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Supreme Court to weigh in on restricting violent game sales
Written by Daniel   
Monday, 26 April 2010 17:10

From ARS Technica

The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to review the case of Schwarzenegger v. Video Software Dealers Association, a lawsuit that arouse from a challenge to a law that would ban the sale or rental of violent video games to anyone under the age of 18. According to a post on SCOTUSblog, the case will be heard when the court's next term starts on October 4. Gaming laws have a long, contentious history... and so far every bill passed to regulate the sale of content has been struck down as unconstitutional.

The California law was originally passed in 2005 with strong support from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The law was terminated in 2007, but an appeal was made to the Supreme Court in May of last year. According to the SCOTUS blog, the case was being held until the verdict of U.S. v. Stevens was decided.

In that case, a law banning the depiction of animal cruelty on video was struck down, as "the Justices refused to create a new exception to the First Amendment free speech right." The California law is urging the court to use a constitutional standard used to protect minors from obscene materials and apply it to the sale and rental of violent video games. Historically, this standard has never been applied to violent content.

"Courts throughout the country have ruled consistently that content-based regulation of computer and video games is unconstitutional," Entertainment Software Association president Michael D. Gallagher said in a statement. "Research shows that the public agrees; video games should be provided the same protections as books, movies and music.


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