The 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a ruling from 2006
stopping a Minnesota bill which attemped to fine minors $25 for trying to buy M- or AO-rated games. The Star Tribune
reports a three-judge panel concluded that violent video games fall under First Amendment free speech protections and therefore the law can only hold if it is proven as "necessary to serve a compelling state interest and ... is narrowly tailored to achieve that end." The state introduced evidence, but could not prove a causal relationship between violent video games and aggressive behavior in children. Massachusetts politicians
should probably take note, as they drive eyes wide open into a similar legal wall.
In a statement sent to Joystiq (full text after the break), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA
) stated it is both "pleased and encouraged" by today's ruling. The organization believes a combination of parental choice and oversight is the "only legal, sensible, and most importantly, effective way to empower parents." Expect a bill
for the court fees soon enough, Minnesota.
[Thanks Chris, Via GamePolitics
]The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is both pleased and encouraged by todays Eight Circuit Court ruling. The court underscored what others also determined after exhaustively reviewing all relevant research: there is no causal link between video games and real-life violence. However, we maintain a deep level of respect for legislators concerns and believe that with the ESRB ratings, parental education, and the parental controls available on all new video game consoles, there are myriad ways that those concerned can ensure that children play appropriate, parent-approved computer and video games. In sum, we believe a combination of parental choice and parental control is the only legal, sensible, and most importantly, effective way to empower parents, and we dedicate ourselves to working with all parties to accomplish this goal.
-- Rich Taylor, Senior Vice President for Communications at the Entertainment Software Association