Video Games Make an Appearance in the Supreme Court

Dariuas - July 14, 2010 10:30PM in Gaming

What is art? Is it just a picture drawn by a person with some ink and paper? Is it the written language in the form of a story, or perhaps the notes composed into a musical number? The answer is simple, all of these forms are considered art, there is no question to the validity of this claim; nor would anyone ever dream to question that claim. Recently, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Schwarzenegger v. EMA. Over the past 20 years, gamers have been plagued by people who claim violence in video games is wrong. When Grand Theft Auto 3 hit the streets, people such as Jack Thompson, a disbarred attorney from Coral Gables, Florida, were in an uproar. While there are undoubtedly extremely violent games, for most gamers it becomes more of a question of parenting and moral standing as opposed to video games causing people to lash out in violence. However, with the pending Supreme Court hearing, the decision to side with the state of California would mean that video games would essentially not be viewed under the First Amendment rights:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"

If the law is passed, and video games are taken out from under the umbrella of the First Amendment, it could mean new laws being put in place for developers, publishers, even retailers, prohibiting violent video games. However, if the Supreme Court disagrees with California, video games would be protected, and games will continue to be created without restriction. The ECA has created a petition to allow those who are in favor of the court not allowing such a bill to pass, which can be found at the ECA's main site. While it is completely optional, it is important to remember the freedom of speech enjoyed by those who write, compose, or draw and how much those forms of art have helped shape video games today.


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