News Release - June 27, 2011

For Immediate Release:

VIDEO GAME RETAILERS REACT TO SUPREME COURT OVERTURNING CALIFORNIA VIDEO GAME LAW

ENCINO, CA (June 27, 2011) … The following is the statement of Bo Andersen, President & CEO, Entertainment Merchants Association (formerly Video Software Dealers Association), on today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that found California’s video game restriction law to be unconstitutional:

"EMA welcomes today’s Supreme Court ruling that found the California video game restriction law to be unconstitutional. We are gratified that our position that the law violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression has been vindicated and there now can be no argument whether video games are entitled to the same protection as books, movies, music, and other expressive entertainment. 

“While we appreciate this victory in the court of law, it does not obviate the concern that parents may have about the appropriateness of some video games for their children. But, as the Court noted, the ESRB rating system for video games ‘does much to ensure that minors cannot purchase seriously violent games on their own, and that parents who care about the matter can readily evaluate the games their children bring home.’”

“Video game retailers understand that they have a responsibility to help parents make informed decisions about the video games they buy for their children and to ensure that children are not able to purchase Mature-rated games without their parents’ permission. EMA-member retailers have a high level of ratings education and enforcement and, in fact, in an undercover shopper investigation released in April of this year, the Federal Trade Commission found that video game retailers turned down minors that attempted to purchase Mature-rated video games 87% of the time. Video game retailers remain committed to maintaining what the Federal Trade Commission termed their “vigorous” enforcement of the video game ratings.

“In addition, EMA and other entertainment retailing trade associations have declared this June to be Entertainment Ratings & Labeling Awareness Month, as we do annually. The purpose of Entertainment Ratings & Labeling Awareness Month is to promote ratings education and enforcement by retailers and increase parental awareness and use of the ratings.”

For background on the case, Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association (formerly Video Software Dealers Association v. Schwarzenegger), please see http://www.entmerch.org/government-relations/ema-v-schwarzenegger-faqs.html.

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) is the not-for-profit international trade association dedicated to advancing the interests of the $35 billion home entertainment industry. EMA-member companies operate approximately 35,000 retail outlets in the U.S. and 45,000 around the world that sell and/or rent DVDs, computer and console video games, and digitally distributed versions of these products. Membership comprises the full spectrum of retailers (from single-store specialists to multi-line mass merchants, and both brick and mortar and online stores), distributors, the home video divisions of major and independent motion picture studios, video game publishers, and other related businesses that constitute and support the home entertainment industry. EMA was established in April 2006 through the merger of the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) and the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA).


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For more information, please contact:

Sean Bersell, Vice President, Public Affairs

Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA)

818-531-4362 or sbersell at entmerch.org

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