Hey IT Nerd – What Do You Think About Video Game Bans Being Struck Down?

I have to admit that I was surprised by today’s decision to strike down bans of any sort when it comes to the sales of video games to minors. Here’s what The Globe And Mail had to say:

The Supreme Court rejected California’s argument that the Constitution’s free-speech guarantees under the First Amendment do not prevent a state from prohibiting the sale of violent video games to minors under 18.

“Our cases hold that minors are entitled to a significant degree of First Amendment protection. Government has no free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which they may be exposed,” Justice Antonin Scalia said in summarizing the court’s majority opinion from the bench.

Wow, that’s remarkably forward thinking. Here’s more forward thinking via the CBC:

The court said the U.S. has no tradition of specially restricting children’s access to depictions of violence.

“California’s claim that ‘interactive’ video games present special problems, in that the player participates in the violent action on screen and determines its outcome, is unpersuasive,” the ruling added.

You know what that means. If parents really want to stop their kids from playing Duke Nukem Forever, Team Fortress 2, or Call Of Duty: Black Ops, the answer is simple. They have to be parents and govern what their kids do. They have to say no when the cool new video game hits the shelves. They have to find other activities for their kids to do. They have to limit how much their kids play their Xbox 360, Wii, or PS3.

In other words, parents have to be parents. What a radical concept.

So what do I think of this decision? I think it’s good. I think it is the only logical decision. As I type this, people are not going to be happy. But once the smoke clears, people will see that this is the right call.



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