Governator vows to appeal ruling striking down video game law
'I'll be back'
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vowed to appeal a federal judge's ruling striking down a state law that prohibits the selling or renting of violent video games. The decision, issued in a case brought by video game industry groups, said the restriction violated the freedom of speech provision in the US Constitution.
In 2005, Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law that required publishers to put an "18" label on games that were deemed to be violent. The law provided for fine of as much as $1,000 for anyone selling or renting such games to a minor.
In a 17-page ruling issued Monday, US District Judge Ronald Whyte permanently blocked the law, saying he had not found sufficient evidence supporting the state's contention that violent video games cause minors to behave violently.
"The court, although sympathetic to what the legislature sought to do by the Act, finds that the evidence does not establish the required nexus between the legislative concerns about the well-being of minors and the restrictions on speech required by the Act," Whyte wrote, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Schwarzenegger, who was personally named in the lawsuit, criticized the ruling.
"I signed this important measure to ensure that parents are involved in determining which video games are appropriate for their children," he said in a statement. "Many of these games are made for adults, and choosing games that are appropriate for kids should be a decision made by their parents."
Federal judges have struck down similar laws in other states, including Michigan, Washington and Missouri, according to the San Jose Mercury News. ®
Re: Parent's decision?
As is obvious, this is not taking power away from parents, but giving it to them. They can still buy the games for their kids (unless the parents are also under-age). All it's doing is stopping the kids getting said games without their parents knowing.
Too much power to the courts
Why are the courts ruling on these kinds of issues. Surely it's up the the legisalature to make the laws and the courts to interpret, rule on. Not deem if a law is legal or not.
As for the guy who said Government should get out of peoples' lives, I agree I would leagalise everything including prostitution and drugs however kids DO need to be protected and I don't trust parents to do it - alot of them are kids themselves. And those kids that are badly parented are going to grow up and rob or shoot me.
First he says he wants the decision to buy games made by the parent, then he signs a bill that takes the decision process out of their hands?
So which is it - have parents decide what's appropriate for the kids to watch and play, or have the government do so?
As far as I'm concerned governments are already too far in our faces, and need to be smacked back out. Any judge that does this, even if the law he smacks down makes sense to some degree, deserves a fucking medal.
It's time for people to start paying attention to what all their representatives are up to. Interfering in our private lives is not what these idiots were voted in to do.
Soon parents will be brought to justice for letting their kids run around - on the basis they might fall over and scrape their knees. You might think I'm taking things too far, but that's already what's happened with daycare facilities. You can't led kids ride motorised 1mph, 18" of the ground vehicles, jump on trampolines, play in more than 2" of water, have a swing set without 4" of gravel or that artificial bouncy crap they have in school playgrounds in the US.
The list goes on. Everything a kid touches must be pre-washed with bleach, however using antiseptic cream on a cut is not allowed because it's dangerous. You may not use the word "punish", it's called re-direction, and having a misbehaving child stand in the corner for 5 minutes is now cruel and unusual punishment. Apparently parents are no longer allowed to just find a safe place for their kids to stay while they go to work, and with the rules these imbeciles keep inflicting on child care providers, soon there won't be any unless you work 9-5. Daycare centers are the only places that warrant such scrutiny, because most providers should be the equivalent of dropping the kids off at grannies. Why? Because that's a healthy environment for them to grow up in. Not some center where they are bullied, aren't properly fed and aren't taught how to behave.
You smoke in your home, and you're not allowed to have your grandchildren visit - even if you don't smoke while they're there (that's Anchorage - but I'll expect that one in all states within a few years). You can drive with a latte and a hamburger in each hand thru New Jersey, but a cigarette is too distracting and will result in a fine.
So like I said, any judge that slaps government back into its place deserves to be lauded - regardless of the law. And its time for people to start informing their elected representatives that if they continue this business of poking their noses into our private lives, they'll be out of job after the next election.
While participation in the ratings system is voluntary, there are two primary issues involved with using it:
1) Who Watches the Watchmen?
The ratings boards are independent organizations that do not need to follow any sort of standards, except what they determine for themselves. What used to get an X movie rating, "The Last Tango in Paris" comes to mind, may now get an R rating ... depending on the board's whim. Similarly, a video game that gets an AO rating could get an M rating, next year ... depending on that board's whim. It's a big part of the movie business to deal with the ratings board, and probably the same for the video game industry, and to modify the content of the film/game to gain the desired rating.
2) No rating = limited distribution
Despite the "voluntary" nature of the ratings system, without a rating a movie will have extremely limited distribution options, as almost every major showcase demands a rating. Similarly, video games that are unrated will not be carried by the big distributors. As such, it is usually imperative for a movie or game producer to get their product rated according to their target market simply so their product gets distributed, and makes a return on the investment. DVDs released post-big screen obviously can tap an additional market of fans looking for "extras" that might be found in an unrated version, even though the "unrated" version may only include a couple of scenes that were excluded from the film release for plot or continuity reasons.
Requiring that certain classes of video games only be sold to people over 18 years of age has never been part of the game industry's structure, unlike in the movie industry where R and X ratings pose similar limitations. This new requirement is what is being fought over, as the game industry seeks to retain their options for releasing whatever the heck they want and forcing parents to become involved, rather than making it a legal requirement enforced by shop owners. Currently, any kid can purchase an AO-rated game without any approval from anyone but the shop owner. If the proposed regulation goes into effect, the shop owners would need to begin "carding" their younger customers who want to buy a restricted game, and they would be subject to legal penalties (fines and possible operating license restrictions) if they didn't conform, just like in a liquor store or with cigarette sales.
Re: Now i'm confused
Well, Dubja made president. I don't think you need to be all that bright to get somewhere in the US. I also don't think you need to be all that clever to win Mr. Universe or Mr. Olympia. As to Hollywood; Tom Cruise and John Travolta. 'Nuff said.