In an opinion piece written by John Teti for Eurogamer, the former Crispy Gamer staff writer gives his opinion on Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association and why it is the industry’s fault that games are not seen as the "art" that many developers claim that it is in the eyes of the political class.
"My biggest fear is that the EMA will lose this case. My second biggest fear is that they will win. "
In their celebration, they’re liable to miss the real lesson: they brought this near-disaster on themselves. It’s the studios’ own craven, short-sighted management of their image that makes it possible for opportunistic politicians to bring the heat.
In an astute opinion piece last month, Rob Fahey argued that the stated intent of the law – to keep kids from buying games meant for adults – did not seem so onerous, even if the actual language of the California statute was "hasty" and "ill-considered."
I don’t agree with the need for a legislated age requirement, but I sympathise with Fahey’s point that the immediate practical impact could be minimal. It’s the long-term, symbolic effects of Schwarzenegger v. EMA that upset me.
Even his opponents concede Leland Yee is a reasonable man with good intentions – not a Jack Thompson type."
Teti goes on to talk about how the California law ignores the existing ratings system, how the game industry is a favorite target of politicians across party lines, and how having an exception to the first amendment for video games similar to what was carved out for pornography years ago would affect the industry as a whole. Here is an excerpt on how video game regulation is a popular political football across party lines:
"There would be less cause for concern if the legislative movement against games was an extremist effort. It’s not. Trashing the games industry is one of the few pastimes that attracts statesmen from across the ideological spectrum. They pile on because the political points are there for the taking. And their constituents don’t protest because they don’t view videogames as an art form worthy of protection. "