Still, such judicial arithmetic is unlikely to dissuade those advocating for tougher laws.
“You have to look and see if you can write them more narrowly, and there’s a possibility of a more narrowly drawn law [in the future],” Steyer told MainStreet. “It’s the definition of violence. That’s the issue.”
What such a law would look like is hard to imagine though, and Steyer says that formulating a sufficiently-narrow definition of violence was the main sticking point in the bill that went before the court. Meanwhile, it’s unclear what sort of political momentum there will be in the wake of the judicial defeat.
The video game industry’s own rating agency, the Entertainment Software Rating Board, is already considered to be a strong means of preventing minors' access to violent games, and even Steyer said that video game retailers were doing a better job of enforcing voluntary restrictions against sales to minors – an improvement he credited to the years-long fight over the California law.
Despite these roadblocks, don’t be surprised to see another such law rise up in another state in the near future.
“We’ve seen it happening since the 1970s with abortion laws,” says Basin. “The law is ever in flux, and no advocate has ever let themselves be dissuaded by a court decision.”
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