Supreme Court rules that video games are protected under the First Amendment
There has been a continuing debate on the selling of mature video games to minors. California's law that placed government restriction on these sales, has been ruled out by the Supreme Court.
In a 7 to 2 vote this morning, the Supreme Court has ruled that video games will be considered equal to other forms of media, when it comes to terms of government regulation.
The ruling states:
"The majority points to a voluntary alternative: The industry tries to prevent those under 17 frombuying extremely violent games by labeling those games with an 'M' (Mature) and encouraging retailers to restricttheir sales to those 17 and older....But this voluntary system has serious enforcement gaps.When California enacted its law, a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study had found that nearly 70% of unaccompanied 13- to 16-year-olds were able to buy M-rated video games.
Video games qualify for First Amendment protection. Like protected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium
Education, however, is about choices. Sometimes, children need to learn by making choices for themselves. Other times, choices are made for children—by their parents, by their teachers,and by the people acting democratically through their governments. In my view, the First Amendment does not disable government from helping parents make such a choice here—a choice not to have their children buy extremely violent, interactive video games, which they more than reasonably fear pose only the risk of harm to those children."
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