Just hours ago, the Supreme Court voted 7-2 that video games are protected under the First Amendment’s freedom of speech. This was in response to the Brown vs EMA case (formerly Schwartzenegger vs EMA) where California tried to segregate video games by violence and ban their sale to minors without parental supervision.
Here’s where these things can get sticky. See, we all like protecting minors from things that should be considered “adult” or “mature”. It’s for that very reason we have ratings on movies and TV shows. However, government does not restrict the distribution of TV or movies based on their rating (within the normal range of ratings, that is). In its original form, the law that California tried to pass (CA Law AB 1179) would not only ban the sale to minors, but also institute an additional rating system to add to the ESRB rating, and segregate the games to another part of retail stores. This equates to having to go into the “back room” and flash your ID just to play some Halo. You know, just like pr0n.
Parents have every right to protect their children and make sure that what they play is in line with what they teach them. However, filtering out things they don’t want their kids to experience is the duty of the parents and not that of retailers.