The Arnold Schwarzenegger-signed law in California that seeks to intervene and blockade sales of violent games to minors made a lot of enemies on its way to the Supreme Court this year, and just in case you didn’t know where Activision stands on Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, et al., Petitioners v. Entertainment Merchants Association, Activision Blizzard vice president and chief public policy officer George Rose has written an editorial for the San Francisco Chronicle naming a handful of reasons for trashing the law. He also addressed critics’ obsession with the Running with Scissors’ ’90s gore-fest “Postal.”
“Sadly, supporters will accept nothing less than more laws, subbing for parents, that the state can’t afford to enforce,” Rose wrote. “So to whip up drama and hysteria where none justifiably exists, zealots supporting this movement cite the worst of the worst by harking back to video game dinosaurs like 1997’s ’Postal.’ By today’s standards, this game was a commercial flop dropped by mainstream retailers long ago.”
Senator Joseph Lieberman would probably disagree with that paragraph. Rose didn’t stop there, however. He went on to decry claims about so-called “research” that’s been used to justify a clampdown on game sales.
“In fact, every court that has looked at this issue has found that whatever research is used to support the idea that games with violent content are harmful lacks credibility,” he explained. “If fact, an unprecedented 82 social scientists, medical scientists and media scholars felt so strongly about Yee’s law that they filed their own brief with the Supreme Court.”
The Court will decide what becomes of this law in 2011, at which point you can bet that we’ll hear more from publishers, regardless of the outcome. Movies and music haven’t had to deal with this kind of intervention before, but as Russ explained here, if the SCOTUS sides with Schwarzenegger, the games industry could face a brave new world of precedent in places outside of California.
How do you think the SCOTUS will rule on California’s games law? Do you agree with Rose? Share your responses with us in the comment section below.