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Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Violent Video Games

Featured pro and con arguments from this article:

  • PRO: If sex images can be banned for youths, so can violence Jay Albanese. ¨Albanese: Supreme Court got it wrong on violent video games.¨ Richmond Times Dispatch. July 2nd, 2011: "Legal definitions and prosecutions for obscene materials in the United States always have been directed at depictions of sexual conduct. Violence has never been part of that definition, and the Supreme Court continues in its belief that depictions of sex are harmful, but depictions of violence are not. [...]Objectively more harmful than gratuitous sex are depictions of gratuitous violence. A significant social concern arises when sex is depicted in a way that involves force against an unwilling victim, against children, or even when unjustified violence without sex is depicted. A similar case can be made for depictions of violence resulting from hate, due to race, ethnicity or sexual orientation."
  • CON: Violent video games are protected by the first amendment. Justice Scalia wrote in June 2011 "opinion of the court" against the California ban on the sale of video games to minors: "Like the protected books, plays and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas — and even social messages — through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot and music) and through features distinctive to the medium (such as the player’s interaction with the virtual world). That suffices to confer First Amendment protection. Under our Consti-tution, “esthetic and moral judgments about art and lit-erature . . . are for the individual to make, not for the Government to decree, even with the mandate or approvalof a majority.” United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc., 529 U. S. 803, 818 (2000).
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