California’s law prohibiting the sale and rental of violent games to minors was struck down by the Supreme Court in a 7-2 decision.
That said, I think that stores are perfectly within their rights to refuse to sell M or AO rated games to minors (unaccompanied by a parent/guardian); I believe that Gamestop and Toys R Us already do this. That’s no different than a movie theater refusing to sell tickets to R-rated films to minors without a parent present.
Imagine if California had passed a law mandating a $1000 fine per infraction for each time a minor snuck into an R-rated movie; that’s essentially what this law would have done, only to the gaming industry.
I will agree with fivewheels, who said, “The irony was so much better when the case was called Schwarzenegger v. EMA.”
Given the government’s penchant for regulation, I wonder if Civilization (a classic game if ever there was one) would have been refused sale to minors. After all, in the GTA series you only kill a few hundred or thousand people, but in Civ you can nuke entire cities and lay waste to entire nations! Who decides which games are too violent?
Parents should, but this decision merely says that parents cannot make the state do their job for them.