Nine States Oppose California In Supreme Court Games Case

Illustration for article titled Nine States Oppose California In Supreme Court Games Case

Yesterday evening saw the filing deadline for supporting briefs in Schwarzenegger vs. Entertainment Merchants Association - the Supreme Court case involving a California statute restricting the sale or rental of violent video game sales. Nine states oppose the law.

Rhode Island, Arkansas, Georgia, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and Washington, plus Puerto Rico jointly filed a brief supporting the games industry. Their paper made a range of arguments, saying California's law both treads on unconstitutional censorship and, worse, could waste law enforcement resources on defendants who could claim a games-made-me-do-it defense under the precedents set in a ruling favorable to California.

"California's statute legitimizes the off-loading of personal responsibility on to a video game," wrote Patrick Lynch, the attorney general of Rhode Island, in a brief signed by his nine counterparts.


Briefs supporting the games industry also were filed by the Motion Picture Association of America and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. "To be insulated from depictions and descriptions of violence, one would have to be insulated from the great works of religion, history, art, literature, and culture," said the booksellers brief.

The California statute, twice found unconstitutional in federal courts, sets penalities for the sale or rental of extremely violent video games to minors. It is not based selling games of a certain ESRB classification, such as M, but on a broader standard related to violence. California seeks to have violence set as a new and separate standard justifying the content-based restriction, by the government, of expressive works.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Schwarzenegger vs. Entertainment Merchants Association on Nov. 2.

States Join Media Groups In Briefs Opposing California's Violent Video Game Ban [LegalTimes Blog via Game Politics]

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PLEASE, (all caps to attract attention) tell me why this is such a big deal. As a California resident I don't under stand why this is such a bad thing. I watched the escapist video that Fwiffo posted, and I still don't get what the big deal is. The law prohibits the sale of mature/violent video games to minors, and punishes those that do. OK I can see why people are upset, but every major retailer will not sell Mature rated games to minors already, thus not changing anything. The argument is that now since games are being censored (which they are not, only the people they can sell to has become enforced by law which is already something that major retailers do anyways) they are afraid that companies wont make any more mature rated games. BUT they won't sell to those minors and shouldn't sell to those minors anyways, so we have something that shouldn't change anything. The only problem I see is that the government is getting involved but its like say a car company wont sell to you unless you have a license because they can't allow you to drive it off the lot because you can't legally drive, and then the government steps in and says "Its illegal to sell a car to someone without a license now!" and the car companies are like "Whoa wait a minute, your restricting us on who we can sell to? We wont make cars for younger people then!" but nothing has changed except the involvement of the government.

Now that is my understanding. I maybe wrong, and from peoples reactions I'm starting to feel like I am wrong. Do I agree with it, not really but it doesn't change anything out here anyways so I don't particularly care.

Can someone please explain to me what this is about, or tell me if I'm wrong or not. I've looked it up and thats what I've come up with, so now I need someone who probably understands (and maybe cares) more.

Honestly if this law passes, a parent can still buy the game for their kids and give it to them in the privacy of their homes, right? Or is it being treated as alcohol?