Landmark court showdown for US game industry

Landmark court showdown for US game industry

By Stuart Richardson

November 2nd 2010 at 1:55PM

Schwarzenegger vs. Entertainment Merchants Association to decide sector content control in the States

[Update: Schwarzenegger's side hit hard in ratings row]

The US Supreme Court will today hear oral arguments in the case of Schwarzenegger vs. Entertainment Merchants Association, upon which rests the fate of video games regulation in the entire USA.

At 10am EST (3pm in the UK), the two sides will begin making their cases at the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. The future of legislation seeking tighter control over video games sales hangs in the balance.

Argument will revolve around a law created but never enforced back in 2005. The state of California, under its Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, will seek to enact the law which requires violent video games in the state to carry an ‘18+’ sticker, forbidding sale to people below that age.

The stickers would be used alongside ESRB ratings, and a fine of $1,000 (£625) could be brought against any retailers breaking the law.

The EMA, alongside the Entertainment Software Association, will seek to prevent the law from being passed. As this action is taking place at the Supreme Court, if they fail, the law would become applicable across every state in the country.

For a full breakdown of the issues being debated, the potential outcomes of today’s hearing and a history of the action to date, see Develop’s feature In depth: California vs. videogames.