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Violent Video Games Protected by US Supreme Court

Violent video games have come under the protection of the U.S. Supreme Court after the country’s highest court handed down a 7-2 ruling last month in Brown vs. Entertainment Merchants Association. The decision overturns California’s 2005 bill that prohibits the sale of violent video games to minors, deeming it unconstitutional.

Justice Antonin Scalia writes, “No doubt a State possesses legitimate power to protect children from harm, but that does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed."

However the judges have not taken the same stand on entertainment containing sexual content. It continues to be regulated under obscenity laws that prohibit the sale of sexual material to minors that would be deemed as obscene from the child’s perspective.

The decision has spawned reaction from numerous groups who argue that the ruling appears to uphold a double standard, making violence appear acceptable and normal while sex is seen as obscene.