Letter: Prohibit video game sales to minors

Video games such as "Call of Duty" have

Video games such as "Call of Duty" have faced increased scrutiny in light of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. (Aug. 3, 2011) (Credit: AP)

A letter writer asserted that the Sandy Hook shooting was the "perfect storm" of four factors, one of which was a young man watching realistic, violent video games ["Finding compromise on guns," Jan. 23].

Years ago, the Walkman was the rage of every young person. I was totally against this device, based on observations of the users. They became engrossed, forgetting where they were walking, and their hearing was impaired by listening through headphones; they were not hearing the outside world.

One day, my young son walked to the Times Square Store in Levittown and purchased a Walkman. I confiscated it, returned to the store and demanded a total refund. The manager refused. I then stated that New York State law prohibits a sale to a minor, and my son was a minor. The refund was immediately made.

In June 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down California's ban on selling violent video games to minors, but I believe that sales to minors should be prohibited, much the same as cigarettes and alcohol.

As a human factors engineer, I believe these violent videos desensitize the operator to the act of maiming or killing animals and humans.

Arne Johnson, Levittown

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