IDGA Weighs In On Supreme Court Hearing

by Meagan Marie on May 03, 2010 at 04:39 AM

When news broke early last week that the Supreme Court has decided to review the Entertainment Merchants Association v. Schwarzenegger case, industry advocates like the Entertainment Software Association and the Video Games Voter Network were quick to weigh in with their stance on the issue.  Now, the International Game Developer’s Association (IDGA) has also added their two cents.

Facilitating solidarity on the issue, the IDGA maintains that video games are a form of expression on par with other forms of entertainment like books, film, and television. The organization believes that limiting any form of expression – including video games – violates the constitutional right of free speech. Referring to the proposal to limit sales of mature video games as “oppressive censorship,” the IDGA feels that those behind the legislation are “singling out one form of expression based only on popular myth and biased research.”

 “Video games are at the heart of technical and artistic innovation,” said IGDA Chair Gordon Bellamy.  “Singling out games from other media is not only unconstitutional, according to courts throughout the country, but it also stigmatizes a leading industry in our economy that's embraced by millions in all walks of life.”

Calling attention to graphic portrayals of violence on television, print media, film and the Internet, the IGDA reminds the public that these platforms are protected under first amendment rights and the constitution.

The case will become increasingly public this fall when the Supreme Court officially begins reviewing the ruling. So far, industry activists have perfect track record in terms of winning cases that would restrict the sale of mature rated games. Still, this case marks the first time the debate has been elevated to the highest court in the United States. Some individuals feel confident that the no-loss record will hold. Others worry that the Supreme Court will make a surprise ruling and set a new precedent for the retail sales of mature games in the future. We’ll keep you informed as new details in regards to the case emerge.