The Daily Show Attacks Video Games In Light Of Supreme Court Decision

The Daily Show Attacks Video Games In Light Of Supreme Court Decision

Jon Stewart fumbles the ball on his take down of the Supreme Court’s decision to rule that video games are protected speech this week, forgetting that he’s living in the same glass house.

Ironically, Stewart uses the very graphic video game images he thinks should be criminalised, on a television show that is itself protected by the Freedom of Speech.

Get back to me when you think it should be illegal for a 17 to watch your show Jon.

Update: I get that Stewart is doing this to point out perceived hypocrisies on the part of the US Supreme Court justices, but he’s throwing video games under the bus to do it. I’m not saying I disagree with his point, just how he made it.


  • you think watching the daily show is along the same lines as depicting a person being ripped in half from groin to head?

    He has a good point and made it well.

  • Freedom of Speech – Americans can hide behind that when Jon is trying to state that the violence of Mortal Kombat shouldn’t be allowable by law for 15 year olds to play. FOS means they can rate it but not censor it like in Australia.

  • What is up with the Super Mario Boners case? Wii template but with “Super Nintendo” in the top right corner?

  • I don’t think the Author of this link realises what Jon Stewart is opposed to. He doesn’t care that the games are violent, he just doesn’t think that they should be sold to children, I don’t think they should be either. Seems a sensible law was overturned to me.
    Least the yanks have an 18+ rating, we can’t even get mortal wombat… unless import.

    • The trouble is if it becomes illegal for minors to buy games like this in America, even if adults can still buy anything, games will still end up being censored because the developers/publishers will want to get more sales and be cut off from a part f their customer base. The same thing already happens with American movies. Although an adult in America can see practically anything in a movie, American movies still end up getting censored in order to reach a larger audience.

      If a game is censored in Australia, it only effects Australia (and Australians can import anyway) but if a game is censored in America, it’s censored for the whole world. You can’t import a version of a game that was never published in the first place.

      • But the publishers say they don’t market mature rated games to kids, and retailers should be enforcing the ESRB ratings and refusing to sell these games to kids anyway. So unless the videogames industry is basically full of shit and outright lying to us all, this wouldn’t affect what games they make because even now they wouldn’t be expecting any sales to kids but they’re still making the games. The industry’s whole response to this reeks of hypocrisy.

  • I agree with Jon. It should be illegal to sell some games to minors. ADULTS should be allowed to play whatever they want, but not minors.

  • That’s a mighty high horse you have there Brian.

    But you have to admit from the reaction of the audience, that Mortal Kombat is shocking and offensive, in the same way that the movie Hostel, or the book American Psycho is.

    • The point, as I understood it, is that in America a child *can* watch Hostel. It’s severely discouraged, but not actually illegal. In that case games should be treated exactly the same way. We can disagree about whether media in general should have legal restrictions (and actually I approve of R18 being a legal restriction) but we *shouldn’t* single out gaming from among the media.

  • I think he is more talking about the hypocrisy of the US courts being ok with violent imagery and minors, but any hint of sexuality is a show-stopper. Best illustrated by his comments about the disembowelling being fine, but it would be banned if there was any hint of a nipple-slip to paraphrase.

    • Agreed. At least here in Australia, while lacking in anything above a 15 rating, actually judges games fairly. CERO and BBFC are the same; Only the US has this hypocracy. Stewart has a fair point.

  • The only part i agree with Americans on, at least from my perception of the bill, is that, it was picking on video games. Why should it not be illegal for an unsupervised child to buy something restricted outside their age. If a parent decides to allow it, thats their choice, but no, they should not be allowed to walk in and purchase it on their own. If I need ID to see an M rated movie, then i should need it to buy an M rated game.

    That’s where it falls differently with his showthan the example you use about a 17 yr old watching it(which i don’t know the rating of, i guess R since you used 17 yr old?). Children should be allowed to watch it supervised, sure television would be harder to enforce, but the fact remains that there really isn’t anything wrong with restricting the sale of items, based on their age restrictions.

  • I think there’s a huuuge line between saying/admitting children shouldn’t play games like Mortal Kombat (they shouldn’t. At all. Heck, I can’t stomach it, cause I’m a softy), and making it a criminal offence for selling it to them.

    Games are clearly marked, and in the day of internet and YouTube it is easier than ever for any parent worth their salt to look into the kind of games their children are talking about and decide for themselves if they think they’re mature enough to play them.

    No way a kid should play Mortal Kombat, and a store deciding not to sell it to one is a-ok, but it sure as fudge shouldn’t be *illegal* enforced by prosecution to sell it.

  • Hold on, isn’t this the exact same position we’re taking with our R rating? You’re saying you support the sale of that sort of game to minors?

    Uhh.. what?

  • A well made good point by Stewart. You’re wrong, and in any case I don’t think that game should be sold to minors, do you?

  • Brian Crecente fumbles the ball on his take down of the Daily Show’s opinion that violent video games should be restricted to adults, forgetting that John Stewart’s show is restricted under the same laws.

  • Jon didn’t quite get what the decision itself was all about. Nobody wants kids to be able to buy games that are not appropriate for them. That wasn’t the issue.

    The issue was whether or not Video Games could be protected by the Constitution or not. If not, then the U.S. Government could declare some of them illegal or censor the shit out of them… literally 😛

    Luckily, they found that Video Games *are* covered under the Constitution and therefore cannot(shouldn’t anyways) be controlled by the government.

    The “selling it to minors” issue was something brought up in a political move to try and turn it into a moral “protect the children” issue as opposed to a free speech issue. It was all very annoying. Keeping Mortal Kombat out of a kids’ hands is the responsibility of the Parent and the Retailers. Also, the Ratings Board, who is responsible for accurately and clearly rating the games so the Parents and Retailers can do their jobs more effectively.

    If Parents fail, then Parents fail. That’s not what was under trial.

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