Tag Archives: video games

Supreme Court strikes down video game violence law on free speech grounds

Arguing that video games qualify for First Amendment protection, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that California’s video game violence law is unconstitutional.

The state law restricted the sale or rental of violent video games to minors, the court upheld a Ninth Circuit court of appeals ruling that said the act violated the First Amendment. For the first time, the highest court in the country will give the same legal protection that books, plays, and movies enjoy, because games “communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium.” The court cited a previous case that held, “the basic principles of freedom of speech do not vary with a new and different communication medium.” With that, a long chapter of legal warfare will end and the video game industry can enjoy its own measure of creative freedom.

Seems pretty obvious, in retrospect. I’m surprised such a bill even made it this far.