Calif. Court Blasts Violent Game Ban

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2009 8:49 PM CST
A Best Buy customer rushes in to purchase a copy of the game Grand Theft Auto IV in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, April 29, 2008.   (AP Phoito/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – A federal appeals court ruled today that violent video games can be sold to minors in California, GameSpot reports. Upholding a lower court's decision, the judges struck down a state law that sought to ban the sale of violent games to those under 18. The law violated free speech rights, said the three-judge panel, which dismissed research suggesting that such games lead to violent or anti-social behavior, the AP reports.

Video game sellers "are extremely gratified" by the decision, said Entertainment Merchants Association president Bo Andersen. He urged the state to ignore calls to take the fight to the Supreme Court: "The state should not acquiesce in this demand, particularly in light of its budget difficulties," he said. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who signed the law, was said to be reviewing the ruling,