The Supreme Court rejected a California ban on selling violent video games to children :
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down on First Amendment grounds a California law that barred the sale of violent video games to children. The 7-to-2 decision was the latest in a series of rulings protecting free speech, joining ones on funeral protests, videos showing cruelty to animals and political speech by corporations.
In a second decision Monday, the last day of the term, the court also struck down a campaign finance law as a violation of the First Amendment.
Justice Antonin Scalia., writing for five justices in the majority in the video games decision, Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, No. 08-1448, said video games were protected by the First Amendment.
Like the protected books, plays and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas and even social messages through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot and music) and through features distinctive to the medium (such as the players interaction with the virtual world), Justice Scalia wrote. That suffices to confer First Amendment protection.
Depictions of violence, Justice Scalia added, have never been subject to government regulation. Grimms Fairy Tales, for example, are grim indeed, he wrote, recounting the gory plots of Snow White, Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel. High school reading lists and Saturday morning cartoons, too, he said, are riddled with violence.