Video Games Now Legitimate Art
Mark Deuze suggests, “The work of the creative industries has always been shaped, influenced, enabled and to some extent restricted or censored by laws and regulations” (2007). On June 27, 2011, video games made hit a benchmark in the legal world. They are now fully protected under the First Amendment of free speech and are legally considered art. While the State of California was attempting to regulate violence, Justice Scalia clarified, “[T]hat does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed” (Liptak, 2011).
We can argue the positive or negative implications of this but that is not the point. The point is that this form of media is now seen as equal to other forms of media such as “the protected books, plays and movies that preceded them” (Schiesel, 2011). They are considered a means of expression that allow us to “explore and think about human relationships and the wider world around us,” Schiesel continued.
The problem that arises is exposure of violence to children. The game industry certainly has a method of ratings as Deuze and Schiesel suggest, but it is not the government’s responsibility to decide the ideas in which children are exposed. That responsibility belongs to parents. Schiesel believes that involvement in violent games might make children aware of the consequences of their actions, the brutality coming from “swinging a bat to smash a skull.” However, consider the reverse consequence. What if “swinging a bat to smash a skull” becomes too easy in a virtual world?
With this new constitutional protection, how might video games shape our society? How will it change the creative process for media workers in the video game professions (i.e. designers, programmers, artists, etc.)?
Deuze, Mark. “Laws and Regulations.” Media Work. Cambridge: Polity, 2007. 95-97. Print.
Liptak, Adam. “Justices Reject Ban on Violent Video Games for Children.” New York Times. 27 June 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2011.
Schiesel, Seth. “Supreme Court Has Ruled; Now Games Have a Duty.” New York Times. 28 June 2011. Web. 14 Sept. 2011.
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