ESA CEO Editorial on Upcoming SCOTUS Fight

October 5, 2010 -

Entertainment Software Association president and CEO Michael D. Gallagher penned and editorial for the Baltimore Sun newspaper explaining what is at stake in early November when the Supreme Court reviews the 2005 California Video Game law. The thrust of his argument is that the First Amendment to the Constitution holds importance significance in our society. It was designed by the founding fathers to protect citizens from the government abridging the right to speak freely.

He also points out that the state of California is trying to abridge the free speech rights of game makers based on the unproven notion that consuming video game violence influences users to engage in real world acts of violence. The data that the law is based on was questioned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which it called not substantial enough to prove that violent video games cause psychological or neurological harm to minors.

While he touches on a number of other reasons why the law is misguided and false, the closing paragraphs of Gallagher’s op-ed piece sums up nicely the main reason why the law should not stand:

"Never before has the Supreme Court restricted freedom of speech on the basis of violent content. There is no logic in restricting sales of video games, which use avatars, but not books or movies, which often depict violence committed by — and upon — real people. Accordingly, organizations representing the book, film and television industries have also filed briefs asking the Supreme Court to strike down California's law. So, too, have journalism groups that worry the California law could set a precedent that might ultimately restrict what news organizations are allowed to print or television stations to broadcast. Legal precedent, expert opinion and logic all yield the same conclusion: The California statue is unconstitutional, unwarranted and unnecessary. Based on the law and the facts — not the myths — we hope the U.S. Supreme Court concurs."

Read the whole thing at the Baltimore Sun.

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Comments

Re: ESA CEO Editorial on Upcoming SCOTUS Fight

I think they've taken it very seriously.  They put together a nice brief.  Almost two dozen other brief were filed on their behalf.  They're getting "out there" with op-eds.  They've hired a top-notch legal firm to represent them.  I'm not sure what else tiy were expecting them to do?

Re: ESA CEO Editorial on Upcoming SCOTUS Fight

While I'm still not happy with how serious the ESA seems to be taking this SCOTUS thing, I shudder to think how doomed the games industry would be if Doug Lowenstein was still in charge. 

Re: ESA CEO Editorial on Upcoming SCOTUS Fight

This is quite serious. It would determine if games can be censored content wise by the government. Your state does not like GTA well they can legally outlaw it and make it a felony to possess, import, sell, buy etc.

Re: ESA CEO Editorial on Upcoming SCOTUS Fight

Meaning developers will being making games either kid friendly, or just cease makign certain games because they can' be marketed and sold nationally.

Re: ESA CEO Editorial on Upcoming SCOTUS Fight

We've all heard the argument, and I still think it's sky-is-falling conjecture.  Rockstar's not going to decide they hate money and won't make any more GTA games just because retailers have to card people.  Indeed, it won't mean much of a change in retailers' behavior at all; most of them already card customers.  Target's not going to quit stocking M games just because its current corporate policy becomes the law instead of just corporate policy.

It's still a terrible law, and it still needs to be argued seriously and thrown out.  But I don't believe for a second that it'll lead to a return to Nintendo's 1990's overregulation of content.

Re: ESA CEO Editorial on Upcoming SCOTUS Fight

Meh end of the day its a poorly made law, what should be done is make a basic law for all media,mature content based on content themes and details can not be sold to minors, if it is sold the person who sold it gets fined use tobaco laws as how you fine them.

 

http://www.state.il.us/lcc/tobacco/faq.htm

 

No fuss no muss.

 

 


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Re: ESA CEO Editorial on Upcoming SCOTUS Fight

Actually, there's a huge fuss and muss.   Tobacco doesn't carry speech with it.  It doesn't make others think about society and themselves or promote culture in the viewer/player/audience.

Could you imagine if a student (minors) couldn't read the Iliad or Ovid or Lord of the Flies (all very violent) because the school or teacher would be fined?  What kind of children would we be creating?  What kind of society?

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: ESA CEO Editorial on Upcoming SCOTUS Fight

I find it funny they do not want media restricted by law to age(which can be easily done if it were not for all the half assed moralists around) and yet do not see the value in updating copy right for the modern age....


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

Patreon

Deviantart

Re: ESA CEO Editorial on Upcoming SCOTUS Fight

but not books or movies, which often depict violence committed by — and upon — real people

Technically, those actions are not performed on real people either. In books the described acts are performed on descriptions of people, while in movies, choreographed acts are performed on willing participants.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: ESA CEO Editorial on Upcoming SCOTUS Fight

There are many documentary films that depict real violence and real people. For example, the "Faces of Death" series. 

Re: ESA CEO Editorial on Upcoming SCOTUS Fight

Even news footage will sometimes show war violence (think like the 9/11 attacks or coverage of the Iraq war).  Then there are all those cops shows that show real footage of car chases and shootouts.

 

Dammit JDKJ, we gotta stop agreeing.  It's getting creepy.  :D

Re: ESA CEO Editorial on Upcoming SCOTUS Fight

Indeed, and there are a hell of a lot of nonfiction books that describe real-life violence.

Hell, I'm seeing the Clarence Butterfield verdict all over today's headlines.

Re: ESA CEO Editorial on Upcoming SCOTUS Fight

I gave you the easy lay-up and you passed. "Faces of Death" is about as real as a three-dollar bill (but for the part where the Japanese businessmen crack open the live monkey's head and eat its brains).

 
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