Games industry jubilant after US Supreme Court ruling

Monday, 27th June 2011 19:16 GMT By Andrew Groen

Videogames won a huge political victory in the US today, as the Supreme Court voted to strike down a law that would have made it illegal to sell violent games to minors, and declared that video games qualify for free speech protections. As you can imagine, the US industry is thrilled.

Gamasutra is running a roundup of all of the excited and celebratory comments they’ve received in the wake of the important ruling.

We’ve included a couple choice selections below, and you can head over to Gama for more quotes, which are being added on a rolling basis.

“This is a historic and complete win for the First Amendment 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 D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the Electronic Software Association.

“The Court declared forcefully that content-based restrictions on games are unconstitutional; and that parents, not government bureaucrats, have the right to decide what is appropriate for their children.”

“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,” said John Riccitiello, CEO Electronic Arts.

Hit the link for more.



  1. Bluebird

    Isn’t it illegal to sell violent games (e.g. PEGI 18 or whatever the national equivalent is) to minors in most, if not all countries, here in Europe?

    #1 4 years ago
  2. NeoSquall

    @1 I don’t thnk so. At least not “we’ll put you to jail” illegal.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. NoxNoctisUmbra

    Of course you can’t sell a video game to kids but you can sell it to parents and the parent decides if it’s appropriate. It was a waist in tax layers money to try to make a M rated game which is equivalent to R rated movie to be illegal for kids. Perents should be in charge of what’s best for the kid not the government.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Bluebird

    Yeah, but in the “You might have to pay a small fine if someone bothers to complain” way, right?

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Andrew Groen

    It’s more about the precedent than anything. Nobody REALLY wants kids playing violent games anyway. The point is if the Supreme Court ruled the other way in this case it would have meant that games didn’t qualify for Free Speech protection.

    It would have been open season for all kinds of law suits and censorship.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. NeoSquall

    @3 the sad thing is that parents (mostly) don’t care what their children are playing, if they’re aware at all.

    @4 yeah, mostly

    @5 I think that the law could be more useful (and accepted) if it was written by both the legislator and the EMA.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. IL DUCE

    @4 if someone bothered to complain it would start a chain reaction of stay at home moms snitching on their kid’s friends when the kid comes home and says he’s been playing CoD or Halo all day after their kid had been snitched on…really a complete waste of law enforcement/judicial resources

    GameStop or any retailer has the responsibility to check an ID when a game is being purchased by an young individual (I get carded still every once in a while, esp at a GameStop I don’t usually use and I’m 24) and if a parent chooses to buy their kid a game either due to lack of knowledge or if they are a gamer knowing that the material is appropriate enough that they approve of their child using it then so be it…

    CoD/Halo etc. isn’t even that bad, it’s more the language they are exposed to once said parent decides to get X Box Live or allow an internet connection to their PS3 etc. I mean if it’s a game like Duke Nukem then maybe that parent needs to pay attention to the retailer telling them what the game contains but even games like Gears of War if the parent is a gamer has the option to turn off gore…I think as this generation gets older, and more of us have kids that have been lifelong gamers, the problem will be less relevant…not to mention either way one of the kid’s friends most likely will have a game like that and they will be exposed to it, so no matter how hard you try you can’t shield your kid’s from the world, it’s impossible…and just a part of life

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Espers

    “made it illegal to sell violent games to minors” <== does that make any sense ?? you are screwing up minors for money ?! congratulations, america once step closer towards complete idiocracy, reason: freedom of what ?!!!!
    wait till you see more minor crimes, however in real like there's no save/loading options …what a shame.

    #8 4 years ago

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