News In Brief

Court to hear video game case

Daryl Paranada Apr 26, 2010

Video game legislation is heading to the High Court. The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it will decide whether a California law that bans the sale or rental of violent video games to minors is a violation of constitutional rights.

Lower courts have struck down the law as unconstitutional.

From the Wall Street Journal:

California said violent video games harmed minors psychologically and made them more likely to exhibit violent antisocial or aggressive behavior. The state also said that industry self-regulation was a failure. Two trade associations challenged the law in court, arguing that video games are “a modern form of artistic expression” and are entitled to First Amendment protection. The associations said the industry’s voluntary rating system for video games had been a successful effort to inform consumers and parents about the games’ content.

The law prohibits the sale of video games to anyone under the age of 18 if game is so violent that it’s “patently offensive.” But it has never taken effect because of legal challenges. Oral arguments for the case are likely to be heard in the fall.

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