Supreme Court shoots down violent gaming act

Lawmakers have put their foot down on the violent videogames debate.

The Supreme Court has sided with a previous decision by the Federal Court and ruled that the state of California is not allowed to ban selling or renting violent video games to children.

Had the court ruled in favour of the law, kids under 18 wouldn’t be able to buy or rent the so-called violent games. Retailers who flouted the laws would have been fined up to $1,000. 

The decision means the 2005 violent video game restrictions act will be thrown out, with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Sacramento going as far to say that the act had also violated free speech. 

“Even where the protection of children is the object, the constitutional limits on governmental action apply,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the court.

The ruling could constrain at least 11 other states, including Florida, Mississippi and Texas, which have sided with the Californian court

According to the WSJ, over 46 million American households have at least one video game console. And the gaming industry in the US is huge, raking in at least $18 billion in 2010.

Ironically, according to the Sacramento Bee, the rules were first introduced and put forward by the Terminator-come-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger. The argument was how to define and determine content as violent. While Tom and Jerry don’t take contract killings for the mob or pick up hookers in Grand Theft Barbera, they do hit each other in the face with anvils rather often.