The Game Industry Visits the Supreme Court

Just a couple of gamers reppin' the constitution

Today is important for a number of reasons. While everyone is out exercising their right to vote, the highest court in the land is busy reviewing if video games should be protected as free speech.

During the hearings, the judges will determine if the First Amendment should be stripped from certain video games that are believed to negatively influence minors.

One of the main arguments is the unfair representation of video games when other mediums (books, film, music, etc.) are equally protected under the First Amendment. It is believed by supporters of the state ruling that video games encourage a more intimate interaction that may be hazardous to the mental health of adolescent players.

However, the supporters lack strong evidence that is necessary to win the hearing. Currently, the web is buzzing with facts that disproves the long constructed myth that playing violent video games leads to violent behavior.

Here is a excerpt from an editorial by the Wall Street Journal

“Such censorship is not only dangerous, it’s completely unnecessary. More than 80 scholars and researchers from schools such as George Mason University and Harvard Medical School have written an extensive friend-of-the-court brief in opposition to the law, noting that California failed to produce any real evidence showing that video games cause psychological harm to minors. And even if there was harm, the law’s supporters have not shown that the statute could alleviate it.

The game development community has worked hard on creating a rating system that clearly discloses games’ content. Even our critics, such as the Federal Trade Commission, have praised our efforts. The FTC’s own survey shows that 87 percent of parents are satisfied with the rating system.”

It is my hope that the Supreme Court arrives at an effective ruling in support of the gaming industry. As an art form, video games are expanding into new and intelligent fields. Suppressing it will only initiate a slow demise for such an impressive tool of creation.


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