As the entertainment industry rallies against the controversial California video game law, the Colorado State Board of Education issues a call for the state to support the law, calling violent video games a potentially harmful activity like gambling.
A document submitted by the Colorado State Board of Education urges the state of Colorado to lend its support to the amicus brief filed by 11 other US states in defence of the California law that aims to make it illegal to sell certain violent video games to children. The Schwarzenegger v Entertainment Merchants Association case, which was shot down at the federal and appellate level, is set to be argued before the Supreme Court on November 2.
The Board of Education document is essentially a list of several conclusions, leading up to the call to action. The document states that the video game industry has a direct influence on children, video games are becoming increasingly violent, children are becoming addicted to them and players of violent video games are prone to bullying and other aggressive behaviours.
Violent video games, like gambling and other potentially harmful activities, are not a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and The Colorado State Board of Education submits that Colorado should indicate its support for the amicus brief filed by eleven other states with the U.S. Supreme Court in Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association (No. 08-1448) in defence of the authority of States to pass laws to help parents safeguard children against exploitation by the violent video game industry.
You can read the document in its entirety here (.pdf).
The original version of the document, seen below, contains a slightly different version of the first paragraph, stating that the video game industry has surpassed Hollywood in revenues and influence on children, as well as a section that excuses parents from monitoring their children's game-playing habits.
Parents cannot personally evaluate the suitability of a particular game because it cannot be viewed like a movie and instead requires game-playing skills that most parents lack...
Those comments were amended from the document at the request of Colorado State Board of Education Chairman Bob Schaffer.
Colorado is of course the state in which the tragic Columbine School Massacre of 1999 took place. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's interest in violent games like Doom and Wolfenstein 3D were considered by many to be one of the key factors in the duo's infamous killing spree.
Today is the last day for friend-of-the-court filings for organisations not directly involved in the case to enter their opinions.
Thanks to Marc for pointing us to these documents.