Video game industry: Kids have First Amendment rights, too

Gaming

Creators of violent video games, gearing up to defend their sales to minors in an upcoming hearing at the U.S. Supreme Court, are basing much of their case on the assertion that the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of expression applies equally to children.

“Video games have been recognized as being expressive material that is entitled to First Amendment protection just like books, just like music, just like movies,” said Sean Bersall, spokesman for the Entertainment Merchants Association, told a California newspaper’s Washington, D.C., correspondent. “Minors have First Amendment rights.”

At issue is a 2005 California law that would require a new labeling system for violent software and strict fines for retailers who sell it to children. The law has been struck down twice in federal court.

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