Hillary’s Hot Coffee Aversion
EFF.org has a wonderful post concerning Senator Clinton’s response to a gaming snafu.
Rockstar Games, the producer of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” sparked a firestorm of criticism when game hackers found a way to unlock a sexually graphic mini-game via a hack named “Hot Coffee”. In the tech world these are known as “Easter eggs” hidden treasures that aren’t always meant to be found. Think of an “R” movie that is being edited down to meet a “PG-13” rating. The difference is that the original content is not deleted it has merely been bypassed in the game narrative.
In response, “Senator Hillary Clinton has vowed to introduce legislation that would fine retailers for selling minors video games that the industry rates as “mature” or “adults only.”
Of course, the Senator’s proposed video game censorship bill would violate the First Amendment. While courts have found that some sexual content is “harmful to minors,” and that distribution of such material to children can be regulated, courts have also repeatedly held that violent speech, be it in video games or other media, is fully protected by the First Amendment. Courts have also repeatedly found that government enforcement of private ratings schemes (like the MPAA’s ratings for films) is plainly unconstitutional. Video games are no different.
“Senator Clinton, being a lawyer herself, knows that her proposed bill would immediately be challenged and struck down if ever signed into law — just like every similar bill that has been passed by city councils and state legislatures, only to be followed by a video game industry lawsuit the next day. In fact, the industry filed its latest sure-to-win First Amendment challenge just this week to fight an Illinois law regulating violent video games.
Unfortunately, it’s we the taxpayers who have to bear the cost of defending these politically motivated, certainly unconstitutional laws in court. And as long as politicians can make hay of the supposed “harm” caused to our younger citizens by violent and sexually explicit speech, they will be an annoyingly persistent part of the political landscape. But it’s still worth writing your city council members and state and federal legislators. If your representatives have proposed a law like this, tell them that you’re tired of time-wasting games — the political kind.”
No I don’t want children playing sexually explicit games or for that matter grotesquely violent ones BUT it isn’t the government’s role to prevent it. This is a job for the parents.
Li·ber·ty – n., 1.a. The condition of being free from restriction and control.
PS: For my Christian readers who cannot believe my stance on this issue, allow me to ask you a question; Would you be against government intervention if they deemed family friendly and/or Christian content unsuitable for children? Remember Liberty is Liberty, Period. Beware of giving the government an inch. We may want it back some day.