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 –
For the record, I’m psychotically defensive of video games. Thus, one dumb statement can make even Jon Stewart forever dogshit in my eyes.
Wholly disagree with Jon Stewart’s interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling on video games. Has he heard of the ESRB?
Dear John Stewart: if you don’t want your kids to have violent video games – don’t buy them. Simple.
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.