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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Violent Video Game Law Court Found Unconstitutional Has 72 Percent Approval

Posted By on Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Ah, but is it Constitutional?
  • Ah, but is it Constitutional?
Ah, but is it Constitutional?
According to a recent Zogby poll, 72 percent of Americans support a California law preventing the sale of ultra-violent videogames to children. And yet, the validity of that law isn't for Americans randomly picking up the phone to decide, but the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the 2005 law AB 1179, which prevented the sale to minors of racy or violent games that enable "the player to virtually inflict serious injury upon images of human beings or characters with substantially human characteristics in a manner which is especially heinous, cruel, or depraved in that it involves torture or serious physical abuse to the victim." The Court of Appeal, however, found the Sen. Leland Yee-authored law to be "a presumptively invalid content-based restriction on speech."

All that First Amendment talk aside, however, this poll claims Americans don't want junior playing Grand Theft Auto -- and you can put that in your Bill of Rights.

Per the Zogby survey:

  • 72 percent of adults approve of a ban on the sale of "ultra-violent video games" to minors
  • 65 percent of parents say "they're concerned" about the impact of said games on their children
  • 75 percent of parents give the video game industry "a negative rating" when it comes to "how they protect kids from violent video games"

Enraged gorillas, flaming barrels -- how violent is this?
  • Enraged gorillas, flaming barrels -- how violent is this?
Enraged gorillas, flaming barrels -- how violent is this?
That being said, opponents of restricting the sale of violent videogames aren't impressed by the poll, which was commissioned by Common Sense Media, an avowed opponent of violent games. Industry members bring up that a KRC Research survey from earlier this year found 78 percent of Americans believe video games deserve First Amendment protection.

The Supreme Court case will be argued by the office of California's Attorney General; 11 other states have filed "friend of the court" briefs in support of AB 1179.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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