American Morning

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November 1st, 2010
01:27 PM ET

Should law ban kids from purchasing violent video games?

Have video games gotten so violent that it's time for the law to step in?

The Supreme Court is expected to hear opening arguments in Schwarzenegger v. Electronic Merchant Association/Entertainment Software Association, a case involving a California law that banned the sale of violent video games to minors. An appeals court stuck the law down, and on Tueday the high court will address the case, which bring up issues of new technology, First Amendment censorship and minors.

Adam Sessler, editor-in-chief of G4 Games Content, and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, weigh in on the case with John Roberts and Kiran Chetry this morning on American Morning.

What do you think? Should states be allowed to ban kids from buying violent video games?

Filed under: American Morning • Supreme Court
soundoff (13 Responses)

    I agree with We the People 100%, however, I would like to add that most of the parents today are violent themselves. They will just go out and buy the games for the children anyway!

    November 5, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  2. S. Tallent

    I wish the country would "do as they say" and act accordingly following the philosophies being promoted as "a must" for less government. Video games, for the most part, are sold with a rating clearly listed on the packaging. The internet contains details of games and trailers.

    That being said, what the hell is this even an issue for? Where are the parents. Parents need to be parents. It is not the government's nor the Supreme Court to decide whether government or parents should be raising the children.

    Games are not like a pack of cigarettes. A minor is not likely to go home a puff away, however, they will go home and play on a console or computer. That is where the parents come in, not the government.

    As for the violence in the games, that is a debate for Sociology Profession to help educate us on the results of their studies.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:13 am |
  3. We the People...

    So when and where does personal responsibility enter into this? Do you really want the government to tell you how to raise your children and what is acceptable for you as an adult? Similar legislation like this was passed in Australia and soon after that violent games were banned in the country...for anyone. Making it ILLEGAL to own certain video games that the "government" has chosen was to "bad". I am sorry but people need to be responsible for their own actions and how they raise their children, picking movies, music, television and video games as a scapegoat for sub-par parenting is not the answer. How about if your child or some one's child you know is having nightmares about video see to it that they do not get games that are too mature for them to handle...thats why the ESRB is there with its rating system. Its similar to how movies are rated, and I was a manager at a movie theater and I cannot tell you how many children went into R-rated movies with their parents...parents do what they want with their children and they are responsible for them. Uncle Sam is not your Child's mother and father, so parents out there do me a favor and quit asking your government to do YOUR job.

    People like Carole Martin once thought that the world was flat, that "God" created the earth with a snap of his fingers, that man was also created, and they used to think witches are real and burnt them at the stake. PARENTS are and should be held accountable for what their children watch, say, do, and say....after all they are their keepers and guardians. Violent video games have a rating system, and if a parent ignores them and buys them for their kid, and that kid in-turn has nightmares about it...then that is the parents fault, not the video games fault. That is like blaming cars for drunk drivers, or better yet thats like blaming guns, which are inanimate objects as well, for killing people...guns, cars, video games, music, television, movies...ect are NOT the problem, the problem is people not taking personal responsibility for their actions or lack thereof.

    The United States of America grants us with the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, they give us the vehicle to allow that to happen, but they do not drive it for us. Americans have the right to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, freedom of expression, and the freedom to protect themselves. How you use those freedoms is up to you, but do not infringe on my freedoms just so you can have it "easier" and have less personal responsibility.

    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it" -Thomas Jefferson

    If you want the government to make choices on how you should live, raise your children, spend your money, teach your family values, and what to do with your "life" then please, pack your bags...because you are in the wrong America we are free and we the people believe in Liberty.

    So do me a favor, read your constitution, and understand that the government is a bad thing, and to much government is worse. Government is a necessary evil but keep in mind "The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first" another great Jefferson quote.

    We the People

    November 2, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  4. Ricardo Howard

    The industry is dangerous. They could care less about their effect on kids, the codes that can be put into these games like they have done in the past and continue to do is horrible ll in the name of greed and more profit. terrible

    November 2, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  5. Carl Anderson

    I think they should not be banned. That is for the parent to decide. We keep taking away parents responsiblitys . When will the parents be taking charge of what the child plays with. I know I would not let my child play that type of game to begin with. I do not want that right of parenthood to be taken away

    November 2, 2010 at 11:09 am |
  6. Brandon

    With a large collection of violent games that I grew sick of and rarely play, I find myself wishing for games that build things, that accomplish things without violence.
    Driving games don't really take me far enough in that direction (pun intended), and children's games are too simplistic.
    Where are the timber-framing and construction games? The infrastructure games? The farming or industrial games?
    Kids get tired of the violence. And that can be a good thing. But who is going to let their kids out of the house anyway? Times are tough.

    November 2, 2010 at 7:06 am |
  7. kent

    No, unless you want to ban all kids cartoon. Cartoon characters like woody woodpercker, and road runner have run over people , dropped rocks on each others heads, etc. for years. A video game and tv are not real. News reports about the military killing thousands of people, collateral damage from drones and smart bombs is real and should be banned. I think politicians always talking about killing and bombing people in other countries is more damaging than video games.

    November 2, 2010 at 7:02 am |
  8. marksman976

    i am a college freshman who has been playing video games for more than 10 years. I am horrified how easy it is for kids to get their hands on violent video games. My 11 year old cousin's best friend owns a game that is extremely violent and is rated (what else?) M for "mature." These ratings are in place for a reason; but it shouldn't be as easy as it is for kids to play these games. Should a law be passed that makes it harder for kids to get these games? Aboslutely!

    November 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  9. Carole Martin

    I ABSOLUTELY think they should ban violent games. My friends are telling me their kids have started having nightmares after playing these games. Their having conversations about the world ending by bombs and being in an apocolyptic world. Where has the innocense of childhood gone? What are we thinking in this society !! Why would we want to expose our kids to violence and needless killing. I beg parents to open their eyes and get real to what we are putting in front of our kids eyes. We are letting an industry, television included corrupt and demoralize our children. The language, the casual sex partners, the disrespect to parents, the drug use. When are we going to say enough is enough!

    November 1, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  10. Robin

    There's an old adage, "What you take into your hand, you take into your heart". When will society admit that exposing children to extreme violence or sex in "games" is abusive to their childhoods and contributes to the loss of their natural empathy. It will only desensitize minds and breed wider indifference to others.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  11. Jeff

    It all comes down to the parenting. There IS an age limit to buy these types of video games. As long as parents grant access to these kinds of games, the more the child is exposed to violence. Plain and simple.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  12. Lee deJongh

    I agree that some video games certain ages should be restricted from playing, but then again it's ok in america for kids to see that is alright for same sex marriage. what's wrong with this picture, if your going to ban kids from violent video games then lets ban same sex that children can see every day on thier tv sets.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  13. Oliver Maxwell

    I've been a video gamer since the ripe age 5 and now 18 years old and legally an adult. When it comes to my opinion on video games and the violent imagery associated with it, I would rather let the ESRB handle explaining the content on the case and have parents explain and delineate between the video game fantasies and reality, I was able to throughout my adolescence and teen years.

    November 1, 2010 at 1:40 pm |