The Supreme Court has decided to review the awesomely named Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants, which means that California's law banning the sale of violent videogames to minors has one last chance. Given the Court's extreme deference to corporate free speech rights, it'd be kind of a shock if they upheld the law, but since they could have killed it by simply refusing to hear it, anything is possible.
Even if they do uphold the law, it's effectively just a means to erode game retailers' profits by forcing them to create age checks beyond those already in place. It shouldn't have any impact on kids' access—any tween or teen who can't find a way to play any game they want either isn't trying very hard or has been locked in the attic by their loving tyrants. There's certainly no way game publishers will change their behavior in response, so the best California can hope for is a few temporarily appeased parent/voters and a somewhat speedier shift away from bricks & mortar game stores and toward digital game distribution. Win-win?
The Stranger Testing Department is Rob Lightner and Paul Hughes.