Jon Stewart Takes On Supreme Court Violent Video Game Ruling

Points out strangely different reactions to sex and violence

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Jon Stewart Takes On Supreme Court Violent Video Game Ruling
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The internet has been buzzing about the recent Supreme Court decision that said it was unconstitutional to restrict the sale of graphically violent video games to minors. In a 7-2 vote, the SCOTUS struck down a California State law that would fine retailers $1,000 for distributing the mature games to children.

Justice Antonin Scalia, in his majority opinion, argued that video games must be protected as free speech because of their status as art. This put them alongside things like books, film and music in the court’s eyes.

Another part of Scalia’s argument was that there was no precedent for the restriction of violence to children in the same way that there was a restriction to sexual imagery like pornography. The ruling basically said that it is OK to sell violent imagery to kids, but not sexual imagery.

This distinction has people talking, mostly about the hypocrisy of such a dichotomy. Why, in this country, do we demonize sex much more than violence? Are we a violent culture? Are our sexual sensibilities warped because of our puritanical beginnings? All of these questions were at the heart of Jon Stewart’s take on the SCOTUS ruling on last night’s episode of The Daily Show.

Talking over footage from a recent Mortal Kombat game where a woman is pulled apart at the groin and disemboweled, Stewart points out the strange nature of the ruling.

The U.S. Supreme Court determined seven to two that the State of California has no interest in restricting the sale of this game to children, but, if while being disemboweled this woman were to suffer perhaps a nip-slip – regulate away.

Stewart also debuts a new game for Wii that looks promising. Check it out below –

It seems as though people both agree and disagree with Stewart’s take on the SCOTUS decision. Check out these responses from Twitter –

Supreme Court #FAIL: It’s OK for minors to purchase graphically violent video games that disembowel women, but no sex vids? #Sick 1 hour ago via web · powered by @socialditto

For the record, I’m psychotically defensive of video games. Thus, one dumb statement can make even Jon Stewart forever dogshit in my eyes. 12 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Wholly disagree with Jon Stewart’s interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling on video games. Has he heard of the ESRB? 13 hours ago via Tweetbot for iPhone · powered by @socialditto

Dear John Stewart: if you don’t want your kids to have violent video games – don’t buy them. Simple. 2 hours ago via web · powered by @socialditto

So what do you guys think about the SCOTUS ruling? Is it hypocritical to allow our kids violence but shield them from anything sexual? Let us know how you feel.

Jon Stewart Takes On Supreme Court Violent Video Game Ruling
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  • http://www.desperateamateurs.com Inconsistent

    It does seem a bit inconsistent.

  • Gamer Tag

    Full disclosure- I’m 25 and have played my whole life, (NES,SNES,Dreamcast,PS1,XBOX,PS3)

    First off, I think his main point was the fact that there’s a disconnect between sex and violence. However-

    I think he expressed an pretty average opinion about video games in today’s culture, or at least from what I’ve dealt with recently. He’s not considering the ESRB or the fact that those other mediums also face controversy frequently.

    The problem is there still exist a wide valley of information between people who play video games, and observers who don’t-

    Ex.) People like to compare video games to movies, but movies have a distinct advantage over video games, everybody watches movies. Dems, Reps, Hippies, conservatives. Everyone’s had a taste, so they know what to expect and how to spot the movies they like/ agree with/ can handle. (I made it a point to avoid Human Centipede, but that doesn’t mean i think it should be banned)

    It doesn’t help that there is a game like mortal kombat out there that they can pull violent footage from.It’s hard as a gamer to explain what video gaming is to people who think they already know, and the first thing they pull out is Postal, MK, or what they think is GTA’s plot of hitting prostitutes and stealing cop cars.

    When it comes down to it, I think the supreme court made the right decision and it’s up to people to get up on their learning. We talk about art with our kids, explain that there’s a proper time to start watching “R” rated movies, maybe it’s time that we start talking about interaction in video games and the ESRB with them too.

    I don’t hate Jon Stewart for not getting into a whole segment on video games. If it was something he was truly morally opposed too, he would have focused much more on it than a five minute throw away, then cut to fighting judges. I know that if and when his own kids want to start playing, he’ll do his research and learn all about the ratings system and to read up on certain games.

    I’m with you all the way Mr. Stewart.

  • andrewjones

    This is what this country has become? You can show a
    child a woman getting torn in two at the groin with her guts spilling out, about as graphically obscene a thing you could dream (nightmare?) up, that’s OK, but if there was a nude woman in the video, it would be banned? We are truly lost.

  • http://tellatek.com pingram3541

    Here we go again *sigh* once again we’re faced with a group of folks that want to make blanket authoritative decisions for everyone in society to protect us from ourselves. I don’t necessarily agree with all of the violence in video games or movies for that matter but this is a job for parents, not the courts.

    I’m a parent of 3 and you know what? I PLAY the video games with my kids…not just because they’re fun but also to know whats in them.

    p.s. Any parent can and should go online and research a game before buying it…just like we review movies. It’s sad how acceptable in society it is to push the whole gay agenda on our youth but they can’t read a bible in school? Hey, I don’t give a hoot about your sexual preference but why does every sitcom have a gay person or couple in it now? It’s like its being shoved down our throats!!!

  • http://www.FreeGunInfo.com Adsense Publisher

    To be honest I wouldn’t mind an 18+ restriction on all violent and/or sexually suggestive games.

    • http://www.EmmanuelFonte.com Emmanuel Fonte

      Agreed! Free speech, art, business etc do not live in a vacuum…

  • http://www.seonorthamerica.com Tom Aikins

    One more example of how sick American society is. Sex is evil and violence is OK. And this from the Supreme Court. These people should be ashamed of themselves.

  • MikeDeal

    This ruling, and the reasoning therein, will have implications beyond video games. For years, the lower courts have held that it was constitutional to require export licenses for the release to foreign persons of source code for operating systems that contain encryption modules – even open source programs – because source code was functional as well as expressive. Now those cases will have to be reexamined.

  • http://dehumidifierreviews.us Dehumidifier Reviews

    I think the supreme court ruling is shocking to say the least. To the outside world the US has always been a fairly violent society. Too many guns and too much violence in the movies and now in Video games. This means that the present generation of kids is going to be even more violent than the previous one, and the next generation of judges will be even dumber than the present idiots. God help us all.

  • http://www.blowupbitch.com bitch porn

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