The Instigator
shooterboss
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
medic0506
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

Selling violent video games to minors is okay.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
medic0506
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/29/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,144 times Debate No: 17327
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

shooterboss

Pro

The Supreme Court has lately debated whether or not violent video games should be allowed to be sold to minors.

"Violent video games" are bloody, gory, and sometimes offensive video games. They are usually, but not necessarily, rated M for Mature (17+). Some examples are Resident Evil 4, Silent Hill: Homecoming, and Manhunt 2.

I believe it should not be illegal to sell these kinds of games to teens ages 13 to 18. Though parents might not want their kids to own these kinds of games, the law should not forcefully restrict the right.

My contender will start his initial arguments in this round, and I will counter argue in the second.

I personally do not play violent video games, nor am I interested in them. However, when I saw this article on Yahoo!, I couldn't help but think it was unnecessary to make them illegal for minors.

(1) http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Good luck to my opponent.
medic0506

Con

I thank Shooter for initiating this debate, and accept the challenge. Before getting into the issue, some housekeeping.

Violent- Pro mentioned "bloody, gory, and sometimes offensive", but I don't think that does justice. To be more descriptive, we need to add a few terms such as, decapitation, dismemberment, disemboweling, burning, bodies exploding into chunks, and blood gushes, splatters, and pools. Even after the character is dead, the player can usually further mutilate the body by shooting, hacking, kicking, beating, etc.

Minor- Being under legal age; not yet a legal adult. One who has not reached full legal age (1).

Okay- It's difficult to define this word, but generally it means, "acceptable".

If my opponent has no objection, either party may use the comments section if they need more character space, for their argument.

No new arguments in the last round.

To clarify burden of proof, the instigator, or pro, assumes the burden of proof to affirm the positive claim, made by the resolution, "Selling violent video games to minors is okay".

Since Pro opted to argue in the next round, I don't have much of a rebuttal in this round, but I will make a few comments about his opening. Pro mentions the SCOTUS debate over violent video games. A California law banning the sale of violent video games to minors, was up for review, and was found to not meet the "strict scrutiny" required to ban a protected form of free speech (2). Luckily though, neither participant in this debate is required to meet that same "strict scrutiny", that was required of the California law. What we'll be debating here, per the resolution, are the issues involved in the sale of those games to minors, and whether those sales are, as the resolution states, "okay".

Argument

I disagree with pro's resolution for several reasons.

1. A blanket statement, such as the one made by the resolution, is rarely a good thing in debate because, since no exceptions are specified, it implies that ALL things apply in ALL cases. Therefore pro must defend the notion that it is okay to sell all violent games to ANY minor, without exception. Since pro did specify an age range of 13-18, I will stick to the age range he specified. There are several problems with selling all violent games to any teen, including but not limited to, the following.

a) Violence is not all that is being sold. Games containing intense violence don't JUST contain violence. Violence is usually accompanied by nudity, strong sexual content, profanity, drug, alcohol, and tobacco use, and any number of behaviors that might be deemed inappropriate, by the parents, thus the sale of those games to just any teen is not okay.

b) All parents know that a child's maturity level frequently does not match his chronological age. This is especially true in the younger teen years, and in kids with problems like ADD, etc. There are also kids who are much more mature, and the parents may feel that it is okay for that child to have the game. Point is that the parent is the only one who is equipped to know what is "okay" for their child.

2. Minors, by definition, are not of legal age or are not emancipated, meaning that they are subject to parental authority. That authority is respected, even in the legal field, unless it is deemed harmful by a court. The right of a parent to set guidelines, for their child, must always take precedence over a retailer's right to sell a product containing sex and violence, to a minor. Selling violent video games to minors, without parental consent, circumvents that parental authority, and makes it extremely difficult to enforce those guidelines.

a) With the increasing complexity of games, there is often more to the game than just the disk. There is often downloadable content, online content, and cheats, that allow access to more than just what is listed on the cover. The "coffee" cheat for Grand Theft Auto, is a good example (3). This statement is taken from the IT Law Wiki, "Games that include an online component are tagged "Game Experience May Change During Online Play" to give notice to users that the online content may not fall into the same rating category as the game due to possible user generated content" (4). The sale of these games, without parental consent, makes it nearly impossible for a parent to properly evaluate the game, and it's additional content beforehand, and decide whether, or not, it is appropriate. Selling the games to teens in secret, even if parents have told the child no, limits a parent's ability to take responsibility for what the child is exposed to, because by the time the parent finds the game, they've already been playing it. It forces parents to be reactive, rather than proactive, in monitoring their child's behavior.

With the authority given to parents, by law, it is not "okay", to sell a potentially harmful product to a child, without giving parents the opportunity to fully evaluate the product to determine if it is appropriate. A child has no "right" to own a potentially harmful product unless a parent, or legal guardian, gives them that right. Allowing retailers, who stand to gain financially, to sell these products to kids without parental consent should never be deemed "okay".

3. The ESRB ratings placed on the boxes of games to advise parents of the contents, are endorsed by the SCOTUS, in it's opinion on the California law. However, without legal backing, the rating system is in no way binding on retailers. These ratings are a voluntary measure, taken by the software industry, who realize that some games are inappropriate for younger age groups. The information contained in these ratings is useless unless the parent is there to see it before the purchase, which is just not realistic when talking about teens. Without some threat of financial penalty or legal consequence, retailers, who are in business to make money, can not be relied on as an intermediary force, that will go against it's own best interest to ensure that minors do not buy inappropriate games.

4. Since video game content is a protected form of free speech, laws do not attempt to prohibit minors from owning, or playing violent video games, they simply prohibit the "sale" of that potentially harmful content to minors, without parental consent. This is the most effective way to make sure that the child's best interest is met. Parents who allow their teen to play these games can still allow that by simply buying the game for their child. This reasonable accommodation is allowed by law, and is not interfered with in any way. With a ban on the sale in place, their are reasonable accommodations, that protect the interest of both sides Without a law, however, there is no change for the parents who allow their kids access to that content, but there is no reasonable accommodation for parents who determine the content inappropriate for their children. They simply have to accept that other people have the right to sell potentially harmful material to their children, even though the parents may have told the child that they can't have that game. If the parent says no, the child can still go buy the game behind their back, and simply hide it, playing it only when they're sure they won't get caught.

Although there are other arguments that can be made, on the subject, this is enough for now. I hope the reader gives consideration to these issues, and agrees that selling intensely violent video games, and all the other content that comes with it to minors, without parental consent, is not okay. I look forward to pro's argument.

 

Debate Round No. 1
shooterboss

Pro

I'd hate to disappoint my opponent since he or she "looks forward to Pro's argument," but I have to say that Con completely changed my view on the subject. Every argument I had planned was countered in his first round. Therefore, I resign and give the win to Con.
medic0506

Con

Wow, I've never had that happen before. I wish pro hadn't forfeited, even if he did change his mind on the issue. Anyway, please extend all arguments in case he changes his mind.
Debate Round No. 2
shooterboss

Pro

Forfeit. (Sorry)

Good job with your arguments though.
medic0506

Con

Thanks to pro for a good topic. Please extend arguments and vote con.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by adontimasu 1 year ago
adontimasu
The supreme court has been wrong before. :P
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
This seems a rather odd topic to debate, considering the Supreme Court has opined on the matter.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Gileandos 3 years ago
Gileandos
shooterbossmedic0506Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Well Done on the sources and the argumentation.
Vote Placed by Double_R 3 years ago
Double_R
shooterbossmedic0506Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pretty impressive. Made up my mind too. RFD is obvious.
Vote Placed by GMDebater 3 years ago
GMDebater
shooterbossmedic0506Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit. Great argument, con!