Supreme Court ends ban on violent video games for kids

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The video game cover for Judge Dredd on Playstation

Killing spree! The Supreme Court voted 7-2 today that California can no longer ban the selling or rental of violent video games to children under eighteen. California parents won't be able to depend on the government to prevent their kids from getting their little hands on the newest Grand Theft Auto. "Depictions of violence have never been subject to government regulation," according to Justice Antonin Scalia and the court, and that means little Jimmy can now once again shoot the ever-loving Bejeezus out of unarmed men on the streets of San Andreas.

Under the struck-down California law, stores caught selling violent video games to minors could have been hit with hefty fines upwards of $1,000. The CA legislature had defined a violent game as one "in which the range of options available to a player includes killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being." Man, what ever happened to Tetris?

The notably conservative Justice Scalia wrote for the majority, while, according to The New York Times' Adam Liptak, Clarence Thomas strikingly wrote in his dissent that the free speech of minors was not protected by the Constitution. It will be interesting to see how (and if) this opinion, a head-scratcher, evolves in the future.

For now, though, California kids are free to buy and play their violent video games again; because nothing says summer like holing yourself up in your dark bedroom to blast some (virtual) fools with your (virtual) sub-machine gun.