When The ESRB Can’t Do Its Job

The United States Supreme Court has recently undergone a brutal debate in regards to censorship in video games.  There were arguments made against this law, asking where the line is drawn in censorship.

The turmoil started in 05′ when governor Schwarzenegger signed the Assembly Bill 1179 into law on Oct. 7, 2005. The law  currently restricts minors from purchasing (but not playing) video games that are rated M for mature. There is a $1,000 maximum fine for anybody caught selling these games to minors. Before the law took effect, the Entertainment Merchants Association filed suit. They argued that this law violates the first amendment and is illegally vague.

Those pressing for censorship want to file depictions of violence in video games under “unprotected speech”. However, The Supreme Court is wary of creating new types of unprotected speech. Earlier this year, plans to classify depictions of animal cruelty under unprotected speech was stricken down.

In defence, Justice Sonia Sotomayor was quoted “You are asking us to create a whole new prohibition which the American people never, never ratified when they ratified the First Amendment. They knew . . . obscenity was bad, but what’s next after violence? Drinking? Smoking? Movies that show smoking can’t be shown to children? Will that affect them?”

They have yet to come to a conclusion, and there are solid arguments on both sides. Further coverage of the case can be found here at http://www.rcfp.org/newsitems/index.php?i=11619.

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2 Responses to When The ESRB Can’t Do Its Job

  1. omedina49 says:

    I believe that people should be fined for selling these type of video games to under age children. They should be accompanied by an adult or parent because they are the ones raising their children and should have control over what they see. Also, some children can play violent video games and leave it as that , a game, and others cannot. That is why it should be a parents choice if a child can or cannot purchase a game.

  2. kaygilbert334 says:

    Who do you think are buying these games and giving them to children?

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