View Full Version : Gaming law struck down as unconstitutional

Clipse 2
09-18-2007, 12:44 AM
Oklahoma Gamers Get Constitution Day Gift
A U.S. District Court judge strikes down yet another restrictive gaming law.

September 17, 2007 - A federal judge for the Western District of Oklahoma on Monday issued a permanent injunction against the state's attempt to regulate computer and video games, ruling that games are a form of creative expression entitled to protection under the First Amendment.

In her decision, judge Robin J. Cauthron wrote that there is no substantial evidence that violent videogames are harmful to minors and that there is no rationale to support the Oklahoma law's passage. Cauthron also wrote that games' interactivity does not move them outside the scope of the First Amendment, which protects freedom of expression.

The decision follows an August ruling by U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte in California, which declared unconstitutional a 2005 law intended to further restrict sales to minors of games deemed too violent.

California Assembly Bill 1179 was signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005 and was to take effect January 2006. But the law was never enforced, due to a preliminary injunction filed after its signing by the Video Software Dealers Association (now the Entertainment Merchants Association) and the Entertainment Software Association.

In that finding, Whyte echoed Cauthron's statements about the lack of scientific evidence tying real-world violence to virtual violence.

"We need to move past unconstitutional attempts to circumvent Oklahoma citizens' rights. This bill was clearly unconstitutional and we now need to develop a public/private partnership that meets concerned parents' needs," said Michael D. Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association, which represents U.S. computer and video game publishers. "State officials and policymakers should work together with our industry to educate parents about game ratings and the parental controls available on all new video game consoles."

Source: http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/820/820569p1.html

What does this mean to you? Well honestly you won't be able to tell a difference from day to day life or changes years from now. However this case helps set a precedent for any future statutes that may arise later on. Even though some parents and social extremists want to take these things away from you, the "man" has your back.

DoM cAbAn
09-18-2007, 12:48 AM
Great news for gamers! But I guess it only effects people in Oklahoma? So it doesn't do any good for me. But it's still nice to know that they "have our backs". :p

09-18-2007, 12:53 AM
I live in Oklahoma so ^_^

Clipse 2
09-18-2007, 12:55 AM
Great news for gamers! But I guess it only effects people in Oklahoma? So it doesn't do any good for me. But it's still nice to know that they "have our backs". :p
It follows a term used in law called Stare Decisis.

STARE DECISIS - Lat. "to stand by that which is decided." The principal that the precedent decisions are to be followed by the courts.

Basically when things come to court judges will look back on history to find similar cases and view how they were decided. They are not obligated to decide in the same manner however in a common law system they normally do. This means yes, it could possibly help you at some point in time.

09-18-2007, 01:12 AM
. But it's still nice to know that they "have our backs". :p

Games = $$$, $$$ = Taxes, the "man" loves taxes. :)

DoM cAbAn
09-18-2007, 01:13 AM
This means yes, it could possibly help you at some point in time.

Well, yeah, of course at some point it might help me, but as of right now, it's a no no. :p

Clipse 2
09-18-2007, 01:31 AM
Well, yeah, of course at some point it might help me, but as of right now, it's a no no. :p
Ok then I'll explain further how this helps everyone, INCLUDING you.

This act has failed, those who make laws or propose them will be less likely to because of the set precedent. They'll think: "Well that law in Oklahoma didn't work so it probably wouldn't be work here in *insert state name* so lets just trash it and move on."

Now if you're in another country it might be hit or miss, they might not look globally at how cases are decided and render a verdict in favor of the law. But for those here in the states it helps everyone all around. Get it now?

09-18-2007, 01:36 AM
Yeah, I'm pretty sure he gets it, hes just saying its not helping him right at this very moment in time.

But since I live in Oklahoma, it helps me so yeah :p

09-18-2007, 01:39 AM
I'm glad this worked out the way it did. Who the fuck are those law makers to decide what people can and can't play? I'm sick of all of them, wether they be left or right. If they had it their way, the country would be like Austrialia or New Zealand, where only games like Mario and Sonic games aren't censored or banned...

09-18-2007, 02:07 AM
lucky oklahomians! =D

09-18-2007, 06:57 PM
My opinion has been and always will be is that the goverment should quit trying to censor everything and that parents should take a more active role in what their children watch, play, and listen to. And as for adults, I feel that it is our right to pick and choose whether or not we want to play a violent game, a game with sex, or whatever the case may be. Keep your laws off of our games and worry about something else like the homeless, the hungry, and the abused.

I King Pin 0
09-18-2007, 10:39 PM
So essentially what they wanted to do was take over the sales of what games could be sold at stores (so what they would "test" these games out first) or did they just want harsher punishment if stores were selling to minors?

09-19-2007, 02:44 AM
While it's great to see legal decisions like that, I do feel that parents need to be monitoring what their kids play. When and if the time comes that I have kids, I wouldn't want them to be playing Gears of War at the age of five. It's sad that most of the parent groups who push for the ban on certain games are filled with the kinds of parents who wouldn't even check the rating on the case before buying a game. If they did, this wouldn't be a legal issue.

09-19-2007, 03:29 AM
The more you censor something, the more people want it.

Look at when the U.S. had the policy of prohibition, and how well that turned out.

And when it comes down to it, its the responsibility of the parents. Thats no more apparent than in High School, where some kids parent will complain to a teacher "Why does little Johnny have an F in class? He's such a good boy!". Well, "little johnny" also spends half his free time wasted/high, and never shows up to class/does his work. Yet for the most part everyone who shows up never has a problem (most of the time). Coincidence? I think not.

M Callar
10-07-2007, 01:34 AM
Attempts like this happen a lot and constantly get struck down. Why do they keep trying? Because they want to keep up that image of "helping the children" even if nothin ever gets passed, they want to seem like they're trying and end up wasting everyone's tax dollars doing it.

It's just stupid.