As we discussed in class on Wednesday, violent video games are a hotly debated topic amongst lawmakers and politicians these days. Governor Schwarzenegger signed a bill in 2005 that created a ban on the sale of "violent" video games to minors and imposes fines on retailers that break the law. An appeal on the ban was recently heard by the Supreme Court, with a ruling expected sometime next year. Although I agree that there are a host of games that young children probably shouldn't play, how can a lawmaker decide what is and what isn't violence and also penalize retailers when they aren't always the reason kids get their hands on these games.
the article by Henry Jenkins debunking video game myths cites a 2001 US Surgeon General report that states that the strongest risk factors for school shooters were mental stability and quality of home life. Although people are often quick to blame the media for society's problems, like youth violence, it is usually the case that there are many more significant factors than just a violent video game.
Although this bill was passed with good intentions, I believe it is overly restrictive in terms of completely restricting the sale of violent games. There is already a sufficient ratings system in place and stores already abide by rules with regards to selling to minors, so where is the need for this law? Lawmakers might say the video game makers are driven solely by the money, but I'm sure the Governator pocketed a nice amount of money from his violent video games and movies too.