This morning the Supreme Court of the United States has released its decision in the pivotal case of Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, which considered whether "a state law restricting the sale of violent video games to minors violates the First Amendment right to free speech." The answer was an overwhelming "yes," with the court finding there is no compelling evidence to state that video games are more damaging to children than other forms of media.
This is a large step forward for video games manufacturers and users, and should, for the moment, stop the spread of unconstitutional and expensive legislation in other states.
In the 7-2 decision, the high court upheld a federal appeals court decision to overrule Californiaâs ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Sacramento had ruled that the law violated minors' rights under the First Amendment, and the high court agreed.
"No doubt a state possesses legitimate power to protect children from harm," said Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the majority opinion. "But that does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed."
The California law would have prohibited the...