Yes, we pretty much have. That’s the inescapable conclusion following the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic First Amendment decision in Brown v. EMA back in June, which struck down a California law governing the sale of “violent video games” to minors. By a 7-2 margin, the court held that video games have First Amendment protections on par with books, film, music and other forms of entertainment.
The folks over at ALEC asked me to explore what happens next and what steps state and local lawmakers can take in a post-Brown world if they wish to address concerns about video game content. My essay appears in the Nov/Dec Inside ALEC newsletter. You can read the entire thing here or via the Scribd embed I have placed down below the fold.
I argue that, going forward, this ruling will force state and local governments to change their approach to regulating all modern media content. Education and awareness-building efforts will be the more fruitful alternative since censorship has now been largely foreclosed.