Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Video Games Confirmed First Amendment Protected

In what can only be described as a victory for the gaming community, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that video games are covered under the first amendment just like books and movies. The debate started with states passing laws, California being the most recent, restricting the sale of violent video games. After many months of debate, the highest court has released its ruling deeming such laws to be unconstitutional, noting the following:

"Video games qualify for First Amendment protection. Like protected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium. And "the basic principles of freedom of speech . . . do not vary" with a newand different communication medium. Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson, 343 U. S. 495, 503."

Video games have their tasteless entries, just like books and movies, and I'm sure some would rather have them banned than have to look at them. But where is the line drawn? Who gets to decide what qualifies as too much crass content? Monday's ruling says nobody and that the First Amendment protects people's rights to express or enjoy themselves through games, not matter their content.
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