Court to rule on violent video game sales to kids

June 27, 2011 - 2:26 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Is it unconstitutional to ban the sale or rental of ultraviolent video games to children?

The Supreme Court plans to answer that question Monday with a ruling that could profoundly affect a multibillion-dollar industry.

California wants to prohibit the sale or rental of violent games to anyone under 18. But federal judges have declared that the law violates First Amendment free speech rights.

Justices seemed closely split in November, with some arguing that parents need help protecting children from violent games like "Grand Theft Auto IV." But other justices seemed reluctant to carve out a new exception to the First Amendment to cover violence in games.

More than 46 million American households have at least one video-game system, with the industry bringing in at least $18 billion in 2010.