The United States Supreme Court ruled Monday, in the case of Brown v. EMA, that video games have a rightful place under the protection of the First Amendment. In other words, as the majority of gamers have known from the beginning, video games are free speech just like literature, film and music. The gaming world may know this case better as Schwarzenegger v. EMA, the case’s name back when it was heard in November 2010.
The Supreme Court’s ruling comes 6 years after the controversial law in question, banning retailers from selling so called ‘ultra violent’ games, was passed in the State of California in 2005. The ruling thus overturns the law rendering it null and void.
In addition to the free speech issue, those who opposed the bill claimed that its language was too vague, and would have caused developers to shy away from making games the likes of core titles as Gears of War, Assassin’s Creed and Battlefield. There was also an understanding that the bill was penned by politicians with election season in mind, and was nothing but political grandstanding in the end.
On the other hand, it has been stated by state senator and bill author Leland Yee, in a short interview with G4, that the bill goes a long way in protecting children from offensive material. Those for the law saw it as a necessary step to close gaps left by the ESRB. No matter the argument, the Supreme Court’s ruling stands 7 to 2.