Monday, July 23, 2007

Katie: What If: Gaming, Intellectual Freedom, and the Law

Content based speech restriction is a First Amendment violation

Incitement to imminent lawlessness & violence
YOu cannot justify laws under a preventing violence rationale
video games are intending to entertain
Also cannot show the causal effect

Cant restrict based on how it will make the listener think or feel Protecting Psychological well being of minors is not role of the government

Standards have not been met
Methodological issues: Studies don't show video games ever caused anyone to commit violent acts or cause actual harm to minors. There is a correlation, but there is no predicting it. Are people who are aggressive drawn to violent games or to games make people aggressive? Studies done mostly on adults, not minors.

Attempts to show physiological evidence of harm harm failed

Attack on unfavored newcomer
Awareness raising measures, re: rating system
parental controls are part of all new game consoles

Void for vagueness
Constitution rewuires notice of what speech is permissible
What is "human?" in the world of video games?
What is "harm?"
Chilling effect

Violent video games, not included in obscenity
Limited to explicit sexual depictions
Expanded to include violence has been rejected by numerous courts

So far every restriction has been struck down (six in the last 2 years)
Recent attempts are to force rating system
Inherent First Amendment principles make these kinds of laws impermissible
Problem with the "newcomer"

Some legislators are getting more comfortable with the medium, but it's still a favorite punching bag.

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