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'Mad World' Brings Back Violent Game Debate

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Posted October 31, 2008 - By Patrick Roche-Sowa

Back in 2005, California law makers attempted to pass a law that banned the sale or rental of violent video games from being sold to anyone under the age of 18, fining establishments who violate this law $1,000 per offense. The law was slapped down by the San Jose courts in 2007, saying that it violated the First Amendment. However, new games have resparked the debate, and the 9th District Court of Appeals will now review the original decision. Apparently, Mad World, which is set to release for the Nintendo Wii in the spring, is at the center of this debate.

"It defies logic to suggest that our founding fathers intended to adopt a First Amendment that would guarantee children the right to purchase a video game wherein the player is rewarded for interactively causing a character to take out a shovel and bash the head of an image of a human being," wrote Deputy Attorney General Zackery Morazzini, representative of the Schwarzenegger administration in a court breif. "This is the same technology the armed forces use to help soldiers kill the enemy," said state Sen. Leland Yee, the Democrat who wrote the legislation. "All we're saying is, 'Don't sell it to kids.' " Hit the Read More link for the counterpoint.

"The same argument has been made again and again throughout the history of the country about books, about movies, about comic books and now about video games," said Jennifer Mercurio, director of government affairs for a national group that represents gamers. "The way this law is drafted comes up against hundreds of years of First Amendment issues."

But the most sound argument came from Allison Schubert, co-founder Lunabean.com. "Parents buy violent video games for their kids because they either don't know any better, or they believe their children can handle mature games. Either way, parents and kids would benefit from video game education, not video game laws." I'll default to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young on this way and simply say, teach your children well.

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Tags: Videogames, Wii
'Mad World' Brings Back Violent Game Debate
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