Apr 262010
Authors: Josh Phillips, Ian Bezek

States should not ban sales
By Josh Phillips

When the Supreme Court reviews California’s law banning the sale of violent video games to minors, I hope they consider the inherent value of maintaining personal responsibility. Far too often our government bans products and services for fear we may hurt ourselves.

Already our government has taken steps to limit our consumption of alcohol and cigarettes by placing heavy excise taxes on them. It has forced restaurants to ban smoking rather than letting them decide what’s best for their business.

I agree that the law may be constitutionally justified, but we don’t need a nanny to tell us how to run our lives –– especially one in the form of our dim-witted federal government.

If the Supreme Court decides to reinstate the California law, it will further erode parental responsibility in the United States. It will send yet another clear signal that our governments, both federal and local, no longer want us to raise our own children.

The more our government steps in to play the role of mommy and daddy, the lazier parents become. A lazy parent is an irresponsible parent, and an irresponsible parent produces lazy children, leading to a less productive generation.

And do they seriously think that this will prevent minors from purchasing violent video games?

Most are successful in their attempts to acquire alcohol, and I don’t think video games are in any way comparable to an intoxicating substance. Let the kids play some violent games and get some aggression out, and no studies have been able to show that video games create violence.

Josh Phillips is a senior business administration major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.
California’s ban on video game sales to minors acceptable*
By Ian Bezek

While I don’t necessarily agree with California’s law against the sale or rental of video games to minors, I think California has every right to make the law and the Supreme Court should overturn an earlier court’s ruling that struck down the law.

Free speech is not entirely absolute; there are limits on types of speech that some deem offensive, such as pornography.

While video game producers may disagree, creating exceptionally violent games and selling them to minors against the will of the minor’s parents isn’t a constitutionally protected right.

While I doubt that the link between violent video games and crime is nearly as strong as this bill’s proponents think it is, if California wants to make it harder to access these games, then so be it.

Had they banned the games entirely, it’d be a whole different matter. But this bill still allows youngsters to play these games, and it allows their parents to purchase them. It just prohibits kids from buying the games on their own.

While opponents of the law claim that a ratings system already exists for violent or offensive games, it’s not clear that this system is working.

Supporters of the law say that limits on purchasing violent games are not greatly different than limiting minor’s access to tobacco, alcohol or pornography. And I agree. If the state of California wants to limit access to video games for minors, they should be allowed to do so.

Is it really such a bad thing if an 11-year-old child has to get their parents to buy them the latest “Grand Theft Auto” rather than purchasing it on his or her own?

Editorials Editor Ian Bezek is a senior economics major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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