Hey GPers! Up for some opinions on the recent Supreme Court decision that gave Leland Yee’s violent video game law the Kuribo Boot?
Grand Theft Childhood co-author Cheryl Olson wrote in the New York Times that “the most harmful assumption in the California law is that we know enough about the effects of video games to recommend policy solutions.” More research needs to be done and we need to be “willing to consider that video games may have potential benefits as well as potential risks.”
Delaware Online finds some of the most violent games “anti-social and repugnant” but agrees with the ruling. While the publication encourages parents to keep those games away from kids, it doesn’t “encourage legislators to make laws to enforce our views on responsible parenting.”
George Mason University senior researcher Adam Thierer (a name that has popped up on GP several times) writes at the Technology Liberation Front that Leland Yee and Common Sense Media’s James Steyer showed poor form “claiming that just because many of us (or the Courts) do take these rights and responsibilities seriously that it somehow means we don’t care about our children or that we only believe these things in order to make corporations happy.”
First Amendment attorney Steven Helle opines at the Chicago Tribune that “much speech is protected that is not wholesome or uplifting. The court was merely saying that the choice as to whether to engage in or receive such speech should be made by us, not by government.”
A Taiwan news show I’ve never heard of (but might check out in the future) uses computer animation to detail the Court’s decision. Justices with machine guns. Yeah, watch it.
G4’s Adam Sessler posted a 15-minute Soapbox covering his thoughts.
IGN has supportive statements from several big name industry folks. Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two’s Strauss Zelnick said, “We are pleased with the decision… which reaffirms that freedom of artistic expression is protected by our Constitution… With that said, we take our social responsibilities seriously, and are committed to producing and marketing our entertainment products in strict accordance with our industry's guidelines.”
Want to hear from someone who doesn’t agree with the ruling? We haven’t seen that many but the Washington Post called the Court’s decision “misguided” and that “the diminished threat of government intervention should in no way impede efforts to keep the most violent games out of the hands of children.”
The Parents Television Council went so far as to “denounce” the Supreme Court's ruling. “We will continue to use all the resources within our power to call out unscrupulous retailers. If the federal courts won’t stand for parents, then we hope the court of public opinion will.”
For something a bit different, check out legal scholar Garret Epps’ analysis of Justice Thomas’s dissent over at The Atlantic. “Justice Thomas's dissent… provides a revealing window in the limits (if that is the term) of the "originalist" methodology… [It] should stand, for a while, as the most egregious example of this voices-in-my-head originalism. Indeed, one could go further and point to it as an example of how "originalism" can become entirely unmoored from reality and drift dangerously toward what Newt Gingrich might once have called "right-wing social engineering.""
And that’s just a mere fraction of the dozens of opinions we’ve seen. Thanks to the GP ShoutBox community, especially BearDogg-X, for many of these links.
Image: GU Comics
Disclosure: I freelance for IGN
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen