As Supreme Court arguments for Schwarzenegger vs. Entertainment Merchants Association draw closer, the Entertainment Consumers Association said it will stage a pro-games rally
on the steps of the court.
A notice this week from gaming consumer advocate group ECA said that the rally will take place November 2 at 9 a.m. at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., the same day that the court will hear oral arguments regarding the California video game law.
The proposed measure aims to place government-mandated restrictions on the sale of "excessively violent" games to minors. It was deemed unconstitutional by the California 9th Circuit Court in February 2009, on free speech grounds.
But the state appealed the circuit court's decision, and the Supreme Court said it would review the law and rule on the law's status during this year's session.
"This is the first time that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on any state law attempting to restrict or ban the sale of video games," said the ECA in a statement. "Until now, all of those laws have been struck down, but we can't guarantee that the Supreme Court will agree."
Opponents fear that the broad wording in the bill could lead to a chilling effect among game makers, who might become unsure whether or not the content in their games would be considered "excessively violent," as the bill states, and subject to the law.
That fear goes beyond video game companies -- groups representing other forms of media
including TV, film and books filed numerous amicus briefs alongside the games industry in opposition to the bill, stating that the passing of such a law would be a slippery slope for free speech rights in all media.