U.S. Supreme Court Upheld 2009 District Court Ruling that Criminalized Sale of Violent Video Games to Under 18

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, video games do not deserve special treatment because they are "interactive," and there is no causal link between video game violence and real world violence -- thus by ending the six years long battle between the gaming industry and California state law that criminalized the sale of violent video […]

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, video games do not deserve special treatment because they are "interactive," and there is no causal link between video game violence and real world violence -- thus by ending the six years long battle between the gaming industry and California state law that criminalized the sale of violent video games to children under 18, and called for stricter regulation of video game labeling.

Furthermore, the court called the law "unprecedented and mistaken" because it argued that content directed at children should not be protected under the first amendment.

Justice Samuel Alito concurred with the ruling, and said California's law was "not framed with the precision that the Constitution demands." However, Alito said he disagreed with the Court's view that violent video games "really present no serious problem," and said his experience has led him to believe there're reasons to suspect that violent video games have a very different effect on the player than books, music, movies and television on their viewer.

"In some of these games, the violence is astounding. Victims by the dozens are killed with every imaginable implement, including machine guns, shotguns, clubs, hammers, axes, swords, and chainsaws. Victims are dismembered, decapitated, disemboweled, set on fire, and chopped into little pieces. They cry out in agony and beg for mercy. Blood gushes, splatters, and pools. Severed body parts and gobs of human remains are graphically shown. In some games, points are awarded based, not only on the number of victims killed, but on the killing technique employed. It also appears that there's no antisocial theme too base for some in the video-game industry to exploit."

"There're games in which a player can take on the identity and reenact the killings carried out by the perpetrators of the murders at Columbine High School and Virginia Tech. The objective of one game is to rape a mother and her daughters; in another, the goal is to rape Native American women. There's a game in which players engage in "ethnic cleansing" and can choose to gun down African Americans, Latinos, or Jews. In still another game, players attempt to fire a rifle shot into the head of President Kennedy as his motorcade passes by the Texas School Book Depository. If the technological characteristics of the sophisticated games that're likely to be available in the near future are combined with the characteristics of the most violent games already marketed, the result will be games that allow troubled teens to experience in an extraordinarily personal and vivid way what it would be like to carry out unspeakable acts of violence."

The full court ruling is embedded below: