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New Jersey Library’s Violent Video Game Ban vs. Anti-Censorship Group

Grand Theft Auto 4

The staff of the Paterson Free Public Library in New Jersey has successfully brought the banhammer down on violent video games, shooters in particular, and are keeping kids from playing them within their walls.

According to VG247, the staff members believe that they’re helping keep the youth safe by blocking off access to the violent behaviors found in the games.

“We felt we should do everything we can to prevent our kids from learning these behaviors,” said Irene Sterling, a library board member. They may have the children’s best interest in mind, but the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) seems to disagree.

In a letter to the library, the NCAC cites all library patrons’ First Amendment rights, “to make their own decisions about literature, art, informational materials, and entertainment without having those choices limited by the subjective views of library officials.”

They say that librarians are not babysitters and that they shouldn’t act without knowing the views of the parents or guardians. But that may not matter much since the policy applies to patrons of all ages, so even adults who may not view the material as violent or harmful would not be allowed to play such games.

Let us know what you think about this ban and whether or not you’d want the same kind of policy instituted at your local library.

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