Video and computer games are rated, based on contect by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). This was a self-imposed rating system by the game industry to help parents decide what games would be suitable for their children to play.
The city of St. Louis passed a law codifying this rating system, making retailers criminally liable if they did not follow the ESRB ratings by checking IDs or having parents give consent to minors buying Mature-rated games.
This law was challenged by a group called the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA). They argued that the ordinance improperly violated their protected speech, etc. And so, after filing their complaint, they promptly filed their Motion for Summary Judgment.
The judge seeing the case not only denied the Motion, he wrote a 26 page descision unnecessarily ruling that games are not speech.
From a news report:
The games that the judge reviewed before making this momentous descision?
“The Resident of Evil Creek”
One of these isn’t even a game.
So, after reviewing such a representative sample of the genre, this judge decided that no game had any sort of “conveyance of ideas, expression, or anything else that could possibly amount to speech”.
So, what do y’all think? Are all games really not speech?
[sub]I freely admit that this was inspired by today’s Penny Arcade.[/sub]