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Video games have become a prominent pastime for both children and adults in the United States (U.S.) and across the European Union (EU). Today, individuals are spending more time and money on electronic entertainment than ever before. In addition to similar video game consumption habits, violent, pre-meditated murders by video game players have stunned both the United States and Germany. As a result, legislators in both countries have taken action in attempts to restrict minors' access to violent video games. The results have widely differed between the two countries, with the United States electing to treat video games as protected speech under the First Amendment, while Germany has focused on content censorship. This Note provides a summary of the U.S. approach on regulating minors' access to violent video games, and the Constitutional barriers to such restrictions. Part I provides a description of the current U.S. system of video game ratings and content control, and focuses on the modern video game rulings that have afforded full First Amendment protection to their violent content. Part II discusses aspects of Germany's video game regulations, highlighting its emphasis on content censorship as compared to regulations in the United States. Finally, Part III analyzes Germany's over-protective video game regulations and censorship, and argues against the propagation of such restrictions throughout the EU. As a potential resolution, this Note suggests that the EU harmonize its current content ratings system throughout its member States in order to prevent drastic regulatory differences with the United States.


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7 Nov 2022
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  • Subject
    • First Amendment

    • Intellectual Property Law

    • Science and Technology Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Intellectual Property and Technology Forum

  • Volume
    • 2008

  • Pagination
    • 1-20

  • Date submitted

    7 November 2022

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