ESA Touts Major Support for Games Industry in SCOTUS Fight

If you are having trouble keeping track of the number of amicus briefs that have been filed so far in favor of the game industry, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has the answers for you. The trade group representing game publishing companies announced that over 180 leading First Amendment experts, national organizations, non-profits, associations, researchers and social science experts filed amicus briefs on Friday urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association/Entertainment Software Association.

All of the briefs had different approaches: some pointed out free speech issues, others pointed out overreach by the state of California and other state’s attorneys general said that this law would put an unneeded burden on law enforcement – which have better things to do like catch real criminals. Here is what the ESA’s top executive had to say about all these briefs:

"The depth, diversity and high quality of briefs submitted strengthens our position before the Court. These briefs are rooted in virtually every form of expression, commerce, social science, and constitutional jurisprudence imaginable," said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association. "It is our hope that the Court will uphold an unbroken chain of lower court rulings that affirm video games’ First Amendment protections, the rights of consumers’ access to speech, and that parents – not government – are the best arbiters in determining what is right for their children."

Oral arguments for Schwarzenegger v. EMA/ESA begin Tuesday, November 2nd.

Update: Common Sense Media issued the following statement (Jim Steyer, CEO and founder, Common Sense Media) to GP:

"A Zogby International poll commissioned last month found that 72 percent of adults support a ban on the sale of ultraviolent video games to minors. Parents are concerned about the impact of violent games and they feel that the video game industry isn’t doing nearly enough to protect kids from accessing the most ultraviolent games. This law would not prohibit the video game industry from creating or selling these games.  Instead, it would simply reinforce that parents – not video game retailers – are the best arbiters in determining what is right for their young children."


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