By Joey Sinicki
This week, a Louisiana district court shot down a proposed law that would heighten penalties for those who gave minors access to violent games when it was found to be unconstitutional. The act, which would lead to jail-time and/or fines, was called “a violation of video game maker’s and retailer’s right to free speech.”
Sticking with a decision made at an August injunction, the court deemed social science evidence of the link between violent games and real violence submitted by proponents of the law to be “sparse and unreliable.” The court went on to proclaim that the state had no authority to limit the sale of any media that they deem “psychologically harmful” based on mere opinion.
"All video game content is entitled to the same free speech protection as movies, books and music," said Paul M. Smith partner at Jenner and Block, the law firm that defended the video games industry in the case, and Co-Chair of the Firm's Media and First Amendment Practice. Smith has been in charge of representing the industry in similar cases in the state of Washington, St. Louis and California, all of which have been successful.