“Restricting the Sale of Violent Video Games Ruled Unconstitutional,” by Alpha Unit

In 2005, the California legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law, Assembly Bill 1179. The new law prohibited selling or renting to minors any video games that depict killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting any image of a human being – particularly if the assault is especially heinous, cruel, or depraved. As in torture.

Retailers who violated the law would have been liable in an amount up to $1,000 for each violation.

On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California can’t regulate the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The Act violates the First Amendment.

According to the ruling, California sought to create a new category of content-based regulation permissible only for speech directed at children. Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, stated:

This country has no tradition of specially restricting children’s access to depictions of violence. And California’s claim that “interactive” video games present special problems, in that the player participates in the violent action on the screen and determines its outcome, is unpersuasive.

He went on to say that California would have had to demonstrate that the law passes strict scrutiny – that is, that the law is justified by a compelling government interest and is narrowly drawn to serve that interest. The court ruled that the law does not pass the test. According to Justice Scalia:

Psychological studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively. Any demonstrated effects are both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media. Since California has declined to restrict those other media, e.g., Saturday morning cartoons, its video game regulation is wildly underinclusive, raising serious doubts about whether the law is pursuing the interest it invokes or is instead disfavoring a particular speaker or viewpoint.

The court declared that the video-game industry’s voluntary rating system already meets the alleged substantial need of parents who wish to restrict access to violent videos.

In addition to being underinclusive, the Act is overinclusive, since not all children who are prohibited from purchasing violent video games have parents who disapprove of their doing so.

The law’s author, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), lamented the ruling, saying that it put the interests of corporate America before the interests of California’s children.

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111 thoughts on ““Restricting the Sale of Violent Video Games Ruled Unconstitutional,” by Alpha Unit”

      1. HL Mencken once said that the curse of mankind is not materialism as the pastors preach, but idealism. Men get into trouble when they take their visions and hallucinations too far.

        1. “Men get into trouble when they take their visions and hallucinations too far.”

          Not a real problem for Asians and Africans. We have good control over our visions and hallucinations.

        2. I don’t see a connection between idealism and visions and hallucinations. Idealism usually strives to accomplish something better.
          Visions and hallucinations come from the altered state of mind ,which in not under full control by a person, but is usually influenced by either some,whatever substances , music, demons, people etc. or all of it combined.

  1. I despise video games althogether. Hate them. I don’t see anything good in them. No purpouse in them. They produce zombie like, stupid , addicted people.
    Young people and kids in America are not protected from anything that can demoralise them, nowadays. The whole country is going down the drain with a speed of light. The more stupider you are ,the easier you are manipulated and taken adventage of. The country ,which does not care about its future generations is DOOMED to fail.

    1. no way, Video Games is one of the 3 pillars of japanese pop culture sucess in the world ( alongside Anime and Manga) those are the 3 most sucessful things coming from japan (and from east asia and from any non western culture by the way)
      ( the sucess of chinese actor jackie Chan and korean singer Psy were stunning, however those seems to be exceptions, i am talking abouth trends of big legacy and continuity )
      the legacy of Nintendo, Sony, Capcom, Namco Bandai, Square Enix, Sega, Konami and etc

  2. “Any demonstrated effects are both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media.”

    Has to be. 10 hours a day on video games, that’s got to cut into the drug dealing time.

  3. I used to play point and click adventure games back in the day like the Broken Sword series, Star Trek: A Final Unity and Blade Runner as well as the Command and Conquer RTS games.

    You might have liked Command and Conquer Red Alert Sono as you get to fight Stalin and the Soviets in an alternative timeline when Hitler is killed before he comes to power.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R6xCWcf_VU

  4. “You might have liked Command and Conquer Red Alert Sono as you get to fight Stalin and the Soviets in an alternative timeline when Hitler is killed before he comes to power. ”
    Sono despises video games:) Sono gets bored with it before she even starts. Even the idea of kicking Stalin’s and Soviets butts is not enticing enough to convince sono to get engaged in the game. Sono would not shed a tear if all the video games from all over the world were gone forever, at this minute.
    Sono would be very, very happy:)

      1. Hate them all. No exception. Polish or not. My patriotism does not reach video games. If I had been the queen of the world, I would have banned them all. I would have banned most of so called, popular culture ,for that matter. I would be a very cruel ruler.
        Hated by fans of pop-culture:).

        1. Why the hatred for video games?

          It is good escapist fantasy just like a film or TV programme except it is interactive and far better than the degenerate music industry which is absolutely garbage.

  5. “The more children are exposed to violence, the more they think it’s normal, according to a study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science. Call it “monkey see, monkey do,” whether kids see violence at school, in their neighborhood, at home, or on TV or video games, children who witnessed violence were more aggressive.”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6_lQrvGA44

    1. Why the hatred for video games?

      It is good escapist fantasy just like a film or TV programme except it is interactive and far better than the degenerate music industry which is absolutely garbage.

      It was that lame ass Night Trap game on the Sega CD that got congressional hearings in the US and introduction of the ratings system.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc-TdbpU-4k

  6. I find video games incredible boring, and I see it as a very addictive.
    BNew generations of heavy addicts are growing rapidly. I do not see anything entartaining in them. Boring, addictive, mind-numbing, full of violence, agression. Not my cup of tea:).
    You are right about the “degenerate music industry”. Hate it as well:).
    More and more I see this whole pop-culture phenomena, as something to be avoided at all costs. I’m searching for alternatives:). Or…mybe I’m just getting grumpier and older:)
    Here is one of the songs that I like. Russian. Even though I”m not fan of Stalin and Soviets ,I like some Russian , folk songs.I love ethnic, folk songs.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFXjfJISHUA&feature=fvwrel

  7. And here is one of my favourite, Polish rock bands, Zakopower ,which uses a lot of folk’s, highlanders music in their songs. The song below is a re-done version of the Hungarian song, sang by a band Omega in 70/80,very popular, called “the girl with pearl hair”. Love it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnyd-nItQik

  8. Sono
    Pure idealism does not exist. Everyone has ulterior motives behind good deeds they perform, whether they be motivated by religion and the desire to be saved or the guilt of being from a privileged background. Often the idealist’s “humanitarian” work designed to “improve” society reflects their own visions and biases of what society should look like not the actual people they are purporting to help.

  9. We all have some “ulterior motives “behind our deeds, be it good or not good. That a simple fact. We do ,or not do things for a reason. Personally I prefer to deal, be surrounded by people, who have noble, respectable, admirable goals, desires , visions, even if ultimately they may not coincidence with my own ideas.
    I even respect Robert, even though he calls Stalin “the biggest humanitarian
    of all times”(ay:). I consider it a harmless vision of a spoiled American from CA, who does not know, what he is talking about:)

    1. Sono
      I prefer someone who is blunt and honest. I admire Donald Trump because he does not pretend to be a philanthropist or humanitarian as other celebrities do. Everybody knows that he is a jerk and he makes no effort to refute that.

      Not everyone is receptive to those who try to help them. Often times, young well meaning but misguided Western students from upper class families choose to work or volunteer in the third world or in poor inner city neighborhoods, only to be told that the people do not want their services, do not want to be “saved”, and consider them to be invasive. Many “charities” are tied to corporations and have a vested in their humanitarian work such Bill Gates latest crusade to provide immunization to third world countries, get he denies compensations to Americans who have averse reactions from vaccines. Sometimes the motivations are even more sinister, such as the fact that neoconservative organizations are behind women’s and gay rights campaigns in the Middle East. I prefer an honest jerk to someone who is seemingly altruistic but who’s motives are not genuine.

      1. You mean the you prefer “an honest” tyrant and mass muderer like Stalin, than, those ,who try to make a world a truly better place???
        .Please, do not give me an example of Bill Gates as another exemplary “humanitarian”. Bill Gates’s agenda is not far from Stalin’s , from the little that I know. I ,was thinking more of a mother Theresa type not Donald Trump or some other rich, fucked up celebrity.

        1. @sono

          Just curious about the Polish opinion of Jews both historically and contemporary given their history in the region and not just the Communist terrorist groups but the historic connection to organised crime which the Communist terrorist groups were also affiliated with which they controlled things like prostitution which has now become the “Russian” mafia.

          http://www.fpp.co.uk/online/04/11/Jewish_mafia_Poland.html

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL4Cu-K17vE

          They were like what the Chechens are today who themselves just like Bosnians and KLA are all interconnected from top to bottom are dominated by Jews both inside and outside of Russia most noticeably Russian crime boss and Oligarch Boris Berezovsky exiled here in London with the other Oligarchs who regularly travels between London and Tel Aviv and has been an Israeli citizen since 94.

        2. “You mean the you prefer “an honest” tyrant and mass muderer like Stalin, than, those ,who try to make a world a truly better place???”

          I never said that. Don’t put words in my mouth. Bill Gates was clearly a bad example. I prefer someone who is dispassionate about the “saving” the world. But I am anti idealistic on.many levels. I don’t believe it is my duty to “save the world,” indeed many jews who believe in the concept of Tikkun Olam are naive and chauvinistic. Many people in the third world and in poor areas in the West will tell you that they do not want to be “saved,” and they do not want to model their society after yours. Mother Teresa’s primary goal was to spread Catholicism, not to help mankind.

        3. I also take issue with seemingly more genuine and benign “humanitarian” programs as well, an example being compulsory schooling. The first public schools were built in Prussia in the late 18th century because Prussia needed a strong, cohesive, obedient military. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the US used the public schools as a tool to strip newly arrived immigrants of their ethnic identities and encouraged them to get jobs in factories post graduation instead of starting up their own businesses. At first glance, today’s schools seem to be a much more friendly, nuturing place that encourage openness and diversity, but nothing could be further from the truth, schooling is more abbout conformity and acceptance of societal norms than it is about respecting different values. Modern educators try to create a utopian society in the public schools. Many schools have mandatory extracurriculars and programs designed or instill values and build self esteem in students, but not every parent wants this for their child and many will find this condescending. In poorer communities, idealistic educators emphasize upward mobility instead of encouraging more societal acceptance and respect for the groups they are working with. Providing underprivileged or special needs students with specialized programs or peer mentors is a subtle indication that they believe them to be inferior not that they want them to find greater acceptance in society at large.

        4. Sono

          Your barking up the wrong tree with Gay State Girl. She’s as Jaded as they come. We’ve had this conversation regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict. As far as she is concerned, altruism doesn’t exist. Period.

          On the topic of video games, I personally love em. I miss the golden age of point click adventure titles during the 90s. Sierra made some great ones such as the King’s Quest series. Real quality entertainment. I’m currently playing World of Warcraft again, which is a tremendous waste of time, but so much fun =p

          John UK is 100% right when he says that video games are the last refuge for good clean entertainment since the film and Music industries are a cesspool of utter filth.

        5. @Dota

          “On the topic of video games, I personally love em. I miss the golden age of point click adventure titles during the 90s. Sierra made some great ones such as the King’s Quest series. Real quality entertainment. I’m currently playing World of Warcraft again, which is a tremendous waste of time, but so much fun =p”

          Have you played the recent fan created Kings Quest game The Silver Lining?

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQVVwK0uM-8

          It is pretty fun and not bad quality for a fan created game.

          I used to play the point and click games back in the day that had great storylines in fact I think The Da Vinci code stole some elements from the original Broken Sword game.

          Recently I have been playing the Back to the Future point and click game from TellTale games

          What about the Sierra full motion video point and click games like Ripper did you play any of them?

          “John UK is 100% right when he says that video games are the last refuge for good clean entertainment since the film and Music industries are a cesspool of utter filth”

          I still think films are good with the exception of the likes of Michael Bay films but the music industry is just garbage on all levels how songs like this a cell phone answering tune can make it to number 1.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k85mRPqvMbE

          And really it is only a handful of songs that any artist produces that are worth listening to who ride their career on these successes.

      2. Often times, young well meaning but misguided Western students from upper class families choose to work or volunteer in the third world or in poor inner city neighborhoods, only to be told that the people do not want their services, do not want to be “saved”, and consider them to be invasive.

        Amen, GSG!

        Indeed, non-whites like to denounce such actions as “white savior” or “mighty whitey” behavior.

        As Wade once said a while back, whites need to internalize the saying “no good deed goes unpunished.”

        When it comes to the 3rd world, whites are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. If whites stand by and do nothing (ie. the non-intervention during Rwanda), then they’re accused of being heartless and “not valuing black life.” But if whites DO intervene in the 3rd world or try to help, they’re accused of being arrogant white saviors whose invasive presence is intolerable.

        In a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation,” it’s best to just not do anything, and let them accuse you of being heartless or apathetic. At least that way, you won’t give them additional reasons to be pissed off. And it’s no sweat off your back.

        1. To be clear, much Western intervention in the 3rd world is hardly benevolent, and often has negative repercussions.

          Still, the point remains.

        2. @ BAG

          It depends on the type of intervention. IMF style condionalities to aid the third world can certainly do without as their aim is to undermine sovereignity and material prosperity. Other forms of intervention are generally welcome, especially those pertaining to technology and economic assistance (without any strings). Any attempt to influence culture is seen as invasive. India welcomes Bill Gate’s donations to AIDS research, however Hindutva groups routinely go about murdering Western Missionaries, like the tragic case of Graham Staines. The situation is not as simplistic as you’ve outlined above.

  10. I don’t think rationalizing their use under free speech can save Grand Theft Auto and their ilk from any defense, regardless of what the court says. Let’s say someone who agrees with this ruling cannot find a place to disagree with me on them morality, because that’s really hard to do. The obvious card in the deck to fall back on is “But if you ban these games, then it starts a slippery slope where other things are banned!” Oh boo hoo, I’m sure I’ll rue the day. Banning psychopathic video games and smoking indoors will bring about the downfall of democracy. Tell me that with a straight face.
    From my viewpoint, it’s not what isn’t permissible, it’s what is. What brings about our downfall is not decisions like these, but the mindset that makes them. Argue that free speech has an upper hand over the psychological good of this decision all you want. Use prohibition and whatever other nonsense gives you that intellectual fix. It’s not being liberal to let loose on video games. It’s caving into the forces of special interests ::cough evil cough:: that make them big business. It’s just another nightmare industry of Frankenstein capitalism. It is permissible now for our children to train themselves to kill in a virtual simulation no different in any real way from military training, according to some of those trainers. The main purpose of course is to desensitize, because it doesn’t require sui generis to aim and shoot. Corporations have preyed upon a generation or two of parents who have failed miserably, and on lawmakers who are all too easy to corrupt.

  11. @John UK
    My ex was a Jew so hey,watch out:).
    I don’t like to sterotype people ,and I try to avoid it , but obviously we all do it occasionally. There are good and bad Jewish people. I try not to get in some kind “Jewish Hysteria”. However,I hate those nazi, rasists-zionists ,who deem themselves better than anybody else, and act exactly towards other people like Hitler acted towards them.
    The main thing, that bothers me personally with Jewish people ,is the fact that are very ungrateful, have a tribal mentality, don’t care about values of the country they live in, laugh at traditional “goyim” values,etc. But ,to give them justice, Goyim, in their naivness and ignorance ,let them do it. We let ourselves to be manipulated, used by them and then we cry over spilled milk. I think the main problem right now is,why and when we let ourselves to become so indiferent, stupid , brain-washed, poli-corrected, etc that we truly don’t know what is right, what is wrong, whom to trust, whom not.
    I would not blame Jews for all the evil in the current world. Some of them, along with a mafia personality goyim, take adventage of our lack of thinking and lack of action.

  12. @GSG
    “Mother Teresa’s primary goal was to spread Catholicism, not to help mankind.”
    Actually, the main critique of Mother Teresa ,by many catholics ,is the fact that she was not spreading catholicism, that she was too much of an ecumenist.
    If I have a choice, I always prefer to have, so called good, kind people around me. No matter what their “internal” intentions are, if they are truly good, mercifull, unselfish, kind people I want to be with them. And I avoid as much as I can , agressive, selfish, full of themselves, arrogant, full of hate and disregard for human life people.
    I won’t change the world. Nobody can. But I can make some choices regarding ,who I want to be, what kind of a person, or with what kind of
    people I want to be close with. I do strive to be a better person. With different results, but I try. I don’t see anything wrong in that.

    1. I prefer indifferent, dispassionate people who are decent and moral but who just mind their own business.

  13. Indifferent, dispassionate people are the first one to be manipulated. Someone who does not care ,does not deserve a lot.

    1. Oh, I don’t agree with that at all. Indifferent and dispassionate do not equal indecisive and easily swayed. Dispassionate does not always equal does not care.

      One does not need to have an opinion on absolutely everything, either. Especially most of what goes on in other people’s personal lives.

      Passionate can = overemotional –overemotional people are more easily manipulated, more easily swayed by illogical arguments.

      Ai-ya–wish I had time to rant some more but I have to get off the computer–I’ll be back!

  14. Indifferent means that you don’t care, which further means you don’t have an opinion or you just simply don’t give a damn about anything or anybody. Pitiful in my opinion..
    Dissapasionate means that you are more of a robotic, mechanical type of a person. Pitiful in my opinion.

    1. Maybe this is just a matter of semantics, and perhaps I’m misunderstanding what you mean, and maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, but it sounds like you are intolerant of personality types that are different from yours in certain ways. That looks like bigotry to me. Not based on race, etc., but bigotry nonetheless.
      Not everyone is a passionate person. Some such people may be labeled e.g. Aspies or with personality disorders, some fall within what we consider normal (more than a few of the math & science majors I met at college come to mind). Not being outwardly emotional doesn’t make you a bad person.

      1. I actually developed these views on idealism based on what I’ve observed about the treatment that is available for aspergers and other disabilities as well as for the underprivileged. There is a lot of emphasize on how to “help ” people with disabilities and the underprivileged through various therapies and specialized programs, but these so called experts are not genuinely interested in what these kids and their parents actually desire and how to utilize their skills to enable them to be productive members of society.

        1. Things have improved tremendously in Massachusetts as far as Autism/Asperger’s is concerned. Though I’m not looking at the system as an Aspie myself, but as the Mom of an Autistic kid (age 8) and the aunt of another (age 17). The only thing I’d change is to give my son more advanced work–he was already doing pre-calculus last year when we were still home-schooling. But overall I’m really impressed.

        2. Amy
          It’s true that the services have improved but I’ll always have an irrational bias agianst it because I received early intervention services back in the early ’90’s when it was in its most primitive form. I got lumped in with children with more severe intellectual and emotional problems and the programs were all tailored to suit their needs and not mine. So I think that hindered my development rather than aiding it. And parents can be so gullible. They hang on every word a therapist says and take everything to heart.

        3. It was fear of that sort of thing that led me to homeschool at first. We lived in Virginia, which isn’t as autism-friendly as Massachusetts. My husband (an Aspie) also has an irrational fear of “the system” as far as treatment of Autism and Aspies goes. He began school in the mid-60s, so you can probably imagine what a nightmare it was for him….

          I do my own research & take everything the docs & counselors say with a grain of salt!!

        4. “My husband (an Aspie) also has an irrational fear of “the system” as far as treatment of Autism and Aspies goes”

          I do as well. Times have certainly changed and the system is seemingly more gentle and benign and I guess I should be grateful for that but I did not enjoy being sheltered. I didn’t even enjoy participating in non academic structured activities with neurotypical children. I honestly would have preferred to have a small job from the time I was nine or ten and would have just liked to spend organize my own leisure time. I never enjoyed extracurricular activities or summer camp (except for computer camp and culinary club) but my parents always forced me to go because they believed these activities were somehow essential to my social development.

        5. You homeschool your son? I begged my parents to homeschool for my whole k-12 career. I’ve become really interested in homeschooling and unschooling ever since. The public school system can not serve everyone should not claim to.

        6. Used to homeschool. His K and Grade 1 years. I was sort of homeschooling when he was younger, too, but only because he loved it–he started reading & writing before he was two years old, adding at three, fractions at four.

          As he got older spending all day with me became less appealing. Which is a good thing. Best that he not spend all day with Mom. Though I wish they’d give him more advanced work at school.

          I did not want to send him to the local school in Virginia, but the one in our little town is great–class size is around 14 kids. He just finished his first 2nd grade year and overall I’d say it went very well. But if we lived elsewhere we might still homeschool.

      2. You are jumping to conclusions. You accuse me of bigotry just because my view differs from yours. How typical of an average, poli-corrected American .
        If they can not find arguments, they jut start throwing ad hominem labels.
        Also, what “not being outwardly emotional, ( which btw most males are) has to do with being indifferent.??
        I know plenty of people, who are “not being outwardly emotional” ,but are very, very passionate and far from being indifferent. Mr Norman Finkelstein for example.

        1. Most of us, not being mind-readers, have only the outward behavior to go on in assessing each other. Your epithet “robotic” would seem to indicate behavior as well.
          One could have an alternate bias against “drama queens” over “robotic types.” But it’s a big leap to then announce that “drama queens” “do not deserve a lot.”
          There’s a lot of room for interpretation re: “indifferent” depending on what one’s indifferent to. But “dispassionate” seems to me to be a matter of temperament.
          Looking at a dispassionate person as a “pitiful” person who “doesn’t deserve a lot” doesn’t seem much different to me than feeling that way about someone in a wheelchair.

  15. I don’t mean that people should look the other way in the face of atrocities. But they should not seek them out and definately should not purport to speak or know what’s best for victims of those atrocities.

    1. I definitely didn’t mean that either. I almost mentioned that very thing in my earlier post but I was pressed for time.

  16. Most of this videogame law stuff is just meaningless chatter, and a complete and utter waste of EVERYONE’S time especially that of the Supreme Court who I’m sure have way better shit to be doing than wasting their time with a bunch of make-believe, digital clay models. I doubt mentally-stable children are affected by any of this nonsense. And even if many children were poorly-raised lunatics who went off at the first sight of animated blood, no doubt they would be the exception. And would we let a minority of maladjusted children ruin the fun for every other, mentally-stable human being? The idea should sound like a joke to our ears.

    One need only take a look at Australian videogame legislation, for example, to see what a joke videogame restriction is. Australian laws go as far as to limit graphic content to adults lol. Did you notice how the violent, videogame-related crimes (and movie and music-related crimes, for that matter) dropped to near-zero after the laws were put in place? OH WAIT YOU DIDN’T BECAUSE THEY WERE ALREADY NON-EXISTENT.

    So, the answer to the question “Should graphic videogames be restricted to children?” is “It doesn’t matter, because even most children aren’t stupid enough to be affected by vidyagaems in the first place.”

    1. You are 100% wrong. But it does not matter. We are all going down the hill ,and the conequences of our stupidity will bite our behinds very soon. Whatever we will do or not , it is too late. We are doomed.

  17. “Escapism” is tossed about by people condemning or defending video games, books, movies, drugs, the internet, so on and so on. Consider the word: escapism.

    From what?

    To “escape” there is the insinuation that one is shackled or imprisoned. If children are not exposed to a pleasurable reality, the video game world is an easy parental understudy for the undeveloped mind. I realize a “pleasurable reality” is pie in the sky, but it really is not. However, with all the malfeasance inflicted on each successive generation of wage slaves (parents), of course the pleasurable reality can never be. And another crop of disembodied children is spawned, robot servants for the Hive.

  18. indifference [ɪnˈdɪfrəns -fərəns]

    1. the fact or state of being indifferent; lack of care or concern
    Definition of DISPASSIONATE
    : not influenced by strong feeling; especially : not affected by personal or emotional involvement

    1. My comment still holds.

      Whether one’s indifference is acceptable or not depends on what one is indifferent to. We could be arguing specific examples for weeks. I assume we can all agree with Gay State Girl that we mustn’t turn our backs on atrocities.

      As for dispassionate: “not influenced by strong feeling; especially : not affected by personal or emotional involvement” This can be a matter of temperament. Something that cannot be helped. One can be unemotional by temperament and yet still be a functioning, contributing member of society.

      1. I gave you an example of Norman Finkelstein. I assume that you know who is he. He is rather low key, fairly unemotional person but one would hardly call him dispassionate, even though he tries to control his emotions, his temper. However, it is hard to be “disspasionate” if you are not indifferent to someone or something.
        If you feel strongly about someting, you passions, your emotions will show. If you are a completely indifferent, apathic person, who just does not give a damn about anybody or antything ,then yes, you can be utterly dispassionated. To the point,that in my opinion, is pitiful. There are many reasons for it, I agree with that.

        1. Thinking someone is pitiful isn’t indicative of bigotry, I’ll give you that. On the other end of the emotional spectrum, overemotional people can be equally pitiful.
          It is, I assume, not possible for a human being to have zero emotions, so we may be back to semantics here. But I know, especially from my autistic son and nephew, that it’s possible to be so unemotional that people find it off-putting, “pitiful,” disturbing. Yet both my son and my nephew are going to be functioning members of society who have good jobs and are good neighbors–they are conscientious and intelligent.

        2. @ Sono

          As someone who’s followed Norman Finkelstein, he is hardly an unemotional person. In fact, the reason for his fame, in addition to the spectacle of having a Jewish son of holocaust survivors criticizing Israel, is that he is very extraverted and polemical.

          I also must say that I’ve grown progressively less impressed with him.

          He’ll denounce the most egregious of Israeli crimes, which is easy (well, I shouldn’t say “easy.” He lost his professorship, which just goes to show you how MOT’s treat dissent). But at the same time, he downplays the power of the Israel (ie. Jewish) lobby (including making asinine statements that the Jewish neocons in the Bush Administration felt no strong ties to Israel), came out against BDS, and supports the “two-state solution,” which is what most Zionists support.

          His rhetoric notwithstanding, push comes to shove, what Finkelstein advocates for the Israel/Palestine conflict is not radically different from what Alan Dershowitz proposes.

          If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that Finkelstein is a bit of a crypto-Zionist, just like his mentor Noam Chomsky.

          If you want to get acquainted with a more serious PSM (Palestinian Solidarity Movement) activist, I’d recommend Jeff Blankfort.

  19. Noun 1. indifference – unbiased impartial unconcern
    unconcern – a feeling of lack of concern
    aloofness, distance – indifference by personal withdrawal; “emotional distance”
    detachment, withdrawal – avoiding emotional involvement
    2. indifference – apathy demonstrated by an absence of emotional reactions
    emotionlessness, impassiveness, impassivity, phlegm, stolidity, unemotionality
    apathy – an absence of emotion or enthusiasm
    3. indifference – the trait of lacking enthusiasm for or interest in things generally
    spiritlessness, apathy, numbness
    passivity, passiveness – the trait of remaining inactive; a lack of initiative
    4. indifference – the trait of remaining calm and seeming not to care; a casual lack of concern
    nonchalance, unconcern
    carefreeness – the trait of being without worry or responsibility

  20. @Amy
    I know splenty of people who are in a wheelchairs ,who are very passionate, full of life, energy and zest for life. They are by no means indifferent to what is going around them and to people who surround them.
    You argument is below the waist.

    1. I did not imply that you had a bias against people in wheelchairs. You have a bias against dispassionate people. You think they “don’t deserve much.” You are making my argument for me!

  21. if somebody is “dispasionate” because of their own choice , then yes I do not feel sorry for them. Wallowing in self-pity, blaming everybody for everything, distancing oneself from everything ,”poor me “attitude is not something that I admire. I think you have to have some passion about something, for God’s sake. I can not even imagine completely “dispasionate “person. if you care for something, you do feel strong about it. Not to the point of killing your opponents, but close:).
    This was a joke:). Bad one , I may add.

    1. Nah, I don’t have any pity for self-pity, either. Withdrawing in the way you describe is both cowardly and narcissistic.

      I’m just defensive of those who just act “robotic.” A literary example of the type would be Sherlock Holmes. Or Temperance Brennan on the show _Bones_. Of course they aren’t completely emotionless, but “normal” people sometimes consider such people off-putting, freakish.

      It’s OK, I like the dark humor. Perhaps fantasizing about killing your enemies could be considered within the realm of normal? Nah, that’s going to offend to a whole ‘nother group of people!

  22. I think we both misunderstood each other. For me is maybe a mater of language in addition. When I think about dispassionate and indifferent ,I think of people who are purposely, CONSCIOUSLY, are distancing themselves from everything or everybody around them. It is often connected with being selfish, self-involved, a coward, and I don’t know, lazy? Sort of mental or physical laziness? I know everybody has some reason for doing it, and I understand it. I don’t respect it though. I think it is such a waste of one’s potential, by removing oneself from reality and being indiferent to it.
    On the other hand, often those, seemingly dispassionate, people are really passionate about something. If one steps on the right toes, one may feel the kick.

    1. English not your first language? Brava! I never did manage to become fluent in any other language–and at my age it’s probably impossible.

      That’s probably a fair assessment, that we misunderstood each other. I also am passionate about neurodiversity (there’s another politically correct word–but I rather like that one). Given that my son is a bit “different” there’s a lot of Mama Bear passion complicating the issue. If we don’t drive those robotic types away from us by demanding that they be like us, we may gain great physicists, inventors, etc.

      Depending on what one’s responsibilities are in life, if someone wants to withdraw and become a hermit I want him or her to have the right to do that, even if it means lost potential. I think that’s part of what Gay State Girl meant about preferring people who “just mind their business.”
      (GSG, chime in any time!)
      I believe your intentions are good toward the hermit types, though.

    2. I choose disinterest which is levels above (or below) indifference.

      Disinterest is cool because you basically don’t need to own it! Indifference is somewhat “edgy” and declarative of something…disinterest can just BE. I choose disinterest but is it ultimately very neutral. Disinterest lets me look you in the face and say “hi” while being simultaneously disinterested in your existence.

      1. Why?? Why be disinterested, when you maybe interested?? Are you afraid of losing something? Are you afraid of being hurt, or you don’t want to hurt anybody? Are you that lazy or selfish??
        Why don’t let yourself be truly passionate about something, somebody?
        Why do you intentionally hold yoursef back?
        You don’t have to answer ,although I would appreciate it:)

  23. But anyway, back to the topic at hand.

    I applaud the decision. For starters, as GSG has pointed out, banning the sale will not prevent young people from playing them. Just like with booze and drugs, if young people want something, they’ll find a way to get it.

    Also, based on my own gaming experience and what I’ve observed, I don’t think that violent video games induce young people to commit violent acts.

    What violent video games do is desensitize people to violence/makes it seem normal. Be that as it may, it’s hardly worse than certain Governator films like “Commando.”

    This country doesn’t need violent video games to desensitize people to violence.

    1. Gay Area Guy
      Banning (or forcing) kids to do something will only make it more appealing. Rebellion is a natural reaction so if we trully want kids to behave nicely than we should force them to watch MTV all day and listen to Gangsta Rap or heavy metal, engage in acts of petty theft and more benign sexual activities-then they’ll want to go home and read the classics:)

      1. Yeah, I agree.

        One could say the same thing about political and ideological orientation.

        My whole schtick has a lot to do with the fact that I come from a heavily non-white and very liberal area. For me, thinking what I think is partially an act of rebellion against what I perceive to be the status quo. If I were to be placed in an all white conservative place for long enough, my worldview would probably change.

        This is all the more reason why healthy and open discussions of controversial matters, be it violent video games or race, are necessary.

        If you outlaw such discussions, you’ll only make these items of forbidden fruit all the more appealing, and let extremists fill the void.

    2. I completely disagree. First of all we are talking not about banning video games all together,, but restricting the sale of the violent one for younger generations. If it were up to me, I would ban video games for everybody all of them:).Hate them.
      Anyway, violent video games DO have an bad impact on kids and enough was written about it for those who are interested and actually care. Excessive playing of video games have pretty bad influence on them as well. I do not see anything valuable in playing this virtual garabge. It creates next generations of zombi like, young addicts ,who are not able to think on their own, they are only ready to follow the orders and enjoy very primitive pleasures . Next generations of grown-ups with a mind of a fucked-up child are sprouting.

  24. @BAG I agree with you on some points reg. prof Norman Finkelstein. However, I attended one of his lecturs, and even spoke with him for a few minutes afterwards. He is a very mild, low key,modest person , minimum emotions when you talk to him privately. In public, he is challenged by opponets, ( often very rude ones), so he has to be polemical and tiny bit more extraverted. But as I wrote above ,he is NOT a disspasionate , indifferent person ,on the subject of his interests, even though , in private, he seems to be a very mild, quiet, peace loving , sweet, no- bother- anybody
    person.
    I do not agree with him on some views ,but I do admire him greatly. He did a lot for the cause, suffered tons of abuse for it, sacraficed his profesional and personal life ,but gained recognition and respect of many. Wonderful example of a great, honest, smart, brave and very decent human being.

    1. Exactly, Finkelstein fought tirelessly for a cause so he should rightly expect something in return.

      1. Perssonally, I think he could be and should be a great role model for all of us. He is a great example of somebody who ‘s been living his life in accordance with the ideas he belived in. And I mean noble, good, high ideas.

      1. You cant even write a reply to my comment without making mistakes. And you’re calling me a six year old. Anyway i’m 18 and on the cusp of finishing the best piece of coursework i’ve ever completed. At least i can lay a claim to a substantial achievement on my behalf. Anyway am i the only person that isnt white on this site that makes comments.

        1. English is my second language, so yes I did, I do, and I will make mistakes . I’m much older then you are, and have a couple degrees ,which I don’t consider my “substantial achievement”.
          Just a matter of some intelligence and good luck:). I’m pretty cynical as well on top of that, so bear with me.

  25. Has anyone thought to investigate the inverse of this supposed correlation between early violent video game exposure and subsequent violence later on in life? Are inherently violent and psychopathic people drawn to violent video games?

    1. No ,majority kids are not “inherently violent and psychopatic people” ,but one may want them to become like this. There are ways to do it. HitlerJugend was one of the ways.
      Throwing violent, bloody video games that “depict killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting any image of a human being” is another way.
      I do not understand that for any sane person it is so hard to notice that??
      Another sign of a failing civilisation doomed to cease.

  26. Kids are like little sponges. Their impressionable minds, souls and hearts sucks whatever is offered to them. We, adults should protect them as much as we can from the unnecessary evil of the world ,not to expose them to the worst, darkest sides of human nature. They need to be resistent to it , not overpowered by it ,or desensitized to it. Violence, agression never brings anything constructive, valuable. I strongly oppose subjecting anybody to it, especially kids and youth.
    The very fact that so many adults support it is another big sign of our civilisation soon to be left in pieces.

    1. There is a diseased strain of destructive inhumanity, I’m convinced it has always existed. The crap we produce for “entertainment purposes” echoes the sickness.

      The very fact adults support it is because there is money to be made now and always. If profit involves exploitation of base human nature, I guarantee you profit will triumph over nobility every time. Banning video games is putting the carriage before the horse.

    2. Banning video games, gangster rap, etc, is a delusional exercise in nanny-state busybodiedness because the disease lingers and will sprout up somewhere else. We are better off channeling our efforts toward empowering mental health by positive actions, not reactive policies of negation which are useless.

      1. Sometines I would not mind to go into Amazonian jungle and try to live with a native Indiands if they would not mind it.
        Fighting with anacondas seems to be more appealing than fighting with ignorant parents who do not see anything bad in their children being routinely exposed to unnecessary, virtual violence.

  27. You are right . Some people make profit of it, and they will push sale of this garbage on anybody. But I’m surprised that so many of ,so called ,average citizents , often parents for that matter , do not see that this crap ,that they offer/buy to their kids has zero point zero value to it, that this is actually very bad for child’s mental, spiritual, physical development.

  28. “They probably wouldn’t mind as long you could contribute your own weight” I can definately contribute my own weight.:)
    Actually running after ,or rather from, anaconda could decrease sufficently my own weight, which would be be a very welcomed plus of living in the jungle.
    As long as my own weight won’t become a part of anaconda’s weight:(

  29. I don;t don’t think I’m much of the Amazonian type as well . I’m just kidding a litttle ,I guess out of frustration with a current state of our civilisation. I’m a child of this civilisation,whether I like or not, and I don’t think I would be able to survive in the jungle for more than a day. Probalby less. I think it would be interesting to try. But then, I’m not suicidal.
    I would love to visit some of South American countries, though. Maybe one day.

  30. “You are 100% wrong. But it does not matter. We are all going down the hill ,and the conequences of our stupidity will bite our behinds very soon. Whatever we will do or not , it is too late. We are doomed.”

    In other words, she’s a pathetic, moralizing, OLD WOMAN who would rather restrict an artform and call for needless, doomsday hysteria instead of reveling in the decadence that the make-believe worlds of entertainment allow.

    She doesn’t even back her “you are 100% wrong claim” with anything.

    In other words, nothing to see here and we’ve all just had our time WASTED when we could have been, I dunno, playing Godhand or some shit.

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