Gamers will be pleased to hear that the California ruling to ban violent video games to minors has been denied by the US Supreme court yesterday.
The court said that states can protect children from harm but that they have nofree-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed.” They said that banning video games would violate the constitutional right to free expression, This also allows young people to get access to creative materials in other sectors, such as books and movies. The San Francisco Chronicle has a long piece on the subject.
The court voted 7-2 to overturn the law which has been blocked by court orders since the Legislature passed it in 2005. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority opinion “California has singled out the purveyors of video games for disfavored treatment – at least when compared to booksellers, cartoonists and movie producers – and has given no persuasive reason why.”
If the law had been passed it would have stopped the sale or rent of violent video games to under 18’s. This ‘violence’ could have been the depicting of killing, raping or maiming a human image in any way. Prosecutors would also have had to show that the game lacked any serious artistic, political or scientific value. Violations of the law could have forced a fine of $1,000 for every game sold.
Many parents are claiming that games are too violent and that they leave a negative image in the mind of a young, impressionable child, who could feel that killing people would be acceptable in later life. Clearly if this is the case, then they aren’t really doing their duty of educating, moderating content and helping the child develop within a healthy environment.
Kitguru says: A vote for freedom of expression?