Monday, December 19, 2005

God of Illinois II

Democratic senators Hillary Clinton, Joseph Lieberman and Evan Bayh have introduced legislation that would prohibit the sale of violent or sexually explicit video games to minors. Selling or renting a video game rated "Mature," "Adults-Only," or "Ratings Pending" to anyone younger than 17 would be a federal misdemeanor.

The president of [the Entertainment Software Ratings Board], Douglas Lowenstein, said the proposed measure was unconstitutional and infringed on the industry's creative rights. "We place our trust in parents, not Congress, to decide what's right for their families," he said in a statement. (Reuters)

And yet we don't place enough trust in parents to allow merchants to sell alcohol, cigarettes and pornography to children. I wonder why.

And I fail to see how this infringes on the "industry's creative rights". Will the industry be financially unviable without selling inappropriate games to minors? Will these creatively violent games not be made otherwise? Are they specifically targeting underage kids, despite the adult ratings, like the movie industry was caught doing?

But Lieberman said he was confident the law was constitutional, because it did not impinge on freedom of expression, only restricted sales to minors. There has been no ruling on the matter from the U.S. Supreme Court, he noted.

"Courts in America have not been hesitant to uphold laws that limit children's access to pornography. It's very ironic that courts have now struck down attempts to limit children's access to violent materials," Lieberman said.


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