Children in California who want to buy or rent a violent video game without a parent's permission could have that right taken away by a federal appeals panel, which heard arguments on the case Wednesday.
A state law passed in 2005 that tries to limit access to such games is under consideration by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The state law, which prohibits the sale or rental of the games to anyone under 18 and requires them to be clearly labeled, was struck down last year by a lower court. Video game manufacturers argued that it violates minors' First Amendment rights. Courts in several other states have struck down similar laws.
But California Deputy Attorney General Zackery Morazzini asked the federal appeals panel to uphold the law, saying violent games are just as obscene as the sexually explicit material limited from children by the U.S. Supreme Court.
He said states have every right to help parents who want to keep their children from playing violent video games.
The Video Software Dealers Association and Entertainment Software Association say imposing restrictions on video games could lead to states seeking limited access to other material under the guise of protecting children.