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ECA backs industry in violent video game case

Consumer group submits brief and petition to Supreme Court ahead of hearing

Consumer advocacy group the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) is to submit an amicus brief and gamer petition to the US Supreme Court ahead of its upcoming violence in video games case, Schwarzenegger v. EMA.

"The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the State of California's infamous 'violent video game case' later this year, or early next," explained Jennifer Mercurio, VP and general counsel for the ECA.

"At that time, the Court is going to listen to oral arguments on whether to agree with previous federal court findings or not. 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."

The association is currently encouraging gamers to sign the online petition in order to establish an authoritative collective petition by US consumers of interactive entertainment.

"The gaming sector, as a whole, has arrived at perhaps the single most important challenge it has ever faced in the US," said Hal Halpin, president of the ECA.

"The medium itself and how it, the trade, and its consumers will be perceived for the long term is at stake. Anyone who cares about gaming should feel compelled to both sign the petition and encourage their friends and family to do similarly.

"These documents will provide the court with one clear collective voice with which to vocalise 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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Kath Brice