[MUD-Dev] Games are not speech?

Jeff Cole jeff.cole at mindspring.com
Sat Apr 27 10:16:38 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


Apologies for my cynical mood ... but here it goes ...

From: Koster, Raph

> http://www.penny-arcade.com/lod3.php3

This is classic:

Atticus: "I'm a Republican. I fucking hate when the state steps into
the family unit and says, 'You will follow the moral code we provide
because we say so...'"

With respect to the opinion, for those interested,

  http://pacer.moed.uscourts.gov/opinions/INTERACTIVE_DIGITAL_SOFTWARE_ASSOC_V_ST_LOUIS_COUNTY-SNL-36.PDF

This is just a ruling on a motion for summary judgment.  Basically,
judge Limbaugh didn't rule that games were not protected, but that
the plaintiff (IDSA) did not establish sufficiently to support a
motion for summary judgment that games were "expressive so as to
trigger First Amendment protection."

Judge Limbaugh did argue that *if* games were subject to First
Amendment protection, then the St. Louis regulation was
content-based and, therefore, subject to the highest degree of
judicial scrutiny-- strict scrutiny.  He further argues that the
St. Louis regulation would be valid under a strict scrutiny
analysis.  He reasons, then, that even if the plaintiff (IDSA) had
met its burden to establish that games were subject to First
Amendment protection, that the regulation would still be valid under
strict scrutiny.

Atticus: "Video games, as a *medium* are not protected by the First
Amendment under this ruling."

Just plain wrong.  The judge could've simply ruled that the
plaintiff (IDSA) failed to establish that games were subject to
First Amendment protection and left it at that.  That judge Limbaugh
went through the strict scrutiny analysis indicates, I think, that
he *does* think games are probably protected under the First
Amendment.

Americans are drunk on the concept of "inalienable rights"
("God-given," to Atticus' republican philosophy) and are in dire
need of a few cups o' responsibilty to sober them up.  Atticus
certainly demonstrates his ability and propensity to exercise his
protected right to free speech ("fucks" and all), but declines the
opportunity to do so responsibly (i.e. attack the merits of
Limbaugh's argument).

Sure, we're all aware of the
"we're-not-a-news-site-we're-a-rant-site" disclaimer, it's just a
shame that those who would so fervently deconstruct the work of
those addressing the tough issues would cowardly seek refuge from
responsiblity.

Bleh,
Jeff Cole

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