California’s proposed video game legislation (again!)

As reported on Gamasutra, Feb 17 2005:

Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), California’s Speaker pro tem, has introduced a bill into the California legislature that would prohibit children under 17 from purchasing videogames that depict serious injury to human beings….

“When you push a computer button, you are pulling the trigger,” Yee said, explaining the need for such strict labels on the games industry as opposed to movies or TV. “Children are developing the skills to stalk, maim and shoot people.” …

Doesn’t the network news often depict stories and content about stalking, maiming, and shooting? An interesting sociological study would be to understand the impact of “news” stories depicting violent crime, and “games” depicting violent crime. We all understand that exposure to something can make it more bearable, even acceptable (such as the tendency of domestic violence to span generations). However, exposure to something can also make you more aware of the negative aspects of it (such as the tendency to avoid drug addiction after watching the same destroy a friend or family member).

Food for thought… Millions of people play “violent” computer games every day, and the overwhelming majority of them clearly suffer no adverse affects. Perhaps this proposed legislation is best left on the drawing board and off the books.

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