RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The United States Supreme Court is taking on a debate that could change the rules for the video games you or your kids love to play. Justices are looking at the constitutionality of a law that makes selling these games to kids a crime.
The case stems from a law in California and now state lawmakers throughout the country are keeping a close eye on the high court.
This popular past time is something four year old Danny's mom Melissa Gray has been trying to avoid. She said the violence in these games is not good for him.
"It just blurs that line," she explained. "There's no consequences to the games themselves. It's just kill, maim, game over, start again and that's not life."
That's the theory behind the California law that imposes a $1000 fine on retailers who sell so-called excessively violent video games to minors. It's at the heart of a debate that could soon be settled by the Supreme Court. It's something the owner of Carytown's Play N Trade thinks about every day; even in the way he arranges his store.
The games that are rated E for everyone are on the bottom so the little kids can get to them. The T for teen rated games are in the middle and all the way on top are the games that are rated M for mature.
"We constantly have little kids come up to us and go 'can I buy this?' 'Well, you're not old enough.' So we always try to steer them to the appropriate games," said owner Bob Broomfield.
Some said this case is a first amendment issue and the video game industry shouldn't be singled out. Danny's mom said it wouldn't be.
"It's kind of like you wouldn't let a child into a movie that's R rated," said Gray.
The Supreme Court's decision, which could impact other state's regulations, is not expected for months.