Free Speech and Video Games

 Posted by on 27 September 2010 at 3:40 pm  Free Speech
Sep 272010

From David Rehm, posted with his permission:

Forgive the quoted paragraphs in explanation, but I’m traveling with almost no time to invest in this right now:

“For nearly two decades, elected officials have tried to regulate which video games you can buy, rent and play. Every single time they’ve passed a law, the federal courts have struck it down as unconstitutional. [Yay!] But this may change this fall. [Scary big deal!]“

“The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear the State of California’s infamous ‘violent video game case,’ Schwarzenegger v. EMA. That means that this year, or early next, the Court is going to decide whether to agree with the lower federal courts or not. Agreeing would mean that they believe that video games are, and should continue to be, First Amendment protected speech; just like books, movies and music.”

(More info, here.)

Whether you care about video games or not, I think this is a huge deal regarding the principle of free speech and new mediums–setting a dangerous precedent if they decide that free speech rights apply only narrowly to a defined set of mediums (such as books and films), versus applying universally, as a principle, to all speech over all mediums (new or not yet invented). Insert bit about slippery slope here.

I hope you can find an opportunity to bring more attention to this from people who actually understand the broader implications.

By reposting, I’m doing all that I can here. Keep your eyes on this issue, folks.

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