Supreme Court Overturns Violent Video Game Ban

Today, the video game industry has reason to celebrate. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled that a violent video game ban in California is unconstitutional, arguing that games should enjoy the same First Amendment rights as books, plays, movies, and other expressive mediums. The ban would have made it illegal to sell or rent violent video games to minors. 

"No doubt a state possesses legitimate power to protect children from harm," said Justice Antonin Scalia. "But that does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed."

The ruling passed on a 7-2 vote, but not everyone agrees with the ban's dismissal.

"What sense does it make to forbid selling to a 13-year-old boy a magazine with an image of a nude woman, while protecting the sale to that 13-year-old of an interactive video game in which he actively, but virtually, binds and gags the woman, then tortures and kills her?" asked Stephen Breyer, one of two Justices who voted to uphold the ban. 

Over 46 million American households have at least one video game console with minors making up a significant portion of players. The video game industry has its own rating label system, with “M” ratings placed on especially violent video games.

Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council, said the decision created "a constitutional authorized end-run on parental authority."

"I wonder what other First Amendment right does a child have against their parents' wishes?" he asked. "Does a child now have a constitutional right to bear arms if their parent doesn't want them to buy a gun? How far does this extend? It's certainly concerning to us that something as simple as requiring a parental oversight to purchase an adult product has been undermined by the court."

What do you think of the Court’s decision? Agree or disagree?

Associated Press

Tags: , , ,
Categories: Entertainment

Actions: E-mail | Twitter | Facebook | Comment RSSRSS comment feed