Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has weighed in on the California videogame law headed to the Supreme Court, calling it a waste of taxpayers' money that's "beyond absurd."
Remember how confused we all felt when Electronic Arts, the videogame industry's most rapacious evil empire, suddenly became one of the good guys? Get ready to feel it again, because the big boss at Activision has waded into the First Amendment fray and he's on our side.
"Our First Amendment has survived intact for 219 years amid far greater technological, historical and social challenges," Kotick said. "The argument that videogames present some kind of new ominous threat that requires a wholesale reassessment of one of our nation's most treasured freedoms and to take that freedom away indiscriminately from an entire group of our population based on nothing but age is beyond absurd. These are the same attacks Americans have witnessed against every previous emerging entertainment medium and genre including books, comics, rock 'roll, movies, TV and the Internet. In each case, freedom prevailed."
"Instead of tampering with the nation's Constitution and wasting taxpayers' money on setting forth unenforceable regulations during budgetary crisis, California could and should have adopted any number of measures and campaigns designed to ensure even higher rates of parental understanding of, and reliance on, the industry regulation system," he said.
"Some proponents say they want to act on behalf of parents when all this law will do is swap a self-regulatory program the federal government itself has shown is extremely successful with a taxpayer-funded bureaucracy the state can't afford and attempt to enforce rules that are vague and impossible to comprehend," added George Rose, Executive Vice President and Chief Public Policy Officer of Activision Blizzard. "At a time when our schools are out of money, child care centers are closing and health clinics are unfunded, how is that exercise of common sense?"
Activision has filed an independent amicus brief with the Supreme Court in opposition of California's proposed law, joining a coalition of opponents that includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Freedom to Read Foundation, the Writers Guild of America and many other groups. "The sheer breadth of support exhibited by public interest organizations, civic and media groups, legislative leaders, academia and interested parties demonstrate both the importance videogames have assumed in the hearts and minds of our nation and the sacredness of certain basic tenets of our Constitution," Kotick said. "We will never give up the fight for the freedom of expression our industry deserves."
You go, Bobby! The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in Schwarzenegger v. EMA on November 2.