U.S. Court: In-Game Muting Doesn’t Violate First Amendment Rights

The U.S. courts have just ruled on an important case, which is small in itself, because it will serve as a reference case for future related cases, a policy of communicating with all future groups of online video game players. The suit is from Amro Elansari, a pennsylvania gamer who is suing Jagex, a British gaming company, for being banned from a game that he believes has violated his human rights under the First Amendment.

U.S. Court: In-Game Ban Doesn't Violate First Amendment Rights

Elansari said he spent 2,000 hours in the game and was later banned. To be precise, he did not specify whether the so-called “ban” was banned in open chat rooms, or from using private messages, or banned from playing the game altogether. We only know that Jagex has “banned” Elansari for some undisclosed reason, which he claims is “unfair compared to other players who have not been banned”. So he asked the court to decide to lift the ban and ask the jury to decide how much compensation they should receive.

The case was eventually presented to U.S. District Judge Mark A. Kearney, who approved the hearing. Finally, the case was dismissed for lack of a meaningful constitutional basis. Elansari later chose to appeal, and the case was filed with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, but it was dismissed. But then Elansari still has the option of continuing the appeal.

Elansari is in fact an old friend of the American judiciary, a notoriously professional prosecution specialist who has filed 10 different prosecutions in the past year and a half. In November, for example, he sued Tinder dating, saying he had been harassed.

Therefore, from the current situation, the game ban should not have a real significant impact on the game industry.