Remember a few years back when Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction gave the youth of America a glimpse of her breast? People went bananas. “Our kids saw that!” They cried. And the courts fined CBS for broadcasting the flash of flesh. But right now, there are any number of video games that encourage players to beat people to death, to rape women, to blow off people’s heads, and this week, the Supreme Court said kids don’t need to be protected from that.
This week, the Supreme Court ruled that a California Law banning the sale of violent video games to minors violates those minors’ first amendment rights, and was – as a lower court had determined – unconstitutional.
Justice Antonin Scalia argued that while sexual content has long been regulated for children, there is no precedent for limiting children’s access to violent content. The Court determined that the government’s “legitimate power to protect children from harm… does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed.”
So what the Supreme Court is saying is, kids shouldn’t be exposed to sex, but if they rack up points by shooting someone – more points for shooting them in the head, and even more for shooting them in their private parts while playing a video game (in Bulletstorm), or if they shoot up a street full of Russian civilians whose blood spatters everywhere (Modern Warfare 2) — well, that’s freedom of speech. (more…)