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ECA To Submit Gamer Petition In Game Violence Case

ECA To Submit Gamer Petition In Game Violence Case

May 12, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

May 12, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

As California's infamous game violence bill goes to the U.S. Supreme Court for consideration, the Entertainment Consumers Association is aiming to add the voice of gamers to the case.

The ECA will submit an amicus brief -- a document courts accept from parties outside of a case offering information intended to help in their decision. The group, which aims to represent the interests of entertainment consumers, is also collecting signatures for a petition to be submitted as an official court document alongside the brief.

The bill in question would restrict the sale of video games to minors. Authored by senator Leland Yee and supported by Governor Schwarzenegger, it has more than once been ruled unconstitutional on free speech grounds, but an appeal with Yee's support has once again brought it under the Court's consideration.

The Supreme Court will hear the case later this year or early next and decide whether to agree with the prior findings. Says ECA VP and general counsel Jennifer Mercurio, "Agreeing would mean that they believe that video games are, and should continue to be, First Amendment protected speech, just like movies and music."

"The Court disagreeing would mean that video games should be treated differently, which the ECA strongly believes to be unconstitutional and could lead to new bills and laws curtailing video game access in states across the country," she adds.

ECA president Hal Halpin says of the group's brief and petition: "These documents will provide the court with one clear collective voice with which to vocalize our position and reinforce that we agree with the lower court findings: games, like music and movies, are protected free speech."

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