Video Game Industry Reacts to California Supreme Court Appeal

As GamePolitics has reported, California is appealing the constitutionality of its 2005 video game law to the U.S. Supreme Court. Reaction by the video game industry has been both swift and blunt.

Entertainment Software Association CEO Michael Gallagher issued a statement criticizing California’s decision to petition the Supreme Court:

California’s citizens should see this for what it is—a complete waste of the state’s time and resources. California is facing a $21 billion budget shortfall coupled with high
unemployment and home foreclosure rates. Rather than focus on these very real problems, Governor Schwarzenegger has recklessly decided to pursue wasteful, misguided and pointless litigation.  

We are confident that this appeal will meet the same fate as the State’s previous failed efforts to regulate what courts around the country have uniformly held to be expression that is fully protected by the First Amendment. California’s taxpayers would be better served by empowering parents and supporting the ESRB rating system.

Meanwhile, Sean Bersell (left), VP of Public Affairs for the Entertainment Merchants Association, forwarded a statement to GP:

It boggles the mind that, on a day when the state of California finds itself in the worst fiscal crisis it has ever faced and is considering massive layoffs of teachers and cuts to public services, the state would choose to waste tens of thousands of dollars on pursuing this frivolous appeal.

This law was found by two lower courts, relying on long-established legal precedents, to be unconstitutional as an infringement of the First Amendment. There have been eight similar laws enacted around the nation this decade and every single one has been found unconstitutional on similar grounds. There is no reason to expect a different outcome in the Supreme Court.

So far, this case has cost the state of California approximately $400,000 just in legal fees and court costs that it has had to pay the plaintiffs. This doesn’t even include the state’s legal fees and costs. And if this appeal is unsuccessful, as it will be in all likelihood, the state will owe the plaintiffs even more in legal fees and court costs.

The taxpayers of California should demand that their elected officials stop wasting precious tax dollars on this quixotic quest.

Both the ESA and the EMA (under its former name VSDA) are parties in the California case. The EMA maintains a web page listing background on VSDA v. Schwarzenegger.

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  1. max123 says:


       The editorial was pulled off the Web site a little before noon on Wednesday — with an editor’s note claiming it was a “draft” and was mistakenly posted online. (More on that later). But I grabbed the original editorial before it was pulled, and it warrants examination.

    Pawnshops New England
  2. Kamil says:

    I think Schwarzenegger has really messed up with the state of California. I think he needs my cooking games so as to renew his zest for good things in life.

  3. Arcanagos says:

    Jack, is that you?

    "Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson’ll justify it in the end." – nightwng2000

  4. Michael Chandra says:

    Because clearly everyone disliking these laws, including Dennis, EZK, AE and others, are children, and if you don’t see the point in these laws, then you’re clearly either a kid or not an adult, and not simply someone who has a different political or personal opinion about these matters.

    What’s that you say? You actually do have a proper point, rather than just insults and JT-like claims? Go ahead and make it then. Prove you’re a real adult by standing up for yourself and fighting for what you believe in fair and square.

  5. Andrew Eisen says:

    Yee’s law proposes an ineffectual solution to a nonexistent problem.

    Forget constitutional issues.  Forget the niggling little detail that video games don’t harm children.  This law would do absolutely nothing to prevent children from playing these "harmful" games.

    So why are you glad CA is pursuing this?  How on Earth could this law in any way be beneficial?


    Andrew Eisen

  6. GoodRobotUs says:

    In other words, ‘I’m right and you’re all wrong, so there!’

    Yep, I can see how mature you are compared to everyone else…


    If you have a case to make, then make it, but don’t simply run in here, stick your tongue out at everyone and run off, that’s the act of an immature person, not someone who is in their 30’s, and that’s from someone who’s pushing 40.

  7. JHorel says:

    Actually Gamer, I would like to hear why you think this is a good thing and why you think the lower court desions are wrong and why the free speech laws don’t apply to this?

  8. gamerover30 says:

    oh good grief… do they only have 13-22 year olds posting here?

    As far as the cynical gripe about “think of the children”… it’s obvious that as far as the prior posters go, either they NEVER “think of the children”, or they’re basically children themselves.

    I’m GLAD that the state of california is pursuing this.
    I wont bother detailing why, since

    1. my rational arguments will be immediately flooded by children whining about “free speech”

    2. it should be obvious to any rational ADULT, why this is a good thing.

  9. LujanD says:

    1. my rational arguments will be immediately flooded by children whining about "free speech"

    2. it should be obvious to any rational ADULT, why this is a good thing.


    1: And would your "rational" arguments consist of throwing baseless insults and wild assumptions, while simultaneously putting forward no "real" argument? That’s all you’ve done so far.

    2: I suppose the courts are just a mix up of children then? After all, they’re the ones who declared it unconstitutional.

    Face it, you’ve made no argument because you HAVE no argument and you’re frightened by the idea that you won’t be able to defend your views.

  10. CyberSkull says:

    Don’t you guys see, this isn’t a waste of money at all! This action is keeping a dozen or so lawyers, legal clerks and support personnel employed for another month. They are doing this to help the economy!</sarcasm> 

  11. hellfire7885 says:

    Better idea, if a law is obviously unconstitutional to where even these people should see it, the money to defend it is to be out of their own pockets.

  12. Wormdundee says:

     What are the bets that Yee will respond with yet another impassioned plea to "think of the children" and that "this is the most pressing problem the state of California faces!"?

    I mean hey, the children in the state don’t need schools or health care facilities right?

  13. Neeneko says:

    Other people’s money is no object when you have the possibility of adding a talking point to your re-election campaign.

  14. JDKJ says:

    Meanwhile, over at the law firm which represents the ECA and EMA, the lead partners on the case are gleefully jumping up and down and giving each other high-fives. When their exuberance wears off a bit and they’ve managed to compose themselves, they’ll be headed over to the local Porsche dealership to place their orders.   

  15. Andrew Eisen says:

    "The taxpayers of California should demand that their elected officials stop wasting precious tax dollars on this quixotic quest."

    I have.  Multiple times.  They don’t seem to be listening.


    Andrew Eisen

  16. GoodRobotUs says:

    Look on the bright side, if that’s the grand total of the mentality of those who support the bill, it’s already as good as sunk.

    If he was more prolific, I’d agree that it’s probably yet another Thompson ‘anonymous coward’ posting, but I’m more inclined to think ‘self-opined idiot who doesn’t actually have a point’.


    Can you imagine it?

    ‘So, would the state of California like to state it’s case?’

    ‘Shouldn’t have to, it’s obvious, if you don’t know why we are right, you’re too stupid! Just like the other two judges, stupid I tell you! Naaa Naaa!’

  17. JDKJ says:

    "My poker hand beats your poker hand but I’m not gonna show you my poker hand because . . . well, for no good reason, but I’m still not gonna show you my poker hand. So there!!"

    Wow. If that’s what being an "ADULT" causes you to do, I’ll happily keep my Peter Pan-ass just the way it is, thank you very much.

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