California AG and developers sound off over bill facing Supreme Court

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California AG and developers sound off over bill facing Supreme Court
In a statement released by the International Game Developer's Association recently, the group called California's controversial game bill "oppressive censorship, singling out one form of expression based only on popular myth and biased research." The response came just days after the US Supreme Court decided to allow California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's appeal to review the bill on a federal scale, though it's been ruled unconstitutional multiple times in his state (not to mention the similar bills in other states that have also been shot down repeatedly).

We reached out to the California Attorney General's office to find out why it's pursuing a bill that's been plagued by overrulings, and were told, "All of those courts held that it is up to the US Supreme Court to decide whether extremely violent material can be treated the same as sexually explicit material under the First Amendment when it comes to minors. This means that we had to ask the Supreme Court to extend the law, something the lower courts were not willing to do." We further pressed for why it's targeting video games over films, television, and other entertainment mediums. A representative responded, "There is a growing body of social science that has identified violent video games as being especially harmful to children given the interactive nature of video games, and the FTC conducted investigations that showed it was easier for minors to buy Mature-rated video games than it was to get into R-rated movies."

However, the IGDA's statement contends "Violence is conveyed in explicit ways on television, in print media, via the Internet, and in film. All of these platforms constitute speech protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution." The piece also states the association's position that it remains staunchly against "censorship of expressive media in all forms" but points out that it's especially against politicians using that censorship "for political gain." The appeal could see its first hearing as early as this October, when the Supreme Court begins its next term.

[Via GamePolitics]
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