With the About Schwarzenegger v. EMA case heading to the Supreme Court before the end of the year it's important for gamers to stand up to be counted so that the decision by the lower courts is upheld (which will ensure that video games are protected by the same First Amendment rights as music, books, and movies).
I'm not normally someone who hops on political bandwagons but it doesn't take a rocket scientist (or John Carmack) to realize that this is going to be a defining moment for the video game industry. This is why I'm encouraging everyone who games to sign their name
to the ECA's Gamers Petition.
If for some reason this law is overturned it could mean severe sanctions on the games that are allowed to be sold (and consequently developed). I don't think we want the US turning into the next Germany or Australia, where games have to be vetted and edited for content before they can appear on store shelves. I would hate to see our vibrant and booming industry to be brought down by a bunch of fear mongering luddites who still think games are just for children under the age of 12. I would hate for our industry to have to cow-tow to local religious groups, PTA's, and glory seeking politicians because we failed to act.
All you have to do is go here
and enter your e-mail address (you might want to uncheck the check boxes at the bottom though unless you really want a lot more spam from the ECA) and your name will be added to the list of people who are standing up for our rights as gamers. I know it feels a little odd to say but if we don't act now it could come back to haunt us later.
ECA Rallies industry support FOR THE UPCOMING
VIOLENCE IN VIDEO GAMES U.S. SUPREME COURT CASE
High-Profile Game Developers, Publishers, Retailers and Media Outlets Join the Fight
SEATTLE, WA - September 2, 2010 - The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), the non-profit membership organization that represents gamers, today revealed a list of new partners that have offered their support to the ECA and the gamer petition campaign. The numerous companies involved are showing their support by promoting the petition and increasing the awareness of Schwarzenegger v. EMA, the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court violence in video games case. The petition will serve as a collective voice of game consumers and will be submitted to the Court on September 17th, the documents submission deadline for the oral arguments hearing, which will take place on November 2nd.
Over the past three months, the association has proactively reached out to all of the game publishing companies, development studios, retailers, distributors and media for assistance in getting the word out - asking them to help consumers, help the industry. A cross-section of businesses that pledged their support and are actively engaged include:
Divide by Zero
Gas Powered Games
Sony (SCEA & SOE)
Running with Scissors
Spicy Horse Games
A complete list of all petition supporters can be found here.
To sign the gamer petition, please go to: www.GamerPetition.org. For more information on the ECA or to learn more about the ECA's amicus brief and the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court's hearing of California's violent video game case, please visit: Schwarzenegger v. EMA.
To learn more abut the ECA and to sign the gamer petition in person, attendees of the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Seattle, WA (Sept 3-5, 2010) are invited to visit ECA Booth #1430.
About Schwarzenegger v. EMA
The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear the State of California's infamous 'violent video game case,' Schwarzenegger v. EMA. That means that later this year, the Court is going to decide whether to agree with the lower federal courts or not. Agreeing would mean that they believe that video games are, and should continue to be, First Amendment protected speech; just like books, movies and music. The court disagreeing would mean that they think video games should be treated differently. This could lead to new bills and laws curtailing video game access in states across the country.
About The ECA
The ECA is the non-profit membership organization which represents consumers of interactive entertainment in the US and Canada. The association was founded to give gamers a collective voice with which to communicate their concerns, address their issues and focus their advocacy efforts. As such, the ECA is committed to a host of public policy efforts, empowering and enabling the membership to effect change. Additionally, the organization provides members substantial affinity benefits including discounts on games-related purchases and rentals, as well as community and educational initiatives. For additional information on the ECA, including affinity benefits, member discounts and joining the association, please visit: www.theECA.com