My second novel, Dead Game, features the popular online gaming culture, an activity in which players usually assume fake identities and live in a fantasy world. In Dead Game, some of the men and women who engage in a virtual murder mystery find themselves the victims of very real crimes.
My state of California recently made an attempt to keep some of the bloodier and more explicit video games out of the hands of children, perhaps in part out of concern that actual crimes or acts of aggression could eventually occur. But, the Supreme Court decided that such a measure would infringe on the First Amendment rights of young people.
Currently, there is a voluntary rating process that the gaming industry can use on its products in order to provide some guidance for parents. But, California and several other states have argued that this information is not enough and that government must intervene to protect kids from graphic images. The justices, however, determined it should be left in the power of parents and other adults purchasing the games for children to decide if the violence or sexual overtones are too much to bring into their homes.
The two justices who offered a dissenting opinion in this case argued that the First Amendment does not extend to speech (specifically, in this instance, violent images) directed at kids that does not first go through the filter of a parent’s permission. So, there should be nothing wrong with requiring an adult to make the purchase.
The kids in 2011 certainly aren’t playing Pac Man and Donkey Kong anymore. What are your thoughts on the abundance of graphic video games out there today?
Should there be a ban on the purchase of these products by minors, or should that decision be left out of the government’s hands?
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting