Itâ€™s very important to note that no other form of media has to contend with this kind of restriction. Itâ€™s not illegal for those under 17 to attend a R rated movie, to read a Stephen King book or to listen to Howard Stern. But if the Supreme Court rules against the game industry, it could be illegal for someone under 18 to buy Resistance if the game is deemed inappropriate for minors under the new law. And as content creators, if there is a chance that our games will appear in an â€œAdults Onlyâ€ section of game stores we will have to restrict what we create to avoid going out of business. To me such a situation is tantamount to government censorship.
If this law is upheld it could have a ripple effect across all other forms of media. Those who have sought to censor films, television, books, talk radio, and music will now have precedent to renew their fight against freedom of expression. In other words, this case is a very, very big deal.
What Iâ€™d love to see are more game news outlets focusing on big issues like this. Game sites can encourage gamers to take a stand and tell their representatives that games deserve the same protection as other art forms. We have the numbers on our side. We need to take advantage of that to make it crystal clear to our government that a law like this cannot stand.
And one article doesnâ€™t do it. Those who are reporting the news should be treating this case with the gravity it deserves â€“ giving us frequent updates, interviewing those involved, opining on the outcome and explaining the consequences of a decision that goes against gamers.
But the time is now. The US Supreme Court hears oral arguments beginning November 2nd and a decision will probably follow quickly. There are a few short weeks for gamers to be heard before itâ€™s too late.
I challenge the news sites to carry the flag on this issue, to make it a key and ongoing story. Because ultimately whatever decision is made will affect them too.
Whoâ€™s going to rise to that challenge?
Ted [Founder and CEO of Insomniac games]