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Court on Video Games: Less Cleavage, More Carnage

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the mario-never-had-a-wardrobe-malfunction dept.

Censorship 397

On Monday we discussed news of a Supreme Court ruling which held that violent video games deserved free speech protection under the First Amendment. Now, frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes with this followup that questions the Court's consistency in such matters. "I'm glad the Supreme Court struck down the California law against selling violent video games to minors, but reading over the decision, I had the odd feeling that the arguments by the dissenters made more sense than the majority — mainly because of the hypocrisy of continuing to ban sexuality while giving violence a pass." Read on for the rest of Bennett's thoughts.

John Landis said, "R is when you bare a woman's breast, PG is when you cut it off." That is apparently now also the law of the land regarding video games, according to the Supreme Court's June 27th decision (PDF) overturning a California law that banned sales of violent video games to minors. I'm glad the Supreme Court struck down the law, but reading over the decision, I had the odd feeling that even though I agreed with the majority's conclusion, the actual arguments made by the dissenters made more sense, primarily because of the hypocrisy of the majority in treating sex as more taboo than violence.

The majority opinion, written by Scalia, has already been widely quoted as a ringing defense of free speech:

"Reading Dante is unquestionably more cultured and intellectually edifying than playing Mortal Kombat. But these cultural and intellectual differences are not constitutional ones. Crudely violent video games, tawdry TV shows, and cheap novels and magazines are no less forms of speech than The Divine Comedy, and restrictions upon them must survive strict scrutiny..."

But Scalia continues to believe that the government does have the right to ban the sale of nudity and sexuality to minors (as decided in the Supreme Court's 1968 Ginsberg v. New York decision), just not violence. So he kept qualifying statements like the one above by adding "except for pornography", like a judicial version of the fortune cookie "in bed" game:

"[A]s a general matter, . . . government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content... There are of course exceptions. These limited areas, such as obscenity... represent well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any Constitutional problem."
...
"Speech that is neither obscene as to youths nor subject to some other legitimate proscription cannot be suppressed solely to protect the young from ideas or images that a legislative body thinks unsuitable for them."

So he's continuing the Supreme Court's tradition of carving out of a First Amendment exception for sex, but won't make one for gratuitous violence. I would be against banning either type of content, but if I were forced to ban one of the two, I would definitely pick violence. Wouldn't you?

As Steven Breyer wrote in his dissent:

"But what sense does it make to forbid selling to a 13-year-old boy a magazine with an image of a nude woman, while protecting a sale to that 13-year-old of an interactive video game in which he actively, but virtually, binds and gags the woman, then tortures and kills her? What kind of First Amendment would permit the government to protect children by restricting sales of that extremely violent video game only when the woman -- bound, gagged, tortured, and killed -- is also topless?"

Well, he's right, isn't he? Except he misses the point that perhaps the remedy is not to ban violent video games, but to overturn the precedent that photos of topless women are harmful.

Alito seemed to agree with Breyer, when he wrote in a decision joined by Roberts:

"Victims by the dozens are killed with every imaginable implement, including machine guns, shotguns, clubs, hammers, axes, swords, and chainsaws. Victims are dismembered, decapitated, disemboweled, set on fire, and chopped into little pieces. They cry out in agony and beg for mercy... The objective of one game is to rape a mother and her daughters; in another, the goal is to rape Native American women."

(Alito was technically not dissenting, because he agreed that the current law was impermissibly vague, but filed a separate opinion because he was at pains to emphasize that he thought some future law against violent video games might be constitutional.) The implication seems clear: "If we can ban some things for minors — like pornography — then good God, can't we ban this stuff too?"

Scalia, in his majority opinion, responds to Alito's description of game violence: "Justice Alito recounts all these disgusting video games in order to disgust us — but disgust is not a valid basis for restricting expression." But this is just hypocritical — because Scalia, throughout his own decision, kept deferring to the Ginsberg Supreme Court ruling, which said that the government could ban porn sales to minors if it depicted sex acts in way that the "average person" would consider "patently offensive with respect to what is suitable for minors" (along with some other criteria). In other words, if it causes disgust.

Breyer and Alito also made similar arguments to each other on another reasonable-sounding point — that industry self-regulation might not last long, now that the law has been struck down. As Alito wrote:

"The Court does not mention the fact that the industry adopted this system in response to the threat of federal regulation, Brief for Activision Blizzard, Inc., as Amicus Curiae 7-10, a threat that the Court's opinion may now be seen as largely eliminating. Nor does the Court acknowledge that compliance with this system at the time of the enactment of the California law left much to be desired — or that future enforcement may decline if the video-game industry perceives that any threat of government regulation has vanished."

Breyer agreed:

"And the industry could easily revert back to the substantial noncompliance that existed in 2004, particularly after today's broad ruling reduces the industry's incentive to police itself."

This sounds more realistic than Scalia's recitation of the video game industry party line:

"The video-game industry has in place a voluntary rating system designed to inform consumers about the content of games... This system does much to ensure that minors cannot purchase seriously violent games on their own, and that parents who care about the matter can readily evaluate the games their children bring home."

What do you want to bet that Breyer and Alito are right, and enforcement of the rating system will decline now?

Compare this with another case, when Communications Decency Act of 1996 (essentially banning the "seven dirty words" on the Internet) was struck down in 1997 at least in part because a "less restrictive means" existed for censoring content in the home — parental blocking software. I didn't like blocking software much, but as a statement of fact, it existed, and was a less restrictive means than the law. The crucial difference there was that parents who used blocking software, weren't using it in response to a government threat of legislation, they were using it because they wanted to, and didn't stop using it after the law was struck down. There's no reason to think the same is true for industry self-applied video game ratings.

Finally, Breyer (but not Alito) rejected the argument that the California law should be struck down for vagueness, arguing that it was no more vague than laws against selling pornography minors, which the court had upheld:

"Comparing the language of California's statute (set forth supra, at 1-2) with the language of New York's statute (set forth immediately above), it is difficult to find any vagueness-related difference. Why are the words "kill," "maim," and "dismember" any more difficult to understand than the word "nudity?" ... California only departed from the Miller formulation [the Supreme Court case that defined obscenity] in two significant respects: It substituted the word "deviant" for the words "prurient" and "shameful," and it three times added the words "for minors." The word "deviant" differs from "prurient" and "shameful," but it would seem no less suited to defining and narrowing the reach of the statute."

Well, I think he's right. They're all just words, and they don't have crystal clear boundaries, but you pretty much know what they mean, and there's no reason why one group of words is more vague than the other. (In fact, in a 2008 article I argued that you could measure scientifically the vagueness of a law — just show the law to different test subjects, along with some made-up scenarios, and ask whether those scenarios violated the law or not. I'm quite confident that if you applied that test to these two different laws, you would measure about the same level of "vagueness".)

Again, I don't accept the justices' premise that the government has any business banning the sale of either sexual or violent content. But if you're going to grant the premise that they can and should, then Alito and/or Breyer seem to have made better arguments than the majority on at least those three points: That violence probably deserves less constitutional protection than sex, that the industry isn't likely to keep regulating itself if they no longer think they have to, and there's no reason that "kill" and "maim" are any more vague than "nudity".

(By the way, when I say the "dissenters sounded more reasonable", I am not including Clarence Thomas, whose entire solo dissent was devoted to research showing that the Founding Fathers did not believe people under 18 had First Amendment rights at all. If Clarence Thomas thought really hard, could he think of any other category of people who were denied full civil rights in the 1700s, and hence why we wouldn't want to apply that standard today?)

Fortunately, the majority did get the most important point right, which is that studies do not show a causal relationship between video game playing and real-life acts of violence. As Scalia wrote:

"The State's evidence is not compelling. California relies primarily on the research of Dr. Craig Anderson and a few other research psychologists whose studies purport to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children. These studies have been rejected by every court to consider them, and with good reason: They do not prove that violent video games cause minors to act aggressively (which would at least be a beginning). Instead, "[n]early all of the research is based on correlation, not evidence of causation, and most of the studies suffer from significant, admitted flaws in methodology." Video Software Dealers Assn. 556 F. 3d, at 964. They show at best some correlation between exposure to violent entertainment and minuscule real-world effects, such as children's feeling more aggressive or making louder noises in the few minutes after playing a violent game than after playing a nonviolent game."

Unfortunately, Scalia lacked the nerve to say that this point should have been the only point that mattered, in a society where freedom is the default unless there's a good reason to the contrary. Because the logical consequence of that, would have been that since the "evidence" for the harmful effects of pornography is even weaker, then the government has no business banning that, either.

The problem constraining all nine justices is that they felt bound by the prior Ginsberg ruling making it permissible to ban sales of pornography to minors, so their options were limited to (a) striking down the video game law while ignoring the hypocrisy of continuing to ban pornography, or (b) pointing out that violent video games are probably at least as distasteful. This ignores the possibility that they could have just (c) overturned their prior ruling, as they have done many times before.

If I were a justice writing for the majority, my whole opinion would be:

Well, we can only make an exception to the First Amendment if there's solid evidence of real harm, and there is no scientifically valid evidence of harm here, so the law violates the First Amendment and is struck down. Oh, and that goes for Ginsberg too, next time it comes up. How much did you guys pay for law school again?

Unfortunately, Obama has said that he's looking for Supreme Court candidates that display "empathy", and what I said would probably hurt the other justices' feelings, so don't hold your breath for my being nominated.

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Sex vs. Carnage.... (1)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634662)

Sex is taboo, violence and carnage is great, I guess they never watch TV in America?

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634748)

Don't you know, a woman's body is dirty to most of these objectors?

Genuinely America, sort yourselves out, this is some third world behaviour here.

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36634774)

Wrong. It's considered the opposite as dirty, which is why they don't want it soiled with perverse treatment and objectification. Sort YOURSELF out pervert.

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36634842)

/facepalm

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36634884)

While I agree that the basic ideas expressed here are inconsistent on the part of society and the court, I feel the need to point out - what society or legal system is entirely consistent? Every society on the face of the Earth throughout it's entire history has made silly and arbitrary distinctions that are not consistent... So to argue that things are "Inconsistent" is to simply point out the obvious rather than to bring a new item to light.

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (5, Insightful)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634948)

It will sort itself out.

America is still, to this day, trying to shake off centuries of puritan tradition. But we're doing it. Each generation is a bit more socially sane than the last one.

we gave all colors of skin and then both sexes the right to vote. we then struck down institutionalized racism (as much as possible) and followed up by changing social attitudes towards race (Again, as much as possible. it's a slow process, gotta wait for old racists to die off). We are slowly giving people of all sexual orientations the right to legally marry anybody they so choose, and while we're at it we're slowly allowing people to legally fuck in any way they so choose as long as it's consentual (you'd be amazed at what's still on the books out there). Talks are in progress about how we, as a society, can make sure as few people are fucked over by health care as possible, while at the same time -finally- opening up discussions on how to decriminalize posession and use of recreational drugs while assisting addicts with recovery instead of imprisoning them.

Example. it's a sign of progress that when a year or two ago some southern judge refused to issue a marriage license a white woman and a black man, it is viewed with outrage across the country instead of "why is this news". We're working on changing things, we're working on it.

I'm sure that my grandchildren will look at me and say "you guys were still doing WHAT to -insert social group here- in your day? Wow what were you thinking?" and they'll probably be right.

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (3, Interesting)

ViableDreams (1753312) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635108)

Yes, but it's a long, slow process. Not helped along when some of those "social groups" seem to just not get it (refer also to California's prop 8 vote).

FTA: "[...]Clarence Thomas, whose entire solo dissent was devoted to research showing that the Founding Fathers did not believe people under 18 had First Amendment rights at all. If Clarence Thomas thought really hard, could he think of any other category of people who were denied full civil rights in the 1700s, and hence why we wouldn't want to apply that standard today?)"

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (1, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635504)

Clarence Thomas is closer to the truth than you are. For starters, there ARE no 1st amendment rights, only protections-- the First Amendment does NOT say that you have a right to say certain things or to gather in certain places, but only that Congress shall not restrict it. The 14th amendment enshrines certain of those protections at the state level as well, though which apply to the states is always contentious (see DC's handgun laws).

Further, SCOTUS has ruled in the past that students in a schools-- even public schools-- may be prevented from speaking their mind because the school is at that point seen as an extension of the parent's authority.

The irony of Clarence Thomas' argument is that I agree with a lot of what he was saying-- basically, that parents need to parent. I disagree with the conclusion that he landed on, which is that we need the state to help the parents along the way; but this is less an issue (to my mind) of protecting the child's rights to do something and more an issue of what restrictions are being placed on the parent's rights.

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635506)

Black people had full civil rights in the 1700s.
- They just had to live north of Maryland where blacks had been emancipated by northern, more progressive states

BTW I agree children don't have rights. They have essential rights, like not being killed/abused, but not rights only a fully-mature adult mind can handle, such as free speech, voting, sex, and so on. The only difference is I disagree with the age cutoff. I would lower the age to 13... teens should be considered full adults, albeit still dependent on/restricted by their parents.

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (-1, Troll)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635282)

Oh joy. More America bashing. Well there is ONE way America is superior to Europe. If the southern judge had said these words in most EU states, he would be in jail. In the US States at least we still have the right to speak freely, even if it's hate-filled bullshit. But in many places in Europe free speech is severely curtailed, to the point where you can't even watch a WW2 movie like Indiana Jones (swastikas are censored in Germany). Or the television show 24 (too damn violent).

QUOTE: âoeIâ(TM)m not a racist. I just donâ(TM)t believe in mixing the races that way..... I don't do interracial marriages because I don't want to put children in a situation they didn't bring on themselves. In my heart, I feel the children will later suffer." = Judge Barrow

This guy sounds like an idiot.
But I will defend with my life his
First Amendment right to be that way.

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (2)

dave420 (699308) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635480)

No, it's not illegal for a judge to say that in Europe. Sure, he'd have been censured, but not censored. Also, swastikas are not censored in Germany (as long as you're not marching under one, trying to get people to commit genocide). 24 wasn't banned anywhere, that I'm aware of.

So I have no idea what you're on about, and more importantly it seems neither do you. When you try to defend "America" against "America bashing", at least get your facts straight. All you did was show you are ignorant of Europe, and didn't actually provide support for "America" in any way at all.

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (5, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635316)

we then struck down institutionalized racism

No we didn't; we just hide it better now. In black communities in America, it is common for 1 out of every 5 men to be imprisoned -- in some cases, the proportion is as high as 1 out of every 3. That is right now, in 2011.

opening up discussions on how to decriminalize posession and use of recreational drugs

We have opened up talks about how to decriminalize possession of one particular drug, marijuana. During the past year, at least five drugs were made illegal without any congressional action at all -- the DEA simply declared the drugs to be illegal (they are required to go through a formal scheduling process by the end of this year to keep the drugs illegal). We are nowhere near the end of the war on drugs; in fact, it is intensifying.

I'm sure that my grandchildren will look at me and say "you guys were still doing WHAT to -insert social group here- in your day? Wow what were you thinking?" and they'll probably be right.

More likely, they'll say, "You were allowed to speak out against the police back then?!"

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (-1, Offtopic)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635338)

>>>make sure as few people are fucked over by health care as possible

Everybody has a right to buy healtcare (or a home) (or a car).
- Nobody has the right to raid my wallet for cash to pay for those things.
IMHO.

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635494)

I didn't say socialized medicine. I said "ways to keep people from being fucked over by healthcare". I've had health care from 3 different insurance companies in the past decade. some were decent, some screwed me over heavily.

and of course, yes the people without are even way more screwed.

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (2)

dave420 (699308) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635568)

So you'd rather pay even more to fix the repercussions of people not having healthcare, which do impact your daily life, than to pay taxes to ensure said repercussions are as minimal as possible. Great logic, sparky! You're a beacon of hope in a troubled world!

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635332)

Eurofag: It's going to take at least 1 more generation. The majority of the problem-population in this country exists in my dad's generation. I don't know how to refer to his generation, but he's going on 60. When they die off, my generation will be in power. Things will start to improve. My children should keep the rate of improvement increasing exponentially.

You dumbass eurofags were existed hundreds of years before us. Maybe more. We deserve some credit for as far as we have come in such a relatively short time.

Re:Sex vs. Carnage.... (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634964)

Keep in mind, a lot of us also object to the banning of nudity as well. It just happens that this was concentrated on violence.

And if I recall correctly, the similar Indiana law, which also was struck down, was on both violence and nudity.

This isn't going to look for Darkstalkers (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634684)

The cleavagiest fighting game series in existence. Catgirls clad in fur pasties, succubus with the high Theiss tittilation theory, bee girls with obvious camel toes, it won't be the same if all this needs to be cut back because of congress! Though, I do applaud their red blood > white suspicious liquid substance preference.

Seven words you can't say on television (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36634688)

George Carlin said it best in his classic routine! In our culture violence is more acceptable than sex ... it's manly and competitive .. .whereas sex is dirty and shameful.

Re:Seven words you can't say on television (2)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634974)

whereas sex is dirty and shameful.

At least when it's done right, it is.

Re:Seven words you can't say on television (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635478)

whereas sex is dirty and shameful.

At least when it's done right, it is.

Dirty I can give you, but shameful? Hell no!

Re:Seven words you can't say on television (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635056)

Re:Seven words you can't say on television (3, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635380)

Great photo. It summarizes with zero words the hypocrisy of our culture:
- Vibrator == bad, dirty, outlawed to be shown on tv.
- Assault rifle == okay, and shown on primetime.

In reality they should BOTH be allowed in our arts. It's free speech and neither should be any more "censored" than the other.

Hypocrisy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36634692)

mainly because of the hypocrisy of continuing to ban sexuality while giving violence a pass

Why is that hypocritical? Hasn't violence in games been shown not to induce violent behavior in players (at least that what Slashdot constantly claims)? Conversely, with sex, the opposite is true.

Why, then, is it hypocritical to want to curtail something that stimulates socially dangerous behavior among children and not be so worried about something else that does not?

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634904)

Conversely, with sex, the opposite is true.

How so?

Re:Hypocrisy (2)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635010)

I'm not the poster, but I would imagine that watching sexually explicit material (sexy video games, porn, Night Court) would put people in a state of arousal, and thus induce them to have sex. The question is, however, why is that a bad thing? If my partner and I consume sexually explicit material, and then we go have sex, who's problem is it?

And before it gets mentioned, I think it would be a huge stretch to state that consuming sexually explicit material leads to rape.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635260)

If my partner and I consume sexually explicit material, and then we go have sex, who's problem is it?

If you're 12? Probably your parents' problem.

Wait, are we still talking about banning it for kids, or everybody? I certainly don't want to ban it for everybody, but I didn't think we were talking about that.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635422)

If the original poster was talking about little kids, then I will indeed need to see some evidence of that.

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635492)

And before it gets mentioned, I think it would be a huge stretch to state that consuming sexually explicit material leads to rape.

True, but if you don't masticate thoroughly, it might make you bleed from your ass ...

Re:Hypocrisy (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635044)

If species need video games as a trigger for sexual activity, outlook bleak.

The American Way (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36634726)

Perhaps it's because Americans are violent but not sexy?

Re:The American Way (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635456)

I see you haven't been to California. We may have the worst politics this side of the Prime Meridian, but spend a day on the white sands of Longbeach or Santa Monica and you will be ashamed your local girls don't look as good in a bikini. And if you think that's great, wait until you get a couple of them into bed (and yes, most Cali girls do swing that way). The golden coast still has a thing or two goin' for it..

;)

Obligatory UCB Reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36634732)

I fight for the the freedom of speech... IN BED

http://www.milkandcookies.com/link/52261/detail/

Makes sense to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36634752)

After all, sex hurts people, and violence doesn't. Or . . . wait, maybe I've got that backwards . . .

No Tits? But mindless slaughter is fine? (4, Insightful)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634756)

And it all started with the Hays codes in the 1930s. Get your religion-based censorship out of my TV and radio broadcasts already.

Religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635054)

If you think the objective of censorship is anything but profit, you're sadly mistaken. It's not rocket science: if the executives in the business of government can justify censorship, then they have justified power and revenue. More power and revenue makes the business of government more lucrative for those who can leverage that cash flow for personal gain.

If 200 years of government expansion proves anything -- year after year of more spending and more borrowing -- it's that the people who run the business of government are primarily driven by money.

Re:No Tits? But mindless slaughter is fine? (5, Informative)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635060)

John Stewart made a (very graphic) point with a Mortal Kombat scene where two burly guys can grab a female opponent by the legs and violently rip her in half from the crotch on up, blood flying everywhere, and that was supposedly fine, but if there was even a bit of a pixelated "nip slip" it would be banned.

America's media masters have a very fucking twisted sense of what's "acceptable" and what's not.

Relation to other forms of media (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36634778)

I thought a major part of the decision was that other forms of entertainment are not similarly restricted. Violence in films and TV are not subject to the same sort of law, and the decision was based on that discrepancy in the restriction of speech. However, those forms of media are restricted when it comes to sexual content, so a similar restriction can be applied to video games. This is of course separate from whether or not it *should* be applied to any of them. Isn't that the job of parenting?

Anyway, it seems as though the court was trying to just align the law with current precedent, and clarify that video games are speech like other formats, instead of getting into a major brouhaha over the issue restricting sexual content in any media which is outside of the scope of this case.

There is no obscenity exemption (5, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634786)

There is no obscenity exemption in the Constitution. I've looked. The Supreme Court invented the obscenity exemption. Only Congress is supposed to have the power to create law, and they may only modify the Constitution after ratification by the states. The Miller test hasn't passed any of these hurdles so it is quite plainly unconstitutional.

This is an absolutely crystal clear case of activist judges legislating from the bench.

Re:There is no obscenity exemption (3, Funny)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634944)

This is an absolutely crystal clear case of activist judges legislating from the bench.

Silly rabbi - only liberal judges can be activist.

Re:There is no obscenity exemption (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635006)

Agree. Not only that this supreme court has in my opinion contradicted a precedent set by 1973's Miller v. California and Scalia's comments are a feeble attempt at reconciling the outcome of this case with that of Miller.

The problem being that the Miller case dealt with pornography and not obscenities in general.

The other mind boggling part of this judgement is that this isn't really about censorship. It's about restricting the sale of questionable materials to minors.

Re:There is no obscenity exemption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635102)

In the United States, the legal definition of "obscenity" only relates to pornographic material, which must also be patently offensive and lack serious value.

Also, any case about restricting the sale of a product that is subject to First Amendment protection is about censorship. If you prevent a class of people (children) from accessing material or prevent a class of people (game developers) from speaking to a given market (children), you are restricting free speech. The question is whether the censorship should be allowed because of public policy.

Re:There is no obscenity exemption (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635026)

Congress can modify the constitution. So can the states, by calling for a constitutional convention and ratifying the amendments.

Re:There is no obscenity exemption (2)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635074)

The SCOTUS is charged with interpreting the law. The First Amendment has been found to not hold with obscene material, and the Miller Test was devised to help determine whether a piece of media is obscene, or if it is protected expression.

The Constitution is not set in stone; and given that we don't have the people around who wrote it, we need to interpret it to the standards of the day. There was no Constitutional protection against the government retrieving emails from a server, but it was later held that those fall under the same protections as written communication. Likewise, there was no Constitutional exemption against gay/interracial marriage in the 14th Amendment, yet many states felt that they could enact laws against those things.

Re:There is no obscenity exemption (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635242)

The Constitution is not set in stone; and given that we don't have the people around who wrote it, we need to interpret it to the standards of the day.

Some of the wordings in the constitution are basically set in stone. For instance, pretending that there exists exemptions in the constitution where there is not and calling it "interpretation" could probably be considered wrong. They interpret it, and their interpretations can be wrong.

Re:There is no obscenity exemption (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635302)

But the first amendment pretty much explicitely says "$FOOBAR is OK, period". If SCOTUS then goes and says "$FOOBAR is only OK under certain circumstances", that's not "interpreting the law", it's going against what the constitution quite plainly says. "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech" is clear the way it's written.

It's true that the world is changing and that the founding father's didn't anticipate and couldn't have anticipated everything. And it's true that while they wrote the bill of rights to be as broad as possible, they didn't manage to cover every base.

On the other hand, you're lumping in different things. "the government shall not retrieve emails from a server" is a pretty straightforward applications of people being secure in their papers, for instance, and both that and interracial marriage (gay marriage, last I checked, was not actually recognized except for in a handful of individual states!) are, if anything, extensions of the rights of the people, and as such are covered by the 9th (again, if they're not already covered by the 4th etc., anyway). This is vastly different from the federal government claiming new rights for itself by default.

And it's even more different from the federal government restricting existing rights. Sorry, but the 1st amendment really is clear. It says you have freedom of speech (philosophically speaking, not necessarily practically). If SCOTUS interprets that to mean that you don't have freedom of speech in this or that case that the government doesn't like, then SCOTUS is wrong.

Re:There is no obscenity exemption (4, Insightful)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635152)

The Constitution also has no exceptions to the freedom of religion thing, yet we seem to feel free to ban human sacrifice, slavery, polygamy, and spousal abuse, no matter how sincere the religious feelings behind them may be. Damn activist judges suggesting that rules against murder trump the Constitution! :)

Re:There is no obscenity exemption (1)

spectro (80839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635270)

My thoughts exactly. Sadly our Supreme Court has a history of wiping their asses with the constitution. If they have done their jobs, slavery and racial discrimination would have never happened.

Supreme Court judges can be impeached, but that is very unlikely to ever happen.

Horrifying (2)

mozumder (178398) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634794)

Stunning hypocrisy by supposed "adults". It's a symptom of the garbage they grew up with, though.

America really needs a cultural shift so that everyone is taught that:

1) Violence is bad.
&
2) Sex is good.

A good starting point for all this is to vilify the right-wing Christian culture that preaches violence over sex. America doesn't need a religion from the middle-east in its land. There are plenty of Native American religions one can choose from, both violent and non-violent, should anyone feels the need for religion.

Re:Horrifying (1)

kakyoin01 (2040114) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634846)

Is it really that "stunning"? Still, I wholeheartedly agree that America's culture is geared towards "guilty pleasure violence" and "taboo sex". It's one of the primary reasons why Americans keep to themselves so much, and stupid American censoring comes into play.

Re:Horrifying (1)

unr3a1 (1264666) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635046)

Apparently "freedom of religion" doesn't mean anything to you. Thankfully, the Bill of Rights disagrees with you.

Re:Horrifying (1)

neurophil12 (1054552) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635482)

Apparently "freedom of religion" doesn't mean anything to you. Thankfully, the Bill of Rights disagrees with you.

Apparently you have no conception of how the Bill of Rights applies. mozumder never said "the government should force people to no longer be Christian (or of a middle-eastern religion)". He said he wants to socially vilify those religions, which without any explicit statement otherwise we should assume he intends to do in a legal manner. You are free to disagree with him as much as he is free to disagree with you and with any religion he chooses. This is the same sort of thing the talking heads on the Right always mistake whenever some idiot pundit says something that offends people. "So-and-so has every right to say what they said, and you're taking away his first amendment right to say it." No, we are using our own rights to make "so-and-so" accountable in the public arena.

Re:Horrifying (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635336)

Violence is not bad; it is the solution to most problems, and in fact the only solution to all problems caused by violence.

People need to learn to use the threat of violence effectively. Properly, I guess; but that's a lost cause, based in personal philosophy. Fortunately, the threat of violence is strangely powerful: if being a violent asshole is likely to end badly for you, then you will probably be disinclined from being a violent asshole.

That's why we should have strong personal self defense values. People need to feel that they can stand up to violence; otherwise a few people will realize they can just pound someone's face in and take what they want, and most people will just cower and be good little slaves for fear of being pounded too.

I want a society of people who will stand together, who will see this brutal face-pounding and all crowd around to liberate the poor defenseless sap from this vicious beating and put the unruly whelp up against a dozen other people who aren't afraid to use their fists either. Instead you get a crowd that prevents the guy getting beat to death from running, and they all cheer for the chance to watch a good beating; or they just slink away and hide, 'cause sorry kid, you're on your own. No help from the cowards that call themselves men.

The global sphere has, unfortunately, got it right. On a personal level this isn't a problem because, well, you know, fists; but on a political level we're shaking nukes in each others' faces. Somebody actually created a bomb that would destroy all life on the planet back around WW2 era... that's why they stopped getting bigger. They looked at the yield estimates and said, "... we can't do this, we could just set it off in our own front yard and it'd still nuke the other side of the planet. There's no use for this. We'd destroy ourselves." We stick with boosted devices big enough to pretty much end Japan in one shot, and that's it. ... ~_~

That's why they all play nice. You launch one nuke and 50 other countries obliterate you from the face of the planet, completely, immediately. I don't get how tactical Mutually Assured Destruction never keyed anyone off about the social benefits of Mutually Assured Asskicking. Still, I'd prefer we did this with smaller bombs; just like I'd prefer (won't happen) clubs and swords to assault rifles on the street. Too bad people on the street play risk; they can get assault rifles, but they don't want to deal with the massive police force that will be chasing them down, or the huge jail penalties for possession. That's also why some criminals are found with guns on them when they're arrested for robbing a store at knife-point: it's at least 15 years jail time here for gun crime, but possession is maybe an added 2 year penalty. They won't use a gun unless someone is shooting at them, because they want to be in and out of jail in a year or three.

Once in a while, a nut with a 500 round fully auto shows up and starts killing people. The only defense is to snipe 'em from far off (or grenades). A handgun versus quick reflex is surprisingly feasible (poor, often painful, but largely survivable and winnable); but all the judo in the world won't protect you from an AK-47 in rock-and-roll mode. I accept gun control for these things neither because they're dangerous nor because we can legislate them away (neither is strictly true); I know it does reduce (not eliminate) the likelihood of possession and use, and hell a good rifle is just as effective against a belt-feeder as another belt-feeder. Even a Derringer one-shot pistol can take the guy out if you're close enough to get the bullet to his face.

Puritan America - different elsewhere (4, Insightful)

fantomas (94850) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634808)

American citizens have a long and well publicised record of being shocked and upset by seeing the human body, while being more relaxed about exposing their children to acts of simulated violence. Guns ok, bare bodies not ok.

When Janet Jackson showed a nipple in a show on prime time tv at the superbowl, the USA took to the streets and threatened to riot for this shameful behaviour that would damage their kids for life. Over in Europe, people laughed: you can see posters of half naked people on billboards selling perfume and the like on the way to the shops, no big deal. Sometimes models are completely naked in posters [adland.tv] . Europeans are more worried about exposing their children to violence.

Different places, different cultures. Violence is ok in the USA, sex is ok in Europe. You take your choice and live where you feel comfortable I suppose...

Re:Puritan America - different elsewhere (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634914)

I dont remember the country taking to the streets to riot. I think the streets were empty as everyone was busy hitting replay on their tivos.

Re:Puritan America - different elsewhere (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634994)

That's because American's are more sexy than Europeans as portrayed by the media. I mean, have you seen naked Europeans before? Either they look emaciated on the catwalk, or full of cellulite with hair under their arms. It's major cultural difference. Lustful imagery in America can foster subconscious violent thoughts of conquest. Fight for the "prize" (mating rights) amongst the competition.

I guess you could say; in America, sexuality leads to violence.

Re:Puritan America - different elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635058)

...in America, sexuality leads to violence.

Well, that proves it. Americans are all repressed homosexuals.

Come on! A heterosexual person would see a naked or half naked person of the opposite sex and would want to have sex; not fight or commit violence! When I see a naked half way decent looking woman, I want to fuck her or at least jerk-off somewhere - NOT become violent!

But, if one were a repressed homosexual because of America's stupid hang-up about gays, then I guess that would lead one to violence - EXCEPT openly gay people.

Openly gay people are the cure for violence in this society. And I think that's what we need: gay leaders.

Re:Puritan America - different elsewhere (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635194)

When I see a naked half way decent looking woman, I want to fuck her or at least jerk-off somewhere - NOT become violent!

Most men in their prime would get agitated (a buildup toward violence) at thought of another man wooing the same woman. Generally it's subtile at the individual level, but the effects are amplified in culture. Don't forget, that we're animals too on Earth. We aren't completely detached from instinct.

Openly gay people are the cure for violence in this society. And I think that's what we need: gay leaders.

For how many generations? Last I checked, gays don't breed. You want to keep the human race going right? Well, babies need to be born for that to happen. Test tube conception isn't enough.

Re:Puritan America - different elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635204)

Fight for the "prize" (mating rights) amongst the competition.

Well, since we have no jocks in Europe, everyone gets to have sex. I mean, what culture teaches young women they must only fuck stupid guys? No wonder the US is spiraling down the drain.

Uuhhh ... wait a minute. Never mind the last sentence. I forgot americans aren't subject to evolution.

Re:Puritan America - different elsewhere (1)

cancrine (673769) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635066)

Janet Jackson did not show a nipple; JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE ripped Janet's shirt open.

Re:Puritan America - different elsewhere (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635254)

It isn't just the US. There's a current case in Canada in which customs arrested someone for having comicbook images on his laptop which (in the opinion of the agent) depicted illegal sexual activity. They don't arrest people or seize books for depicting fictional illegal violence, however.

Re:Puritan America - different elsewhere (1)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635280)

The model in the link was naked, but I sure as heck don't consider that nudity.

Maybe the print ads showed more, or the image was photoshopped, but you can barely see the profile of a nipple, which movies and TV have no problem with showing through an actress' blouse and/or bra--I've heard they even sometimes apply an ice cube on them right before a shoot, just so they stand out.

And for that, the morons at US-based Paypal froze that website's donation account. One more reason I've never had an account with them.

Re:Puritan America - different elsewhere (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635290)

For a fun fact, this shoe advertisement (NSFW) [tv2.no] was found illegal, not for being visible to children despite being a 24m^2 poster at the mall but because they found it to be objectifying women. That said we do have a fairly strict barrier between nudity and sex, the sex magazines are by law on the top shelf and covered so you can't see much from below. Of course, that doesn't stop the Internet but that's a different story...

life goals (5, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634872)

I used to work at EB, and I always thought it was sadly funny when some parent would get offended at some very crude/pixelated nudity... But be perfectly OK with wholesale slaughter.

Seriously.

Most people, at some point in their lives, see a naked body. Most people have sex. That's generally considered to be a good thing. Aren't parents stereotypically bugging their children for grandkids after they get married?

Most people, on the other hand, try to avoid getting dismembered with a chainsaw.

And yet... According to the way we rate our media... Chainsaw dismemberment is apparently more acceptable.

Re:life goals (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634966)

once upon a time... I was playing EQ and we were in a language group, where various races would choose to speak in a language no one else knew, and the more that the characters heard this ( displayed as gibberish on the screen ) , the higher their understanding, until eventually "fluency" was achieved. One of the people in the group chose to spam the group with a joke " the only problem i have with sex on tv is losing my balance and falling to the floor". Another member of the group hit the roof as he began to understand through the language filters. It was kind of funny . The offending group member changed his message to something along the lines of " hack and slash is ok for 10 year olds, but dont mention the S word."

Re:life goals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635098)

And yet... According to the way we rate our media... Chainsaw dismemberment is apparently more acceptable.

Chainsaw dismemberment is /not/ more acceptable -- just more acceptable in publicly shared fantasies.

I do not find this bizarre or shocking at all.

hypocritically not knowing what hypocrisy is (2, Funny)

MichaelKristopeit502 (2018076) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634888)

sexuality and violence are not the same thing. it is not hypocrisy to create legislation surrounding one and not the other, and considering the challenges of global climate change brought on by the demands of more humans procreating, encouraging violence while not encouraging sexuality is not hypocritical... it's the solution the same problem.

the editors of this internet website chat room message board are ignorant hypocrites.

slashdot = stagnated.

Re:hypocritically not knowing what hypocrisy is (1)

thrash242 (697169) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635078)

This was my first thought also. It's not hypocrisy at all.

It's all about definitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36634908)

Courts are extremely reluctant to impose prior restraints on speech - that is, prohibiting speech before it occurs. While minors have lower levels of free speech protection, there are adults with interests at play: here, the adults who develop and sell violent video games and the adults who wish to purchase it.

The ban against pornography sales to minors came under a lot of attack for the definition of obscenity as "I know it when I see it." When it was first created, the ban on pornography sales was probably too ill-defined to be appropriate. But now we have sufficient definitions, through court decisions and application, that sellers know what they cannot sell to minors. State statutes specifically define what constitutes "sexual content."

This is not the case with violence, especially that which exists purely in a fictional realm. What level of fictional, digital violence would be patently offensive? What does it mean to "kill" a video game character, since they aren't alive in the first place? After all, the criminally has long recognized that you cannot kill a person who is not alive at the moment of the conduct. In a video game realm, these definitions just don't work. Technically speaking, Mario kills Goombas by jumping on their heads. Would the California law have banned the sale of Mario games to anyone under age 18?

I would argue that, because all violence in video games occurs as against inanimate creations, no level of violence is patently offensive. Distinguish this from violence in movies, which appears to happen to real people. Yes, there are arguments that video games are more harmful because of their interactivity, but my point is simply this: we don't have clear enough definitions to create prior restraints. Nudity is nudity. This is not so clear.

Re:It's all about definitions (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635022)

What level of fictional, digital violence would be patently offensive?

Whether something is "offensive" or not is subjective no matter what. As such, how could anything possibly be "patently offensive"?

Old Testament (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#36634960)

The answer is in the Old Testament. All over it. Killing=good, sex=evil. Just be killing the right people.

Since both the government AND the supreme court is in hands of religious people, this sets USA on par with Iran as teocracy.

Re:Old Testament (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635106)

Have you actually read the old testament? The very first commandment that God gives to the world is "be fruitful and multiply."

Re:Old Testament (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635362)

That was before that Apple burt? Or wasn't the apple commandment the first one? Anyway, it seems he changed his mind sometime around Noah, and after the second massive incestfest (first with Adam and Eve's children) it was pretty much established who has the right to kill and who should be the ones killed and then the killing commenced. Exodus especially shows that commandments were less of a law and more like a guidelines, and killing non-Israelis was most welcome...

Re:Old Testament (1)

Gripp (1969738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635190)

IMO it has more to do with our military advertising than anything. the military gets to review all movies etc as part of the MPAA rating and toss in their 2 cents. and if we condition our children to be okay with violence then maybe they'll be more likely to be a good soldier. not that i agree that this is a good thing.... just what i see as the main culprit. sex SHOULD be more widely accepted than decapitation. but what can we do?

Re:Old Testament (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635244)

You're clearly misinformed. Song of Songs is a book entirely about sex.

Re:Old Testament (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635440)

This is an extreme oversimplification. God didn't take pleasure in telling the people to kill other nations. He did it when the other nations were doing even more killing and destruction. That was the whole point of the New Testament: to end that sort of justice. And sex was never evil. Have you even read the bible? Why don't you read some of Solomon's writing which was all about sex.

video games shouldn't be singled out (5, Insightful)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635016)

No matter what you think about sex vs violence, that isn't what this case was about. This case was about whether there should be special rules for video games! If California had simply passed a law against selling depictions of gratuitous violence to children, that would have been a whole different matter (and an unlikely law in the land of Hollywood). Do we really need special, separate rules for each new medium? I don't think so. Consistency is the thing! The Supremes considered the question of whether video games needed separate rules, and concluded that there was no evidence they did. If you don't like violence in media, petition for a ban on violence in media, not violence in video games!

The court is not the final arbitrator (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635140)

Just because the old people in the Supreme Court declare "violence is okay; sex is bad" does not mean other judges have to obey.

These state and local judges are free to reach their own conclusions and, if they wish, allow sex and nudity in contexts the SC claims is forbidden. (Like not punishing a Utah bookstore for selling issues of playboy.)

Re:The court is not the final arbitrator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635276)

I think the Supremacy Clause would disagree with you.

Yeah (1)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635144)

Because people's bodies are so much less offensive when they are being riddled with bullets or exploding, versus just being viewed.

Sex is a taboo for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635174)

Which movie would you be more comfortable watching with your family, a movie with lots of nudity or one with lots of violence?

Re:Sex is a taboo for a reason (1)

vawwyakr (1992390) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635416)

Is that discomfort at least partially due to the culture of sex being bad?

There a video about that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635180)

Looks like someone thinks alike:
Supreme Slaughter [markfiore.com] From icepick eye games.

Liked it! (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635202)

It was a pleasant surprise to see a large and articulated text instead of the usual summary.

Re:Liked it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635382)

^^ this

Fascinating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635214)

I always found it odd that censorship was more strict with respect to sex, something almost everyone will experience, than violence, something much more rare. Not to go all hippy, but shouldn't we encourage love, not war?
Or best yet, leave it to the esrb.

Thank you internet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635240)

They cry out in agony and beg for mercy... The objective of one game is to rape a mother and her daughters; in another, the goal is to rape Native American women."

Ahhh...Rapelay and Custer's Revenge..., the sights, the sins, the sheer disgust and piqued interest reflecting more about what society has made me into rather than what monster I've become for no reason as they would have it.

I would retort with the Pinhead-quote: "This...is my blood, this...is my flesh, happy are those who come to MY supper".

NB: I get Extra-points for my captcha being "unstable" ^^

Think about it for a minute (1)

Bicx (1042846) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635246)

Which is most likely to cause a responsive change in the viewer: watching violence, or watching sex/nudity?
We've had article after article on here about how violent video games are not shown to produce violent individuals.
I know Slashdot isn't exactly a bastion of Christian ideals, but surely you can understand that people who hold sex to be sacred don't want their children to be exposed to it in a disrespectful or objectifying context. Images of nudity are often burned into an individual's mind; that's a purely biological response. You don't have to agree that it's wrong to expose children to sex in video games, but surely one can understand that -- barring some exceptional cases -- violence doesn't have nearly the same kind of effect on the mind.

Re:Think about it for a minute (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635284)

Good, then they can police their own children and not foist that responsibility off on the rest of society to uphold their personal perversions of morality.

Re:Think about it for a minute (1)

Bicx (1042846) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635518)

I think you are misunderstanding the motives. Christians are not giving excessive violence a thumbs-up as an acceptable lifestyle. Rather, they are concerned by the effect a video game has on the viewer in real life. As a Christian myself, I don't think forcefully imposing my belief on anyone is right or effective, even though I do believe there is a defined absolute morality; it's a choice you have to make yourself. I also do think parents need to police their own children. I'm just trying to explain why sex is a bigger deal than violence to those who consider sex and sex-related purity of thought sacred.

There's no Santa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635472)

In my family we want our children to believe in Santa. We would be really upset if someone told them that Santa does not exist. However I would never think to make it a crime if you do.

I do believe that people should respect each others beliefs and should not force their beliefs on others. Don't you?

restricting sex content == doing kids a big favor? (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635262)

Regardless of the motivations, perhaps these restrictions are doing kids a big favor.

Evidence indicates that saturating kids with violent images actually leads to ~less~ violent behavior.

So...what if saturating kids with sexual images leads to less interest and joy in sex later in life?

It would suck to hit "porn burnout" before puberty, and miss out on much of the fun and excitement of personal sexual discovery.

Just a thought.

Insight from a religious person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635314)

I'm talking about something important to me here, and I'm not eager to be attacked and labeled because of it. I seriously considered posting AC because the comments so far look like a roving lynch mob...prove me wrong.

As an aside, I believe strongly that the first amendment is a good idea. I do not agree with the law which was pushed by California. I play lots of video games.

I'm not trying to talk about that, though, I'm trying to give my insight about the repeated comments of 'How can you complain about sex when clearly you don't care about violence'.

There is a gap between the person that I want to be and the person that I am. I absolutely believe that everything you see and think and do is slowly turning you into a different person. I try to choose entertainment that doesn't move me further from the person that I want to be.

Encountering profanity makes me want to swear more. I do not appreciate this.
Sexual depictions makes me want to have sex with someone, even if they are not my wife. I do not appreciate this.
Violent depictions currently do not make me want to go kill something. I therefore don't account it as particularly damaging...perhaps I am wrong.

The idea that my discomforts should change what you get to have is one that I'm unclear on my opinions towards. For the purposes of this post I'm only trying to demonstrate that people can put different weights on different types of content and not be stupid.

Please stop acting like everyone who does so is stupid.

Re:Insight from a religious person (2)

Jaqenn (996058) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635340)

I'm talking about something important to me here, and I'm not eager to be attacked and labeled because of it. I seriously considered posting AC because the comments so far look like a roving lynch mob...prove me wrong.

As an aside, I believe strongly that the first amendment is a good idea. I do not agree with the law which was pushed by California. I play lots of video games.

I'm not trying to talk about that, though, I'm trying to give my insight about the repeated comments of 'How can you complain about sex when clearly you don't care about violence'.

There is a gap between the person that I want to be and the person that I am. I absolutely believe that everything you see and think and do is slowly turning you into a different person. I try to choose entertainment that doesn't move me further from the person that I want to be.

Encountering profanity makes me want to swear more. I do not appreciate this.
Sexual depictions makes me want to have sex with someone, even if they are not my wife. I do not appreciate this.
Violent depictions currently do not make me want to go kill something. I therefore don't account it as particularly damaging...perhaps I am wrong.

The idea that my discomforts should change what you get to have is one that I'm unclear on my opinions towards. For the purposes of this post I'm only trying to demonstrate that people can put different weights on different types of content and not be stupid.
Please stop acting like everyone who does so is stupid.

Gah...forgot to unclick post anonymously.

Important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36635320)

This is important for the warrior country, violence and killing is normal, war is good. Now go sign up to kill some more foreign soldiers.

Age Already Matters (1)

ender8282 (1233032) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635324)

We (the USA) already restrict certain things based on age. You can't vote until you are 18. You can't drive until you are 16. You can't drink until you are 21. You can't serve in the military until you are 17?. You can't work full time until you are 18. I don't think that anyone is going to propose letting a 5 year old, vote, drink alcohol, drive or work full 40 house a week killing people in the military. If we can restrict all of these things based on age why not restrict sales of games. Unless I am mistaken the law didn't restrict minors from owning or playing the games. If parents want to allow their children to play the games they should be allowed to. Just like parents can (or should be able to) let their children operate a vehicle on private property. Children are not first class citizens. They shouldn't be first class citizens. Restricting sales of violent games, alcohol, pornography, or tobacco should be alright.

Re:Age Already Matters (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635460)

We (the USA) already restrict certain things based on age. You can't vote until you are 18. You can't drive until you are 16. You can't drink until you are 21. You can't serve in the military until you are 17?. You can't work full time until you are 18. I don't think that anyone is going to propose letting a 5 year old, vote, drink alcohol, drive or work full 40 house a week killing people in the military. If we can restrict all of these things based on age why not restrict sales of games. Unless I am mistaken the law didn't restrict minors from owning or playing the games. If parents want to allow their children to play the games they should be allowed to. Just like parents can (or should be able to) let their children operate a vehicle on private property. Children are not first class citizens. They shouldn't be first class citizens. Restricting sales of violent games, alcohol, pornography, or tobacco should be alright.

And each of them is arbitrary. Give people a test relative to what they want to do and if they pass the test let them do it. Of course then you get into the annoying discussion about what "pass" means but just make the consequences be life or death and then the result will be clear. This is what our ancestors did.

P.S.

You are either not a parent or not a very good one. The government is not a substitute for good parenting.

What a stupid country I live in... (4, Insightful)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635384)

where *obscene* violence is more acceptable than completely *normal* sexuality. It's beyond me. WTF?

Re:What a stupid country I live in... (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36635542)

Hey now. Let's not cut off our nose to spite our face.
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