Mar 8 2006
07:57 am

Rep. Les Winningham (D-Huntsville) Sen. Tommy Kilby (D-Wartburg) have introduced legislation (HB4053 and SB3981) making it a Class C Misdemeanor to sell or rent violent video games. Their reasoning:

SECTION 1. The general assembly hereby finds that:

(1) Exposing persons to depictions of violence in video games, including sexual and heinous violence, makes those persons more likely to experience feelings of aggression, to experience a reduction of activity in the frontal lobes of the brain, and to exhibit violent antisocial or aggressive behavior;

(2) Even persons who do not commit acts of violence suffer psychological harm from prolonged exposure to violent video games; and

(3) The state has a compelling interest in preventing violent, aggressive, and antisocial behavior, and in preventing psychological or neurological harm to persons who play violent video games.

Wouldn't that same reasoning apply to watching Fox News? I think we should make watching Fox News a Class C Misdemeanor. And here's the definition of a violent video game:

(A) "Extremely violent video game" means a video game in which the range of options available to a player includes killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being, if those acts are depicted in the game in a manner that does either of the following:

(i) Comes within all of the following descriptions:

(a) A reasonable person, considering the game as a whole, would find appeals to a deviant or morbid interest of persons;

(b) It is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the community as to what is suitable for persons; and

(c) It causes the game, as a whole, to lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for persons.

(ii) Enables the player to virtually inflict serious injury upon images of human beings, especially authority figures, in a manner which is especially heinous, cruel, or depraved in that it involves torture or serious physical abuse to the victim.

That sounds similar to most legal definitions of pornography (and most of it would apply to Fox News, too). It goes on to define elements such as "cruel", "depraved", and "torture". It reads like an Abu Ghraib interrogation manual.

Anyway, while I mostly agree with the sentiment, especially as it applies to kids and video games in general, I don't think violent video games should be outlawed.

It should be up to each parent to decide if they want to be good parents or not, what kind of values they want to promote, what kind of garbage they want their kids exposed to, and what kind of sociopathic behavior they want their kids to learn and emulate. (Not to be judgmental or anything.)

Adults are adults and stupid adults will do whatever stupid adults will do until their behavior manifests itself in some way harmful to another individual or society such that it has to be stopped, and only then does it become any of the state's business.

What do you think?

Michael Silence's picture

What do you think?I think

What do you think?

I think you pretty much covered it.

Johnny Ringo's picture

I agree, to a point

It should be up to each parent to decide if they want to be good parents or not, what kind of values they want to promote, what kind of garbage they want their kids exposed to, and what kind of sociopathic behavior they want their kids to learn and emulate.

I agree that such games ought not be outlawed, any more than violent films ought be outlawed. The problem with the sentiment expressed above, however, is that no matter how careful a parent you are (as I have learned from experience) your kids nonetheless get exposed to these kinds of things by their friends whose parents may not have the same concerns or prohibitions that you have.

For example, I refused my son's repeated requests to buy the Grand Theft Auto games, until I found out that he had already played them almost entirely through at his friends' homes; friends with parents who did not share my concerns about the violent, profane and anti-social (and now frankly pornographic, in the latest iteration) nature of these games. Indeed, before he was 10 my son accidently used a couple of words (accidently, because he knew that it was improper and immediately corrected himself) that I know he did not pick up in our home.

Banning such games is a futile effort; in the interest of a free society it probably shouldn't even be suggested, and in any event there's little chance the courts will uphold such a ban. A system of controls similar to the MPAA movie rating system, with self-policing by stores in the same manner as theaters self-police, however, wouldn't be a bad idea at all.

KO's picture


This bill is prima facie unconstitutional.  Don't expect it to go anywhere.  It's just more grandstanding.  I'm glad they've already solved all our other problems, though!

SayUncle's picture

What do you think? Between

What do you think?

Between this and dildos, I think our legislators need better crap to do. Maybe they should start a congressional sewing circle?

Can't we all just get a long gun?

WhitesCreek's picture

I know Tommy Kilby...Tommy

I know Tommy Kilby...Tommy Kilby is a ....wait a minute...he's not really, but I have talked with him several times and frankly, He's got no business deciding what kind of video games My kids and I play.

I swear this is the stupid season up there.

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