An editorial penned by California State Senator and anti-game crusader Leeland Yee says that parents should be able to control what kids watch, but how parents come to that conclusion is the probably a sticky subject for many of our readers.
In the editorial Yee says that California has "been hard at work trying to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent video games. In the Legislature, we have attempted to give greater authority to parents in determining which video games are appropriate for their children."
He is of course speaking of the law they passed five years ago that was ultimately struck down by the courts shortly thereafter:
"In 2005, I authored a law to prohibit the sale of extremely violent video games to minors. The video game industry immediately sued the state, preventing the law from being enforced. The law has since been litigated all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, with justices expected to make a ruling in the spring."
Yee goes on top talk about various studies "by the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association" that conclude that "adolescents who play violent video games may become increasingly aggressive over time."
Naturally, Yee doesn’t mention the data on the other end of the spectrum that comes to contrary conclusions about playing games and agressive behavior.
Finally after quoting SCTOUS justices that were supportive of California’s position, Yee says that he is hopeful:
"I am hopeful that a majority of justices will agree that parents – not retailers or game makers – should determine which video games are appropriate for kids. A ruling in favor California’s law will not only ensure that parents make such decisions, but will help protect our children in the years to come."
You can read the entiure editorial here.
Commentary: Edirtotials may sway public opinion on a subject, but it is rare that they sway the courts. Besides, the piublic is much more concerned about staggering levels of unemployment and run-away spending in California, than it is about passing a law to do a job that is already being done by retailers and the ESRB ratings system.