Moreover, California is making itself the de facto censor of the budding video game industry. What’s next? Bans on violent movies? Books?
The point is that once the door is open for regulating certain content to “protect the children,” there really is no limit on what states will be able to restrict. The Supreme Court must consider carefully the sort of precedent it will be setting. Targeting the makers of video games may make for good politics in some circles, but makes for very bad First Amendment jurisprudence.
Government has no role in regulating content in a society of protected speech and a marketplace of ideas. Individual parents should decide, not government censors, what is appropriate for their children.
The state of California, and government in general, needs to keep their nose out of decisions best left to parents. Using the civil code to regulate the distribution of content to minors goes beyond just a First Amendment violation. It infringes on the role of parents in their children’s lives.
William Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government. He has spent his career working in political strategy and public affairs for various causes and organizations.