Comments about ‘Court: Calif. can't ban violent video game sales’

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Published: Monday, June 27 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

What happened to 'personal responsibility'...

by parents?

Saratoga Springs, UT

Can't modern TV's block content at certain ratings? Why not extend the TV rating system to games and use parental controls on the TV. Using laws to ban them will only spawn a black market and divert law enforcement resources.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

I with the dissent noted from Justice Thomas.

Washington, UT

A lot of game systems already have parental control systems in place. The problem is that most parents don't bother to set them up. Parents are lazy and want to blame someone else for their problems and rely on the government to make sure their children "do the right thing".

Russ N.

Bad decision. This is not about limiting government regulation. It's about increasing parental regulation. By striking down this law the Court has effectively taken the power away from parents to make decisions for their children and given power to children to decide what's best for themselves.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Sorry. Mistyped.

Should have said, "I agree with the dissent noted from Justice Thomas."

Eagle Mountain, UT


All 3 major video game consoles (Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii) have a rating system on them that parents can very easily set up. If a video game passes a certain threshold it will not allow the game to be played.

Again, it goes back to parenting.

Washington, UT

@Russ N
I'm a little bit split on the whole thing. On one hand, the regulation of legal information/art of any nature is a dangerous path to start down. The government rarely stops when it gets started.

On the other hand, after reading the dissenting justice's opinion, I was slightly swayed to rationalizing the ban.

However, this is not a tool that parents should need to decide what's best for their kids. How are these children obtaining funds/transportation to buy these games without their parents' knowledge? How are these kids playing these games without their parents' knowledge? Pay attention what your children are doing and it frequently isn't an issue. The same goes for movies, internet, and other offensive material.

Salt Lake City, UT

@ Darrel
Those 3 consoles also allow you to block movies based on ratings as well. But either way if your kid wants to play these games they will get them, regardless of what laws are in place.

West Valley, UT

Parents: If you don't want your child playing the game then DON'T BUY IT.

There's an epidemic in this country... over the past 10 years parents have apparently forgotten how to say NO to their children.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Where are the parents?

Jeff R.
Sheridan, WY

So the parents cant take away the game their 13 year old bought so we need to have the Cali Government do the job for them? Im I missing something here. What ever happend to the responsability of the parents to control what their kid does. If a 13 year old buys a game, and the parents dont like it, why cant the parents just forbid the kid from playing it. Why do we need to spend money on what parents should be doing. More big government trying to do the parents job.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

The issue here is whether children (minors) can or cannot be prevented from purchasing/renting a violent game.

To argue that it is the parent's sole responsibility to regulate this is reckless. Would we use the same logic for firearms, cigarettes, pornography, etc.?

We allow adults to purchase these things but we prohibit minors from doing so. If it is just an issue of making the parents to always be solely responsible, why does that not apply to these products (and others) as well? If a kid buys a firearm, cigarettes, or pornography could we not just say "it's the parents job to take care of this"?

If we want children to retain access to these games via their parents oversight, then upholding the law would be the right move. Then, a parent could purchase/rent the game for the child if the parent so chooses.

This decision is a slippery slope. If we cannot forbid a child purchasing hyper violent material because it "restrict[s] the ideas to which children may be exposed" then why can we forbid them from purchasing pornography? The same argument would seem to apply.

Saratoga Springs, UT

I completely agree with the Supreme Court on this one. Society is working to protect children from Violent and Innapropriate content in regards to video games. Every game has a rating, whether it be E(everyone) T(teen) or M(mature). Pretty much any store that you go to in American, whether it be Gamestop, Wal-mart, or Target, or any other store requires that in order to purchase a game that is rated M, you must be 17 years old. There are also parental controls on every console that you can allow which games will be played on the console. You could not allow any M rated game to be played on the console. The industry has taken great measures to protect children and prevent access to this content. There is no need for the government to be involved involved in this process.
I am 27 years old, and I still get asked for my ID at gamestop when I buy games that are rated Mature.

Not So Fast
Salt Lake City, UT

The ban is the same for games as for movies. Police don't patrol and fine theaters if it lets kids into 'R' or 'NC-17' movies and they shouldn't do it for games. Both theaters and game outlets know that parents will like them better if they restrict sales based on ratings.

In a study it was found that stores already restrict sales most of the time based on ratings.

Making the stores or chains responsible and imposing fines is not the right place to look. I agree with most here that parents need to know and take a role in what games are sold and played. I am not sure they don't already in many cases.

Led Zeppelin II
Bountiful, UT

Banning freedom is what you see in Communist countries. Venesuela banned violent video games a while back. I sure dont want government to babysit us and controll everything we do. It is up to the parents to teach their children right from wrong. Government always teaches us wrong. Look at history.

Alpine, UT

Sad. The standards of decency continue to fall to newer lows. And I don't understand how we can bar a child from seeing a violent R rated film in a movie theater based on societal standards, but allow that same child to buy just as violent of content in the form of a game and say it is ok. Talk about a double standard. As for the Justice's comparison to Snow White or Hansel and Gretel to the graphic violence in full color in some of these games is just intellectual stupidity run wild. Again, sad.

Eagle Mountain, UT


The movie standards are purely voluntary. There are no federal rules and regulations governing them. Enforcement is also voluntary for each theater.

The video game industry as a whole does a far better job of self regulation and enforcement than almost any other industry. The major retailers will not sell M rated games to minors. That being said, if a child wants to buy a game, and has the resources, they will find a way. More often than not, it is the parent or legal guardian buying it for them.

The reason the decency standards are lowering is because it is selling. If people wouldn't buy Grand Theft Auto, they will not make anymore games, guaranteed. I am a very serious video gamer, but when I see an M rating on a box, it makes me think twice, and with very little exception, I will not buy the game. I monitor what my children play.

Bottom line, it starts with good parenting. Banning the sale starts a slippery slope. If we start with games that are violent, it becomes easier to ban "controversial" and so on.

Arm of Orion
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Carman you silly silly man. You do realize that all stores I go to ID me when I decide to buy a video game rated M. I remember at one point two 16 yr old kids tried to buy Halo 3. They were denied by Gamestop. Not only that but a parent had to come in and buy it for them. Dude have you read the original stories they are terribly violent. Cinderella's sisters eyes get pecked out for crying out loud. Dude research video games before shooting out an opinion you might be enlightened.

Floyd Johnson
Broken Arrow, OK

Clarence Thomas was correct. The question before the court was not: "should children purchase violent video games?" It was: "Does the First Ammendment guarantee the right of a child to purchase video games?" It was not the intent of the authors of the constitution to extend this privelege; therefore, the issue should have remained in the control of the States. The Supreme Court is legislating, there is no way this would have passed through congress.

three11stu - This law will likely prevent store policies that prohibit sales to minors.

DeltaFoxtrot - This law sidesteps parental control by allowing children to purchase games directly. Children no longer need parents to buy games for them, the "parents shouldn't buy them" argument is no longer relevant.

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