Video Games and the Justice System
Just recently there has been a resurgence of news because some people in California are trying to pass a law that would ban the sale of “violent” games to minors. The first article I saw presents the case and the current situation while the second article I saw today presents the response of justices to the law.
I think the justices responded fairly to the arguments brought up by the proponents of the ban of minors from buying games considered violent (along the lines of pornographic material). Some stores do this voluntarily but they are not legally required to do so.
There is a monkey wrench in the whole equation that I think is being ignored: the internet. This will improve in time as entities like Google continue to bring attention to legislating the internet but as it stands the minors that cannot purchase pornographic material at a retail location have easy access to it online with no real repercussions. With a bit of knowhow the games the law in California would ban are easily accessible online. And that’s just dealing with individual to product – what about individual relationships with people who own a product? Like a child who knows a friend who knows where his dad has the dirty magazines a minor could easily borrow a game from a friend or play the game at a friend’s house.
With the reality of current media delivery platforms – especially the internet – a lot of laws and mindsets developed over the last few decades need to be adjusted. It will happen in time so I’m not concerned about the legal side.
What needs to happen in this sort of environment is that parents need to step in and be engaged with their children so that if the minor cannot be exposed to something the parents can step in and make sure that doesn’t happen. Should the minor be exposed to those things the parents need to be there to contextualize the content so the minor can learn why it is appropriate or inappropriate at different times. I think these sorts of lessons pave the way for the development into a mature adult.
Laws can only do so much. Parents need to realize that they’re not the reserve forces but the front-line troops in raising their children.
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