So, I was reading the newspaper for the first time in about a decade yesterday, and I noticed the article – “High court takes on video game case.” Of course, my interest was piqued.
So, gov. Schwarzenegger wants to restrict “disturbingly violent” video games from reaching minors, under the 1st amendment. (the same part of the amendment that allowed for the restriction of the sale/marketing of porn to minors)
At first, I got my back all up… for all my usual reasons:
- kids don’t shoot people because of Grand Theft Auto, they shoot people because they are messed up
- treating the symptom of a disease will never cure the disease (in this case – bad parenting)
- I played violent video games and I turned out just fine… I mean – I turned out okay… well, I’m not out there shooting people… yet.
I slept on the article and now I’m blogging about it. I’m actually more torn than I thought I would be. I see the argument from both sides, and I have to say – I’m leaning towards Arnold’s side more and more.
Prohibiting the sale of tobacco and booze to minors makes sense – the effect on their developing bodies is actually quantifiably harmful. No argument there.
Prohibiting the sale of porn? Yeah, having 2 kids of my own, I am in full support of that. Let kids be kids. They don’t need to know about everything right out of the gate. Let them build their maturity to a level where they can handle that imagery.
So, why not violent video games? I won’t show my kids a porn flick for many of the same reasons I won’t show them Kill Bill – they’re just not ready for it. Should the government decide when they’re ready for porn/violence? That’s where I’m still waffling. I believe some people just shouldn’t be parents, and for those “families” – maybe a law is a good idea. However, for those of us who put our children above everything else, are involved in their lives and take an active part shaping those lives – I’m not so certain.
So, it’s not as black/white as it used to be for me. Damn, I don’t want to grow up!