Supreme Court Decides on CA vs Violent Video Games
The Supreme Court ruled today (6/27/11) on upholding the lower court ruling that the lifts the ban on selling video games with violent content to minors. In the 7-2 decision, the court ruled in favor of the first amendment and the fact that the video game content is protected under the free expression and speech rules.
The entertainment industry is expressing an overall relief from this challenge, as the extensions of the limits and bans could have greatly spread if the rule was overturned. The fear was the basis of the suit - restricting images, dialog, and content in music, film, TV and advertising from being exposed to minors - would become an un-managable restriction on creativity and story telling.
"There is no tradition in this country of specially restricting children's access to depictions of violence," Scalia said in the courtroom. "Certainly, the books we give children to read -- or read to them when they are younger -- have no shortage of gore. Grimm's Fairy Tales, for example, are grim indeed." Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined his opinion.
The decision also stated "In 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that, as a result of this system, “the video game industry outpacesthe movie and music industries” in “(1) restricting target-marketing of mature-rated products to children; (2) clearlyand prominently disclosing rating information; and (3) re-stricting children’s access to mature-rated products at retail.” FTC, Report to Congress, Marketing ViolentEntertainment to Children 30 (Dec. 2009), online at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2009/12/P994511violententertainment.pdf (as visited June 24, 2011, and available in Clerk of Court’scase file) (FTC Report). This system does much to ensurethat minors cannot purchase seriously violent games on their own, and that parents who care about the matter can readily evaluate the games their children bring home."