A.G. Takes Video Game Battle to Supreme Court

Attorney General Jerry Brown is not playing around. California's top prosecutor is taking his fight against violent video games to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brown has asked the highest court in the land to reinstate a law banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.

In February, the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals struck down the 2005 law as a free speech violation that could limit minors' access to other material under the guise of protecting children. The court said there were less restrictive ways such as parental control to prevent children from accessing violent video games.

The attorney general and governor Arnold Schwarzenegger argued Wednesday that the same legal justifications for banning minors from accessing pornography can be applied to violent video games.

"I signed this important measure to ensure parents are involved in determining which video games are appropriate for their children," Schwarzenegger said. "By prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 and requiring these games to be clearly labeled, this law would allow parents to make better informed decisions for their kids."

Votes to hear the case from at least four of the nine justices are required for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the issue.

"California's children are exposed everyday to video games that glamorize killing sprees, torture and sexual assault," Brown said in a statement. "In the face of this brutal and extreme violence, I am petitioning the Supreme Court to allow the state to enforce its reasonable ban on the sale or rental of violent video game sales to children."


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In his statement Brown singled out such titles as "Resident Evil 5," "Call of Duty: World at War," "Halo 3" and "Killzone 2" -- some of the best selling -- and most fun -- games out there.

The Entertainment Software Association, which represents U.S. computer and video game publishers, called California's petition "a complete waste of the state's time and resources."

The association's chief executive Michael D. Gallagher said video games are labeled with a rating system that lets parents decide what games their children can purchase and play.

"Gov. Schwarzenegger has recklessly decided to pursue wasteful, misguided and pointless litigation," Gallagher said. "We are confident that this appeal will meet the same fate as the State's previous failed efforts to regulate what courts around the country have uniformly held to be expression that is fully protected by the First Amendment."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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