Home Gaming American parents support proposed ban on sale of violent games

American parents support proposed ban on sale of violent games

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As I type this, I’ve got my Serious Face on. I’m sure most of you are aware of the fuss California is kicking up around the proposed ban on sale of violent videogames to minors. Team Schwarzenegger has been trying to implement this new ruling in California since 2005, but has had little luck thanks to the Freedom of Speech amendment.

The case has now been taken to the US Supreme Court, which kicks off in November this year; but you knew most of this already. What you might not know is that a group called Common Sense Media has published results of a poll in which 2100 USA parents were asked how they felt about the proposed new legislature.

The support is definitely there with 72% of parents agreeing that the ruling should be implemented across the USA. James Steyer (the founder of Common Sense Media) is quite open about his support for the ban as well: “What we’ve learned from this poll is that parents want to be the ones who decide which games their kids play, not the video game industry.”

The part that irritates me the most about this is since when were parents not the ones who decide which games their kids play? Did I miss something or is there really some nefarious Videogame Industry force-feeding violent games to minors?

Worth noting is that Common Sense Media is an NGO that aims to help children and parents cope in a world that places increasing emphasis on media and technology. Videogames obviously fall into their broad spectrum of concern. With that in mind, it’s little doubt that the group would be in support of the potential ban. Personally, I’ve always thought that parents are the ones who should be responsible for bringing up their children, not NGOs and governments. But what do I know; I don’t even have kids.

Source : Gamasutra

Last Updated: September 14, 2010


  1. Nick de Bruyne

    September 14, 2010 at 17:27

    A lot of parents are very lazy unfortunately, so a ban on the games means less responsibility for them as well as someone else to blame when their kid goes on a killing spree because they locked him/her up in a closet for 5 years.


  2. Luna

    September 14, 2010 at 18:31

    I agree completely. Parents should be paying attention to this themselves, and not get government involved. But of course, most parents don’t care and will buy a GTA game for their 9 year old without so much as looking at the box. 🙁


  3. Maxiviper117

    September 14, 2010 at 19:16

    Such Bullsh#t this, really blaming violent games for everything.

    NOTE: Dialog is very sarcastic.
    Environmentalist:”Aaah global warming, it’s an increasing problem”,
    Parent or people against violent games: “Violent games, that’s why”
    Environmentalist:” But that has nothing to do with it???”
    Parent or people against violent games:” Violent games, must be banned for life and their makers should be executed!”

    Anyway,what about violent movies and the age restriction.

    Fictional Scenario 1: Games are banned, its the year 2011, life is action… less and I’m nearly 18 and when I do turn 18 I will be legally able to play 18 restricted violent games…. Aah shit wait I forgot, b I can’t, cuz violent games are banned even though I am in the age limit, Damn… guess I need to indulge myself in some violent things to redeem myself.


  4. Purple Dragon

    September 14, 2010 at 19:18

    I don’t understand these people. There are age restrictions on some of these games, like God of War 3 is 18. But these silly assholes buy them for their kids?!

    Why the hell do they need to ban games? They say its to ban sales to minors, but its already age restricted?!

    If thats the case, lets ban all movies, all material that is rated 16/18 or over?!

    Sounds suspiciously like a move to ban games like in Australia.

    Don’t get me started on Australia!! I can’t believe “violent” games are banned in Australia all because of one big giant prick.


  5. Miklós Szecsei

    September 14, 2010 at 19:29

    They aren’t trying to ban games in their entirety; they’re trying to place heavy restrictions on the sale of violent games. The proposed bill would make it illegal for retailers to sell M-rated games to people under the age. The games will still be available to adults.

    I’m pointing out the absurdity of parents being all self-righteous and pro the legislation when, in all honesty, they should be parenting their own children in the first place.


  6. Purple Dragon

    September 14, 2010 at 19:44

    Read what I said mate!!

    Like I said, games are already restricted. So as far as I am concerned its already illegal!

    Thats why I say it sounds like the first domino towards a move towards a total man.


  7. Purple Dragon

    September 14, 2010 at 19:47

    haha, total man!

    That should read total ban :blush:


  8. Karl Thomson

    September 14, 2010 at 20:23

    I don’t see what the big deal is, since kids should not have easy access to mature games. However, apparently this ruling has epic repercussions somehow. We need a lawyer on staff.


  9. Steve die Hofmeyr

    September 14, 2010 at 20:55

    “proposed ban on sale of violent videogames to minors”
    Excuse my ignorance, but why is it a bad thing? The retailers can still sell those games to adults right? Now the laaities need to show some ID. Still, something tells me this is only going to make playing violent games cool to kids, like smoking entjies.


  10. Gavin Mannion

    September 14, 2010 at 21:51

    Ignorance excused as I had the same thoughts in the beginning but the problem is this. WalMart and other mass market retailers (Pick n Pay locally) won’t stock adult only items which means game developers instantly lose a large chunk of the market.

    Also if it’s law not to sell to minors then all internet shops will need to physically verify that the purchaser is not a minor or face penalties which can obviously cause huge problems.

    The gaming and movie markets are self regulated according to the censorship policies of the country concerned and in fact gaming in general has a better track record of being appropriately controlled.

    Gaming is purely picked on as it’s the new Radio/Rock n Roll/Movie etc… the previous generation doesn’t understand it therefore they are scared of it.


  11. Karl Thomson

    September 14, 2010 at 23:08

    Good point Gavin.

    Gaming really is the newest media whipping boy, and this will only serve to complicate matters.


  12. Steve Hofmeyr

    September 15, 2010 at 11:13

    Noted. Good points.


  13. Field Marshal JR Lenoir

    September 15, 2010 at 12:34

    I think I’ll play devil’s advocate for a bit.
    Let’s not forget that in addition to mature-rated game titles, Pick n Pay also does not stock porno DVDs or other material deemed for “adults only”. The reason for this is completely understandable since they are primarily a “family-orientated” supermarket chain. I actually have no problem with this, because games can be freely bought elsewhere, online and in the real world.
    You and I know, that the appeal of most AAA titles are actually for our demographic (18yr – 35yr), however Joe Public remains blissfully unaware of this. It baffles my mind when I see parents buying their children violent video games, and sometimes even after a store clerk informed them of the content. I certainly wouldn’t, and although I am fairly knowledgeable about gaming, the vast majority of Joe Public is not. Games have yet to achieve the same status as film and the realization that not all games are the same, or that games rated M may in fact be more damaging to your underage kids than an 18SNVLP rated movie.

    ~Although, we’re a world apart from a decade ago or two ago, when games were seen as “merely for kids”.

    Parents obviously have to take some responsibility in what their children are exposed to, however the well being of children are also the responsibility of the state. If it appears that retailers are not informing parents about game purchases or even disregarding the rating system and thus selling to under-aged children, then the only route forward should be a legal one.
    And if that means banning the sale of M-rated games to minors then so be it.


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