Sessler's Soapbox: Video Games in the Supreme Court

Posted: May 4, 2010
Sessler's Soapbox: Video Games in the Supreme Court
Adam discusses the supreme court case where the justices will decide if video games are a protected form of free speech.

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  • iPan

    So many good comments, and I loved what Adam had to say.
    Prohibition doesn't work, period.
    It's up to parents to actually be involved in their kids lives enough (Eris forbid) to know what games they are playing.
    The Nanny State is trying to take away the job of parents, and substitute the State in it's place.
    The issue isn't about illegal aliens, there are already laws for that. The issue is whether the police have the right to stop and demand ID (they don't, no matter what Arizona says), because it's a violation of the 4th amendment (no illegal search and seizure).
    In fact, many don't know this, but here's the only three things you EVER need to say to a police officer:
    1) Am I free to go? (if the officer is not legally detaining you, then he is required by law to say yes)
    2) I do not consent to a search.
    3) I have nothing further to say until I see a lawyer.
    That's it. Then you just sit there and wait for them to make a move. If they have the intent to arrest you (they saw you commit a crime) then they're going to do it anyway, nothing you can say can change that.
    If they don't have a good reason to do so, then they will let you go.

    Whether video games make children more violent or not (they do not: in some cases, I suppose they can act as amplifiers, but they are no in and of themselves the root cause - lack of parental attention is), the whole point is that the Feds have no right to even get involved.
    As Adam points out, the same laws could apply to literature. Do libraries check for ID when a child wants to check out a book that portrays violence (just think of all the great classics that would never get read if that happened).

    Keep centralized government out of our art, and let the parents decide.

    While I'm at it, the same goes for sexting. Yeah, it's probably not the healthiest thing for a teen to do (hell, I did worse), but it's the PARENTS responsibility to deal with it, NOT the governments. Period.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 9:24 PM
  • CCdtT

    I don't think that some of you are getting what the Arizona bill acctually means. Yes it's there to "help" with the immigration issue, but what it's doing is giving the police a power that they shouldn't have.

    It allows them to ask anyone who they deem as an "illegal" to prove they are a citizen of the USA. Granted they have to have a legal reason to stop them, but that won't stop them from making up any BS excuse if they really feel that the person is "illegal".

    All this does is stereotype far beyond any racial line, and could bring out all kinds of prejudicial feelings toward all kinds of citizens living in that state.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 9:17 PM
  • VonSpartan

    I don't see why it is a problem for someone to have to proof of citizenship. We have to shop identifcation all the time. Whether it is to purchase something with a credit card, open a bank account, and so one. We do have a problem with the border of Mexico and the funny thing is, Mexico and our Federal Government is doing nothing about it. If you are to look at the Southern Border of Mexico it is guarder by men with firearms. Now why can't they do the same with the Northern? I have a friend who lives in Phoenix and he says the amount of illegal drugs that pour over from Mexico is becoming outragious. With that you get violence, kidnappings, and so on. Phoenix is no the #1 Kidnapping city of the USA according to a 2009 CBS report. I personally tip my hat to Arizona for having the balls to have something like that come forward!

    Posted: May 4, 2010 9:16 PM
  • Mr.Rager

    I'm 15, It's pretty stupid Target will sell me a pack of condoms by myself, but I need my mom over my shoulder to buy MW2

    Posted: May 4, 2010 9:06 PM
  • Exfragmentation

    Video games are just one revolutionary media in a information revolution that has shook our culture to it's core. From the internet to video games and everything in between, we have the ability to share our idea's on an unprecedented scale, at least those who know how to use it. People instinctively fear what they don't understand. So there is naturally going to be opposition from the people who run our government, most of which don't even understand how to work their own cell phones. When they see that today's youth seeing or doing something that they are not a part of, it scares the sht out of them! But if they are not able to fathom the fact America is changing around them and that we do not want the same conformity and bullsht regulations that our parents had to put up with, then it is time to find someone who actually understands what this country is about.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:49 PM
  • Greyford

    I was actually interested enough to read into the arazona law. Gotta say I see nothing wrong with it. From what I understand the cops only check your status when you break a law. whether it be a traffic ticket or robbery. They're called illegal alian, because they're here illegally. while other immigrants get into the country the right way, these people chose to take the fast track and ignore our laws. But everything else Adam has said I agree with. Most of the time I agree whith what the guy has to say. The man's smart.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:49 PM
  • teknoaxe

    I love how everyone who disagrees with the Sess is instantly negged two or three times. xD It's like a knee-jerk rush to the thumbs down button. Hey guys! I have a challenge for you! Let's see if you can get this post down to -50! oh noes! you negged me again?

    Regardless, I STILL disagree with Adam Sesslers view of the Arizona 1070 Bill. Because it's the same distorted view that the media has put on it, which either makes them a)willfully ignorant because they refused to read the bill or b)malicious in the intent to spread misinformation.

    Once again. READ THE BILL! You will find no opportunities or encouragement in the bill for Arizona Law Enforcement to practice racial profiling or extend their powers beyond constitutional limits. All it does is reinforce federal law that is ALREADY IN PLACE.

    Seriously, one of these days, journalism majors need to start taking classes in college relating to things other than journalism.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:49 PM
  • Greyford

    I was actually interested enough to read into the arazona law. Gotta say I see nothing wrong with it. From what I understand the cops only check your status when you break a law. whether it be a traffic ticket or robbery. They're called illegal alian, because they're here illegally. while other immigrants get into the country the right way, these people chose to take the fast track and ignore our laws. But everything else Adam has said I agree with. Most of the time I agree whith what the guy has to say. The man's smart.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:43 PM
  • Warden626

    Normally I try to abstain from political arguments on non-political forums/venues but this one deserves attention. As Adam points out if we as a country allow one of our essential rights fall we discredit them all. The moment you decide if, when, who, and how our governing principles apply is the same moment they lose any and all meaning. At that point they are no longer virtues of our nation but benefits of agreeing with whomever is in charge at the time and really does anyone want to live in that kind of state?

    On to the point of selling Mature rated games to minors I think it's an interesting issue. Video games are without question a form of protected speech and the ESRB does a fine job of illustrating the type of content that is contained in games. That said I've always been one to advocate the right of a free and open flow of information to all people. The fear is that some information or ideas can be misinterpreted. However to take that idea to the extreme that a single idea, book, movie, song, or game could cause someone to go flipping nuts is just nonsensical.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:40 PM
  • moralorely

    I agree with Adam, personally I don't think "little" kids should be playing M rated games, but to completely deny them of the option is bogus. About the Arizona thing... I think whether or not its racist or stereotyping or whatever I say "Good for you Arizona!" bad enough people in our own country manipulate the system to their leisure but now even illegals are? I live in a tiny poe-dunk town and nearly every one I know is bending the system to their will just goes to show ya no goverment is perfect nor do they live forever, just like people!

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:34 PM
  • dirtylaundry022

    Alright Adam, long time fan of your work. I appreciate what you do for the rights of gamers under the age of 18, like myself, but not for much longer, thank god. However, I am sadly disappointed in the fact that even adults can be misinformed about the new Arizona state law. Here's how it works, they CANNOT pull over Hispanics for possibly being illegal. The police officers would be sued. This does not violate the 4th Amendment because of such, I have 2 lawyers in my immediate family, they have studies constitutional law, and have come to this conclusion. This new law works just like the click it or ticket law in Wisconsin, where you can be ticketed for not wearing your seatbelt while driving or in a vehicle. Police officers CANNOT pull you over just because they think you were not wearing your seatbelt, it is only something they can investigate if you are being investigated for another misdemeanor/crime i.e. being pulled over for speeding. Same rules apply to the new Arizona law. Now, you point out your opinion that the new law's meaning is racist, again misinformed. The REAL reason they passed this is because of all the money the Mexican Drug Wars are costing the state because of having to defend against and punish these criminals themselves because the Federal government has indefinitely post-poned ANY illegal immigration legislation until after summer recess. This law was passed in a desperate attempt to get a lazy and misguided Congress to DO SOMETHING about their situation. Bush didn't do anything for 8 years, and now it looks like Obama will also remain passive on the situation for now. I can only hope that you and others who are misinformed will read this and look up ACTUAL facts behind the new law in Arizona. God Bless.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:33 PM
  • Wanzerfan

    Sorry for the sentence structure error in my previous post. You can read the Wikipedia entry for the legislation at this url:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki /Arizona_SB1070

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:30 PM
  • Wanzerfan

    Since you brought the new law in Arizona, Adam. The new piece of legislation that was passed there specifically states that THE PERSON HAS TO BE DETAINED FOR ANOTHER ARRESTABE OFFENCE BEFORE HIS OR HER LEGAL STATUS CAN BE ASKED. Also that law gives the police in Arizona powers to enforce the Federal Laws THAT ARE ALREADY IN PLACE ON THE BOOKS.

    I suggest that you actually READ the legislation before you have a knee-jerk reaction to them.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:24 PM
  • frictionman

    Fully expecting to get thumbs downed for this, but i need to say it: I wonder how all the people supporting the Arizona Law would feel if Arizona passed a law that so blatantly violated the second amendment (right to bear arms). You cant really pick and choose which amendments to protect and which to trash people.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:17 PM
  • loveassassin13

    Im under 18, and if this law gets approved somehow, it will bring...some changes. For example, I'd say 80% of my games are M, but I don't see that contributing to violence, it actually seems like its making me more....mature. If this law is approved, I will just have to buy games under my parents credit card in their name, so nothing much would change. Also, I am an inspiring indie game dev. and I am using XNA to create a large project which I hope to enter into the Indie Games Competition in the upcoming years. If people under 18 can't even get an M game, how are they supposed to follow their dreams and start their careers? I think this law is just undermining our rights, and showing just how much faith the government DOESN't have in its youth.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:10 PM
  • koolaidkilla

    OMG Canada is next

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:09 PM
  • falloutzombie

    back during the ww era ole pres. truman cast out the ilegals from the this country yes it took him two years to do it but he did lit. thing is he gave them 6 months to extracate themselves before huntting them down and giving them the boot. however he did not set anything up to keep them out.
    also i have a few freinds that came to this country from mexico that are appaled by the way the illegals conduct themselves, so much so that they have told me and i quote them " we came here legaly to get away from that crap!" i hope the law becomes a fedral law. i have no hate toward those who would immagrate legaly, those who take a perverbial s@$% on our laws and come here illegaly can get the f out. that will be all.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:07 PM
  • adam_sessler

    Hey xxCoolMikexx thank you. That is one of the best arguments i have heard. As one who doesn't get to have family reunions because of the holocaust the argument resonates deeply. Censorship is not a scalpel, it's a warhammer, the collateral damage is considerable.

    Also, I understand the Arizona law. It's intellectually offensive and driven by an anxiety about difference...like video-games.

    Adam out.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 8:07 PM
  • Blizzardx65

    Adam, please read and understand the law that was passed in AZ before passing along the same misinformation you've heard about senate bill 1070. The law states that an officer may only inquire as to your citizenship after he has already made contact with you due to violation of another law. For example, say you were to run a red light and get pulled over by a cop and you did not have a drivers license with you that police officer may then ask if you are a legal resident of the united states. No where in this bill does it say that the officer may pull you over or stop you on the street simply to ask for your citizenship. In fact it specifically says that there shall be no racial profiling when enforcing this law and a person may only be asked for citizenship if they have already been stopped for violating another law and the police officer has a reason to ask for it such has not having any ID.

    Posted: May 4, 2010 7:55 PM
  • prizner

    More than anything for me it's a little ridiculous that at my age i can go in and buy beer or cigarettes and not get asked for id yet I have to have it to buy a M rated game at any stores

    Posted: May 4, 2010 7:52 PM