« July 2007 | Main | September 2007 »

August 07, 2007

So can you shelve "Grand Theft Auto" in the teen room?

Since more than a few libraries are getting into gaming, this seems relevant:

... a federal judge has blocked a California law that required retailers to label violent video games and prohibited their sale to minors. Passed in 2005, the law enjoyed strong support from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger but never went into effect after Judge Ronald Whyte issued a preliminary injunction against its enforcement.

Judge Whyte found the California law problematic on several levels. He agreed with the Entertainment Software Association's position—and that of other courts—that the law was unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. He was also critical of arguments that video game violence causes real-world violence. "At this point, there has been no showing that violent video games as defined in the Act, in the absence of other violent media, cause injury to children," he wrote in his decision. "Although some reputable professional individuals and organizations have expressed particular concern about the interactive nature of video games, there is no generally accepted study that supports that concern."

I guess the question is, how are libraries handling video games (whether available only in the library and able to lend out for home use)? Do you treat them like movies, and if so, do you pay attention to the ratings? Are some games off-limits to certain users? Are some games simply not purchased because of their content (or mods)?