California Attorney General Jerry Brown has demanded that the US Supreme Court resurrect a law banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.
“California’s children are exposed everyday to video games that glamorize killing sprees, torture and sexual assault,” claimed Brown. “In the face of this brutal violence, I am petitioning the Supreme Court to allow the state to enforce its reasonable ban on violent video game sales and rentals to minors.”
The controversial 2005 law was struck down by the 9th US Court of Appeals, which had expressed concern that such legislation could be exploited to prevent children from gaining access to other material. The Court of Appeals also noted there were less restrictive methods, including parental supervision, that could be used to deter children from playing violent video games.
However, Brown has continued to dispute the court’s reasoning. According to the AG, existing legislation blocking minors from viewing pornography should be extended to prevent children from playing violent video games.
Senator Leland Yee, who authored the contentious law, “applauded” Brown’s efforts to appeal the lower court’s decision.
“California’s violent video game law properly seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games,” explained Yee. “I am hopeful that the Supreme Court – which has never heard a case dealing with violent video games – will accept our appeal and assist parents in keeping these harmful video games out of the hands of children. I believe the high court will uphold this law as Constitutional. In fact in Roper v. Simmons, the court agreed we need to treat children differently in the eyes of the law due to brain development.”
Yee also explained that the legislation was “narrowly tailored” to serve the State’s compelling interest in protecting children.
“We need to help empower parents with the ultimate decision over whether or not their children play in a world of violence and murder. The video game industry should not be allowed to put their profit margins over the rights of parents and the well-being of children,” added Yee.