Fox News reported today that the United States Supreme Court has overturned a California ruling that banned the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. In a 7-2 decision, federal judges ruled that the California law is a violation of First Amendment speech rights, while the gaming industry declared that the law was too general.
“Video games qualify for First Amendment protection,” the opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, said. “Like protected books, plays and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium.”
In 2005, concerned parents pressured lawmakers to tighten regulations on the sale and rental of video games, citing that these type of games were influencing deviant behavior.
Even though the law had been dismissed in lower courts, today’s ruling substantiates the notion that the video games should be portrayed through the same lens as books and movies.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board, a self-regulating oversight body, supported the gaming industry’s complaint and lauded the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
“Today’s decision acknowledges the value and effectiveness of the ESRB rating system, the Federal Trade Commission’s positive assessment of our self-regulatory regime, and the latest research showing that game retailers overwhelmingly enforce their voluntary store policies regarding the sale of Mature-rated games,” said ESRB president Patricia Vance.”
Read the full article here: Fox News