In a ruling that is seen as a key victory for First Amendment advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court decided this week on a 7-2 vote that a California ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to children was unconstitutional, Forbes reports.
The law, which would have prevented the sale or rental of violent video games to anyone under 18, was deemed by the court to be in violation of free speech.
According to the story: “If the law had passed, it would have imposed a $1,000 fine on retailers who sold or rented a violent video game to a minor. Violent games are defined as featuring the ‘killing, maiming, dismembering or sexual assaulting’ of a human image and ‘appeals to deviant or morbid behavior.’”
Said Justice Antonin Scalia: “Like books, plays and movies, video games communicate ideas.” Scalia added that there is “no tradition in this country of specially restricting children’s access to depictions of violence. Grimm’s Fairy Tales, for example, are grim indeed.”
The Forbes piece adds: “Scalia strongly supported free speech even when children are present, but said the law should limit free speech to protect children from sex and pornography, not from violence.”