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Mr Consonant
Joined: 2007-04-19

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I'm a government major and decided to do my senior seminar paper on anti-gaming legislation. I plan to argue for video games and the fact that they are protected speech and cannot be regulated by the government. I just posted my synopsis of my paper to the teacher and class. I received alot of snickers from some of the students when I exclaimed that my topic would be "video game legislation," so I vented some during my synopsis to the class. Let me know what you guys think:

Political interest in video games has been on the rise over the
past few years. Video games have become increasingly more realistic and
interactive, with settings and plots taking place in real world places
and scenarios. The increase in realism has led video games to become a
scapegoat for politicians in reference to violence and violent acts
among youths. Both the state and federal governments have begun to
accuse video games as a cause for aggression and violence among
children. In their attempt to regulate the video game industry, many
states have passed a wide range of legislation aimed at preventing
minors from renting or buying certain video games. The legislation
ranges from subjecting minors to criminal charges upon purchasing
"Mature" rated titles, to classifying violent video games with
pornography to ensure its regulation. Much of the legislation never
became law, but there were some that were passed on and became a
legitimate law against video game purchasing. With the passing of
certain anti-video game legislation, came a flurry of court cases that
accused the laws of being unconstitutional. Case after case found that
such laws to regulate the sale of video games were indeed
unconstitutional and were struck down by judges across America.

To understand the importance of this heated battle between state
legislations and the video game industry, one must look to the
fundamental principles that are being argued: to regulate something
that is protected by the 1st Amendment as free speech is
unconstitutional. Video games are in fact, free speech; and therefore,
protected under the 1st Amendment. While the context in which this
argument over free speech hides itself; i.e., video games, may seem
trivial and of less importance than terrorism or world hunger, the
underlying concept of our right to free speech is certainly of great
importance and should not be brushed aside. Multiple studies have been
conducted to identify a causal relationship between video games and
aggressive behavior, but no substantial and conclusive evidence has been
found. The courts have declared that until substantial evidence is
found that shows video games pose a real threat to children or the
community, they will continue to be protected as free speech.

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