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Do violent video games lead to real violence?

from the ↑↑-↓↓-←→-←→-ba-ba-select-start dept.
Appearently, Washington State banned the sale of violent video games to minors, in May of 2003. This was the first state to officially take a stance on video game sales, although the law was not actually enforced. The bill read that the state "... forbids selling minors any video or computer game depicting violence against law enforcement officials." Supposedly, these type of games encourage minors to inflict violence on others and/or law enforcers. Anyone who rented or sold this type of game to minors 17 years or younger would be fined up to $500.

Well, on Thursday, the bill was struck down by a federal judge who declared it ... unconstitutional and a violation of free speech; that the bill was too vague in its wording to be easily enforced. The complete article from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer can be found here. Other information can be found here on slashdot.

I think that this whole thing is redundant. Aren't the ratings on video games there for this purpose? I thought that the point of rating the games was to prevent violent games from being sold to minors. And, anyway, I don't really think that there is a link between video games and teen violence. If anything, the video games are an outlet for the kids to take out their frustration, rather than on actual human beings. Actually, teen violence has been down this year whereas the sale of violent games has gone up.

I see this whole ordeal as an attempt by the liberals in our society to limit our freedoms even more. They disguise all these laws to appear to be helping out and making our lives safer, but all these laws do is take more of our individual freedoms away. But, anyway, that is a whole different tangent...

How do y'all feel about this? Any opinions? I just thought it was funny that Washington got shut down.

I think there is a violence connection

I think that violent video games (a la Grand Theft Auto) do probably lead to increased teen violence ... probably not a whole lot though ... but I don't know that the government should regulate them like this.

Well, but what if a game were to come out that was just over-the-top gory ... like where you're a high school student and you go to school and mutilate people? Should something like that be restricted? I think so.

The question for me is where do you draw the line? What about pronographic video games? By current laws those would have to be restricted. Should extremely violent games be treated differently?

I really don't know what to think ... I'm just bring the questions up.

I don't know about the liberal connection either ... there are probably lots of conservatives who are in favor of these restrictions too.