In the wake of such tragedies as the Newton school shootings, Colorado theater shootings and a handful of mall shootings it is not a surprise that the media is pointing the finger at media especially video games.
However we have seen this before, in the wake of the Columbine shootings and the Heath High school shooting in my home state of Kentucky, the media pointed the finger at music. Artists like Eminem and Marilyn Manson were put under fire for the messages in their songs.
With this being such a hot button issue and now that the 113th US congress has just been sworn in, I fully expect for there to be an increase in debates and laws/bills trying to be pushed through. This article over at IGN.com highlights how one Utah senator is proposing to make the ESRB the governing force when rating video games.
But wait a minute...the ESRB already rates video games so what is the point? Well this law would make it mandatory for manufactures to compile a rating for their game and then picture the rating clearly on the front of the packaging. Which again is already done, but the imposed fines would be the new feature. $5000 to any person found in violation of the restrictions.
Most companies like Target and Game Stop will generally check ID's before selling a game to someone that may appear to be younger that 18, this would almost force them to do so.
Should the government get involved and back the ESRB?
Should there be age restrictions to buying video games and should stores be forced to ask their patrons to present ID?
Should they go as far as to make proof of age a requirement for all video games over a certain rating?
Is this constitutional?
Any additional thoughts?
I DO NOT want this to deteriorate into a debate about how video game/TV/Movie violence affects people or children. Whether it does or does not, that is not what is up for debate. I simply want to know your thoughts on the article and on the idea of a government back ratings system and fines for video games.
EDIT: While I still want to avoid this thread turning into a debate about whether violent movies/games/music causes people to commit violent acts, I do however have a hypothetical question.
Lets say, HYPOTHETICALLY, that scientists do discover a correlation between violent media and (school) shootings. If this were to happen, would the First Amendment still hold? would changes be made? In your opinion how would this affect this industry?