The US Supreme Court is to rule in a landmark case on whether free speech takes precedence over helping parents keep violent material away from children.
The justices have agreed to consider reinstating California's ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.
The law was thrown out by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco last year on the grounds that it violated children's constitutional rights.
California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who signed the law in 2005, said he was pleased the high court would review the appeals court decision.
"We have a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions, just as we already do with movies."
In his ruling, the judge who wrote of the decision to overturning the ban said at the time that there was no research showing a connection between violent video games and psychological harm to young people.
The supreme court's decision to hear the case comes only a week after the high court voted overwhelmingly to strike down a federal law banning videos showing animal cruelty.
The California case poses similar free speech concerns, although the state law is aimed at protecting children, raising an additional issue.
California's law would have prohibited the sale or rental of violent games - those that include "killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being" - to anyone under 18. It would also have created strict labelling requirements for video game manufacturers. Retailers who violated the act could have been fined up to 1,000 dollars for each violation.
Lawyer Stephen Smith, who has represented several video game companies in court, said the supreme court may use this case to explain how far politicians can go when trying to regulate depictions of violence.