As the November 2nd Supreme Court examination of Swarzenegger vs. EMA looms on the horizon, representatives from over 180 organizations have come out in support for the continued self-regulation of the video game industry. Notable voices are coming from the Motion Picture Association of America, as well as First Ammendment advocacy groups and legal researchers. These shows of support come after an amicus brief filed by a coalition of other media trade organizations.
“The depth, diversity and high quality of briefs submitted strengthens our position before the Court. These briefs are rooted in virtually every form of expression, commerce, social science, and constitutional jurisprudence imaginable,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association. “It is our hope that the Court will uphold an unbroken chain of lower court rulings that affirm video games’ First Amendment protections, the rights of consumers’ access to speech, and that parents – not government – are the best arbiters in determining what is right for their children.”
Researchers echo the case with statements like the “studies [relied upon by the state] are of no help to California…because they document neither a causal connection nor a correlation between the playing of violent video games and violent, aggressive, or antisocial behavior… [the State has ignored] a weighty body of scholarship, undertaken with established and reliable scientific methodologies, debunking the claim that the video games California seeks to regulate have harmful effects on minors.”
The Motion Picture Association of America declared in its statement to the court, “If this Court were to hold that California’s statute is valid, it would have a dramatic chilling effect on the motion picture industry… [S]tate and local governments could attempt to impose similar restrictions on depictions of violence in other media, including motion pictures. Such restrictions would have an obvious chilling effect, particularly given the inherent amorphousness of restrictions of that type and the potential for a patchwork of nationwide regulation.”
Attorneys General from 9 states have also shared support for the Entertainment Merchants Association in the case, filing a statement saying, “quick fixes such as the California Statute cause more practical and constitutional problems, in expanding unneeded regulatory activity and hindering law enforcement, than they solve. The potential negative impacts on State government and State citizens are important enough that the undersigned feel compelled to voice their concerns…”