In 2005 California passed a law banning the sale of violent video games to those under 18. The law has constantly been challenged in the courts, so it was never fully enacted and now it never will be:
The court reached a decision in Brown v. the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) by a vote of 7-2, with Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer dissenting. Writing for the court, Justice Antonin Scalia said the law would have created a new class of regulations for content aimed at children.
“No doubt a State possesses legitimate power to protect children from harm, but that does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed,” Scalia wrote, noting that even fairy tales such as “Snow White” and “Cinderella” feature graphic descriptions of violence.
Dissenting on the decision were Stephen Breyer and Clarence Thomas. Justice Breyer brings up a point I thought when I first heard this decision:
“But what sense does it make to forbid selling to a 13-year-old boy a magazine with an image of a nude woman, while protecting a sale to that 13-year-old of an interactive video game in which he actively, but virtually, binds and gags the woman, then tortures and kills her?” Breyer said.
“What kind of First Amendment would permit the government to protect children by restricting sales of that extremely violent video game only when the woman — bound, gagged, tortured and killed — is also topless?”
Let little Johnny shoot, stab, decapitate or beat to a pulp video game character Susie, but just as long as she doesn't show any boob. If that happens then we have a problem!