Gaming Faces Its "Single Most Important Challenge" at the Supreme Court

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Gaming Faces Its "Single Most Important Challenge" at the Supreme Court

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The Entertainment Consumers Association has announced that it will file a friend of the court document with the U.S. Supreme Court regarding its upcoming consideration of California's "violent videogame law" and is asking consumers to help by signing a petition that will also be submitted.

The Supreme Court of the United States agreed last month to review a California law that would ban the sale of violent videogames to minors. It may look relatively harmless at first glance since most of us agree that minors shouldn't be buying M-rated games anyway, but the case is far weightier than it appears because it directly addresses the question of whether or not videogames are entitled to the same First Amendment protections as other forms of media.

"The Court is going to listen to oral arguments on whether to agree with previous federal court findings or not," explained ECA vice president and general counsel Jennifer Mercurio. "Agreeing would mean that they believe that video games are, and should continue to be, First Amendment protected speech; just like movies and music. The Court disagreeing would mean that video games should be treated differently, which the ECA strongly believes to be unconstitutional and could lead to new bills and laws curtailing video game access in states across the country."

"The gaming sector, as a whole, has arrived at perhaps the single most important challenge it has ever faced in the U.S.," added ECA President Hal Halpin. "The medium itself and how it, the trade, and its consumers will be perceived for the long term is at stake."

In addition to the amicus brief, the ECA has opened a petition to establish "an authoritative collective position by American consumers of interactive entertainment" which will also be submitted to the court. "Anyone who cares about gaming should feel compelled to both sign the petition and encourage their friends and family to do similarly," Halpin continued. "These documents will provide the court with one clear collective voice with which to vocalize our position and reinforce that we agree with the lower court findings: Games, like music and movies, are protected free speech."

The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in the Schwarzenegger v. EMA case later this year or in early 2011. Gamers (and anyone else who believes in the sanctity of the First Amendment) who wish to sign the petition can do so at www.GamerPetition.org.

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Equal Rights for Games! Let us make a march on Washington California for all those who live in America. The rest of us, eat some Crisps.

Calumon: Yay, Jack's back from School! ^^

Cue courtroom drama music...

*signs*

Don't games already have the highest compliance rate in terms of not allowing kids get access to violent stuff? But I guess these solid facts that prove this law isn't really necessary doesn't matter much. I hope they throw this statistic in the court's face.
And even if it did pass, kids would just get their parents to buy the games. Like they already do now.

Anyway, I signed, and I hope that they agree. I really don't want to see games get classified as not First Amendment protected.

And if things do take a turn for the worst, I wonder what will happen to gaming as a whole. With most games developed in the U.S., it will be interesting to see how things play out. Games developed overseas will probably not change much, but may change drastically if they have a U.S. release.

Onyx Oblivion:
Cue courtroom battle music...

Theirs such a thing? I'm cetainly intrigued. Well I think Games should certainly be protected by free speech, but I get the whole idea about stopped the sales to minors.

I wonder how much money California (and Schwarzenegger) are getting from the movie and music industry to try and get First Amendment protection revoked for Video Games.

Jack and Calumon:
Equal Rights for Games! Let us make a march on Washington California for all those who live in America. The rest of us, eat some Crisps.

Calumon: Yay, Jack's back from School! ^^

I just realised that you can't sign outside of the US, so I guess I'll just have to do this. Except I don't like crisps.

Azhrarn-101:
I wonder how much money California (and Schwarzenegger) are getting from the movie and music industry to try and get First Amendment protection revoked for Video Games.

REALLY? You think that's what this is about?

Those industries COMPLIMENT each other. Game soundtracks, movie tie-in games, etc.

Here is hoping it all goes well! If it dies be one giant step!

I really hope this passes If it dosen't likely, similar legislation treating video games differently, would appear in the uk.

They consistently make it out as though it's the game developers responsibility to stop minors from buying violent games, or the game retailers.. or something.

It's noones responsibility but the parents. Everyone else is doing their part, retailers in particular are usually really cautious and strict about selling M rated games.
But the amount of times i've seen parents buy games fully in the knowledge that they're violent.
Once i heard one of the staff from a retailer explain the airport in MW2 in full gory detail, and the parent just shrugged and said what the hell.

Mini-rant over, i have no idea what would happen to games if this law thingy got passed. Is it another M-rated ban or something?

I love the picture of the Governator from T3

Video games should be protected by the first amendment

Ah, I see, now this explains it a little more clearly than the other thread I posted in. I agree with the law itself, but I also think that games should be considered the same as films and music.

You have my vote, even when I live in a country that's accepting to alot of things and never attempted to ban games. I hope we win this one!

Demon ID:

Onyx Oblivion:
Cue courtroom battle music...

Theirs such a thing?

Well Castle Crashers proved there can be wedding battle music, so why not?

SilentHunter7:

Demon ID:

Onyx Oblivion:
Cue courtroom battle music...

Theirs such a thing?

Well Castle Crashers proved there can be wedding battle music, so why not?

Damn that game was good, I can't quite for the next game of theirs. Sadly as i'm not an American I can't sign, but if I have chance i'll mention it too a couple of American friends.

Nevyrmoore:
Ah, I see, now this explains it a little more clearly than the other thread I posted in. I agree with the law itself, but I also think that games should be considered the same as films and music.

If you believe that games are entitled to the same protections as films and music, then you pretty clearly don't agree with the law. This is one of those "either/or" deals.

And while Europeans may not be eligible to sign the petition, Canadians definitely can, so don't skip it just because you live in the GWN.

shows how big of a pussy Schwarzenegger has become. jumping on the bandwagon to restrict games. hypocrite

Signed.

If they try to pass somthing like this in the UK there will be seroius business goin' down in London town.

It's noones responsibility but the parents.

I agree with your point.

Signed.

I seriously hope that some of these people start to at least inform themselves before they start making laws to heavily censor a creative medium.

I wholeheartedly agree that it is the parents responsibility not the retailers or developers.

Ok, I know that Yahtzee, Pen And Teller, and hundreds of others had talked of this but...

1- You know that kids are going to want it MORE if you ban it, its like telling yourself you won't look at the clock, your just gonna want to do it more.

2- Its Arnold Schwarzenegger that is in on this! He got to where he is now, mostly, with his carrer as an actor! And for anyone who HASN'T seen his films, they are almost all blood fests!

3- Pen And Teller Said this already, I know, but still, We as a society are AGAINST a bunch of digital images being hurt and killed, but we're fine with violent games like Rugby, Football (american), where people die every year because of injuries! and schools, the goverments, and our comunities FUND Them!

4- And this is the Most Important one, who else BUT teenagers and 10 year olds would BUY those games? Ok I know that the number of adults who play games is growing, but thats almost soley BECAUSE we played them when we were teens!

5- Shouldn't PARENTS be blamed as well? I mean I know its hard, but you can't just blame the Gaming Industry, Besides, if you think that First person Shooters are "Mass-Murder Simulators, and Trainers" Then Shouldn't You Feel even more outraged at HUNTING? I mean, real guns, real creatures being shot at!

And I know that we're all gamers here, and that I'm "preaching to the choir", but still!

Jack and Calumon:

Calumon: Yay, Jack's back from School! ^^

I know that 'Mon is planning a bomb attack. Bring $100,000 to the abandoned Hotel on Route 9. Come alone.

In any case, I still fail to see why games should be different from films and music; they are all forms of entertainment, and if Johnny Rebel is allowed to sell his race-hate records, then Grand Theft Auto should be allowed to snipe harmless pixels heads off.

Onyx Oblivion:

Azhrarn-101:
I wonder how much money California (and Schwarzenegger) are getting from the movie and music industry to try and get First Amendment protection revoked for Video Games.

REALLY? You think that's what this is about?

Those industries COMPLIMENT each other. Game soundtracks, movie tie-in games, etc.

Only in a very minor way, what they gain from that is minimal.
Nothing important enough to not try and destroy a competing medium over.
Those two industries have everything to gain by forcing gaming in a corner and preferably banning it altogether.
They both probably can't wait to start claiming that gaming is detrimental to all sorts of things while promoting their own wares as "wholesome".

*signs petition*

*Goes to friends house and forces him to sign as well*

*Goes to next friends house and repeat the process*

etc. etc.

THIS MUST BE DEALT WITH!

Hooray! Possibly more government involvement where they have no right being!

Shit I live in California..... Well I sign the pention I really hope that my small contribution makes a differance. I mean this should not even be able to make it to court, all froms of media are protected by the first amendment.

Dammit, non-US people can't sign it. Well, good luck to you lot across the pond, I really hope you win this fight, since if you lose, places like the UK may follow suit.

It's good to see that California has taken care of all the important problems that threaten it's youth like hard drugs, drive byes, perverts, and fire season; yes this is the state that generally bursts into flames once a year.

Good luck our fellow gamers!

Im just happy that something like that wont happen where I live :/
No... It wont...

Andy Chalk:

Nevyrmoore:
Ah, I see, now this explains it a little more clearly than the other thread I posted in. I agree with the law itself, but I also think that games should be considered the same as films and music.

If you believe that games are entitled to the same protections as films and music, then you pretty clearly don't agree with the law. This is one of those "either/or" deals.

You misunderstand. I agree with the law to prevent Little Timmy of 5-years old from buying Blood Slaughter: Death Murder Rampage. I don't agree, however, in trying to bend that into preventing Blood Slaughter: Death Murder Rampage from being created.

Andy Chalk:

Nevyrmoore:
Ah, I see, now this explains it a little more clearly than the other thread I posted in. I agree with the law itself, but I also think that games should be considered the same as films and music.

If you believe that games are entitled to the same protections as films and music, then you pretty clearly don't agree with the law. This is one of those "either/or" deals.

I disagree with this statement. He said he agrees with the law, but he feels that movies and music should be treated the same way. Thus, movies and music should be included in the law.

So no, it's not either/or. And I'm inclined to agree. If violent video games are bad, violent movies and music are just as bad. They should all be restricted from sale to minors, but available to adults who want them.

bad rider:
I really hope this passes If it dosen't likely, similar legislation treating video games differently, would appear in the uk.

No-Superman10:
If they try to pass somthing like this in the UK there will be seroius business goin' down in London town.

Beltom1066:
Dammit, non-US people can't sign it. Well, good luck to you lot across the pond, I really hope you win this fight, since if you lose, places like the UK may follow suit.

Agree with this in a big way. Especially with our new (mostly) Conservative government, I think it's more than likely we're going to see this sort of thing anyway.

As to the petition itself, unfortunately I can't sign, but I think it would be offensive to every gamer if the USA declares videogames not to be on the same creative level of films and music, not to mention pretty stupid and narrow minded of them.

Then again, I've never exactly been convinced of the open-mindedness of the US court system.

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