Op-Ed Focuses on Retail Implications of Schwarzenegger Case

Entertainment Software Association (ESA) chief Michael Gallagher, along with Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) CEO James Hallan, took to the Lansing State Journal website for an opinion piece outlining the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA Supreme Court battle could impact retailers.

The piece states that the “misguided” California law—which contains “subjective and indefinite language” in relation to what would constitute an offensive game—is “particularly concerning for retailers,” because “the retail industry has already taken giant strides toward ensuring that violent videos do not end up in children’s hands.”

According to the opinion piece, the “vague law” could be trouble for retailers because:

Retailers also would face the threat of potential civil lawsuits by individuals who might disagree with the ratings assigned to games. That risk would influence the games retailers choose to carry in their stores, even for purchase by adults, inevitably leading to fewer consumer choices.

Nor is it only about video games. The law broadly opens the door for restrictions on other First Amendment-protected works, like books, movies and music. How could one logically say that video games are somehow illegal, but books and movies – many of which have the same title and content – are acceptable?

ESRB game ratings, retail enforcement of the ratings and parental control features on game consoles are working and render the California law unnecessary argue the co-authors.

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