Developers slam video game censorship

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has harshly criticized California’s controversial video game law which is expected to be debated before the US Supreme Court this fall.

“Limiting forms of expression in video games limits the expression of game creators, which violates their constitutional rights to free speech in the United States and abroad as specified by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the United Nations,” the IGDA noted in an official statement.

“In the specific case of the state of California’s Schwarzenegger v. Video Software Dealers Association, 08-1448, which is coming before the US Supreme Court this fall, the IGDA’s position is that limiting the sale of video games based on violence is oppressive censorship, singling out one form of expression based only on popular myth and biased research.”

Meanwhile, IGDA Chair Gordon Bellamy emphasized that video games were at “the heart” of technical and artistic innovation.

“Singling out games from other media is not only unconstitutional, according to courts throughout the country, but it also stigmatizes a leading industry in our economy that’s embraced by millions in all walks of life,” claimed Bellamy.

“Violence is conveyed in explicit ways on television, in print media, via the Internet and in film. All of these platforms constitute speech protected by the first amendment of the United States constitution. The IGDA condemns the censorship of expressive media in all forms, but especially when marketed for political gain by legislators.”