The lights are on
The Supreme Court has finally ruled on the constitutionality of the California law (Brown v. EMA) that would have banned the sale of violent video games to minors.
The court struck down the law 7-2 using the First Amendment as the reasoning. Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion, with Justices Thomas and Breyer in dissent.
"The act does not comport with the First Amendment," opens the opinion's syllabus. "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. And 'the basic principles of freedom of speech . . . do not vary' with a new and different communication medium."
In 2005, the state of California passed a law that banned the sale of violent video games to anyone under 18, and required a warning sticker on the package beyond the normal ESRB rating. The law stipulated a maximum fine of $1,000 for each infraction. Then governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law. The case previously bore his name because he represented the state of California, which is why current governor Jerry Brown's name is now on the case.
Proponents of the law claim that violent video games can be harmful to minors and should be specially treated as such, while opponents rally under the First Amendment banner and that the ESRB's ratings are sufficient.
What's next? Nothing for this particular law says Tom Goldstein, publisher of the court analysis SCOTUS blog. "For those waiting on the video games case, if your side loses, you cannot just hit restart, respawn, and try again."
Still, that doesn't mean that other states could try and pass similar, but differently worded laws to try and re-state their case. However, by the Supreme Court ruling on it, it wouldn't seem to give future laws a lot of wiggle room.
We'll have more info and analysis as we get it, so stay tuned!
To read the full opinions, head over to the Supreme Court's webpage (check on the right-hand site).
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
FINALLY! That is what I am talking about!! Hell's yeah! Eat it politicians!! Yeah!!! Video games are protected speech, and you can't touch em'! Why don't you guys go worry about REAL issues for once, now that you have wasted millions of tax payer dollars on this absurd nonsense!
Good deal! This whole thing was ridiculous in the first place.
The problem with kids ain't video games its the parents time to start pointing the finger the right way people I know the truth hurts and how can u call yourself man or woman when u can't recognize yur own problems
That's what i'm talking about.
Its very interesting how the two dissenting opinions came from a liberal and a conservative justice. This case seemed to unite and split the jury despite their usual political standings.
for this court to rule 7-2 and clearly state the protection for video games just as other mediums, this precedent should prove a powerful deterrent for similar cases. here's hoping, anyway ...
IN YO FACE!!
Now all the parents have to do is, I don't know......be more careful of what games they buy for their kids.
I really am surprised the ruling was 7 to 2. But still woot woo
i am very happy right now