MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame Law Fight

May 28, 2010 -

In what can only be categorized as "no great shock to our readership," Michigan State University law professor Kevin Saunders will help the state of California when the Supreme Court revisits Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association later this year. Saunders will help co-author an amicus brief to help California’s position when arguing its case before the U.S. Supreme Court during its 2010-11 session, which begins in October. As you probably already know, Saunders testified during the 2005 California State Assembly Judiciary Committee hearings on the issue at the invitation of Leland Yee. His arguments were obviously against the industry and for the law written by Yee.

Saunders' statements on the matter almost sound like the ECA's, EMA’s or the ESA's position:

"Parents need to play an active role in deciding what is appropriate for their children."

No disagreement there. But then he makes it sound as if the law helps to insure that universal truth:

"This law would leave it to parents to buy the games they will allow their children to play, taking the decision out of the hands of retailers."

This is an odd statement considering that the decision has always been with the purchaser and not the retailer - especially parents. No laws are required to make this possible. Retailers follow ESRB guidelines and require proof of age - as warranted - to buy "Mature" rated games. In fact, data from the Federal Trade Commission's Dec. 2009 news release, "FTC Renews Call to Entertainment Industry to Curb Marketing of Violent Entertainment to Children," indicates that the industry and retailers are doing a pretty good job of self-regulation:

"..Further, retailers are enforcing age restrictions on the sale of M-rated games to children, with an average denial rate of 80 percent. The report notes, however, that children may be able to obtain M-rated games by, for example, using retailer gift cards online."

Other entertainment industries had lower rates of rejection, according to that same release: the movie industry turned away 72 percent of underage movie goers from "R" rated movies; while seven in 10 underage shoppers were able to buy CDs with a Parental Advisory Label from retailers.

None of that matters to Saunders; this is a way to help execute a long-held belief that the First Amendment should have an exception when it comes to violent content, just like the court has recognized sexual content in some cases. Saunders has argued for years that the "obscenity exception" to the First Amendment should be extended to violent material.

Likewise, the State of California argues that violent games have "no redeeming value and should not be entitled to constitutional protection." The Yee authored law restricted the sale or rental of violent video games to anyone younger than 18. The law broadly classified violent content as "depictions of violence in games that are offensive to the community" or violence in an "especially heinous, cruel or depraved’ manner."


Comments

Re: MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame ...

The law broadly classified violent content as "depictions of violence in games that are offensive to the community" or violence in an "especially heinous, cruel or depraved’ manner."

& isn't it only offensive when the community complains about the content numerous times? But it would also be wrong to let the parent play the game, but then get mad at the child(ren) for playing the game or else them using offensive language.......then that would be wrong. B/c the child(ren) is only seeing & doing & saying what the parent is doing. Monkey see, monkey do.

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame ...

Translation: "I am going to help California spend more money it doesn't have to defend a useless law that a government official is trying to pass only for brownie points with lazy parents"

Re: MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame ...

"Parents need to play an active role in deciding what is appropriate for their children."

Last time I checked, Parents already had the ability to do this.

Re: MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame ...

Yup and even if your kids gets their hands on an innappropriate game there's things you can do to make sure they can't play it (at least at your house).

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame ...

Unless you don't give two craps about your kids and are too worried with your own life than your childs.....

Re: MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame ...

The unspoken assumption here is that violent videogames are harmful - an assertion that has never been shown to be true in any study whatsoever. You can care a lot about your kids and still let them play a violent videogame, because we have no evidence showing that violent videogames are any more harmful than cuddly teddy bears.

This is a witch hunt mania. We should not be encouraging the witchfinders by agreeing with their premise.

Re: MSU Professor Backs California in Upcoming Videogame ...

This is the same moron who created a Book about Regulating Violence as obscenity

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

 
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Sora-ChanTestTube did a video on the Trans-Pascific Partnership https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W4Zc55pCtY04/01/2015 - 4:06pm
ZippyDSMleepicking up The Feminist Wire , Mary Sue and Feminist frequency , a shame FF had to close down comments, I tend to drop anyhting that dose not allow comments these days but as seeing how much spam and trolling they get I will it slide.04/01/2015 - 4:03pm
ZippyDSMleeOkay now that I can understand, I was focusing on total outcome not just reinforcement.So its about reinforcement of poor feelings/behavior than anything else..now I get it....uhg forest for the trees.....04/01/2015 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenBut again, to be clear, that does not mean consuming violent media will make you violent.04/01/2015 - 3:46pm
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ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen Okay so would that be like violence something that has a loose tie to the real world, or would that be an oversimplification?04/01/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenThe Mary Sue reports on all kinds of fun, geeky stuff from news to movies, video games, comics, science and more.04/01/2015 - 3:42pm
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Andrew EisenYes, kind of. Repeatedly hammering home that men are the default and women are the exception can help reinforce that idea in real life. Does that mean playing fantasy games staring male leads is going to make an individual a raging misogynist? No.04/01/2015 - 3:41pm
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ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:So a wide use of generic tropes about male leads makes it easier for males to dominate females, and females feel lesser beings in real life?04/01/2015 - 3:36pm
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ZippyDSMleeanyone know if feministfrequency has a newsletter or update notification via the blog system they use?04/01/2015 - 3:31pm
Andrew EisenIf you're referring to the ending of Sarkeesian's latest video, no. What she said was the idea that men's experiences are universal is reinforced when the overwhelming majority of archetypal fantasy heroes are male.04/01/2015 - 3:30pm
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ZippyDSMleeSo most people see male elads are powerful figures and women leads as something only inspiring to females? No wonder I am screwed up I do not see any of that I can sub one for the other on the fly and notice no real change. Like change Duke Nukem to fema04/01/2015 - 3:24pm
 

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