Rated M for Minor?

A supreme court case that could have some major impacts to the video game industry has now been given an official date. The court will hear arguments that denying the purchase of violent (not necessarily M rated) games by minors goes against the First Amendment. It will also determine whether the state should have to prove that these violent games have a devastating effect on children. The case of Schwarzenegger vs. EMA will be heard November 2 at 10 AM EST, so we’ll get more info around that time. You can check out some more details after the jump.

The case originated from a state law in California that was written by Leland Yee, a state senator. The law proposes to ban the sale of violent videogames to minors. It was signed in 2005, but was struck down in the lower courts.

There is no schedule set for the final decision, but the ruling must be made before the beginning of Court’s summer recess. We should expect a ruling sometime in June 2011.

Soon, you may see more little kids in the lobby for your next match on CoD, simply because they have the right. Needless to say, this case will definitely change the industry, for better or for worse.

(Source: 1up)

17 thoughts on “Rated M for Minor?”

  1. It’s already like this in Florida. One time, me and my bro went to wal-mart to buy a Mortal Kombat game (I forget what one). And when you brought it up to the counter, the person behind it said “u haz 2 haz u parenetz permission 2 buy dis game!” and of coruse it’s just me and my bro. So my bro had to phone my dad, drive on his lunch-brake to wal-mart, just so he could buy the game.
    I hate Florida <_<

  2. There’s always conflicting studies for everything. There’s never going to be a clear answer to everything, because the human spirit is something that cannot be analyzed with sheer accuracy. It also makes things difficult because those that run the studies can manipulate the data in any way they wish for it to. I’ve taken enough classes to know I can write up a professional study that says Chess leads kids to be more violent in school.

    My personal opinions don’t really matter all that much. If I can be honest, I think it’s something children and parents should talk about together with and be able to come to a mutual consensus.

    We know ourselves far better than our parents do. Although our parents know far more about the world than children do.

    It should be something children and parents should talk about together and come to a conclusion with. But it’s not ideal. Parents are overwhelming and wish to control the kind of things their children experience, and attempt to raise them in a certain way. Children, conversely, usually wish to rebel and do things for themselves, even despite 20-30 years of wisdom being spoken to them with.

    Blah. Doesn’t matter that much. The courts are really a problem since they’re always conflicting decade to decade, and because human minds are continually evolving.

    Just wait. 10 years from now, we’ll see the same topic, just reversed.

    1. I think there’s just too many lazy parents who want the government to raise their children so they don’t have to. The government gets too involved these days and keep stepping all over our liberties.

    2. I’m with CodeZTM on this one. It’s a conversation between parents and children should have and the parent should make the decision. I was watching R rated movies from the age of 12 because the blood, violence, and profanity (I seem to remember there was limited sex even in R rated films when I was that age, but it could just be that I ignored it) didn’t have much impact on me by that point. Conversely I knew people at school who could not handle R until junior year of High School. It’s really a personal thing.

  3. Minors shouldn’t be able to buy it for themselves but if their parents are okay with it then it should be okay. My parents will buy me an m rated game depending on the content.

  4. I think they started this up in Alabama the year I turned 17. Although it wasn’t minors in general (under 19 in this state) but rather 16 or under since M rated games do say 17+ on the ESRB label.

    The Governator is behind the times… srsly.

  5. I don’t know how to respond to this. I mean, there are laws saying you can’t sell alcohol and smokes to minors and yet some adults buy them for the kids, mostly. Games are another matter. I was a kid and I used to play M-rated games back in the day(almost unknowingly since ESRB didn’t exist on the cartriges). However, M-rated games aren’t like smokes and alcohol since they don’t harm much. But they should still be treated the same, I wouldn’t want my kids to play M-rated games unless I know what is going on in the game, such as blood and gore.

  6. Woah. Just to clear everything up. This is completley banning it. As in. Parents can’t buy it for them kinda stuff. Like NC-17 movies. As we have seen with NC-17 movies. It cannibalizes the sale and then they pretty much go away.

    1. Okay that’s ridiculous. Treating video games like drugs… that is going simply too far. There’s already a rating by the ESRB that gets tanked sales automatically (AO for Adults Only, for those who don’t know) – and the result there is that virtually no AO rated games are ever made. There’s no need to do this to M rated games and get rid of all games that are intended for older audiences only.

      But, it does not surprise me that the Governator wants to step on liberties like that. I don’t see why people insist California is a nice place to live.

  7. If their parents are OK with the game, then they can get it. However, if not selling video games to minors goes against the first amendment, wouldn’t that also mean not selling drugs to minors goes against the first amendment? I mean like, there’s a reason why we have ratings. It’s so that kids too young or immature don’t get mentally affected by material meant for adults. This doesn’t just go for games. This goes for movies and TV as well.

    1. In this case, it’s the Governator trying to tell parents that they have to raise their child a certain way.

      It can’t be compared to drugs because it’s already been proven that video games do not have any kind of actually effect like drugs do. By which I mean, alcohol will disrupt judgment and motor skills in everyone. M rated games WILL NOT give rise to violent homicidal tendencies in everyone. In fact, the number of people that would sustain such an effect is so ridiculously small (and not to mention these people generally have a large number of problems, not just violent games) that it makes this whole case utterly ridiculous.

  8. (Just saw Cosmoid’s comment. Sorry, I never refreshed my page before I posted. >_<)

    So, that's really stupid. As stated before, if the parents believe their child is mature enough for that kind of game, they should be given the choice to allow them that game. That completely obliterates that choice for anyone in that law's jurisdiction.

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