It took less time than I expected. Today the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against a California law that aimed to turn selling violent games to minors into a crime, and one of the many shady parents associations that plague our society already released a statement that tries (and quite obviously fails) to dispute the validity of said ruling.
The Parent Television Council published a press release with statements from their president Tim Winters, in the weak attempt to pass the idea that the Supreme Court ruled while under pressure from the gaming industry.
If you decide to click the link, I hope that you’re properly immunized to farm-sized amounts of bull droppings. Otherwise, here are a few excerpts:
“The carefully-worded California statute would not have interfered in any way with the rights of the creators of adult games or the adults who wish to buy them; and in fact, it would not interfere with parents who wanted to purchase such a game for their children. Rather, the measure only would have prevented an unaccompanied minor child from buying or renting the product.”
Carefully-worded? That’s a funny notion, considering that even the two lonely Justices that disagreed with the ruling confirmed that the statute was extremely vague.
“Countless independent studies confirm what most parents instinctively know to be true: repeated exposure to violent video games has a harmful and long-term effect on children. Despite these troubling findings, video game manufacturers have fought tooth and nail for the ‘right’ to line their pockets at the expense of America’s children. Today, the Supreme Court sided with them and against parents”
Someone forgets the “countless independent studies” that confirmed that exposure to violent video games does not have any proven harmful and/or long-term effect on children. Quite obviously the Supreme Court disagrees as well, as they clearly state that “Psychological studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively. Any demonstrated effects are both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media.”
And it continues…
“We call on the Entertainment Merchants Association to redouble its efforts for increased enforcement of the industry’s age-based vending restrictions. The Federal Trade Commission and the PTC’s own ‘Secret Shopper’ campaigns have routinely demonstrated an abysmal failure rate for video game retailers to uphold the industry’s own age-based restrictions.”
Last but not least, let’s get to the most hilarious of them all:
“This ruling replaces the authority of parents with the economic interests of the video game industry. With no fear of any consequence for violating the video game industry’s own age restriction guidelines, retailers can now openly, brazenly sell games with unspeakable violence and adult content even to the youngest of children.”
No, not really. It’s actually the opposite. The ruling gives authority back to the parents. It gives them the authority to decide what games their children should play and the authority to watch over them as they do so. You know, the authority of parenting, instead of demanding that the law and the gaming industry do it in their stead.