Californian case against video games takes tongue-lashing on day one

Schwarzeneggerâ??s side hit hard in ratings row

The Californian legal quest to create tighter controls on sales of violent video games has had a rough reception in the US Supreme Court today.

According to reports on Kotaku, California Attorney General Zackery Morazzimi began the oral hearings of the state’s case by saying that the “deviant level of violence” presented in some games requires restriction to protect minors.

The comments were quickly cut-off by Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the nine life-long Justice’s at the Supreme Court who is widely considered one of the most conservative-leaning.

Justice Scalia pointed out that Grimm’s fairy tales also contain high levels of violence.

“Are you going to ban them too?” he asked.

"You are asking us to create a whole new prohibition. What’s next after violence? Drinking? Movies that show drinking? Smoking?”

Justice Stephen Breyer also highlighted the role of parents in controlling the media intake of children.

"Imagining a game that allows a player to torture babies," he said.

"Why isn’t it common sense for the state to say ‘Parents, if you want your 13-year-old to play it you have to buy it?”

Elsewhere in the hearings, the Justices pressed Morazzimi to accept that existing laws in California are not too vague.

The lawyers presenting the case of the video games industry were also pressed into accepting that any law would potentially limit the exposure of children to harmful games.

A final decision as to the future of video games regulation is expected to be reached before the Supreme Court summer recess in June 2011.

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