The Entertainment Software Ratings Board currently rates video games, and many retailers restrict the sales of games marked "Mature" or "Adults Only," but those restrictions are voluntary. California passed a law in 2005 banning the sale of any game to minors deemed "excessively violent" by the attorney general. Violent games are defined as those that include "killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being,"; if the game lacks "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors." This law was struck down by a U.S. District Court and has been appealled to the Supreme Court.
The music and movie industries also have voluntary ratings that let consumers know whether their products are suitable for minors. There is no actual law or punishment on these, however. Consider the following questions and submit by Wednesday morning at 8:00 AM.
Should a state be allowed to ban minors from "violent" video games?
What differences are there, if any, between a video game and a book or a movie?
Based on the definition above, do video games have "serious artistic value"?
Are you comfortable leaving the decision of what to ban up to the Attorney General?
Will this prevent minors from buying these games?
Under what circumstances, if any, would you say a game should be banned?
What consequences could there be for other forms of "entertainment" if the Supreme Court rules in favor of California?