Judge blocks ban on sale of violent video games to minors

By Mikael Hoffman on December 24, 2005, 5:43 AM
U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte has temporarily stopped the ban on sale of violent video games to minors. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the bill that would have went into effect on January 1st. The judge questioned whether or not there is enough evidence that proves that violent video games like Grand Theft Auto actually cause violent behavior.

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Chamot said:
Wow. Someone doing the sane thing at last. Considering the recent hoopla and the political support of the ban, this guy sure has balls, whether it's the right decision or not.
doomsweek said:
The games really aren't influencing that children. Anyway, games like that are fun, if people are banning this type of games, many gamers will protest or will be affected.
barfarf said:
This from the man once know as Terminator. ha. =) I think there is some irony in that. I do believe games should have ratings and should have restrictions just like "R" and "PG" rated movies. Really it all comes down to the parents being involved and caring about the childrens lives.
vnf4ultra said:
It is humorous that Schwarzenegger voted to ban sales of violent games to minors considering the movies he's done, seems almost hypocritical to me. I think games can influence thoughts somewhat, but ultimately it's not violent games that kill people, it's people who make bad choices.
dbuske said:
I don't think the US wants to go down that road. They don't want to return to the Blue Laws and have the religious right start to control things.
Strakian said:
hahahahahahahahaha! These imbeciles need to stop preaching what they know nothing about, as when reality sinks in, real people have to take a step back and say, "Wait, do we want to make this law?!??"I think Arnold is just trying to gain more favor with Lieberman so that he can try running as vice president or something down the line when they need a VP for the ticket. Demolition man, Eat your heart out.
nathanskywalker said:
hmm. persnonally, this i think,. this is very bad. Minors, well that should be their parents choice, but to many just aren't responisible,a nbd let's face it, some games are just bad and unhealthy. And i would tread very, very carefully when saying that we should avoid religion. this to a limitted exten i would agree, the religions of the world should not control the government, but has anyone noticed, that the religions that allow people to do whatever they want are excepted, while Christianity is banned? In truth, reall Christianity, cares for people, and would ban games like gta to keep people from being hurt, and hurting others. and personally i must say, i have seen what affects games can have on "good" people. I can come to no other logical conclusion, games are created by a persons and affected by their world view, this world view affects the game, and consequently the view is passed on to the gamer...
otmakus said:
I think it's because Arnold used to play in violent movies that he wants to look good to the voters.It's true modern games are getting more and more violent and realistic, but the gaming industry is just trying to give what the consumers want. Sooner or later, some kind of restrictions have to be enforced to prevent children accessing extremely violent and/or erotic games. As video games industry is becoming more like movie industry, I think rating system will be most ideal for it.
Handyman said:
I think the Terminator has mellowed. The Terminator series were just as violent as some of todays games. It is my considered opinion that GTA San Andreas does not need to be banned. But there are some games like Doom3 where parental agreement for children under 12 should be advised.
mtyson8 said:
But I dont think games influence anything. Its all up to how the kid is raised, and alos their instinct. I think if a kid aver played a violent game and imitated it on the street, that kid was going to do somethin like that sooner of later.
PUTALE said:
I think sometimes we are way too overly sensitive with the video games. It's interesting that we always find the blame to media and entertainment.
mentaljedi said:
this is stupid banning violent games. The US can't back up its own laws already, why are they making more? ANd why is Arnold being so foolish. Does he not see that movies do the same. Tv does the same. THe internet does the same. So computer games obviously do. But banning them? Erm... he can try. He really can TRY! When i was 11, i played violent games like GTA. It didn't make me want to attack old ladys or go after prozzies in the back of a car. it's common knowlege that it all comes down to social activities. THese people who do it normally aren't brought up right. Period.
cyrax said:
It refreshing to see a judge who is willing to realistically look at issues rather than rely on the political will of officials.
FLAVIN said:
yes im glad to see the judge didnt allow this. ive been playing violent video games for the longest time. and i have never done anyone any harm. my dad use to think the games would make me go crazy he even stopped me from watching the simpsons. also it is ironic that the terminator is the one backing the ban. i think i heard on the news a week ago that he used to be in a gang and he was involved in a couple murdersanywyas everyhting now a days is violent, tv, music, video games, everything i suppose its a way of life and it all really comes down to the person not how long they play GTA.
madymo3d said:
[b]Originally posted by doomsweek:[/b][quote]The games really aren't influencing that children. Anyway, games like that are fun, if people are banning this type of games, many gamers will protest or will be affected.[/quote]I may be in the minority here, but why is banning sales TO MINORS being equated to banning violent games altogether? I suspect people who keep saying children aren't affected by games/movies/etc don't have children or are minors themselves who enjoy gameing. Anyone with children knows how impressionable children are. Impressionable is just another word for learning. Impressionable is not just for bad things, it's for good things too. A child who is not impressionable is a child who does not learn. If you think your kid is only impressionable to your good parenting and not impressionable to violent games, then you have bigger problems than violent video games. Children have hard enough time with what's real and what's pretend by nature of their developing young mind.I'm not suggesting the US should ban violent games, religiously based or not (hopefully NOT), but what's wrong with banning sales TO MINORS? That's the same with sale of cigarettes, alcohol, porn, etc. The definition of violent is debatable and how much violence is too much violence is also debatable. A parent can do all the right things, be involved with their kids' lives, teach them right from wrong, tell them no violent games, but if the children can turn around and easily get the game against the parent's wishes, what's the point? Yes, parents are responsible for teaching their children. I don't want the government to tell me how to parent. I want to take responsibility for raising my children, but it doesn't need to be made harder.
MonkeyMan said:
Well, I don't actually think that video games cause children to do violent things, its all about their maturity level, and also how they perceive things. I am a fan of the grand theft auto series (Cannot wait until it is released on the PS3) and I would hate to see them ban this game from production.
madymo3d said:
Okay, once again, how did a ban on sale to minors become a "ban...from production." As for games causing children to do violent things, no, I don't doubt that playing a game one time at a mature age (whatever that might be) will snap a good kid into a violent criminal. So many things factor into how a person turns out, environment being one of them, a big one. Enough bombardment of violent games, talking about the games with friends, then mentally reenacting scenarios using real people because somebody pissed them off. Combine that with movies, TV, music, etc. It may not be the sole cause, but definitely a contributor. So as a parent you want to try to reduce the exposure until they have a solid moral center. It's not the people who know right from wrong, real from imaginary that I worry about. It's those who don't know, like young kids. With a control on sales to minors, a parent who don't mind his kids playing a certain game can always buy it for them. The alternative of no controlled sale to minors is much more difficult for a parent to deal with.
Phantasm66 said:
[quote][b]Posted by Phantasm66[/b]A law, which would have seen it made illegal to sell or rent violent or sexually explicit games to children, has been blocked by US district judge Ronald Whyte. The Californian law, which was drafted in October, would have made it a crime for games that "depict serious injury to human beings in a manner that is especially heinous, atrocious or cruel" to be sold to those under 18. The proposed act, which was signed into law by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, was granted an injunction on the grounds of freedom of speech concerns. The Entertainment Software Association and the Video Software Dealers Association, claiming that the law risked breaking free speech statutes, also challenged it.[i]ESA president Doug Lowenstein said: "For the sixth time in five years, federal courts have now blocked or struck down these state and local laws seeking to regulate the sale of games to minors based on their content, and none have upheld such statutes."[/i][url]http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/455
Crofty74 said:
Judge did a good job, unfortunatly computer game violence debates look like they will continue as a hot agenda for 2006.Hopefully after some high level disagreements, that will be timed correctly of course, there either will or wont be an act that can be imposed, certain peeople can get some closure on the issue and we can all get back to making/playing the next installment of GTA.
Mictlantecuhtli said:
I thought there already was ESRB rating system. Apparently it has no effect whatsoever in this.I guess the agenda for 2006 will be sex in video games.Personally, I've never seen stores refusing to sell games, videos or music to people because of some restrictions.
PUTALE said:
how many people will check the rating when they buy the games or videos. You see a lot of teenage who go to movie to see R-rated movie without any adult. I personally think that these rating are a guideline but it's the parent' sjob whehter they want to follow them or not, but I think more importantly it's the parent's job to educate their child not to follow what they see on the games or video. We can't blame the entertainment industry for everythign.
MonkeyMan said:
[b]Originally posted by Mictlantecuhtli:[/b][quote]Personally, I've never seen stores refusing to sell games, videos or music to people because of some restrictions.[/quote]This will never happen in my opinion. It will take a heck of alot more than one judge to influence this to be a major law nationwide. There would be so much profit loss, if something like this were to happen nationwide. Game companies would fight this law to the death lol.
barfarf said:
PUTALE - At movies theaters most of the time they will NOT sell tickets to teens to see an "R" movie with an adult. ITs up to the establishment or store to monitor the rules of the rating system. For example Walmart should not sell GTA to a 12 year old. I am NOT for banning games but i believe in a rating system (like movies) that the stores should inforce. IT wont be a perfect system but its better then nothing.
Bartzy said:
Heh, Schwarzenegger against voilence. That's nice.For my opinion, these games don't make you more violent than you already are. Educate your kids right, and they'll not be violent.
mentaljedi said:
Merry Christmas! Anyway, a new system where the establishment selling the games are fined rather than the parents should be in place. Why should the parents be fined? They have done nothing wrong (except for being totally blind to their children but social services can handle that one!) so they shouldn't be fined. Btw, it's nopt illegal to smoke under the age of **, it's illegal to sell cigerattes... etc... The same should go with video games.
PUTALE said:
i agree. I think if we have a rating, it should be inforced. However, I still say that the education is more important than a merely sticker on the merchandise.
madymo3d said:
[b]Originally posted by mentaljedi:[/b][quote]Merry Christmas! Anyway, a new system where the establishment selling the games are fined rather than the parents should be in place. Why should the parents be fined? They have done nothing wrong (except for being totally blind to their children but social services can handle that one!) so they shouldn't be fined.[/quote]I agree that the sellers should be fined instead of parents, because they're the one making a profit. They were the ones in control at the time of sale. So they lose a sale, but it's the responsible thing to do if it's the law. If you start to justify what's right with money then it's a slippery slope. To say that they're just doing their job of selling and it's up to the parents to teach their kids is just unethical IMO. Is it okay to sell drugs because drug dealers are only providing people with what people want? How about snatching kids and selling them for adoption? Hey, they're just providing the market with a service. But parents should be notified. And after so many notifications the parents should be punished as well. It's impossible to keep an eye on your child all the time. It's in the nature of kids to rebel, I don't care how well your children are raised. Parents have to go to work, and it's impossible to keep an eye out all the time unless you have the secret service tailing your kids 24/7.
Rage_3K_Moiz said:
Its not ultimately about how banning such games will affect minors. The effect it has on them has to be regulated by their parents, thats their job and they need to take an interest in what their kids watch on TV and what games they play. It all boils down to "doing the right thing" which is ethically quite right, but practically wrong(IMO), because that would give the kids more incentive to get these games and play them. As for Arnold Schwarzenegger, he is probably following in Ronald Reagan's footsteps. The latter was also a famous film star and later became governor and finally, President if the United States.
Kaleid said:
A wise decision. Most kids and adults can see the enourmous difference between something that is fantasy and reality.
asphix said:
While I can't say that I believe children buying M rated games is not the responsibility of their parents I honestly dont see how using law to enforce the use of ESRB ratings by retail outlets is a bad thing.Just like anyone else I think giving the government too much control over things we should be managing ourselves as individuals is something to be wary of... but what IS the downside? Other than more govt. control over this stuff, and the obvious angry child I honestly dont see what the big deal is.As others have said, Its already done with cigarettes, liquor, movie tickets etc etc etc. Hopefully parents will step up to the plate and actually start parenting their children.. if not we're just going to see this issue brought up again and again until the government does force ESRB ratings to be enforced.I don't know.. maybe i'm missing something.
zephead said:
what what? in the US, you have to 18 yrs or older to purchase, transport, use, or posess tobacco products. as i understand it, all states have set that age at 18.in my opinion censorship of games and the general media should be minimal, if any.
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