Wednesday, November 3, 2010

California V. Video Games: The Final Battle

I've been kinda quiet about this Supreme Court case involving the video game industry mainly because I didn't want to say anything that could be viewed as a terrorist threat. to be quite honest, though, I pretty much don't care at this point. The law that Senator Yee is trying to pass has good intentions, but it was way too broad to properly implement. The state of California's definition of "violent" is so broad when it comes to video games that if it passed and was adopted nation wide, the only genre of games we would be allowed to play are puzzle games. Arguments for this case have been presented to the United States Supreme Court this week, and based on transcripts I've read, the main game their case is centered around is Postal 2. I'm sorry, but why is it every time somebody wants to go off about violence in video games, they pick a piece of crap to use as the scapegoat. Back in the 90s it was Night Trap way more than Mortal Kombat that was discussed, now Postal 2. I don't know 5 people personally who have ever played either of the Postal games. Hell, the only thing I knew about the first game was that Gary Coleman voice acted in it and Uwe Boll directed a film version. Another problem I have with this whole thing is that none of people arguing against it or judging it have ever touched a video game. Many of the Supreme Court Justices have no clue about video games after Pong. Their knowledge, however, isn't on trial, what is on trial is California's desire to circumvent the First Amendment to determine what is and isn't "violent" in video games, and if their are allowed to do so, this opens the door for the video game market in the United States to become as restrictive as the markets in Australia, Germany, and other countries where nothing beyond a Teen rating gets to store shelves. The ultimate irony in this situation is that the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, made his fortune and attained his fame by making movies that were incredibly violent, but movies aren't on trial here, it's video games. I honestly hope that the video games industry is ready to win this case, because if they lose, gamers nationwide may be screwed.

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