Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Right to Offend: Schwarzenegger vs. Violent Video Games

When you think of Arnold Schwarzenegger, it's hard to forget his action hero (and some anti-hero) roles in violent films like Conan the Barbarian, True Lies and The Terminator. Now that he is Governor of California, he plays a slightly different role. The Washington Post reports that the upcoming Supreme Court docket includes this:

Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association

Nov. 2: California is the latest state attempting to prevent the sale of "violent" video games to minors. An appeals court said, similar to decisions of courts elsewhere, that the law violates First Amendment free-speech rights.

The Wall Street Journal described the conflict:

California argued in its petition to the Supreme Court that lawmakers should be able to ban sales of violent videogames to those younger than 18 just as they can restrict the sale of sexual material to minors.

The state said violent videogames are "a new, modern threat to children" that cause psychological harm and make minors more likely to exhibit violent or aggressive behavior.

Two trade associations challenged the law before it went into effect, arguing that videogames are a modern form of artistic expression entitled to First Amendment protection.

Read more:

For a look at how the video games industry reports the story, check this clip:

What do you think?

Now look at this and tell me what you think.

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