27 Jun

The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Entertainment Merchants Association today, in a historic case that resulted in video games being granted the same first amendment rights as books, films, and music. More information on the ruling is included after the jump.

The ruling, which was passed with a 7-2 majority, states that any studies investigating a possible link between video games and violent behaviour amongst minors indicate that “any demonstrated effects are both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media.” According to this statement, the regulations of the State of California, which has strict rulings aimed specifically at the sale of violent video games to minors, are “wildly underinclusive, raising serious doubts about whether the State is pursuing the interest it invokes or is instead disfavoring a particular speaker or viewpoint.”

Additionally, the ruling also identified the ESRB rating board as managing to restrict the sale of violent video games to minors to a large extent, making the existence of an additional regulation unneeded.

Gamasutra reports that many prominent video game companies have spoken out regarding the ruling, with EA John Riccitiello stating that “everybody wins on this decision,” and ESA CEO Michael Gallagher adding that “this is a historic and complete win for the First Amendment and the creative freedom of artists and storytellers everywhere.”

2 thoughts on “Gaming Industry Victorious in Supreme Court”

  1. Yeah, now to hope California lawmakers (or different state lawmakers) don’t come up with another equally stupid law.

    The ESRB exists for a reason, and MOST retailers have policies in place to not rent out or sell games to children that do not meet the age limit.

    Also, mere violence is protected by the First Amendment, where as sexual and excretory obscenity are not.

  2. Couldn’t be happier. Bureaucrats like Leland Yee really boggle my mind. Is it the government’s job to raise our children or ours? Should be pretty obvious. His quotes after this ruling made me literally palm my face.

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