The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), the non-profit membership organization that represents gamers, and a coalition of other consumer groups submitted a friend of the court document (amicus brief) on Friday to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the violence in video games case, Schwarzenegger v. EMA. Ã‚Â Competitive Enterprise Institute (“CEI”), Consumer Action (“CA”), Consumer Federation of America (“CFA”), Public Knowledge (“PK”) and Students for Free Culture (“SFC”) were also co-signatories to the amicus brief. Teams from Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLC and the Brooklyn Law Incubator and Policy (BLIP) Clinic of the Brooklyn Law School worked with ECA on the brief.
The Court agreed to hear the case and oral arguments are scheduled for November 2, 2010, which also happens to be Election Day. At issue is whether interactive entertainment should deserve First Amendment free speech protection like books, movies and music. The so-called “consumer brief” makes its argument from the consumer perspective.
“It is humbling to see such esteemed consumer and First Amendment organizations sign on as co-signatories,” said Hal Halpin, President of the ECA. Ã‚Â “While we remain very confident about the case, we believe our amicus is informative and hope that the points made are impactful.”
“Video games are an expressive medium that should be protected by the First Amendment,” said Jennifer Mercurio, Vice President and General Counsel of the ECA. “There is nothing exceptional about video games’ interactivity that should preclude the Court finding that they are protected artistic expressions.”