Ban On Sale Of Violent Video Games To Children Rejected

2011

A California law that banned the sale of violent video games to children is struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 7-2 decision. Justice Antonin Scalia, in the case of Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, says the First Amendment protected the video games because they “communicate ideas … through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot and music) and through features distinctive to the medium (such as the player’s interaction with the virtual world).” The California law would have imposed $1,000 fines on stores that sold violent video games to anyone under 18. Violent games were defined as those “in which the range of options available to a player includes killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being” in a way that was “patently offensive,” appealed to minors’ “deviant or morbid interests” and lacked “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”