2013 saw so many products outlawed that Forbes writer Eli Federman compiled a list of the year’s top five most ridiculous bans. Coming in at #4 was a proposal to censor violent video games in New Jersey:
(4) Claiming that violent video games “play a role” in violent behavior, a state lawmaker in New Jersey introduced legislation to prohibit amusement parks, movie theaters, bowling allies, or restaurants from having violent video games. Under the proposed legislation, business owners could face fines of up to $10,000 for the first offense and $20,000 for repeated offenses. Perhaps this lawmaker missed the 2011 Supreme Court case that found in a 7-2 decision that games, like other forms of media, were protected speech under the First Amendment. But hey, since when should the constitution get in the way?
TechFreedom has long opposed attempts to censor video games and all other types of speech. In 2011, TF President Berin Szoka co-authored an amicus brief in the free speech-affirming Supreme Court case mentioned in Federman’s article. More recently, we stood up to Massachusetts lawmakers’ attempts to justify video game censorship.