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Games win First Amendment protection in US

Supreme Court rules against law governing sales of games to minors

Today the Supreme Court ruled on the Brown vs. Entertainment Merchants Association case, securing games the same rights as afforded to books and films.

The Justices today voted 7-2 in favour of the Entertainment Merchant's Association, and against reinstating the 2005 law that banned the sale of violent video games to minors, introduced labelling laws for packaging and saw retailers facing fines of up to $1000 for failing to follow the regulations.

"This country has no tradition of specifically restricting children's access to depictions of violence," read the full ruling. "And California's claim that 'interactive' video games present special problems, in that the player participates in the violent action on screen and determines its outcome, is unpersuasive."

Developers reacted with pleasure to the ruling. "Important day for gaming, gamers and freedom of expression," tweeted Bioshock creator Ken Levine. "Supreme Court does the right thing. Fist bumps to the 7, WTFs to the 2."

The ruling can be found in full here.

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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