Running With Scissors on SCOTUS Case

November 2, 2010 -

In a not-so-shocking press release today from Running With Scissors and its founder Vince Desi, the company behind the Postal series has a lot to say about tomorrow's battle in the U.S. Supreme Court. The cliff notes version of Desi's comments are simple enough - he believes his company and his games are getting lambasted on all sides. Desi, who has a flair for the dramatic, opens with the following:

"Hypocrisy reigns again, the media and the game industry have chosen to put the spotlight on us and put us in the hot seat, and make POSTAL their whipping boy. It's important that we at RWS speak and be heard from, given the totally misleading and inaccurate article that appeared in the Wall St Journal back in 1997 and has been relentlessly repeated in the years since, becoming urban legend despite the fact that the story is almost entirely fantasy. The press, parents, politicians, and political puppets are missing the real issue here - it isn't virtual game characters, but the Constitution that is being shredded."

Read the whole press release below:

Video games stand at a crossroads, and Running With Scissor’s franchise POSTAL is poised directly in the crosshairs. The Supreme Court is hours away from hearing the ironically entitled case of Schwarzenegger Vs. EMA (Entertainment Merchants Association), a piece of mind police legislation that originated with a California law making it illegal for retailers to sell "violent" games to minors.

A frustrated Vince Desi, CEO of Running With Scissors, couldn't believe his company's classic brand was once again being dragged out as the poster boy for violence in video games. "Hypocrisy reigns again, the media and the game industry have chosen to put the spotlight on us and put us in the hot seat, and make POSTAL their whipping boy. It's important that we at RWS speak and be heard from, given the totally misleading and inaccurate article that appeared in the Wall St Journal back in 1997 and has been relentlessly repeated in the years since, becoming urban legend despite the fact that the story is almost entirely fantasy. The press, parents, politicians, and political puppets are missing the real issue here - it isn't virtual game characters, but the Constitution that is being shredded."

The constitutionality of this law, which has been denied by every court to which it has pled its case, goes to the big stage November 2, when the Supreme Court will decide whether electronic games - like films, books and every other form of art and entertainment - are protected by the Constitution's insistence on freedom of speech. Or will Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose entire film career was built around the exploitation of cinematic violence, forever have his name attached to a law that could theoretically have an impact on all forms of creative expression. If the California law is upheld, after all, it could easily be transferred to create censorship in all alternate media.

Eleven states have supported California's bid to demonize video games while eight states have declared their strong objection to the California mandate. Vince Desi added that "one of this controversy's most hypocritical elements is the historical willingness of the game industry to hide behind the 12-year-old POSTAL franchise only to find they now have to defend it". In a market that has produced literally dozens of games featuring extreme cinematic violence and outright torture, the first exhibit in this case will be the eight-year-old game POSTAL 2 that was never intended as anything but a satiric look at the degree to which Political Correctness has come to dominate our society.

Most legal experts doubt that the California law will be upheld in the face of Constitutional precedent, but we'll all know soon enough. To follow the events as they happen, check in at www.runningwithscissors.com.
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Re: Running With Scissors on SCOTUS Case

"A frustrated Vince Desi, CEO of Running With Scissors, couldn't believe his company's classic brand was once again being dragged out as the poster boy for violence in video games."

"I am shocked, SHOCKED that gambling is going on in here!"

While I DO find it funny that proponents of the law keep trotting out a game from 2003 as their (apparently only) example of unacceptable violence, it's always funny seeing the likes of Running With Scissors and Rockstar feign surprise that their games are controversial.  Like that never once crossed their minds when they were making them.

 
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InfophilePut that way, "right to work" seems to have BLEEP-all to do with gay rights. Thing is, union-negotiated contracts used to be one of the key ways to prevent employers from firing at will. Without union protection, nothing stops at-will firing.07/07/2015 - 11:06am
Infophilehas an incentive to pay dues if they're represented either way, so the union is starved for funds and dies, unless things are bad enough that people will pay dues anyway.07/07/2015 - 11:02am
InfophileFor those who don't know, "right to work" laws mean that it can't be a condition of an employment contract that you pay union dues. That is, the right to work without having to pay dues. Catch is, unions have to represent non-members as well, so no one...07/07/2015 - 11:01am
MechaCrashUnexpected? Seriously?07/07/2015 - 10:55am
Mattsworknamejob they wanted without the unions getting involved. The problem is, it has some unexpected side effects, like the ones Info mentioned07/07/2015 - 8:49am
MattsworknameThe problem being, right to work states exsist specificly as a counter to Unions, as the last 20 or so years have shown, the unions have been doing this countries economoy NO favors. The right to work states came into being to allow people to work any07/07/2015 - 8:49am
Infophile(cont'd) discriminatory. This can only be done for protected classes which are outlined in law (race, sex, religion, ethnicity everywhere, sexual orientation in some states). So, a gay person could be fired because they're gay and have no recourse there.07/07/2015 - 7:27am
Infophile@Goth: See here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/sexuality/firedforbeinggay.asp for a good discussion on it. Basically, the problem is that in the US, most states allow at will firing, and it's the burden of the fired person to prove the firing was ...07/07/2015 - 7:25am
Goth_SkunkAssuming that's true, then that is a fight worth fighting for.07/07/2015 - 6:58am
Yuuri@ Goth_Skunk, in many states being gay is not a protected status akin to say race or religion. It's also in the "Right to work" states. Those are the states where one can be fired for any reason (provided it isn't a "protected" one.)07/07/2015 - 6:07am
Goth_Skunkregarded as a beacon of liberty and freedom that is the envy of the world, would not have across-the-board Human Rights laws that don't at the very least equal those of my own country.07/07/2015 - 5:47am
Goth_SkunkI find that hard to believe, Infophile. I have difficulty believing employers can *still* fire people for being gay. I would need to see some evidence that this is fact, because as a Canadian, I can't believe that the United States,07/07/2015 - 5:46am
InfophileFor that matter, even women don't yet have full legal equality with men. The US government still places limits on the positions women can serve in the military. And that's just the legal side of things - the "culture wars" are more than just laws.07/07/2015 - 5:43am
InfophileAnd that's just LGB issues. Get ready for an incoming battle on rights for trans* people. And then after that, a battle for poly people.07/07/2015 - 5:41am
InfophileA battle's been won. In many states employers can still fire people for being gay. And in many states, parents can force their children into reparative therapy to try to "fix" being gay. Those battles still need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:40am
Goth_Skunkand now they've switched to battles that don't need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:37am
Goth_SkunkIn my opinion, it was the final legal hurdle denying homosexual couples final and recognized statuses as eligible spouses. But even though this war's been won, some people are still too keen to keep fighting battles,07/07/2015 - 5:28am
Goth_SkunkAnd it's a trend I don't mind seeing continue. Same-sex marriage was at long-last made definitively legal by SCOTUS, and it's about time. I'm glad it's finally happened, as it was desperately needed.07/07/2015 - 5:25am
Infophile(cont'd) It started long before that. Perhaps the American Civil War comes to mind?)07/07/2015 - 3:59am
InfophileOn Goth's linked article: Historically speaking, there may have been cycles, but remember that the left has steadily gained ground. Is there a good reason to expect that to be different this time? (Oh, and no, Culture War 1.0 wasn't with the Baby Boomers.07/07/2015 - 3:59am
 

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