In a 7-2 ruling, the nation’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of the video game industry, striking down a Californian law that violated young adults and children’s free speech rights. Under the guise of protecting children from harmful content, the law was passed (but never implemented) in 2005, and instantly became a controversial piece in the gaming industry. Prohibiting such sales and rentals of Mature content to one of their largest target markets would impact sales drastically, especially if similar laws were allowed to be passed and implemented.
Justice Scalia, while acknowledging that states have the rights to protect children, ” that does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed.” In his and 6 other justices minds, video games are protected under the first amendment, just as social media, speeches, books, plays and movies. In the dissenting side were Justices Stephen Breyer and Clarence Thomas. “What sense does it make to forbid selling to a 13-year-old boy a magazine with an image of a nude woman, while protecting the sale to that 13-year-old of an interactive video game in which he actively, but virtually, binds and gags the woman, then tortures and kills her?” Breyer said.
With 7 justices getting it right, it is now on the market to decide how far games can go.