YOU’VE BEEN LEARNING ABOUT FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN YOUR HISTORY CLASS.
In America, people can speak and write freely, expressing exactly what’s on their minds. You’ve learned that the right to have freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Many people from other countries have come to the U.S. over the years so they could have this right too. Especially for them, freedom of speech is part of what makes America special.
All of this got you thinking about a new question: Does freedom of speech work for entertainment too? Like video games, things that didn’t even exist when the Constitution was written?
When you asked your history teacher about this, he thought it was a great question. In fact, he thought it was such a great question that he asked you to research it yourself.
You went online and learned that there have been many cases when parents’ groups have fought against certain video games because they thought the games were too violent. There’s been research showing that violent video games might lead to aggressive behavior in the real world, but there are lots of other people who feel like freedom of speech should be protected even in video games that feature lots of violence.
Now this is getting you worried. Could someone eventually ban some of the video games that you and your friends love to play?
The Constitution was written long before video games or movies or television or the internet. But you still believe that the First Amendment should cover freedom of speech in video games. Investigate the primary sources. What evidence can you find that supports your belief that the First Amendment protects the freedom of speech of video game creators? Make your case.
Have your students take this challenge and make their case! To begin, send your students to this website with this challenge’s code.
Freedom of speech is the right to express your opinions publicly without the government interfering. It is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.