When most parents think of “games” they think of fun-filled, family friendly things like Clue, Sorry!, and a myriad of other Parker Brother products. Some parents fail to see the distinction between say Half Life 2 and Super Mario Brothers. One is a nightmarish future created by a scientific catastrophe in which our silent protagonist fights to save both himself and humanity, the other an Italian plumber, wearing a red shirt with blue overalls with a red hat, jumping on and crushing brown things (goombas), turtles (koopas) to save the Princess whilst riding a green dinosaur accompanied with cutesy music. Most of these same parents would find a very big distinction between Alien and Barney’s Broadway Adventure (I don’t know if that exists, but it probably does). Now some parents will allow their child to watch Alien, but talk to them about the violence. Some let Blue’s Clues teach their child everything.
Where am I going with this? Well, a law passed in 2005 by California makes it illegal to sell “violent video games” to minors. It is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court. Now, how can you determine what video games are violent? I mean, look at my description of Super Mario Brothers. Mario crushes things to cutesy music, kind of sounds a bit sadistic. Is The Legend of Zelda a violent game because it allows you to slice other characters with a sword or shoot arrows/deku nuts at other characters? Where do we draw the line? Violent T.V. shows exist. Violent movies exist. It’s not illegal for a minor to gain admittance to an R rated film, but most, if not all, movie theaters refuse them. The film industry, in the U.S., has the MPAA, which is a voluntary board that puts ratings on films. Voluntary. The film industry regulates itself! Similarly, the video game industry has its own rating board. In the U.S., we call this board the ESRB. Most retailers will not sell an M rated game to a minor. AO games have trouble being published, and are refused by most console makers. If this law stands, should there be a law making it illegal for retailers to sell R rated movies to minors? What stops a parent from just buying it because their child wont stop whining about it? Honestly, nothing can stop parental laziness. Should this law stand? Should this law be struck down?