High Court Looks At Video Game Ban

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - 3:48pm

Can states ban the sale of violent video games to minors? The Supreme Court will soon decide.

The Supreme Court is set to settle the decades-old debate over children's access to violent video games.

The court will soon decide if a California ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors violates the First Amendment.

"There is ample scientific evidence out there that demonstrates these ultra violent video games are very harmful to our children and that's why we're here, to protect our children," says California State Senator Leland Yee.

Yee crafted the ban.

Demonstrators on both sides were outside the high court Tuesday.

California's 5-year-old law imposed a $1,000 fine on anyone who sells or rents what's deemed to be an excessively violent video game to a minor.

The law never took effect, though, because the video game industry sued immediately, claiming minors are entitlted to the same First Amendment rights as adults.

"It would single out our industry and single it out for punishment that it does not deserve," says the Entertainment Software Association's Michael Gallagher. "In addition it would present a much broader threat to other entertainment like movies, music and books."

During oral arguments Tuesday several Supreme Court justices sympathized with California, but then asked how can one form of media be regulated and not another.

A final ruling is still months away.


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