Shoot ’em up…

Well, well, well, our California Governor has filed an appeal of a district court’s ruling that a 2005 law prohibiting the sale or rental of “violent video games” to minors was unconstitutional. I’ll be interested in seeing what the appeals court has to say. I strongly suspect that the ruling will be upheld. The pivotal language of the prohibition reads as follows:

 (2) For purposes of this subdivision, the following definitions apply:

(A) “Cruel” means that the player intends to virtually inflict a high degree of pain by torture or serious physical abuse of the victim in addition to killing the victim.

(B) “Depraved” means that the player relishes the virtual killing or shows indifference to the suffering of the victim, as evidenced by torture or serious physical abuse of the victim.

(C) “Heinous” means shockingly atrocious. For the killing depicted in a video game to be heinous, it must involve additional acts of torture or serious physical abuse of the victim as set apart from other killings.

(D) “Serious physical abuse” means a significant or considerable amount of injury or damage to the victim’s body which involves a substantial risk of death, unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, substantial disfigurement, or substantial impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty. Serious physical abuse, unlike torture, does not require that the victim be conscious of the abuse at the time it is inflicted. However, the player must specifically intend the abuse apart from the killing.

(E) “Torture” includes mental as well as physical abuse of the victim.

In either case, the virtual victim must be conscious of the abuse at the time it is inflicted; and the player must specifically intend to virtually inflict severe mental or physical pain or suffering upon the victim, apart from killing the victim.

Sounds perfectly defensible, no? You really want our precious minors renting that sort of garbage?

Weeeellll…honestly, one of my family’s favorite video games is, “Destroy All Humans.” Humans there, are routinely tortured and abused in heinous and depraved ways (unless you don’t think a person getting his brains sucked out is “depraved” – tell that to Hannibal Lecter and you’ll make his day). Trust me, I can make the argument that many cartoon-violent games qualify and are essentially harmless. Even when humans aren’t being destroyed, aren’t the “beasts” of many other video games just human beings in effigy?

Hence, the “constitutionally vague” ruling on the description of what qualifies as a “violent” game. The legislature is going to have to rework this one. The effort is noble though.

 

Posted by C. Bekhor

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: