Skip to main content

Will It Be Back? California Seeks to Revive Violent Video Game Law

Will It Be Back? California Seeks to Revive Violent Video Game Law

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and state attorney general Jerry Brown have announced they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision that overturned a California law barring the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The law was passed in 2005 over concerns that violent content in video games could lead to increased violence among game-playing youth, incite aggressive behavior, or do long-term psychological harm. The law received strong support Governor Schwarzenegger, but was quickly challenged by trade groups like the Entertainment Software Association, and a preliminary injunction was issued preventing the law from going into effect. In August 2007, Federal Judge Roland Whyte issued a permanent ban on the law, who found there was not sufficient evidence that violent content in games led to real-world violence, and thus the state did not have a compelling need to restrict the free speech of game developers and publishers.

The state appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit; the appeals court upheld the ban in February, and now California is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in.

Related Videos

“By prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 and requiring these games to be clearly labeled, this law would allow parents to make better informed decisions for their kids,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement. “I will continue to vigorously defend this law and protect the well-being of California’s kids.”

Similar laws enacted by other states have been consistently struck down by the courts; however, California’s case is the first time such a statute has been taken all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Editors' Recommendations

Mafia turns 20: Why the series needs to look back to go forward
Key art of the main characters from all three Mafia games.

The Mafia video game series turns 20 today. Open-world crime game series like Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row often have a wacky, satirical tone. Mafia, on the other hand, takes more inspiration from The Godfather to craft open-world adventures that are part linear gangster stories and part criminal simulators. It’s a Grand Theft Auto-like series that spans multiple developers, countries, and console generations. After over 33 hours of playtime across every game in the series, I’ve come away surprised at just how different each game in this series is from the others and been impressed that this franchise managed to last this long.
Mafia: Trilogy - Launch Trailer | PS4
In 2020, 2K and Hanger 13 released Mafia: Trilogy, which included Mafia: Definitive Edition (a remake of the first game), Mafia II: Definitive Edition (an HD remaster of the second game), and Mafia 3: Complete Edition (a version of the 2016 game with all DLC included). As all three games are on PlayStation Plus Extra, I played through them when I signed up for the new subscription service in July. With a fourth game reportedly on the horizon, I wanted to see why this series survived lots of hardship and what a fourth Mafia game would need to do to be successful.
Many games and series like Mafia have come and gone in the 20 years since it was released, but Mafia endured and constantly evolved with three games that are quite different from each other. While analyzing each Mafia game exposes some notable but different flaws with each title, combining the best aspects of all three games could make the reportedly in development Mafia IV an amazing experience.
Mafia: Definitive Edition

Illusion Softworks released Mafia in 2002 after four years of development. It’s what put this series on the map with an experience that feels like Grand Theft Auto III by way of The Godfather. The version I played was Mafia: Definitive Edition, a full-on remake that modified some gameplay and story elements and was released in 2020 by 2K and Mafia III developer Hanger 13. It is set in a Chicago-inspired city called Lost Heaven and follows the rise and fall of Tommy Angelo, a taxi driver who gets caught up in the Mafia, quickly ascends through its ranks, and then must deal with the dangers and betrayal that come with the life.
I came to understand why Mafia left an impression when it was released in 2002: its unique structure and setting.

Read more
Overwatch is ditching loot boxes ahead of sequel launch
A still of Tracer in Overwatch 2.

Overwatch has been known to be one of the pioneers of loot boxes in the games industry. Now for the first time in its six-year history, Blizzard is officially stopping the sale of loot boxes in the game.

In a recent Overwatch blog update that was published on Tuesday, Blizzard said that the loot boxes sold during the Anniversary Remix Vol. 3 event will no longer be available after the event ends on August 30. Although standard loot boxes will be sold after the event is over, the company still urged players to buy the loot boxes one last time if they're interested in getting the skins from past Anniversary and seasonal events.

Read more
How to play the Yakuza games in order
Yakuza series director PS4 ai machine learning evolution

The Yakuza series has a history nearly as interesting as the criminal group it's named after. The series began on the PlayStation 2 but was so poorly marketed that future releases, up until the most recent ones, weren't even given an English dub. At its core, the series is a 3D brawler focusing on the Japanese mafia, aka the Yakuza, and how one man, Kazuma Kiryu, gets himself wrapped up in the most complex web of criminal activities, political chess games, corporate espionage, and personal vendettas.

By the time the series did start gaining traction in the west, the series was already at around the fourth of fifth game, which is not exactly a welcoming number to see if you want to jump into a series. Since then, remakes, prequels, spinoffs, and a reboot have all come out to extremely high critical and commercial success, bringing the series' popularity to the levels it always had in Japan, but also further confusing new players as to where to start. While the narrative isn't directly tied between every single game, characters and past events are all very important to know when going through the series. If you want to engross yourself in this epic crime drama series, here's how to play the Yakuza games in order.

Read more