[UPDATED with NMA Video:] Supreme Court Overturns State Ban on Sales and Rentals of Violent Video Games to Kids

UPDATE, JUNE 28, 2:50 P.M.: Next Media Animation, the largest full-service animation studio in Asia and subsidiary of Hong Kong's largest publicly listed print media company, is getting faster at turning around animated video on news stories around the world.

Take Monday's U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning California's ban on sales or rentals of violent video games to children. Before the animation begins after the jump, the tattooed, live-action host makes a good point: kids playing violent video games is bad because the kids keeping beating adults at it . . .

UPDATE, JUNE 28, 10:09 P.M.: Add the California Psychological
Association to those disappointed with yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning California's ban on sales or rentals of violent video games to children. Representing 4,000 member psychologists in California, the affiliate of the American Psychological Association
joined 11 states in an Amicus Brief to the Supremes on the issue.
Jo Linder-Crow, the state association's executive director, joined the law's author, state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), at a press conference Monday reacting to the ruling. Then Assemblyman Lee's AB 1179, which the Legislature passed in 2005 and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law, prevented the sale and
rental of violent video games “that depict serious injury to human
beings in a manner that is especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel,
to persons who are under 18 years of age.” Retailers who violated the
act faced $1,000 fines for each

“We, like Senator Yee, are disappointed in the
court's decision today,” Linder-Crow said at the press conference. “The decision overlooks the volumes of
psychological research that demonstrate that these violent video
games can be harmful to children. We have been pleased to support
Senator Yee's effort to protect children from the harmful effects
of these games and applaud him for his efforts.

“Research has shown a
causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in
some children and it is certainly true that these violent games
desensitize children towards violence in a way that is ultimately
harmful to our society. We hope that the industry has heard this
message and will increase efforts to keep these violent games out of
the hands of children.”

The Supreme Court voted 7-2, with Justices Stephen Breyer and Clarence Thomas in dissent, to uphold a federal court ruling that found California's restrictions on the sale of violent video games to
minors violates the 1st Amendment.

Five justices found that under no
circumstances can the government be allowed to protect children by
limiting violence in the media, while Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito applauded
California's effort to deal with a “serious social problem: the
effect of exceptionally violent video games on impressionable
minors.” But they ultimately voted with the other seven to strike down the state's law
because it did not spell out clearly enough the limits that the
gaming industry must follow. in
separate opinions.

UPDATE, JUNE 27, 1:33 P.M.: Advocates for state legislation limiting the sale of ultra-violent games
to minors may have been “disappointed” by today's U.S. Supreme Court decision on Brown v. Entertainment Merchants
, but a group formed in the 1980s by conservative former congressman Dick Armey applauds the ruling.

The Lewisville, Texas-based Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) says “striking down California's attempt to subject
video games to different rules and regulations than books, movies, music
or art is a victory in the battle to quell government's insatiable quest
to seize greater control of individual freedoms, ending the expansion of
government control of speech.”

“This decision was also a victory for parents, 98 percent of whom support the current voluntary grading system applied to video game content–voluntary industry standards and the restriction of sales put in place by the video game industry, a system that has long been hailed in many quarters as the standard of industry responsibility and self-regulation,” Bartlett D. Cleland, IPI's policy counsel, says in an IPI statement.

“Ultimately, no matter the layers of government control that hacks away at our guaranteed liberties, parental responsibility is the key,” Cleland continues. “Virtually all credible research makes the same point: The key to protecting kids is a multilayered approach combining technology (which is already being deployed and available for free from entertainment software companies), law enforcement, caregiver oversight and private educational efforts such as the voluntary rating system.”

UPDATE, JUNE 27, 11:01 A.M.: Common Sense Media, which the Los Angeles Times once called “one of the most zealous voices when it comes to
encouraging state legislation limiting the sale of ultra-violent games
to minors,” is “disappointed” by today's U.S.

ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 27, 8:18 A.M.: The U.S. Supreme Court this morning agreed with a federal court's
decision that says California cannot ban the rental or sale of violent
video games to children.

Then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in November asked the Supremes to weigh in on the law he'd signed that prohibited the sale or rental of violent games to
anyone under 18 lest retailers face fines up to $1,000 for each infraction.

But the high court agreed with the Sacramento-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which found the law violated minors' rights under the First and Fourteenth amendments.

The Washington Post has the scoop.

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