ESA Responds to Schwarzenegger v. EMA California Brief

While the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has until September 10 to file its own brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in regards to Schwarzenegger v. EMA, the organization issued a statement in reaction to a brief filed by the state of California on Monday.

Trumpeting the ESA’s dominating string of victories in such cases, and perhaps attempting to take some of the wind out of the sails of California State Senator Leland Yee, ESA President and CEO Michael Gallagher stated:

Computer and video games are First Amendment protected speech. There is an unbroken chain of more than a dozen previous court rulings agreeing. Courts across the country recognize that computer and video games, like other protected expression such as movies, books, and music, have an artistic viewpoint, and use sounds and images to create an experience and immerse the player in art. That is why other courts have unanimously affirmed that video games are entitled to the same constitutional protection as movies, music, books, and other forms of art.

California’s law is no different than others before it. It is clearly unconstitutional under First Amendment principles. We look forward to presenting our arguments in the Supreme Court of the United States and vigorously defending the works of our industry’s creators, storytellers and innovators.

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  1. 0
    Thad says:

    Now see, calling someone childish names because he disagrees with you IS the sort of thing JT’s famous for.  This is the exact point I’m making — we can disagree with people like Yee without stooping to JT’s level, and Yee can show the same respect to us.

    I don’t agree with the guy, I think his position is utterly wrongheaded and misguided, and I think his crusade is a spectacularly bad idea.  But he doesn’t go around calling people douches.

  2. 0
    Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    I think that Yee is a douche and he just is educated enough to deguise it behind a polite attitude, but when everything this fail (and it will) we will see his real face, not very far of what Jack Thompson was some years ago.

    No one can claim that an entire industry and its users are a danger for society and being 100% polite.

    ———————————————————— My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship):

  3. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    Yes, the CA law certainly isn’t alone in that regard.  Plenty laws that any 6-year-old could tell you wouldn’t work make it on the books.


    Andrew Eisen

  4. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "California’s law is no different than others before it. It is clearly unconstitutional under First Amendment principles."

    Forget constitutionality.  Hell, forget the niggling detail that there’s no harm to protect children from in the first place.

    This law, flat-out, would not work.  It would do nothing to prevent children from playing violent games (even if they did cause harm).  I think that’s enough to shoot it down right there.


    Andrew Eisen

  5. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    Yeah. The law is not based on the ESRB ratings or anything like that. It is based on a definition of "excessive violence" that is put in place by whom ever is the elected official in the city in which the complaint is raised or the state Attorney General.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  6. 0
    Zerodash says:

    I just realized there has been no mention of the ESRB ratings (a private organization) being given the force of law.  I take it then that the law is looking for alternative methods of determining which games are "offensive"?

  7. 0
    Thad says:

    I don’t think it’s quite on the same level as JT’s bizarre rantings.  It’s dead wrong, of course, but it’s not completely insane.

    I think that’s the main difference between Thompson and Yee.  Yee’s basically a good guy, he’s polite and he engages the video game community with respect.  I disagree, fundamentally, with his stance, and I believe, strongly, that he’s wasting the time and money of a state that’s already in dire financial straits in order to attempt to curtail freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.  But at least he’s not a raving lunatic.

  8. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    You mean how he was extremely sure he would come out victorious but all he was doing was taking someone’s pencil and going "Haha, now you can’t write!!!"

  9. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    I call california’s Brief The equiviant of Jack thompson’s bizzare Commentary on his Lawsuits

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

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