Supreme Court rules games are art, is Apple listening?

Jul 1, 2011
Games

Now that the Supreme Court has officially struck down the proposed California law banning the sale of “violent” video games to children I just want to know – is Apple listening? Is Steve Jobs sitting in his chromed-out secret lair (or do you think he had the outsides repainted white and then stuck a gaudy […]

Now that the Supreme Court has officially struck down the proposed California law banning the sale of “violent” video games to children I just want to know – is Apple listening?

Is Steve Jobs sitting in his chromed-out secret lair (or do you think he had the outsides repainted white and then stuck a gaudy case over the entire thing?) reading the guffaw-inducing 7-2 ruling and stroking his cat angrily ala Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget?

Frankly, I was surprised the Supremes even had to rule on this thing. The grandfather of media, and Twitterholic Roger Ebert already spent considerable time last year arguing first against the idea that video games could be art, and then, faced with over 4,000 comments disagreeing with him, admitted that he wasn’t going to play a video game any time soon so sure, they could be art sometimes.

And as the Supreme Court opinion notes, plenty of art protected under the First Amendment has been packed with violence. So here we are, Ebert and The Supremes agree that games are First Amendment safe, and that it’s enough to just require an adult to purchase a violent game for a minor without requiring an all-out ban.

Even the lowest common denominator owns an iPhone

Back to the point at hand, Mr. Jobs, can you stop bullying app developers and let them make whatever app they see fit now? I admit that Snuggle Truck was a terribly clever repurposing of a game that couldn’t get through the App Store as Smuggle Truck, but I’d also appreciate the opportunity to play something stupidly offensive on my iPhone from time to time.

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I know you’re keeping things family friendly and if I want something a bit more racy I can go pretty much anywhere else in the universe. But it’s a long road from adult content to ‘overtly sexual,’ like when you removed thousands of apps from the store in one swoop back in February 2010.

At the same time, this is such a weird argument to have because while I have no intention of downloading some sex-charged iPhone game, it’s the principle of the matter that really gets me. If you’re banning sexy apps now, how long until the Mortal Kombat app is too hot for the small screen and gets pulled?

Sure, not all games even come close to representing “art,” but The Supremes have the right idea, Apple. If people don’t like the apps, believe me, they’ll let everyone know by not purchasing them. It’s time to right a wrong and loosen up on App Store restrictions. Either that, or get your Doc Claw costume ready for Halloween in a few months.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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