mormon church deserved it..)

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

It was all over the news for about ten minutes.  The day after they didn't get what they wanted, they went into Nevada and started firebombing churches, because they believed that these particular churches were to blame, because apparently Californians can't make up their own minds.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Link Please, it wasn't that far ago, IF it happened, then it is probably in the archives still. The worst that happened was some signs were stolen and a giant foam cross was forcibly taken from a stupid little old lady and smashed. (She deserved it, too..)

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

"A substantial percentage of teenagers are hooked on these disturbing video games"

So how much is a substantial percentage? 30%? 2%? They don't actually bother posting stats so who knows how much it really is.

Methinks it's a low number or that they don't have any stats since they would've actually posted stats if they had a high number.

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Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

They probably think that any more than 15 minutes a day constitutes and addiction...

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

 Where are they getting these numbers for graduation rates?  On the Dept of Educations website the national graduation rate for high school students is approximately 75%.  Granted Nevada's dropped down to 57% so maybe they should just stfu and worry about their own state. 

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

A nutjob-moralist keeping their noses out of other people's business!?!? Unthinkable!!!!11!!!1!1!11

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

TL; DR

 

But really, that conservopedia is such a bunch of bullshit. I hate it when special interest groups put together information purporting to be accurate and honest while spewing a lot of bullshit. The sad thing is, a lot of people will not see it for what it is and believe what they read.

You read about the "liberal-controlled" media and you can just feel they wanted to throw the word Jew in there. Just keep in mind that in a generation all this will be water under the bridge, and a third generation that has grown up with video games will tell these people to fuck off and die.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Considering most of the "liberal media" doesn't care about Jews all that much, I'd say that comment isn't apt, but we all could only hope for what is promised by your final statement.

Also, I find it funny that people say conservatives are trying to undermine President Obama's policies, but this seems to run right along side his anti-gaming comments as of late.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

What "Anti-Gaming" comments?

These ones where he's suggesting parents get thier kids to exercise more, so they don't get fat? Or what about the ones where he suggests that parents make sure thier kids do thier homework before playing games? What about the one where he suggests they take them to do some charity work, rather than play games?

You mean those comments? Those comments that, honestly, are damn good parenting advice? What the hell do you want him to say? "Hey, Parents, forget all that good advice I was giving you, you should make sure your kid plays at least 8 hours of video games a day! That way, he can be fat and stupid, which is exactly the kind of person we need more of in this already awesomely fat and stupid country!"

Disclaimer: I know games themselves don't make you fat and stupid, but sitting down all day, playing games, and not studying or doing homework will certainly contribute to that.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

You can't expect me to believe that you're too stupid to see that as a cover for him to try and get his own version of control over the gaming industry, can you?  Obama lovers cite all of the things Bush said in order to get the Patriot Act passed, and the fact that people who dissented were told by Bush supporters, well, something very similar to what you're saying to me.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

...I'd be laughing at this if you weren't so pathetic.

See the comment right above mine, and think about it.  Think harder.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Now come one, do you really think Obama is looking to legislate games? This is obviously a rhetorical device used to drive home his point.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Okay, put your head in the sand, but when it happens, don't say I didn't warn you.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

And this is why I have no respect for conservatives. Especially people as stupid as you. You are an IDIOT of the Nth degree. Just... Stop..

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Doing homework or studying doesn't contribute to losing weight.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

It certainly contributes to good grades.. How about we stay on point here, and don't intentionally misinterpret my words, ok?

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Proving once again that 'moral' groups and "family values" groups are willing to publish bold-faced lies if it'll get them their way.

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Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Kind of ironic, huh?  What really sucks for me is that I am a conservative, and these idiots open their mouths, so I call them out for their idiocy (it's what I do), getting either a) being called a liberal fascist for daring to question these psycho special interest group outliers, or b) not listened to at all because I'm a conservative, thus making me a fearmongering warmongering Bush worshipper who want another 9/11.

Go figure.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

"Family values" is a joke if the ideas are very specific, because every child is different and there are many different ways to raise a good child.

GameSnooper

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

Exactly.  But don't let uber-cons and uber-libs hear that, cuz the cons'll torture you n the libs'll write you a strongly worded letter, as they take your children away because you're a bad parent.

 

Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone's feelings.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

What's the status of the state's appeal? Aren't amicus briefs usually submitted once the court decides to grant certiorari? My computer was down for a time some weeks ago, so did I miss anything as to whether the Court granted or denied cert, or are we still waiting to hear?

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

No. They can be submitted while the court is deciding to hear the case. If it is submitted during that phase, the court will use that as part of the decision to hear it.

The Eagle Forum is most likely trying to paint gaming in a bad enough light to convince the court that there is a big enough threat to actually rule on it.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Video Games Are Equivalent to Fighting Words, ...

"The Eagle Forum is most likely trying to paint gaming in a bad enough light to convince the court that there is a big enough threat to actually rule on it."

which won't work, instead it'll backfire (thier psycotic comments (combined with CA's Rant filled Cenatori) are going to be the end of the video game law appeal(Like a certain disbarred attourny for the same rant filled comments when he did the same when he appealed his license to SCOTUS only to be denied because of such comments))

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

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

 
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