California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger, aka “The Governator,” has formally appealed the U.S. District Court’s recent ruling that that the California state law previously signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger last year is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced because it violates a minor’s rights to freedom of expression under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
In that ruling, the Judge also granted the video game industry a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the law. The California law had somewhat open ended wording that minors (described as under 18 years of age) must be restricted from the sale of “violent video games.” The Judge based his decision on the fact that there was “not a clear causal connection between access to such video games and psychological harm to children."
Nationally, state laws attempting to restrict minors from purchasing violent and sexually explicit video games have not held water, as U.S. federal courts have held that these laws all violate First Amendment freedom of expression and access to that expression of information for minors.
It seems quite ironic that Arnold Schwarzenegger, who prior to his gubernatorial role in California, was an actor and played the incredibly violent role of “The Terminator” in several sequels of the film and also starred as a commando killer in the film, “Predator.” Now Governor Schwarzenneger says that viewing of video game violence should be restricted to “adults only.” Does this mean that violent action movies with humans in them are less harmful to minors than violent video action games that clearly don’t depict real life? The phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do,” certainly comes to mind.