Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Supreme Court: The Video Game!

Yesterday marked the first day of a big adventure for the video game industry. An adventure full of sex, violence and smelly courtrooms. November 2nd, 2010 was the beginning of the Supreme Court case, Schwarzenegger vs EMA.

The two issues at hand are:
  1. Does the First Amendment bar a state from restricting the sale of violent videogames to minors?
  2. If the First Amendment applies to violent videogames that are sold to minors and the standard of review is strict scrutiny, under Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. F.C.C., 512 u.s. 622, 666, (1994), is the state required to demonstrate a causal link between violent videogames and physical or physiological harm to minors before the state can prohibit the sale of violent games?
Which simply put means are video games protected by the 1st amendment. If so does the state have to prove that there is a link between violent games and harm to minors, physically or physiologically, before they can prohibit the sale of said games.

The worst possible situation would be that videogames are not protected by the 1st amendment and states do not have to provide evidence of the games being violent. This would give the state full reign on game regulations and would possibly landslide into more cases about violence in entertainment. Music, Movies, Television, Books and any other form of entertainment would be under the gun about violence and if they are protected by the 1st amendment.

The best possible solution would be for the courts to determine that videogames are protected by the 1st amendment and that they hold a certain artistic value. Then determining that states cannot restrict the sale of video games. This would give video games protection by the constitution and a lot more breathing room.

The verdict might be a late as June 2011 but could come much sooner.

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  1. I play videogames since I'm 7...
    and I've evolved into a quite normal person :D

  2. True video games can make you more violent (mainly because of cod xD) but don't get addicted. I've been playing for like 7 years now, only a few times have I found myself getting too attached.