Legal And Ethical Issues Concerning Violence In Video Games

2022 words - 9 pages

Legal and Ethical Issues concerning Violence in Video Games 1

Legal and Ethical Issues Concerning Violence in Video Games
Nadine Pryor
Park University
February 2013

Legal and Ethical Issues concerning Violence in Video Games 2


I. Introduction
II. Freedom of Speech
III. Freedom of Speech Cases
a. N.W.A.
b. Larry Flynt
c. George Carlin
IV. Negative effects of video games
V. Positive effects of Video games
VI. Conclusion

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When the case is sent to court, they find it unconstitutional. This case was trying to get the states to place constitutional limits and requiring labels on the video games along with not selling to underage children but it shows that it violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments. California was trying to prohibit selling or renting video games that are violent to underage children. The ruling also came to the agreement that it affected the right to freedom of speech. If it affects the right to freedom of speech, then how come sexual and violent materials are separate from this? Video games in this particular matter are protected by the Freedom of Speech. In the case of Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, Justice Breyer points out a double standard. "What sense does it make,"
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he asked, "to forbid selling to a 13-year-old boy a magazine with an image of a nude woman, while protecting a sale to that 13-year-old of an interactive video game in which he actively, but virtually, binds and gags the woman, then tortures and kills her?" He went further: "What kind of First Amendment would permit the government to protect children by restricting sales of that extremely violent video game only when the woman — bound, gagged, tortured, and killed — is also topless?" (Cohen, 2010) He then would have agreed and ruled that the video game ban is unconstitutional. Although many do not agree with the violent content of video games, the video game industry has Freedom of Speech protection much like the N.W.A., Larry Flynt, and George Carlin cases.
In the N.W.A. case, “First Amendment activists and a member of Congress said that the FBI may have stepped out of line with a letter accusing a Compton rap group of encouraging "violence against and disrespect" for law enforcement officers.” (Hochman, 1989) The F.B.I. should not really be handling cases such as censorship. However, they had mentioned police officers who were killed recently and lyrics like this should not be disrespecting law enforcement. The disagreement can be made that ethnic motivations also played a large role in the FBI’s 1989 letter to the rap group N.W.A. The F.B.I.’s intended to notify the rap group that their song “F*** Tha Police” was not at all respected by the government. The song is basically in a mock courtroom where the band acts as they were in a courtroom and has vulgar language that disrespects police in Compton. Members of the group also relate a series of threats and brutal fantasies about retaliating against law enforcement. N.W.A. followers argue the group was only trying to express their aggravation of inner-city blacks and having areflection to their everyday
Legal and Ethical Issues concerning Violence in Video Games 5

actuality. While no legal action took place, the example...

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