NYRA Preparing Amicus Brief for Schwarzenegger Case

The National Youth Rights Association (NYRA) is not pleased about the possibility of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the California side of the Schwarzenegger v. EMA appeal and is asking for assistance from the gaming community as it prepares an Amicus Brief for submission to the Court.

In a blog post, the NYRA theorizes that no Supreme Court member has ever played a game, nor, (most likely) have the lawyers arguing for either side. As a “defender of the rights of youth,” and “as gamers,” the NYRA stated that “we need to make it clear that video games are more than random violence and that no one should be denied access to them.”

Here is what the organization is looking for:

We need your testimonies about their social, artistic, and political value to help the justices understand just what they would be taking away if they let this law stand.

Political speech is treated differently than non-political speech. The more examples we can provide of games, especially violent ones, having some kind of political content the better. If we collect enough testimony to convince the court that video games have political value, their distribution will be protected under the First Amendment.

Appropriate comments can be posted to the NYRA blog.

Via TechDirt

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  1. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    Wrong.  Both said I made a statement without backing it up.  That is incorrect.  The statement was "[video games] are protected [speech]."  The support for that statement was my first sentence: "They all have artistic value."

    Now, if you don’t agree that all games have artistic value, that’s a completely separate argument.


    Andrew Eisen

  2. 0
    Shahab says:

    No they didn’t. Your first statement has no proof. You simply claim they are all artistic. Roger Ebert would disagree and so would others. I wouldn’t disagree, but the two people you chastise for not reading your first sentence were actually 100 correct in their assessments.

  3. 0
    Thad says:

    Not at all.  You make a statement, don’t bother to back it up, and treat it as self-evident.  Which may get you some support from the choir you’re preaching to, but it’s hardly a persuasive legal argument.

  4. 0
    Bigman-K says:

    What is or isn’t art is in the eye of the beholder. It is all subjective. What I consider trash you may consider treasure and vise versa. Some may consider 2 girls 1 cup to be a work of art containing merit with it’s ability to disgust and display human depravity and others may consider that something like the Holy Bible is worthless. Hence the reason i believe Obsenity laws are nothing more then a load of crap. Your main point is right on though, if movies are considered Free Speech then so should video games.

     "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  5. 0
    Shahab says:

    If movies are protected speech then games have to be protected speech. Let us be honest here, not all games are works of art, not all games contain political speech, but enough are and enough do to consider the medium protected speech I believe. We’ll see what the court rules, but so far things don’t look good for California’s asine governemnt. I say this as a resident of CA.

  6. 0
    Thad says:

    BioShock’s got a political bent, off the top of my head.

    Mass Effect has moments that are steeped in politics too, particularly the end of the first game where you choose between putting a (likable) military man or a (conniving) career politician on the Galactic Council.

    The Final Fantasy games tend toward an environmentalist message.

  7. 0
    Hackangel says:

    That’s a great legal argument, basically amounting to "I don’t have to prove my point your honor, they just are". Kind of the tactic the California Prop 8 defense team used.

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