ECA Encourages Gamers to Weigh in on Schwarzenegger v. EMA

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."

Mercurio continued:

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

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  1. 0
    Mr. Blond says:

    The wording is not agreeable to me, even taking it at its face value. If we do not accept the pseudoscience that says that violent games are harmful to children, it shouldn’t matter if kids do play these games. If the retailers decide not to sell M-rated games to kids, there’s nothing anyone can do about that, but I’ll take that level of regulation as long as it’s the retailer’s decision and not the government’s.

  2. 0
    Magic says:

    I’m blaming more the advocates rather than GP when I say how I dislike how Schwarzenegger’s law is summarised – "a California law that would make it illegal to sell violent videogames to children". On the surface that statement is no doubt agreeable to most people, but underneath we know how damaging it will be in the long term future, much like how the Comic Book Code Authority affected the comic industry.

    It’s like saying "This new law will punish murderers" – and then realising it means enforcing the death penalty.

    Edit: Here’s a good example of how an issue can be twisted around, for and against:

  3. 0
    cpu64 says:

    Silly Ahnuld,

    Its already illegal to sell rated M games to children…

    This is like the Arizona illegal alien check. 

    Its been there for a long time, now that they want to enforce it, people bitch about it.

  4. 0
    black manta says:

    Yes, unfortunately just because we sign a petition doesn’t guarantee that they’ll accept it or take it into consideration.  But it should be recognized and acknowledged, and both I and my girlfriend have signed it anyway.

    And since I live near DC and if this case is going to be open to the public, I will make it my point to be there.

  5. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    Now you American gamers have your turn, once again I don’t think politicians will listen.

    One thing I know about politicians and news media groups, is that they are verry selective listeners, as they will only listen to things that they want to hear and they will never listen to anyone who does not suit their own views no matter how much logic and evidence you present to them.

    It is better to present those feelings and evidence in court…and who knows…maybe the stands will be full with 98% of gamers who care about this issue and only around 2% of people who don’t want to listen to reason…

    I really REALLY must pray for you guys that the judge of the surprime court listens to both sides with at least the evidence…and if the judges say that the law is uncontitutional, then at least this will give a strong message aimed to politicians and senators to focus on REAL issues and not on computer games…even though most of them will never listen at all…

    You guys have the Freedom of Speech in America, I on the other hand in Australia have a dictatorship of a pathetic government who will never listen to resonable people even if 90% of my country is against their views…


  6. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    Well I’m Pretty much Going to watch From the sidelines from June onward

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

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