California Videogame Law Goes to the Supreme Court

First case related to videogames to reach this stage

California has decided to go to the United States Supreme Court regarding a law aimed at limiting the sale of videogames to kids under the age of 18. The law was initially put together and signed in 2005 and has since been struck down repeatedly by courts that decided it was not in agreement with the Constitution of the United States of America.

The law says that all those who are interested in buying a videogame labeled as violent would be required to show ID and game retailers who were found not asking for them and not displaying the labels of the games clearly would be fined.

Various law courts found that videogames were under the protection of the First Amendment and that their sales could not be limited directly. Various research projects conducted since 2005 have shown that major game retailers are perfectly able of policing themselves and that about 6% of underage kids who are interested in buying violent videogames are able to do so.

Jerry Brown, who is set to handle the appeal process to the Supreme Court for the State of California, said that “California’s children are exposed everyday to video games that glamorize killing sprees, torture and sexual assault. In the face of this brutal violence, I am petitioning the Supreme Court to allow the state to enforce its reasonable ban on violent video game sales and rentals to minors.”

The Entertainment Software Association, which is supposed to represent the interest of the videogame industry, stated through its leader, Michael Gallagher, that “California’s citizens should see this for what it is - a complete waste of the state’s time and resources. California is facing a $21 billion budget shortfall coupled with high unemployment and home foreclosure rates. Rather than focus on these very real problems, Governor Schwarzenegger has recklessly decided to pursue wasteful, misguided and pointless litigation.”

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