Originally published: November 2, 2010
Last updated: November 2, 2010 - 8:56pm
Several Supreme Court justices strongly questioned during an animated argument whether California's attempt to bar the sale of violent video games to minors could possibly meet constitutional muster. But others noted in detail the graphic and sadistic nature of some of the games and wondered how it could be argued that a state could do nothing to keep such material out of the hands of young people.
The court will eventually decide whether video games, which are estimated to reach into two-thirds of American homes, are protected forms of artistic expression or the latest version of obscenity that should be kept from minors. A majority of justices appeared to have major reservations about California's law. It would prohibit the sale or rental to anyone under 18 of a video that allows a player the option of "killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being" and has no serious artistic or literary value and appeals to a "deviant or morbid interest."
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