ECA Staging SCOTUS Rally

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) is inviting concerned gamers to participate in a pro-gaming rally on November 2 in Washington D.C., the same day that the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA case.

The rally will take place on the steps of the Court, which is located at One First Street NE, at 9 AM. Oral arguments for the landmark videogame case are scheduled for 10AM ET.

The ECA noted:

This is the first time that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on any state law attempting to restrict or ban the sale of video games.  Until now, all of those laws have been struck down, but we can’t guarantee that the Supreme Court will agree.

That is why we’re asking you to join the ECA for a rally in support of free speech and to demonstrate that you’re not afraid to show it!

The ECA also organized a Gamer Petition earlier this year, which urged the Court to uphold the First Amendment rights of videogames and gamers. The petition and signatures, along with the organization’s amicus brief, were submitted to the Court on September 17.  Almost 50,000 people have signed the petition to-date.

Those interested in attending the rally are being asked to RSVP here.

Disclosure: GamePolitics is a publication of the ECA

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  1. 0
    gellymatos says:

    Well, of course I defend their right to do their protesting. It’s just that I to have the right to show criticism and disagreement. I’ve never said that they should be forced against it. I just feel that giving participating a counter protest to show condemnation and disagreement is an appropriate response. Besides, it’s one of the few kinds of protests I do like.


    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

  2. 0
    digdug says:

    I agree. The Phelps were well with in their rights and I hope they win the case. From listening to some of the oral arguments on cspan I think they will.

    I also cant understand why people care that a few of them stand somewhere with signs that are only imo slightly offensive. Theyre more funny to me than anything; they make homophobes look like nuts. Why not just ignore them? Like you said, in this case the people at the funeral didnt even know they were there.

    I think the people organizing these counter demonstrations are… fools. Theyre just giving the Phelps more attention.

    I feel so strong about this I think if I had to Id demonstrate with the Phelps and hold a sign that said something about free speech, right to protest, against censorship… This case has turned them into martyrs for free speech for me.

  3. 0
    Mr. Blond says:

    As much as it pains me to say this, anyone who cares about the First Amendment has to support Westboro, at least as pertains to their right to speak rather than the content of their speech. They were standing 1000 feet away from the cemetery on a public street, and could not be seen or heard at the actual funeral.

    If the First Amendment means anything, it’s that even the most disgusting speech out there is entitled to protection. If strict scrutiny is applied in our case, it will be with Brandenburg v. Ohio, which states that speech can be banned if it is directed towards producing imminent lawless action, and likely to produce such action, which video games would fail all prongs. And who can we thank for this strict test? A Ku Klux Klan leader who gave a hate-filled speech about blacks and others. It’s always the most unpopular speakers who end up defining our speech rights.

  4. 0
    gellymatos says:

    Ah, Westboro. I had my chance, and I missed it. *sigh* But they’ll be back. And I know what you mean. I live in Florida. And I already had plans for the 30th and 31st that I had promised attend. And my funds are limited. So that why I couldn’t go to Jon Stewart’s Rally. Passionate? Isn’t the whole point of being moderate that we hold strong beliefs, but don’t go into irrational, emotional "you’re Hitler" rants on everyone we don’t agree with? 😉 I can only hope I’ll get the chance for this gamer rally.


    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

  5. 0
    Mr. Blond says:

    Here’s Arnold’s comment on his decision to appeal the law to the Supreme Court, made on May 20, 2009:

    "By prohibiting the sale of violent video games to children under the age of 18 and requiring these games to be clearly labeled, this law would allow parents to make better informed decisions for their kids. I will continue to vigorously defend this law and protect the well-being of California’s kids."

    I recommend taking this quote and pasting it in a speech bubble in a scene like this one:,r:5,s:100&biw=1024&bih=574

  6. 0
    JDKJ says:

    In the 1990s, I recall rap music being a much more frequent target of censorship attempts than television ever was (after all, the FCC pretty much already had television in a choke-hold). Then Big Corporation co-opted rap music and all was well in the world. 

  7. 0
    Mr. Stodern says:

    Yes, the birth of the ESRB, I remember. Not well, but I remember.

    I also remember that at the time, it made so much sense to me for games to be rated, just like movies, that I didn’t think much on it. There also came a point pretty early on where any restrictions on my access to games of a more graphic nature disappeared like coke in front of Lindsay Lohan.

    I knew that there was an uproar over games like Doom, Mortal Kombat, and Castle Wolfenstein, but I was too busy playing the crap out of two of them to care. No one was threatening to take them away, not from me, even if they’d made laws back then, I doubt either of my parents would’ve noticed. Or cared.

    with TV actually getting most of the heat.

    It was all those damn ninja shows. Martial arts in kids entertainment was fuckin’ HUGE in the ’90s.

  8. 0
    Mr. Blond says:

    Maybe we can call it 11. But it was when the first Mortal Kombat came out, and it was a pariah. I watched the ESRB and its rating systems get established, and the calls for government regulation leading up to that. In the early 90’s, it was an anti-media violence movement in general, with TV actually getting most of the heat. But it was the first time the issue was brought to my attention, and I have been watching it ever since.

  9. 0
    Mr. Stodern says:

    Ah, okay I get it.

    10, huh? I was an adult by the time it really hit me just how many people were spreading all kinds of lies about games and using them to try to pass laws. Well, actually, first people were trying to use it as a "get out of prison" card. That’s when I noticed it first, there was a case where some kid slashed his friend’s throat, and his parents tried to blame Mortal Kombat. There was talk about how the kid was "still feeling the effects of the game", and "acting out a move", and that he and the friend he killed played it at this one place all the time, like addicts. And then it turned out the establishment never even had a Mortal Kombat machine. I lost track of the case after that.

    Then the laws, or attempts at making laws rather, came. Hot Coffee really set it off like never before, which I’ve always looked at as completely ridiculous.

  10. 0
    Mr. Blond says:

    Arnold had said that he signed this bill into law to assist parents in protecting their children from violent media. It’s not "using" kids for our message, it’s pointing out his hypocrisy in his "Think of the children" stance and using his own words against him.

    Of course, one of my early sign suggestions may be seen as using children for a message. I’m against trotting out kids to convey our views if they have no idea what they mean. However, if the kids themselves want to participate, and agree with their views (I’m sure we have at least some under-18’s on this site), I would certainly encourage them to speak up and not let politicians decide their First Amendment rights. My sign was only a suggestion if they want to do so, or someone here has a kid who can understand the topic and speak their own mind without coercion from their parents. I remember first getting into this issue when I was about 10, and being very indignant about the thought that someone thinks I shouldn’t be able to play certain games based on an unfounded hunch that it might turn me into a violent juvenile delinquent.

  11. 0
    Mr. Blond says:

    There’s that, and there’s some where he’s pointing a gun at the screen.

    Similarly, there can be a collage with several of Arnold’s movies and their most violent scenes, with the caption "Dear Arnold, please protect our children."

  12. 0
    Mr. Blond says:

    Another good visual representation would be to use a scene from Terminator 2 (or another of Arnold’s most violent movies), with a speech balloon containing his quote about protecting children from violent media.


  13. 0
    Mr. Stodern says:

    That is excellent. Very well illustrates a key issue with regulating video games: determining parameters. No proposed law, including this one, has done an effective job at addressing that. They always go for the wide spectrum that allows them to basically ban anything they want.

  14. 0
    Mr. Blond says:

    Those are good.

    Have one with 4 screenshots of different games: GTA, Call of Duty, Halo, and maybe a T-rated game with some gun violence, with the caption, "So which of these games would be banned?"

  15. 0
    Arell says:

    I’d be awesome to have a few thousand people shouting down a half dozen Westboro Babtists, give them a real sense of how insignificant they really are.  I too want to go to the Rally to Restore Sanity, as I think moderates should be more passionate and show that the extremists don’t own this country and shouldn’t control political dialog.  But I live 12 hours from DC, and it’s not an easy thing for me to get there (or afford the trip).  So while it sounds like a good time to join a rally to protect video games, it’s just not feasible for me to do so.

  16. 0
    gellymatos says:

    I missed a counter protest against Wesborro Baptist Church. I can’t go to the Rally to Restore Sanity. Let’s see if I can go to this rally. Third time’s the charm?


    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

  17. 0
    Mr. Blond says:

    Same for me. Still wondering, would it be a bad move to dress up as game characters at the rally? I do have some sign ideas:

    Gaming is Not a Crime

    Terminate Arnold’s Law

    (if any kids/minors are going) I Play Violent Games and I’m Not a Killer

  18. 0
    Mr. Stodern says:

    I think that if more people really realized or wanted to admit that if we lose in this case, everyone loses, they’d show up.

    Problem is, the average person who doesn’t play games, or just not very often, doesn’t see it that way. They don’t think about the fact that such a law being passed enables the state to infringe on EVERYONE’S rights, not just a bunch of gaming juvenile delinquents being trained into mass-killing machines.

    Maybe when the Supreme Court hands down their decision, for better or for worse, they will see.

  19. 0
    Mr. Blond says:

    I dunno. The demonstrations for the gay rights and abortion cases attract a significant amount of coverage. Unfortunately, I don’t see this rally reaching that level of passion or numbers.

  20. 0
    GrimCW says:

    i’d go if i didn’t have a day job and lack of cash at the moment since closing costs are kinda expensive…

    but tbh i don’t see it doing much, these protests barely make news, and rarely get heard besides unless someone manages to provoke a cop to shoot.

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