A federal judge on Thursday struck down Washington state's ban on selling some violent video games to minors, calling it a violation of free speech. U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik wrote that depictions of violence have been used throughout the country's history to convey important social messages, and that the Supreme Court has never upheld bans on violent depictions under obscenity laws.
The game industry welcomed the ruling and said it would continue to encourage retailers to voluntarily refuse to sell "mature-rated" games to children under 17, as movie theaters voluntarily check IDs for youngsters heading into R-rated movies. "We were obviously really gratified by the ruling," said Doug Lowenstein, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Entertainment Software Association. "The judge shared our concerns that the statute was unconstitutionally vague."
News source: Seattlepi.com