Activision EVP: California Video Game Legislation Unnecessary (and Unconstitutional)

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Executive vice president and chief public policy officer of Activision Blizzard Incorporated George Rose is making it known that he’s not pleased with the new Californian legislation that may make selling violent video games to minors a criminal offense. In an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle, Rose said that not only was the strict law unnecessary because the video game industry was already willing to work with Congress to create strict ratings systems, but the potential law, which is on appeal at the US Supreme Court, violates first amendment rights.

“So for the underage kid whose parents don’t approve of a mature-rated game, buying on the sly at a major retailer is virtually impossible (already),” Rose wrote. “It makes no sense for California to put in place a costly state bureaucracy to replace a privately funded system that is working.”

The EVP and CPO blamed falsely reported studies about the effect of violent video games and outdated examples of games like Postal, a title released in 1997 that is still used as an example of questionable violent material, for hyping up the need for stricter measures. Rose points out that Postal was not as popular as proponents of the law make it out to be, and many practices in the industry have changed since then to help parents realize that games like this are for mature audiences. “Schwarzenegger will no longer be in office when this case bearing his name is finally decided next year,” Rose added. “It is hoped that Supreme Court wisdom, combined with a fresh outlook in Sacramento, will end this unnecessary movement for good and let us invoke one of his signature movie lines in bidding to it, ‘Hasta la vista, baby.'”

Where do you stand on making selling minors violent video games a criminal offense? Do you think it is up to the government or parents to decide what titles are appropriate for children?

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