Well, it’s finally happened: the decades-long debate over videogame violence, and more specifically whether it should be legislated, hasmade it to the US Supreme Court. (opens in new tab)This fall, the court will decide whether a California bill to ban the sale of violent games to minors (which had previously been ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court) was wrongly tossed out.
Above: Currently, there's nothing legally objectionable about this. That could change
In an age when the internet has made unspeakable ass-porn so ubiquitous as to be considered a sight gag, efforts (like the California bill) to stem access to imaginary violencemight seem quaint and laughable, but this is potentially a huge moment for the game industry. A ruling in its favor could finally get desperately out-of-touch state legislators off its back, while a victory for California could turn the tide against it in every other state, and possibly even result in games being declared unprotected speech.
Naturally, this news has led to the usual flood of half-informed cranks that feel the need to air their opinions whenever the topic of game violence is raised in the media. For the sake of these people, I’ve put together a list of their most frequent missteps. For most of you thisis preaching to the choir, butif any of them are reading this right now, they can consider this an intervention. Please: if you’re going to criticize our hobby, at least stop doing this stuff.