Skip to main content

Judges Ruled: Game Laws are Unconstitutional

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?

  • antilycus
    i think that, AGAIN, all of these politicians are a complete waste of space. WHY DO YOU VOTE THESE LOSERS INTO OFFICE? If you don't like what they are doing, VOTE THEM OUT. Here in WI, we have a man hater that is going to be a judge because nobody will vote against her (and there is a running mate). She's already ruined a few family by putting male drivers of car accidents (with no blood or acohol in their system) in jail for 25-45 years... because of an ACCIDENT...

    The parents of these families have nobody to blame but themselves for not voting AGAINST this judge.
    Reply
  • SneakySnake
    doesn't affect in the slightest
    Reply
  • JDocs
    Dumb ass laws. What makes people violent is the lack of tough laws against violence. Financial crimes seem to be punished far more seriously than violent crimes. I can get money back but my life is a once off thing.
    Reply
  • dark_lord69
    I agree with the judges. I am a gamer and I have been playing games my whole life. I like very violent games. Ya, know, use a shotgun to blow someones leggs off and hear them scream. But even though I like games like that doesn't mean I'm dumb enough to doing anything like that in real life. I am probably one of the most passive quiet people you'd meet. Lets not forget the fact that other countries have the same video games and don't have the same issues with kids blaming games saying I just did like the video game.. That's total BS. Next time I get pulled over I'm just gonna tell the cop oh well it's not my fault I was playing need for speed and he will say "OK, I'll let you go cause we all know it's the video games fault you were speeding".
    Reply
  • JDocs
    Lol no blood or alcohol? Sounds like he was to dead to go to jail :P

    However it is sad what happened!
    Reply
  • Darkness Flame
    The first truly violent game I ever played was Halo back when I was 12. Compared to a lot of other games, even around that time, it wasn't overly violent. However, it was the first one with an M rating. All I can say is going through "The Library" in the middle of the night with all the lights around me turned off scared the crap out of me for a while.

    Regardless of that, I actually felt that I could handle my anger and rage better after playing games like Halo. So, all in all, no downside from my experiences ... well ... other than just losing some sleep at times.
    Reply
  • spikey_monkey
    My first experiences with video games was also SMB but shortly after, the first Doom. I had to have been 6 or 7 at the time, killing demons from hell in bloody glory. I can honestly say today I abhor violence in the real world and can never justify harming another person, physically or emotionally, other than in self-defense.
    Reply
  • jhansonxi
    This debate has been raging ever since Spacewar! was created:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacewar!

    That was 1962. Considering what the 60s were like you could theorize that video games promote drugs but not violence.
    Reply
  • tayb
    Not only have I found video games to never incite violence but they have actually been a very effective means of taking out my aggression. Funny...
    Reply
  • NuclearShadow
    What I find odd about the whole debate is that the other side acts as if violence has never existed or even to such levels before when video games existed. The truth is the world is much less violent than it is today than it was anytime in the past. Even our wars today have much less casualties than any other period of history.

    Also our definition of children has become anything less than 18 here in the US. However this isn't recognized everywhere and most likely no where in the else past. Children in the past have been known to be violent and young teens would even serve in armies and die on battlefields throughout history. So certainly we can't blame video games or any other modern type of hobby or activity for the violence we see today in our youth.
    Reply