We here at DualShockers love our games, perhaps we love them too much, but can you blame us? They are an art form, a medium of expression that is still young in its life but very powerful and moving at times. This cannot be denied with titles like Heavy Rain showcasing the maximum cinematic qualities seen in games today. But one key founding block of creating compelling stories that send a motivational moral message is the right to free speech. This is a god given right enforced by the United States Constitution via the 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights, and now this right is being threatened by the courts.
We brought you an informative yet brief insight to this recently, and now we gaming needs your help to make sure that the Supreme Court upholds the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in which the 12 federal rulings that video games ARE a First Amendment protected speech are once again defended and solidified. No matter what you are doing right now, please take notice and give support in any way you can to this noble effort to protect the entertainment industry of video games that gives us all hope for a smarter future and enjoyment of life in the digital age.
First, take a look at this chart and editorial which attempts to address the growing concern with violence among supposedly game-related incidents to educate yourselves on the facts surrounding this argument. In the post I discuss how games are typically used as a form of stress relief rather than actually causing violent emotions. Even more studies have been revealed to back up this claim, as revealed here by our weekend contributor Jess Brohard.
Here’s what the experts had to say:
“Indeed, whether attempting to link violent video games with psychological or neurological harm or with violent, aggressive, and antisocial behavior, all of the studies…suffer from inherent and fundamental methodological flaws. [California] ignore[d] a weighty body of scholarship, undertaken with established and reliable scientific methodologies, debunking the claim that the video games California seeks to regulate have harmful effects on minors.”
As we all know the video game industry uses the ESRB system to rate games and families are already familiar with it. Changing things now would only complicate the situation. As far as revoking free speech goes, this is something all gamers should fight against. For art is the final frontier when it comes to censorship, it needs to be universally free to the expressions we can imagine in order to capture, analyze, and send the portraits of reality and fiction we so much enjoy in today’s film, literature, and video games. Oral arguments for Schwarzenegger v. EMA/ESA will be on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. If you love gaming then stop what you’re doing right now and write a tweet, share this on facebook, or somehow take a minute to raise awareness of this issue. You can find the full amicus briefs filed here thanks to the Entertainment Software Association.