Supreme Court Rules Against California Video Game Law

By Garrett Martin in Gaming News
Monday, June 27, 2011 at 6:00 pm
night court.jpg
different court, same hilarious hi-jinks
You probably know all this already, so we won't get too deep into specifics. Earlier today the Supreme Court decided on a 7-2 vote that California's ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors was unconstitutional. Thus ends California's six-year attempt to strictly regulate access to violent video games, punishing retailers who sell games to minors with fees of up to $1000 per incident. 

The vaguely worded law ignored the familiar Entertainment Software Rating Board system and instead sought to prohibit the sale to minors of any game that featured "killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being." Applied broadly those conditions wouldn't just cover M-rated or AO games (which are practically nonexistent in America anyway), but any game in which the player could inflict damage to a human character. 

How does this impact regular joes like us? If the Court upheld California's law you could pretty much say goodbye to military shooters, open world games, and anything rated M for Mature. As is expect to enjoy man-shoots and crime-sims for the foreseeable future. 

Expect more analysis and editorializing on this subject over the next few days from every single person that's ever written a word about video games anywhere in print or on the Internet. 

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