The state of California law banning the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 was overruled by the US Supreme court in a 7 – 2 vote.
Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) urged the Supreme Court to allow the state of California to restrict children under the age of 18 from purchasing or renting violent video games that depict killing, sexually assaulting, dismembering or maiming a human being. Those who disobeyed the law would have been fined up to $1,000. Sen Leland is further disappointed that the video game industry is not even required by law to put minimum player age ratings on games.
This ruling comes in the light of a University of Missouri study showing violent video games desensitize players and cause heightened aggression; and more than 46 million US homes have video game systems, worth $18 billion annually.
The Supreme court ruled that such restrictions would violate freedom of speech rights protected under the First Amendment. “Even where the protection of children is the object, the constitutional limits on governmental action apply,” wrote Justice Antonin Scalia in the ruling.