Respondents, representing the video-game and software industries, filed a preenforcement challenge to a California law that restricts the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The Federal District Court concluded that the Act violated the First Amendment and permanently enjoined its enforcement. The Ninth Circuit affirmed..
The State of California wanted a law to restrict the sale and rental of violent video games to minors. The defendant of this case represents the video-game and software industries. There were arguments heard from both supporters of this law to restrict violent games and videos to those that felt that they did not negatively affect behavior at all. The State of California relied on the expertise of Dr. Craig Anderson, a research psychologist. After hearing the arguments of Dr. Anderson, here is the basic conclusion: “Dr. Anderson’s conclusions that violent video games produce some effect on children’s feelings of aggression, those effects are both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media. In his testimony in a similar lawsuit, Dr. Anderson admitted that the “effect sizes” of children’s exposure to violent video games are “about the same” as that produced by their exposure to violence on television. App. 1263. And he admits that the same effects have been found when children watch cartoons starring Bugs Bunny or the Road Runner, id., at 1304, or when they play video games like Sonic the Hedgehog that are rated “E” (appropriate for all ages), id., at 1270, or even when they “vie[w] a picture of a gun,” id., at 1315–1316.”
On the other side of the argument, freedom of speech has always been a pillar of our society and is protected unless there is overwhelming evidence against it. We would possibly be kept from reading books that contained violence like Sleeping Beauty or be subject to opinions of one government or religion or power, not having the freedom to choose .