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Supreme Court Knocks Down Violent Videogame Law

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that allows minors to play violent or sexually explicit videogames in arcades and other commercial spaces without their parents' permission.
The 15-month-old law, enacted in the city of Indianapolis, required a minors to get parental permission on a day-to-day basis to play "regulated" arcade games -- games featuring sexual content or violent scenes depicting amputation, decapitation, dismemberment, bloodshed, mutilation, maiming or disfigurement of humans. Alternatively, a parent had to remain nearby as the child played these games. In addition, the law stipulated that the regulated videogames had to be separated from other games, and forced commercial proprietors to post signs stating that parental consent had to be obtained to play the games. The law only applied to establishments which offered games to minors. But a U.S. appeals court in Chicago later struck down the law, and ordered a preliminary injunction to block its enforcement. The city then appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn the appeal. The case tested First Amendment rights of minors on the issue of free speech protection in videogames -- although the free speech issue only covered violent videogames, not sexually explicit games. The Court denied the city's appeal which sought to reinstate the law, without any comment or dissent.

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