Overheard on CNN.com: Let parents monitor video games
The "God of War" games from Sony are considered violent, but the Supreme Court says such games still have protection as art.
June 27th, 2011
05:26 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Let parents monitor video games

Exchange of the day:
"I grew up playing violent video games and now I make them. And I make a decent amount of money doing it. I laugh at my mom for saying that it was a waste of my time." - catallergy

"Yes, but your double life as a serial strangler is the problem." - MattQu

California ban on sale of 'violent' video games to children rejected

Supreme Court sees video games as art

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California state law intended to strengthen the current video game industry rating system, banning the sale or rental of "violent" games to those under 18. "Violent" interactive games were defined as "those in which the player is given the choice of "killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being" in "offensive ways."

Like the high court, CNN.com readers did not split along party lines, and more agreed with the high court that parents, not the state, should be in charge of children's gaming. xkeithnjx said, "The government is a terrible parent. Let's leave it up to the mother and father."

Bobby62 asked, "You mean there are parents who don't pop their head into the kids' room from time to time to see what they are up to? I do. Sorry parents; we wanted kids, now we need to raise them."

flonzy said, "We regulate all that far more than Europe yet we have the higher violence rate; just goes to show that government regulations don't solve societal issues."

But BlueDogMS said, "Even the most outstanding parents have children that do things behind their backs. This just makes it easier for kids to do just that."

Cruddy11 said, "Violent video games do acclimate or desensitize children to violence. At worst it incites them. You don't need a study to tell you that. It's common sense."

bfa1r said, "As a parent of two boys, I'm extremely saddened by this verdict. Yes, you have to do your best to raise them right, but society's constant exposure to sex and violence certainly doesn't make it easy."

How does a baby get to be obese?

A story about children who are obese before they enter kindergarten had CNN.com readers talking about what they see families eating now and how that compares with their own upbringing. dunski said, "I'm in my 30s and when I look back at all the corporate 'kids' food' I ate in the 80s/90s - like the Lunchables, Dunkaroos, and fruit roll-ups that my mom unwittingly brought home - I want to vomit. I had a problem with obesity as a child but I've been able to turn it around in my adulthood through rigorous exercise and proper eating habits. People really thought then that it was OK for kids to consume whatever amount of sugar/fat they wanted."

geekgirl42 said, "I practically lived on Chef-Boy-Ardee ravioli, Little Debbies and Kool-Aid growing up in the 70's and I was a normal weight, and I remember only a few of my classmates being significantly overweight. I honestly think there might be some link between the switch from sugar to high-fructose corn syrup during the 80's that is causing this trend. Granted, older kids are much more sedentary than when I grew up, but are toddlers really getting that much less activity?"

texasgirl318 said, "I have worked as a pediatric nurse for 2 years. We saw a small percent of overweight babies and young children. When the doctor tried to tell them to cut down the juice/junk, most often the parents would get so offended! The parents were thinking that a 'healthy' baby was a chunky baby."

rdiemand said, "The bigger problem is just a lack of common sense. In an ER waiting room last year I saw someone pour a can of Mountain Dew into her young toddler's bottle. When can that possibly seem like a good idea?"

aubrie said, "I taught school in south Texas, and half the children in my class had acanthosis nigricans. It was so prevalent that they all thought it was normal and didn't know what it was."

Katey12 said, "Kids need to play outside. My memories of summer as a kid were playing games outside with all the neighbor kids."

The California Dream is fizzling out

Heaven or hell? A story and photos about how California has changed over the years had CNN.com readers arguing about whether they'd want to live there.

OjaiGuy said, "I'm happy to say that I'm from L.A. Born and raised there. Many of the places where I lived in or nearby are now barrios, the streets lined with hand-painted store fronts, all in foreign language. The streets are dirty, the parks filled with homeless, druggies and gangs. From the east end of Ventura County to Dana Point, it is nothing but wall-to-wall people. Travel is not measured in miles, but hours, and it usually takes at least one to get anywhere. I have lived north of L.A now for about 20 years. What happened to my hometown is now happening here."

capibara said, "I've grown up in the San Francisco Bay area my whole life. I love living here but I have been thinking about leaving lately due to the high cost of housing. The rental market is insane. I'm paying $1554 for a 1 bed /1 bath apartment. That same $1554 could rent me a 2500 sq ft house in Arizona or Nevada."

susansocal2 said, "I was born and raised in California. The only reason to stay is the great weather. Housing is unaffordable, our politicians are corrupt, and our economy is hurling out of control. We sure pay for this great weather."

But others said California was still wonderful. AllieRambles said, "I am a Southern CA native, and now I live in Northern CA near the Delta region. I love my state. I love that I can visit Yosemite anytime. I can visit the desert, the forest, the beach and a large city all in one day. My state is beautiful. Sure, we have our downside, but who doesn't?"

matsamharv said, "I always laugh when I here people talk like this. I moved to Berkeley as a student six years ago and I can tell you that the California dream is alive and well, but it may not be the same dream. Rent is high, but so are wages and people deal with this by getting roommates. I may never own my home, but I would rather rent and live in the most beautiful place on earth, eat the best local food, drink the best beer, smoke the best weed legally, and date the most beautiful women I've ever seen, than own anywhere else."

DeeAmbro said, "Thank you for helping to keep more people from moving to our glorious state. Having lived in Arizona (hell on earth) for twenty five years and New Yawk (forgetaboutit!) for twenty, I can honestly say that California is the best state in this crumbling nation."

ih8tlazyppl said, "It's terrible out here in California. Don't move here ..."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. V for ... whatever..

    I don't mind things in small doses, but growing up I was exposed to lots of stuff on a daily basis that definitely did me harm. A parent needs to be with their kid 24/7 in order to properly observe their kid. Pointing at one thing as the problem is foolish when the problem is systemic through society. The fact of the matter is there are a whole bunch of worthless bad parents out there and the good kids have to deal with their demon spawn. If you add up violence and schmex in movies, music, tv, online, news, and video games then you're going to see an increase in the number of those incidents repeated in real life. Then when we throw guns or drugs at these kids you're pouring gas on a fire. I was watching X Play and the host said one game had deplorable depictions of women being Ra. Ped... and impregnated by aliens.. This same host probably thought Grand Theft Auto was amazing.. My point is this: Many gamers are morons and shouldn't have any say in how kids are parented or not, nor should they decide legislation.

    June 27, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. English Teacher

    Someone should tell catallergy that you can't start a sentence with And. It should have read... , and I make ..... etc. Hope that video game career works out, or we'll all be laughing at him/her.

    June 28, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I can't imagine anyone's having time to waste on a video game on any kind.
    There are too many valuable things in life: great classical music, literature, and visual art.
    I don't know socially any adults who would play such games themselves, and my friends' children are far too occupied with valuable interests to waste their time on anything so common.
    Of course, it is true that most of my friends live in the Northeast–with its ideology, bill–and in places like California because of the entertainment industry, or areas like North Carolina with really beautiful mountains and horse farms. Many of my friends live in Europe, and of course they laugh at most of the backward thinking–ideology–that is prevalent in the USA.

    June 28, 2011 at 5:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. laurakeller123

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    June 28, 2011 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. Johhny Igotta-Ferrarri

    I've been playing video games all my life, and I still do. I'm 32 years old and am a stay-at-home kid. I'm taking care of my mom. No. I really am. I would go out and get a life, but my mommy needs me to stay at home with her. My dad doesn't like it but mom wears the pants. Na Na

    June 28, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. bill

    Europeans are even more lame than Northeasterners!

    June 28, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. bill

    Benny Hill was living proof of that. Also if you're trying to make the claim that people up north don't play video games that's just a ridiculous statement.

    June 28, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ bill:
    Keep issues separate.
    I didn't say anything about people "up north."
    You'd mentioned "northeastern," where I am.
    Many people here do play video games, but none of my friends does.
    It is true that you and I have very different mentalities. That's good.
    I'm glad that I think the way I do, and not the way you do. I'm sure that you feel the same way.

    June 28, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Blah, blah, blah. There are too many other things to be doing with life besides video games. Me and my friends dont play, we have better things to do. Like spend all day online glued to my phone. Im better than everyone and way more cultured and smarter. Oops, just walked into traffic cause I was on my Blackberry.

    June 28, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    My farts smell so awesome. I wish I had cologne that smelled like my farts. I would wear it all day. I would walk around spraying everyone with my fart cologne so they could smell like my farts too. What a wonderful world it would be if I could smell my fart on everyone.

    June 28, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    This truly is flattery.

    June 28, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. bill

    I would've kept issues separate but you didn't. You started on video games and then ended up talking abou Europe and how they view us.

    June 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jim

    I see news casts of stupid New Yorkers walking into traffic because they're texting on their phones all the time. Funny.

    June 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. yomama

    My son has been playing God of War games since he ws almost 4 now he is 7. I think those game are super violent but his father begs to difer. So I asked my son yesterday if he sees God of War as art, he replies back "Yes mama because on the last God of War they have beautiful paintings that you dont see like that no more" " Paintings like that are in musemums" So I guess there is some art in these games. AND YES... when he grows up he wants to design games with better levels or built homes...... Whatever comes first.

    July 7, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pvf

    i am a health care professional, and former master video gamer since the 1980's. im done with games and i am tired of games that were once an intellectual thing only to be mindless trash..

    July 25, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
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