Pair of Editorials Back California Law

November 9, 2010 -

Two new editorials appearing online today back California in that state’s Supreme Court fight over a law that would make it illegal for minors to purchase mature-rated violent games.

Writing for the Iowa-based Quad-City Times, columnist L. Brent Bozell argues that requiring a parent to buy such games for their offspring is “hardly shredding the Constitution.” He also infers that the videogame industry is hiding behind the First Amendment in order to stop politicians from “tampering with their sales to minors.”

For the game industry, Bozell writes, “there must be no hurdle for children to go around their parents and grab what Justice Samuel Alito called ‘the most violent, sadistic, graphic video game that can be developed.’”

Bozell finishes by asking what the Supreme Court Justices might think about the subject a game entitled “Supreme Court Massacre” existed.

Meanwhile, an unattributed editorial on Tampa Bay Online states that the kind of violent games at the center of Schwarzenegger vs. EMA are “disgusting and of no societal value.” The author feels that “states should be able to facilitate parental control over their children's access to violent video games that could hurt them.”

The TBO piece calls the California law constitutional and a “common sense regulation,” that “bans no speech, affects no adults, delineates its reach and reinforces parents' authority.”


Comments

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

I'm 25, and I'd just like to point out, I STILL GET CARDED WHEN BUYING M RATED VIDEO GAMES! How the hell is this law going to make a damn difference if people already get carded anyways?

----

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

Bozell needs to learn about a little thing called the chilling effect.  This absolutely and unequivocally is a First Amendment issue.

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

What I find funny is that Bozell sits on the board of the Catholic League which has staunchly defended the pedophilia that the Catholic Church has become notorious for. He probably even knows Bill Donahue personally. I've heard that he is also opposed to social security and medicare. From this article I've concluded that Brent Bozell is just as bad if not worse than Jack Thompson.

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

Off topic, but... that picture of Kesha.  I always imagine her smelling of BO, alcohol breath, and urine.  Makes it hard to find her attractive.

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

According to her, the party girl persona is an image she made up herself.  I tend to beleive it as she would listen-in on college lectures while still in high school and got perfect SAT scores.  So she's far from stupid.

That having been said, her songs make for excellent strip club music.  Then again, I think just about any Pop/Dance song that's out now is strip club music.  Which to me either means: 1) The music industry is encouraging their artists to have their music produced in a certain way so that they will play well in strip clubs or 2) I just spend way too much time at strip clubs!

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

Postal 2 keeps getting brought up, which I think is simultanously unfair and fitting. It is unfair because it is hardly the norm, and is deliberately pushing the extreme end of the envelope. I don't see anybody using Saw or Jackass as the measuring sticks for the movie industry, so why should Postal 2 be the poster boy?

And yet, it is still fitting, because when the game was made, the developers knew that the game would be brought up as an example of why video games are turning our children into horrible depraved killers, and satirized it in the game.

And, on a side note, it is a lot like Night Trap: a really shitty game people wouldn't know or care about if the spotlight weren't constantly being shone on it in these hearings.

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

Or the even more recent 25 to life.


Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

Considering Bozell was the founder of the Parent Trash Cult, what he says is hardly surprising.  He's been spouting this kind of drivel for years...

And while the second editorial doesn't say who the author is, considering its origin, it sounds suspiciously like the screed of a certain ex-attorney.

Oh, and props for using Kesha.  I haven't been able to get "Take it Off" out of my head since I heard it!

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

Ooooh, THAT's who he is, I knew the name sounded familiar.

The second editorial is an "official" editorial by the editorial board of the newspaper, which is why it's unattributed.  It's attributed to the newspaper itself.  But yeah, I was saddened to see some urban legends repeated in it.

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

Isn't columnist L. Brent Bozell here missing the point? I don't think too many of us have a hard time accepting that keeping violent games out of kids hands is a good thing. The part I have a problem with is making a criminal out of the employee at Gamestop\Walmart\Target (whatever) who may or may not have been forced to sell that game to a minor by his manager because that particular store needs sales at any cost.

Isn't it the "damned if you do and damned if you don't" agrument for the salesman behind the counter the real crux of this issue?

I see two potential situations:

1. Manager: "You're fired because you didn't sell any copies of "Cooking People with Cthulhu" today!"

    Employee: "But Sir, all we had in the store today was minors!?!?"

-OR-

2. Manager: "You're fired because you sold a copy of "Rapelay Yoga Positions for Beginners" to an under cover cop!"

    Employee: "But Sir, you told me to sell it or else I'm fired!?!?"

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

uhhh no, not even close. Current store policies dictate that selling an M rated game to someone under 17 will get both the clerk and the manager fired. Managers aren't going to try and do that.

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

I don't think I implied that it was policy. I implied that a (bad) manager could ask it of their employee and that the law (if passed) could cause undue penalties to an employee who is just trying to stay employed.

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

You know what else was deemed "disgusting and of no societal value" when it was released?  A little film called A Clockwork Orange.  Today it's considered a modern classic.  Under a law like this, that film might never have been made because of the legal risks involved.  That right there is why your entire argument fails on its face.

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

*sigh* the second piece restated the myth that movies are regulated for violence....

I also find it amusing that the first piece, if you look at the guy's other articles, is a big Tea Party supporter... so I guess he falls into the group that believe the government should stay out of their lives, but it is important for them to restrict OTHER people.

Re: Pair of Editorials By Idiots Back California Law

Since when does Brent Bozell, who looks like a combo of Al Gore and Groundskeeper Willie, have any credibility, let alone his arguments?

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra. Hell will stay frozen over for quite a while since the Saints won the Super Bowl.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Pair of Editorials By Idiots Back California Law

His name is Brent, and he wants to destroy what some youths are into.

Sounds like an 80s movie villain.

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

 I'm still not understanding the anti-games folk insisting the industry is actively trying to sell directly to children.  By this logic, the film industry is deliberately trying to get ticket sales from children.  Hell, even that argument would hold more water because the movie industry releases unrated DVDs all the time!

I would also love to know where all these children are getting their money from.  If it's not from mom and dad, then I think the real issue at hand is underage child labor and not videogame content.

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

Agreed.  It's like what Rob Halford said when Judas Priest was on trial for the suicide of two teenagers.  "Why would we want to kill our audience?"

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

Not to mention that they are completely unaware of the fact that children are protected (and parents empowered to protect them) by the industry's own measures. I'm disappointed that there is no comment facility for the first article, as I would really like to post a rebuttal. Thankfully someone has left a comment debunking the assertions in the second article.

I also don't understand how the second article has arrived at the conclusion reached in the sign-off; “bans no speech, affects no adults, delineates its reach and reinforces parents' authority.” -that is the polar opposite of what it does! It's incredibly vague so we have know way of knowing it's reach (all remotely violent games or just Postal 2?) or whether it will affect adults, and it's likely to be totally ineffectual.

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

From the first article:

(But interfere with their right to fry their minds and there’s hell to pay. Video-game manufacturers don’t want politicians tampering with their sales to minors, so here comes the march of the First Amendment fundamentalists, who argue that the principle of freedom of speech covers the enthusiastic distribution and sale of every kind of child-corrupting media horror. For them, there must be no hurdle for children to go around their parents and grab what Justice Samuel Alito called “the most violent, sadistic, graphic video game that can be developed.”)

Oh NOES SAVE TEH CHILDRENZ!!!1 Seriously, how many times do we need to do this song and dance? Videogames dont turn kids into little serial killers, and how many little kids are actualy going into stores and buying M rated games themselves in the first place? NONE!

(Smith also tried to argue that children’s literature has traditionally involved graphically violent themes. Justice John Roberts, who has young children, shot back: “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 with mercy, being merciless and decapitating them, shooting people in the leg so they fall down.” Roberts was reading from a description of “Postal 2,” a 2002 game often cited as ultraviolent.)

OK this game isn't intended for children in the first place! How is this so dificult to understand?! The only way a kid gets his hands on these kinds of games is if his parent buys it for him without making sure it's apropriate!

(Justice Elena Kagan tried to dismiss the whole content controversy by insisting that “Mortal Kombat” was “an iconic game, which I am sure half of the clerks who work for us spent considerable amounts of time in their adolescence playing.” The message: The kids will be all right.

But “Mortal Kombat” was only “iconic” in that it was a gory first when it debuted in 1992, with game play like decapitations, electrocution and ripping out the still-beating heart of an opponent with bare hands.

It makes you wonder how those justices would feel if the game title were “Supreme Court Massacre.”)

Now this is just a strawman and everybody knows it.

Re: Pair of Editorials Back California Law

Of course, what Justice Samuel Alito called "the most violent, sadistic, graphic video game that can be developed" is a purely hypothetical example and does not actually exist.  But it's VERY important that we protect our children from it.

 
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