The US Supreme Court has thrown out a Californian law which made it illegal to sell or rent 'violent' video games to minors.
The 2009 California Civil Code - Section 1746-1746.5 Title 1.2a. Violent Video Games saw retailers subject to a $1,000 if they handed games titles with an 18 certificate to anyone under that age but the Supreme Court ruling has overturned the rule saying it is unconstitutional and flies in the face of freedom of speech.
The legal ruling made no bones about the potential harm which could be done if children are allowed to play games which contain violent or sexual scenes, but pointed out that, like every other medium, were protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
The upshot of the ruling is that parents will be left in charge of what video games their children can and can't play, rather than government.
The ruling pointed out that children have always had access to violence in many forms.
"California’s argument would fare better if there were a longstanding tradition in this country of specially restricting children’s access to depictions of violence, but there is none," reads the ruling. "Certainly the books we give children to read - or read to them when they are younger - contain no shortage of gore.
"Grimm’s Fairy Tales, for example, are grim indeed. As her just deserts for trying to poison Snow White, the wicked queen is made to dance in red hot slippers 'till she fell dead on the floor, a sad example of envy and jealousy'. Cinderella’s evil stepsisters have their eyes pecked out by doves. And Hansel and Gretel kill their captor by baking her in an oven."
It's a bit of stretch from that to chopping up hookers with chainsaws, but we get the point.