The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that laws passed in the state of California mandating games be labeled and strict age requirements are unconstitutional, going against free speech.
Surprisingly, three judges ruled unanimously against the mandates, agreeing that violent video games haven't been proven to cause psychological harm to young players. This has been an ongoing debate for many years. Gamers themselves likewise argue that the violence they experience in video games don't carry out with them into real life interactions.
"Even if it did, the Act is not narrowly tailored to prevent that harm and there remain less restrictive means of forwarding the state's purported interests," the court said.
There have been crossed opinions on how to judge whether a game is "too violent" and up until now, a private group of officials have been the judges behind the labels. The court judges however, said that the labeling and requirements unfairly allow the state to label games, barring them from sale to minors.
If I remember correctly, the first time I played Super Mario Bros. on my NES, I was killing many things, and most of them animals. But clearly, it was all for a good cause of saving a princess in distress. The essence of SMB was that you had to "eliminate" the baddies. I still play violent video games today, as well as other genres, but I don't become violent against other people.
Unfortunately, examples such as the kid who shot his parents, killing his mom, for vengeance over the opportunity to play Halo 3, doesn't bode well with state legislators.
If you're a gamer, do you feel playing violent video games influences your behavior and temper? What do you think about restrictive laws on video games?