Publisher: NewsHour Productions
A Supreme Court case over whether minors should be able to access violent video games in California had the justices debating the definition of violence and the boundaries of the First Amendment.
The lawyer for the state of California, who was advocating for a law banning the sale of violent video games to those under 18 years of age, told the court that the law has two goals. First, it’s intended to help parents protect minors from accessing violent video games. And, secondly, he said it’s to protect minors from the harmful effect of using violent video games.
The justices responded to his argument by asking how society defines violence and whether the law would apply to violent books, movies and even fairy tales. Analyst Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal says that by seeking this video game law, California is essentially asking the court to make an exception to the First Amendment.
The lawyer arguing for the video game industry and against the law said that the law would not address any specific societal problem. He cited studies showing that playing violent video games does not affect a teenager’s behavior later in life.