Guys, guys. Oh my gosh, there is so much assumption going around here that it smells like a bathroom.
• It is not unconstitutional to regulate content. If it were, pornographic content would have the opportunity to be broadcast at any time on any channel. What it is unconstitutional to do to is to prevent content from being created. There is no basis for the argument that legally binding MSRB ratings are unconstitutional, because those games are still accessible, they’re just harder to obtain in the wrong context. I mean, seriously, there’s a reason you can’t say “fuck” on most radios or television stations.
•Censorship in a legal sense is NOT the removal of distasteful content. Censorship in a legal sense is the removal of a message. And, when it comes down to it, the argument that removal of distasteful content in a public or publicly accessible environment is unfair can’t hold water, even in a business sense, because it isolates part of the audience. I don’t want to see explicit sex in a Mario game, but because someone else who will still play the game does, that means I should just not play it? That’s unfair to me, since the other person would play it in either context. There are venues for these things for a reason, so that those who want it can get it, and those who don’t can avoid it. It’s not the removal of a message, it’s the restriction of content for the sake of mass audience, which isn’t illegal, and is certainly not anything I’m going to argue against.
• The reason that video games being a potential cause of aggressive or violent behavior is a legitimate problem is because video games create an active roll for a player to fill, which can indeed have profound psychological impacts on still developing minds. Heck, it’s been proven to do so even in a passive sense: in the ’60s, an experiment called Bobo the Clown has shown that children learn to imitate behavior, even negative behavior, on a reward system, which can be seen in television, and especially in video games. The point of contention is what the true effects are and how deep they are, but no one can make the argument that games do nothing to the people who play them, especially children, who are the target of this bill.
I may be a bit late to bring all this up, but it’s important to understand what arguments hold water and what arguments don’t.