In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review Schwarzenegger v. EMA —a California law that would make it illegal to sell violent videogames to children—The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) is launching a two-pronged initiative designed to show the Court exactly how gamers feel about their First Amendment rights.
The ECA plans to submit an amicus brief to the Court and has also launched an online petition that will urge the Court to hold videogames as free speech, protected under the First Amendment.
ECA President Hal Halpin stated:
The gaming sector, as a whole, has arrived at perhaps the single most important challenge it has ever faced in the U.S. The medium itself and how it, the trade, and its consumers will be perceived for the long term is at stake. Anyone who cares about gaming should feel compelled to both sign the petition and encourage their friends and family to do similarly.
These documents will provide the court with one clear collective voice with which to vocalize our position and reinforce that we agree with the lower court findings: games, like music and movies, are protected free speech.
The petition, and signatures, will be presented to the Court along with the amicus brief prior to the hearing.
ECA Vice President and General Counsel Jennifer Mercurio added, “… the Court is going to listen to oral arguments on whether to agree with previous federal court findings or not."
Agreeing would mean that they believe that video games are, and should continue to be, First Amendment protected speech; just like movies and music. The Court disagreeing would mean that video games should be treated differently, which the ECA strongly believes to be unconstitutional and could lead to new bills and laws curtailing video game access in states across the country.”
Disclosure: GamePolitics is a publication of The ECA