Opinion: Games Don’t Deserve Protection

The Star Press (which describes itself as the "news source for East Central Indiana") writer Jeffrey M.. McCall pens a two-page editorial called "Violent video games not an issue worthy of First Amendment protection," in which he attempts to lay out a case for Schwarzenegger v. EMA.

First, an explanation as to what the author thinks the entertainment industry really wants.. apparently it isn’t freedom of expression:

"As usual, when it comes to controversial media content, the entertainment industry is trumpeting its First Amendment rights — in this case to market violent video games to minors. Don’t be fooled, however; these media producers have no real interest in First Amendment philosophy. They only want to make as much money as possible, even at the expense of our kids’ emotional development."

The next paragraph shows that the author is going by what the State of California said before the Supreme Court, and not his own first-hand experience with games. He talks about "Postal," a game that no young kid in America wants to play:

"The games in question feature graphic portrayals of violence, carried out by the video game players. Police officers are shot. Women are decapitated. Shooting victims have gasoline poured on them and are set ablaze. The shooters urinate on their victims."

The author goes on to cite data from the PTC’s secret shopper program and recaps all the negative moments the game industry faced in front of the Supreme Court. In the end McCall believes that this case is really about money and not about First Amendment rights.

You can read the entire thing here.

McCall is a professor of communication at DePauw University in Greencastle, and the author of the book "Viewer Discretion Advised: Taking Control of Mass Media Influences."

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  1. Kajex says:

    Similar to how some people pull out Phantasmagoria as a relevant game, even though that was made in the mid-90’s.

  2. vellocet says:

    He’s just old and out of touch… poor guy.

    Must be tough sitting on your porch shaking your cane at things you don’t understand nor partake in and being left behind by the world.



    Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

  3. Bennett Beeny says:

    "The games in question feature graphic portrayals of violence, carried out by the video game players. Police officers are shot. Women are decapitated. Shooting victims have gasoline poured on them and are set ablaze. The shooters urinate on their victims."

    Yet strangely, no police officers are shot. No women are decapitated. No shooting victims have gasoline poured on them and are set ablaze. Shooters never urinate on their victims. Why? Because it’s a GAME. No one gets hurt. There is no more violence in Grand Theft Auto than there is in a game of Dominoes.

  4. Erik says:

    This crap is just beyond retarded.  The First Amendment  is specifically FOR situations such as this.  "This is bad so it should be banned" is the very central pillar to censorship!  No one has ever wanted to ban something that they did not think was wrongbad.  So everyone who has ever wanted to censor anything believes exactly as this person does.  Which is why the First Amendment was put into place to begin with.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  5. potatojones83 says:

    the entertainment industry is trumpeting its First Amendment rights — in this case to market violent video games to minors.

    WRONG!!! The industry is trumpeting it’s First Amendment rights to create games and works of art as they see fit. They are trumpting the right to use their creative voices without undue harassment.

    Guys like this seem to forget, or simply don’t realize, that in the brief history of video games up to this point, they have never been made exclusively for children. Look at all the sex games the Atari 2600 had. And even before that there was an arcade game that was controlled by fondling fake breasts.

    As for the "marketing violent video games to minors" part. WRONG!!! Now I’ll admit that I don’t watch today’s kids shows, or shows aimed at kids. But I’m pretty sure I’m not going to turn on an episode of Avatar: The Last Air Bender, Wolverine and the X-Men or whatever happens to be popular and see an ad for Call of Duty: Black Ops. And I’m damn sure I won’t be seeing one for Postal!!

    "But they show those ads during sporting events, like the World Series or the Super Bowl, and kids watch those so they are marketing towards minors". So, does that mean we’re marketing male enhancement drugs and beer to minors as well? Cause I certainly see more than my fair share of those ads during those events.

    Just like books, movies, music and TV, not every single game that is made is made for kids. And until an ad for Halo: Reach or Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood shows up during the latest episode of Yu Gi Oh, you need to stop with this whole "marketing violent games to minors" thing.

  6. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    You can thank Leland Yee, PR wizard for that. He can pull out games from obscurity like no one by using them as cannon fodder for his retarded anti-games rethoric. It´s super effective!

    ———————————————————— My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

  7. CyberSkull says:

    The shooters relevant to kids now? Black Ops and Halo: Reach. Trotting out the Postal games just doesn’t cut it.

  8. NecroSen says:

    A professor of communication who does not see how the same arguments would seem ludicrous if he replaced "game" with "movie" and, instead, described any of a number of unrated DVDs that have been appearing on store shelves for years now?

    This hypocrisy blows my mind. Thank Kratos I’m sitting down.

  9. Avalongod says:

    I love how people state their opinion is "common sense"…igorning that the idea is controversial in scientific circles…so as to imply that any difference of opinion must be illogical. 

  10. LegendaryGamer00 says:

    Hold the phone there man, I’M Anti-Capitalism and I 100% disagree with this douchebag.

    Better yet, how the hell is this Anti-Capitalism?

  11. Neeneko says:

    Ah.. ‘common sense’.. the code word for saying that you have absolutly nothing to back up your opinion but want people to take you seriously anyway…

  12. Cheater87 says:

    This would NOT let adults buy the games at all. It would be a banning on them as well since no store would sell a game the government says is obscene. Just like how porn films are banned form just about all stores so they can keep a family friendly image.

  13. Zerodash says:

     I don’t really give a shit about what the industry wants.  I want my personal rights to choose what media I consume and create.  This is about having the government get their foot in the door and regulate content.  

    I’m still amazed by this sort of logical fallacy: the idea that every time an entity has a monetary interest in something, that that thing must automatically be bad.  

    These particular journalist then should have no problem with the government running the press.  After all, the news outlets have a vested economic interest in a free press to produce news content.  Because these media outlets benefit economically from free speech, then a free press is therefore bad.

    Another thing I don’t get from this journalist and others of their ilk is this idea that "the children" are somehow the principal money source.  $60 is a lot of money, and children sure as shit don’t carry that kind of grit around to a point where they are keeping the industry solvent.  Its ADULTS who even have the kind of disposable income to do so.  If games were mostly $5-$20 affairs, then perhaps the industry is supported by kids.  

  14. Avalongod says:

    I think I’ve heard of this guy.  One of the "old school" of thought like Anderson.  Ironic he takes the EMA to task for not paying attention to the research but he fails to note how often Anderson has been criticized by scholars of late, nor does McCall note the increasing body of research finding no link between games and youth violence.

    Just embarassing to science…

  15. GrimCW says:

    trouble is, even if that were the case, and i probably is.

    the laws would inhibit private citizens rights to make any sort of games of their own for any reason.

    and given the popularity of politcal games atm among other types, this would basically say that these forms of expression should be deemed illegal, since they aren’t expression of anything.

    but isn’t an expression of violence still an expression we all must face from time to time? be it verbal, physical, or virtual?

    it’d also make silly little titles like "Gerbil in a Blender" from joe cartoon illegal under the terms of being animal cruelty.

    to boot, it’d allow for an open hail storm against most other media types, especially in the movie industry, since their content is similar, and getting moreso as 3D FX gets better.

  16. Kincyr says:

    by his "logic", neither do movies, music, or television

    岩「if Phyllis Schlafly wants to undo Women’s Rights, she should lead by example and get back in the kitchen」

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