The petitioner in the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA Supreme Court Case is the state of California, and as such, it receives the opportunity to furnish the Court with a reply brief, in which it can argue against statements presented in the brief of the respondent.
California has done just this, submitting its reply brief (PDF, thanks PHX Corp!) in which it begins by stating that the respondents are off base in their attacks:
Respondents and their amici paint an alarming picture of government censorship of both classic and contemporary art and literature, ignoring the level of extreme violence depicted in the narrow category of video games that is actually covered by the Act.
California claims that its law “narrowly targets a distinct audience,” an audience that is “susceptible to unique harms.” It further stated that “an established three-prong test,” will ensure that speech with serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors will not be regulated.”
The “three-prongs” were identified as:
1. The Act applies only to “violent gaming content that includes the killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting of an image of a human being in a manner that a reasonable person would find appeals to a deviant or morbid interest of minors.
2. If the first prong is satisfied, the second prong involves determining if a game’s violent content “is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the community as to what is suitable for minors.” California called application of this element “straightforward,” and said its scope was limited to acts depicting “killing, maiming, dismembering or sexually assaulting an image of a human being.”
3. If the first two prongs are achieved, the Act would apply only to games “where the patently offensive, deviant level of violence causes the game as a whole to lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.”
Additionally the state argued:
… the First Amendment should not be understood either to guarantee retailers a constitutional right to sell offensively violent video games to unaccompanied minors, or to guarantee minors the right to independently purchase this limited class of video games.
California also stated that the respondents (EMA and ESA) were quick to dismiss concern over the impact of violent media on kids, saying that this “glib dismissal,” was not surprising since:
There is no reason to believe that the video game industry’s profit motives would be aligned with the concerns of parents and elected representatives who believe parents should have the tools to guide the development of their children.