Running With Scissors on SCOTUS Case

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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