No free speech for games

Saw this interesting bit on Gamers.nl.

Games aren't protected by the first amendment, but junk faxes are. What's the deal?

Pop quiz: What's the difference between Jason from the "Friday the 13th" movies, Woody Harrelson's character in "Natural Born Killers" and computer gaming action star Duke Nukem?

Answer: The first two characters are protected by the First Amendment.

You read that right. Filmmakers can show brutal murders and graphic sex -- their artistic vision is guarded by the Constitution. The developers of "Resident Evil," "Half-Life" and even "The Sims" are not afforded the same privilege.

Senior U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh made it official last week, ruling that violent or sexually explicit video games are not constitutionally protected forms of speech. This, from the same judge who also recently ruled that "junk faxes," those bothersome, costly flyers that clog your office machine, ARE, in fact, constitutionally protected free speech.

"The court fails to see how video games express ideas, impressions, feelings or information unrelated to the game itself. ... The issue in this cause of action is whether ... video games are a form of expression, not whether ... 'scripts' are a form of expression," Limbaugh wrote in his decision. "The only video games given to the Court were those presented by the (county), and the court simply did not find the 'extensive plot and character development' referred to ... in the games it viewed. "

News source: CNN

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