State of California Owes ESA $950,000 After Supreme Court Decision

on January 26, 2012 4:00 PM

It seems drafting faulty legislation and having the Supreme Court of the United States strike it down will cost you more than dignity. About $950,000, to be exact. That’s how much the State of California owes the Entertainment Software Association, the trade organization responsible for E3, after the Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association decision that deemed unconstitutional a 2005 state law banning the sale of violent video games to minors (try saying that 10 times fast.)

Anywho, the gist of the whole ordeal was that the State of California wanted government-sponsored regulation for the distribution of these titles. The Supreme Court said it would violate First and Fourteenth amendment rights. The $950,000 due to the ESA would cover costs of litigation and other fees associated with the process.

To add insult to injury, ESA President and CEO Mike Gallagher said some of the funds the organization will receive from the state are to be invested in after-school programs for the “under-served” youth of Sacramento and Oakland.

This isn’t the first time this particular decision has been made, either. A lower court deemed the law unconstitutional in 2008 before then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to take it to the highest branch of the judicial system. That earlier decision resulted in the State of California ponying up just under $283,000 to the ESA. All told, Oregon’s neighbor to the south will have paid the trade group more than $1.3 million by the time this is all said and done. It would take Mitt Romney 22 days to come up with that kind of cash.

 /  Staff Writer
Eder is a journalism major at the University of Oregon and copy chief of Flux, the School of Journalism and Communication's flagship magazine. When he's not playing video games or writing about them, Eder enjoys going to concerts, walking the UO campus with his trusty iPod, James McCloud, and climbing steep hills in running shoes. His favorite games include Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong Country 2, Bioshock and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.