We've all seen the commercials for the latest video game promising bigger explosions, new ways to kill enemies and deadlier weaponry for maximum carnage. It’s a massive business.
These games are readily available at places like and and have many local kids buzzing. But they’re also controversial.
State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, wrote a law in 2005 that would ban the sale or rental of all violent video games to everyone under 18.
But today, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law by a 7-2 vote, saying that the games are protected by the First Amendment right of free speech.
Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, "Like protected books, plays and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas -- and even social messages.
"That suffices to confer First Amendment protection," Scalia wrote.
The court ruled in a lawsuit filed in federal court in San Jose in 2005 by two industry groups, the Entertainment Merchants Association and the Entertainment Software Association.
The high court upheld rulings by U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte of San Jose in 2007 and the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in San Francisco in 2009 that struck down the law.
The 2005 law was authored by Lee, who was then an assemblyman. It was blocked from going into effect by an injunction issued by Whyte.
We’d like to know what teens and parents in Davis think about the ruling:
- Parents: So you allow your children to play violent video games?
- Everyone: Did the court make the right decision?
Bay City News contributed to this report