California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

Summary: The California politician whose failed video game law was overturned by the Supreme Court earlier this week vows to continue fighting, and says that evidence is "crystal clear" that violent video games hurt kids.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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The Supreme Court ruled earlier this week to overturn a California law legislating the sale of violent video games as unconstitutional, but that's not stopping the creator of the law from vowing to continue to fight.

State Senator (and San Francisco mayoral candidate) Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) told the San Francisco Appeal that he hopes to "create a pathway for a successful bill that could withstand a challenge" from the Supreme Court.

Yee's bill was signed into law in 2005 by then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. It would have fined video game retailers up to $1,000 per infraction for selling violent video games to minors.

The law was immediately challenged by a video game industry consortium; U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte put in place an injunction to prevent the law from being enforced.

In addition to arguing on First Amendment grounds, lawyers representing the video game industry noted that major retailers already abide by a voluntary rating system created by the video game industry itself. The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) rates video games by content and provides an age rating and description of content. The system is modeled after the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) movie rating system.

The law was ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court in a 7-2 ruling that found that video games are entitled to the same artistic protection under the First Amendment granted to books, movies, plays and other creative works. It's a precedent-setting ruling and the first time the Supreme Court has heard such a case.

Michael Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), called the Supreme Court's ruling "an historic and complete win for the First Amendment" and artists and storytellers.

"The Court declared forcefully that content-based restrictions on games are unconstitutional; and that parents, not government bureaucrats, have the right to decide what is appropriate for their children," said Gallagher.

Yee, a child psychologist before he turned to politics, said that "the evidence is absolutely crystal clear that there are harmful effects on our children" from violent video games - a claim refuted by the Supreme Court, which said the evidence is far from convincing.

Topic: Mobility

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  • I'll lay money right now that the people who

    Think violent and smutty video games are harmless are the same people that think fast food advertising should be banned.
    fr_gough
    • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

      @fr_gough The problem is that the evidence is far from conclusive, as much as Yee and some people on his side of this argument would like to think.

      - Peter
      flargh
      • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

        @flargh

        Yee is not concerned about the facts, he just has a belief and that's more important to him and his buddies Tim Winter and James Steyer than anything else.
        DonRupertBitByte
      • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

        @flargh
        Actually, the evidence is quite conclusive debunking any claim of connection between the two.
        DeusXMachina
    • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

      @fr_gough so you contend that people who don't think the government should try to ?fix? the video game industry?s ESRB system of self regulation with government imposed regulations would be pro-regulation in other areas?
      Tim the Magician
    • Yee shall raise his own kids

      Regardless, people who think that violent and smutty video games are harmless have a right to raise their own children without interference from Mr. Yee.
      Robert Hahn
      • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

        @Robert Hahn Well said. ;)

        - Peter
        flargh
    • Probably not

      @fr_gough <br>The "free speech, rah rah" types tend to be different folks than the "junk food is evil" school. It's easy to believe that all of those evil far away subversives that you've never met believe the same things, but it's rarely the case.

      Edit:
      Notice that the article mentioned that Sen. Yee is a San Francisco Democrat and a candidate for mayor of that city. I don't really know anything about him other than what is said in the article, but I think it safe to assume that he's not a Conservative.
      John L. Ries
      • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

        @John L. Ries
        Being a Democrat and being a conservative are not mutually exclusive, any more than being a liberal and being conservative are. You can easily be both, or all.
        DeusXMachina
    • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

      @fr_gough
      I'll take that bet.
      I KNOW violent video games are harmless, and I do not support banning fast food ads.
      DeusXMachina
  • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

    If you follow the theory that violent video games make violent people or children, then it must follow that sending 18 years old teenagers to war makes killers out of every one of them. Now should we ban the U.S. Government from sending anyone to war as they will always come back killers to prey on society? Shall we ban Recruiters from our high schools? What about all of the seniors that watched Tom and Jerry beat each other up, or Popeye and Brutus fighting over Olive Oil? Are they all violent killers due to the fact they watched violent cartoons on TV after school evry day and on Saturday mornings? My opinion is that the peole that suggest children grow up due to violent games or TV shows are the insane ones. They would be better to focus on their own parenting skills to find out why their children act the way they do. Children learn 95% of their behavior by their parents exampl in the Home.
    nocroman
  • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

    Grow up you selfrighteous jerk and fix the economy. You don't have time for this kind of personal vendetta.
    timspublic1
  • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

    the thought that violent video games have a negative effect on kids could be debated. I'm 16 and I'm all that impressionable, so I think I should be allowed to play games like L.A. Noir and Call of Duty. On the other hand violence in video games makes it hard to see violent acts like police being a little more violent than usual as wrong. I don't think people should have the right to say I'm not allowed to buy a game I enjoy, but I'm a 16 year old teenager so I don't think anyone should tell me what to do.
    Rurouni3.1
    • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

      @Rurouni3.1 The idea that it could be debated is central to why the Supreme Court rejected that assertion. If the evidence were incontrovertible, they wouldn't have done so.
      flargh
  • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

    I am glad that California has fixed its economy and can now deal with little issues like this.
    Oh, they didn't? Oh well...
    Scrabbler
    • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

      @Scrabbler

      False argument. One does NOT detract from the other.
      DeusXMachina
  • Let's look back 50 years

    Oh look violent children. It's the vid- oh wait.

    One hundred years? Same thing.

    One thousand years? Yep, violence.
    Michael Alan Goff
  • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

    If you read what a lot of the Judges had to say, one of the main reasons this law was overturned was that it is was to vague. You can create laws that restrict selling material to minors, much like the selling of pornography is restricted. The problem is that you must clearly define what is and isn't allowed. Violence and torture are very broad terms, and shows like the Loony Tunes show both, often. So if California wants a law to restricted video games then, they need to clearly spell everything out.
    Shmythey
    • I think Mr. Yee will be reading the decision very closely

      @Shmythey
      ...and writing his new bill in a way that the Supremes are likely to accept.
      John L. Ries
  • RE: California's failed video game law sponsor vows to continue fight

    Go ahead Yee, we will kick your yellow ass again.
    goingbust