George Rose, Activision Blizzard’s Chief Public Policy Officer penned a column for the Orange County Register in which he called the California law at the heart of Schwarzenegger vs. EMA “onerous,” and "unnecessary.”
Rose claimed that a SCOTUS approval of the law would “hijack” the First Amendment rights of young people “by unjustifiably creating a special exception to unprotected free speech not only for video games, but any other form of expression.”
He also worried that the law would put “innocent store clerks at serious legal and financial risk,” all for a law that is “already moot.”
Our industry has in place nationwide a program that costs taxpayers nothing and that is better and more effective at making sure kids purchase age-appropriate games than anything the government is likely to ever come up with.
Rose also wondered how lawmakers and politicians would determine what exactly constitutes a violent game, writing:
Knowing state bureaucrats, such decisions are likely to be consistently made on their extensive educated experience with violence and social and cultural merits of works of art.
After raining further praise on both the industry and ESRB’s efforts in enforcing ratings at retail, Rose took a few shots at California’s financial difficulties:
So what more could California want than a successful, privately funded program, especially when the state sometimes has trouble making payroll? California is a state with a history of budget shortfalls, IOUs, furloughed workers, closed DMV offices, shuttered courts, squeezed school districts where children wait weeks to start school, pummeled university budgets, stretched health care resources and cities without enough money to properly fund their police and fire needs. They all can use state dollars that would be wasted here.