OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) – California asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a state law banning the sale and rental of violent and sexually explicit video games to children. Attorney General Jerry Brown on Wednesday sought writ of certiorari asking that the court review the decision to invalidate the state’s video game law, which prohibits the sale to minors of games that glamorize killing, bloodshed and sexual assault.
The case stems from a 2005 law that required violent games to be labeled with an “18,” prohibited the sale of such games to minors, and imposed a $1,000 fine for violations.
The Video Software Dealers Association – now part of the Entertainment Merchants Association – sued in Federal Court to block the law before it could go into effect.
In 2007, the District Court for Northern California invalidated the law and Brown immediately appealed, but in February this year the 9th Circuit upheld the district court ruling.
The rating description for “Killzone 2,” one of the top sellers for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in April, states: “Red blood spray emits from enemy soldiers when shot, and weapons such as sniper rifles and shotguns can be used to decapitate them. Post-mortem damage can be inflicted on soldiers’ bodies, resulting in pools of blood on the ground. During one cutscene, a gravely wounded character retrieves a pistol and shoots himself in the head.”
Another recent M-Rated release, “F.E.A.R 2” vaguely depicts a sexual assault accompanied by images of a writhing body and moaning sounds.
Studies have found a correlation between children’s exposure to violence and increased aggressiveness, antisocial behavior, and desensitization to violence.
The Supreme Court has never addressed the question of whether extremely violent material can be treated the same way as sexually explicit material sold only to adults.