Stan Lee, the creator of such great comic book heroes as Hulk, Spider-Man and Iron Man (with the help of co-creator Jack Kirby), has put out a plea through the ESA-run Video Game Voters Network for gamers to stand up for the First Amendment.
In a note to the VGVN, Lee likened the current climate against video games to those he faced when comic books were starting their heyday in the 1950s:
Comic books, it was said, contributed to "juvenile delinquency." A Senate subcommittee investigated and decided the U.S. could not "afford the calculated risk involved in feeding its children, through comic books, a concentrated diet of crime, horror and violence." Comic books were burned. The State of Washington made it a crime to sell comic books without a license. And Los Angeles passed a law that said it was a crime to sell "crime comic books." Looking back, the outcry was — forgive the expression — comical.
Lee said that the same thing is happening now, pointing to the California law that is coming up for review before the U.S. Supreme Court:
The Supreme Court should find the law unconstitutional, as lower courts have. But politicians will keep looking for ways to restrict the rights of gamers and computer and video game artists because it makes for good headlines to say they’re "protecting the children," even if they’re doing no such thing. They do so despite the fact that the industry has a remarkable rating system in place already and all new consoles have parental controls — both of which help parents ensure parents are in control of what their children play. But you can help fight the battle against politicians.
Lee then adds a public service announcement about the VGVN, urging people to use it to help stop the censorship.
It’s nice to see support from some of the more entrenched members of the entertainment industry. Hopefully he’s also signing the ECA-sponsored consumer petition as well!