Preparing for the Supremes: Raise the Ramparts Edition

Having written about all this stuff already, as we close in on the United States Supreme Court's hearing of arguments in a history making case which will define the future of the game business.

The Supreme Court will determine whether the legislation described in this post is Constitutional. While other US Circuits determined games to be Constitutionally protected free speech, the 9th Circuit never has and the Supreme Court will likely determine once and for all whether our work product is protected by the First Amendment. If you read the post, you will see State Senator Yee, who introduced the legislation, unbound by the strictures of reality or truth, was able to create quite a compelling argument in favor of regulation of games sales. Unfortunately, as explained here, the same tactics were used at the Federal level when two congressman misrepresented data relating to sales of games to minors. They used a three year old FTC secret shopper report to show a failure to monitor sales to minors when the more recent report showed the game industry had a better monitoring rate than any other media.

Attacks on the game industry are not uncommon. The arguments are always supported by the threat of danger to our children. The exposure to violence will corrupt the innocent, so they say. A noble purpose and surely one to provoke strong sentiment and support from the ignorant. Who is really going to stand up and say "let's harm the children." But as you can see in this post about how this argument killed the comic book industry and threatens ours, the potential chilling effect is far greater than the potential benefit - which as you can see in this post, is questionable.

Hopefully the Supreme Court agrees games are protected speech and parenting is best left to the parents.


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