Voices & Vibes: Should government laws regulate video game purchases?

No matter how much video games may push society's buttons with their content, America's youngest pastime has a place in the Constitution. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 2, 2011)

No matter how much video games may push society's buttons with their content, America's youngest pastime has a place in the Constitution. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 2, 2011)

AUGUSTA -- The video game industry has received much criticism with the rise of violent titles in the 1990s.

Since then, the industry has included a rating system with a detailed outline of the game's contents. However, that did not stop lawmakers in California to legally restrict the sale or rental of violent video games to minors in 2005.

In 2010, Mario and his friends finally caught a break from government legislation when the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional to place restrictions on video games since they fall under the First Amendment.

Employees at the Play N Trade in Augusta take precaution when selling games to minors and disagree with government regulations in the gaming industry.

"Mostly it's common sense. If a child comes up and asks about a game that's not for them, you tend to ask the parents," said Russell Moore, a Play N Trade employee.

Customers also take discretion when purchasing games and believe that businesses and consumers should have the sole authority when buying and selling games.

"It's another small infringement on free speech. It's another way of determining what is acceptable speech and what is acceptable expression," said Eric Haughman, a regular customer at Play N Trade. "That's not what our country was founded on."

No matter how much video games may push society's buttons with their content, America's youngest pastime has a place in the Constitution.


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