IGDA Condemns 'Oppressive Censorship' Of California Game Law
The International Game Developers Association on Friday condemned censorship of video games, as California's long-debated video game law heads to the Supreme Court.
"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."
IGDA's condemnation of censorship comes as the U.S. Supreme Court decided to review California's video game bill, which seeks to put age restrictions on the sale of games deemed "violent." Senator Leland Yee authored the bill - and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who took time out of his busy schedule to act in the upcoming violent film "The Expendables," supports the proposed measure.
IGDA commented on that bill specifically, saying, "Limiting the sale of video games based on violence is oppressive censorship, singling out one form of expression based only on popular myth and biased research."
The organization added, "Video games are a form of expression whether they're intended for entertainment, simulation or training. Like books, film, and television, games are capable of conveying many messages and many points of view."
IGDA said that the game censorship indicates a double standard, as movies, television, print and other forms of media are protected as free speech.
The group also said that it supports the game industry's current self-regulation body, the Entertainment Software Rating Board, adding that the IGDA supports "fair and objective" research about video game violence.
"The IGDA condemns the censorship of expressive media in all forms, but especially when marketed for political gain by legislators," the association said.
IGDA is just the latest video game industry body to condemn the California law. Industry trade group the Entertainment Software Association said it would fight the law
, while publisher Electronic Arts said, "Censorship and content restrictions are a very real threat to video games."