W00t!!! Major victory for gamers and the video game industry!!!

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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Link

Supreme Court strikes down California video game law

James Vicini Reuters

10:53 a.m. MDT, June 27, 2011
WASHINGTON—
The government cannot ban the sale or rental of violent video games to minors as this would violate free-speech rights, the Supreme Court said on Monday in its first ruling in a video game case.

By a 7-2 vote, the high court struck down a California law, which also imposed strict video game labeling requirements, as unconstitutional. It said video games, like books, plays and movies, deserve free-speech protection.

The ruling was a victory for video game publishers, distributors and sellers, including the Entertainment Software Association. Its members include Disney Interactive Studios, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Corp and Sony Computer Entertainment America.

The trade association hailed the ruling as a "historic and complete win" for free-speech rights and "the creative freedom of artists and storytellers everywhere."

"Today, the Supreme Court affirmed what we have always known -- that free speech protections apply every bit as much to video games as they do to other forms of creative expression like books, movies and music," said Michael Gallagher, the association's president.

The law, adopted in 2005, has never taken effect because of the legal challenge.

It defines a violent video game as one that depicts "killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being." Retailers who sell or rent a violent video game to a minor could be fined as much as $1,000.

The U.S. video game industry makes about $10.5 billion in annual sales. More than two-thirds of U.S. households include at least one person who plays video games, according to industry statistics.

Six other states have adopted similar laws, and all had previously been struck down in court.

The Supreme Court's majority opinion, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, said there was no tradition in the United States of restricting children's access to depictions of violence.

SCALIA CITES HOMER, GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES

He cited a number of books for children that depict violence.

"Grimm's Fairy Tales, for example, are grim indeed. As her just desserts for trying to poison Snow White, the wicked queen is made to dance in red hot slippers 'til she fell dead on the floor,'" Scalia said.

"In truth, the California Act is the latest in a long series of failed attempts to censor violent entertainment for minors," he said in summarizing part of the ruling from the bench on the last day of the court's 2010-11 term.

"Before video games came cheap novels depicting crime ... motion pictures, comic books, television and music lyrics -- all of which were blamed by some for juvenile delinquency," he said.

The ruling marked the first time the Supreme Court has considered whether violent video games sold to children can be treated the same as sexually explicit material.

Scalia agreed with opponents of the law who said parents, not government, should decide what games their children can buy and play.

He rejected the argument by California lawmakers who cited several studies that suggested violent video games can be linked to aggressive and anti-social behavior in children.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer dissented, and Parents Television Council president Tim Winter denounced the decision.

"This ruling replaces the authority of parents with the economic interests of the video game industry," he said, adding: "Retailers can now openly, brazenly sell games with unspeakable violence and adult content even to the youngest of children."

But John Riccitello, CEO of Electronic Arts, a major video game publisher, said, "Everybody wins on this decision -- the court has affirmed the constitutional rights of game developers; adults keep the right to decide what's appropriate in their houses; and store owners can sell games without fear of criminal prosecution," he said.

The Supreme Court case is Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, No. 08-1448.
Proud of my old college roommate, who works for the ESA. Leave our games alone, fuckers.
 
May 8, 2009
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Bawferston
#2
Goddamn. Clarence Thomas is still sitting in the Supreme Court? I studied cases he ruled on in Constitutional Law YEARS ago. That's a cushy job.
 

fletcher

Darkness always says hello.
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Feb 20, 2006
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#3
Goddamn. Clarence Thomas is still sitting in the Supreme Court? I studied cases he ruled on in Constitutional Law YEARS ago. That's a cushy job.
Once appointed you pretty much either retire or die as a SC justice.
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#4
Goddamn. Clarence Thomas is still sitting in the Supreme Court? I studied cases he ruled on in Constitutional Law YEARS ago. That's a cushy job.
Ummmm... yeah. So are Scalia and Kennedy, who were appointed by REAGAN, while Thomas was appointed by Bush v1. That's kind of how the SCOTUS works.

Did you miss that class in ConLaw, Paux?
:action-sm
 
Jun 2, 2005
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#5
I still have to wonder how they restrict porn to minors while claiming Free Speech to age restriction on games with (allbeit, tiny amounts of) porn in them. Carding for R rated movies?

Don't get me wrong, I think it should all be done away with, I just don't get how they can make that distinction.

Goddamn. Clarence Thomas is still sitting in the Supreme Court? I studied cases he ruled on in Constitutional Law YEARS ago. That's a cushy job.
:really?:
 
May 8, 2009
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Bawferston
#7
Ummmm... yeah. So are Scalia and Kennedy, who were appointed by REAGAN, while Thomas was appointed by Bush v1. That's kind of how the SCOTUS works.

Did you miss that class in ConLaw, Paux?
:action-sm
No.
 
Oct 8, 2005
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#10
I still have to wonder how they restrict porn to minors while claiming Free Speech to age restriction on games with (allbeit, tiny amounts of) porn in them. Carding for R rated movies?

Don't get me wrong, I think it should all be done away with, I just don't get how they can make that distinction.
What mainstream games have porn in them?
 

fletcher

Darkness always says hello.
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Feb 20, 2006
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#11
What mainstream games have porn in them?
GTA San Andreas. Dont get more mainstream than that. And I am not even referring to the "Hot Coffee" bit.

Actually, almost all of the GTA games have had a sexual element.
 

Hoffman

Guess who's back? Hoffman's back
Sep 28, 2006
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#12
Goddamn. Clarence Thomas is still sitting in the Supreme Court? I studied cases he ruled on in Constitutional Law YEARS ago. That's a cushy job.
Suttor who just retired last year and was replaced by Sotamayor (?) was nominated by Ford.
 
Oct 8, 2005
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#13
GTA San Andreas. Dont get more mainstream than that. And I am not even referring to the "Hot Coffee" bit.

Actually, almost all of the GTA games have had a sexual element.
I've played GTA games and have never seen penetration in them.
 

fletcher

Darkness always says hello.
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Feb 20, 2006
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#14
I've played GTA games and have never seen penetration in them.
You are using a VERY defined version of what "porn" is. Some would argue that semi exposed female breasts could be considered sexual content ie porn. Go troll in your own stupid threads.
 

fletcher

Darkness always says hello.
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Feb 20, 2006
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#16


Been available since you were in diapers, junior

[nsfw]
[/nsfw]

And if you want to go real old school, WITH penetration

[nsfw]
[/nsfw]
I enjoyed a few of those games. Poor Larry could never get any though. Tough luck I guess.

And what happened to Kirk? Shrinking again after being proven wrong. Good.
 
Oct 8, 2005
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#17
You are using a VERY defined version of what "porn" is. Some would argue that semi exposed female breasts could be considered sexual content ie porn. Go troll in your own stupid threads.

The people that would argue that are prudes. Do they shower with all their cloths on?
 

fletcher

Darkness always says hello.
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Feb 20, 2006
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#18
The people that would argue that are prudes. Do they shower with all their cloths on?
Probably, but the people making the rules are the prudes. Porn is not just penetration.
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#20
I still have to wonder how they restrict porn to minors while claiming Free Speech to age restriction on games with (allbeit, tiny amounts of) porn in them. Carding for R rated movies?
Restriction on porn.

Basically, what the SCOTUS rules today was that video games as a class of media are not obscene.

Obscenity is not protected under Free Speech (so the SCOTUS has ruled: I don't necessarily agree...).

The (mainstream) motion picture industry has kept itself from government censorship through self-imposed regulation. If the gov't really, really wanted to push things, they could try to use the Miller rule against the motion picture industry, but the mainstream movie industry has been smart enough to self-regulate to keep from getting into trouble.

There are no/few laws saying a 16 year old can't go watch a rated R movie by himself, but the movie theaters make a real effort (in my experience, when I worked at the local theater in high school) to keep to the letter of the industry rules.

By self-imposing regulation, the movie industry theoretically has more freedom than if the gov't were running things.

Watch "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" for a contrarian POV on the MPAA.

The ESA/ESRB is basically the video game version of the MPAA. When California tried to regulate who could buy what games, the ESA basically pointed to the MPAA and said "hey, you're not doing this to THEM! Why are you doing this to US?"
 
Dec 4, 2010
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#22
"This ruling replaces the authority of parents with the economic interests of the video game industry,"
No dipshit. This ruling gives the authority and and responsibility to the parents. The only people who should be deciding what their children can and cannot play.
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
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Mar 30, 2006
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#23
Restriction on porn.

Basically, what the SCOTUS rules today was that video games as a class of media are not obscene.
I think a better way to put it is that video games are subject to the same obscenity laws as anything else. If someone made a game about Max Hardcore, there would probably be a problem.
 

Begbie

Wackbag Generalissimo
Jul 21, 2003
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#24
I happened to catch CBS covering this on their evening news, and what a load of horseshit. They literally made it sound like kindergartners are walking into these game stores and are buying hardcore porn right off the shelf and just how cruel it is to know that our own Supreme Court will continue letting these evil, demonic game developers corrupt their minds with gruesome violence and sex. Fuckin biased media.