A California state law prohibited the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The law applied to games that allowed a player to kill, maim, dismember, or sexually assault an image of a human being, thus rendering the game lacking in serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors. Entertainment Merchants Association and others (collectively plaintiffs) filed suit in federal court against California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., and others (collectively defendants) arguing the law violated the First Amendment. The defendants argued that violent video games tend to make some minors more aggressive. The district found in favor of the plaintiffs and concluded that the statute violated the First Amendment. The defendants appealed and the court of appeals affirmed. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari.