Video Games

Obama Didn't Go After Video Game Industry Because He Can't

Recent Supreme Court decisions have recognized First Amendment protections that block authoritarian politicians


When President Obama revealed his proposal to curb gun violence on Wednesday, one industry largely went overlooked: video-game makers. Obama announced an executive order to end an industry-backed freeze on federal research into the linkage between violent behavior and violent content in games, and he recommended that Congress authorize $10 million for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to conduct the research. But restrictions on the sale of violent games to minors, or scrutiny of the content of games, weren't part of the package. …

That may be because there isn't much the White House can do to force them to change. The Supreme Court has already settled the question of whether the government can regulate game sales. In a 2011 decision, the court ruled on free speech grounds that the State of California couldn't prohibit the sale of violent games to minors. The Court also cited a lack of evidence that playing games leads to violent behavior.