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Kotick: Schwarzenegger law "beyond absurd"

Activision Blizzard joins coalition to battle violent games ban

Publisher Activision Blizzard has brought its significant weight to bear on the forthcoming Supreme Court judgement concerning a proposed ban on the sale of violent games to minors.

It is thought that the ban would lead to the withdrawal of adult-rated titles from a number of major US retailers, while games industry figures have argued that it would be a violation of First Amendment stipulations concerning free speech.

Activision Blizzard has filed the 27th amicus brief requesting that the Supreme Court does not rule in favour of California's proposed statute in the case of Schwarzenegger vs the Electronic Merchants Association.

Said boss Bobby Kotick "Our First Amendment has survived intact for 219 years amid far greater technological, historical and social challenges.

"The argument that video games present some kind of new ominous threat that requires a wholesale reassessment of one of our nation's most treasured freedoms and to take that freedom away indiscriminately from an entire group of our population based on nothing but age is beyond absurd.

"These are the same attacks Americans have witnessed against every previous emerging entertainment medium and genre including books, comics, rock 'roll, movies, TV and the Internet. In each case, freedom prevailed.

Kotick went on to argue that California was "wasting taxpayers' money", and would have better spent its effort on raising parental awareness of games' existing rating system in the US. He also pointed out that the games industry provided thousands of jobs to California.

Added Activision Blizzard EVP George Rose, "Some proponents say they want to act on behalf of parents when all this law will do is swap a self-regulatory program the federal government itself has shown is extremely successful with a taxpayer-funded bureaucracy the state can't afford and attempt to enforce rules that are vague and impossible to comprehend.

"At a time when our schools are out of money, child care centers are closing and health clinics are unfunded, how is that exercise of common sense? Law enforcement time is more productively spent on our streets and highways eradicating real crime, not patrolling check-out lines at our neighborhood stores."

Yesterday, the Entertainment Software Association announced support from 182 expert bodies in battling Schwarzengger, including the US Chamber of Commerce and the Motion Picture Association Of America.

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Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.